Who’s First


This was going to be the latest Re-Dwarf post, but then I realised that thanks to the wonders of modern technology I can repeat my exact thoughts from, well, ten years and a day ago now, because I didn’t do it on the actual anniversary. Why be normal, after all.

Anyway, ten years ago (yesterday) I was eagerly awaiting the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie, which was just under 42 days away. But rather more pressingly, I blogged this:

Of course, before we welcome Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent to the big screen, there’s another eccentric alien and his Earthling companion to welcome back…

As I write this, it’s about four hours before the first new episode of Doctor Who in about 16 years (unless you count the ’96 movie, which I always thought was just someone’s millennial paranoia tale tacked onto a famous name to make a sale, but what do I know?) and I’m so stupidly excited I feel like I should be about ten again.

I could be disappointed, of course, with the absence of the old four-part serials, but hey, this is the 21st Century – I’m sure the Doctor can move with the times. Besides, it can’t be any worse than the Colin Baker years, can it? (It’s nothing personal, Col – I mean, it’s hardly your fault you got saddled with Trial of a Timelord, the extended clip show that lasted about three months, is it?)

Of course, Tom Baker is the Doctor*. I’m part of his generation (or should that be… oh, never mind. The pun’s far too obvious). I grew up with K-9, for heaven’s sake. The hat, the scarf, the jelly babies…

Sylvester McCoy was good, too. Pity he was the one that got the chop. And Ace was my fave companion (she had a certain appeal to me when I was a hormone-addled 15-year-old… I forget why) although I have a certain fondness for Billie Piper. That’s something different though. That’s me being a refugee from Swindon too. I kinda wish Doctor Who had come and rescued me…

*He’s also the best bit on Little Britain, IMO, although I acknowledge that may be a minority viewpoint

Hitchhikers and Doctor Who, both making a long-awaited return within a few weeks of each other. Must have been a good year! Thankfully, one of the two turned out not to be a pile of fetid dingoes kidneys.

Looking back, RTD got it pretty spot on when he brought the good Doctor back. Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, missing the, um, memorable attire of the likes of Baker, Davison and Baker, was perhaps less alien than he might have been… at least, no more alien than a lot of Northerners are. Eccleston brought a certain gravitas to the role that got the show off to a fantastic start – even when faced with the slightly comedic Autons as his first baddie.

It was only a few weeks later that it was announced that he wouldn’t return for a second series; the Ninth Doctor had already made a big impression, because I could not see how the show could carry on with a new lead after so short a time…

And then, of course, David Tenant rocked up in his dressing gown and made a better homage to Douglas Adams than that wretched movie.

And in time, of course, we got Daleks, Cybermen, and even the Master back… The scarf, the jelly babaies, and a variety of hats came along later too. New Who has been a bit of a success really, among new fans and old, and I suppose we owe at least part of that to the too short-lived Ninth Doctor.

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