I’ve always been a completionist. It drives my husband crazy because he can start a new show halfway through the first season, or during a later season, and for the life of me, I just can’t do it. I’m the same way with book series, movie series, and comic books. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Most recently, my completionist tendencies and the obsession that many of my friends have for Dr. Who led me to seek it out on Netflix. I’ll admit it, I was excited. Well, partly excited, and incredibly intimidated by the thought of the incredibly daunting task I faced– 50 years of episodes to catch up on (Which is the main reason I put off watching it for so long). But I’d watched every available season of Sherlock (damn the hiatus), BBC Merlin, Blacklist, Walking Dead…. I was pretty much caught up on everything else, and I’d watched pretty much every scary movie Netflix had to offer aside from the really, really bad ones (And I’d even managed to muscle my way through some of those, and if you know Netflix’s horror selection the way I do? You know it can get pretty bad).
So there I was, remote in hand, bathtub-sized cup of coffee at hand, lights out, ready to go, trying really hard not to hear the echoing words of “50 years” echoing in my ears.
And then it happened. In black and white. “Selected episodes. Not all available at this time.” Gasp! No problem, right? I’ve always loved a good scavenger hunt. Off the couch, down the hall to my room, to the wide wonderful world of the internet, to see why there were holes in the available episode list.
Come to find out that over the years, many of the old episodes in the first several seasons were lost to the ages, and that though a few turn up here and there, found by die-hard fans, many have been deemed to be lost forever.
Disheartened by such thoughts that I may never come across the old episodes, and knowing full-well that one of my Aunts is a die-hard Whovian who would never take me seriously if I didn’t at least attempt to watch the series from the very beginning, I crossed my fingers and toes and headed over to Hulu, to see if I’d have better luck there.
There they were, all the (available) episodes all the way back to the very beginning of the Doctor’s travels, and down I sat.
As someone who’s always loved the Twilight Zone original series, and who counts many black and white films among my all-time favorite movies, I wasn’t bothered by the black and white. From the very beginning, the story was there, and as someone who’s always had an overactive and fertile imagination, I’ll admit I was curious from the very start. After a while, I didn’t even notice that it was in black and white.
Some of the plot lines made my eyes nearly glaze over in those first few seasons, but by the time Tom Baker took over as the fourth doctor, I’d decided that I was in for the long haul.
It was so creative, so imaginative, so full of possibility that I couldn’t help loving it. The mere idea of it.
It took some hunting around to find out what those missing episodes were about enough to fill in all the gaps in the story, and moving back and forth from Netflix to Hulu to watch the available episodes in order, but over the course of the last few months, I made my way through the first fourteen seasons of Classic Dr. Who, and with the episodes now in full color, and the story lines becoming steadily more involved, I find myself looking forward to many, many more seasons to come.
I was somewhere in the middle of a marathon late one Saturday night when our youngest came wandering in, unable to sleep, and, out of curiosity, he plopped down, dug into my popcorn, and asked me what I was watching.
I rattled off a summary as we ate popcorn and got settled back in, and got him up to speed with what was happening.
Four hours later, there he was, curled up next to me, crashed out hard on the couch, snoring away, and I had to get up to take his glasses off before they suffered an early demise if he were to roll over in his sleep.
I just figured he was bored, couldn’t sleep and heard the TV still on, wanted to know what I was up to. He does that. Over the years he’s fallen in love with more than a few of the movies I’ve loved since I was a kid. And most of the time, his older brother wanders right in with him.
We have Friday movie marathons every week, the three of us curled up in front of the television with a gargantuan sized bowl of popcorn. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, bring it on!
The youngest wandered in a few days after he first watched the Doctor with me, asking if it was okay if he watched it on his own, and I couldn’t help it, I smiled as he wandered off to seek it out, knowing it had caught his attention and his imagination just as it caught me in the weeks before.
And so it was that two generations of Whovians were born in my house.