'Odd' introductions to Doctors, companions, etc

Since going through this website and adding all of the stories I’ve watched/listened/read it struck me that sometimes my introductions to characters were not always in ‘normal’ places. For example, my introduction to Victoria was the Target novelisation of the Abominable Snowmen, and my first Fourth Doctor story was the Keeper of Traken (from the ‘New Beginnings’ DVD boxset) - meaning the Master’s reveal, having not seen the Deadly Assassin, was a bit confusing!

Wondering if anyone else has had non-‘normal’ introductions to Doctors, companions, and/or other major aspects of the show - perhaps first experiencing them in an audio or in print, or maybe seeing a TV episode out of order (and not understanding quite what was going on!).

2 Likes

My introduction to Ben, Polly and Jamie was through The Underwater Menace novelisation. I spent a lot of that book confusing them with Sean and Jacko, the stranded sailor characters and not being sure which ones were the regulars.

1 Like

That sounds like a pain (although that may come from a bias of not being the biggest fan of the Underwater Menace personally, haha). I think my introduction to Ben and Polly is possibly the most common one due to its provenance - the Tenth Planet. I genuinely cannot remember what my first Jamie story would have been, but I would bet that it was likely the Mind Robber, which I think would be confusing whether or not it was my first time meeting Jamie!

1 Like

And I think my introduction to Steven and Vicki was through The Time Meddler novelisation. I’m pretty sure that, for some reason, I pictured Vicki as having black hair.

1 Like

My introduction to most Doctors (pretty much all besides New Who and the brief visits from classic Doctors in it), as well as some companions/other established characters, has been through Diary of River Song. I plan to fully watch the entirety of classic Who eventually, so, for me, it’s a nice sort of ‘sneak peek’ of what’s to come, an appetizer before I truly get in to these eras naturally. It’s nice, that I’ll be going in with some slight foundation, and be lightly familiar with them. It only gets me all the more excited to experience it!

Series 6, in particular, was entirely direct prequels to existing classic episodes. It’s going to be very neat going in to those with advanced knowledge of what’s going on- and the stories simultaneously haven’t spoiled anything big for me that makes anything feel any less worth watching. To me, it’s like watching the Hobbit movies before Lord of the Rings. Many would say it’s unnecessary, but to me, all that extra flavor and content being built upon, only improves things for me usually!

4 Likes

What a wonderful way to go into these stories - I’ve not personally heard much of Diary of River Song other than trailers and some clips on YouTube, but I know a few people who are big fans of the series and have often sang its praises. I didn’t know about the concept behind its sixth series, but just looking at the Big Finish synopses for each story and piecing together which serial each is a prequel of, and you’re in for a treat with all of them! In some sense it may be said that the show’s introduction to River chronologically in Silence in the Library is an intentionally odd one, haha.

Hope you enjoy Classic Who once you get to it, cliché to say but it does have some of the absolute greatest stories of the entire programme.

1 Like

I sort of had odd intros using The Diary of River Song too, because I listened to some of them before watching Classic Who, too!

But also some other Big Finish audios - they are a fantastic way to get introduced to parts of Classic Who if you’ve never seen it.

In fact, I decided to do a Classic Who marathon because I was annoyed by not understanding some of the references, and felt the need to know everything. I still don’t know everything, probably due to not having the best memory, but at least I get all the references now :smiley:

2 Likes

My introduction to C’rizz was through Sontarans vs. Rutans: The Battle of Giant’s Causeway. I remember reading somewhere that he isn’t a very popular companion, but I found him perfectly fine in that audio. I still haven’t heard him in anything else, so I’m going to reserve judgement.

My introductions to Liv and Helen came through Stranded, and while I didn’t understand every reference they made to past events, I wasn’t confused by not being familiar with their previous adventures.

1 Like

Oh yes I forgot to mention I also was introduced to Liv and Helen from Stranded (that was the first Eighth Doctor set I listened to - because it was new and shiny at the time). I have really enjoyed going back and learning more about them from the beginning, which I did by starting with Robophobia!

It does have the unfortunate side-effect that I know that (Doom Coalition spoiler): Helen is fine after apparently sacrificing herself at the end of Doom Coalition even as I have yet to listen to Ravenous.

Oh well!

3 Likes

I love C’rizz but that’s tied up with having met Conrad Westmaas who is a huge fan himself and a lovely person.

4 Likes

Having picked up the Eighth Doctor adventures from Doom Coalition onwards (after listening to Dark Eyes after they had been released, but before DC) from the time of their release this is really interesting to me - luckily Big Finish always seem aware enough that a new series will often pick up newer fans who aren’t entirely aware of everything, and manage to not make the stories then too ‘bland’ for those who have the prior audios. It’s a very clever skill!

2 Likes

Yeah, I was initially cautious about jumping onto Stranded without having listened to any of the previous 8DAs (except for his first few main range releases), but the first set received great reviews and had an interesting premise amidst the pandemic, so I decided to give it a go. Without a doubt, I found myself instantly captivated. The writing and production approach ensures that new listeners can immerse themselves without any knowledge of prior stories. Familiarity with the previous sets is likely to improve the listening experience, but not knowing them definitely does not ruin it (or it didn’t for me).

I still haven’t listened to Dark Eyes/Doom Coalition/Ravenous, but I’m getting to them as I’m completing my 8th Doctor marathon :slight_smile:

2 Likes

When I finish Ravenous I have to make the difficult decision whether or not to re-listen to Stranded with my new found appreciation for the characters, or keep moving on and listening to new stuff. I would love to re-listen, and also need to redo all of River Song, but it feels wasteful to use my limited time to go over things I already know! Argh!

Edit: this sounds like I have fatal condition and a limited time left alive or something. Nope, just aware I’m not getting any younger and they keep making more Who :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

Well, the Stranded sets are awesome, and always worth a re-listen :wink:

1 Like

Me everyday, being a nerd is tough… Even with exclusively Doctor Who I’d be struggling… And there’s only about a couple thousand (likely an understatement) entire other media and things I’m interested in outside of it that I also want to get through eventually! This site makes, all of Doctor Who at least, much more manageable and way more approachable.

2 Likes

Honestly, that’s why I built it - because I want to experience everything in the Whoniverse and I was losing track of it all haha

4 Likes

Your OCD is our gain :wink:

2 Likes

That’s so cool!!!

1 Like

my introduction to basically all the classic series regulars has been through Main Range stories first lol. this is a well-timed post i think. I first met Romana and Leela through Zagreus when i first started on BF, and i recently picked up the Gallifrey series and liked the two of them so much i finally decided to go back and watch Four’s run (which I’d been putting off). a bit backwards lol.

I’ve been meaning to pick up the Diary of River Song!! good to hear it’s good enough you can even enjoy it without knowing all the characters hehe

4 Likes

What this topic is making me realize is that I’m incredibly vanilla in how I was introduced to anything Doctor Who - I always go chronological, no need for a TARDIS blue diary for me :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes