A week and two days ago, I knew the following about the television show Doctor Who:
- It was a sci-fi program from the BBC that’d been aired in the 1960s and then revived in the early 2000s.
- The blue police box is called The TARDIS.
- The Doctor guy time travels, regenerates, and carries a magic wand thing called a Sonic Screwdriver.
- Usually someone goes with him who is referred to as a Companion (but not like on Firefly).
- The robot that looks kind of like a cheese grater is called a Dalek.
That was it.
I’d never seen an episode, just gleaned this info from the pop culture ether. A bit over a year ago, I noticed its availability in Netflix’s streaming service and added it to my queue as something I’d maybe give a shot someday when I didn’t feel like watching anything else.
Last August I noticed all the buzz on the internet regarding a new Doctor to be announced. A vocal part of that fandom hoped that the Doctor would be played by a woman this time. I kept an ear of curiosity open for the announcement – and then Peter Capaldi was revealed to be the new actor for the role. (See The Atlantic’s reaction: The Depressing, Disappointing Maleness of Doctor Who‘s New Time Lord.) With no stroke of familiarity or intrigue, I continued right back along my path of “maybe someday I’ll watch an episode.”
About two weeks ago, I finally realized that the Colonel Tick-Tock segment of The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast was referencing Doctor Who. Last week, I was talking with Scott Murray, one of the hosts of another of my favorite podcasts, Assembly of Geeks, about being a part of many fandoms and he brought up Doctor Who. Despite being a fellow fan of British humour, Scott was never able to really get into the show. I admitted I’d never even tried. After that, I heard the newest season would be starting soon, and let’s just say Doctor Who curiosity was at an all-time high in Kay World. One night I needed a break and fired up Netflix in an app to decide what to stream. The suggestion/ad at the top of the app? Doctor Who. Clearly the universe wanted me to give it a go.
So I went.
And guess what? I liked it.
Does this make me a Whovian now? I’m not sure yet. (I did start looking at Her Universe’s Doctor Who clothing even though I still don’t understand half of it.) My Who watch started with the 2005 revival/Ninth Doctor. Today I’ll be finishing the first season. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed watching and for now plan to keep foraging on in space and time. I asked people on Twitter if I should watch tonight’s new season premiere, and so far the prevailing opinion has been I should wait until I’m through the other seasons.
I really appreciate the support and welcome I’ve received from Doctor Who fans. It’s made the experience all the better. I tweeted when I was watching the first episode and near instantaneously got responses. People told me when they got hooked on the show. They sent well-wishes. They offered up formulas of how to watch if I was having trouble getting into it. They predicted what episode I’d be hooked by. I’ve even been sent a recommendation for which Doctor I’d probably like best out of the original show’s run. Thank you all so much. I’m so used to having been part of the Star Wars fan community for so long that it’s been refreshing to try on a new fandom.
It’s also been a good reminder of what it is like to be new to a fandom, and it’s something I’ll definitely keep in mind in the days ahead. No doubt, there will be plenty of new Star Wars fans with the arrival of Episode VII.
Kay grew up wanting to be an astronaut. After seeing Star Wars, she wanted to be Princess Leia, Han Solo, and an astronaut. Life’s taken her on a bit of a different path for now, but she’s still a Star Wars fangirl at heart who enjoys surprising people with how geeky she really is. A photographer and voice actor who also consults on communications and marketing, Kay spends any free time reading, learning, getting outside and, of course, making pew pew noises. You can follow her on Twitter.
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