Gregg Nunney: How the Doctor hooked eight-year-old me

Gregg's inner eight-year-old will always be captivated by the Daleks and Doctor Who
Gregg's inner eight-year-old will always be captivated by the Daleks and Doctor Who

I remember what I was doing on the evening of October 8, 1988.

I was eight-and-a-half years old and I was sat on the edge of my bed.

The black and white portable telly I had was tuned – using an old-style tuning knob – to BBC1 and I watched something that absolutely captivated me.

A man with a panama hat and an umbrella had partnered a young lady with a leather coat and a penchant for explosives.

They were fighting a bunch of mechanical dustbins and, from the opening scene, I was hooked.

Sylvester McCoy will always be my Doctor, as Matt Smith will be for a new generation of eight-year-olds.

Sophie Aldred’s Ace was my companion and the Daleks have never been scarier than on that very first night of viewing.

Twenty-five years later, Doctor Who is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary and it still appeals to that eight-year-old sat on the end of the bed.

The part of me that thought my cover was a fortress and the garden was a jungle.

The part of me that wanted to spend my life exploring the globe, fighting baddies and discovering new, amazing things.

The eight-year-old boy who secretly hoped that one morning he would wake up to the sound of grinding and screeching outside his bedroom window, ready to be whisked off on a tour of the universe.

I’ve always admired science fiction’s ability to tell a serious story in a way that relates to a much wider audience than, say, a documentary would.

The rise of the Daleks and Davros, their creator, in the series was written as an allegory of the Nazis and Hitler while other topics such as apartheid, video nasties and capitalism have all been explored across time and space.

Few things have the ability to entertain and make us think and if I could write something that would endure for half a century I’d be very proud of myself – or at least the eight-year-old me would!