Doctor Who The Computer Salesman?
I recently attended the big annual Doctor Who convention here in Chicago. I've been a fan since about 1983 when my local PBS used to show it on Saturday mornings. First story I ever saw was the crackerjack "Genesis Of The Daleks". Not only did its strangeness appeal to me, it was also one of the first shows I ever saw in color (whoops... "colour") since my family had only just gotten a 19" color set.
I've been a fan since then, having slotted into that uneasy place of liking an obscure show few knew about here in the States. That's why I find the success of the new series so disorienting. It's a smash hit around the world, and pervaded every sort of media. There had always been a trickle of Doctor Who toys and other souvenirs throughout the show's history, but today the selection is amazing.
Of course the show had been a smash hit before now in its native country, peaking somewhere in the 70's during Tom Baker's tenure. Here are some commercials(Where would these have been shown? These are obviously not a consumer item.) that he did in character with companion Romana (Lala Ward who has played the parts of both Baker's wife and ex-wife in real life) for Prime Computers. Even the Doctor didn't realize that a whole room of putty colored cabinets would one day be trumped by a typical tween's cell phone.
If these ads weren't written on the sly by Douglas Adams, they were certainly written by someone who understood the value of the offbeat.