Originally posted on Facebook:
Okay. I’m way late with this, and have seen only those last few tell-tale moments of the episode in question, but … “Introducing John (freaking) Hurt as the Doctor”?!??!! Are you (freaking) kidding me? Are all my efforts to resist getting sucked back into this fandom utterly doomed?
Perhaps I should explain. Back in the early 1980s when I was a mere chit of sixteen, my adored high-school English teacher, Ms. Mader, suggested that our class check out the BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment, then appearing on Masterpiece Theatre. I watched. John Hurt starred as Raskolnikov–and a whole new reality was opened up to me as I became hooked on at least three things at once: British drama, Russian literature, and … John Hurt–whose voice lingered with me until I finally put two and two together and realized that his was also the voice of Hazel in the (for me) much beloved and many-times-watched film version of Watership Down.
It was, as they say, the beginning of the end. I actually went on a reading tear through piles of Dostoyevsky that year. Became hooked on Masterpiece Theatre (where I also saw Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the first time) and eventually became easily drawn into all kinds of British television, from “serious” drama to sitcoms, which eventually led to Blake’s Seven and thence onto that path to perdition known as science fiction fandom. So Hurt’s recent appearance on Doctor Who is, for me, like the completion of some weird pre-ordained cosmic circle.
No question. I am doomed.