A toast to Who fandom


dwcast1.jpg image by palaeogothica

Today marks the 46th anniversary of Doctor Who’s premiere on British television, so I thought I’d chronicle for you my introduction into its fandom. 

Though I’ve watched Doctor Who on and off for many years, and I was completely excited when it came back on Sci-Fi Channel, I wasn’t involved in any fandom activities at all.  In fact, I didn’t know there WAS a Doctor Who fandom, really.  The only people I knew who liked it were my siblings and my mom.  My biggest exposure to other people liking the show was during pledge breaks on PBS during Sci-Fi Saturday Nights on WXEL back in the day.

The 4th Doctor was my Doctor.

Buying my ipod last autumn really marked my entry into a huge world that I never knew was there.  While I was discovering podcasts of radio shows I liked, I stumbled across The Whocast.  They were the entry drug.  The discovery that not only were there other people out there who knew about and liked Doctor Who, but there were A Lot of them, was pretty astonding.    After listening to the back catalog of Whocast, I found that I most enjoyed the episodes with Tony, so I then back-tracked to Staggering Stories, and then on their recommendations, over to Tin Dog Podcast and Radio Free Skaro.  I was introduced to Big Finish.  I was now well and truely hooked.  Now The Flashing Blade, The Minute Doctor Who podcast, the Two-Minute Timelord, and Bridging the Rift make the regular rounds on my itunes each week.  There are many, many more people all over the world who contribute their own unique talents and perspectives to the discussion– and how awesome is that!

The really great thing about learning about Doctor Who fandom is finding that it was composed of groups of intelligent, erudite, and entertaining people who use their mutual understanding of the show’s 46 years to frame discussions about literature, art, philosophy, morality, history,  politics, and more [If you ask them, they will deny this, but it is true]. 

Sooner or later, of course, I wanted to be a part of the discussion.  I sent in feedback and began writing my own episode reviews,  and that’s when I learned another important part of this fandom– it’s collaborative.   This isn’t some clique of uber-fans who set themselves high above the plebs– far from it.  They actively encourage more people to come to the party and to play on their playground, and they embrace new fans and old alike.  It’s this inclusive joy that makes being a fan fun. 

  I worked up the bravery last weekend to attend my first real fan-event– a Hurricane Who viewing party of “Waters of Mars” over in Orlando.  I had a fantastic time, and much like the fans I’d met on the podcasts, the people were intelligent, fun, and welcoming.  It was a wonderful experience.

So, today on Doctor Who’s anniversary, I raise a glass to the fans– Thanks for being fan-tastic!




7 responses »

  1. There’s a pretty healthy fandom over on Live Journal, too, if you ever wish to enter the world of fanfiction, picture manips, musical collaborations, and general adoration 🙂

    • Thanks. Those folks are wonderfully creative! Bridging the Rift podcast also often features fan creations from the worlds of Live Journal, Youtube, and Trock.

  2. I’ll drink to that. I grew up with Peter Davidson and Sylvester McCoy but have loved the new doctors so far. I do still crave seeing Sean Pertwee step into the tardis. I don’t like the idea of the doctor being younger than me, seems wrong.

    • Tennant took time to grow on me, but now I really like him, and I have the feeling the same thing will happen with this new fellow– although he’s younger than me, too.

      • I never thought I would looking at the actor in the role of the Doctor and saying ” The Doctor is young enough to be my kid ”


        Tennant as the Doctor is my favorite but I’m anxious to see the new stories, I’m hoping they go the supernatural/suspense route. I love those story lines.

  3. I, too, have found Who fandom to be very welcoming. As the Brig noted, “Splendid chaps — all of them!” (And I include the lady fans) I was out of fandom for a while, but I am dipping toes back in, via my blog, and maybe someday I will put pen to paper for fanfic once again. Who knows?

    • Thanks for dropping by, Joe! Great to meet another fan. 🙂 We seem to be a very friendly bunch. I,too, wrote fan fic long, long ago (though,in far, far away of the Star Trek Voyager universe).

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