It’s funny how things change.
My first memories of Dr Who pounce upon me occasionally from out of a distant haze.
I sit before a clunky old black & white TV in the dining room of my childhood home, bewildered as Patrick Troughton battles Ice Warriors and Daleks armed only with a pair of spectacularly hilarious trousers whose simulacrular inside leggitude I have since failed to source from a single menswear retailer.
But I was adamant.
No, Dad, this is the future. And by the time I’m your age, and you’re as old as Grandad, you’ll be hooked on ludicrous American pseudo-scifi series’ that mock the concept of human mortality.
Not bad for a retrospectively rescripted infant, that.
Truth is, everything takes forever when you’re young, but not even the seven hour eternity of a drive down to Devon in our spacious Hillman Imp could compare with the agony of having to watch the end of bloody Grandstand before Dr Who came on.
In the days before the internet and iPad-enhanced social media account polygamy, the only channel hopping options involved Open University bearded geekery on Beeb 2 — or an endless reportage of more useless football results courtesy of Dickie Fucking Davies.
Little wonder, then, that I’m experiencing maximum tetchiness all these decades later as the BBC refrains from unleashing Peter Capaldi at Easter — and chooses instead to keep him hidden away until after the WORLD CUP.
The Doctor slides from under the Tardis console and proffers a scowl. “Complain if you must, but it’s taking forever to deprogram my Outrageous Blasphemy Chip. Even a top-of-the-range Sontaran electric cheese grater won’t shift it.”
I lean on an oddly geomorphic pedestal, grateful in spite of all the scheduling shenanigans that the BBC has fixed the wobbliness issue. “What’s wrong with a simple Mind Wipe?”
Uh oh, I’ve hit a nerve. Capaldi is in my face like an obese octogenarian flasher in a supermarket.
“Mind wiping is for crackpots like the Master!” His expression darkens. “Christ. If they force me to play opposite John Simm, I’ll have to start working out.”
“Pertwee did okay on the hand to hand combat deal. And he was old enough to pass for a scarecrow.”
Capaldi winces. “But that car! That bloody stupid car! The moment Moffat foists any of that crap on me, I’m walking.”
My arm finds the 13th Doctor’s shoulder, flopping gently over its velvet jacketed exterior with the pfffft of a Sea Devil mask tossed onto a Feltzhide sofa. “Maybe I was a little harsh earlier about the football thing. Just take as long as you like. I’ll be fine.”
He’s smiling now — which is odd because he looks more menacing than when he was angry. “I should hope so. It’s only another six weeks for you to wait, after all. And there’s still thirty seven and a half seconds’ worth of video teasers featuring Yours Truly in a wacky new Time Lord helmet.”
Now it’s my turn to laugh. “So where have the Cybermen hidden the metaphorical biscuit?”
In a Janus-morphing split-second of timey-wimey HORROR, Capaldi flips into Hartnell mode again and paralysis grips me. “It was a joke. About taking the biscuit. Your wacky new helmet and stuff...”
"The Cybermen have the Metaphorical Biscuit?” Capaldi pulls out a sonic screwdriver the size of a potentially dangerous dildo. “To hell with August — the era of the 13th Doctor begins NOW!”
Eeeeeek. Don’t you just hate embarrassing silences?
I break out a manual from a dusty locker and flip to page 12,501 as Capaldi fixes his hair. “Yeah, Pete — how do you fly this thing...?”