(Before we go any further, take a moment to check out Myspace’s Impact Awards – a 24/7 Prayer Project newsletter I receievd pointed out that voting for Justice for Children International could net them a prize of $10,000, which would help save vulnerable children from sex slavery and other exploitation. That said, I can hardly discount the other nominees, so take a look and follow your heart.)
It’s been a strange week. A meteorite in Peru has seemingly caused a mystery illness among a whole bunch of people, which is a sci-fi story waiting to happen, and I’m getting closer to buying a house. I’m not sure which is the scariest. Possibly the latter.
Insanely, this got me thinking about which TV shows have had an influence on me. I think it’s because Doctor Who has had more than it’s fair share of weird things falling from space and turning people into rampaging zombies, and because you have to be an alien from a highly advanced civilisation to understand the home-buying process.
Of all the shows I’ve watched regularly over the years, Doctor Who is probably the one that’s had the most impact. I’m sure it’s the reason I like wearing my scarf in winter, and it’s directly responsible for me being able to read anything beyond Mr. Men books. The Doctor Who novelisations published by Target are a staple part of many a geek’s childhood, and I firmly believe they got me into reading, which is why they still occupy a good chunk of my shelf-space. Also, no-one’s going to convince me that Tom Baker doesn’t deserve a knighthood, just for being Tom Baker. He’s the nearest thing the UK has to Shatner.
But there are other shows that have stuck with me. I was probably too old to make much use of Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s high school metaphors, but anything that involves a carpenter saving the world through a demonstration of sacrificial love has got to be pushing more buttons than Grange Hill. Meanwhile, I blame Due South for me being unable to be rude or aggressive to random members of the public, even when they’re proving why the UK Customer Service Industry sucks.
The most recent show to make an impact is Heroes, but as yet, I’m not sure why. I think it’s basically because of Hiro, the cubicle drone who discovers he can manipulate time and space, and because he’s read a few too many Marvel comics, decides he has to save the world. And he does so by being the latest geek icon. And the actor used to work for Industrial Light and Magic, which is just all kinds of awesome.
The running theme is geekery. See, while I love shows like 24, they’re not exactly havens for the geek brothers (unless you count 24’s Chloe, but her geekery is a subplot in amongst all the shootin’ and killin’, rather than a driving force within the story); the Doctor, Hiro and Xander are all total geeks, in the most positive sense of the word, and frankly there’s something insanely geeky about an uber-polite Mountie and his deaf wolf. See, for the people who were always chosen last in PE lessons, these guys are heroes. And it’s why, in a cultural climate that sometimes seems to thrive on emo wibbling, one of my favourite TV moments of the year is shown in my avatar picture: Hiro from Heroes teleporting himself from Tokyo to New York, realising that he’s got a huge destiny…And the guy just shouts with joy. It’s a wonderful moment, worth a million episodes of Eastenders. Hey, if I’m going to be affected my the media, there are worse moments than this to celebrate…