A ‘Doctor Who’ moment.

On this day sixty years ago in my childhood home in Birmingham, I watched the very first live broadcast of Doctor Who, Episode 1, “An Unearthly Child” with William Hartnell as the tetchy First Doctor.
There was some concern that the broadcast might have to be postponed out of respect for the death of President Kennedy the day before, but with only minutes to spare, the decision was made to go ahead.
I was engrossed by the story of the mysterious school girl Susan Foreman, how her teachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton discovered the Doctor and his space/time machine in a London junkyard and how all three became the Doctor’s first companions in an adventure in the distant past.
Fast forward 42 years through time. After a 16 year lull, Doctor Who was re-launched in March 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion Rose. The show gained massive popularity with both former and new audiences.
Later that year on a day in August I go into the local Cash Converters – it’s a franchised chain of pawnbrokers in Australia. I’m checking out the second-hand music gear.
Nearby is a young guy buying band p.a. kit. Mid 20s maybe, long straight black hair, eye liner, baggy black sleeveless t-shirt showing his Ozzy Osbourne style tattoos. The drummer, maybe.
I’m looking at myself about 30 years before, minus the tatts.
By chance I’m dressed like Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who character, all in black with a T-shirt under a black jacket and close-cropped hair, like some sort of off-duty U-boat commander.
He notices me looking and I say “Hey, man”.
“Hey”, he replies, then, “Do I know you?”
“Yeah”, I said. “I’m you from 2035.” He grinned.
“Just called in to say ‘Keep on rocking’.” He smiled again. He got it.
Then I left.


Peter Vawser
Well done, Dr.

Yvonne Dumsday
Brilliant memory.

Greg Osborn
I watched it too. Hiding behind the couch as it scared me deliciously. Love the tatts man encounter story.

Ian Short to Greg Osborn
I didn’t hide behind the couch until the Daleks first appeared.

Ian Short
That’s actually a bit of poetic licence for effect. In reality I was old enough not to have to watch Doctor Who from behind the couch. That happened a few years earlier with the genuinely scary Quatermass and the Pit.

Maria Trajkovic
That’s so cool 😎

Marg Bonnar
Magic. I was there too. Unforgettable. 🙏

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