During the week I have been working my was through the box set of season 2 of Doctor Who, the first David Tennant season. I think that any nerds reading will know where this is going!
Today I watched the episode which was set in 2012 (Fear Her), where the Doctor and Rose arrive in London the day before the opening of the games. The episode features the torch being carried through London and the entire crowd at the opening ceremony disappearing, then reappearing in time to see the Doctor light the cauldron.
The episode was shown in 2006 but is already dated – especially if watched not many hours after the actual event while all the details are very fresh. The biggest thing was, of course, the stadium itself. Right at the moment it is iconic, so seeing supposed BBC News footage of the ceremony at a totally different building is jarring. Likewise, the shape of the torch – which is also a powerful icon in Britain right at this moment.
It was all still enjoyable nonsense, as Doctor Who always is, but strange to watch something along with 27 million other people and then, hours later, to watch a fictional portrayal of it which is so wrong in all the important details. Unavoidable, but strange. Mind you, it would have been stranger still if they had got it right.
Can you imagine if, six years ago, they had included something about the Queen parachuting from a helicopter? Everybody would have said that Doctor Who was just getting too silly. It just goes to show that truth can be stranger than ficton sometimes.