Saturday, November 23, 2013

Doctor Who - Celebrating the Underdog

So this is it.  The day that my fandom has been building up to for . . . well 50 years.  Today marks a momentous occasion, not only for Doctor Who and it's fans, but also in a way fandoms everywhere.  Today is one of those days that you will be able to answer the question "Where were you when the 50th anniversary special aired.  Not only is it a land mark for a sci-fi show in terms of longevity, of course it also marks the occasion of an amazing around the world Simulcast.  People all over the world will have the opportunity to see the special at the same time.  Now, I want you to think, when was the last time you can remember this happening for a sci-fi show. . .(Other than the announcement of Peter Capaldi).  I mean movies are even released at different times around the world, so it must say something about the shows raging popularity.  

The best part about Doctor Who, though, is that it is an underdog story.  Not the fiction but the story of how it even happened in the first place.  Everything was against it.  The producers and directors were often (from the very beginning) set up for failure, but they pulled through.  Its amazing that the show made it the first 26 years, but now it comes back and it is literally at the top.  This is important, because it has effected so many people in so many different ways.

The show means so many things for different people.  For many of my friends it has encouraged them to be courageous in the face of adversity.  Thats a big deal.  Others see it as a inspiration as to how to treat others.  Still there are others who it has taught to hold their temper and how to use your mind in tough situations.  For me, though, the show is an old friend who has been there for me, never changing, through good times and bad times.  Growing up there was a story for every situation.  This show has been like a comfort food for me.  It has been there for me when the day hasn't gone right. it has celebrated with me when things have gone swimmingly.  Its also been there to help wind away a boring day.

Through this show I have also gained such good friends (real friends) :).  When I was in knoxville I decided it was time that I did something to meet other Doctor Who fans locally.  This connection is something I had never had the privilege of having before.  This was during the last days of the wilderness years so doctor who fandom was not as prevalent as it is today.  I decided to start a fan group, and to advertise I made flyers (this is something you used to do) and a website.  There were a few responses here and there, but one of them, Martin, became a lifelong friend and now we co direct programming a t a doctor who convention together.

This idea of a fan group never really died, and I kept doing with it, doing local conventions with the idea that I could meet other fans. . and it paid off.  in 2008 (or 9 I can't quite remember), I did a panel at connooga, and struck gold.  There were a few other fans, Jan, Kim, and Rachel.  Together we formed a group called the TWA (Tennessee Who Authority) and as of this writing the facebook group has 593 members.  IT has been a wild ride.  

Sometime after that meeting, though, I met Alan, the director of the timegate convention and We became fast friends as well.  I got involved with the convention and the rest is history.  I've been really blessed with all of these fantastic friends and so many more that I can't even name.  Its really because of this show and the incredible community that is built around it.

I think this 50th anniversary special is a landmark for so many things.  For me it is the celebration of old friends and new friends!  It is the celebration of becoming better people.  It is a celebration of underdogs.  It is the celebration of an old man who was brave enough to leave his home to have adventures and help people.

Happy birthday Doctor Who!

- Check out the Doctor Who Anniversary special today (November 23) at 2:50pm and again at 7:00 pm on BBCA


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let The Celebrations Begin! Familiar Faces, Docudramas, and mystical sisters!

In about 8 days the world will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor who.  I suppose that since this blog was originally created to talk about my travels through Doctor Who Fandom, it is a little odd that I have been mum on the subject of late.  I also suppose it is time that I break that celebration, at least enough so that I can celebrate this momentous occasion.

In terms of Doctor Who this has been quite a year,  There has been the regular season of Doctor Who, 50th Anniversary ebooks, rereleases of older books, 50th anniversary Audios, Comics, and a wonderful 50th anniversary special from big Finish.   We even had some old stories unearthed! But of course the one thing that every one is still talking about is the Official special that we are all waiting on.  Its been teased for a long time now.  Today part of that came to fruition.  There have been murmuring for over a year that Paul McGann may be making some kind of appearance, probably on a minisode.  Today those rumors were put to bed and they turned out to be true!  Today McGann once again graced and official BBC production of Doctor Who, and it was perfect.

 For those of us who braved the wilderness years and survived it was not a disappointment because in one line, 15 years of or so of audio cannon was legitimized.  While many of us already knew it was cannon - and could prove it - Today the BBC gave the nod.  That is important.  Not 2 weeks ago I posed a question on the facebook page for a podcast I am part of asking if "Spinoff Media should be celebrated as part of the history of Doctor Who."  Today it was, I feel like we have a new life.

McGann had a great energy and in a way reminded me what I love about Doctor Who.  for the first time since 2005 we see a Doctor who has not been through the ravages of the time war.  While this doctor is portrayed as trying to avoid the war, he has not been involved in it.  He still feels carefree.  He seems untainted by the idea o the time war.  He is portrayed as an explorer and an adventurer, which is the way the McGann doctor, from the earliest drafts, was supposed to be.  They hit it, right down to the new updated costume.  Moffat nailed my image of the 8th doctor.  I only wish we were going to get more of him, he was truly amazing in the less than 7 minutes that he was on screen.

McGann's new costume in "The Night of the Doctor"

Of course while I think McGann was the best part there is more awesomeness.  The Sisterhood of Karn, who first appeared in the brain of Morbius, makes an appearance as well as the harbingers of the the John Hurt "War Doctor".  As much as Moffat says he hates to do it, he is playing a lot of fan service right now.  Bringing back fan favorites and little bits of cannon.  Seeing the sisterhood was a lot of fun to experience, especially opposite McGann's Doctor!

I think we still have a few surprises in store for the actual special, but even if we don't,  I think we just witnessed the most importance 6 minutes of Doctor Who since 2005.  Perhaps it will bring some new who fans to the fold of spinoff media and then we will be fending them off of that as well.

So, Thank you Stephen Moffat!  You made a lot of fan's day, while making a lot of new who fans scratch their heads in confusion.  For that, I thank you!

And of course in the tradition of when it rains it pours, we were also granted a first look at a trailer for the docudrama Adventures in Time and Space!  It looks very swinging and I'm probably just as excited about that as I am the special that is coming up!

And just for good measure in cas you haven't seen it the trailer that was released last weekend:

What are you most excited about for the 50th anniversary!  I'd love to hear your comments.