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As If I Needed Another Reason to Love Terry Pratchett

May 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

A pair of money quotes from Sir Terry Pratchett's take on Dr. Who:

I saw the occasional episode in which, generally speaking, the world was attacked by teapots.


It’s a law – well at least a guideline – in writing plays that if somebody is going to be killed with an axe in the third act, then the axe should be visible hanging on the wall in the first act, and, for the hard of thinking, should be the subject of a line of dialogue that would go something like “you shouldn’t leave that around, it could do someone a mischief.”

(Could he be any more wonderful?)

You can tell he has a great fondness for the show, stemming from his childhood.  Even now, when he sees the show with adult eyes, and can't overlook all its silliness.  And I'm right there with him.

Doctor Who was my first real introduction to science fiction.  I remember it clearly: I'd just come home from my very first day of school and mom needed something to keep me busy for a while.  She turned on the television and said, "Here, watch this.  It's about spaceships and stuff.  You'll like it."

And let me tell you something.  When you take a really introverted 5 year old kid, with an interest in space and sciency stuff (mostly thanks to the Jetsons, and those Tom and Jerry episodes that took place in outer space), and then you show him a couple of rubber monsters, a space station, and a spaceship that

a) can go anywhere in time and space


b) is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside

his head will be permanently broken

(If you're wondering, the episode was The Ark of Space, Part 2, and I still remember how incredibly mind-blowingly awesome it was to my 5-year-old brain when that guy's arm turned green and totally started taking over his body.  Also?  Scary as hell.  Yeah, the interior of the TARDIS doesn't get shown for -- I seem to recall -- several episodes after that, so I didn't get the whole bigger-on-the-inside-than-it-is-on-the-outside thing until maybe a couple weeks later.  But I was already hooked.  Though I did wonder why the Doctor's spaceship was so small.  Still , they flew around in a time traveling phone booth.  How is that not the coolest thing in the world to a kid?)

Half an hour later, the damage was done. 

And so I spent the next 10 years watching Doctor Who on public television.  Mostly the Tom Baker episodes, though over the years I did get exposed to John Pertwee and, later, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy.  (Oh, those halcyon days when KTCA showed a half hour segment every weekday at 5:30.  Not many things make me yearn for the early 80s, but this is one of them.  In the late 80s they switched to showing complete stories on Friday and Saturday nights, and that was also pretty cool.  I was older then, and staying up on Saturday night had more cache.) 

I see the show through the eyes of a grownup nowadays.  And, yeah, it gets kind of silly at times.  But there's a five year old kid sharing those eyes, and he loves it.


Melinda May 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm
Yes, he is wonderful, and I discovered at Leprecon that they hosted a DiscWorld con last year and Sir Terry came! Damn, I wish I'd paid more attention and known about that. I would have attended in a hot second. I really want to read the latest book to come out, but I'm afraid it might be the last one, and I don't want to contemplate that.
Sara G. May 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm
I remember my mom watching the show when I was a kid but I didn't really pay attention- just had vague memories of the phone box and a guy in a long scarf. I think it was always just ending as I got back from wherever I was and the bits I saw were hard to reconcile as belonging to a single world of characters. I remember too that the end of the guy in the long scarf was a big deal to my mom in a way that was mystifying to me. As a grown up, friends would reference Tom Baker and TARDIS and so on, assuming that of course, I must know what they meant. I'd nod and play along. The appearance of the 2005 & onwards Dr. Who on Netflix along w/people bidding farewell to Doctor #10(?) prompted me to fill in some of the gaps before anyone notices. I've started w/Doctor #9 (I gather) and am enjoying. Doctors 1-8 including the long scarf years will have to wait til I have access. At any rate, Dr. Who much on my mind of late. Seems all this time I've been the one living in an alternate universe, unaware of this major phenomenon the next universe over.
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