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