Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Overwhelming Presence

Just been reading the lovely Colin Baker's (less than warm) remarks about his encounter with Jimmy Savile on the... umm... Daily Mail website.  Bleurgch.  I won't link.

Found this delightful comment below.  As ever, click to enlarge.

It may be trolling, of course... but I doubt it.  It has the ring of genuine idiocy about it.

It restores a little bit of one's faith in humanity to see that even the Daily Mail readers downvoted this icky little splat of blinkered, slavering, buttmunching cockwitttery.

Just shows.  It's a jungle out there.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

People Like Us

Lawrence Miles on 'nice-but-then' syndrome:

Re-writing the whole world in order to prop up a specifically late-twentieth-century agenda is bad enough, but WALKING TO BABYLON sets about re-writing the whole of history. Lady Ninan is supposedly a resident of ancient Babylon, but speaks and acts like a twentieth- century post-feminist liberal, thus "proving" that "people like us" have been making the world a lovely place in which to live throughout history; despite living in a city under constant threat of foreign attack, the Lady lets Bernice, a complete stranger and obvious alien, stay in her house without any form of introduction simply on the pretext that "people like us" have to stick together; Bernice has a relationship with a (Victorian, or early Edwardian?) traveller- cum-archaeologist who, despite the Victorian era's notoriety for male violence, bigotry and misogeny [sic] turns out to be such a "new man" that he becomes a stereotypical perfect gentleman from a Barbara Cartland novel; the two of them embark on a relationship which has every possible jagged edge systematically smoothed away by the text, almost as a demonstration of how nice, kind, polite and utterly unthreatening men can be picked up in any historical period; he's even completely unaware of the existence of male prostitution (!) - despite being well-schooled in history and hailing from an era in which most of the major scandals of the day involved public figures being found in homosexual brothels - in order to sledgehammer home the fact that he's so non-existant as a sexual presence that he can't possibly cause Bernice any harm or heartache, and as all good twentieth-century liberals know that's what good relationships are made of. 
It's not just the fact that any historical context is thrown straight out of the window. It's the fact that it's been done to facilitate such a false, banal, "consensus-approved" romance. The uber-politics of WALKING TO BABYLON are presented as an ideal, but to put it bluntly if I lived in an "ideal" world this sterile then I'd kill myself in a week. It'd be going too far to compare the novel to the kind of disinfected, state-endorsed culture described in books like 1984, but I'm going to anyway because that's how it made me feel. 
Yet WALKING TO BABYLON went straight to the top of the New Adventure polls when it was released, and in a sense it's not surprising. It tells the audience exactly what that audience wants to hear. Act in the "proper" manner and you, too, can live in a lovely soft- edged universe where everybody believes in exactly the same principles, regardless of their background or century, and you might even get to have sex with - according to your preference - either (a) Bernice or (b) a pretty, blushing young man who might as well have been lobotomized for all the personality he's got. This isn't a romance, this is Newspeak- culture, and like all Newspeak-culture it works because it's essentially reassuring.
- Lawrence Miles, interview, 2001. 

(From an interview found and posted on Facebook by Richard Pilbeam... otherwise I'd never have seen it.)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Children in Need

The BBC's failure to protect kids from Jimmy Savile is revolting, but it's hardly the beginning or the end of their disinterest in violence against children.  Certain children, anyway.  The keepers of Pudsey are strangely uninterested in the child victims of powerful and influential people... be they depraved DJs or depraved states that happen to be Western allies.

For instance, as I write this, the state of Israel - a brutal, aggressive, nuclear armed, apartheid state which is mysteriously supposed to be less of a threat to world peace than Iran - is murdering Gazan children.  (It does no good, by the way, to trot out that old chestnut about them not deliberately aiming at the kids... if you get a machine gun and spray bullets blindly into a school, it's no good later claiming you were only trying to hit the cigar-smoking TV personality lurking in the corner.)

This is nothing new, nor is the BBC response, which is as routine as it is pusilanimous.  Indeed, cowardice in the face of the powerful Israeli lobby (not to mention the backing Israel gets from the USA and our government) is the most charitable interpretation.  A less charitable - and probably more accurate - interpretation would be that those BBC content providers covering the 'conflict' in Gaza are unaware of the way they are loading and slanting their words.

Some examples?  Try these from the BBC website today.  Click on them to make them bigger.

Note that the 'Key Points' are all to do with the so-called 'targeted assassination' of a Hamas leader.  Note the phrase "militant groups", presumably including Hamas, a democratically elected party.  Note the prominence given to Israeli officials, who are allowed to frame the Israeli operation as being aimed at "terror targets" in response to "days of on going rocket attacks on Israeli civilians", the aim being to "protect Israeli civilians" (the only civilians who matter, or even exist, apparently).

No mention of the Gazan civilians, including young children, slaughtered.  Can you imagine how differently the page might read if the Palestinian rockets had caused any comparable damage to Israel, or if Iran had bombed somebody and caused as much suffering?

This one from today too:

Here's the headline.  Note the relative sizes (and thus importance) given to Israeli and Palestinian deaths... bearing in mind the ratios and the fact that Israel is immensely better armed.  Notice the decontextualised way the attack becomes "cross-border violence" in line with the BBC's usual way of depicting Israel/Palestine as a two-tribes-squabble issue, rather than the brutal domination of a subjugated captive minority by a powerful state.

Yesterday, the blog Electronic Intifada published a "statement from international academics who recently particpated in a conference on linguistics at the Islamic University of Gaza which decries major media outlets’ failure to report on recent killings of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in Gaza."  The statement spells out the issue far better than I could, and takes in the BBC's role as peddling the unbalanced and dishonest message.  You can read the whole thing here.  Here's a quote:

Articles that do report on the killings overwhelmingly focus on the killing of Palestinian security personnel. For example, an Associated Press article published in the CBC world news on November 13, entitled Israel mulls resuming targeted killings of Gaza militantsmentions absolutely nothing of civilian deaths and injuries. It portrays the killings as ‘targeted assassinations’. The fact that casualties have overwhelmingly been civilians indicates that Israel is not so much engaged in “targeted” killings, as in “collective” killings, thus once again committing the crime of collective punishment. Another AP item on CBC news from November 12 reads Gaza rocket fire raises pressure on Israel government. It features a photo of an Israeli woman gazing on a hole in her living room ceiling. Again, no images, nor mention of the numerous bleeding casualties or corpses in Gaza. Along the same lines, a BBC headline on November 12 reads Israel hit by fresh volley of rockets from Gaza. Similar trend can be illustrated for European mainstream papers.

News items overwhelmingly focus on the rockets that have been fired from Gaza, none of which have caused human casualties. What is not in focus are the shellings and bombardments on Gaza, which have resulted in numerous severe and fatal casualties. It doesn’t take an expert in media science to understand that what we are facing is at best shoddy and skewed reporting, and at worst willfully dishonest manipulation of the readership.

Here's a shot of the BBC article the statement links to:

This is an earlier report, from 12/11/12.  Note that no Israelis are reported as killed by rockets before the Israeli attack on Gaza.  The shocked Israelis are higher up the article than the dead Palestinians, who don't make it into the headline.  Would dead Israelis be mentioned as an afterthought in paragraph 3?  I'm guessing not.  Still, two of the dead Palestinians were "militants", so that's all right then. 

Just as the media is now engaged in a concerted effort to derail the child abuse scandal into a relentless concentration upon the Newsnight scandal (thus drawing all our eyes away from the possibility that the several sectors of the British establishment - including the government and Conservative Party - were engaged in paedophile rings) so too the real issue in Palestine must be obscured.  Just as the BBC is happily flagellating itself to appease the unappeasable reactionary press, so it is voluntarily refusing to see the ongoing horror of Israel's behaviour in Palestine... but it seems unfair to pick on them particularly.  As the linguists' statement says, the BBC are just going with the general flow.

I bang on about the BBC because I pay for it directly.  Just as my taxes and the taxes of Americans go to support Israeli aggression (through aid and government sponsorship of UK arms sales, for instance), so my licence fee goes toward helping them get away with it.
















The 1917 Zone - Part 1: Tim Nice-But-Then and the Curse of Downton Abbey

The first in a new series of posts looking at the way Doctor Who has tackled World War One.

Looked at from a certain viewpoint, 'Human Nature' / 'The Family of Blood' makes all the right noises.  All the proper sounds issue from it when it is tapped.  It notices social hypocrisy about war, perhaps even moralising about it.  For instance, while the young boys at the school are taught how to be good little soldiers, a veteran of the Crimean war is to be found begging outside the town hall.

There is also an acknowledgement that war is unpleasant.  The boys tremble and cry when forced to actually point weapons at an approaching enemy, with even the odious Hutchinson is seemingly relieved at the realization that they've been shooting at empty scarecrows.  Joan lost her husband at Spion Kop (a battle of the Second Boer War, which would've been a British victory but for the farcical incompetence of the British generals).  The Headmaster has his speech in which he describes using his dead mates as sandbags.

There is an attempt at balance, at the dramatic demonstration of values rather than the elaboration of a didactic authorial point-of-view.  Yet, the characters' values are not allowed to go uninterrogated.  Irony is much used.  So the Headmaster rounds up his boys to fight, responds with angry self-righteousness to the taunting of Baines/Son, and so on... but also evinces sincere horror at the idea of allowing what he thinks of as a little girl to be caught in the crossfire.  Of course, there's another irony there because he's prepared for male children to be sent into the line of fire.  Females, especially working class females, are to keep silent (presumably unless cheering you on your way to the carnage).

There's an awareness of open sexism and racism in the episodes, issues that other forays into the past - 'Daleks in Manhattan' for instance - have almost entirely ignored and effaced.  Baines and Hutchinson look down on Martha and Jenny and make their nasty little racist joke.  John Smith assumes that Martha's talk of aliens is a case of "cultural misunderstanding"; a primitive failing to comprehend the difference between fiction and reality.  Joan scoffs at the idea of a black maid training to be a doctor, apparently finding this concept even more immediately and self-evidently ridiculous than time travel or aliens.

The Class Struggle in Trumpton

There's quite a common fad nowadays in TV drama, perhaps best exemplified by Mad Men: setting a story in a past era allows lots of implied sneering at crass, blatant, old-style sexism, racism, etc... all underwritten by a kind of tacit, back-slapping awareness of how much better we are than the people back then, now that we're all enlightened liberals, cured of such silly shibboleths.  In 'Human Nature' / 'The Family of Blood' there is at least an awareness of class as a factor, though 'classism' is depicted as just another category of prejudice alongside racism and sexism.  This representation of 'classism' arises through the implicit contrast of the Trumptonesque community that is depicted - Mr Farmer, Mr Baker, Miss Maid, Mr Teacher, etc. - with the willingness of the story to notice inequalities in the way people are treated.  Class is thus effaced via the Trumptonisms while also hinted at as a way in which a minority group of scullions are ill-treated and disadvantaged; a safe way of noticing inequality that permits liberal clucks of disapproval while leaving real class struggle obscured.  There is no inkling that class society may be the fundamental problem, that this may even be the reason why the society of Britain in 1913 has an Empire into which it will soon be feeding an entire generation like steak into a mincer.

Nor would one expect any such inklings.  This story is an artifact of mainstream entertainment production.  It is to be expected that it will fit snugly into the hegemonic ideology of the industry.  It occupies the liberal mainstream and takes the standard approach to the national past: it interrogates aspects of that era which we think we can now look back on with a degree of condescension, disavowing elements of the past that we have supposedly progressed beyond, thus salvaging and embracing wider notions of national identity and heritage which thus seem to have weathered necessary critique.  The solution is implied by the critique, thus rendering the critique a form of support for the wider notion of national progress, of a national virtue more fundamental than the transient flaws.  This is a strategy very much used in such mainstream entertainment, a way of representing our 'national' past (and, in a slightly different mode, our present).  Look at 'The Empty Child' / 'The Doctor Dances' for an in-Who example.   The sexual morality of 1940s Britain is subjected to critique by aspects of the story (i.e. the implied abuse of children co-existing in a society that stigmatizes very-young unwed mothers, different levels of acceptance towards gays at different class levels) but the "damp little island" emerges vindicated by the mending of the central fractured relationship and the surrounding context of progress triumphant, i.e. the supposed national heroism of fighting Hitler, and the promise of social safety nets in future ("don't forget the NHS").

Missing the Target

I think the most telling scene in 'Human Nature' may the one where Tim Latimer is forced to practice using the Vickers gun against some dummies.  It shows the story's highest moments of critique but there is a gaping hole in the scene which shows, by its very near-absence, the issue upon which the story tries to foreclose, partly unsuccessfully, as it turns out... (something I'll write about later).  The scene emphasizes that boys are being taught warfare at school.  Imperial warfare, yes, because the Headmaster says that their targets are "tribesmen from the Dark Continent".  The Head overrides Tim Latimer's qualms about shooting people armed only with spears in the most condescending terms, telling him that he hopes that the boy will one day have a "just and proper war" in which to "prove himself".  This brings on a flashforward in which Tim sees himself and Hutchinson engaged in that very future war, seemingly about to die (as it turns out, the Head is right about Tim "proving" himself... the moment he forsees here is the moment that, we will later learn, both prompts and endorses his decision to take part in the war, instead of being a conshy Red Cross volunteer as in the novel).  Tim hesitates and consequently gets a beating from the sneeringly sadistic Hutchinson, with Smith's approval.

Everything about this scene screams at us that we are supposed to disapprove.  The way the scene is evidently expected to surprise most viewers (those not public school educated) by depicting children being taught how to use machine guns, the incongruously youthful-look of the actor playing Tim, the bluff and blimpish attitude of the Headmaster, the idea of him actively hoping for a war, his notion of war as a proving ground, the overplayed loathsomeness of Hutchinson, the shock of seeing Smith (the quasi-Doctor) consent to the corporal punishment of a child, the stony-faced Joan as she looks on in evident disapproval, the racism inherent in the reference to Africans, the foreshadowing of the horrors of the trenches, etc.  It's all calculated to make the average early-21st century Western liberal everyperson squeal with disapproval, even down to the "beating" that Tim is condemned to.  Is there anything more likely to cause gales of outraged horror than the idea of pulling down a young boy's trousers and thwacking his bottom with a stick?  The scene wields this like a triumph.  'See how horrible it was back then?'

More seriously, we are quite evidently expected, as audience members, to empathize with Tim's moral scruples.  Yet notice what is not said.  Tim doesn't object to shooting at "tribesmen" on the grounds that he has no business being in their country.  He objects on technical grounds, on the grounds that the level of weaponry is mismatched, that such an uneven conflict is unfair.

Of course, we wouldn't expect anybody in such a situation, in that place at that time, to object on anti-imperialist grounds or anti-war grounds.  Nobody in a British public school in rural England in 1913 would be likely to interrupt a lesson to object to imperialism in the manner of the radical Left of the time (indeed, when the crunch came, the majority of the European Left shamefully accommodated themselves to imperialism, nationalism and war).  Nor would anyone in such a context be likely to enunciate objections that reflect our widespread present-day liberal embarrassment over the Empire (bearing in mind that, these days, even apologists for the Empire like Niall Ferguson have to admit that it entailed much that was morally dubious).  However, the scene avoids only the crassest possible method of inserting modern concerns/attitudes into the mouths of characters (the Walking to Babylon method, one could call it, after the novel in which a Victorian male and some ancient Babylonians think like modern Western liberals so that Benny can like them).  If it aims to present a snapshot of the past untainted by our desired attempt to see our own concerns reflected in the thoughts and actions of the characters, it fails.  It succeeds in rejecting modern ways of thinking only to the extent that it rejects any focus upon the issue of British imperialism.  The scene forecloses noticeably upon this issue, while openly addressing other (more mainstream, less radical) modern moral concerns.  It shows us, quite clearly, the problems of the past by which we ought to be shocked... and imperialism doesn't figure, except perhaps as an implied by-product of racism (which is a reversal of the real sequence).  Racism is among the targets of the scene, certainly.  However, this very proffering of racism as an evil of the past effaces both present-day racism (which we like to think of as a rare departure from the norm... which it isn't) and any further investigation into why the Headmaster would characterize the practice dummies as "tribesmen".  He does it because he's a bit of an old racist.  End of.  Gosh, they were politically incorrect back then, weren't they?  Tim's objection to shooting the "tribesmen" despite their lack of modern weaponry is forcefully waggled in our faces as evidence of his (apparently natural and intrinsic) moral extra-sensitivity, his ahead-of-his-time-ness, his like-us-ness, for which he will be martyred to the cane by the posh barbarians of nearly-a-century-ago.

Marching Onwards and Upwards

We are plagued by Downton Abbey syndrome these days: the past re-imagined and sanitised to make it palatable to modern sensibilities.  There are various methods.  The most extreme method is to simply ignore things (for instance, it would surely have been very unlikely that Solomon in 'Daleks in Manhattan' would be able to walk around 1930s New York without anyone discriminating against him on the grounds of race).  Otherwise, aspects that seem unfortunate to us are depicted in a way that makes them seem like aberrations, or as atavistic holdovers amidst the whiggish march of liberal progress.  The real barometers of History are an enlightened few - those most forward-thinking, those most like us, those furthest forward on the upward curve of liberal cultural evolution - grieve over these aberrations and try to combat them, or at least flout them.  They are in the story to represent us in the past.  To be nice - like we are - but back then.  The nice-but-then characters anticipate and/or champion a modern liberal social outlook, despite being decades (or centuries) away from the historical period in which it will develop.  Thus Garrow's Law (a kind of Judge John Deed in period costume... I promise you, it's every bit as ghastly as it sounds) has the 18th century lawyer William Garrow feeling political sympathy and romantic empathy for a persecuted gay couple, thus mapping 21st century liberal notions of sexuality and political morality onto a past era which would've found them incomprehensible.  

Downton Abbey itself is based on this kind of retroactive moralising, but from a deeply disingenuous and outright Tory point of view (in the sense of 'benevolent' patriarchy and one-nation paternalism, not the really-existing-conservatism of ultra-freemarketeering rhetoric).  Downton Abbey's portrayal of class takes in the Trumptonesquerie of the 'we're all in it together, and we all have our role to play' view, mixed with a half-amused (oh-ho-weren't-they-politically-incorrect?!) and half tutting presentation of cultural mores and manners.  The attitudes are depicted so as to simultaneously shock and titilate modern sensibilities.  Class is manifested in terms of cultural attitudes that are funny in their old-fashionedness.  Magge Smith's character is the tell-tale marker of how we're meant to see things: she's outrageously snobbish but her snobbery is evidently supposed to be likeable for its outrageousness, its truculent pig-headedness, its obstinacy.  The old battleaxe is lovable for the very attitudes which are presented as the quaint eccentricities of a noble relic.  She, and the past she comes from, are ultimately absolved.  Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville is the essence of the benevolent patriarch of one-nation Tory myth.  He's the nice guy who happens to have a duty of care for everyone thrust upon him by his elevated position.  The presentation of the 'Great War' in DA takes a similar route.  It was a catastrophe that engulfed everybody in Trumpton... sorry, Downton, equally; there were some horrible things like shellshock; some of the attitudes of people during the war were amusingly/shockingly 'of their time'; the root cause was cultural rather than structural; the ruling class had a duty of care and, by and large, they made good, etc.  The show even tries (ludicrously crudely) to depict some of the social changes brought about by the war, by having the upper-crust characters suddenly interact far more intimately with the below-stairsers.  The whiggish march continues as His Lordship enjoys a tortured bromance with his valet, etc.  In many ways, Grantham (the Earl of) is a nice-but-then character.  He's not 'the same' as us, but he's one of those who paved the way for the world to reach our wonderful plateau of tolerance and equality... indeed, by the Tory standards of his show, we may have gone to far down that road as a society.  He's a lost ideal that we should aspire to emulate: the man who made drastic class divisions work for everyone, the way they were 'supposed to', without our modern excesses.

'Human Nature' / 'The Family of Blood' is not as bad as DA, but it has a bad case of nice-but-then syndrome.  In just the Vickers-gun-practice-scene, both Tim and Joan are nice-but-then characters.  What the nice-but-then characters disapprove of is very telling.  It is a way to measure what the text expects (so to speak) its audience to disapprove of.  It is a measure of the normative assumptions that the text's creators take for granted.  What they are given to frown at is a way of measuring the parameters of the politically conceivable within the text.  The scene we've been looking at acknowledges the issues of racism, jingoism, blimpishness, physical brutality in education, etc., but, as noted, it forecloses upon the issue of imperialism.

Moreover, even those sins it notices are safely packaged away within the past, within the bad-old-days that may be acknowledged as bad to the extent that bad things like these happened then.  We, from our position of modern-minded, liberated, liberal, tolerant, progressive, humane nowness, can afford to tut at the silly and unpleasant behaviour of the people of 1913.  We can compare ourselves to them and (especially when we see ourselves vicariously present and stony-faced in the persons of the nice-but-then characters) feel mighty good about ourselves.

Of course, this sort of thing didn't begin with Mad Men or Downton Abbey.  The nice-but-then character is not a new invention.  In 60s Doctor Who, just off the top of my head, there's the guy in Nero's court, freeing slaves because he's a secret Christian (don't get me started).  Indeed, the nice-but-then character may be embedded in every foray Doctor Who takes into the past.  It may literally happen within the narratives of 'An Unearthly Child', 'Marco Polo', 'The Aztecs', etc., with Ian and Barbara - the 'civilized', late-20th century Westerners - trying to explain friendship and human rights to the savages, Easterners and natives of yore.


Lots more of this to come, I'm afraid.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cruel and Cowardly

Trigger Warning.

So, Jimmy Savile and all that.  The hidden well of suppurating pus beneath the now-picked scab of BBC light entertainment.

It would seem that vast amounts of Doctor Who were made by an organisation that, in its widespread branches and ascending echelons, actively colluded in facilitating and covering-up the abuse and rape of children.  Lots of children.

By itself, this observation is irrelevant to the wider scandal, and to dwell on it from the fan standpoint would surely amount to morally myopic solipsism of the first degree.  What matters isn't how we feel about it, or how it changes our viewing of contemporaneous episodes.  On the list of things that matter, that's so far down that it's in an appendix, in small print.  Yet it surely demands some thought from those of us steeped in the show, in the history of it and the watching of it.

Most of us fans have - via the videos and DVDs and toys and... ahem... websites - given unreasonable amounts of our time and loyalty and extra money to the BBC.  The same organisation that cosetted and enabled a man who, beyond being a routine right-wing shitsmear of a type all-too-common in the entertainment world, was also a known child rapist.  The BBC, the makers and marketers of the children's own show that the adults adore, instititionally sat on the knowledge and did nothing.

We shouldn't, of course, be shocked out of any illusions about the BBC being a beneveolent, lovable old auntie or any such mindless, sentimental bollocks.  I'm now past the point where I'd be happy to take part in any 'Proud of the BBC' campaigns.  I guess even Mitch Benn would probably not write the same lyrics, were he writing today.

No, no.  The BBC News helps naturalise and peddle and thus facilitate wars, invasions, corruption, hard-right government policies, police brutality, neo-liberal assumptions galore, and a thoroughly establishment view of reality.  This is it's notion of balance and objectivity.  Andrew Marr and Jeremy Vine and other such clueless parrots of capitalist realism, spewing endless reiterations of hegemonic ideology.  BBC drama and comedy and entertainment shows - Doctor Who included - generally promulgate deference, hierarchy, cultural racism, heterodoxy and conformity, heteronormativity, contempt for the working class and bourgeois values.  The BBC, as a force in the culture industries, instinctively advocates respect for authority and royalty and capitalism and established power.

That it is loathed and hated poisonously by the Murdoch press and the rest of Britain's reactionary print media is testament only to the fact that, being publically owned, it doesn't earn profit for the capitalist class directly, and even cuts into a wedge of the market.  Being nominally accountable to the public, it is occasionally capable of mild deviations from the ideological ultra-lunacy of the press, red-top or 'quality'.  From the standpoint of Melanie Phillips and persons of her loathsome ilk, it's communism to even affect neutrality over, say, Israel/Palestine, even if the real effect of your coverage is to perpetuate all the reactionary lies peddled about the conflict.  That the BBC isn't 'as bad' as the Daily Mail is no excuse.  It may even be its own special kind of crime, since the appearance of sanity and neutrality gives its heavily ideological programming a veneer of respectability that the Mail lacks (for all but the most far-gone).

It's also a hierarchical institution, run by relatively wealthy, expensively-educated members of the social elite.  It should be no shock that it will engage in ruthless arse-covering, upward arse-kissing and total disregard for the rights or testimonies of people lower down the pecking order.  That's what hierarchies are like.  That's what they're for.

Even so, and granting all of the above, I'd be worried about myself if I weren't still shocked by the corporation's wide-ranging complicity in and cover-up of child rape.  I am.  I should be.  So should we all.  We should all be uncomfortable when we next sit down to watch a favourite episode, knowing that it may have been filmed in the same building where Savile was sat, perhaps fondly remembering his most recent conquest, secure in the knowledge that the people upstairs would do nothing about it.

Anyone anxious to re-watch 'In a Fix with Sontarans'?