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Published on October 14th, 2013 | by Alex Skerratt

How Do You Turn Your Kids Into Doctor Who Fans?

Doctor Who fan Pete May was a lone voice in his house during the run of the classic series – in fact his dad thought it was rubbish! So when he had children of his own, he was intent on being “the Time Lord-loving father he never had.”

Writing in a recent edition of The Guardian, May reveals how he first got his kids hooked on the early VHS releases of the Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy adventures. And when the series returned in 2005, the obsession looked set to explode.

Rose was a positive role model for young girls, the farting Slitheen perhaps less so. Even my non-Whovian wife, Nicola, started watching, remarking that Eccleston was better looking than William Hartnell. After The Empty Child, where gas mask creatures menaced a second world war hospital, we spent a lot of time shouting up the stairs at my long-suffering wife, “Mummy, are you my mummy?”

May also reveals the pact he’d made with his then-fiancée – to marry her “in any year when Doctor Who returned, West Ham got promoted and England won the Ashes.” Quite a tricky combo! And yet that’s exactly what happened in 2005, the year that everything changed. There were, indeed, wedding bells for Pete May and his wife Nicola, but thankfully the day was free from time paradox and Reapers!

And now, in 2013, May has led his family through two regenerations, this year’s Doctor Who Prom and the unveiling of the Twelfth Doctor. Does he think he has fulfilled his duty as a Time Lord-loving patriarch?

Other dads affect gravitas or can put up shelves. But I have a whopping great Doctor Who DVD collection, a Zygon coaster and a Dalek mouse mat. I feel I’ve given my children a good start to life in the universe. And when my time comes to regenerate, perhaps they’ll think only this of me – he was a true Whovian Dad.

Head to The Guardian website to read the full story. Do you have children or young relatives? How have you introduced them to Doctor Who?



About the Author


likes William Hartnell, whisky, being creative, debating canonicity, The Gunfighters, The Keys of Marinus and City of Death. He has a strong dislike of cold quiche, corporate PowerPoint presentations and lanyards, but loves terrible puns. He's currently employed by a mute teddy bear with black ears.

8 Responses to How Do You Turn Your Kids Into Doctor Who Fans?

  1. avatar lozzer says:

    The problem is turning my wife into a fan first – the eventual kids won’t have a choice…

    • avatar Neu 75 says:

      Forget about the wife. If she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t like it. Not everyone likes Doctor Who so get over it. I don’t like all that converting malarky. It’s creepy. Doctor Who is a great show – I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. It’s qualities will reach out to people, it doesn’t need a forceful hand. It’s piss easy for kids to be into Doctor Who these days because it’s on the telly now, when of course it wasn’t between 1989-2005 (1996 notwithstanding). But don’t force it on anyone, like it’s some sort of entertainment roughage that’s “good for you”.
      Lozzer, you are a Doctor Who fan and proud, don’t worry what other people think and your kids should be allowed to like what they want to like…

      • avatar Lozzer says:

        It was just a jokey comment – my wife doesn’t exactly hate the show, but she certainly wouldn’t let me watch classic ‘Who’ when she’s around. I actually prefer that it’s a private thing.

  2. avatar Richard says:

    My two boys know that I like watching Doctor Who and have done for years. They know what a TARDIS is, as we put our spare change into the TARDIS money box at the bottom of the stairs. They know what a Dalek is, as we had one in a display cabinet in the living room, until it got relegated to a room upstairs. They’ve had one of those make multiple sonic screwdriver take-apart toys for a few years so slowly – by osmosis – they are learning the lingo and recognising the iconography. Our eldest is almost 7 and his little brother is just 4. If I drip-feed a few more things into everyday life then their curiosity will get the better of them and they’ll want to watch it – not realising that Dad has been steering them towards this destiny since the moments they were born! Ahem.

  3. avatar dr jon says:

    Well my other half did know about Dr who when we got together but had not watched it in years since tom baker,and didn’t really know what was going on when i began watching it in our first house.I remember watching Earthshock the last episode and she sat down saying oh no Sedric is dead i liked him.After this i started exsplaining the storyline’s to her and 7 years down the line she is a big fan and really likes david tennent. The kids are 50/50 some are big fans and some are not so big on it.The youngest one is the best at 5,as he can do every single regeneration to a Tee. But i never have forced them at gunpoint to watch it i just let them make their own minds up.

  4. avatar CatPiper says:

    On holiday with friends and their children we were watching Green Death and to my surprise my 4-year-old daughter got totally hooked – and of course I had plenty more videos to show her when we got home! My husband doesn’t bother much, though he occasionally watches one of the classic episodes. Daughter now 18 and still a fan, though as she would say, ‘not a total nerd like mum’.

  5. avatar Jessica says:

    My parents are “Whovians”, my husband and I are “Whovians”, and all 4 of our kids from age 16-5 are obsessed “Whovians”. Granted my kids are only familiar with 9 -11. We recently started watching from the beginning and though they are cheesy, the kids are learning that the past is important. Even though it isn’t our true history, and I believe Doctor Who teaches that we need to keep our eyes on even the smallest details.

  6. avatar TonyS says:

    “May also reveals the pact he’d made with his then-fiancée – to marry her “in any year when Doctor Who returned, West Ham got promoted and England won the Ashes.” ”

    Why on Earth did his fiancee agree to marry him?

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