TV It’s sometimes difficult to remember how we enjoyed Doctor Who as children.
Everyone but everyone says they hid behind the sofa, but I didn’t. I have a definitive memory of not hiding, perhaps because it was stuck up against the wall in the sitting room.
But I do recall being terribly excited about Time-Flight.
Time-Flight is rubbish. It’s badly co-ordinated, poorly written, has some spectacularly wooden performances and any residual menace the Ainley Master is sapped away to such an extent it’d be the end of the decade before he became relevant again.
But the tweenie version of me adored it because it was about Concorde.
Timeflight’s often thought of as one of John Nathan Turner’s follies. The added value on the dvd comes across as a kind of televisual autopsy, cutting into its rotting corpse endeavouring to discover what went wrong.
JNT's culpability is annunciated at length, how his publicity imperative overpowered narrative requirements, the chance to be the first television series to film at Heathrow and say so.
To have Concorde in the programme.
It’s something difficult to remember just how exciting Concorde was in the 1980s.
When I was living in Speke, my Dad used to take me to both the old and later new airports just so that I could see Concorde take off. I didn’t know where it was going and I wasn’t even all that interested in planes, but there was something about the fascinating way the nose cone shifting position as it taxied along the runway.
I have dozens of old photographs of what looks like just an overcast sky, but look closer and there’s a speck. The speck is Concorde flying over the city, which it did during the Grand National.
Luckily, someone has taken some better ones.
My young mind didn’t notice the deficiencies in Time-Flight's script, the acting or the Master’s nonsensical disguise. It would simply have enjoyed seeing the Doctor, his companions and the TARDIS cramped into interior of the plane.
So whenever I revisit Time-Flight, I try to do it in that spirit. It’s Concorde, not just travelling faster than the speed of sound, but travelling in time. How cool is that?
I miss Concorde.