Today in class we discussed Fans, short for fanatic, and the different things people can be fans of. In the discussion today during class fan or fanatic was used in a loose term. To me a fan is overboard. You buy the clothes, you read, watch, and dissect every aspect of a thing you are a fan of. For the most part I would say I like something but I do not live for what the thing is and every aspect of a situation the object, team, show, band, etc. is in. This goes back to the discussion earlier in class of when does someone enter the fan range of the spectrum (for me the spectrum is hate, dislike, neutral feelings, like, all the way to fanatic). Each person has their personal crossing point from liking something to fan in their own life but how do we as a society tell when others cross that point? In the term fanatic suggest a sort of obsession that others can witness from the outside looking in. Some keys to look for is apparel/ merchandise. That is probably the easiest indicator. From an outsider’s perspective on Doctor Who, Doctor Who is a show that people don’t talk about or they cannot stop talking about. Doctor Who has the fanatics, the obsession, the above and beyond viewing base. This is seen from t-shirts, stickers, hats, and now with Halloween approaching the dress up cosplay. My sister found the show when she was in high school and easily could see she became a fan of Doctor Who. She would push me to try to watch an episode, talked about the companions, the different doctors, and her likes and dislikes. It was easily seen that she liked the show and couldn’t stop talking about it so I put her in a fan category.
Doctor Who fans in my opinion and observation picked the right show to be a fanatic of. Most television shows do not run as long as Doctor who has. That right there is a great aspect that gave fans of it almost an endless medium in which to express themselves. Doctor Who also has the means of a solid cast change every season to keep interesting conversation pieces among the fan base. These two aspects are a great thing for a fanatic. If I got into and liked Doctor Who, I could easily see how someone crosses into the fan category. Doctor Who brings an aspect to a television show very few television shows can do and make it okay to change leading role actors without losing the fan base. This is why Doctor Who is as successful, in my opinion, for so long.
At the start of this class, majority of us have either seen Doctor Who or just started the show. Aside from Professor Lindgren, we haven’t had much opportunity to talk to someone who grew up watching classic Doctor Who. Fortunately my dad, who happens to have a love for science fiction, watched some classic Doctor Who episodes when he was younger. I asked him a few questions on the show to get his opinions, and this is his response.
To begin with I started by asking him when did he first watch Doctor Who. He explained that when he was younger there were only four channels on the television. My dad remembered flipping through to see what was on and said his first impression was that it looked stupid. To him back then, he saw “some guy wearing a scarf in a room full of switches and lights.”
I asked him about his favorite Doctor and companion and he told me that his favorite Doctor is Matt Smith. He paused on his favorite companion, and eventually said “I’m not sure if this counts, but I really like Donna Noble’s dad.”
While having a conversation with my dad, he made a few comments that made me laugh. First, he compared the Daleks to whack-a-moles, since “they just keep coming back.” After, he tried to describe his least favorite character, and said her skin was thin like a sail on a boat. It didn’t take me too long to figure out he was describing Cassandra.
Eventually I ended by asking him which he preferred: classic Doctor Who or the new one. Knowing my dad is a big person for special effects, he didn’t hesitant to say the new Doctor Who. He explained “the classic episodes were incredibly cool at the time because it was the first [special effects] we had ever seen. But, the sets and robots are pretty tacky when you look back at them now.”
A few weeks, before I started this class, I decided I needed to get caught up with the rest of the Doctor Who episodes on Netflix. After finishing all of the episodes with the newest Doctor, Peter Capaldi, I proceeded to research him just a bit. I stumbled across this amusing video with Peter Capaldi on The Graham Norton Show.
To say I was amused is an understatement! Not only did this video make me laugh at how Peter Capaldi acted when he was younger, but it also made me think of the current fans and what they might be thinking. Because I am a fan myself, I can imagine the idea of Peter Capaldi becoming the Doctor is not only exciting but brings hope. After all, if someone who can be just as obsessive about a show yet still became the main character can only bring hope to other fans out there who have dreams of being the Doctor in the future.
From looking at this video and comparing it to other interviews with Peter Capaldi, I believe this is the first video that announced how big of a fan he is before becoming the Doctor. Coming to this conclusion wasn’t too difficult, since in this video he squirmed and groaned uncomfortably on the subject. In other interview videos, he begrudgingly admits but accepts how large of a fan he is.
Recently, I also read something about how Peter Capaldi will most likely be the last Doctor that grew up with the show as a child. Though it is possible to have another Doctor in the future that grew up with the show, it’s unlikely due to their current age. But who knows! No one but the Doctor can predict the future.