The Rather Trivial History of
The Doctor Who Ratings Guide

Hits per day record: 228 hits on June 2, 2003
Hits per week record: 1362 hits between May 29 and June 4 2003

Essay updated July 11 2004

The Guide is brought to you by:

Robert Smith?
and Editor-in-chief
with thanks to
Michael Hickerson
Former Missing Adventures and Reference editor
Daniel Callahan
Founder and Editor Emeritus

The original idea for the Guide came to Daniel in the summer of 1996. Like Doctor Who, it had an unaired pilot: the original concept was a series of pages containing the one paragraph reviews he had written for nearly all of the televised Doctor Who adventures. About the time he reached the D's, Daniel wondered who the heck would want to read all of his piddling reviews (as he himself puts it)?

But he felt the need to create a good Doctor Who page in his blood. He was limited by his computer at the time: a 486SX, 22mHz computer with 2MB RAM. So a site specializing in graphics and sound was out. That left one option, an option that wasn't developed on the web at that time.

He kept the emphasis on reviews, although, as Daniel tells it, his brain took a considerable amount of time to shift into second gear and come up with an interactive format. Once he realized that the flexibility of the web could offer something no book of reviews could (to say nothing of how much simpler it would be to get "published"), the site shifted from just him to the whole of Doctor Who fandom. (You may have seen the "by fans, for fans" slogan or a variation on other sites. We're proud to say that it was his idea and that this site has started a trend.) Everything was composed on that puttering computer, including the original title graphic:

The original incarnation of the Guide was hosted by America Online and up by late August or early September. By 10 September, Daniel had figured out how to add AOL's idiosynchratic counter. The original design offered one index, an alphabetical listing, and contained about ten to fifteen stories per page.

Anyway, that original computer didn't have a sound card and or even a CD-ROM drive. A Compaq Presario 4402 was purchased at Christmas ('96) to remedy this, although an update wasn't performed for about two weeks.

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