Julie’s been extremely busy this summer. And I’m usually barricaded in my office or ensconced at any available coffee shop to work on the final revision of Legitimacy.
This leaves Splash and Wallclimber unparented most hours of the day. When they were wee lads Julie and I worried about them, as we called it, going feral. But as typical American tweens and teens, respectably, they clutch their birthday presents (iPod, iPads, PC) in their Gollum-like clutches and scurry into the basement. Their eyes are growing lantern wide, and they wail at the Elven torments of bedtime, chores, sunshine, or fresh air. It can’t be good for them. But I understand it. I did the same thing, except back in my day, I only had books.
But lately I’ve emerged from my office to find my boys watching Dr. Who—the latest few seasons of the BBC incarnation—on Netflix streaming. I’d never seen it, so (for purely academic purposes as a sci-fi author) I joined them for a couple of episodes.
And now, even though it might destroy my sci-fi author street cred, I must confess: I do not get Dr. Who.
I remember trying to explain Star Wars to my father. He liked Star Trek, but his eyes glazed as I went on, his face grew pained, and in the end he would give his head a little shake. How could he not see how awesome it was??? The Force. Lightsabers. Hyperdrive. The Jedi and the Sith. And now, my vision blurs as Splash describes a Time Lord, My sinuses ache as he insists that the trundling Daleks are terrifyingly evil. My mind wanders as Wallclimber tells of the one character got cast out of time, was erased forever, but somehow came back as a Roman centurion…I feel my head shake. Is there more pie in the fridge?
Am I a traitor to my professed genre? In my heart I feel like I should love Dr. Who. I should embrace its fanciful alien technologies and ride the roller-coaster of near-universal destruction that seems to come in every episode. Am I just getting old?
I have hope, however. I asked Splash: Why, if the TARDIS can go anywhere in a chaotic populated universe, does this singular Time Lord worry so much about Earth and London?
“Because that’s where they make the TV show,” he replied.
At least one of us has a healthy perspective.