“Well, it hasn’t laid a glove on me!”
~ The Wedding of River Song (Season 6)
I was eight when I first caught glimpse of a tall man with curly hair, bright eyes, and an impossibly long scarf. He would prove to be a distraction for me for over 20 years. Of course there were other men in my life – some short and silly, others tall and dapper, with a bit of blond and mischievous tossed in – but he would prove to be THE ONE time and again.
Ah, I remember it well. The day was grey and the air chilled. He was dashing about because a “bad guy” (you could tell from the black suit and black goatee), was going to be doing something incomprehensibly (and horribly complicatedly) bad. There were tense moments, mysterious glances, and very sad goodbyes.
Oh, how my life changed when I sat down to watch Tom Baker play the Doctor in Doctor Who (Logopolis, if you couldn’t peg my description). Little did I know that this obsession would be my dearest friend during sad, lonely Saturday nights, and even present me with a hubby who would make those Who viewings so much more enjoyable.
A couple of years ago, I would always begin my school year with a fresh batch of right out of high school college freshman and tell them “I love video games and I love Doctor Who.” The video games they got (or at least, some of them), but never the Who. Sure, from time to time someone might say that they vaguely remember their dad watching it, but never themselves. I’d get blank looks and those blank looks were the same ones I had always received.
Take today: I was at my local mechanics getting an oil change and what comes up on the television? A sitcom with Doctor Who references and jokes. Okay, so it was of the generic “sci-fi geek” variety (ha, ha), but it was specific to Doctor Who.
Take earlier this week: After glancing halfheartedly through the news headlines on “the website previously known as MSNBC,” I see an article talking about the Season 7 premiere and how Doctor Who was influencing “fashion”.
As a Who fan that was so accustomed to being the only one to have heard of Doctor Who, let alone like it, it’s been very strange to see it go, well, mainstream. Part of me wants it to succeed, of course, but another selfish, little part wants to keep it all to herself. She doesn’t want to be able to have plot discussions with co-workers. She doesn’t want people to automatically recognize the Dalek sitting next to her work monitor. She wants to feel like this thing, this show that had been as steady as a rock throughout her childhood and adolescence was hers and hers alone.
Sharing is proving a bit difficult.
We went to the premiere of Doctor Who Season 7 in a nearby town and was amazed at the little Dalek children, the grown men with fezzes and the long, distinctive wool coats dotting the audience.
A man giving out raffle tickets told a staff member that there were anywhere between 150 – 200 people at the showing.
And all to see an EPISODE of Doctor Who that they could have enjoyed sitting snugly on their couch at home. 200 people that liked Doctor Who and made Who jokes. In America. In the Midwest. In the boondocks.
It was exciting. We liked the episode more than we would have if we watched it at home, and we thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by other Who fans.
In all, it was what my 8 year old self would have loved growing up.
But, you know what? At the same time I was laughing with the audience at bad Who-related jokes, I wanted to grab the Doctor and hide him away – fez, silly scarf, pipe, Bessie and all. Just for me. 🙂