Late 70s/early 80s (middle school through high school)...
- Watching Doctor Who on PBS, a Philadelphia/Wilmington station, along with a lot of other British import TV. There was no cable, just a few stations like ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS and then some weird stations on the UHF dial -- you never knew what you'd find there (mostly static, some foreign-language).
- Writing Three & Jo fanfic in a spiralbound notebook kept in a plastic tub under the bed. Trying to read my smudged/faded pencil later. (I was also writing Trek and Buck Rogers fanfic. Later, Blake's 7 too.)
- Drawing fanart on my desk blotter (no computer in those days) or in a blank book I carried around with me in my purse. (no tablet/phone either!)
- Frantically scrambling to get the cassette tape flipped in the tape recorder without missing too much of the episode I was recording.
- The Doctor was Jon Pertwee. Or Tom Baker. The rerun cycle meant I was getting both, alternately. Jo and Three were my original TARDIS team.
- Later, the fine art of programming primitive VCRs, hoping the tape wouldn't run out or the broadcast wouldn't cut out or the show wouldn't run early or late. And don't get me started about the arguments over which shows to program the VCR to record while we were gone on two-week trips.
- The elaborate numbering/filing/stickers/notebook that went into managing a VHS tape library.
- Going over to a friend's house to watch a show if they got better reception than we did. But there was always snow/static.
- The PBS fundraisers. Who were these college students with their Tom Baker hats and Doctor Who scarves, the latter draped along the phone bank desks? Who were these mysterious Prydonians of Princeton whose efforts were keeping our PBS station going and encouraging them to keep bringing us more British shows? Bless them! How did one find them? They were a whole state away, and it's not like there was any way to look up someone's contact info outside your own area code in the phone book!
- Getting those cool newfangled disappearing TARDIS mugs that reacted to hot water, T-shirts, or books for Christmas, which our parents had picked up from the PBS fundraisers as perks.
- The Peter Haining Who books with b&w photos and early fanart of Who's characters, including first and second Doctors and companions we'd never seen! And story synopses of every serial, including the ones before our time! Wow! Hainings' Key to Time even told us behind-the-scenes stuff, which we'd never hear of otherwise. (It's not like we had any way to get news, images, or even to know a companion was changing or a Doctor was regenerating).
- The TARDIS technical manual and FASA Doctor Who Roleplaying game came out in the mid 80s. Thosesourcebooks were again more detailed info about Gallifrey, the TARDIS, the antagonists than we'd ever had before (some of it made up for those books or wrong, but oh well).
- Going on a school trip to England and being UTTERLY JAZZED ABOUT IT because I'd grown up watching Who and other British TV. Going to Longleat Who exhibition and seeing the REAL K9. Being amazed at finding Who Target novelisations at Harrod's, a regular department store! I picked up Castrovalva, the Five Doctors, Unearthly Child and (for some reason) Planet of Fire, probably because it hadn't yet been broadcast in the states. We were often a year behind.
- Dressing vaguely as Romana in high school; a friend of mine had a Who scarf and I wound up taking him to the prom where we geeked.
- The "Lime Jello" round robin Doctor Who fanfic that was passed around fans in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey on floppy disc. No slash, no romance, just adventure with an original Time Lord character.
1989-93 (college) ...
- Bringing a few fave serials we'd recorded on TV off to college to share with friends. A major fandom activity in those days was finding and sharing copies of shows we'd taped, because access was so limited.
- The text bulletin boards on the college VAX, shared with one other neighboring college with which we were networked. It included a Who fanfic forum, Starbucket. There were no rules. Starbucket was the name of a cloaked CIA time station, and our characters were CIA agents, self-inserts (nobody knew the name "Mary Sue" then, it was the glory days of D&D). Our companions were characters lifted just before they "died" in their own timeline, which is why I had Cally of Blake's 7 and Cassandra of Troy; someone had Avon; there were Robotech pilots and the Phantom of the Opera and Hal from 2001 and who knows what. Everyone wrote everyone else's characters. We'd print out copies so we could read them in our rooms or bind them into zines and make xeroxed illustrations and pass them around.
- My first con was Philcon '90, and the dealer's room was a revelation. I picked up a zine called 'The Doctor and the Enterprise." Found a few zines with het shipping but didn't realize it; most of what I saw and everything we wrote would now be called genfic.
- In Feb 1990, our British student came to the nerd table in the college dining hall, telling us the bad news that DOCTOR WHO HAD BEEN CANCELLED. We were outraged. Our women's college was totally in love with Ace (as I've said before, everyone wanted to be or date her).
- After college I slowly drifted away from fandom and Who because again, the web was brand new so there was still not many ways to keep up with fandom. By that time, Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 were my fandoms.
- I never ran across any of the expanded universe books and certainly not the early Audio Visual and BBV bootleg Who audios (The "Professor and Ace" audios with Sylvester and Sophie, the "Stranger and Miss Brown audios with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, various other Who actors). People making these Who clones later went on to form Big Finish, and some even ended up working for Doctor Who on TV when it rebooted.
- I got together with fellow D&D and Babylon 5 fans in grad school to watch the Doctor Who movie on TV. So frustrating. Consensus: "Good special FX and bad dialogue is the opposite of Doctor Who! And it's too American! A pity, that new guy they got to play the Doctor was quite good." I don't remember people throwing much of a fit about the kiss; it was the Master being too modern and Terminator-like that really threw us.
- By the time Who rebooted, I'd cut cable. I saw a few DVDs a friend recorded and really liked Eccleston. I was glad Who was back, but it didn't feel quite like the Who I loved and missed. Even so, I meant to get around to watching the rest of it, but that required buying it. I bought the first season for my parents and watched it with them, and again enjoyed it. I just never got around to seeking it out, and after a while it seemed like there was too much to catch up.
- Except that in 2013 I decided I had to attend the 50th anniversary showing for old times' sake. I was a Whovian, dammit, even if I didn't watch anymore.
- Getting on Tumblr afterwards, I stumbled across a clip from Big Finish Cradle of the Snake. Fifth Doctor and one of my very favorite TARDIS Teams?!! You mean there's new stories with the Doctors and companions I grew up watching?!!!
- I got hooked on Big Finish, got hooked into classic Who fandom on Tumblr, wrote fanfic, wound up going to my first Who con in NEWCASTLE, England in 2014, and while in England, I finally started watching Doctor Who again. My first ever live broadcast of a current a live broadcast for the first time ever, although I'd started watching in 1979.
- Came back, started attending Long Island and Regen cons in November & March in the states (first-ever cosplay: Evelyn Smythe), and thanks to them I finally started watching the show (because that was the only time I had cable access. ;) For a while I'd watch the new episodes however I could -- less said the better -- but this year I broke down and bought the season on Amazon prime.