As you all may have gathered, I have become quite a fan of Doctor Who in the last year or so. As a new recruit to the Whovian ranks, I’ve had a lot of catching up to do, but I have to say that the thing that surprised me the most about it was just how scary it was. This was a show I remembered from my childhood as being intended for a family audience, meaning that mom, dad and the screaming rugrats could all watch the show together. That was actually one of the things that caused me to have some reluctance to pick it up; usually, when a show is trying to be everything to everyone, it ends up being nothing to anyone.
This aspect, though, I learned is a trademark of the Doctor Who series, so much so that it resulted in the coining of the phrase, “Behind the sofa“, as in a small child hiding behind the sofa whenever the Daleks appear. As the childhood audience has grown older, it’s become a point of commonality for an entire generation, being terribly frightened by monsters on television.
As a late arrival in the Whovian Association, I didn’t really have this experience, even if I did find myself running the risk of having a little pee when the Weeping Angels were on the screen. For me, it was the Borg. They were introduced when I was nine or ten years old, and for most other television monsters, I was old enough not to be frightened anymore. But for some reason, the Borg gave me the chills, and actually made me afraid of the dark again for a few months after they were introduced. I was old enough that my rational mind could tell me there was absolutely no reason to be frightened, they were just silly characters on a TV show. My childhood imagination, however, simply wouldn’t let them go.
What monsters of film or television genuinely scared the bejeezus out of you as a child?