Yep. I’m one of the converted. Sometime in the 70s, on a lonely afternoon, I stumbled across the strange warbling theme song of Doctor Who on PBS. I was instantly entranced, and the rubber monsters the bug-eyed fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, encountered, were right up my alley. I didn’t always know when the show was on, but if I happened to be flipping channels and it was on, I’d watch.
Years later in the 80s, my stepfather watched the adventures of the fifth and sixth doctors religiously, and I would tune out thinking how bad the sets and effects were by 80s standards, and thinking those guys weren’t the real Doctor. My stepfather had explained the regeneration thing to me, but I really was only interested if a Tom Baker re-run was showing.