Friday, March 1, 2013


You never forget your first doctor.  Who?

Fifty years ago, in 1963, a science fiction show called "Dr. Who" first aired.  The acting was stilted and the sets seemingly made of cardboard, but there was a certain charm to it that caused it to be a cult classic.

For the non-nerds out there, Dr. Who is a Time Lord, who travels through space and time saving the universe.  Rather conveniently, when the time lord dies, he regenerates into a new body.  Considering that the series ran from 1963 to 1989, this made is possible to replace actors when desired. Each one brought a different personality and a fresh set of eccentricities to the show.    And followers of the show tend to show a definite affection for their first doctor.

For many of us baby boomers, that first doctor was the fourth one of the series, played by Tom Baker.  I believe this was the first ones aired in the States, and was the longest running doctor (74-81).  His trademark was his 12-foot long striped scarf (and wild curly hair and googly eyes).  The scarf (henceforth referred to as "The Scarf" became an iconic image for the series).

The show returned to the air in 2005, and we're up to the 11th doctor now--but "The Scarf" remains an icon.  Possibly because it conferred instant recognizablity.  Anyone going to a science fiction convention or a costume party could easily be The Doctor.  Even  if you were a 5'2" woman, or a 10-year-old kid, you could put on a long scarf and instantly you were Dr. Who.

(side note--what's funny is that the new generation of viewers, the ones that started in 2005, have no idea of what The Scarf is about).

So--in honor of the 50th anniversary of the show, the knitting nerds of the world are making the The Scarf (and yes--there are official colors and stripe orders).  It's possibly the world's most boring knitting, being 10 inches wide and 12 feet of a plain knit stitch.  But it's The Scarf.

I have about four feet to go.

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