web analytics
Home > Doctor Who > All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas

December 14th, 2013

From time to time, the Bonhams auction house offers up an assortment of Doctor Who related items. Next Wednesday another batch goes up on the block. And while it would be fun to own “Believed to be from Remembrance of the Daleks – a destroyed Dalek” (as it describes the blackened lower section of the unlucky victim of Ace’s beloved Nitro-Nine explosives), that’s not what had me desperately checking my bank balance.

No, here’s what set my twin hearts aflutter:

It’s the Taran Wood Beast! The scourge of the planet Tara! The darkness that slips between the trees! The creature that haunts my sweaty nightmares!

Sure, that may be overselling it. But my love of the Taran Wood Beast is well-documented. Okay, “love” may also be an overstatement, given that I once described it as “endearingly pathetic.” But that doesn’t matter. I wants it. My precious.

Here’s how Bonhams describes it:

Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara – A Taran Wood Beast costume, November – December 1978, comprising:  a mask in the formed as scaled face (sic), protruding eyes and teeth, of synthetic fur, papier-mache, foam, latex, plastic and polystyrene, with tieing straps, with body/ jump suit, of synthetic fur effect fabric, and foam, with detachable section to reverse, with padded hands, and attached claws, house on a wicker mannequin, together with a reproduction image featuring the piece, head width approximately 20 inches (51cm)

It’s worth pointing that this is not, as they would have it, “a” Taran Wood Beast. This is the Taran Wood Beast. The original, you might say.

Let’s take a closer look at Mr. Beast:

Can you imagine the thrill of experiencing this face staring back at you from the corner of your very own living room? Can you imagine the smell of this costume after so many years? It would exude an odor recalling nostalgia and terror, or more likely, a damp, rotted badger carcass. The actual Taran Wood Beast probably has a fresher scent.

If my lovely wife Vicky bought this for me, I not only would love her for the rest of my days (which I already would, so I guess I’d doubly love her), I would wear it. For Halloween. For Arbor Day. For birthdays and bar mitzvahs, for casual Fridays and dress-up Thursdays. I would wear it so often that locals would say, “Oh look, Gladys. It’s the Taran Wood Beast again.” Followed by, “Let’s walk the other way.”

Yet, as much as the mere possibility of owning this lovely for myself excites me, it also saddens me. Saddens me because someone took in this poor beast for the past 35 years. They sheltered it. They loved it. And, whether they came on hard times or simply couldn’t stand the dead badger stench any more, they were forced to let it go.

Categories: Doctor Who Tags:
Comments are closed.