Monday, 24 October 2011

A dalek in Asda

A dalek (probably not in Asda)
Yesterday there was an dalek in our local Asda. Apart from offering the opportunity for a quick tweet ('Just seen a dalek at Asda. I always thought they shopped at Lidl.') it inspired me to think about what has happened to fear in children.

If, at the age of 8, when I first encountered daleks on TV, I had met one rolling down the frozen food aisle, I would probably have wet myself. In practice this couldn't have happened. First we didn't have a fridge when I was 8, and second there were no supermarkets in Rochdale yet. We still did our food shopping at the Home and Colonial. But I digress. I am a member of the generation that genuinely hid behind the sofa to watch something like Doctor Who.

We peered in terrified delight over the top of the couch at the rather murky images of that first Doctor Who adventure, ready to duck down if necessary. Daleks were seriously scary. In 2011, as far as I can gather, nothing much phases an eight-year-old. Given there hasn't been a huge amount of evolution in my lifetime (I'm not that old), what has happened? Is it that they're all exposed to Saw and other such DVDs from the age of two? I really don't know. But I didn't see one child clutching at their parents, showing fear when the dalek came down the aisle. Bring back the good old days, I say...

Image from Wikipedia


  1. My first dalek was at my Dad's Works summer Family Day. Its inclusion was ill advised. I was terrified and required expensive ice cream therapy to set the world right.

  2. Well, kids are still scared of Father Christmas, clowns and Mr Punch when they run into him in town. Not all kids, but some. If they were asked to sit on the Dalek's knee or walk through the Dalek grotto maybe they would be crying wrecks ? I wonder if the frozen food aisle is so incongruous and other people's reactions so amused that they had no reason to fear. Context makes a huge difference I think.

    The old Dr Who actors were more scary too. Tom Baker was a more friendly one but even he had a kind of lunatic menace compared with Matt Smith. I think that left the audience feeling more vulnerable too
    From another person that lived behind the sofa at key moments on a Saturday night

  3. I am not looking much more enigmatic that I meant to in my comment above! Sue