Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: You Never Forget Your First

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  • FletcherB,

    Hmm... it seems I'm not alone in having Pertwee as technically my first, while Tom Baker was the one that really got me into the program and I still think of as formative of what Dr Who should be like...

    I also remember a year or two before I was hooked, but my older brother was watching... being scared of the show, and in particular the opening music and weird psychedelic patterns during the titles and credits, more than the story-lines or characters themselves. (but Darleks were pretty creepy)

    Never liked Davidson as Dr Who (he was and always would be Tristan Farnon from All Creatures Great And Small) and stopped watching before he was replaced... but did like the come-back with Eccleston being great, and Tennant even better...

    A friend of mine who's ten years my senior still thinks the first (William Hartnell) was the best, and it was scarier in black and white than colour.

    I cant say what I think of the new guy because I missed it... I'll rectify that soon.. torrent to the rescue :)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    My favourite version of the theme tune:

    It's those '70s glam rock guitars, man.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    My first was the fiercely Calvinist William Hartnell (no not David! Darling... though that would've
    been a different Doctor!)
    Had drinks with Pertwee in 1990 when he was in Chch judging scarecrows... lovely chap...

    ...but now I'm worried I've missed the
    first episode of the New Doctor?
    When did it screen?
    or are you all "early downloaders"?
    and the blessed event has yet to occur...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • 3410,

    The credit music was amazing. It's like an electronic version of water sucking down a plughole, which seems to be a universally terrifying sound to children. I still haven't heard a satisfying explanation as to why that is.

    Nice breakdown here, from about 5:20

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Karen White,

    I so wanted a long long scarf, but Mum wouldn't let me

    I had the long scarf and got it caught in the front wheel of my tredlie

    I hate it when she's proven right! :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report

  • Emma Hart,

    Robyn? Does "Clean Peter Davison opening" mean that somewhere there is a Dirty Peter Davison opening?

    Wow. That actually came out even worse than it sounded in my head.

    Ian: yes, we are all naughty people with Friends in England. But Prime is promising it "soon", which is excellent.

    Weeping Angels? The fear factor doesn't seem to have diminished. Have to move the couch out from the wall.

    "Blink" is the only thing I can remember having scared me that much as an adult. At that stage, we were still vetting them before showing them to the children, and they saw that one during the day with the curtains open, rather than in the dark right before bed. This may be the reason my daughter found "Silence in the Library" scarier.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • Rich Lock,

    which seems to be a universally terrifying sound to children

    Clearly because you don't want the plughole monster to get you if you're not out of the bath by the time all the water goes.


    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • Morgan Davie,


    OMG, the angels! Right, there's another episode I'll be watching through my fingers.

    Nope. There's *two* episodes for the finger treatment - it's a two-parter I believe.

    I agree with Emma. Tho' wasn't the rubber snake Davison?

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 36 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    Here's all the starting sequences through the ages (except for the latest)

    I'm pretty sure it was the first of the two pertwee sequences I remember being scared of (age around 5 or 7 ?)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Robyn? Does "Clean Peter Davison opening" mean that somewhere there is a Dirty Peter Davison opening?

    Tom's coming!

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • chris,


    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    My mother-in-law just hung some photos of angel statues in her bedroom. My partner and I both walked in, took one look and said "there is NO WAY I could sleep in here with those".

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Impossible. To disagree, I mean. She's ablaze!

    Oh, balls - you're just not trying. I've fallen in love with both Smith and Gillan for a number of reason. 1) The first bow is the kind of horrible writing challenge where actual perfomance can get lost in all the plot mechanics you've just got to do. 2) There is a whole other dynamic going on I find rather refreshing - The Doctor is charmingly bewildered, as opposed to a rather tiresome smart-arse and Amy? Just a wee bit mad - and who could blame her after he took the whole "I'm just going down the shops for a pack of cigs and will be back in five minutes" shit boyfriend/bad father thing to a whole new level? Fun times ahead...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    I feel left out. No Dottor Chi for us. Emma, you owe me a post about Sandokan.

    (I'll take Kabir Bedi over all your doctors. I don't care how much larger their digs look on the inside than on the outside.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Grace Dalley,

    Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor, and I was thrilled to hear him speak at a convention in Chch some years later. He had just as much charisma and stage-presence as you'd expect. And he told a lot of funny stories.

    The original Doctor Who series of the 60s, 70s and 80s was quite a different beast from its current incarnation as a movie-like action-horror-comedy. The old series was much more theatrical in style, and the scariness came from the actors working tremendously hard, and the dramatic music and lighting making something scary out of the sock puppets and people in rubber masks.

    Nowadays, special effects and CGI create scary monsters that we can tell are scary even without a big reaction from the actors. :-)

    One strength of the more recent series has been the change in the Doctor's character and in the Doctor-Companion dynamic. In the old days the Doctor was a wise old patriarch, and the companions went around getting into trouble and needing to be rescued. Sometimes they gave him a bit of cheek, but he was unquestionably in charge.

    When Russell T. Davies brought Doctor who back to life with Chris Eccelston starring, the Doctor was flawed and fallible, and sometimes needed rescuing himself. And I think the show had learned something from Buffy's use of a more ensemble cast (I'm thinking of Rose and her Mum and Dad and boyfriend, and also Captain Jack).

    I'm a big fan of Torchwood, for showing that an adult version of Doctor Who can be something different again. (I wish the major-character death-rate was less than one or two a season, though!)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report

  • Grace Dalley,

    Oh and by the way, that clip about the Radiophonic Workshop is fascinating, 3410! Although I don't know where that creepy little man came from...please tell me you can see him too?!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report

  • 3410,

    I don't know where that creepy little man came from...please tell me you can see him too?!

    Yes, that freaked me too. I should've warned you.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    A friend of mine who's ten years my senior still thinks the first (William Hartnell) was the best, and it was scarier in black and white than colour.

    Agree. And the original daleks were pretty scary too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Deborah,

    Right, there's another episode I'll be watching through my fingers.

    I've taught my girls how to hide behind the sofa.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    More Who geekery - all the regenerations:

    The very first one is simple and yet surprisingly moving. The ones after that either exist as a showcase of the latest in special effects technology, or are kind of crappy low-tech ones where Doctor A lies down then Doctor B sits up. And lots of bad acting from the supporting cast.

    Seeing the newer regenerations, complete with the spewing golden light, is much more thrilling, yet not without emotion - "I don't want to go!"

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • The Other Andrew Smith,

    My first? Jon Pertwee falling out of the Tardis as plastic meteorites strike England. I seem to remember there was a bouncy ball product at the same time in plastic packaging that looked exactly like those meteorites. Then the Doctor trying to escape a country hospital in a wheelchair back to the Tardis only to shot by a sentry at the last moment. Incomprehensible as a child but still unforgettable. A friend once told me even earlier Doctor Who played on regional TV in New Zealand but I've never seen that confirmed anywhere.

    Haven't seen any more of Matt Smith than the trailer on Prime and on the strength of that want to see more (I missed the regeneration episode.)

    And if we can't have theatrical Doctor Who back can we at least have The Sarah Jane Adventures on New Zealand television! There's good kidult entertainment going to waste there!

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2007 • 10 posts Report

  • Russell C,

    Have just been rewatching 'the Eleventh Hour' - the first time around I was somewhat underwhelmed by Matt Smith or more likely perhaps the weakness of the alien story. But have to say that on second viewing I'm finding lots to like about his characterization of the Doctor - fish custard brilliant ! Does feel somehow more engaged then Tennant but it's most likely Moffat's script.

    Although I too regard Tom Baker as 'my doctor' Eccleston was fantastic with an edge that Tennant never had. In the end I felt that the Tennant doctor was really struggling under the weight of all the emotional baggage that Davies had him carrying. I lost track of all the teary farewells to Rose in the end, were there three or four?

    Agree with the others that Amelia Pond "like a character in a fairytale.." is shaping to be a great companion already - as striking in performance as Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan) was in Blink. The new Who has certainly not been short of great female characters and performances - Mulligan, Georgia Moffett (is she really Peter Davidson's daughter?), and even Billy Piper did have her moments. Martha and Donna not so much.

    Shaping up as a great DW year other than the awful thing they have done to the theme music.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 37 posts Report

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I feel left out. No Dottor Chi for us.

    Yeah, me too. No Doktor Vem for us either. Even having watched it now and then with my own kids over the last few years, I'm afraid I just don't get it. I suspect you need to get hooked at an early age or it'll never happen.

    A bit like Vegemite.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report

  • Grace Dalley,

    Who remembers Attack of the Autons, from the Pertwee era? There were plastic chairs that swallowed people, and I seem to remember plastic flowers that attached themselves to people's faces and suffocated them? Very very scary to me at the time!!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report

  • Russell C,

    Robyn great story,

    BTW, my first Doctor - Tom Baker.
    Therefore I am tickled by the Pop Bitch story that he is known to shout "Tom's coming!" at the point of orgasm.

    only disappointed he didn't mention that in in otherwise odd autobiography - Who on Earth is Tom Baker? He is one rather odd man but gotta love his work - wasn't he also in the Narnia TV series as a mudwiggle?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 37 posts Report

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