The Lords of Time – pt 1

14 May

Dr Who?? It has been written that the transmission of the first episode was delayed by ten minutes due to extended news coverage of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy the previous day; where as in fact, it went out just eighty seconds late. Due to it being felt that the coverage of the events of the assassination as well as a series of power blackouts across the country may have caused too many viewers to miss this introduction to a new series, the BBC broadcast it again on 30 November 1963, just before the broadcast of episode two. The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series’ most popular monsters, and was responsible for the BBC’s first merchandising boom. The Daleks!!

The BBC drama department’s Serials division produced the programme for 26 series, broadcast on BBC 1. Falling viewing numbers, a decline in the public perception of the show and a less prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989. Licensed media such as novels and audio plays provided new stories, but as a television programme Doctor Who remained dormant until 2003. They did try a unsuccessful re-boot in 1996 as a co-production between Fox, Universal Pictures, the BBC and BBC Worldwide. Although the film was successful in the UK (with 9.1 million viewers), it was less so in the United States and did not lead to a series. Thus Paul McGann was the Doctor for only six weeks.

Doctor Who finally returned with the episode “Rose” on BBC One on 26 March 2005. And with it the Lords of time where born again on the TV.

I’ll be honest, Dr. Who scared the willies out of me as a child, for a lark or to get me to bed, I remember my father tuning into the ABC, what did I hear? If the music introduction was on you stayed in bed, the monsters could get you. You’d hear the TARDIS dematerialising on the TV, it was time to run. Stick with Star Wars or Star Trek, that wasn’t make believe, really it wasn’t. But Dr. Who, those salt & pepper shaker machine things and the tall scary silver robots with their expressionless face whoa!! They’d haunt your worst nightmares.

Skip a few years to high school and I’m a sponge. The school library was the place to be if your a nerd. The selection of Dr. Who novelisations was phenomenal at my school, Mrs. Tucker our librarian was so happy one of the kids was reading sci-fi, I even got dibs at reading the reference book all about the time lords, I had the privilege of having my name first in that one.

Everyone has a Doctor of their own growing up, even the actors who play the role now, ask them and most will say Patrick Troughton or John Pertwee, mostly everyone wishes it was Tom Baker. My Doctor was Peter Davison, he was known as the fifth Doctor. Yes the one that wore the cricket outfit with the stick of celery to his lapel. Some people will remember him from the Vetrinanian TV show All creatures great and small. The spoilt one called Tristan. I remember what I liked most was his companions, Teagan the Aussie air hostess and poor Adric. The death of Adric scarred me forever, how can a companion die, why can’t the Doctor go back just before he dies? Only after watching the Pond’s demise do I truly sort of understand why if you are a fixed point in time it can’t be altered. Hang on, it’s only fiction isn’t it?

I tuned out for quite a number of years, different things came to television, Star Trek, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica and Stargate. Sci-fi was once again popular in a very big way. When the BBC started letting rumours of new Who coming out, then there was pictures of that blue police box being spotted in different places, BBC staff were seen with strange film canisters labelled Torchwood, everyone held their breath. Then came those words, ” hello I’m the Doctor, RUN!!”

The onset of social media these days has assured that the popularity of all these different TV Shows remain alive in one form or another. For example there are many home made versions of your favourite show with the advent of the digital age and the Internet, we have people uploading to YouTube, commenting and sharing on Facebook and for me more importantly Twitter.

In the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Sydney Supanova Expo, it’s the Aussie form of a comic convention. Lots of TV and movie celebrities signing and getting photos taken with adoring fans, many different types of merchandising opportunities in the form of comics, figurines, books, cloths and the famous dressup form called cosplay. Last year I had the same conversation with my daughter as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the movie Paul as they discuss the pros & cons of buying a samurai sword from a dealer. Madaline do you really need to buy that sword, it will break off at the handle the first time your boyfriend decides to cut someone in half with it. Dad, don’t be a moron. More recently we shared a funnier moment at The Rydges Hotel World Square in Sydney while lining up to enter a whole different type of convention. We were fortunate enough ( I think ) to win a double pass the the Sydney Lords Of Time!!

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2 Responses to “The Lords of Time – pt 1”

  1. RangeWoman Inc. May 14, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Great extensive post, Shano.

  2. RangeWoman Inc. May 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on rangewoman and commented:
    The Lords of Time by Shano. The second part is coming up soon.

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