Monday, August 5, 2013

Capaldi and the art of purging fans!

I feel like I have to write this post.  I know after yesterday everyone even remotely associated with Doctor Who has posted, or tweeted, or somethinged about the announcement of Peter Capaldi (I've got to get used to spelling that), but I wanted to put my two cents into the ring.

I'm not going to say much about the choice of Capaldi other that I think it was a great choice.  I am 100 % behind this decision (at the moment) I think this is a dream job for Capaldi as he has been a documented long time show of the franchise, he has a history with it, and I think he will treat it well.  I am excited to see what he does with the character.

The big thing that I feel forces me to post on the topic is this.  Peter Capaldi is the same age that William Hartnell was when he played the doctor, which puts him as being one of the oldest actors to portray our favorite timelord.  This has been a point of contention.  I think It always has.  When Doctor Who was created they didn't really know what it was.  The titular character of the doctor wasn't really the hero, that was left to the lead male companion (Ian).  But the role changed over the years and the character of the doctor became more than just the catalyst for the companions to go from crazy adventure to crazier adventure.  So finding and actor that could be a bit more versatile began to be an important part of casting decisions The doctor began to be a bit younger, but still in their forties and they were semi established actors.

When Peter Davison took over he was young, there was a lot of concern about having a doctor that was so young.  Then the doctor got to be a bit older again as the next two incarnations came and went!

Then the new series hit.  Christopher Eccleston was solidly in his forties and then David Tennant got a bit younger in his thirties, and then Matt Smith in his twenties.  All of that is OK!  The actors did their job perfectly, but with the younger actors came the change in the fanbase.  The old fans still, for the most part, supported the show and enjoyed the fiction that was being created.  Much of the new fanbase was also enjoying the show as well! There was, however another contingent.  The contingent who could care less about the stories being told.  The people who watched the shoe primarily for the personalities, the actors who were playing the parts.  Perhaps for the "Eye Candy!"

This is the group of fans who are saying "IF they go with an older doctor I'll stop watching"  A statement which I find shallow and insulting.  A statement that proves my point, that people were not interested in the fiction being created.  They were not interested in the stories being told, but were concerned only about who they were watching.  You can't honestly tell me that you love a show and are willing to drop it as soon as someone you don't approve of gets the job.

Here is an example of one such disgruntled fan:

The point of this post is really an observation that there are a lot of fans of the new series who are in the fandom, going to conventions, dressing up, and they don't even care about the franchise.  They don't care about the stories, they are petty and shallow.  What do they add?  Do they care about the harritage of the show?  Do they know/care about the wilderness years?

I want to point out that I am generalizing a bit.  I honestly believe this is a small part of new Who fandom.  And I recognize that the new show can not survive on classic series fans alone.  I love new series fans, but what I don't appreciate are  the people that are so shallow that they won't stick around long enough to give an older actor a chance.

Yeah there is a chip on my shoulder!

What are your thoughts about this kind of fandom, about Peter Capaldi being cast as the next doctor, or anything else related, let us know in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit the nail square on the head! That's the problem that I felt from yesterday's announcements social media extravaganza. I don't matter what shape, color, age, nationality, or gender... I love THE DOCTOR in his many many incarnations and future incarnations.