Monday, 31 October 2011

It's Dr Who vs Albert Steptoe !

My brother has informed me that someone told him that I have about as much grip on reality as Dr Who and that I need to get myself a Tardis designer should I ever wish to see any of my dreams come to fruition !

It got me thinking about TV series and the characters in them. There is one person who I can see has taken a lead from a massive 1960's TV Icon. The more I thought about it, the more obvious it is. None other than that inspiration to a whole generation of us raised in the 1960's - Albert Steptoe from Steptoe and Sons. Wikipedia sums up the storylines of Steptoe and son as follows :-

Despite his lack of effort Albert routinely and easily proves himself superior to his son whenever they come into competition, such as in their frequent game-playing, e.g., the Scrabble and badminton games from the 1972 series. Harold takes them desperately seriously and sees them as symbols of his desire to improve himself, but they come to nothing every time. His father's success is partly down to superior talent but aided by cynical gamesmanship and undermining of his son's confidence. In addition, Albert habitually has better judgement than his son, who blunders into all sorts of con-tricks and blind alleys as a result of his unrealistic, straw-clutching ideas. Occasionally the tables are turned, but overall the old man is the winner, albeit in a graceless fashion.
Much as it would be nice to imagine that those we oppose are stupid, it is quite clear to me that they usually are not, they just have a very different way of looking at the world and a very different idea of what is at the centre of it. When this is combined with cynicism and a manipulative nature it can prove a toxic mix. Sadly whilst Steptoe the older succeeds in his narrow agenda, the net result is that neither him nor his son ever move on or develop. Both are doomed to remain stuck in an existence that suits neither, both ultimately controlled by their fear of change. Sadly I'm of the opinion that such an influence is being cast in a direction we can all recognise.

I suppose that my riposte to all of those Steptoes out their, criticising all of us Doctor Who types is to remind them that while Steptoe and son tragically disappeared in the 1970's, Dr Who is still going strong, regenerating and reinventing himself for the new decade and the new century. Whilst both Steptoe and Dr Who are characters dreamed up in the imagination of talented writers, in some ways they both reflect different personality types. I guess that given the choice I'd rather be hurtling around the universe in a Tardis anyday than stuck in a rag and bone yard, trying to figure out how knobble the dreams and aspirations of those who I should be inspiring.

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