I just read Tom's November log entry, and... here's my little personal story for you. Doctor Who related, of course. And with Tom as the main character, of course.
In 1980 I was 16 and I was already what today is called a "sci-fi nerd" (I started reading SF books when I was 9), so anything labelled "science fiction" had a powerful appeal to me.
Back then, we had a black and white TV set at home, four channels. One of it was RAI (our national TV), which aired my very first episode of Doctor Who on a February evening: the first part of "Robot". I have very little memory of it, and of the following five adventures (six, counting the one RAI added the year after, during the first and last reruns they made).
What I do remember vividly were the potato-shaped head of the Sontaran experimenter, the long scarf and the hat of the main character... with his infectious smile and his strange name... the Doctor! I have no other specific memory of it, and certainly I can't remember any Daleks because the Davros creatures had never been seen on RAI those days (inexplicably RAI skipped the episode).
In years to come I almost forgot that Doctor and no other "Doctor Who" ever visited Italy.
But the lingering memory of that man with the long scarf and the smiling face stayed with me. Until I listened for the first time to his original voice (the episodes aired were dubbed in Italian, of course!)... And what a voice! Booming and deep, and funny, and quirky. A demanding voice, yet soft like silk.
Unfortunately, living in Italy I had not many chances to get to know the owner of the voice better. Until very recent years, when things have been "globalised" and I could discover the many faces of the fabulous performer he is.
"Doctor Who" returned into my life with a bang in 2005, with the new series and the Ninth and Tenth incarnation. And as I watched the new actors embodying the character, I felt like I was truly watching again "my" Doctor: the one with the scarf and the infectious smile. No matter that I had "lost" several regenerations along the way - there was him again. So I started another adventure of mine as a "sci-fi nerd" gathering other people around me. People who had walked the same path I walked, a path rooted in 1980 and in those few episodes watched in black and white.
While I'm writing this, I'm only a week away from our second get-together, as part of a sci-fi convention. We'll watch the newest episodes, we'll talk about the newer Doctor Who, but in our little corner of Italy, side by side to our life-size replica of the Tardis, we'll also have our memories to share with each other. And all the memories goes back to "Doctor" Tom, the fourth in the Doctor line of succession, but always the first in our hearts.
I just hope that one day, in the future, I will be able to shake the hand to Tom, to say thank you in person. And share that moment with all the other Italians who remember his Doctor... our doctor!
<<Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time
the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.>>