Five Hundred Eyes

The Creeping Terror

I'm one spooked guy. Doctor Who seems to be seeping, inexorably into every nook and cranny of my life, like some oozing goosberry-coloured Blob monster. I can't get away from it ... nowhere to run to Baby, nowhere to hide. Wherever I turn, there it is, leering me in the face with a toothy grin, sideburns and a long scarf.

Being a Doctor Who fan really transforms the world for you. It shifts the emphasis on so many things. Inoccuous little comments, names or shapes suddenly leap out at you because they have some slight connection with 'IT'.

I'll give you a few examples. Every time I read the paper, I find something which turns the cogs in my mind and flicks the switch so I'm a Doctor Who fan suddenly, not a normal reader. Like a comment that Scandinavians would "unfurl tents like a TARDIS", or that a coffee-pot looks like a Dalek (of course it doesn't) or some comment that bottle-banks look like Daleks (they don't either), or an interview with Caron Keating in which she mentions playing at Daleks ... or something as innocuous as the following line, submerged in a very serious piece of text about the massacre in Tiananmen square. "I saw a message scrawled in red paint on a Police Box saying: 'This time Li Peng, you will never find any peace'."

I'd been concentrating on this article with mounting disgust and anger, basically thinking, what a bunch of grubbing bastards ... (and for some reason remembering that scene in 'Ghandi' where the English got similarly trigger happy and shot dead a huge group of Indians in an enclosed courtyard ... another bunch of bastards, remember that?) when suddenly those two words "Police Box" leapt out and wrapped themselves around the frontal lobes of my brain. Police Box ... inside my head on a little screen flipped a picture of a Blue English Police Box Circa 1963 with red paint scrawled on it, and for a second I mentally burbled away to myself ... I wonder what Chinese Police Boxes look like ... I didn't know they had them ... are they blue? I also remember in the same second or two reading a bit in DWM a long time ago about Japanese or Chinese ... they always get grouped together in my mind ... Target books with weird covers where the 'Police Box' was a modern telephone kiosk and the Daleks were really bizarre things drawn from the book descriptions, and I vaguely decided that that must have been a Japanese book they were talking about, which would make sense of the fact that they didn't draw a Police Box instead, if the Chinese had them after all ...

Have you noticed that there's a Trebor Refreshers advert on TV that feature a time-travelling red Telephone Box? Or that Ford Timelord appears in the video for 'Who's in the House' by The Beatmasters and Merlin? Did your mind make a little connection when Satturday Night at the Movies showed a clip of a pink foam monster engulfing an ordinary Telephone Box in 'The Blob'? Or when you read a magazine including a feature on One Day in the Life of a Telephone Box? I have and mine did. I keep soaking up all this stuff as I'm casually watching away, and, just for a second, it gives my brain a kick. I can't get away from references to Telephone Boxes nowadays ...

It's pathetic isn't it? I can't avoid doing it though. It's like the way I watch the credits sometimes for programmes, and will irritatingly mutter "Oh ... Perry Brahan ... Innes Lloyd ... Nabil Shaban ... hmmm". My mind automatically spins through my trivia archives and reminds me what they've done in Who. I keep seeing tenuous connections with Doctor Who everywhere, haunting me - books by Peter Grimwade, salt cellars, 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' reminds me of Planet Of The Giants, 'The Thing from Outer Space' makes me think "ooh, Seeds of Doom". It's everywhere. At the moment at my school it seems like childrens programmes are suddenly very popular, I keep hearing people nostalgically talking about 'Bagpuss' and 'Trumpton', and we've been trying to work out the full lyrics of 'Jamie and the Magic Torch' (there's some great guitar riffs in that tune). I've learnt that I know the complete words to the 'Wombles' theme and I can do a good impression of Windy Miller's windmill. (Like, funky, man.) And a few times I've heard this sort of conversation in the background, and they sometimes stray onto Doctor Who ... and my ears prick up every time I hear the words and spin round like radar dishes ... I keep hearing 'the words' on the radio as well ... I heard them yesterday and then desparately tried to work out what the DJ had been talking about when he'd put them in the sentence ... I can't stop doing it. And I have the nasty feeling that I'll be doing it for the rest of my life, slowly degenerating until I mutate into a little hunch-backed bespectacled creature who spins round and tries to start a conversation about Cybermen and K-9 everytime someone grasps for a 'bigger-than-you-expect' or 'suddenly-appears' adjective and uses the word TARDIS.

Obviously I'm obsessed ... I can't get this bloody programme out of my brain for most of the time, because it takes up such a lot of my time and money ... in other words, my life. It freaks me out beacuse I know it's ridiculous.

Do other people feel this? Or is it just me? Let me know. I'd hate to feel I'm being weird alone.

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