Things That Freaked Me Out In Childhood: No. 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
‘A terrifying geometrical shape is a television classic’

Submitted: August 29, 2013

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Submitted: August 29, 2013




Okay.  This one requires an explanation… quite a detailed explanation.


This is my first childhood memory of television.  It was an episode of Dr Who.  The episode was shown in November 1983 and I had possibly just turned 3 (although I can’t rule out a repeat).  It was a Saturday afternoon and I was sat down in front of a television screen ready to savour the modern wonders of the cathode-ray tube.  I probably watched with interest as characters moved from scene to scene. I may have marvelled at the elaborate costumes and colourful visions placed before me; the mesmerising mix of sound and movement drawing me to the screen. I possibly smiled at these images, enchanted by the strange but illuminating world projected into the living room.

I don’t know.

The one certainty is that any excitement was quickly replaced by absolute fear and panic, as a giant black triangle appeared on the screen, thrust towards the characters as they desperately tried to escape, and engulfed them into oblivion.  I watched the black triangle hover menacingly in the air – silent but purposeful - before pouncing on it’s victims in a scene of quiet obliteration; without protest, without alarm.  I immediately feared that black triangle.  I feared it would obliterate me and the world entire: it would appear in the sky above and cover everybody in an infernal blackness.  I had no appreciation of geometry; I had no awareness of airborne threats; I had no perspective on Dr Who.  My one conclusion was: watch out for the black triangle – it was clearly pissed off and wanted to destroy people. 

I have since learnt that this black triangle was a “Time Scoop” and the episode was a Dr Who “Classic” featuring all five previous doctors.  It is called “The Five Doctors” (appropriately enough).

So I thank you - 1980s BBC Dr Who producers - for making me count the sum of angles before I trust any large geometrical figure hovering in the sky.  I give my sincere gratitude for your public service and trust such warnings justify the television licence fees.  

Although, to be fair, the programme is vastly superior to the dross you serve up these days… and possibly less frightening.



© Copyright 2018 Jon Mayler. All rights reserved.

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