#25 - Whovians

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The Nickscast, along with special guest friend, Alex Kennard (of Reality Bomb fame), discuss the why of Doctor Who fans (aka Whovians). What is it that has kept the show on the air for over fifty years, and why did it stop? What draws in new fans? We’re going to invert the polarity and go all wibbly wobbly timey wimey to find out!

Next week, we’ll be talking about Supernatural fans (aka SPNFamily). Stay tuned!

Episode outline

Fandom Facts

Origins:
British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963
Fandom Origins:
Doctor Who fan club (Britain, 1960s), recognized by production later with Doctor Who Appreciation Society (Britain, May 1976)
Names:
Doctor Who fan, Whovian (older term, less common)
Most Active:
Unclear, but probably during the era of “New” Doctor Who (2005—present)
Size of Fandom:
110 million viewers (From BroaDWcast, referencing a quote from the BBC)
Fanfics:
Over 73400 on fanfiction.net
Over 53000 on Archive of our own (strictly Doctor Who & related fandoms)

What did we discuss?

The longevity of the show ~ Is the show for children, or adults? ~ Doctor who as an inconsistent show ~ The sheer possibility of Doctor Who storylines ~ Different types of stories within the show ~ How the show runners impact Doctor Who and the doctor ~ The non-TV Doctor Who universe ~ Curative vs transformative fandoms ~ How the doctor’s regeneration impacts the story ~ A brief history of the show’s hiatus ~ Tropes in Doctor Who ~ The positives and negatives of the Doctor Who Fan community ~ Christmas specials and England

Are you in, or out?

Z is in.

“Z, its perhaps a little moot because I know you are a Doctor Who fan and watch Doctor Who… so I guess you’re in but say more words than that please.”
—G

  • Science fiction ideas sometime outshine bad writing or acting

G is in.

  • Even though the show is inconsistent, he has faith that the show will get to the good parts
  • However, he is not involved in the fandoms; doesn’t go to Doctor Who panels at conventions or to the theatre to watch the show with others
  • More than happy to get into arguments about past or present doctors and companions being bad

T is out.

  • And will remain out.
  • Doctor Who is huge; too big
  • Likes the concept, and will still be really aware of the show and changes to the show through other fansites

Alex is in.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if I said out?”
—Alex

  • Couldn’t really say anything but in
  • His past experiences were very similar to the Nicks: was watching the show but not participating in the fandom
  • Went to Gallifrey (One), and was never able to resurface

“It’s a fandom that kind of gets before you even know you’ve been got.”
—Alex

Fans of the week

My current magical thinking: Bad world things happened because of no #DoctorWho
Now that he is coming back, the world will revert to good.
—DrLatigo (via Twitter)

Alex also nomiated Peter Capaldi, a mega-fan who is now one of the doctors on the show!

This week’s spotlight

The Doctor Who Society of Canada
A fairly recent organization, having only been formed in 2011, growing out of the Toronto Fan Expo. Last year, it managed to raise over $50000 Canadian for four different charities, and has chapters in Toronto, Waterloo, Halifax and elsewhere in Canada (though it mostly located in Ontario). We have had a few opportunities to interview them in the past.

The Race Against Time
Now in its third year of running, the Race Against Time is the Nickscast’s annual charity livestream where we work our way though Chrono Trigger, obtaining all its endings, and also raising money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Last year we raised over $1200 Canadian, and have plans to surpass that!

This year, the event will be held August 12 through to August 13, starting at 10am ET. You can also subscribe on Twitch.tv/theraceagainsttime in anticipation of the event!

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Supernatural!

  • Alex: How much slash fiction about supernatural is out there?
  • Z: Who is the fan favourite character and why?
  • G: Which twin is older?
  • T: Is it just because its two hot people?

Where can I learn more about Alex Kennard?

You can check out the podcast that he and Graeme Burk co-produce, Reality Bomb, a monthly, magazine-style Doctor Who podcast that focuses on the Doctor Who fandom, which just recently finished its 50th episode! You can also check out their podcast on Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to know more about the man behind the podcast, you can follow him on twitter @am_kennard or on Instagram (also @am_kennard)

Where can you find us online?

We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:

  • If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
  • For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
  • To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
  • For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
  • We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
  • if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try nick@thenickscast.com
  • You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
  • Everything is thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
  • … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag #fanthro on Twitter!

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.

Ahem

We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.

Notable quotes from this episode

“I’m a level 20 space-time wizard.”
—T

“Hello, I’m all teeth and curls.”
—Z

“I would say a witty thing, but I’m just going to use my English accent as a reference to Doctor Who, how’s that?”
—Alex

“If you didn’t know about Doctor Who, I don’t know why you’re listening, but please keep listening; it’s a good show, honest!”
—T

“I think this is a trick question; I think there are an infinite number of Doctor Who fanfictions.”
—Alex

“I do feel like that was actually put into the Oxford dictionary by a Doctor Who fan who is aware of how much the term ‘Whovian’ pisses off some other Doctor Who fans because then they could just be like ‘no mate, its in the dictionary. Can’t help you. Sorry.’”
—Alex

“There’s something beautiful about the pettiness you’ve described.”
—G

“It’s not like it’s a show that you watch as a child and then you just kind of forget and leave behind; it’s the childhood friend that won’t leave you alone.”
—Alex

“All of Doctor Who is never going to be for everyone.”
—Alex

“Doctor who varies so widely that I don’t think its possible to love all of it equally.”
—Alex

“It can’t be everything to someone; it is something to everyone”
—G

“Doctor Who is a lot like the Canadian weather. If you didn’t like what’s going on right now, just wait five minutes, and you’ll probably like what happens next. Be that on an episode-by-episode scale or a doctor-by-doctor scale.”
—Alex

“The characters help bring out the best elements of humanity: hope, optimism, curiousity adventure compassion.”
—Z

“Revealing something I don’t really talk about on Reality Bomb at all. I am not a huge fan of the Capaldi era.”
—Alex

“That kind of goes back to the premise of the show: An alien with a time machine; Anything can happen.”
—Z

“How many other shows do I know the names of multiple writers for?!”
—G

“Going back to Doctor Who conventions, there is an issue I would say with sexual harassment that happens at the these things. That’s the thing I would change more than anything … If there’s anything that I would say that is an actual problem in the Doctor Who community it’s that there are moments at conventions, and moments at gatherings when people don’t feel safe, and if there’s one thing that Doctor Who should be about it should be about everybody feeling safe, all the time.”
—Alex

“We don’t usually get such heartfelt responses; we’re no accustomed to being on the other end of something like this.”
—T

“I love all of that stuff. I think Doctor Who in all of its infinite pettiness is wonderful.”
—Alex

“If you are drunk and full enough, you will cry.”
—G

Thanks

Special thanks this week goes out to Alex Kennard (God of something or other, or so say the rumours we’ve heard) for agreeing to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with us!

Credits

Sources

Music / Sound

  • All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!

Artwork

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