Ok, time to get down to the important stuff. I’m a massive fan of Doctor Who, which, for the uninitiated, is the best thing on British television. Yes, better than Downton Abbey.
When I went to Sweden at Christmas to visit, I was struck by the fact that Downton Abbey had made it to their TV screens, and was quite excited actually: it was fun watching the Christmas episode that I had seen three days beforehand with Swedish subtitles on it.
However, my excitement turned to consternation when I realised that absolutely nobody in Sweden has ever heard of Doctor Who! It’s a source of total incredulity to a person brought up on 50 years of television history, of people wearing leeks as a fashion statement and long scarves with silly hats and sonic screwdrivers and daleks and cybermen and hiding behind the sofa. How on earth is it possible that people have not had these experiences at all, or even heard of this bizarrely British tradition… and yet they know of Downton Abbey, which is a relatively new phenomenon.
Emil spent half a week following me around and explaining in a potted version what I was talking about whenever I used the phrases ‘It’s like a TARDIS in here!’ ‘TARDIS-blue’ ‘Alons-y!’ or ‘Wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey’. He sat me down at one point and explained, as kindlyy as possible, quite how confusing I was being to everyone else.
” I hadn’t realised how often you use Dr Who as an analogy… I understand, but no-one over here even knows what a police box is, let alone a TARDIS”
And so, my friends, we come to my great dilemma. In late November, the BBC will be showing a 50th anniversary special of Dr Who, in 3D, and it will even be available to watch at the cinema. It will be a glorious celebration of fifty years of Whovian history, and the flagship of British television will be everywhere. In November, I shall be living in Sweden, and shall be far from the wonder that is Who-mania.
How the hell am I going to watch the special in a country that doesn’t even know what a police box is, let alone a TARDIS?