Who told you about The Doctor?
That guy in the picture standing next to the cyberman in flared trousers otherwise known as my uncle. That picture was taken in 1994 (and yes that’s me in the pram) by my dad who found a Dalek and Cyberman casually strolling though Botanical Gardens and decided to take a picture, but weirdly it wasn’t discovered by me until after I had established myself as a whovian. My uncle first told me about the Doctor, or at least told me about the show the day that Series 2 aired with David Tennant and Billie Piper. It wasn’t the first episode I saw but it was from then on that I started watching the show regualrly.
What was the first episode of Doctor Who you ever saw?
The Christopher Eccleston episode End of the World. And it was a proper good introduction as well, aliens and space and Ikea style spaceships, it was like my mind had reverted back to being a 5 year old again. My imagination had just lit up like a flare.
How did you become a fan of Doctor Who?
Although I managed to catch a few episodes of Chris Eccleston’s series, the moment when I feel I became a proper “fan” of the show and knew it was something amazing was about 3 or 4 episodes into David Tennant’s series. Specifically the moment when the Doctor rides through the mirror on a horse to save Madame de Pompadour, the general thought going through my head was “This show is bonkers and makes absolutely no sense - but it’s awesome and I love it!”. This was apparently going to become a running theme…
That was also around the time that I discovered this photograph. The weird thing is, none of my family were fans of Doctor Who. (My dad used to know Colin Baker but then my dad also used to know Rowan Atkinson and yet the word “Blackadder” means nothing to him -_-) In fact none of my family are particularly big fans of anything. I discovered Doctor Who at a time when being a fan of something, nerding out about it, was the epitome of not cool. That whole Comic Con philosophy of being proud to talk about things you enjoy didn’t exist. But the reason I am a fan of Doctor Who and the real reason why it will hold a special place in my heart regardless of Doctor or assistant or villain, is because it was the first thing I felt like I was not ashamed to like. I didn’t care that I went into school with David Tennant’s face plastered over my pencil case, or that I audibly squealed every time someone mentioned the word Dalek. My love for Doctor Who gave me the foundations for the person I’ve become 7 years later - someone who isn’t afraid to show the things that I enjoy, things that I love. Not caring what people think of you, not constantly comparing your interests to that of other peoples and most importantly just embracing the things that make you happy and not letting anyone take that happiness away from you.
So yeah, it may seem cheesy but if only that slightly chubby baby in the pram (next to the inflatable hammer that was mysteriously never to be seen again) knew the significance of that moment, or the effect it would have on her almost two decades later (good god I feel old).