At least 40% of radio programming here in France has to be French language by law, and there’s a little known piece of legislation that demands another 40% of all music broadcast is Phil Collins. Genesis is fine, A Trick of the Tail forwards naturally, just so long as people get their daily Phil dosage; in the supermarkets; in restaurants; in lifts; in shops; in taxis, especially in taxis. Given that the thug-jawed skin thumper gave up music three years ago and had his heyday during the 1980’s, it’s staggering the hold he still has over mainland Europe. In Belgium it’s even worse.
There’s a slickness and a lack of passion in Phil’s music that sustains order. You can scoff all you want but I’d much sooner the equilibrium was maintained by the blandness of Collins than everyone lose their shit because Doctor Who is going to be on TV come evening time. Observing the inordinate hysteria that greeted this seventy seven minute show from across the channel was like witnessing Hitler Over Germany in real time from behind enemy lines, and you want to reach out and say “it’s just a little man with a silly moustache” but you know you’ll be shot down for being a killjoy should you interject.
Back in my day we used to have the Doctor as well, and while you watched it you didn’t think it was necessarily very good. It was certainly nobody’s favourite programme, it just was. Then it seemed to undergo the law of diminishing returns, from the likeable-yet-creepy Tom Baker to the dandyish Peter Davidson to the dull Colin Baker to the twat Sylvester McCoy. That was the first time I actively hated it and switched off, and the BBC followed suit soon after, putting the daft debacle out of its misery.
Doctor Who is greeted now like a show where Princess Diana is about to be brought back from death before your very eyes, or where they’ll raise the Titanic with the passengers still alive and bloody dry to boot. I just can’t seem to see what I’m meant to be getting so worked up about. This is the same week or so you’ll hopefully be able to get a clear view of Comet Ison plunging towards the sun, though unfortunately nobody will be paying attention as they’ll all be too busy getting a wide-on over the Zygons. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t stand Matt Smith’s smug Tory face, and David Tennant’s pantomimic overacting is embarrassing to me. I’ve got a VPN connection so I watched it on iPlayer last night, or at least tried to – I went into it with an open mind, honest! About 20 minutes in I had to turn the show off again as it was goosing my flesh too much; if the melodrama wasn’t painful enough then the actual plot made about as much sense as a Scientology recruitment video. Thetans are way more credible than this pish.
I’ve made the point before and I’ll make it again: adults, really now, it’s a kid’s programme. Self-induced arousal of such rabid proportions is unseemly, foaming at the mouth and in the trousers, I mean really. It’s the people who don’t like the show who should be getting agitated and sweaty when they realise how much TV license fee is being chucked at this crap.
If you’re that starved of culture there’s a cinema down the road, they show loads of really good things on a screen called films. If there’s nothing on at the local picture house that tickles your fancy then maybe get a cab and seek out adventure, and with a bit of luck the taxi driver will be playing some Phil Collins.Follow @jeres