On Watching Doctor Who

While I have “The Sontaran Experiment” and “Genesis of the Daleks” on video tape, last night I tuned in to public television at midnight to watch them.


Nostalgia. 🙂

I grew up watching Doctor Who on Saturday afternoons on public television. In high school I watched it late Saturday nights. Doctor Who on public television at early hours of the morning–that‘s a tradition. And who am I to buck tradition?

I was disappointed. The stories, shown back to back, were episodic, not the movie compilations. For many Americans, the movie compilations are how Doctor Who should be. It’s the episode format that’s odd.

Either the episodes were sped up, or they were heavily cut. They ran about eighteen minutes in length, rather than twenty-five. Odd.

Still, I got a nice nostalgia vibe off it. And lord, wasn’t that yellow outfit Sarah Jane wore in “The Sontaran Experiment” completely naff?

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “On Watching Doctor Who

  1. I was the same exact way. Watching Doctor Who on Saturday afternoons on PBS was just awesome. I looked forward to them, I lived and died on every episode and its cliffhanger. I’ll never forget how amazed I was when I discovered the black and white episodes (“Wait, Doctor Who has been around *that* long?).

    Talk about taking me back.

  2. I didn’t discover the black and white episodes until high school. The public television station in Morgantown, West Virginia, went from “Survival” to “An Unearthly Child,” and while I knew intellectually that Doctor Who had a black and white era (I had no contact with fandom at the time) it came as quite a shock. I stuck with Hartnell for about two months, and then gave up.

    It wasn’t until a few years later that I began to buy the videos, and I bought some of the black and whites. Now, my Hartnell and Troughton collections are more complete–including both video and audio–than my Pertwee and Tom Baker collections. 🙂

    My truly shocking memory of Doctor Who on those fabled Saturday afternoons was when I first saw “The Five Doctors.” I’d actually only recently started watching Doctor Who–the PBS station had just picked it up, and they did an advertising campaign with the slogan “Who is coming”–and they started with “Robot.” Well, about six or eight weeks in it was pledge time, and they pulled out “The Five Doctors.” Well, this intrigued me. Five Doctors? The episode began. Why was the guy from All Creatures being called the Doctor? Who’s this guy drawing? Who’s that girl? What’s going on here? Where’s the Doctor? Who’s that old guy? Who are those old guys? What’s happened to Sarah Jane–why’s she wearing all that pink? Where’s Harry? Wait! There’s my Doctor, but who’s the blond? Well, he’ll get this sorted out. Wait! What’s just happened? Why’s the All Creatures guy talking about these old guys as being “my other selves”? You mean, he’s the Doctor? And the old guys are, too? Yeah, that was pretty shocking. 🙂

  3. Hmm. Could be they were run fast, but running 25 minute 25 FPS episodes at the 30 FPS of NTSC TV only brings it down to about 20.8 minutes, so there were probably some cuts regardless.

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