In The Blink Of An Eye

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_I wrote this as a tribute to my mother who was taken from 17 years ago on the 12th of September.

In The Blink Of An Eye ©2014

It really doesn’t pay
To take life for granted every day
Because it can all be taken away
In the blink of an eye.

Life seems to just drift along
Like a never ending song
Until someone dear to you is gone
In the blink of an eye.

Time heals all wounds, they say
The pain will lessen every day
When someone you love is taken away
In the blink of an eye.

As time passes, less often you will cry
The pain dulls to a heavy sigh
As the years fly by
In the blink of an eye.

Life goes on day by day
Until one day you wake up and say
“The years have flown away”
In the blink of an eye.

Mum, I don’t know how to say
I think about you every day
I can’t believe how the years have flown away
In the blink of an eye!

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If Only

 
This is a short story imagining what might have been if only Elisabeth Sladen had still been alive when Day of the Doctor was filmed…
 
 
 
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Sarah Jane Smith hurried along the hallway.  She thought the room with the Gallifrey painting was this way, but she couldn’t remember for sure.  She had to find the Doctor before he left again.  That was the trouble with the Doctor: he could never be relied on to stick around.  He’d changed yet again.  He was certainly a different man from the Doctor she had travelled with. 
 
            Voices came to her through a doorway ahead.  She recognized the Doctor’s voice. She hurried forward, her footsteps clacking on the stone floor.  A second voice spoke, deeper in timbre.  There was something disturbingly familiar about that voice.  He sounded like….
 
            No!  It couldn’t be.  Could it?   She remembered something from her past.  A time when she had been around several versions of the same man.  The two she had travelled with and three others that she hadn’t known.  He seemed to bend all the rules of time as though they didn’t apply to him at all.  The one thing she had learned about the Doctor was anything was possible. 
 
            Hesitantly, she stepped through the doorway.  The huge painting drew the eye immediately.  She had heard it was called Gallifrey Falls.  “Doctor, I don’t mean to interrupt..” her voice tailed off.  The two men turned to look at her.  The current Doctor, the tall gangly one, favoured her with a big smile.  “Ohh, hello Sarah.  I’d like you to meet my friend, the Curator.”
 
            The other man looked much older.  He smiled at her..  “Ahh, Sarah Jane, how nice to see you again after all these years.”
 
            Sarah stopped, staring at the man.  Although his face was old, his eyes were bright and disturbingly compelling.  “Do I know you?  Only…there’s something so familiar about you.”
 
            The man’s face creased in a wide toothy smile.  “Oh, I know all about you, Sarah jane Smith.  The curiousity of a monkey.  And the heart of a lion.”
 
            Sarah stood, flustered, unable to think of anything to say.  “umm, how do you know me?”
 
            The man’s laugh was hearty.  “I’m the curator.  It’s my job to know things.”  he tapped the side of his nose.
 
            Sarah moved to stand by the Doctor.  “Doctor, how old were you when you stopped being the Doctor I travelled with and changed?”
 
            “Oh, I don’t remember really.  Not much older than I was when you left, I think.”
 
            “I didn’t leave.  You dumped me.”  She regretted the reprimand in her voice as soon as the words were spoken.  It showed she still felt hurt that he could just up and leave her so abruptly after showing her so much of the universe.  “Anyway, so you didn’t have white hair or anything?”
 
            “Oh God, no!  I’ve never had white hair.  Well, once maybe.  Okay, twice.  But that’s it.”
 
            Sarah turned her attention to the Curator.  Well, it’s nice to meet you Doc…er….Curator.”
 
            The Curator’s smile became even wider, although that shouldn’t have been possible.  He held out his hand.
 
            Sarah put her hand in his.  His grip was firm and strong, belying his apparent age.  She looked into his eyes.  Warmth and humour shone in them.  And intelligence.  And something else.  Something she couldn’t define.  “Well, maybe we’ll meet again one day.”
 
            The Curator looked delighted at her suggestion.  “Yes, perhaps we shall.  In fact, I know we will.”  He released her hand.  “There’s one thing left to say.  Goodbye, Sarah Jane.”
 
            His words seemed to release a dam inside her.  All the years of resentment evaporated.  As impossible as it seemed, she felt the Curator had uttered words she’d longed to hear all those years ago from another man.  A man who could well have grown to be the older man before her if he hadn’t regenerated.  She blinked back tears.  “Goodbye, Doctor.” 
 
            The Curator winked at her.  Then with a glance at the Doctor, he turned and, leaning on his cane, he walked out of the room.
 
            Sarah watched him.  The cane barely seemed to touch the floor.  Did he even need it or was it just for show.
 
            The Doctor looked at her, a thoughtful frown on his face.  “Well, it’s time I was off.  Again.  Have you come to say goodbye?”
 
            Sarah Jane smiled at him.  “Yes, but…perhaps I already have.”

A Different Perspective

Pete Harrington stood watching his ten year old son, Jake, kick his soccer ball around on the soccer pitch in the park. He rolled his shirt sleeves up. It was unusually warm for early October, and he hadn’t had time to change out of his suit. After coming home from work, Jake had harangued and harassed him to take him to the park. All Pete had really wanted to do was put his feet up and open a nice cold beer. But since he wasn’t going to get any peace, he’d agreed. At least the beer would wait until later. Sometimes this kid was way too hyperactive for Pete to handle. He could barely keep up with the boy. Had he been that energetic when he’d been Jake’s age? He’d forgotten what it was like to be young. Working all the hours God sends just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table tended to do that to you. It’s typical, he thought to himself. You spend the best years of your life working your ass off trying to make enough money for a comfortable life and then you never have time to do anything with the money you earn. 

 

“Hey dad, wanna kick the ball around with me?” The skinny fair-haired boy looked hopefully at his father. 

 

“No, it’s okay son. You go kick your ball around. Show me what you can do. I’ll sit on that bench over there and watch you.” 

 

The disappointed look Jake shot at him was like a kick in the teeth. But it didn’t stop Pete turning away and trudging to the bench. Someone was already sitting there, an older man, maybe in his late fifties, with salt and pepper hair. Pete nodded to the man before sitting on the other end of the bench. They sat in silence for a moment.

 

“That your kid?” The older man finally asked. 

 

“Yeah, he’s a real soccer nut. Wants to run around with the ball all day long.”

 

“What’s his name?”

 

Pete hesitated, unsure whether he should answer. Why was this stranger so interested in his boy? “His name’s Jake,” he finally said.

 

The old man turned to Pete, and with a low chuckle said, “Relax, I’m no predator. My name’s Darryl by the way.”

 

“I’m Pete. I just wasn’t sure why you’re so interested in my kid. You can’t be too careful these days.”

 

Darryl sighed. “A truer word never spoken. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you uneasy. My wife and I moved here recently. Your son sure has a lot of energy.”

 

Both men watched Jake run full pelt from one end of the pitch to the other, controlling the ball perfectly. Pete sighed. “Yeah, you’re not wrong there. To be honest he gets a bit too much for me sometimes. Tell you the truth, I’d much rather be home right now, nursing a beer. But Jake was very insistent that I take him here. He’s trying out for the school soccer team. So…do you have kids of your own?”

 

Darryl shook his head once, but didn’t say anything.

 

“You didn’t want any?” Despite his initial suspicion, Pete found himself becoming genuinely curious about this stranger.

 

Darryl sat silent for a moment. “We tried. God knows, we tried. At first we tried the natural way, but as the years passed with no success we realized we were going to need some help. We went to a fertility clinic. We tried artificial insemination, IVF, nothing helped. The IVF was the worst. We tried five months in a row. That was the worst part. I had to stick a huge needle in the top of my wife’s butt every night for weeks. It hurt her so much and I hated doing it. It would all have been worth while if it had given us what we both so desperately wanted.” The old man’s eyes took on a faraway look, clearly recalling that painful time. “We tried everything we could, until our funds ran out. Then we just had to accept it wasn’t God’s plan for us to have children. That was the hardest realization I’ve ever had to make.”

 

“I’m sorry to hear that. It must have been a tough thing to go through.” Even as he said it, Pete knew how trite his words must have sounded. But what else could you say? What do you say to anyone who’s going through a tough time? ‘I’m sorry.’ The truth was there was nothing else you could say. “Didn’t you try for adoption?”

 

The older man shook his head. “I was open to the idea. But Muriel? She wouldn’t hear of it. She wanted a child of her own, and that was that. Nothing would change her mind. Well, I’m retired now, and all we have is each other. No kids to visit us, no grandkids to spoil. And everywhere I look all I see is fathers with their children. I love to watch them interact, but it’s like a dagger through the heart at the same time. All those things I’ll never experience. I come out here sometimes because I just have to get out of the house. Muriel’s cold to me these days and the silence gets me down so bad.” He turned his body slightly to face Pete. “Son, I know you probably work too many hours a day. And I know when you get home you’re probably tired and the last thing you feel like doing is running around after Jake. But if you could spend just one day in my shoes, I know you’d see things differently. Because I’d happily trade places with you. Wouldn’t even need to think about it. That boy clearly loves you and he wants your attention and he wants you to interact with him as much as you can. It’s easy for me to say this I know, but appreciate him as much as you can because there are a lot of us out there who can’t have what you have. And believe me, it hurts like hell.” He stood up, nodded to Pete, and slowly walked away. 

 

Pete stared after Darryl for a moment, thinking over what the old man had said. Then he turned to watch Jake dribbling with the ball toward goal. He stood up and walked onto the pitch. “Hey, Jake. How about you go in goal?” 

 

Jake stared at his father in surprise for a moment. Then he grinned. “Sure, pop!” 

 

“And afterward, we’ll go get some ice-cream and rent a movie. Whatever you want to see.”

 

It was funny how he’d never noticed before how a child’s smile of joy could light up your heart. What else had he missed out on? He resolved then and there to never again take his son for granted. It had taken a chance encounter with a complete stranger to give him a whole new perspective on life.

 

A Different Perspective

Pete Harrington stood watching his ten year old son, Jake, kick his soccer ball around on the soccer pitch in the park. He rolled his shirt sleeves up. It was unusually warm for early October, and he hadn’t had time to change out of his suit. After coming home from work, Jake had harangued and harassed him to take him to the park. All Pete had really wanted to do was put his feet up and open a nice cold beer. But since he wasn’t going to get any peace, he’d agreed. At least the beer would wait until later. Sometimes this kid was way too hyperactive for Pete to handle. He could barely keep up with the boy. Had he been that energetic when he’d been Jake’s age? He’d forgotten what it was like to be young. Working all the hours God sends just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table tended to do that to you. It’s typical, he thought to himself. You spend the best years of your life working your ass off trying to make enough money for a comfortable life and then you never have time to do anything with the money you earn. 

 

“Hey dad, wanna kick the ball around with me?” The skinny fair-haired boy looked hopefully at his father. 

 

“No, it’s okay son. You go kick your ball around. Show me what you can do. I’ll sit on that bench over there and watch you.” 

 

The disappointed look Jake shot at him was like a kick in the teeth. But it didn’t stop Pete turning away and trudging to the bench. Someone was already sitting there, an older man, maybe in his late fifties, with salt and pepper hair. Pete nodded to the man before sitting on the other end of the bench. They sat in silence for a moment.

 

“That your kid?” The older man finally asked. 

 

“Yeah, he’s a real soccer nut. Wants to run around with the ball all day long.”

 

“What’s his name?”

 

Pete hesitated, unsure whether he should answer. Why was this stranger so interested in his boy? “His name’s Jake,” he finally said.

 

The old man turned to Pete, and with a low chuckle said, “Relax, I’m no predator. My name’s Darryl by the way.”

 

“I’m Pete. I just wasn’t sure why you’re so interested in my kid. You can’t be too careful these days.”

 

Darryl sighed. “A truer word never spoken. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you uneasy. My wife and I moved here recently. Your son sure has a lot of energy.”

 

Both men watched Jake run full pelt from one end of the pitch to the other, controlling the ball perfectly. Pete sighed. “Yeah, you’re not wrong there. To be honest he gets a bit too much for me sometimes. Tell you the truth, I’d much rather be home right now, nursing a beer. But Jake was very insistent that I take him here. He’s trying out for the school soccer team. So…do you have kids of your own?”

 

Darryl shook his head once, but didn’t say anything.

 

“You didn’t want any?” Despite his initial suspicion, Pete found himself becoming genuinely curious about this stranger.

 

Darryl sat silent for a moment. “We tried. God knows, we tried. At first we tried the natural way, but as the years passed with no success we realized we were going to need some help. We went to a fertility clinic. We tried artificial insemination, IVF, nothing helped. The IVF was the worst. We tried five months in a row. That was the worst part. I had to stick a huge needle in the top of my wife’s butt every night for weeks. It hurt her so much and I hated doing it. It would all have been worth while if it had given us what we both so desperately wanted.” The old man’s eyes took on a faraway look, clearly recalling that painful time. “We tried everything we could, until our funds ran out. Then we just had to accept it wasn’t God’s plan for us to have children. That was the hardest realization I’ve ever had to make.”

 

“I’m sorry to hear that. It must have been a tough thing to go through.” Even as he said it, Pete knew how trite his words must have sounded. But what else could you say? What do you say to anyone who’s going through a tough time? ‘I’m sorry.’ The truth was there was nothing else you could say. “Didn’t you try for adoption?”

 

The older man shook his head. “I was open to the idea. But Muriel? She wouldn’t hear of it. She wanted a child of her own, and that was that. Nothing would change her mind. Well, I’m retired now, and all we have is each other. No kids to visit us, no grandkids to spoil. And everywhere I look all I see is fathers with their children. I love to watch them interact, but it’s like a dagger through the heart at the same time. All those things I’ll never experience. I come out here sometimes because I just have to get out of the house. Muriel’s cold to me these days and the silence gets me down so bad.” He turned his body slightly to face Pete. “Son, I know you probably work too many hours a day. And I know when you get home you’re probably tired and the last thing you feel like doing is running around after Jake. But if you could spend just one day in my shoes, I know you’d see things differently. Because I’d happily trade places with you. Wouldn’t even need to think about it. That boy clearly loves you and he wants your attention and he wants you to interact with him as much as you can. It’s easy for me to say this I know, but appreciate him as much as you can because there are a lot of us out there who can’t have what you have. And believe me, it hurts like hell.” He stood up, nodded to Pete, and slowly walked away. 

 

Pete stared after Darryl for a moment, thinking over what the old man had said. Then he turned to watch Jake dribbling with the ball toward goal. He stood up and walked onto the pitch. “Hey, Jake. How about you go in goal?” 

 

Jake stared at his father in surprise for a moment. Then he grinned. “Sure, pop!” 

 

“And afterward, we’ll go get some ice-cream and rent a movie. Whatever you want to see.”

 

It was funny how he’d never noticed before how a child’s smile of joy could light up your heart. What else had he missed out on? He resolved then and there to never again take his son for granted. It had taken a chance encounter with a complete stranger to give him a whole new perspective on life.

 

Everyone Likes Classical Music

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I’ve seen several tweets lately on Twitter, and posts on Google Plus suggesting that everyone likes classical music, they just don’t know it yet.  While I’m inclined to agree, to a point,  I’d like to paraphrase that by saying everyone likes some classical music.  It’s been a part of all our lives for years.  Television shows, movies and even commercials have used this music for a long time.  Often we don’t even realise it is classical music.  We just know it sounds good.  One of my favourite examples of this is an ad that used to run from a bread company called Hovis.  They had a gorgeous piece of music in the background that I always loved.  I have no idea if Hovis still run those ads as I haven’t been in Britain for almost nine years.  I hope they do, though. Here’s an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgjLJSuGPt8

I’m not one to watch commercials, but when this came on I would make an exception and watch, just for the music.  I had no idea what the music was called or where it came from.  But now I’m into classical music I found out it’s part of Dvorak’s Synphony No 9.  It’s even more beautiful when you kisten to it in its proper context..

.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjyBN52kNBg

Even old television shows use classical music.  For instance, did you know the Lone Ranger theme is a classical piece? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDqxni4bzto

When it comes to classical music it seems there are two popular misconcetions:

 

1. It’s for old fogeys.   Yet I’m seeing that more people in their 20’s and 30’s are getting turned onto classical music.  It seems to be a growing trend, especially as modern pop music is pretty bad these days, in my opinion.  I’m not saying it’s all bad but if you listen to mainstream radio you have to wade through more garbage to get to the good stuff.  In classical music there is no garbage.  I haven’t heard one tune that doesn’t sound at least good, if not great.  And tell me this music is just for old fogeys…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTd3ZsvqDiQ

Notice how all the players are young.  I love this video.  I watch it all the time.

 

2. It’s slow and boring.  I agree that not every classical music tune is fantastic, there are some that indeed are slow and boring.  To me.  Although others might love them.  It’s all down to personal taste, after all.  But listen to the William Tell Overture, or Beethoven’s 5th symphony, or Tchaikovski’s 1812 Overture and tell me they’re slow and boring.  My point is whatever style of music you’re into, you won’t like every tune, every song.  So you shouldn’t expect to like every single piece of classical music you hear.  I know I don’t.  But the difference is none of it sounds bad, unlike a lot of modern pop music.  If you’re curious to at least give it a try I’d suggest you do what I did.  Go to YouTube and search for popular classical music.  I bet you’ll be surprised at how many of them you know. After listening to those, I wanted to hear more.  I sought out individual composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovski, Chopin.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to them.  I became passionate about the music.  I can’t stop listening to it.  Yet a couple of weeks ago I had no interest in classical music.  Not because I thought it boring or horrible, or just for old people, I just hadn’t really given it much thought.  Once I truly listened to it I realised I actually love it.

I guarantee you will find music to suit every mood.  Happy?  Sad?  Angry?  Depressed?  Triumphant?  There’s a piece of classical music for that.

 

What’s Your Classical Obsession?

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Okay, so I’ve been a classical music fanatic for a couple of weeks now.  And I really do mean fanatic.  There is something about this music that speaks to my soul.  But as much as I’m trying to broaden my classical horizons by listening to as many composers as I can, there’s that one piece of music I find I keep coming back to.

Ravel’s Bolero.

There’s just something about this tune that I can’t get out of my head.  I love the constant drumbeat that runs right throughout the whole thing.  I love the way the drumbeat starts very faintly, as though from far away, slowly building in volume.  I love the way the whole thing builds up from gentle to a rousing crescendo.  I love the way each individual instrument gets its moment in the sun.  The flute.  The clarinet.  The trombone.  They all get to add their unique sound and stand out from the rest. 

There are two renditions I find myself returning to on YouTube.  I must watch both of them at least every other day.

This is the first one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTd3ZsvqDiQ

For sheer fun and the joy of music it’s hard to beat.  I love that it’s all young people playing it.  And they’re pretty good!  I love watching the faces of the tourists as they listen.  It’s great seeing people enjoy classical music.

Then when I want to hear a more serious version I turn to this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmEJLoawItU

For me, this is the best rendition I’ve ever heard.  I love listening to music conducted by Sergiu Celibidache.  This was the first time I watched him.  Then I watched two videos the same day of Dvorak’s 9th Symphony.  The first one was ok, I liked it enough. I don’t remember who conducted it.  But later on I watched another 9th Symphony video with Sergiu Celibidache conducting and what a difference!  The music just seemed more vivid, more alive.  I loved it.  He seemed to get that extra something out of the performers. 

So this is my go to piece when I want a quick fix of classical.  What’s yours? 

 

 

Verity! Extra! – We Wish You a Merry Smith-mas!

One of the best Doctor Who podcasts I’ve found so far.

VerityPodcast.com

VerityExtraMattSmith-300Though it pains us to say it (some more than others), the time of our beloved Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor is almost at an end. (By the time you get around to this, it may well be over.) Join ALL of the Verities(!) Deb, Erika, Katrina, Liz, Lynne, and Tansy, as we discuss why we think he’s been so successful in the role and reminisce about our favorite 11th-Doctor stories. We’re all excited about Peter Capaldi, but we can’t help being sad to see such a wonderful Doctor say farewell.

It’s another extra-long Extra! as our holiday gift to you. (Or maybe it’s just that we have a lot to say, and when ALL SIX of us are together it takes even longer to say it!)

^E

Download or listen now (runtime 1:08:54) 

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Doctor Who: An Obsession

So at what point does a show go from being a passion to an obsession.  I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was about five years old.  Back in the day when Tom Baker was just getting started,  I’ve always loved the show.  Barely a week has gone by when I didn’t watch at least one Doctor Who, whether from the Classic series or the new series.

Then came the 50th celebration.

My passion for the show went into overdrive!  During the week leading up to that 50th anniversary episode I watched Doctor Who every single day.  Multiple episodes at that, from both the classic and the new series.  And in fact a day hasn’t gone by SINCE the 50th that I haven’t watched at least one episode.  Even today I watched two.  It’s all I tweet about on Twitter.  I’ve started to blog about it, I’m currently reading a Target novel, and of course I keep watching it.

A mad man who stole a blue box.

What is it about this show that excites so much passion?  I see from people I follow on Twitter that I’m not alone in this.  I was at Gallifrey One convention in LA earlier this year.  The amount of people in cos play was amazing.  People all over the world love this show.  It makes me so proud to be a Whovian.  I’ve been mad about the program since the time when it was a nerdy thing and was considered uncool.  Look at the show run now!

I guess there really is nothing else like it out there.  There are plenty of creative and imaginative shows on our screens.  But nothing, NOTHING like Doctor Who.  Wouldn’t we all love a TARDIS of our own.  On the outside, it’s just a simple blue police box.  But when you see it on your screen you know something magical is happening.  That’s the only way to describe Doctor Who.  Magical.

Right from its humble beginning, as a filler to give families something to watch after the sports and before the prime time shows come on, the show captured the imagination of a nation. Athough there was neither the budget or the technology to match the ambition of the producers, they tried to show us things we had never seen before.  Ok, so the effects were often cheesy.  But the stories weren’t.  Classic Who has given us some unforgettable stories and monsters scary enough to chase us behind the sofa.  Ok, I only hid behind the sofa once as a child, but some of the creatures were frightening.  Daleks.  Cybermen.  Sontarans.  Ice Warriors.  Zygons.

Now the show has caught up with technology enough to be able to produce some amazing effects.  Episodes like Planet of the Ood and the Rings of Akhaten have shown us spectacular alien worlds.  The monsters are scarier still.  The show goes on. And on. And on.

Hopefully for another fifty years.

Happy Birthday Doctor Who!

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I am a huge Doctor Who fan.  I have been since I was six years old.  I won’t say how long ago that was.  But I will say Tom Baker was my first Doctor.  I guess that’s kind of a hint…

So, this is a big week for us Doctor Who fans.  You could say it’s been fifty years in the making.  Yep, Doctor Who is fifty years old this week.  Making it the longest running sci-fi show in history.  And this Saturday, the 23rd november, marks the show’s 50th birthday.  Happy birthday, Doctor!  you don’t look a year over 900!

I follow a lot of Doctor Who fans on Twitter.  Some are of the old guard, like me.  Others came in for the new series.  I’ve noticed certain trends among Who fans on Twitter.  Some still bemoan the departure of David Tennant.  Others are unhappy because the next actor to play the role is going to be an older actor.  Newsflash:  All the Doctor Who actors in the Classic series were older men.  When Peter Davison took over the role as the 5th Doctor, the media were complaining he was TOO YOUNG!  How times change.  Ok, so Peter Capaldi is not a young pretty boy.  He’s still a good actor and I’m sure he’ll bring something special to the role. Much as I will miss Matt Smith, I’m looking forward to seeing what Capaldi has to offer. If anything, perhaps the show will calm down a bit now and stop with the endless running around.  As much as I love the New series, I do miss some things about the way Classic Who used to work. 

I just want to say that as a long time Doctor Who fan I’m used to the constant changes that go with the show.  The hardest one for me to adjust to was the departure of Tom Baker.  Apart from the fact he was my first Doctor, he was also the longest running Doctor in the show’s entire 50 year history.  And he was, in my opinion, the best actor to play the role. He played the Doctor for six years. Through most of my childhood.  In all my years of following the show, one thing I have learned is that no actor is bigger than the show. And I mean NO actor.  Not Tom Baker.  Not David Tennant.  And not Matt Smith.  As much as I will miss him, I will be ready for the next incarnation. 

In its fifty years, Doctor Who has been blessed with some truly remarkable actors playing the title role.  Every one of them has been replaced by a quality actor, stepping up to fill the shoes of the previous actor.  I am confident that Peter Capaldi will not disappoint.  Any true Doctor Who fan will accept and welcome the new actor.  The king is dead.  Long live the king.

Whatever else happens, the show will go on. And on.  And on.  Here’s to the next fifty years of travelling in the TARDIS.

Memories of Doctor Who

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I’ve loved Doctor Who all my life, pretty much since I was aged about five.  But I don’t think I’ve ever been as addicted to the show as I am now.  I’m watching episode every day!  I know it’s because it’s the 50th year in the shows history and we’re all anticipating the 5oth anniversary special in November.  And, of course, praying the story does justice to such a momentous occasion. 

Fifty years.  Talk about timey wimey!  It really doesn’t seem that long since we were watching the original broadcast of Silver Nemesis, the 25th anniversary special.  I watched it again today.  The story has its flaws, especially the ease with which the Cybermen are despatched.  But overall, it’s a fun story. 

I was thinking back earlier, remembering my earliest memories of the show.  Tom Baker was my Doctor.  I’m pretty sure I started out with Jon Pertwee, but I don’t remember watching any of his shows as a child.  Although, there’s a scene from one story that may have been from a Pertwee show.  All I remember is there was a man in a hospital bed with a bandage round his head.  A woman was sitting at his bedside talking to him.  All of a sudden his eyes widen as he stares past her shoulder.  She looks round and there’s some kind of monster standing in the door.  It’s humanoid-ish in shape and looks like some kind of mud monster.  The woman screams.  There is also a scene showing the outside of a spaceship, although I can’t say for certain if that was from the same episode or if memories of shows are running into each other. I’ve never placed which story this scene was from.  I thought it might have been from the episode Terror of the Zygons but my memories of the monster don’t seem to match what a Zygon looks like.  If anyone can place that scene, could you please let me know?  It’s bothered me for years lol!

As I said, Tom is my  Doctor.  He’s the one I grew up watching.  One of my earliers memories was  hanging out at a friends house and a promo for Genesis of the Daleks came on the television and we were jumping around the room shouting ‘the Daleks are back!’   I also remember a scene from Robots of Death, with the robot with glowing red eyes stalking toward the Doctor intoning “kill the Doctor.”  Robots has always been one of my absolute favourite episodes. 

Then there’s my funniest memory.  A scene from Talons of Weng Chiang.  The scene in the sewer when the Doctor and Leela are menaced by a giant rat.  It’s the only scene -as far as I can remember – that sent me hiding behind the sofa.  I remember mum and dad laughing at me!!  Years later, Talons came out on video.  Of course I bought it, and rushed home to watch it.  I saw right away why my parents had laughed at me.  The rat itself was nothing more than a stuffed toy that someone off screen was thrusting forward into camera shot.  I think they improved the effect for the dvd as the rat did look more threatening.  But it looked nothing as scary as what I saw when I watched that scene as a child.  I vividly remember glowing red eyes, sharp fangs and a blood-curdling roar.  Not a snuffling whimper and a stuffed toy moving jerkily as it appeared on the video.  I guess when you’re a child your imagination is greater and you see what you would expect to see in a situation like that.  Your mind fills in the blanks.

Then there’s the regeneration scene.  It traumatised me.  I knew the concept of the Doctor regenerating.  I’d read plenty of Target novels of all the previous doctors, so I knew the character changed his appearance from time to time.  But knowing it and experiencing it are two different things.  The BBC hardly ever broadcast repeats of Who stories and in those days videos weren’t even sold, so I’d never actually watched a different Doctor.  But suddenly there was someone else playing the part of our favourite hero.  At first I found it hard to take to Peter Davison.  Although I did come to accept him.  I like him much more now, but then it was just plain weird.

  I understand how a lot of Tennant fans felt after seeing him get replaced by Matt Smith.  In a way, David Tennant can be considered the new series’ Tom Baker.  The two are very different actors obviously, but they’re both the longest running actors of each respective series, and Tennant is as popular as Tom used to be back in his day.  So for modern Who fans this is that moment I experienced in my teenage years.  I know there’s a clarion call for Tennant to be brought back as the 12th Doctor.  I hope they don’t though as that would pretty much ruin the show for me.  I liked the 10th Doctor a lot, but he’s had his time.  A lot of good actors have portrayed the Doctor, and every one of them brought something unique and special to the character.  This continues into the new series.  But the show is about change after all, and it’s about moving on.  It always has been.  It does make me wonder what it would have been like if the internet had existed back in the day when Tom Baker was Doctor Who.  I can just imagine the “Bring Back Tom” petitions that would have been going round on Twitter and Facebook!

So, what about you?  What are your earliest memories of Doctor Who?  Did you grow up watching the Classic series or have you only watched the new shows?  Who is your favourite Doctor?  And what’s your opinion on the upcoming regeneration?