Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary.. Volume 98

Saturday 7th April 1984

Woke up at 8.00 and got up at 8.45. Got the 9.20 bus to Middlesbrough and first I went into Smiths. Got a Doctor Who comic and a Doctor Who book called Doctor Who and the Daemons. When we got to Grandma’s I read my comic and had a bacon sandwich, then started to read my book. 

Left at 1.20 and got ‘the best of Sinclair Programs’ in Middlesbrough, then when I got home Doug rang and came down. First we had a muck around upstairs, then we went to Doug’s house and started to paint the hut. At 6.00 I came home and had tea, and at 7.00 I watched the Price is right.

After that at 8.00 I watched a film called Smokey and the Bandit ride again, and at 9.45 I went to bed.

AAAARGH!!! The relentless country yomping of Carlton Camp had taken me away from Doctor Who for a whole week and I was clearly having withdrawal symptoms. So, despite walking stiffly around the house like the Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz, I simply HAD to go to Middlesbrough for my fix.


My ‘Doctor Who comic’ was Doctor Who Monthly Issue 88, introducing Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor… and everyone who’d seen The Twin Dilemma, including my Mum, agreed that he’d been BRILLIANT. I also snaffled up the Target Novelisation of The Daemons, a book that I’d borrowed from Levendale Primary School library during the summer of 1982, devouring almost the whole thing in one sitting on a glorious sunny afternoon on the grassy bank outside our classroom.


Until Stephen Mason bundled me into a plastic blue barrel and rolled me down the hill.

Anyway, good to finally have my own copy for future reference, and yes – it’s still lying in a box in the loft, virtually untouched.

I remember being made to take my Carlton Diary to Middlesbrough ‘so Grandma can read it’ and wondering what on Earth she’d make of the litany of fart jokes, mooning and ‘Shivering Sedgefields’. In the end I think she gave a wry smile and whispered ‘Turds… good heavens…’ as she ploughed through it. I was eating my bacon sandwich at the time, and I stared into the gas fire and blushed. 

It felt really strange being home, as though I’d been away for a long, long time. I guess time passes much more slowly when you’re eleven and you want everything (especially a ZX Spectrum) NOW. As opposed to being 36 and wanting a few nice things… well, erm… how about a week on Thursday?

When Doug came round to my house in the afternoon, I met him on the corner by the petrol station hut, and the first thing he asked was ‘Did you get a Spectrum?’

‘No…’ I sulked. ‘Maybe at Christmas…’

We soon cheered up though, slapping thick layers of white weatherproof paint all over the hut we’d built in Doug’s back garden. Soon we’d move into there permanently, recline in the two feet of space available to each of us, and wave goodbye to our parents forever. Until it was time for a bacon sandwich, or I wanted to borrow some money to buy The Best Of Sinclair Programs.

Another cracking night of 1984 Saturday TV, of course… ‘The Price Is Right’ is now legendary, but this was only the third-ever instalment to be broadcast on British TV, and as I’d missed the first two I’d undoubtedly never seen it before. I don’t think I even knew who Leslie Crowther was, as my own personal Crackerjack* hosts had been the rugged Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart and the brilliantly hyperactive Stu ‘Crush A Grape’ Francis. Good fun though, and it looked like this… (watch out for Wendy Partridge nearly coming a cropper)

That opening ‘Central TV’ ident makes me feel slightly faint with nostalgia.

And ‘Smokey And The Bandit Ride Again’!!! Forget The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather II, THIS is the only sequel in movie history that’s better than the original. Burt Reynolds in a cowboy hat! Sally Field in denim shorts! Jackie Gleason saying ‘Zonnuvabitch’ every thirty seconds and spitting bits of cigar into the dust!

When you’re eleven years old, this is pretty much all you need from any cinematic experience. Especially as a reel of hilarious ‘Alright On The Night’ style bloopers are included behind the end credits, a practice that I still think that EVERY film should indulge in. Yes, even Schindler’s List.


Another early night, you’ll notice. I think I got ten minutes into The Daemons before crashing out. There’s probably still a K9 bookmark stuck in that very page.




  Fiona Tims wrote @

Your Schlinders List comment had me lol-ing!

And FYI-Aliens is the best sequel ever made, so there!

  Dr. Giles Parcel wrote @

Surely ‘Before Sunset’ is the best sequel ever made?At any rate it is better than ‘The Birds 2’.

Grans are invariably more perspicacious and worldly than ever we credit them with being when we are young. It’s almost certain that she was highly amused and entertained by the schoolboy scatology in the exercise book diary.
More brow-creasing by far, I’m sure, must have been the question of the giant twin peanut patterns shaved into the belly fur of the devil on the front of young Fischer’s Doctor Who book. They trouble me and I calculate that I am 18.9 years away from optimum Gran age.

  bobfischer wrote @

I’ve never seen Aliens! *blushes*. And Before Sunset is alright, but could do with Jackie Gleason growling ‘Zonnuvabitch’ at Julie Delpy every now and again.

Stop looking at Azal’s nuts. Even Daemons have feelings.

  Fiona Tims wrote @

And you call yourself a sci-fi fan????
I demand you watch it right now. It’s my favouritest film ever :O)

And yes Before Sunset is one of my faves-but I prefer the original.

  bobfischer wrote @

Is Jackie Gleason in the original?

  Dr. Giles Parcel wrote @

No, but Jackie Trent sings the theme song.

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