Stories at Tom's dinner table

Tom likes to think of his Forum as a metaphysical dinner table where friends share stories and ideas. You are invited to join the party.

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Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby WhoGabe on November 25th, 2009, 7:34 pm

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.>>
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby madgoth on November 30th, 2009, 4:23 am

Hi Gabriella, I enjoyed hearing about how you came to love Tom and Dr. Who.

I am an American fan from the 1980's and I watched Who for as many years as they showed it. I recall some kind of hiatus after Colin Baker, and I sort of gave up on trying to watch it on public television. Life goes on, as it always does. Later, I found myself interested again, and this time, I had the internet to help feed my thirst for maximum Who information. I came to meet others online, we began talking, and it has been thus for about 10 years I think.

About 5 years ago, I decided I just had to meet you, Tom, and I was lured by advertisements that you and all living doctors would be appearing at the London Metropole to celebrate 40 years of Dr. Who. So Mouser and I began making plans to really go, and we paid for our plane tickets, convention fees and made reservations. After about a year of planning and saving, we arrived in London the Friday Oct 30 before Panopticon started. We didn't know a soul, of course, but had some plans to meet several of our online cohorts during the weekend.

Tom, I want to ask if you were even invited to be there? I have often wondered if something happened to keep you from appearing. Perhaps they never even contacted you. But in any case, it was all a well kept secret until the end of the convention, and the advertised Secret Guest turned out to be Paul McGann rather than you. The huge disappointment of not getting to meet you sort of cast an ominous shadow on the rest of our visit.
Last edited by madgoth on November 30th, 2009, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby tracy on November 30th, 2009, 10:53 am

im no good at telling storys so id just listion in on what every one else would be saying putting on here
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby Mouser on December 1st, 2009, 2:09 am

It was a strange and exciting adventure. I only knew Madgoth online, and here I was flying to another country to meet for the first time. I was no stranger to Europe, I had lived in Germany for a few years and traveled some. Easily enough I took the train from the airport to, I think it was Paddington station. It wasn't too awful a walk to the Metropol, but my old suitcase was like dragging a load of bricks on a chain. I was determined not to hail a cab and be a lazy American so I walked. And I paid for it. Oh did my arms ache!

I finally found the door of the hotel, checked in and made my way upstairs. MG was there, the desk had told me. I thought, I am doing just what they say not to do, trust that the people you meet online are really who they say they are. But my gut never fired off any warning. so I trusted it and knocked.

There was Madgoth just as she said she was, lady from Alabama who liked Doctor Who, singing, cats and a host of other things. We hugged and talked, we were so excited that we had REALLY come to Panopticon. We SO hoped Tom would be there, it became a daily, no hourly sweep of the rooms, people and information.

We were to meet other posters too. I think it wasn't until the next day that we found Miss Zygon who was from Mass. We had all met on Tom's old blue forum where I started posting in May of 2001.

Here I am more than 8 years later on what may be the 4th regeneration of Tom's forum. I still have never met you Tom, but one of these days...
Well, my doctorate is purely honorary, and Harry here is only qualified to work on sailors.
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby The Cloaked One on December 1st, 2009, 9:14 am

I wish I had stories to tell, but I can only recount my youth and inexperience. XD I'm in the process of forming my stories right now as I make new memories and new friends. :D

I am an American, tucked away in the icy resort of Alaska. Our family grew up with Doctor Who. My father created a few story ideas for Doctor Who and had pitched them at one point, but was turned down. Back during the day, we had the first four doctors and a whole lot of the missing episodes. My dad had managed to find several back when we were in Virginia. They were in pretty bad quality, but at least we had them. They are now all lost again. T_T
Due to family squabbles, I was pulled down to South Carolina for five years to spend time with my relatives. Finally, when I came back up to Alaska in 2008, I was finally introduced to New Who. Within the last few months, I went on dailymotion and watched all of Tom Baker, and I'm now 2/3 through Pertwee. The only episode from Old Who I had remembered was the second one with Davros. The daleks lined up the people and were shooting them unless the Doctor handed Davros over. I had remembered the clip being a lot more solemn and drawn out then it was, with like four people dying than just one though. Funny how my memories play tricks.
Currently I'm trying to get traction under me as best as I can. I'm almost 18, and shortly to be in college. I've made an agreement with the military to pay for my college in exchange for some time, but I have not signed on the dotted line yet. On the other hand, I am experimenting with animation software right now more as a hobby, and perhaps it might later grow into a career option for me. For now, I still have many memories to build, and only time will tell where I end up.
Si-Fy and Fantasy, that is where my heart lies. To Doctor Who and its 18 years of brilliance, still waiting on the 50 yr anniversary!
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby madgoth on December 4th, 2009, 1:22 am

I will never forget the grueling walk from the station to the Metropole. we both had heavy suitcases stuffed full of things we really didn't need. Anyway, after Mouser got there, we went walking around looking for Covent Garden. We just couldn't find it, so we gave up the search and found a little pub with a nice room upstairs and we ordered our supper, or tea, I guess I should say. I love breakfast, so I ordered a full English breakfast, not realizing we would get pretty tired of it every day of the trip. I wasn't crazy about it, but the bacon was crispy, and it was the only time on the whole trip that the bacon was to my liking. Mouser had lasagne if I recall. The room was upstairs and our table was by a window and how wonderful and amazing it was to think that I was actually in London, at long, long last. And that I would be seeing Tom that very weekend! It was a dream come true! :D
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby pattie anne on December 4th, 2009, 6:45 am

Dear Posting Fans of TOM -

These stories are so great. Thank you all for sharing. Just hope it will inspire other Baker followers to respond in kind. You all did ...

"Ace, ace!"
Dr Who IV

"And as for Tom Baker, well, I'll always be the Doctor,
won't I?" TOM BAKER
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby Mouser on December 4th, 2009, 9:42 pm

I remember that little restaurant. The walls were dark green and the ceilings were high. I love old buildings. Old things have such character.

I think that was near the National Gallery. I went there alone, as Madgoth had misplaced her rail pass. She had her own adventure that day. I didn't mind being in the gallery alone. I love art and have tried to be a bit of an artist myself. I wandered slowly with no one telling me to hustle along. I looked at paintings I had only seen in books. I stood in front of Rembrandt's self portrait and felt tears welling up, but no one saw it.

I realized much later that the Rosetta Stone is in London. I guess that is something else I will be back to see.

I love traveling and old cities. I am in awe of things that have lasted 100s of years. I have seen a few things that have lasted thousands. I feel small, but blessed when I see and touch them.

You are a toucher MG, feeling the age and history of old things.
Well, my doctorate is purely honorary, and Harry here is only qualified to work on sailors.
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby Gold Usher on December 8th, 2009, 4:28 am

I remember that year. I was so hoping there'd be enough of a royalty from my book that I could make the trip and meet up with Mouser, Madgoth and MsZygon But the payment didn't arrive in time and that idea had to be shelved.

So instead of tromping around the city and terrorizing the countryside afterwards, I had to solace myself by banking half of it and buying my little 1990 Miata runabout with the rest.

Still trying to see my way over there to do some 'timewalking'. So many places to go!

But finally had the pleasure of meeting Mouser and Madgoth at one of the Tom Baker Gathers held here in Florida. Very nice ladies and full of mischief too :lol:
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Re: Stories at Tom's dinner table

Postby Mouser on December 8th, 2009, 4:59 am

We all met online, and slowly, sometimes over years, we finally meet each other.

We are the queens and kings of delayed gratification!

After the last gather, I got a CD of pix and sort movies, it's still in the CD tray of my Mac.

(This Mac is a computer, not a coat.) :P
Well, my doctorate is purely honorary, and Harry here is only qualified to work on sailors.
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