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August 04, 2013


Brenda Lee

Lovely. My first Doctor was Pertwee, watched on PBS on the TV in the back bedroom. I used to write letters to my Nana about Who. She loved Baker and I loved Pertwee but we both loved talking Who. I think the power of Who is that ability to bridge generations and appeal to all sorts of different people. This current brouhaha is fun to watch and experience (reminiscent of the last Potter book), but above all, it is story that will drive the series. Good writing trumps all.

Greg Daniel

With rare exceptions, I think there are only 2 generations/camps of Dr. Who fans in the USA. Either Tom Baker or David Tennant/Matt Smith. The other Doctors will always be just that ... the other Doctors.

As far as the casting of Peter Capaldi goes ... I think I like it, but like you, I prefer my Doctor with a touch of whimsy. That said, when they announced Capaldi, my brain leaped-frogged over Malcolm Tucker and John Frobisher and the other recent roles all the way back to the first thing I saw him in and quite possibly his first role ... Oldsen in LOCAL HERO. Oldsen was a bit of a goof, so I have hope.


I agree that your favourite Doctor is usually the first Doctor you watched; Kind of like Bonds or Girls with Dragon Tattoos.

I got hooked on the show in reruns at 3 am after working until midnight, and Pertwee is still my Doctor of choice. What I loved about the show (and still do) is that no matter how hokey the effects or shabby the sets, the stories, the acting and the character of the Doctor (and often the companions) was always strong. I think that if you've got good writing, you can overlook the flaws and faults.

I think Capaldi makes an excellent choice. I for one am glad to see the Doctor being a more mature actor again.

This year will be a bittersweet Christmas special. Remember Smith's Doctor will die! And then we'll have to wait who knows how long to get to know our hero's newest face.


That's great about you and your "Nana," Brenda! I'm hoping either my daughter or my son turn out to be nerds one day so we can watch Doctor Who (and Star Trek and Star Wars and Sherlock and X-Files) together. So far, neither one seems to have inherited the geek gene, alas....

I think in broad brush strokes you're right about U.S. Who fans, Greg. I can remember running into some rabid Sylvester McCoy partisans once upon a time, but I don't know if there were enough of them to qualify as a "camp." And I'd forgotten entirely that Capaldi was in Local Hero. That gives me a great excuse to watch that movie again!

Robert Lopresti

Probably thirty years ago my wife and i were watching PBS one StuRday night and saw a curly haired man with a long scrf fighting monsters that seemed to be made out of celephanr. It was the horrible special effects tht got us hooked.


I think those low production values were the perfect litmus test for American viewers. If you could get past the sub-Halloween costume monsters and spaceships on strings, you were the kind of person who could appreciate something as goofy and original as Doctor Who.


I also remember a fateful encounter on Sunday night PBS (I think it was 1981) - The Robots of Death, and falling in love with my all-time favorite Doctor. Your summation is spot-on! I had a painstakingly-made VHS collection of Tom Baker/Peter Davison Doctor Who until being burgled one New Year's Eve. I remember knitting those long, long scarves for friends at the time. I watched the Christopher Eccleston reboot, but couldn't get into it. My daughter has discovered the new Doctor Who on Netflix, but she has no interest in "classic Who." I'm going to pull out my Foyle's War DVDs and find the episode with this new regeneration and check out his performance.

As the French say , "Each to their own Doctor." Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Steve!


My pleasure, Marge! I used to have a VHS collection with every Tom/Peter episode, as well, but a couple years ago I actually threw it away. My VCR had stopped working and the three or four cheap ones I got off Craigslist were all junk, too. So I figured, "Why fight it? The day's coming when all this stuff is going to be streaming on demand anyway." And I was right. Netflix Instant currently has a selection called "Classic Doctor Who" with a lot of the oldies. (I just used it to watch "The Visitation" for the first time in 25 years. Really mediocre episode, but it did remind me of some of the things I appreciated about the Davison era.) I'm sure the day is still coming when every old Who will be available on demand.

"The Robots of Death" is one of my favorites, BTW! It starts off as a sci-fi version of Death on the Nile/Murder on the Orient Express before building to an all-out robots-on-the-rampage climax...with a villain who's defeated because his voice gets squeaky. What's not to love?

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