As you look around the walls of The Geeky Eejit you find yourself staring at a framed DVD case hanging on the wall. This is it’s story…
I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a wee bit of a Science Fiction fan. I’ve spent the last year or so digitising my DVD collection. It used to take me about half an hour to find a DVD that I wanted to watch. Now, I bootup my NAS drive and within a couple of minutes I’m watching some dodgy sci-fi.
Whilst doing this little project, I realised that I own rather too many DVDs, almost all of which is television sci-fi. I sometimes wonder if I need to get out more.
A reoccurring theme in Science Fiction is Nature versus Nurture. How much of what we know is picked up organically, against what we learn from our society, and which happens more. There is no doubt in my mind that my love of Science Fiction was nurtured.
In my family home, the television was constantly on. It was switched on at about 6am by whoever was up first and was turned off at about midnight when the last person went to bed. I spent god knows too much time in front of that magical box. I spend rather less time now watching TV, but I find myself drawn to an on television set if I do put it on.
The TV was mainly used as background noise, and I would sometimes day dream in front of it. Worryingly, I’ve been told that I would sometimes trance out and would only be brought back by a strong punch in the arm. I personally think that it was merely an excuse for my older sister to do said punching of the arm.
There were a few shows which always ended up on the family television. Soap operas were a must. Home and Away three times a day. Somewhat surprisingly science fiction programs came next. My mother was a big Star Trek fan, so every time there was a repeat of it on BBC2 it was on. This lead to Battlestar Galactica on a Saturday afternoon, the original one. MacGuyver whenever it was on, and Quantum Leap in the early evenings.
One of the earliest times I remember being allowed to stay up late was to watch the original V miniseries. I know that the rodent eating effects look ropey now, but I was 8 at the time and it was really scary. Synthetic voices still give me the creeps today.
Of course, Doctor Who was also a regular at tea time. With there now being more channels, it wasn’t so bad for my younger siblings, but my elder sister and I didn’t stand a chance. Whilst my sister has to a certain extent grown out of it, I’ve embraced it and taken the fandom further.
The first TV sci-fi program which was my own was Babylon 5. It must have clashed with another program my mother liked to watch. At the time, I had a television in my bedroom. So, I would sneak upstairs with the excuse of needing privacy to do my homework, and I would watch Babylon 5 with the sound down as low as I could get it.
It felt both wrong and rather nice that I had a whole program to myself. I did try later on to get my mother into Babylon 5, even as far as buying her the whole series on DVD, but she never watched it. It took a while but I did get her into Farscape though. She wasn’t sure about the puppets, but she got over it and learned to appreciate everyone’s favourite Dominar. In fact, when we spoke on the phone about half the conversation would be about the latest sci-fi.
I mention Farscape specifically as my last conversation with her was about how excited we both were for Peacekeeper Wars. Ironically, she passed away on the same day that the first part got broadcast in the States. I still bought her the DVD set, and I still have it at home somewhere.
Now when I watch sci-fi programs on the television, part of me thinks about my mother and how life was simpler back when I was a child.