Jenny Turner in the latest issue of the London Review of Books (or, to be more precise, the latest issue to arrive in print on my doorstep).
‘All lazy writing about Doctor Who,’ Kim Newman writes in his ‘critical reading’ of what he calls ‘the franchise’, ‘trades on the stereotypes of children watching “from behind the sofa”’ – exactly what I remember doing, though in our house we called it the settee. So do I really remember it, or do I just think I do, because I want to join in? Newman confesses that he can ‘confirm the authenticity’ of the sofa stereotype in his own case; so culturally embedded has the trope become that when the now defunct Museum of the Moving Image curated a Doctor Who exhibition in the 1990s, they called it Behind the Sofa
Me too! I remember the specific episode (if not its name) – it involved Cybermen and a back-and-forth between Earth and Mars where the two light minutes between the planets proved to be a crucial point in the plot. I dove behind the sofa, and refused to come out until my parents told me that the scary part was over. We were living in Darlington for a year and I was six – I then went back to Ireland, escaping the reach of BBC forever (you could get it on the East coast, but not in the wilds of Tipperary). I haven’t been exposed to Dr. Who culture or to Dr. Who itself since, so I don’t think that this can be a false memory. Is this one of those experiences that people from a particular generation share, but don’t necessarily talk about?
(and speaking of cybermen, Michael Bérubé can be vewy, vewy cwuel)