Xander Phillips, 9, is a huge Doctor Who fan. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Canberra's Doctor Who fans are a devoted – not to say obsessive – bunch. All avidly watch the long-running British science fiction series, some Whovians dress up as their favourite incarnation of the Doctor, and some even build their own life-size Tardises (though unlike the Doctor's the opportunities for time and space travel are limited).
And all are looking forward to the premiere of the new series in which Peter Capaldi will play the latest incarnation of the Doctor.
Canberra-born Sue Gore Phillips said her whole family – her husband Glenn and their children Sian, 15, Jemima, 13, and Alexander, nine – would be watching the episode the day it came out.
Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi.
They have quite a collection of Whoviana including DVDs, costumes and sonic screwdrivers, and even decorated their last Christmas tree with little Doctor Whos and Tardises.
Initially, she said, she was taken aback by Capaldi's casting since he had already played roles in both Doctor Who and its spin-off, Torchwood, But she liked the new direction in which the character seemed to be heading, someone who admitted he made a lot of mistakes and would try to fix some of them.
"I've been a Doctor Who fan all my life." Gore Phillips, 47, said – beginning with Jon Pertwee in the 1970s.
"I used to watch Doctor Who as a little kid hiding behind the furniture."
She married a fellow Whovian and when they lived in Bendigo they built their own replica of the Tardis, based on the design of the Tom Baker era but painted in the colour of the Paul McGann period ("Dulux Passionate Blue is as close as you can get").
The family lived on the railway line and wanted to give passengers on the daily commute to Echuca something to see, An Easter working bee saw it constructed and it was placed in their backyard – and moved around and away sometimes, just to give commuters something to think about.
The Tardis did not accompany them back to Canberra but their enthusiasm for the show with its mix of adventure and science fiction continued unabated.
Gore Phillips' favourite Doctors were Baker and Peter Davison from the original series (which ran from 1963 to 1989) and from the new series, which started in 1996, she liked David Tennant, Matt Smith and Christopher Eccleston
Another committed Canberra Whovian is Joseph McGrail-Bateup who painted his bedroom door to look like the Tardis (with the full knowledge and consent of his wife). He also began watching the show in the Pertwee era and is unreservedly enthusiastic at the prospect of Capaldi taking on the role.
"I think it's absolutely brilliant and that he's going to be fantastic and add another dimension to the character," he said.
Doctor Who Series 8 Episode One is in cinemas on August 24 and will then screen on the ABC.