Richard Swain

Today marks the 55th Anniversary of Doctor Who. Throughout the day the writers of BlogtorWho will share their stories of the show. They’ll explain what this simple television programme means to us. How it has shaped our lives. Our favourite moments, stories and characters. Read on to hear one of our writers, Richard, share his story of being a fan of Doctor Who

It’s strange to think that there used to be a time when I wasn’t mad about Doctor Who. But for the first half of my life, I suppose I really wasn’t. Crucially, I was born during the ‘dark ages’ when the show wasn’t on TV. Obviously, growing up in Britain, it was hard to escape the fact that it was a massive cultural phenomenon. Yet, it never quite captivated me in the same way as, say, the Star Wars prequels did. (Oh, what a foolish child I was back then!) Out of curiosity, I remember casually watching the 2005 series when Doctor Who relaunched on our screens. But it wasn’t until ‘The Parting of the Ways‘ that the show properly clicked for me. There was something about all those Daleks (and that regeneration!) that suddenly resonated with me. I’ve been hooked ever since!

As the years went by, my love for Doctor Who only grew more and more intense. And the more that I think about it now, the more things in my life I have to thank this show for. Not only did it help establish and maintain some of my closest friendships, it’s also brought me some of my happiest memories. I can think of so many from the last five years alone! The 50th anniversary Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The Doctor Who 2013 Celebration at the London ExCeL. ‘The Day of the Doctor‘ in 3D at the cinema. Deep Breath (sadly not in 3D) at the cinema. The Symphonic Spectacular at Wembley Arena. A memorable 25th birthday weekend in Cardiff, visiting the Doctor Who Experience (and later, dinner in a Dalek!)… followed by a return trip a few months later for a tour of the TARDIS set!

The Golden Years

Every fan has their favourite era though, so what was mine? While I grew up with David Tennant and Russell T Davies (undoubtedly getting into the show because of them), I really started embracing Doctor Who when Steven Moffat’s reign began. Borrowing an old red bow tie and a tweed jacket from my Grandad, the Eleventh Doctor was the first character I ever properly cosplayed. (Not that I’m any sort of expert!). And yet, it’s actually the Twelfth Doctor’s tenure that I consider ‘my’ era of the show. I instantly fell in love with episodes like ‘Listen‘ and ‘Flatline‘ from Series 8, hugely appreciating the spikier, more alien approach being taken with Peter Capaldi. Then along came Series 9 – hands down my favourite season ever. As someone who grew up reading and loving myths, I was always going to adore how steeped in mythology this incredible series was.

The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar‘ remains my favourite series opener, and that was just the beginning of an astonishing run. Those final three episodes in particular (yes, even ‘Hell Bent‘) were so big, bold, and brave, they deserve recognition on that level alone. ‘Heaven Sent‘ was a magnum opus in performance, writing, direction, and music that instantly rocketed to the top of my most-loved list. It will take some beating to ever be dethroned. Most memorably though, Series 9 really put the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald at the forefront. Steven Moffat described it as their “golden years”, and he wasn’t wrong. The dynamic between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman is my favourite Doctor/companion combo to date – they truly were the Hybrid for a reason. Naturally, I was over the moon when I got to meet them both in person at the Doctor Who Festival in 2015. Life goals achieved!

One Hell of a Blog

And then, of course, there’s BlogtorWho. I must have started visiting this site over a decade ago now. I can certainly remember reading reviews for David Tennant’s final episodes – oh, how time has flown! As an ever-growing fan of the show and budding writer myself, I’d always wanted to find a way of combining these two interests. So, when the opportunity arose in January 2016 to join BlogtorWho’s writing staff, I absolutely leapt at the chance. It was hot on the heels of Series 9 and my passion for the show was at its peak. It couldn’t have come at a better time, and it’s made me feel more a part of the Doctor Who community than ever.

It’s been an honour contributing to such an esteemed website over the last couple of years. This blog meant a lot to me growing up, as I’m sure it still means a lot to many readers now. Since joining I’ve had the privilege of writing breaking news, special features, and landmark reviews for my brand new episodes starring my favourite Doctor – including his swansong, ‘Twice Upon a Time‘. I can only hope you’ve enjoyed reading them all as much as I have enjoyed writing them! Rest assured, I’ve got every intention of sticking around for as long as the team will have me. As we look ahead to where the series is going next, with Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall, and beyond, it’s safe to say that it won’t be disappearing in a hurry either.

Whether you’re a brand new fan or a seasoned veteran, this show’s legacy continues to burn brightly. Happy 55th anniversary, Doctor Who – thanks for all the memories: past, present, and future.

Doctor Who Experience – Twelfth Doctor TARDIS tour

Happy Birthday Doctor Who and Thank You from all of us at BlogtorWho.

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