As I was working on my Doctor Who scarf, I reminisced a bit about why I say that the 4th Doctor is my ‘favorite’. This is a thing I see a lot of Who fans talk about. Which Who is their favorite. For many, it seems, their first Doctor is their favorite. The 4th was not my first though.
I remember my first Doctor Who episode. I didn’t understand anything that was happening because I came into it in the middle. It was the 3rd Doctor, but I didn’t know that at the time. It was a rerun on late on PBS. (Maybe not all that late, but I was a kid and it was late for me.) The Tardis disappeared, and reappeared somewhere else and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Now I just had to Google to double check I had the right number for the Doctor I remember seeing, and I did, but all the photos were in color. I distinctly remember the episode in black and white. So I had to investigate further. Apparently the 3rd Doctor was when the show moved to color, but back in the day they didn’t think some sci-fi serial show worthy of preserving so the tapes were wiped and reused. All the 3rd Doctor’s episodes have been restored, but some they could only find in black and white. I think it sounds like they have recolored them as well by now but for awhile they just played the black and white versions in reruns because that’s what they had.
Anyway, I was trying to remember when I first saw Doctor 4 and I can’t remember. What I do remember is a little used bookstore we went to a lot when I was a kid in Ohio. There was a whole shelf of these little (and I mean very small, maybe 100 pages) Doctor Who paperbacks. I don’t remember what they cost, but I think maybe a quarter? I didn’t usually have much money but I remember if I was careful I could afford 2 or even 3! of these books when we went. The books featuring the 4th Doctor were my favorites, so I looked for his picture on the cover first when picking out my books. I loved those books.
I don’t think I actually saw that many actual Doctor Who television episodes because I only caught them on PBS in reruns, and they didn’t run them regularly. Or I wasn’t up late enough often enough to see them or I was a kid too stupid to consult a television schedule. Who knows. I just didn’t. But I had those books.
I’m wondering now if those books were just novelizations of the shows, or if they were new stories of their own. I might have to hunt some down for a fun quick read.