Saturday, April 19, 2008

Salva Me

I wish the Guardian reviewers would stop being so accursedly snooty about The Doctor and simply accept that the majority of his devoted followers do not find it necessary to bring the usual critical appraisal to bear on these precious episodes. We are wide-eyed and receptive, all disbelief suspended for forty-five minutes; a bit of over-acting here and there, the odd creak in the plot, the fact that one assistant may be less to one’s liking than another – is not as important as the fact that he, the whole conception of him, is a Good Thing. For he brings us proper make-believe stories, battles that are lost and won, and he himself is a figure of immense tragedy; the last of his kind, a wanderer who has no place to lay his head who is dedicated to our salvation. I am missing an episode tonight because I am going to a friend’s birthday party, though I will be hanging around long enough to make sure the video has actually begun recording before I set off. The video, in common with other Signs household applicances, has a devilish tendency to malfunction just one when wants it most. Well, such is life in the twenty-first century if one is a mere mortal with only one heart and no sonic screwdriver, far less even a basic comprehension of elementary sciences.

This morning I was awoken by the voice of Mr. Signs asking me if I was ok. He had been downstairs to attend to the cat and found the little plastic carbon monoxide detector making a continuous beeping sound. He called the emergency gas services, switched everything off, opened the doors and came to check on me. The fact that I was tickety boo was a good indication that everything was probably ok, for I am litmus paper; when my colour turns from live to nothing it’s a sign that all is not healthy in the environment: carpet shops, for example, I cannot be inside for more than a few minutes – formaldehyde and such. I am a miner’s canary and when the music stops you know it’s time to get out. But I was in fact better than usual for having been sugar-free for a while. In the event there was nothing wrong: the carbon monoxide detector simply needed new batteries and had only one language for telling us that.

When the gas man had gone we had coffee, me forgetting that I’d been caffeine-free for some time. Afterwards I felt as though I’d taken amphetamines. I may have to reassess my whole relationship with the dark nectar. It has just occurred to me that if I chuck all my bad habits I’m in danger of becoming perfect – and that would be a kind of hubris. Gawd! The Doctor would understand.

15 comments:

Kahless said...

Tshhhh to the Guardian reviewers.
Tonights episode was great! If your vid doesn't work it is repeated tomorrow early evening.

Hope you have a fab night out, oh and I have just read The Hubris Syndrome by David Owen. I think you will be ok as keeping your humour is key; and I love the subtle southern style humour in your posts.

Minx said...

A pox on enemies of The Doc. No doubt we should all be gathered in front of the box watching a diet of the warbling 'Nancies' or checking our numbers (why does it take an hour to read out lottery numbers?).
Yes, I watched television last night - I was pinned to the sofa by an overindulgence of Chinese food.

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, here in the sticks we can only get four channels - and no digital or cable possibilities yet.

(I have southern style humour? Cool!)

Minx, I have it on good authority (a friend of a friend of my daughter's) that they chose the Nancy they wanted right at the start and the rest is all show. Personally I think Lloyd Webber is a sinister alien who is plotting to take over the world. Bring in The Doc.

Kahless said...

Then I would recommend bbc iplayer;
go to the bee wesite and you will find it from their. All programs seem to be there for about two weeks - it is free too.

trousers said...

I only miss having a TV for things like Dr Who - I was a typical Pertwee/Baker never-miss-an-episode, hide-behind-the-settee obsessive viewer as a child. I've seen a smattering of the recent 2 or 3 series, and keep meaning to rent some of them on dvd: something I've yet to get round to, alas.

I remember giving up coffee and tea for a while, then when I absent-mindedly accepted a cup from a friend, I did feel immediately edgy and very red in the face after just a few sips. Amazing/scary at just how tolerant our bodies are to these things.

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks, this is good to know, Kahless - should I ever inadvertently miss it.

Trousers, me too - The Doctor is my only must-see. Last year what I liked best was the BBC's dramatisation Jekyll and Hyde - I later discovered that it was written by Stephen Moffat who wrote some of the award-winning Doctor episodes.

But Why? said...

Yes. I am nodding. I agree with it all. I am particularly empathising with the carbon monoxide detector who has run out of battery-juice. I feel the same. I understand its pain.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep...

Reading the Signs said...

Take heart, dear Doctor Why, for I detect in you extraordinary faculties that will enable you to overcome, and recharge your batteries just as the other Doctor (are you related?)It's a hunch, but trust me - I have highly developed intuition.

But Why? said...

Well spotted, Signs. The good Doctor is in fact my other brother, though we currently live in parallel universes. He disappeared through a wormhole one afternoon when we were having a kickabout. He'd gone off to retrieve the football following a loose shot at goal that had disappeared into the neighbour's garden. It was in the news, of course, much local concern about the missing child and speculation as to where he'd got to. Lots of conspiracy theories about the aliens, but they all turned out to be wrong. It's nice to catch up with him on the box now and again. Most reassuring. The lad has done good.

But yes, siblings we are. It was an unfortunate typo which saw him registered as a "Who" and not a "Why?". The damned official also managed to miss the question mark off the end. It seems then, as now, you just couldn't get the staff....

Reading the Signs said...

I just knew it! This accounts for what you so casually refer to as your "geekiness" and all that bionic rowing. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me, though it must obviously give you an unfair advantage to have two hearts and a body that can restore itself and doesn't age. The fact that you still catch common and garden human bugs is a bit of a conundrum, but now the beeping makes sense. I take it that where you come from (originally, I mean) one is just born a Doctor?

Collin said...

I thought Planet of the Ood was brilliant and Catherine Tate continues to grow as Donna. I actually got a bit misty-eyed when she was listening to the Ood song. If you think The Guardian is bad, you should hear some of the fanboys raving and bitching on the Who sites. They seriously need to get a life.

But Why? said...

Why, yes. All are born doctors. Some don't quite make it into adulthood. They get confused with the two heart business - you see, each heart is under voluntary control, and unfortunately some kids just don't get the hang of controlling them early enough. It's harsh, I suppose, but Darwinian evolution being what it is, those that survive generally have their wits about them...

The extra heart certainly does come in handy for the rowing. Catching human beasties less so - it was supposed to be a temporary modification I made at an after-school science club, but unfortunately I forgot the golden rule of recording settings before altering them. I'm still trying to get rid of this feature - if you know of a way, do let me know, won't you?

fluttertongue said...

I had to stop watching this round of Dr Who because I'm falling far too much for David Tennant.

By the way, Sir Lloyd Webber employs a team of orchestrators to write his music for him - I know this because one of them was my orchestration teacher and showed me the scrap of notation he was given to work with. Dearest Andrew has less musical ability than your average 10 year old.

Reading the Signs said...

Hello Collin, fellow Doctor-watcher. Just thinking: if you have the chance to get the Jekyll and Hyde dramatisation I mentioned above, I think you'd love it. Very Whoesque, not surprisingly with the writer being Stephen Moffat.

Doctor W, I know nothing - nothing. I am however, an enless mine of good advice and misinformation.

Hi Flutter, what a delicious piece of information about Sir L-W. In that case, he and I have something in common, but I am much prettier than he is. Not rich and famous though.

You falling for David Tennant? You know, I'm so pure about this that when I watch he (or whoever) is always just The Doctor.

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