From JMR Higgs in the book KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money:
When the current Doctor Who writers claim that they only became writers because of Doctor Who, they usually credit the series of novels which Whitaker started and which young boys devoured during the 1970s. There is another explanation, however, which comes from the very format of the programme. In the original series, episodes built towards a climax and ended on a cliff hanger in which the Doctor or his friends appeared to be in inescapable danger. Of course, the children watching knew that the Doctor would somehow survive. He always did. The question, then was not would he escape, but how? What could possibly happen to get the Doctor out of that situation? There would be much debate about this in school playgrounds after each episode. And as the kids thought about the problem, their imaginations were being stoked. They were thinking like writers. Indeed, they were trying to write the next episode themselves. What we have here, then, is character of fiction, neither created nor ‘owned’ by any one imagination, who is actively creating the very environment – writers’ minds – that it needs to survive into the future. Not only is Doctor Who a fictitious character that acts like a living thing by constantly evolving and surviving, it is also a self-sustaining living thing that creates the one thing that it needs to survive. From an evolutionary point of view, that’s impressive.
It’s hard to think that the creators of doctor who thought this far ahead of the show they co-created. It goes to show that when you give birth to an idea that idea will live outside of yourself in the real world. It can become so much more than anything you imagine.