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You useless, cretinous moron

A Times Online writer attempts to prove the popularity of Doctor Who is symptomatic of our cultural infantilisation in a shockingly badly written comment piece.

I apologise in advance for this. I didn't want my first NTS post to be a whinge, but by crikey, this article has really wound me up.

I HAVE ALWAYS regarded any adult Star Trek enthusiast as a sad individual who makes up for the mundanity of his real life by inhabiting an imaginary one. For me, the stereotypical Trekkie is a local authority filing clerk who likes to pretend he is a muscle-bound Captain Kirk, defeating aliens and casting lascivious glances at his mini-skirted, knee-length booted assistant, Lieutenant Uhura.

Okay, so we're starting from the apparently radical notion that Star Trek fans use the series as a form of escapism, as if this idea had never occured to anyone before. The descriptive detail here suggests the writer has spent a little too much time thinking about Uhura's knee-length boots

For years we in Britain had our own home-grown, humble version of Star Trek, in the form of the faintly absurd Dr Who, which was, thank goodness, taken off the air in 1989 after almost three decades. It had its pathetic band of adult followers who got together at conventions to discuss time travel or Daleks.

Because obviously those kind of things are never spoken of by REAL people in the REAL WORLD, only those filthy Dr Who-watching deviants.

Yet, after a reassuring absence of 16 years, Dr Who returned to our screens in 2005

Well, actually it was nine years if you count the 1996 TV Movie, but let's not let facts get in the way, eh?

Yet as far as I can see, nothing has changed. Dr Who remains a cartoon time traveller with a glamorous assistant, fighting alien enemies.

Oh come on, is that really the best you can do? Has this writer even bothered to watch an episode? It's such a vague critique he could be talking about anything. Also, I'm not entirely certain what is so wrong with the idea of glamorous assistants and aliens. Or cartoons, for that matter.

There is nothing wrong with science fiction. H. G. Wells and Ray Bradbury provided thought-provoking commentaries on the nature of mankind or terrifying visions of the future.

And Doctor Who has never done this? Are you sure of that? Also note the mechanical way he invokes the names of Wells and Bradbury, as if he's been told that the kind of sci-fi it's acceptable(or at least literary enough) to like. Somehow I doubt he's read either of them.

Deep breath. Okay. So this writer has offered a hopelessly insubstantial critique of the series, taken a few cheap shots at the fans and claimed the popularity of Who(as well as the highbrow critic's favourite punching bag, Harry Potter) is a symptom of the infantilisation of British culture, but offers absolutely no evidence for this, other than "David Beckham likes it".

What a load of vindictive, elitist nonsense.

About this entry


Ugh. That entire whole piece is doomed by the first sentence where he starts of by going "Man, aren't people who watch Star Trek sad?" and then tries to build his argument around "Well, Sci-Fi in general is all pretty sad, actually" - as if people who are obsessive about watching Eastenders or The West Wing are involved in any less of an escapist pursuit. Is that not what pretty much all fiction is?

I'm not a huge Dr. Who fan but even I know it's the some of the most intelligent and well-written original programming the BBC has done in years. If he considers this to be "infantile" then what, exactly, would he consider grown up enough?

By James H
April 14, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

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>There is nothing wrong with science fiction. H. G. Wells and Ray Bradbury provided thought-provoking commentaries on the nature of mankind or terrifying visions of the future.

The above paragraph demonstrates that this person's only exposure to written science fiction was through a class he took once.

By Austin Ross
April 14, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

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Or, indeed, a class someone else once took and then told him about...

By Seb Patrick
April 14, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

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I can't believe cunts like this get their bile published. I'm agast that any editor thought this to be of any worth, at all.

The cliché's never going to die, is it?

By Cappsy
April 14, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

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Not until sci-fi fans have sex it isn't.

By Philip J Reed, VSc
April 14, 2006 @ 10:37 pm

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No-one disses Harry Potter in front of me! Although this twat only mentions it because the opinion that adult HP fans are 'sad' is a very safe comment to make in an article, but one which is just as 'infantile' - to use his word - as the stereotype of sci-fi losers. Wouldn't want a Times article being intelligent and thought-provoking now, would we? It's retarded sheep-like views like this that made Who turn the way it did and and get cancelled in the first place.

IMO Star Wars was the real beginning of the mocking of sci-fi fans and thus the beginning of the end for Who (well, for the classic series). Sure, it lasted another 12 years, but all of a sudden there were vendettas against sadcases into sci-fi and Who slowly but surely changed from a primetime show into something that only spotty nobs would watch. The BBC's attitude over the commissioning of Red Dwarf clearly sums up what was going on at that time. They thought that sci-fi was only for a select few - people who wank into Pot Noodle pots every night whilst dressed as Jedi. Clearly then-recent sci-fi successes such as Aliens and Back To The Future had slipped their minds. And here's a newsflash - every movie is escapism. Every book is escapism.

People still have that view, and it will never die. That's because there will always be fanboys to mock. Fortunately, there are shows that are breaking the boundaries and making sci-fi more 'credible'. In the UK, Doctor Who, and Lost in America (also Battlestar Galactica). Lost is an EXTREMELY clever and IMO exciting experiment in primetime television. YES, it's pissing some people off, but the merging of sci-fi and primetime drama is working really well. It was never promoted as a sci-fi show, but it certainly is one.

By performingmonkey
April 15, 2006 @ 4:47 am

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Sorry about the Pot Noodle thing...

By performingmonkey
April 15, 2006 @ 4:49 am

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