WHAT is your earliest memory?

It might be your first day at primary school, or kicking a football, or building a snowman.

I ask, because, although I remember experiencing all those things at a young age, my earliest memory is of a TV show. Doctor Who to be precise.

As I’m in my early fifties, my Doctor was the brilliant Jon Pertwee, who played the titular Time Lord from 1970 to 1974.

I don’t remember watching any of the stories of his predecessors, Patrick Troughton, or the first incarnation of the Doctor, played by William Hartnell.

It was Pertwee, with his white hair, billowing cape and action hero Doctor who captured my imagination.

Although his era was the first time the show was broadcast in colour, I watched it on a small black and white TV. That 25 minutes every Saturday teatime was the best bit of the week for me.

From the moment the eerie, distinctive, theme music kicked in, I was captivated.

Actually, my first memory was not of the Doctor, but rather a monster he was battling.

They were the Silurians - subterranean reptiles who had gone into hibernation millions of years previously, but had ‘overslept’ to awake and find that the ‘apes’ had stepped up to run the place. Understandably, they were less than impressed.

By today’s standards, the creatures are hilarious. Clearly actors in rubber suits, whose heads wobbled alarmingly when they talked.

But to four-year-old me, they were terrifying.

I loved the show all through the Pertwee era and most of Tom Baker’s, until my interest waned as the 1980s approached. When it returned in 2005, I embraced it again wholeheartedly.

I have gone into full nerd mode this week, because in just two days’ time Doctor Who returns, with the brilliant Jodie Whittaker at the helm of the TARDIS.

Predictably, some Who fans have been outraged that a woman has been cast in the role. I was surprised initially and the idea took some getting used to, but now I am fully on board.

Let’s face it, it’s hardly the biggest stretch of the imagination, considering the programme is about an alien who is hundreds of years old and changes bodies when he is dying. And flies through time and space in a police box that’s bigger inside than it is on the outside.

Everyone of course is entitled to their option and many don’t like change.

The problem with some fans is that they believe the show should be written exclusively for them.

But Doctor Who has always been a children’s programme first and foremost and it has constantly reinvented itself.

It is important that the show appeals to today’s four-year-old in the same way it did to me all those years ago . . . not to someone in their fifties.

Even more ridiculous is that many have written Jodie off before they have even seen a full episode.

Perhaps, they should follow the Doctor’s philosophy. As Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerated into Jodie Whittaker’s, he said: “Never be cruel, never be cowardly. Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise. Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind.”