Thursday, 15 July 2010

Scary monsters

When I was little I used to love to scare myself silly by watching Dr Who. I would position myself outside the living room door, which was half panelled in glass and peak up through the panes at the onscreen antics of the Daleks and Cybermen.

This was back in the days of Tom Baker, with his maniacal grin and extra long stripey scarf wound around his neck, long before he became the distinctive voice of Little Britain. The days of K-9 and interchangable hot pants wearing female sidekicks.

Half the pleasure was the thrill of being frightened, the grating electronic "We will exterminate" crackling from tinny TV speakers, cardboard Cybermen lumbering awkwardly towards the cowering protagonists, who surely could have escaped them at a light jog. I used to have nightmares about being pursued by these prop cupboard aliens.

On one memorable visit to Madame Tussauds, when I was surely old enough to know better, my mum had to carry me crying out of the Dr Who exhibit as I was sure that wax effigy of The Master had turned around and touched my leg. I haven't had the courage to go back since.

When the all new Dr Who started I was so excited and I loved Christopher Ecclestone's portrayal of the Time Lord, but my husband had no time for the shakey sets and less than slick, ironic British dialogue. He didn't grow up with the Dr and perhaps he was too old to see the appeal. The children, on the other hand, were too young, so I rather let it go by the wayside, missing out on most of David Tennant's stint in the Tardis.

Now, however I have found a new accolyte in son number two. He adores being scared and is tough as old boots when it comes to creepy stuff. He sat through a whole two episodes about the terrifying Weeping Angels without batting an eyelid, while I was jumping all over the place and stealing his cushion to hide behind.

My oldest isn't made of such stern stuff, and too much creepiness on the TV leads gives him terrible nightmares, so Dr Who became my secret treat with number two. We would cosy up on the sofa, pillows to hide behind at the ready, and watch the adventures of Matt Smith and the delectable Amy.

It brought my childhood passion for the time travelling Dr back to life and ignited it in my little one. It made me realise that reliving the pleasures of youth is one of the great things about children. I don't get as much of it as my husband who has happily dusted off his old Lego and Transfomers toys, whilst endlessly watching Back to the Future and Star Wars with them. But now I see the attraction, I just need to persuade him to put some glass panes in the door and then my oldest can join in too.

1 comment:

  1. I find Dr Who quite scary and I think it would terrify the boys (littleboy 1 currently tells me he hears a witch bouncing on the trampoline at night) - however one of our nephews is 6, and absolutely loves it. Agree, it is lovely to rediscover things from your own childhood with your kids.