As a doctor I am often asked: what is serial costume drama induced narcosis and will a subscription to a satellite channel reduce the risk of experiencing it?
Such questions are not easy to answer in layman's terms, so it is perhaps easiest to say that DSIC, or Drama Series Induced Coma as we now know it, is common and fatal and that watching alternative channels (terrestrial or satellite, free-to-air or subscription) will make little or no difference. All are carriers of the condition.
A further complication for the professional is that DSIC presents in very similar ways to two other conditions: Lenin's Disease [Scelerosis Communistensis or Stasis formaldehyde adductus] and Southport Syndrome [Narcosis induxerit aetas) (more commonly "giving up the ghost"*). All are equally fatal in the long term and none should be confused with IIE (Inactivity Induced Ecstasy), a condition generally associated with retirement and characterised by long pleasurable periods of idleness (generally in a prone position).
*See DRT1's The Woman in Tights: "It made me want to give up the ghost too but I have no idea which one she was" The Owermoigne Inquirer
It is a common misperception that purchasing, installing and even polishing the screen of a television can lead to DSIC. Rather, adults are generally safe provided they do not switch the television on and/or tune to a channel broadcasting an interminable costume drama series (in practice this is easier said than done). So called "box sets" are to be avoided at all costs - hospitals report a 14 fold increase in the number of patients presenting with DSIC (ie dead on arrival) since their introduction - and they should only be given as presents to less favoured family members and/or wealthy individuals with well-understood wills.
Finally, I am grateful to regular reader Madame O'Blomov U-Thong-Asia Proust for help in delineating the difference between Southport Syndrome and Oiks Disease (Piger bastardis) both of which present similarly in the less acute phase.
Next week: "Poldark Paralysis: Are multi-vitamins the way forward?
The differences between Lenin's Disease and Southport Syndrome are imperceptible to the untrained eye as the two photographs above show. TOP: a fully developed example of the condition Scelerosis Communistensis Terminensis and BELOW: A memorial to Albert Haddock just one of those taken from this life by Southport Syndrome complicated in his case by acute DSIC [specifically, the always fatal "Call The Midwife" strain].