Being a modernly moderate drinker with a writing problem is not my only odd habit you know. While being a beer nerd is all very well and good, among other things I have this little itsy-bitsy thing about 1960s and 70s TV sci-fi shows. I have all the Space: 1999 episodes on DVD as well as the Thunderbirds. Man can those marionettes act. You know, if a gaping burning pit down to the core of the planet ever appears in the backyard, I am definitely calling in the marionettes.
But the biggest crush me and the kids have right now is for Doctor Who and particularly the version shown in North America in the late 1970s on PBS. Apparently, I am not alone. The lead actor from that particular era, Tom Baker, was recently interviewed in, yes, Doctor Who Magazine, issue 412. It's a pretty wide ranging discussion but this bit at page 19 in the middle of his recollection of life in early '70s (before he got the TV gig) caught my eye:
Pubs were once like clubs for ordinary people. I used to live in a pub called The Grove Tavern in Beauchamp Place, of the Brompton Road, near Harrods. I was a barman, too. At six o'clock in the pub, 'til seven, there was a heavy drinking session with terribly grand people, who lived nearby. They would drink very heavily - cocktails 'til seven o'clock. Then they'd go off to their dinner, and at about half-past nine, a good many of them would be back in the pub for their nightcaps! And that was their little pub - it was their club. It was the same for pubs in every area or village. People would tell other people they were sitting in their seat! And people knew what they drank, whereas the bar-staff now as not there long enough to know what customers want. It's a different world. There an entirely different attitude towards work and drink - it's puritanical now. You ask someone if they want a drink and they look at their watch. What the f*** has that got to do with anything?! "You want a glass of wine?" and they look at their watch. I always tell them, "What's that for? Do you want a glass of wine or not?!"
I like that. Could be called "The Watch of Deadly Bore" if it were an episode of the show. People do look at their watches, check their calendar, make cell phone calls. And I wonder what he would think about the place that once was The Grove Tavern having its own website - with cheesy auto launch background music. Just so wrong. No doubt there was no checking one's commitments when the first Doctor offered around the bubbly in the 1965 Christmas episode, shown above.