Back in June of 2015, I connected Fathers’ Day with 9/11/01 on Roger’s alternate site. (See full article here: Windows into History: 911 and Father’s Day) . At the time of this writing, it’s the day before that ominous day. I thought it would be appropriate to once again bridge that gap, bringing my real life heroes together with my fictional one.
When I was a kid, I was in the boy scouts. One weekend, I was going to be away with my dad which meant missing Doctor Who. I asked my mom to record it for me. She was as technical then as she is now; which is to say: not at all (bless). To get out of having to hit the record button, she asked me a question: “would you rather me record the episode or do you want a Doctor Who gift?” Of course, the gift was the way to go. Years would go by before it would dawn on me that she wasn’t going to keep that gift hidden forever though, and I could have had the best of both worlds. But kids rarely think that clearly! So I chose the gift.
Center stage, below: the Doctor Who Collector’s Edition 2 Record set which was actually 3 records as it came with a 45RPM of the Doctor Who theme and a wonderful piece called “The Astronauts”; I still don’t know what that was from, now that I mention it! It also came with a full color poster that adorned the back of my bedroom door for many years. Those “7 souvenir photos” however, are humorously just 7 pictures on the inside cover. I listened to that album something like 100,000 times and I’m pleased to say, it still sounds great. The sound effects album that came with it featured highly in my Saturday mornings. Metebellis III was a place I’d imagine long before I ever knew what horrors that planet held! I loved the Dalek control room and the Zygon spaceship made me very happy. And then there were the tracks that got extra airtime: the TARDIS interior, in flight and stationary! Yes, I was completely immersed in this wonderful world. I didn’t listen to Genesis of the Daleks nearly as much as the other two. For that, I preferred the television version.
A couple years later, my dad took me to a store called The Fantastic Store; a precursor to more well known Forbidden Planet. My dad was always musical and I often remember him strumming his guitar or singing to me when I was very young. It’s no surprise that when we went to the store and found records on the book shelf, my dad would suggest getting those. The first was K-9 and Co, featuring that infamous(ly bad) opening theme on one side and the music from The Leisure Hive on the other. They were good but not quite the fun I had with that 2-disc set. We also found, Doctor Who is gonna Fix it: a fun piece but the flip side I found utterly unlistenable. It’s a crazy little track but I’ve had many a laugh at that one! Then, on that shelf, was an unknown album from “Blood Donor” with a track called Doctor ? on one side and Soap Box Blues on the flip side. We picked both up but that second album was extraordinarily catchy. Amazingly, as “1980s” as it sounds now, I loved that Blood Donor record. I don’t know what made it so good; I expect it was simply that I had no expectation of what it would sound like. But it was wonderful! In fact, I think I’m going to listen to it now for old times sake …
So as I write this 16 years after that day that my dad picked me up from a very long walk, I want to thank both of my parents for bringing so much joy to my life. My dad is no longer with us physically, but like Obi-Wan, he’s more present in my life now than I could ever have imagined, guiding so many of my decisions. (Come to think of it, I bet that’s why I decided to review these albums today!) My mom still doesn’t get Doctor Who, or for that matter, how to record a show even using a DVR (bless…), but they both fully understood how to give their kids a lot of love. And some damned good music. Here’s to you, mom and dad!
And for those of you wondering: it was The Ambassadors of Death that I we failed to record back then….