Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Friday, November 21, 2003

They DID Go Upstairs! Once!

There is a gentle tingle running up and down my spine at the moment, thanks to the BBC suddenly exploding with all the Doctor Who nonsense going on. There’s links on the news page, there’s Gertie’s lovely little cartoon on, and there’s a veritable marathon occurring on Sunday on UKGold.

I mean, Doctor Who is currently on Blue Peter, wheeling out the clips. For me, it’s an exciting moment: not just so we can see all the old BBC Daleks wheeled out, but to find out on Monday how many of the master tapes they’ve managed to lose. We’re actually all very surprised that they’re allowing the Daleks on the show at all - the estate of their creator Terry Nation is currently embargoing them so they can get more money. And what is Doctor Who without the Daleks, hmm? Even sillier than normal, really.

Admittedly, the Daleks were not a favourite of mine. They were always so monotonous and appeared to be wearing a skirt in some photographs. Frankly, I have too many ex’s like that, anyway. And the way they moved – apparently the way they glided was based on Georgan state dancers. Yes, yes, you can fill in the obvious ‘stairs’ joke now, but real fans of the show have more original ways of ridicule: one of my dear friends was caught short after a trip to a pub once, and ducked into a poor unfortunate’s garden to relieve himself against the wall. It was only afterwards did he realise that it was the wall of William ‘the first, crotchety one’ Hartnell’s house. And that he was only five minutes away from the quarry they used to film a great deal of the stories. So, he went and had a piss there too. It then became a consuming passion to have a slash on as many places Doctor Who was filmed over its twenty-odd years. He considered breaking into Elstree just so he could squeeze the weasel in the corner of where the Planet of Evil was. There was even a trip to Paris so he could empty his bladder over the side of the Eiffel Tower, where part of City of Death was recorded, although I’m not sure whether that had anything to do with his quest, and more his hatred of the French. Either way, he relished the gift of a flask of tea with a list of the story names on it. He could tick them off as he shook.

This is not an untypical reaction for a Who fan, though. For a show we all love, we’re remarkably deprecating off it. Myself, this Sunday’s anniversary will be spent with the comedy housemate Ian pushing back the sofas so we can get Gertie in and other members of the BBC posse and watch as many episodes as possible through a vodka visor. Just to take the mickey out of the wobbly sets and shoddy ray guns.

And no Daleks. In protest, of course.

I say we go and dance on Terry Nation’s grave.

In the style of Georgian State Dancers, of course.

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