Unless you have been buried 37 miles underground on the fifth moon of Jaglon Beta since – oooh – the Middle Pleistocene, it will not have escaped your notice that the 50th anniversary approaches of the first broadcast of Dr Who, a sporadically long-running televisual emission of a science-fictional nature, which has become as much of a British institution as Marmite and The Archers; notwithstanding inasmuch as which it has even been discussed in Your Favourite Weekly Professional etcetera.

My mother says she plonked the infant Cromercrox in front of the first episode of Dr Who, back in ’63 – the day before JFK was assassinated.  I can’t remember either event, of course, but she said the Daleks were terrifying.

My Whovian Period essentially extends from the second through fourth Doctors – Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker, after which I kind of lost track, and after the seventh doctor the series was scrapped. Some fourteen years later when the show was being revived, Mrs Crox and I wondered whether it would be suitable for Crox Minor and Crox Minima, then aged 8 and 6 respectively.IMG_6327

Pictured: a demented alien robot intent on conquering the Universe. And a Dalek.

After much thought we realised that, in Britain at least, Saturday teatime is not the same without being sat in front of the TV and scared witless by Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Cylons, Sontarans, Croutons, or whichever alien race confronts the Doctor and his winsome companion on any given week.

Many years later still I was at an SF convention – Eastercon – on the day that (eleventh Doctor) Matt Smith’s first episode was to be broadcast, live, on a big screen. The meeting’s chair came before that morning’s plenary session and outlined the evening’s complicated itinerary before  >1000 geeks; how we had to get to the hall by a certain time; what the seating arrangements would be, and so on and so forth in like fashion, and asked for questions. A wag at the back piped up “I demand a sofa to hide behind!”

After (tenth Doctor) David Tennant left I suggested to Mrs Crox, my dear wife, that I could audition for Dr Who. It was time, I said, that they had a fat beardy balding Jewish middle-aged person to play the part. Mrs Gee had the gall to doubt my suitability. “The TARDIS wouldn’t be able to take off” she said.

About cromercrox

Cromercrox is a recovering palaeontologist, author and editor who lists his recreations as writing, beachcombing, playing hard rock organ, supporting Norwich City FC and falling asleep.
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7 Responses to Who

  1. Laurence Cox says:

    First through to beginning of fourth Doctor for me. Like many others, I missed the very first episode but saw it when it was repeated the following week. Doctor Who has something else in common with Marmite – you either love it, or hate it.

    I wasn’t a great fan of Dr Who in the early days – another long-forgotten programme “Doomwatch” was better, I thought, but I’m glad that it is still around 50 years later.

  2. Sofas are overrated. I sat on one when small with eyes firmly fixed on the screen and the wasp underneath didn’t appreciate the experience and let me know about it…..painfully. I never did find out what happened in the rest of that episode.

    viv in nz

    • cromercrox says:

      But you weren’t supposed to sit on the sofa, you were meant to hide behind it! Honestly, if you don’t read the script …

  3. The whole clan Wintle was riveted to the TV yesterday. Tried to get tickets for the live broadcast in a local theatre (in 3-D no less) but no luck. We will, however, be going to the re-broadcast of it tomorrow, just for fun, and to see the various easter egg props hidden in the Tower of London in glorious, enormous, Cinemax 3-D.

    Also – I’d vote for you. As long as I get to be a Cyberman.

    • cromercrox says:

      You … will … be …. Upgraded …

      • Update – the 3-D cinema experience was… EXCELLENT! :D

        Complete with people wearing fezzes, long coats, multicoloured scarves, and even someone with some Dalek headgear. Our selection of T-shirts, TARDIS ear-rings, and blue nail polish (none of the above on me, thankyewverymuch) paled by comparison.