What was the first Doctor Who episode you ever watched?

mosaix

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Now, I'm really showing my age. I caught a preview of a forthcoming show called doctor who so I turned into the first episode. Glorious black and white with cheap sets that wobbled on occasions, but the premise was the same then as now. William Hartnel played the first doctor and although not ground breaking it was watchable. Yes, I was about 2 years old at the time. Clears throat.

Same for me. First episode with William Hartnell.
 

thaddeus6th

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Hmm. Very hard to say, but one of my earliest memories is a fuzzy one of Ace running away from cybermen, which must have been Silver Nemesis (1988, I think). I had Doctor Who books at one point and I think that was the year.
 

HareBrain

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I had Doctor Who books at one point
After I got into Who with the start of Peter Davidson (in fact my enthusiasm for the show only lasted for his tenure, because Colin Baker) I went and read all the novels of the previous Doctors' adventures I could get my hands on. They were mostly pretty good, probably better than the TV versions in many cases, based on the DVDs I've seen since. A lot of them were by Terrence Dicks, who was (I think) chief scriptwriter.

Once I'd exhausted the local library's supply, I bought them from WH Smith, and when I couldn't afford any more I read them in the shop, hiding behind the racks.
 

Toby Frost

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I've never really liked Dr Who - each to their own, but it has a pantomime quality that jars with me - but I watched it when I was little, as it was one of the very few SFF things on TV. I remember a moment from "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" that terrified me at the time: Ace is locked in a room with some broken robots, and every time she looks away, they move a little bit closer. I suppose they were a forerunner of the weeping angels. I wouldn't want to see it again, as I suspect it might be a bit ropey, but that certainly worked when I first saw it.
 

thaddeus6th

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HareBrain, yeah, I had quite a few by Dicks. Filled in some gaps I had from watching Jon Pertwee era repeats as a kid.

Toby, glad my interest in New Who waned to the point of disinterest given what happened last season. If I were still really into it I imagine I'd be very annoyed rather than mildly irked.
 

MemoryTale

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I had lots of the books too, they were the only way we youngsters had of catching up on a lot of the Hartnell and Troughton stories. I also think they were the reason I don't share so much of the fandom's dislike of Adric - through the books you can get the character without the actor :D
 

Astro Pen

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The first. An Unearthly Child
Later as an adult I was very distressed to find that Marco Polo had been destroyed by the BBC. After the success of the Daleks they must have known that Dr Who was going to be TV history and archive worthy. It was a joy to rewatch the Keys of Marinus recently.
 

JunkMonkey

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The first. An Unearthly Child
Later as an adult I was very distressed to find that Marco Polo had been destroyed by the BBC. After the success of the Daleks they must have known that Dr Who was going to be TV history and archive worthy.

In hindsight, yes. In today's world where media storage, reproduction and dissemination is not a problem it's easy to forget how bloody expensive and difficult making copies of things was back then - and even then even if you could make a copy what would you do with it? There was no way for anyone outside of a few TV production facilities to watch the thing and only two channels in the UK to show it on. (Both of which were only broadcasting during the evening hours and shut down well before midnight.) The possibilities for revisiting 'old' media just didn't exist. I distinctly remember (forgive me if I have mentioned this before) sitting in the central reference library in Hull going through back copies of the BFI Monthly Film Bulletin and reading up about obscure Science fiction films from the 1960s I realised, while reading about a 1960s Czechoslovakian film called Planet of Storms (Planeta Bur) that I would never see it. I could read about it, see stills reproduced in books if I was lucky but there was just no feasible way for me to ever see that film - bar tracking down a print (how?) and then hiring a projection room and projectionist. Today I own a copy... and the two different American edits made by Roger Corman.

But above all, even if there had been the technology available, I suspect there just wouldn't have been be a market for it. Doctor Who was a kids' show. The nostalgia market didn't really exist - most adults of the time had grown up during two world wars and the financial crash between. The idea that grown-ups would read comics and watch children's shows beyond the age of 16 or so would have struck most people as utterly absurd.
 

BAYLOR

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The first. An Unearthly Child
Later as an adult I was very distressed to find that Marco Polo had been destroyed by the BBC. After the success of the Daleks they must have known that Dr Who was going to be TV history and archive worthy. It was a joy to rewatch the Keys of Marinus recently.

It's curious that they never thought to sell Dr Who overseas to US syndicated tv markets.
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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It's curious that they never thought to sell Dr Who overseas to US syndicated tv markets.
IIRC they tried a few times, but it generally didn't do well. The one exception was Tom Baker's first few seasons, which obviously doesn't help with all the missing '60s stuff... The BBC seem to have routinely sent "Doctor Who" tapes off to be shown in English-speaking countries that didn't have much of a home-grown TV industry yet. "Tomb of the Cybermen" was rediscovered in Hong Kong, and most of "The Web of Fear" and "The Enemy of the World" turned up in Nigeria a couple of years ago. So it's a real shame there aren't more lost tapes sitting around in the archives of TV stations in the USA.
 

JunkMonkey

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IIRC they tried a few times, but it generally didn't do well. The one exception was Tom Baker's first few seasons, which obviously doesn't help with all the missing '60s stuff... The BBC seem to have routinely sent "Doctor Who" tapes off to be shown in English-speaking countries that didn't have much of a home-grown TV industry yet. "Tomb of the Cybermen" was rediscovered in Hong Kong, and most of "The Web of Fear" and "The Enemy of the World" turned up in Nigeria a couple of years ago. So it's a real shame there aren't more lost tapes sitting around in the archives of TV stations in the USA.

I think I'm right in saying that there won't be lost 'tapes' floating about. The shows were telecined onto 16mm (?) film for export. The odd tin of film may still turn up.
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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Will I be branded a heretic and cast out for admitting to never having seen a single episode of Doctor Who, but having seen every episode of Torchwood, most of them twice, some of them three or four times? :)
 

JunkMonkey

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Including Torchwood: Miracle Day?

My Doctor Who / Torchwood obsessed daughter (then 12 or 13) and I watched episode one together. (The Whoniverse was 'our thing' for a longgg time.) After it she, turned to me and said, "That was sh*t!"

We didn't watch the rest.
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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I think I'm right in saying that there won't be lost 'tapes' floating about. The shows were telecined onto 16mm (?) film for export. The odd tin of film may still turn up.
If I was 15 years younger, I'd probably be wondering what had happened to the original mp4s....
 

pogopossum

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Like Monty Python, the first US media to pick up on Doctor Who were the individual Public Broadcasting stations. Not only were there few non-commercial shows available for broadcast, also their audience were quite Anglofile. My dad watched them in Boston and to my surprise, I discovered that they were being broadcast in Cleveland. Don't know the technology involved, but I am sure that by the 80s they had something better than simply sending bulky individual tapes across the pond.
My dad thought that the hammy acting and less than substantial sets were hilarious.
 

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