25 years ago a schoolfriend of mine committed an act of great moral turpitude on a crazy golf course in Whitley Bay. It was all very sordid, and proved to have consequences of almost Hardyesque grimness. The novelty puttery in question was owned by a sinister cult, the Oscillating Brethren of Minsk. They put my pal in a granite cell where he was held incommunicado and forced to subsist entirely on moistened string shoved through the keyhole.
Fortunately, due to a clerical error by a work experience girl, my old friend escaped a few weeks ago. Naturally, it's taking him some time to readjust to normal(?) society. Especially difficult, he felt, was catching up with popular culture. Before his incarceration he had, like me, been a great fan of sci-fi and horror. But how could he catch up with 25 years worth of TV shows and films? Where to start? X-Files or Buffy? Firefly or Stargate: Atlantis? Okay, that last one's a no-brainer, as they say, but you get my drift.
Fortunately, I had a quick solution for my bewildered buddy. I told him that the BBC, in its capacity as a public service broadcaster, had produced a drama-documentary that embodied every idea ever used in horror and sci-fi since about 1980.
Don't worry your head with anything original yet, mate, I said - just watch Torchwood. And try and stay awake...