“What I most remember about Great-Gran’s were the mangles in the garden,” said LittleBro, as we were chatting this afternoon. “I was told that they were for the hens. It’s only recently that I’ve realised it was the chicken food that was mangled and not the actual chickens.”
For me, Great Gran’s was a garden with hollyhocks above my head. An outside loo with a wide, wooden seat and paper on a string. Ginger biscuits, a budgerigar and Dr Who.
I remember sitting on the carpet in Great Gran’s small parlour, beside LittleBro, watching the first Dr Who. I can’t in all honesty tell you whether this was actually the very first episode, or the repeat they did a week later because the first one coincided with Kennedy being killed. I don’t remember Kennedy being killed. I do remember Susan leading her teachers to the Tardis.
For most of my childhood, Saturday meant Dr Who. Sometimes alongside Dixon of Dock Green; sometimes the Generation Game. Family viewing.
On one occasion, we queued for ages at some exhibition or another to see the Daleks, only for LittleBro to scream so loudly when we got to the front of the queue, that we had to leave. Until writing this, I’ve taken this to be the Ideal Home Exhibition but, now, on reflection, that doesn’t make any sense. Why would you have Daleks in an Ideal Home? Unless as an accessory to your sofa.
My favourite pre-revival Doctor was Tom Baker, natch. We shared a perm. By this time, I was courting and ActorLaddie did a pretty mean impression of K9 being whisked away on a conveyor belt by some evil-doer.
The revived Doctor came as we’d shifted a generation. For a good many years now, the whole family, from Ma and Pa to LegoBoy has hunkered down prior to Christmas Day tea to watch the Doctor and Assistant running in corridors and saving the world. Again.
There was a golden day, a few summers ago, when we went, all fourteen of us, to a Dr Who prom. Murray Gold’s music played live to giant sized clips of David Tennant. Earth has not anything to show more fair. Monsters and aliens roamed the Albert Hall and this time LittleBro stayed the course.
I guess that it’s because I associate the programme with happy family occasions, and because there are so few things that appeal right across the generations, that I am feeling miffed at the direction taken by the current series. So much darker; aimed at a narrower audience and no longer, alas, one that includes me.
Last night’s offering was particularly grim: frankly not pre-watershed material. It would have sat more comfortably on a Sunday evening, translated into Danish with subtitles. I’ve had to spend substantial parts of the day listening to a Miss Read, by way of an antidote.
A loss, I think. Time Lords are not ten a penny, and it’s a shame to see them being mangled like chickens.