Today I celebrate a fifty year love affair…and like all long term relationships, this one has been an emotional rollercoaster and reflection brings back bittersweet memories. I was eight and my brother was five when my mother plonked us down in front of our wobbly and unreliable telly …black and white only of course. The first eerie notes of the now familiar theme tune, the curious special effects and we were both hooked. Dr Who had entered our lives. He was our companion throughout our childhood, inspiring my brother to new heights of inspiration to torment me…the ‘cyberman’ hiding in the wardrobe, the imaginative use of my mother’s fur coat to be a Yeti. Life’s triumphs and turmoils, grief, loss and joy have continued on over next fifty years but the Dr has remained a constant. Like all relationships, there have been gaps… I turned away from the program during the Sylvester McCoy years, renewed my affair with the tragically underused Paul McGann.

Of course there have been favourite incarnations of the Time Lord, everyone has their Doctor. As a youngster, it was the adventures and monsters that drew me to the programme, William Hartnell’s Dr was too cold, too brisk for me. Patrick Troughton was ideal, eccentric, curious and with that missing warmth, the stories vivid, scary and great fun and he had the best of all companions, the courageous, ever loyal Jamie McCrimmon…played by the wonderful Frazer Hines. Tom Baker will always be the quintessential Dr…he had the quirky charm and sense of humour and played the alien in human guise to perfection.

And what aliens shared the screen with the Dr….from the improbably scary Daleks…oversized pepperpots with baubles yet they were utterly terrifying. My own personal nemesis…the Cybermen…and rather lame ones like the Wyrnn grub. a man crawling along the ground wrapped in green painted bubble wrap, conquering the Universe..very, very slowly.
Giant maggots, clockwork robots, stone angels, one-eyed beings with permanent bad hair days…fifty years of hiding behind the nearest cushion.

My favourite Doctors have been Patrick Troughton, Paul McGann, Chris Ecclestone and Matt Smith with David Tennant totally claiming my heart with his enthusiastic, impish , energetic Dr…allons y indeed !

Tonight I will revel in the 50th anniversary episode, along with so many wonderful friends who share my passion for a program that has endured, with such a precarious beginning and so many detractors. Just don’t expect me to watch the Christmas special…..I’m not ready to say good bye to Matt Smith yet !

….David Tennant