lost_spook: (dw - one)
[personal profile] lost_spook
For the Talking Meme, from [personal profile] st_aurafina: Do you remember the moment when you learned Doctor Who was coming back? How did you think it would go? Were your hopes/fears realised?

This is a funny one, because I never really believed Doctor Who wasn't coming back one day. Also, as I've been a fan since 1988, it's complicated.


late 1990: Doctor Who will be back next year, with a new Doctor! Or so said my sister's youth-BBC magazine Fast Forward and I believed it. I was relieved, because I'd been waiting all year for any news and wondering what had had happened to my favourite TV series, but also annoyed and upset because I loved Sylvester McCoy as Seven. And also especially because it turned out to be a BIG FAT LIE.

Summer 1991: I got Doctor Who Magazine for the first time and learned the terrible truth that DW had been axed. But it was coming back as a film! And as a series of novels!

I was sceptical of the film, but I enjoyed the first few NAs, even the first one that is supposed to be so awful. (I got it via the library so I've never re-read it, a thing which would probably explain exactly why, no doubt!) After that, my relationship with the new book-only series varied highly. Especially after Peter Darvill-Evans claimed everyone knew all DW fans were 30-something males and that was who they were writing for. People, I was a 15 year old female! I hated Peter Darvill-Evans a lot for quite a long while.

1992: Doctor Who is back! Yes, they're showing old episodes on BBC2 on Friday evenings. OMG, actual moving William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, who knew there could be such a thing?

1993: Doctor Who is back as a Children in Need sketch! It's terrible, but look, Doctor Who! WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN. (Also Thirty Years in the TARDIS and more repeats, although this time we were strictly kept to Three and Four. And Three, and Three. And more Three. I'M NOT STILL BITTER.)

1995: Doctor Who is coming back in the new year with a new Doctor in a film! This time it isn't even a lie!

I didn't think that the TV movie was all it could be, but Paul McGann was great! My heartbreak over the shooting of Seven will remain forever, though. But I was at uni and had found newsnet, and alt.drwho.creative and rec.arts.drwho had burst into sudden, glorious life. It was amazing! We mostly all liked Paul McGann! (Some people v v much. They called themselves the Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade.) We hoped for more! Some people thought the TV Movie was glorious and wrote me long emails about it. It was all great! (Well, except for the trolling, the spamming, the flaming, and the endless 1980s-hate on radw.)

... and then Fox pulled out and all we had left was these measly Eighth Doctor Adventures that BBC Worldwide had stolen back from Virgin in villainous fashion, and we all knew those were rubbish. (They improved later. And then got very complicated.) So we wrote our own Internet Adventures in the form of round robins and they were our canon instead for a bit.

However, I knew that Doctor Who would be coming back in time, because the TVM had been huge in the UK. All we had to do was wait for the rights to fully revert back to the BBC and it would happen. Even more so, because increasingly from this time onwards, New Adventures writers were shaping the TV of the late 90s and early 2000s - Mark Gatiss, Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell in particular. It was only a matter of time before one of them helped bring it about, although I did worry that if they did, they'd make it adult and dark and 'cool'. But it was coming - all that was needed was patience. Sadly, we might not have Paul McGann by that time, but who knew?

1999: Doctor Who is back as a Comic Relief skit! It's v entertaining and there's a strange moment where Hugh Grant is actually the Doctor and it works, what is the world?

2000: It's not back on TV yet, but it's back as a series of audio adventures! They're genuinely great! Hurrah! (Thanks, BFA!)

2002-2003: I fear the moment may have passed. Woe is me, for I have waited SO LONG!!! But, wait, look, what is this in my next DWM, but... Doctor Who is coming back! With a new Doctor, made by Russell T Davies, and my DWM has 90s teen pop star Billie Piper on the front of it. What even is the world anymore? Suddenly there are even BILL BOARDS EVERYWHERE. So surreal.

By this time, I was a librarian and what I hoped for out of the new series was that the children would like it; that they would have a Doctor of their own. And they did, they did. It didn't feel real to me until S3, maybe in some ways not like actual Doctor Who until Moffat-era hit, but the children were loving it, and it was back. (Also, serious kudos to RTD: I think any of the other contenders would have gone for a slightly more adult version. I don't think anyone else would have fought for the tea-time Saturday slot and the family show aspect in the same way, and that was important - no matter how many grumbles it may cause in more 'serious' fans, who would have liked it to be cool.*)

Although I am still miffed that it stopped in 1989 and I never did get any more Sylvester and Sophie on TV, because they were the best. (I'm eternally biased in favour of the bits I saw when I was 11 and 12, but a) this is only right and proper and b) they are the best. ;-p) But I always believed that it would come back in the end, and - forgive me a moment of smugness here but - I was right!

And so I don't really worry about the show ending again, because if it does, it will come back. It'll take time, but everybody knows it's a phoenix of a TV show now - and give it a decade or so off-air, and all the 21st C fans will be the ones making TV and saying, "Hey, let's bring back Doctor Who!"

* Even though Doctor Who just isn't cool. It has never been cool, or at least, not for long, and I feel sure it will never really be. Have a jelly baby, wear a fez, and stop worrying about the Kandyman and the Slitheen, or even the Myrka. The Not-We think it's all equally silly anyway.

Date: 2017-02-12 10:53 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: (DW: TARDIS home)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
Oh, yaaaay! I feel your joy at the show's return, and I am remembering how I felt when I heard the theme music after so long.

I loved and hated the movie for pretty similar reasons - it was too soon for Sylvester McCoy to go, but Paul McGann was so amazing.

what I hoped for out of the new series was that the children would like it; that they would have a Doctor of their own.

Ohh, that's lovely! And lovely that it happened, too. <3 <3

This was a wonderful answer - thank you!

Date: 2017-02-12 12:29 pm (UTC)
aralias: (eight does count)
From: [personal profile] aralias
really enjoyed this post :) and yes - you were right indeed! (repeatedly)

also - i've never thought about this: think any of the other contenders would have gone for a slightly more adult version. I don't think anyone else would have fought for the tea-time Saturday slot and the family show aspect in the same way but it's an interesting point. obviously big finish... sort of DID do that, with things like zagreus, and sort of didn't at the same time. though big finish has never been as 'adult' and confusing as either the NAs or the EDAs.


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