My LIfe as a Boozy Oaf

2 Conversations

Anorak at the Ready1

Hello I am Brian Milton and I am a Doctor Who fan. Yes, Brian. Makes me sound all Oirishy, or spoof messiah like or something. Which I am not. In both my and my parents defence they were thinking of Colin (much more apt in a dull, accountant sort of way) but apparently their Hattie Jacques of a Midwife pointedly sorted them out. Apparently Brian is Gaelic for fortified hill and Milton is obviously Anglo-Saxon for town with mill. So, in a cross cultural way I am actually called 'The fortified town with a mill on top of a commanding rise'. This, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with Today's topic. That is Doctor Who.

The earliest memory I have of watching television is of Doctor Who, and the Daleks to boot. This was back in Nineteen Seventy Nine which, if nothing else, proves that I have always had a bad memory as I was five by that point and had most certainly been watching it for years. At this point in history it was compulsory viewing and so, even though it gave me the willies, I had to watch to have something to talk about at School. And so I watched it week after week. And became hooked. On all Science Fiction. One of the great things about that period was that there was more than one SF serial on TV. And my fascination with the Doctor's travels led me to watch the rest. Sapphire and Steel, Star Cops, Blake's Seven, anything by Gerry Anderson. Indeed it also led me to The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. I would not be here today were it not for The Doctor. Throughout the eighties I hoovered this stuff up. But always had Who at the top of my list.

I read the Target Books and the comics. I watched, thrilled, at every new episode, no matter how iffy its production. And I lapped up every snippet of information I could find. And then it ended. But there were still new books to keep me going. Going to University I discovered that a) other people were equally interested and b) that I could get videos and see stuff that had been shown on TV before I was even born. Both these were a revelation to me. People actually gathered to watch this stuff!

At this point my life could have gone a number of ways. I could have become fixated upon Doctor Who, ignoring other science fiction and attending events only if they had a Who connection. But luckily my friends of the time were of a more general nature and moved me towards more generic science fiction events. And so I began to get involved in fandom. And that, obviously enough, led me towards conventions and the running of them. So it is all Doctor Who's fault.

Of course now all my good work in keeping away from one narrow sect of fandom is in danger. There is a new series of Doctor Who, the first in sixteen years, in production. I am reading the official magazine once again. I have signed up to message boards. I have even attended a pub night solely to talk about Who. My science fictional orbit is closing in. Am I to become one of these people who is obsessed with just one thing to the detriment of all else? Will I become a scary old man with DVDs instead of cats for company? Or will I manage to remind myself that it is just a TV programme and that I ought to go read a book on something else or, maybe, even go for a walk? Only Time will tell and that could well be the problem.

Next Time: How am I supposed to know? My fully functioning Type Forty has yet to arrive in the post...

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