The first story where I remember being scared was The Creature From The Pit, a Doctor Who story from 1979. But the creature that scared me wasn’t even the Creature, it was the the Wolfweeds!
For those of you who have never seen this less than classic episode, the Wolfweed are in essence sentient tumbleweeds that roll towards their prey to attack it. They’re more laughable than scary.
Never the less this is one of my most enduring memories of Doctor Who. At this point I’ve seen almost every episode that remains on tape, but my memory being what it is a lot of them get jumbled together. K-9 facing off against the Wolfweeds is an image I can conjure up every single time.
I was 7 years old when I watched The Creature From The Pit. Everything was scarier then. Everything was more original and the inevitable path of the plots was hidden to me. Doctor Who stimulated my imagination in a way that few other shows have ever done. The monsters are frequently cheaply constructed and some of the characters are hokey, but picture yourself as a 7 year old and tell me they aren’t scary.
Sometimes I really wish I could read books or watch TV with that mind set again.
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