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Who and Me, by Tim Harris    Twitter: @TimHarris

This page first posted to the internet Sunday 6th June 2010: last updated Sunday 30th August 2015.


Radio Times Doctor Who 10th Anniversary Special 1973

Radio Times Doctor Who 10th Anniversary Special 1973

Radio Times Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special 1983

Doctor Who Weekly No. 1 October 1979

Doctor Who Winter Special 1981

"Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving".

My earliest memories of watching 'Doctor Who' go back to 1967 and the story The Ice Warriors. As a kid I'd remember Victoria being stalked by an Ice Warrior. Daleks and Cybermen stories were also memorable, a Cybermen falling from a roof in The Invasion was another vivid memory as was the character Tobias Vaughn. I don't remember watching Fury From The Deep or The Web of Fear so it's odd what the memory retains and what it doesn't. The Quarks were interesting to my very young self and the stories that followed appealed to what passed for my imagination back then. The Mind Robber appealed to me greatly and I loved the White robots.

I liked the Ice Warriors in The Seeds of Death but I remember being bored by The Space Pirates. I had no memory of 'The Krotons' even when I saw it repeated in 1981 as part of a series of repeats broadcast under the umbrella title The Five Faces of Doctor Who. The War Games was one I had enjoyed immensely, with its mixture of soldiers from differing time zones battling each other.

At the time I wasn't aware of how long the series had been going, or even of the name of the programme, I just watched as a two, three, four year old whenever it was on in our house at the time. It wasn't until Jon Pertwee's Doctor appeared in 1970 that I consciously made efforts to watch it and to remember what the series was called. The Autons grabbed my attention in Jon Pertwee's first story and was the only monster to scare me. I was hooked from that time.

As Doctor Who progressed and the UNIT crew became a permanent fixture of the series I couldn't wait for each new episode to appear each Saturday. As a kid I could never understand why the BBC didn't repeat Doctor Who as soon as each series ended, not knowing about the intricacies of repeat viewings back then. That's why it was with quite some immense gratitude that Target Books started adapting the TV stories.

The first Target Book I read was The Auton Invasion, based on Jon Pertwee's first TV story, and I read it many times over the years. Throughout the years most stories were adapted into Target Books and I read the great majority of these, until such time as stories became more readily available on video.

I was very sad when Katy Manning who played Jo Grant during Pertwee's run left, and sadder still when Jon Pertwee left. I was an addict of the series by now and didn't like to miss an episode. It was sadder still when Pertwee left the series but was very happy when Tom Baker's Doctor put in a very lively first appearance the following series. I did miss UNIT though, their appearances decreased then stopped and my love for the series wasn't as strong.

By the time The Key To Time series came along, series 16, my interest was waning for both the series and Tom Baker, and I positively dis-liked the following series. I felt it had become silly, with no feel for the past. I've revised my opinions on those two series over the years but to me they still lack the enjoyment that had been present before.

Series 18 saw a re-birth of the series and of my love for it: John Nathan-Turner as the new Producer re-invigorated the series, imbuing intelligence, continuity, purpose even, back into the series. When he recast the Doctor to have Peter Davison playing him I initially had doubts that he'd follow easily in Tom Baker's footsteps but he managed it well and my only regret is that he didn't stay in the role longer than he did. His last story was an utter triumph and it was a very sad day when Davison left: I preferred him to Tom Baker.

Whilst the series would then go through periods of ups and downs I stuck with it and was very disappointed when it was announced, during series 22, that the series was taking a break. Whilst I've never been a fan of Colin Baker's portrayal of The Doctor, I always felt he'd had potential to be a good Doctor and always felt he got a raw deal when playing the role.

The series did make a comeback though it felt weakened, and even though Sylvester McCoy came along and the series had somewhat of a resurgence, it did feel the time was right for the series to take a break. I'd been watching for 22 years and I felt I needed a break.

I do rate Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred (who played companion Ace) very highly, they tended to have a conviction about them and a belief in the series. Perhaps they should have had one more series together. One of my favourite lines comes from Sylvester's story Dragonfire and is the line quoted at the top.

The Paul McGann TV movie from 1996 was a wasted opportunity, utilising a poor script whilst using a decent cast so I wasn't too disappointed when a full series didn't appear.

When it was announced during 2003 that the series would be returning I greeted the news with a mixture of anticipation and fears. I did feel more confident once I knew Russell T Davies and Christopher Eccleston were on board and I felt Billie Piper would be an interesting addition. The series came back, it hooked me all over again and for that I'm grateful.

David Tennant was an excellent choice at replacing Eccleston, though I still prefer Eccleston who I'd hoped would stay for at least three series but ultimately did one. I was less sure about Matt Smith when he was announced as the 11th Doctor but long before he announced he was leaving the series he had become one of my top 3 Doctors.

Matt's two-part Weeping Angels story is his equivalent in stature to Tom Baker's first series Genesis of the Daleks, a masterpiece that's going to be remembered. His acting in that one is brilliant (his first story filmed) and his delivery of his lines is very intense in what is a very tense story. Magnificent.

The Doctor has been a large part of my life since I was very young, I watched the series, I read the books, I read the magazines, fanzines, annuals, I bought CDs, records, I bought a load of the merchandise and I used to go to the conventions. As a child I would re-enact stories using Daleks made from Betta Bilda building bricks with a Dinky police box standing in for the Tardis.

If one were to read all the books, listen to all the CDs (hundreds!) or indulge in everything ever connected to Doctor Who one would never have time to enjoy everything else that is out there because, frankly, there's so much of it. But I love that which I do indulge in, and I suspect Who will continue to be a large part of my life.

Tim Harris (Saturday 30th August 2015)


Pictures in left column (top to bottom):

Radio Times Special 1973, a page from that special, Radio Times Special 1983, Doctor Who Weekly No. 1 from October 1979 and Doctor Who Winter Special from 1981.


To access my archive of Memories, Collections and Recollections click here


My Top 3 favourite Doctors in order of appearance

2nd, 3rd, 11th

Favourite series: Series 7 (Jon Pertwee's first series)

Least favourite series: Series 17 (Tom Baker's 6th series)

Sexiest companion ever:

Nicola Bryant who played Peri

Nicola Bryant as PeriNicola Bryant

Most annoying companion ever:

Peri, played by Nicola Bryant

Nicola Bryant as Peri


Below: Birthday card designed by my brother Andrew in 2008.

Tim's Doctor Who Pages - Birthday Card 2008


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SITE LINKS Main Page    BlipViews (Reviews)    Favourite Stories    Not So Classic Stories    List of Missing Episodes
Who and Me    Memories, Collections and Recollections    Weetabix Cards    Chad Valley Slides    Newspaper Clippings

Longleat 1983    Longleat Exhibition    MOMI Behind The Sofa Exhibition    Cardiff Exhibition

Andrew O'Day and Guests    Conventions    Autographs    Gallery    Quiz    Contact Us