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    Doctor Who: 50 Years

    Doctor Who: 50 Years
    January 1977: The year of Lydon’s sneer and Elizabeth’s smile. My brother John, a major influence on me in all areas of my life; makes a suggestion: if I like ‘Space 1999’, I might like ‘Doctor Who’. Hmm.

    I watch ‘The Robots Of Death’, and I am immediately hooked. It also causes me to sleep with the lights on for several weeks, lest a humanoid robot comes into my bedroom and strangles me. It’s only years later I look at it now, I realise it’s a fabulously written homage to Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians’, a discussion about paranoia and features a female lead wearing a leather bikini. And this is a children’s programme? The fear of being strangled by a humanoid robot is still there though.

    I describe myself as a ‘choosy Whovian’. It’s something I love, but not something I am obsessed with. My life, gentle reader, is a jumble of many things: redheads, teashops, bookshops, LFC and the city of Edinburgh. I own but twelve DVD’s and several items of TARDIS-shaped merchandise. I would have had more, but adolescence and ex-girlfriends got in the way: as a result, I am on first name terms with the staff in the Bold Street Oxfam.

    This leads me to the local connections. Two Doctors are from Liverpool: Tom Baker and Paul McGann, as is my first crush Elizabeth Sladen. We owe her a debt of thanks too: as a child, she vomited in her classmate Edwina Cohen’s (later Currie) face in a school production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. This is the first welcome instance of a stomach bug in local history. And yet, there was a time when I stopped watching the programme completely. I couldn’t stand Colin Baker. Watching him twatting about in a multi-coloured coat was a poor alternative to my teenage experiments in alcohol and sexuality. And yet: it’s always been part of my life: already heartbroken by Tom Baker’s regeneration in ‘Logopolis’, I found out I was to be an Uncle at the tender age of 12. We start early, us McCready’s. My degree in counselling was coming to an end when the programme returned, with Christopher Eccleston as an abrasive, passionate, haunted Doctor. I learned to read using the Target novelisations; I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t written my own Doctor Who stories.

    My play, ‘Beautiful Eccentrics’ features two Whovians in love. It’s a celebration of that: The Doctor is a slightly bonkers, but passionate man who solves a problem, and then disappears. He is as much a fantasy figure as Malcolm Tucker, which is why I think Peter Capaldi is an inspired choice: Just think of The TARDIS as a dimensionally transcendental swearbox. Terrance Dick’s guidelines for writing The Doctor are: ‘Never cruel or cowardly. Never gives up, never gives in’. That’s good advice for life, let alone Gallifreyan renegades.

    That’s why; I will be in a local cinema on November 23rd, dressed as Matt Smith. That’s why, I am spending Christmas on Trenzalore this year and I’ll probably cry when he regenerates. Happy birthday Doctor. Your lives have been part of mine. Thank you.

      Kev's posts By Kev McCready



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