Some of my earliest teenage summers were spent watching episodes of Doctor Who in the wee hours of the morning, as the Public Broadcasting station in my hometown saw fit to only air the rerun episodes at 2am. My efforts to watch every episode probably explains why I had no regular sleeping pattern as a child.
My geekness developed early and of its own free will. The summer days spent sleeping in so I'd be fully awake in the middle of the night to watch another Tom Baker (the only Doctor, in my opinion) episode, prepared me for my geeky adulthood.
It's just hard to remember that the immortal figures captured on our televisions and on our DVDs were crafted and shaped by mortal actors. And, though we never really lose them (as their wonderful contributions remain forever), it is an immeasurably tragic loss when they do slip away.
As heartbroken as I was to hear of Elisabeth Sladen's passing.... when we lose Tom Baker, I'll probably have to take a week off from work......