Dr. Joe Wiggins is a pastor, currently serving a church in South Mississippi. He previously served churches on the Northshore where he learned about Krewe Du Who. His daughter, Jessica is 14 years old and in 9th grade. She plans to major in engineering or graphic design in college. After college, she hopes to work for the Walt Disney Company as an Imagineer.
The Pastor: Joe Wiggins
I started watching Doctor Who when I was 10 or 11 years old. We had a frequent substitute teacher at school who knew I liked science fiction. One day, he told me about a show he called, “Doc Who” which had just started airing daily on our local PBS stations. I went home and watched the second episode of “The Sontaran Experiment”. I kept watching for the next few days. By the time I finished “Genesis of the Daleks”, I was hooked. Another local station showed a double feature of monster movies (Godzilla, etc.) every Sunday morning. One week, they showed the two Peter Cushing “Dr. Who movies”. Several months later I watched the last episode of “Logopolis” and wondered what the future held for the Doctor. The next day, episode one of “Robot” aired and realized that our PBS station had started back from what I thought was the beginning of the series. I assumed that the opening scene was Peter Cushing’s Doctor regenerating into Tom Baker.
I wrote a letter to the local PBS station asking if Doctor Who had been cancelled. My correspondence was answered by an enthusiastic Whovian who assured me that they would soon begin airing the new episodes with Peter Davison. I also learned a brief history of Doctor Who and the three actors who had played the role before Tom Baker. The reply from PBS also contained contact information for The Companions of Doctor Who, a local fan group. I joined immediately and anxiously awaited each month’s newsletter. In the meantime, I found Target novelizations of many Hartnell, Troughton, and Pertwee era stories at Bookland and began taping the Saturday afternoon “omnibus” format broadcasts of the Baker & Davison shows on my home VHS recorder. Through CODW, I learned where I could buy Doctor Who reference books and t-shirts by mail order. I even sent away for a box of jelly babies.
I packed up and headed off to college with my homemade Doctor Who tapes and books in tow. I learned that the local PBS station planned to air the Hartnell, Troughton & Pertwee stories before we got our first glimpse of the “new” Doctor, Colin Baker. I stocked up on blank VHS tapes. Around this time, a Doctor Who tour was making its’ way through the U.S. The tour made a stop in Jackson, MS and I made plans to attend. My sister had knitted me a Tom Baker scarf based on a pattern from the CODW newsletter. I wore it and a make-shift 4th Doctor costume. I met Jon Pertwee, sat in Bessie and bought some more books and merchandise.
My interest in Doctor Who began to wane during the Colin Baker and McCoy eras. Honestly, the quality of the show suffered and I wasn’t surprised to learn that the program had been cancelled. I never saw the last McCoy season until many years later. I bought the Target novelizations and a few of the stories on VHS when they were commercially released.
Surprisingly, my wife never shared my love of Doctor Who. She tolerated it and even watched the 1996 movie with me. I never really got into the audio adventures or New Adventure books. When the new series began, our daughter was about 5 years old. I knew the show was too scary for her but as she grew up she was curious about Doctor Who. Finally, when she was about the age I was when I first started watching Doctor Who, I asked her if she wanted to watch the original series with me from the beginning. Most of the episodes were now available on DVD and we could even stream some of them on Netflix and Amazon. Now, most of them are on Hulu. For the few that weren’t available at that time, like Planet of the Giants and Terror of the Zygons, I returned to my homemade VHS tapes.
The Girl Who Waited: Jessica Wiggins
I wanted to start watching Doctor Who because I enjoy most of the same TV shows my Daddy enjoys (except Finding Bigfoot, which gets boring after a while). The show sounded cool from what I knew about it. Daddy suggested we watch it from the beginning of the original series because I would miss some of the references in the new series. I did not like that the early shows were in black & white. The stories weren’t that exciting but I was fascinated by the TARDIS and its’ ability to travel in time and space. I found the first Doctor to be very grumpy but I liked him o.k. I liked the second Doctor better. He was younger and nicer. I didn’t like how he often ignored people and played his recorder.
I didn’t like the fact that so many early episodes are missing. We read the story summaries on the internet so that helped fill in the gaps. I felt that I didn’t really get to know the early companions because so many episodes were missing. The special effects were terrible. I know they were trying and probably didn’t have much money to work with. But most of the stories were interesting. I found the Daleks annoying at first and the Cybermen looked funny. They got better as the series progressed. I really liked the Quarks because they were so cute! The opening credits were also too simple & boring. My favorite Hartnell/Troughton era companion was Susan since she knew more about the Doctor than anyone else.
I was very happy when we arrived at the color Jon Pertwee episodes. I think that’s why he’s my favorite Doctor. Also, he was a gentleman and nicer than the first and second Doctors. My favorite Third Doctor stories are Day of the Daleks and Inferno. Since he was stuck on earth, the stories started to seem similar. I liked UNIT and his companions. It was cool that he had a car too! The Master in the 3rd Doctor stories was more of nuisance. I liked the Master better when he was trying to take over the universe in later years.
I was sad when the 3rd Doctor regenerated but I enjoyed the 4th Doctor. My favorite story of all time is Genesis of the Daleks. My favorite companions were Romana (especially the second one) and K-9. Romana was smart and worked well with the Doctor. K-9 was a different sort of companion. I did not like Adric. He was annoying and selfish.
I liked the 5th Doctor. He was so different from all the rest. Most of his companions were o.k. but I did not like Turlough. He was like an older version of Adric. I did not like the 6th Doctor. He was an ego-maniac with no fashion sense. He ran headfirst into trouble and yelled too much. Melanie was my least favorite companion. She screamed too much.I liked the 7th Doctor better and was a much-needed relief after the sixth! Ace is my favorite companion of the classic series because she didn’t scream and wasn’t afraid.
I liked the movie better but it moved too fast compared to other Doctor Who stories. I liked the younger Doctor but didn’t like the new TARDIS. The special effects were good but they didn’t go overboard. It was fun to see a new Master.Sometimes the show was predictable. The best era was the seventies and early eighties. Many of the later stories, like Paradise Towers, were too weird later in the series. But I thought the Kandy Man was funny. The later incarnation of the Master is my favorite villain and I found the Daleks more threatening once they learned to climb stairs. Most of the sci-fi shows today follow a predicatble format and depend on special effects. The Doctor Who stories were different and relied on the plot and the actors.
I haven’t seen any of the new series yet. I expect better effects, stories, and actors. I’m looking forward to meeting new companions and seeing new villains. I hope the Daleks come back. I didn’t like them at first but they became more menacing later in the classic series. Once I’m caught up, I hope to attend some conventions and meet other fans. I don’t want to see or hear any spoilers. Some of my friends at school have seen the new series but they know not to spoil anything for me!