My introduction to television series Doctor Who occurred during the first month of my Freshman year at college, September 1978. I will never forget walking into my dormitory’s lobby that resembled a large living room. Instinctively I glanced over at the large television screen and noticed a strikingly odd, yet not bad looking dark brown curly haired man.
He was wearing a large floppy hat, very long striped scarf, brown coat, multi-colored vest, red tie and Khaki pants. I do not recall what he wore on his feet. They were not tennis shoes. His expressive facial features I remember well. He was the first actor I had ever seen who could emote many unique facial expressions. This man’s acting ability hypnotically held my attention, drew me into his character’s world and the plot of the episode. I could not keep myself from becoming engrossed in the fascinating storyline. I barely remember walking toward the back of the couch nearest me, and then standing behind it to view the program.
The more I watched I realized this guy called the Doctor was no ordinary physician. He was a scientist with a Time Lord twist. He had a great sense of humor and was unusually brilliant, but lacked wisdom. This Doctor seemed to unintentionally find extremely dangerous situations. His companion Sarah Jane Smith seemed practical, relatable, yet enamored by the Doctor. She served as an assistant, helping as she could. Sarah Jane did ask numerous questions. The Doctor’s answers never degraded her. He seemed to enjoy Sarah Jane’s inquisitive nature.
In this particular episode, the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith already knew the Brigadier of Unit and were his friends. I could tell there were earlier episodes that explained this friendship they shared. I realized I had missed much. I did learn from my first viewed Doctor Who episode that the Doctor worked in an out of the ordinary capacity with a British military group called Unit. At the time, I had no idea what Unit was. The Doctor seemed accustomed to solving alien invasion type of issues. Most of the characters seemed to expect the Doctor to come up with a resolution. The Doctor had a knack for knowing exactly what to do and remedying the problem at the very last second.
Toward the end of the episode, after the Doctor and his companion entered the Police Box, I thought why did they go into that Police Box? When the Police Box disappeared with a peculiar yet unforgettable engine sound my eyes grew in surprise. That Police Box was a disguised time machine. At the instant of realizing what the TARDIS was, this series had me hooked! I was ready to see more episodes.
As the ending credits rolled, I asked the students watching this program what it was. One of them replied, “Oh, it’s Doctor Who. PBS shows it every Thursday afternoon.” The same student informed me what time it was televised. He invited me to join them each Thursday to watch Doctor Who. I accepted the invitation and became a part of their group.
As time passed, I became a fan of Doctor Who. I have seen the different uses for the Sonic Screwdriver. It is a very handy device; a pity this does not really exist. There were times when I could have used one.
Alicia Rose, personal experience 1978 – present
Alicia Rose, personal television viewing 1978 – present
Official BBC Doctor Who website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw
Doctor Who, Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who
Fourth Doctor, Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Doctor