Today I have been watching vintage Doctor Who and doing David Bowie impressions, luckily for everyone I didn’t have time to get stuck into the Kate Bush tracks that were being lined up next.
Doctor Who Day is a relatively new tradition of my friends, which I think grew out of another much older tradition of us regularly getting together to drink and play games. My best friend, Claire (who hosted today with her partner, Paul) and I have a very long history of game playing with alcohol from Rude Scrabble down The Anglers in Teddington when we were teenagers, to spending an entire summer becoming pool sharks in another pub further up the road.
As this was my first Doctor Who Day, I did feel a little apprehensive. My Who Knowledge is patchy at best but I have enough to hold my own with phrases like Chameleon Circuit and being able to correctly identify him off Emmerdale Farm.
We started with Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor in the four-parter, Terror of the Autons from Season 8, which introduced Katy Manning as Jo Grant, the Doctor’s new assistant. As these were the UNIT days, we also got a good dose of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney, and we were treated to a spot of Roger Delgado as The Master too. And it was joyous. There’s no point in bitching about the sexism, or the special effects, or the way everybody stood still to talk, because it is what it is. And that’s capes with red satin linings, moustaches and eyebrows that act independently of their faces, The Master having his own hypnotising theme tune, a killer inflatable armchair, plastic killer daffodils, Autons with giant Frank Sidebottom-like heads wearing yellow blazers, a stuffed puffer fish suspended from the ceiling, convoluted plots including Mission Impossible face masks, a telephone engineer and some killer cable, fabulous leaping stuntmen, Bessie, cliff hangers, Frankie Howard impressions, chin stroking, and the fact that we ended up in a quarry. Joyous.
Then we started haggling over what to watch next. This is when I found out my favourite story had been watched last time (Tom Baker vs Leonardo da Vinci as a cyclops). We ended up with a JP Silurian episode. At one point Paul Darrow made a brief appearance and all six of us shouted ‘AVON!’. I do love being in the company of nerds. This then led us to an episode with Jacqueline Pearce (SERVALAN!) and the promise of a Blake’s 7 Day.
By the time the pizzas were ready we were flagging, and what started out as some 70s funk background music, then took centre stage as it cycled through the decades, before becoming themes, until we stopped at Bowie. Claire and I also have a history of David Bowie impressions. I think the suggestion of playing Moss Garden was partly to due to the lack of lyrics we could mangle.
Today was one of those perfect days of nostalgia, good company, good food and shared experience. However, my throat may need the ministrations of my Bratog bride tomorrow, I seem to be a little hoarse, but that’s what you get when you’ve been squawking like a pink monkey bird…