Our PBS station used to do Sci-Fi Saturday night. After Red Green and Stargazer, this dude (I’m pretty sure he was local) would show up on the screen, wearing a fun bathrobe (I’m still not sure what the images on it were) over his clothes. He was seated and “floating” with a space background. He’d talk about the upcoming episodes of Red Dwarf and Doctor Who that were about to air. He. Was. Awesome. I wish I could remember his name, and he has since passed away.
It was watching him and Red Dwarf that made me start to realize that I actually liked science fiction. It took me quite a while before I realized that included Doctor Who. PBS has changed their scheduling a lot since those days. Red Dwarf has gone away, and Jack Horkheimer has passed, though they still continue Stargazer with different hosts.
I do carry on the tradition, though. When new episodes are airing on BBC America, it’s on Saturday, and PBS has kept Doctor Who in the 10:30pm time slot. Lately they’re been showing classic Tom Baker, and I watch (and DVR) every single one. When it isn’t something I haven’t seen, I’ll watch a classic episode and a Red Dwarf on my iPad, downloaded from iTunes. (Neither Doctor Who nor Red Dwarf are on Netflix anymore.)
It was PBS that introduced me to Doctor Who. Yes, they’d air the classics when I was kid, but my family didn’t watch it, and when I was at a sleepover and everyone else got all excited about it, I tried to watch, but I always fells asleep. But in 2005, BBC rebooted the series. PBS picked it up. Red Dwarf was still airing, and when I was checking the schedule to see what episode was airing, I noticed a “new” next to Doctor Who. I watched Chris Eccleston in all his glory in “The Empty Child” and I tuned in next week for “The Doctor Dances,” and I was hooked.
I discovered that the SyFy channel was also airing new Who, so I started catching up…only to see my beloved Nine turn into David Tennant. I was crushed. Just when I was learning to love this show, some new interloper comes in. He went on to become my favorite (reboot) Doctor, but Nine will always hold a special place in my heart.
My list of favorite things is by far not conclusive. I didn’t draw books or pizza or cats or a number of other things. But in honor of of my weekly tradition, I am celebrating science fiction with a poorly drawn Dalek. Working in pen in always a challenge for me, since I am not able to erase. This is the second attempt. Like the ice cream cone, I initially worked bottom up, but I ran out of room, so I started over. I’m 100% sure I’ll be revisiting Doctor Who imagery at some point.