Doctor Who and his Enemies inside Weetabix

 Nick Griffiths sent me an extract from his 1970’s memoir Dalek I Loved You as his blog contribution.

“I imagine every Who fan of a certain age remembers Weetabix’s ‘Doctor Who and his Enemies’ promotion. It began in April 1975.

Dr Who and his Enemies promotional packet of Weetabix from the Cuttings Archive

After the ignominy of missing out on the UNIT badge from Sugar Smacks – like today’s Sugar Puffs, less the domestic violence angle – I made sure that I collected the lot and then some. Swaps? Coming out of my ears. It was the first collection that really mattered to me: it was my favourite show, the illustrations were really cool, evocative and lifelike, and there were 24 to collect (in strips of four), so it took persistence.Dr Who and his Enemies

Usually, I would only eat two Weetabix for breakfast, and sometimes just the one. Suddenly I was wolfing down three and being told that I couldn’t have any more. Mum had to start buying the family box, which had two free sets of Who strips. It all made perfect sense.

The cereal packet had a cut-out diorama on the back, so you could gaze at that, revelling in the detail, while chewing. Tardis interior, alien planet, volcanic landscape, underground caverns, alien forest, alien city. I never used them. I just stared.More Dr Who and his Enemies

There is something primevally delicious about ripping open packaging and rummaging inside, desperate to find a certain part of a collection. The horrible sense of disappointment when they are swaps (replaced later by a feeling of hope that another collector will need them, with your keenly eyed bounty in his own stash). The violent elation when they are not! And with perfect mathematics, that elation rises in direct proportion to the size of your collection.

Picture it. You need just the strip featuring two Tom Bakers (one running), Sarah Jane and a Dalek. You slide your hand down inside, between new box and ‘bix. You clutch the plastic envelope with fingertips. You close your eyes, pull it free. Open them. It’s two Tom Bakers, Sarah Jane and a Dalek! Endorphin rush! You jump up and down around the kitchen, crying, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’. Your mother comes in, hoping the celebration is something to do with school results. You explain that it isn’t. You’ve just completed your ‘Doctor Who and his Enemies’ Weetabix collection. She smiles unknowingly. You part company, you to play, she to wash up.

‘What about your breakfast?’ she calls out, spotting the unopened cereal.

‘I’ve gone off Weetabix,’ you call back.”


Cover image Dalek I Loved You by Nick Griffiths click to buy from Waterstone'sNick Griffiths, author Dalek I Loved You. Nick has a new book published by Legend Press In the Footsteps of Harrison Dextrose

For more information on both books and the man himself, including blog and some very bad 70’s haircut photos, see the website: www.nickgriffiths.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 


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One Response

  1. Yes i remember them, i am 42 wish weetabix would do another set

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