Stephen Fry, on the Doctor

The week before we moved, the BBC started a new drama, starring William Hartnell. An old man, whose name appeared to be Grandfather or the Doctor, had a police phone box of the kind we saw in the street all the time in those days. It turned out to be a magical and unimaginably wonderful time machine. My brother and I watched this drama in complete amazement. The first ever episode of Doctor Who. I had never been so excited in all my life. A whole week to wait to watch the next instalment. Never have seven days crawled so slowly by, for all that they involved a complicated house move from Buckinghamshire to Norfolk. A week later, in that new house, my brother and I turned on the good old television set in its new sitting room, ready to watch Episode 2. The TV had been damaged in transit and was never to work again. We missed that episode and nothing that has transpired in my life since has ever, or could ever, make up for that terrible, terrible disappointment. There is an empty space inside me that can never be filled. It is amazing neither of us were turned into psychopathic serial killers from that moment.

Stephen Fry

I hope by now he’s seen that second episode.

For those who are waiting for ABC1 to get its act together and show (new) series 4, they’ve said this year the show will air on Sunday nights. Voyage of the Damned will be on Sunday 29th June at 7:30pm, followed by season 4 starting the following week.

PS. I have a strict comment policy of no spoilers for AU broadcast viewers.

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10 Replies to “Stephen Fry, on the Doctor”

  1. Ahhh, Doctor Who, abso-bloody-lutely brilliant :)
    Hope you’ve seen “Time Crash” with Peter Davison, that fits in between the last ep of the last series and Voyage of The Dammed!!!
    Loved it here :)

  2. We have shifted the time of dinner parties to be able to watch the new episodes as they go to air over here; until we realised our cable TV could load the BBC iPlayer so we could watch them at any time … (such a temptation).

  3. I was an avid fan of DW when I was a kid – watching probably about 1970-75. I started having nightmares (actually more like paranormal experiences, while trying to go to sleep!) and the local GP told my parents I had to stop watching DW. I lost touch with it after that. I don’t think the ‘nightmares’ were related.

    Seeing a few ‘modern’ episodes didn’t inspire me, I’m afraid – tho it did look quite scary for young kids. The one I saw was this ‘spirit’ which was making a kid draw nasty pictures and the spirit lived in the kid’s built-in wardrobe. It as making kids disappear too. Good tho to see it’s still going.

    What I particularly remember of the old episodes was the Darleks – nasty bits of bubble covered hardware with a soggy centre. I was fascinated by the ‘thing’ that they eventually found was inside the shell. I did wonder how they managed to propel themselves around all sorts of rough terrain (quarries and the like) with those tiny wheels, tho . . .

    I also recall the great music, the way it broke in at the end of the episodes just when something really bad was about to happen – neeewwwaooowwwww, de de dum, de de de dum: de de dum, de de de dum . . . Very effective.

  4. Photo, the episode you’re describing is called ‘Fear Her’ and is possibly the worst episode of the entire new series. If you really want to get into Doctor who’s new series, see all the episodes in order. Not only will this boost enjoyment, but it makes the story-arcs (one per season) cogent and engaging.
    Under no circumstances should you see either season 3 or season 4 finale first as they are intrinsic to future events.

  5. Also seen up to Episode 11, which I geekily watched at 6.30 AM on sunday morning. All I will say is I’ve never had so many spine tingling moments in my life… and Catherine Tate is an incredible actress, probably the best companion in nu-Who.

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