Photo Copyright Lisa Hazlegreaves
In our house there are three massive Who fans, Daughter, Small Child and I. Now I have been into Science Fiction in all its genres since my teens. Sparked by an early love of Classic Who and discovering Terry Pratchett at the age of 15. (Totally different I’m aware but the fantasy element remains the same) I have eagerly awaited every single Terry Pratchett release for nearly 30 years...30 years that’s incredible really, to be able to keep readers interested in a fantasy world for that long is an amazing feat. It would appear that Science Fiction/Fantasy can run and run, look at Who.
I have known Father since I was 14, we both attended the same Drama group. We were in regular contact through Drama until our late teens when we lost touch for many years. When he came back into my life when we were both adults (I was going to say mature, but I fear we don’t fall into this category) we hit it off and so began our relationship. That was 14 years ago. Now Father and I have very differing tastes in most things but especially in this. He used to poo-poo my science fiction/fantasy novels in favour of Captain Corelli's Mandolin. In fact he bought me this book ten years ago and I still haven’t read it as a matter of principal. I refuse to read it until he reads a book of my choice, a classic like Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit. This is a stand off I feel will run forever, as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin sits on one of my many bookshelves the pages browning and gaining that wonderful smell that old books have, un-read, teasing me every time I pass. Father laughs at The Matrix, one of my very favourite films, Father in fact can not tolerate any science fiction at all, he believes it foolish and comedic.
When Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005 Father was still promoting and djing at a clubnight in town and was therefore never here on a Saturday evening when The Doctor was gracing our screens. Daughter and I would regale him with anecdotes about the previous days episode over Sunday lunch, he would try to be gracious but eye rolling would commence and the corners of his mouth would turn up in that hint of a smile. It wasn’t until he stopped working on a Saturday night that he began his Doctor Who journey half way through Tennant’s reign. The first few episodes he watched found him chuntering under his breath at the ridiculousness of time travel, tutting and mumbling through pursed lips. I felt I needed to have a strict word with him, I told him that he could watch with us but he couldn’t criticise. During this conversation, Father said although the programme didn’t really cut it for him he found the whole experience of sitting together as a family a most wonderful thing and he would try really hard not to laugh.
Over the past few years Father has softened to Who, mainly I think because of our love of it. He loves us and when you love someone you cannot help but be influenced by their excitement. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, I love nothing more than glancing at my children during an episode, watching their faces go through the same emotions as mine. It’s charming in the extreme. Now during these moments I will glance at Father and catch him looking at us and we have a shared glance, a look of love for our children. Father also plays the most important role, he is the protector of Small Child when it all gets a little too scary for him (small child not father) when my cardigan is not protection enough, and Father will take Small Child out of the room and distract him with cake and stories of Pirates.
If we go anywhere as a family and Doctor Who is brought up, I find people talking to Father, they automatically think that it is the male who is the massive Geek, Nerd, Whovian or whatever term you care to use. When we attended the Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff I know that people were thinking...aww look at that poor woman being dragged round with her partner and kids. However if they had paid close attention to our faces they would have seen that ridiculous smile of excitement on mine and a slight look of boredom on his and the secret would have been out. It’s Mother who is the Whovian and Father who is simply there to carry the sandwiches.