By Sue Murphy
I’m a catalog shopper. Since I don’t always buy something, I suppose I’m more of a window shopper, but I do make purchases from time to time, which has landed me on a wide range of mailing lists. On any given day, if I have my credit card ready, I can have an Eiffel Tower tea light holder, Mr. Rogers Dress Up Magnets and bird feeders shaped like squirrel heads shipped directly to my door.
It is currently catalog high sales season, a last ditch effort to clear the warehouse shelves of last year’s must-haves that fewer people must have had-to-have than expected. This is good news for consumers, especially if you’re a Dr. Who fan.
At this very moment, for a low, low discount price, you can purchase Dr. Who T-shirts, Dr. Who pajamas, or a Dr. Who backpack. There are books of Dr. Who trivia, Dr. Who coffee mugs and Dr. Who pint glasses, a lot of which are on sale.
They’re all very attractive, but sadly, I didn’t know the first thing about Dr. Who except that somehow he inspired someone to manufacture a Christmas stocking with his name on it.
Who was this super Who-man? After an exhaustive computer search (at least I was exhausted), I discovered that, strangely enough, Dr. Who does not live in Whoville. (Who knew?) “Dr. Who” is a British television “programme” about a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey who travels the universe in his stolen TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) machine, which is happily stuck looking like an antiquated blue British Police Box because the chameleon switch is broken. (Don’t you hate when that happens?)
Dr. Who’s mission is to prevent evil forces from harming innocent people, which he does with the help of a few regular human beings and his trusty sonic screwdriver.
This I had to see. The show was slotted to appear just before some alien swamp creature movie and another programme I had never heard of.
Let me recap: Who was on first, What was on second, and I Don’t Know was on third. (Sorry, I had to do it.)
I wasn’t in for the horror long haul, but for the sake of science and my merchandising curiosity, I decided to try “Dr. Who.”
In that particular episode, Dr. Who came across a little boy who was terrified of the toys in his closet, and with good reason. The dollhouse had the power to suck people in and turn them into crazed dolls, who then attacked other people to turn them into crazed dolls. There were a few tense moments, but Dr. Who saved the day and the little boy went on to only be afraid of imaginary closet monsters like everyone else.
What a guy, or guys, to be more precise. The actor who plays Dr. Who has changed many times since the show premiered in 1963. The writers brilliantly decided that Dr. Who can regenerate, which I thought niftier than the soap opera ploy of throwing the character into a tragic accident that requires extensive plastic surgery. They probably didn’t need to do either one, though. Darren on “Bewitched” changed overnight and Samantha and her viewers just kept going as if nothing had happened.
Anyway, “Dr. Who” was a decent show, but I decided not to order the Dr. Who hoodie even though it was 75 percent off. If you’re interested, though, they were featuring a full line of Dr. Who Christmas ornaments that included the sonic screwdriver at full price.
Who needs that?