So I had a lovely day on Sunday, as it was my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. When I say lovely, I mean tiring. But we managed to detach the last child from someone else’s present, and the last adult from their glass of wine, and even got halfway to tidying up before seven. Then bottle of milk for the daughter, bottle of beer for me, we sat down to watch the Doctor Who Sunday Night Schlocky Celebrity Reveal (Lisa Tarbuck! Some kid I’ve never heard of!).
And you know what, I enjoyed it. I should note two things – I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was nine (and I mean proper fan, even reading all the books during the years and years it was forgotten about by the rest of the sane world), and I’ve never watched it with my daughter. She’s too young to get it, of course, but last night was the first time I’ve seen her react to ‘adult’ television. When they showed clips of Tennant and Smith she said ‘man’s sad, daddy’, and that reaction stunned me, because they were. She also pointed to the cybermen and said ‘robots’, which makes me feel like her education is going alright.
(‘Darling, that’s the tardis. Can you say tardis?’ ‘dardis’. ‘Good girl.’)
But, to get back to the point – it suddenly struck me that I was watching clips of Hartnell and Troughton in black & white on BBC One on primetime Sunday night, and no-one thought that was odd. 50 year old ropey B&W footage of my favourite TV show, the show that had all but been forgotten about apart from as the punchline to a dismissive joke, shown to an appreciative audience on live telly. I’ve just looked up the viewing figures – more people were watching clips of Colin Baker last night than watched the last episode of the actual series. That’s weird. And only a few years ago would have been impossible.
And I know the show was sort-of pointless puffery, as the media circles in on itself and marketing and ‘the brand’ all take over, but still. Seven million people tuned in to see who was going to play the next doctor in twelve months’ time. And they sat through a bunch of clips and talking heads, and they did so happily. An entire room of people felt sorry for Rufus Hound as his excitement overcame his memory. And then, the big moment, and it’s only bloody Peter Capaldi. I did something I haven’t done so far – I swore, loudly, in my kid’s ear. Channelling Tucker. But it was an instinctive, can’t-believe-they’ve-pulled-this-off, he’s-amazing swear. Hopefully she was too tired to remember.
And now we have to wait, but come on – it’s Capaldi. He’s been great since forever. Recently (sadly) rewatched the Crow Road. Amazing. Saw Neverwhere a couple of years ago – brilliant. He was good in that Torchwood thing. And, of course, his defining creation (well, not any more), Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It. This man has won an Oscar for directing.
This is going to be great.