You don’t remember watching Doctor Who all that much as a child. As such. No actual stories come to mind, for example. Well, the stuff about the Daleks, of course. You have a distinct memory that that involved lots of charging around a quarry, which seems unlikely for entities that find stairs difficult. And Cybermen. Cybermen are bloody scary. Also, the Master. His Tardis was a plant? And he had a natty little beard. That sort of thing tends to stick in the mind. As does hiding behind the sofa. Mainly when the Cybermen were on.
But you definitely watched it. The Doctors themselves are firmly wedged in your mind. Your two favourites are, rather inevitably given that you will be *cough cough COUGH CHOKE SPLUTTER* this year, Tom Baker and Peter Davison. You had a signed poster of Tom Baker (with K9, the robotic dog) on your wall for years after he visited your home town sometime when you were an under ten. And as a pre-teen, you definitely had a crush on Peter Davison. Well, who didn’t? Colin Baker was OK, and Sylvester McCoy? Suffered from being the Doctor of your later teens. And deeply uncool. No hope there really. Although Ace wanting to blow stuff up regularly was a hoot.
Anyway. When Doctor Who was resurrected you watched it, not religously, because by then you were completely out of practice at watching things that only came on once a week, but regularly, and you thoroughly enjoyed Torchwood for a while too. Really well done, both of them.
And then you had kids. And sixish is not a good time for someone with small children, and nor is remembering things like, oooh, it’s a Saturday. There’s something I wanted to do today, what was it? Nope, gone.
The problem is that there are only so many shows you can miss in the latest incarnation of Doctor Who before you get utterly lost by the overarching plotline.
Thus you stopped watching altogether. Except at Christmas, which was fun. As a result you have only the haziest idea about who River Song is. No, please don’t attempt to explain. It sounds complicated.
Today, however, Twitter informed you that there would be a new Doctor Who series starting in the evening. And you idly thought you might get around to watching that. Later. On iPlayer. After the kids were in bed and when was it again? 6.15. Hmmm. 6.15. Bedtime’s not until 7. The Star is… nearly five. Surely nearly five is old enough for Doctor Who. Sure, he had nightmares after watching half of the Emperor’s New Groove*, but hey. It’s all in a good cause.
So you watched it. Together. The Star was initially a bit dubious about the fact that there were no animals involved, but he was soon resigned to the fact that you were not going to let him watch another sodding nature programme and did what he always does when he sees other people’s attention drifting from the centre of the universe and he wants to drag it back in what he has learnt is a socially acceptable way. He peppered you with questions. ‘Who’s that, Mama? What’s that, Mama? Who’s THAT? What’s THAT?’ and ‘Why?’ are things which you hope he will start asking less as the series goes on a bit. Especially as there were a number of points that confused you too. You are clearly going to have to do a bit of surreptitious googling. But the four-handed interchange between Matt Smith, the Star, you and Jenna-Louise Coleman as the Doctor was introducing himself at the door of a suburban semi was in itself worth the price of the admission. And it was a lot of fun having fresh eyes on an old favourite. You like reading the Star Winnie-the-Pooh for much the same reason.
And the Star did indeed hide behind the sofa, which was delightful. It is also interesting as you wouldn’t have thought that existential fear of technological progress was something inherently fearful for a four year old. But you were firm about the fact that the Doctor always saves the day, and the fact that he did, and more than once in 45 minutes seems to have done the trick.
Certainly there have been no wails from upstairs since.
Although the promise of tomorrow’s coming chocolatefest might have some kind of reassuring properties too.
*’Maaaaaamaaaaaaaaa! Aaaaaaaaargh! I’ve been turned into a llama! Aaaaaaaaaaargh! Maaaaaaaamaaaaaaa!’ Don’t mock. We all have our phobias.