DWM 477 Through New Eyes…

We have a new telly! It’s been a few years since we had a fully functioning television – the old one had a dodgy on-off switch and a bizarre pink splodge over one side of the screen – but as it still worked in the sense that pictures appeared on it, more or less, we haven’t really felt justified in splashing out on a new one. But when the world cup began and it proved quite difficult to tell the teams apart as the players on one side of the screen appeared to be playing in an all-pink kit, husband put his foot down. ‘A new television we must have!’ he declared, or slightly less theatrical words to that effect, and sure enough, four to five working days later one arrived.

Needless to say, the boys were very excited, and we christened the new telly with a family viewing of The Day of the Doctor on DVD. That one hadn’t been too bad on the old telly as the Zygons are pretty much a pink colour anyway – better, anyway, than last season’s The Pink Blobs of Akhaten, Journey to the Centre of the Pink Blob or The Crimson Hor- no, actually, that last one was OK too. Now, if I tell you that our old telly was just over nine years old, you might be able to work out for what particular occasion it was purchased. Just like the huge boost in television sales in 1953 for the Queen’s coronation, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar surge before Christopher Eccleston’s debut in 2005.

Oh, do you remember the run-up to Easter 2005? ‘D’you wanna come with me?’ the Ninth Doctor kept asking, to which the answer was always ‘YES! Yes yes YES!’ Husband religiously recorded every trailer, every interview, every announcement before the big day. The amount of times we saw the last two minutes of EastEnders or Casualty having tuned in ‘just in case’! We even learned a new term: junctions (as you knowledgeable types are almost certainly aware, that’s what they call those bits between programmes). It was a strange hangover from the olden days of Doctor Who, where you pretty much knew that if you didn’t tape (tape! That shows you how long ago it was) all the surrounding ephemera you would never see it again. Actually, back then it also seemed likely that if you didn’t tape the episodes themselves you would never see them again, at least not in that form and not for years. The first video release that wasn’t edited into an omnibus edition was The Daleks in June 1989, so pre-Season 26 there was no reason to expect that Doctor Who stories would ever be available commercially in their broadcast form. And as for the time it took from broadcast to release – well, the last story of the 80s, Survival, wasn’t released until October 1995, almost six years later, and there were a fair number of previous episodes still waiting for a release at that point. Even though by 2005 we were well into the DVD age, the age-old fan fear still held sway: I must record this or it’ll be lost forever!

Husband doesn’t record all the trailers any more. They’re up on YouTube within seconds now, shared endlessly on social media, and it’s not unknown for there to have been announcements beforehand – a trailing of the trailer – so you know exactly when to tune in, instead of having to watch the last few minutes of every programme on the BBC with your finger poised over the ‘record’ button, just in case, as was once the case. But you know what? It’s still just as exciting when one appears, that promise of things to come. At the time of writing there have been two tiny teaser trailers for the new season: the ‘be my pal’ one and the ‘I see into your soul’ one. ‘Is the first episode just going to be the TARDIS exploding again?’ asked Fan Twin after seeing the first one. Oh to be seven and blasé about the TARDIS exploding again. Non-Fan Twin, however, was really struck by the image of Clara in the Doctor’s eye, so in proud mother fashion I am now of course mapping out his career as a top director. The second trailer impressed them more. ‘That sounds like Davros!’ cried Fan Twin. ‘I think it’s Davros or a Dalek,’ Non-Fan Twin decided. Fan Twin has now plotted the entire episode, which involves the Doctor going back to the Crucible to save Davros because he’s haunted by Davros’s refusal to be saved by him. Sounds good to me!

STOP PRESS STOP THE PRESS STOP THOSE PRESSES RIGHT NOW! We’ve just seen (in a World Cup final ‘junction’) a full huge brilliant new trailer! (And yes, the boys were still up, and yes, it was past their bedtime, and yes, they are going to be majorly grumpy when they have to get up for school in the morning…) Monsters! Spaceships! Dinosaurs! A horse! You know what? We’re really excited now. And not a pink blob in sight.