When I was a young boy of ten or eleven I lived in a small town in England. I remember eating the black berries on the country lane on my way home from school and I remember my father and I watching Doctor Who. Each week the Doctor would venture into mystery and danger and as the tension rose I would boil with greater and greater excitement until suddenly the Doctor would confront the Cybermen or even worse the Daleks! Just then, of course, the episode would end. Total agony! I could not wait for the week to pass and I was a devil to tuck into bed those nights as I trembled with speculation and trepidation about whether the Doctor would survive.
“My Doctor,” was primarily the fourth, played by Tom Baker. His unique signature was a very long scarf–so enthralled was I that I asked my grandmother to knit me a similar scarf which I then wore everywhere I went… even when I returned to Canada and nobody understood the reference.
Recently I have been watching Doctor Who again, now with David Tennant playing the tenth doctor–the best since Baker in my view.
Only now, more than a quarter century past my childhood, I have been watching Doctor Who with my son. My eldest is a young boy of ten or eleven and he boils with greater and greater excitement as the Doctor ventures deeper into mystery and danger. He too jumps out of his chair in total agony when an episode ends with a cliffhanger and calming him after such an episode isn’t easy!
In the last episodes of the latest season the Doctor teams up with his old companion, Sarah Jane. The very same Sarah Jane played by the very same actress as accompanied “my Doctor” some thirty years ago–now aged and older just like me. As I watch Doctor Who with my son, just as I watched with my father, I reflect on time and age and how a dream of my childhood has been fulfilled–my living room darkened and flickering with light has transformed and become my own TARDIS…my own time machine.