DWM 490 Trails & Tribulations

Husband is watching Wimbledon. I, having zero interest in tennis, am paying little attention to the television. “Wish we were watching Doctor Who instead,” I think to myself.

Husband wanders off to make a cup of tea. I hear a familiar voice. It sounds like… Peter Capaldi! I look up. Doctor Who is on the telly! But how…? A simple solution hits me. Last night the new season trailer was released. They’re obviously showing it in a tennis break. But a few seconds of watching reveals this not to be the case: this isn’t yet-to-be-seen Doctor Who, it’s ‘Dark Water’. And it’s not just a tiny clip, minutes are passing. Husband must have got bored of the tennis and put it on, hurrah!

Husband returns. He looks at the screen, slightly puzzled. “That’s – what was it called, the Cybermen one,” he says.

Now it’s my turn to look puzzled. “I thought you put it on,” I say.

“No, I didn’t do anything,” he says. So it’s actually on the telly. But on BBC1 on a Thursday in the early evening in July? No repeats are scheduled. So how did this happen?

And that’s when it hits me. I must have changed the scheduled programme with the power of my mind! What an amazing new talent to have discovered! But wait. It obviously showed the end of the latest season by default, but perhaps I could summon up any story. Any story at all! Perhaps even… missing episodes! I stare hard at the television. Show me ‘Mission to the Unknown’. Show me ‘Mission to the Unknown’.

The picture changes…

…to The Apprentice.

Well, that’s not what I had in mind at all. Although turning a few of the Apprentice candidates into Varga plants would be an improvement. (And it could explain why some of the Delegates went missing between Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks’ Masterplan. ‘The point of this process is to find a business partner to reduce the galaxies to ashes and their people to dust, but you just sit there like a useless blaady Christmas tree. It is with regret that, Sentreal – you’re fired.’)

Husband discovers the boringly prosaic solution. He’d been watching the tennis in high definition. The programme had changed to local news, which is not in HD, so the channel was playing instead something called, according to the onscreen guide, ‘Welcome to HD’, clearly showing sections of recent programmes such as Doctor Who to demonstrate how good they look.

Sheesh. Every single time I think I have developed super powers there’s some boring explanation.

Anyway. The trailer. As I mentioned, it was released last night, but too late for either the children or me to still be up so we’re watching it now instead. ‘Let’s see m’self some trailer,’ drawls Non-Fan Twin as he saunters into the room, doing what could be although actually isn’t an impression of Steven in ‘The Gunfighters’. They are both impressed by the sneak peek. Undead! Daleks! Zygons! What might be Gallifrey! What Fan Twin suspects is Frankenstein’s monster (and so hopefully a sequel to The Chase – that’s me hoping, not him. I do like a bit of Hartnell continuity in my Who). I have to fan myself slightly when the Doctor talks about kissing something to death. Fan Twin thinks he spotted the sonic screwdriver being destroyed (eek!) – I didn’t get that impression but who’s to say? Non-Fan Twin has a theory who ‘the girl’ is: Amy Pond. She’s come back through the vortex that Danny Pink sent the little boy through, he suggests, and for some reason this has changed what she looks like. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Both boys keep confronting each other with ‘What took you so long, old man?’ which seems harsh when they’re not even quite nine years old yet.

I recently began to worry that I had named my twins under false pretenses, as Non-Fan Twin actually started to seem more enthusiastic about watching Doctor Who than Fan Twin. But drilling down to it, it’s actually that Non-Fan Twin loves the current stuff, whereas Fan Twin, although enjoying it still, at the moment prefers his Who old-style. So really I should rename them Non-Self-Identifying-as-Fan-but-Really-Enjoys-Watching-It-Especially-the-Tenth-and-Twelfth-Doctors Twin and Enjoys-Watching-Post-2005-Who-and-Says-He-is-Definitely-Still-a-Fan-But-is-Currently-Most-Enthusiastic-About-Pre-1989-Doctor-Who-Hang-On-I’ve-Forgotten-the-TV-Movie-I’ll-Have-to-Ask-Him-How-He-Feels-About-That-Later Twin. Or perhaps not. In any case, both of them still get very excited about upcoming new Who. How they’re defined – whether they consider themselves fans or not – doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re still having fun watching it. So I don’t have to worry any time soon that our cosy family gatherings around the (high definition!) television set won’t continue. Roll on September the 19th!

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