I’m not much of a hoarder (except when it comes to books, obviously) and I’ve never kept a diary, but I have in my youth been known to compile obsessive episode lists for Star Trek:The Next Generation or detailed records of my Doctor Who collection. And, during the 1980s, I went through a phase of keeping newspaper cuttings from my favourite obsessions. Which were, as ever, Doctor Who, Star Trek and a side order of Star Wars.
These are all from the local news rag, the Hull Daily Mail, but they may as well be from anywhere.
They’re also not in very good condition, having been callously Pritt Stick-ed into a scrapbook, and being yellowed and foxed by the passage of time. That I still have them at all is something of a minor miracle given my various spates of Chucking Things Out over the years. For a long while nostalgia for my childhood was antipathy to me. I just didn’t have the urge to hang onto things. (Fortunately my parents are not so callous).
These days, more ‘mature’ and sentimental as I am, I’m happy to have a few reminders, and these mini-posters positively glow with nostalgia. I think the tattiness and discolouration only makes them more evocative.
I’m particularly thrilled to find “A triple Trek to the Stars”, a marathon of the first three Star Trek movies to promote Star Trek III. These movie marathons used to be a staple of my childhood. Do they still do things like this? I never seem to see them advertised. In my time I’ve not only done three Trek films in a row, I’ve also done five (count ’em) Star Trek Movies in a row. Then there was the marathon of 3 Mad Max movies and two Alien movies. Or was it Evil Dead? I definitely saw three Evil Dead movies at one of these. Movie marathons always seem like such a good idea going in, and then by film #4 your eyelids are drooping and only teeth-gritting stubbornness is keeping you going. I particularly remember watching the three Trek movies in one sitting because the third one had the extra “Captain’s log” bit at the start where Kirk pointlessly recapped the movie we’d just finished watching.
Seeing Aliens at the cinema is another strong memory. Along with Cronenberg’s The Fly this was one of the first two 18-rated films I watched at the cinema. I remember an almost palpable sense of dread at what I might witness on that 18-rated movie screen. (When I was much younger my friend had us over to his house to – transgressively – watch the original Alien which his family had video-taped the night before. Sadly — or, perhaps, fortunately for my tender brain — the tape ran out halfway through so I never got to the really gruesome bits. The age of video. See, kids nowadays don’t know about this stuff…)
In contrast, I have no memory whatsoever of seeing Treks IV and V at the cinema, although the (in reality quite bland) poster art for The Final Frontier is hugely redolent of that time period for me. I remember excitedly staying up late to watch an American programme called “Cinemattractions” on ITV where they would run down the US movie box office chart, and I could glimpse a clip from the upcoming movie. (The silly Turbolift scene, as I recall.)
Next time… clippings from when Doctor Who went on an 18 month hiatus. Unthinkable…