Welcome to another installment of Doctor Who Saturday where I post stuff Doctor stuff. If you're wondering about The Nemesis Who Stole Time, the storyline returns next week and if all goes according to plan, the next three (and hopefully concluding) installments will post over the first three weeks of October.
Today I'm taking a break from that to talk about this:
How to make a Whovian mad!
Well, one way, according to my wife, is to post part 9 of a Doctor Who story and make people wait TWO weeks for part 10.
But seriously, how do you make a Whovian mad?
Now, I think Whovians as a whole are not easily inclined to anger. We like to think we can be like the Doctor, wide eyed about the world around us and embracing of the people we find in it. Oh, the Doctor can get angry but he usually reserves that for those who threaten innocents.
Whovians are a tight knit community. Doctor Who may be more popular on a worldwide basis than it has ever been but even as the number of Doctor Who fans continue grow, there is still a sense of community amongst us as we watch over this silly sci-fi spectacle that has come to mean so much to so many. As such, we look out for one another as we look for others to bring into the fold. This kind of connection lends itself to friendship or, at the very least, understanding.
One thing that can make Whovians mad are those who disrespect this spirit of connection. We may disagree on who's the best Doctor or our favorite companions or if Steven Moffatt is a genius or not. But over 50 years, so many people have done so many different things with the show that such differences are inevitable. But when someone comes down hard on someone else's opinion, belittling that person, true Whovians will not stand for it.
But that's a broad vision of Doctor Who fandom. What about...the little things?
Since we are protective of the adventures of this mad man with his blue box, there are things...admittedly little things...mostly but they irk us. We get seriously irked.
Here are a couple:
1) The show is Doctor Who, not Dr. Who. The funny thing is to me, the only place I've ever actually seen Dr. Who used is in the British press. But that abbreviation is an irritant to Dr.---excuse me, Doctor Who fans everywhere. We don't want to see our show diminished in any way and that includes NOT using the diminutive of Doctor.
2) Matt Smith is The Doctor, not Doctor Who. Peter Capaldi is going to be the next Doctor, not the next Doctor Who. Now this is an understandable mistake for those newly exposed to this program.
Doctor Who show + Doctor character = the character is Doctor Who, right?
But this is one of those arcane bits of Who knowledge we like to share with the newly minted fans. But it's particularly bothersome when journalists and talk show hosts (again, I've primarily seen this in clips from British shows) say things like, "We're going to talk to the new Doctor Who" even as they profess to be fans of the show. Is there anyone at least doing rudimentary research on this things?
But these and similar points are rather nitpicky things.
But do you really want make a Whovian really, REALLY mad?!
Say these words:
American Doctor Who.
OK, full disclosure. I'm in the United States and you may imagine that we are all insanely proud of our country, drunkenly chanting "USA! USA! USA!" with American flags painted on our beer bellies. Well, I don't do that but I guess I am proud to be an American. So understand me when I say this:
There. I hope I've made myself clear.
A few years ago on a Doctor Who fan page on Facebook, I posted the following as a purely intellectual exercise:
Imagine the impossible and utterly horrible situation if the BBC could no longer afford to make new episodes of Doctor Who but an American studio said, "We can make new episodes but we insist the new Doctor AND his companion should be played by American actors." In this completely NIGHTMARE scenario that will never, ever happen and I should be shot for suggesting such a terrible thing, what American actor and actress do you think would make a tolerable Doctor and companion in a show that we all will recognize as an abhorrent abomination against all that is good and decent?
Am I in favor of such a thing, an American Doctor? What, am I being too subtle?
Seriously, I am clearly not; I do not really want this to happen. It's just a creative exercise.*
*Like the time I developed the idea of a Gilligan's Island motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese with Robert DiNiro as the Skipper and Dustin Hoffman as Gilligan. David Mamet would write the screenplay.
A few people got the gag and played along but others were less understanding. One commenter, understanding it was only an speculative exercise, still thought it was too terrible a thing to contemplate even as a silly creative exercise.
By the way, my picks for The Doctor and his companion for the never will be made atrocity that would be the hated and maligned American Doctor Who?
Rainn Wilson from The Office (American version, natch!) and Miranda Cosgrove from iCarly.
I would be willing to discuss my reasoning but any Whovians who have read this far are probably washing their eyes out with soap so I will let that be.
But as unlikely as my speculative example, there is another possibility for an American based Doctor Who that rears its head on occasion: a major feature length Doctor Who motion picture.
Harry Potter director David Yates floated the idea that a Doctor Who movie might be on the horizon. Whether such a thing is happening or not is unknown. No more has been heard from Yates and Steven Moffat said there's nothing going on there. (And we can all trust the Moff, right?) IF it were to happen, any Doctor Who movie is not going to play out with David Tennant or Matt Smith on the big screen and it sure won't be some up and coming British TV star. It won't be a American TV star either.
No, the Doctor in a Doctor Who motion picture will have be a big name to garner publicity and interest in the role and the film.
The Doctor would be...Johnny Depp.
And every one screams:
Well, if it's not Johnny Depp, it's going to be Steve Carell.
And every one screams again:
All of sudden, Rainn Wilson and Miranda Cosgrove don't seem like such a bad idea, does it?
I know, I know! Always a bad idea! ALWAYS!
Now relax! I think if there was ever any situation where an American TV network or movie studio wanted to make Doctor Who, chances are still strong the Doctor will be from the United Kingdom. We Americans love English accents as well as Irish lilts and Scottish baroques.
We fell head over heels for John Oliver while he was filling in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. We got to hear a guy tell us how screwed up our country is...in an English accent! We loved that!
Little things like that time when the Doctor said he was half-human.
And every one screams:
Next week on Doctor Who Saturday, the return of The Nemesis Who Stole Time as we learn the fate of (some) of our characters and if I didn't have enough to juggle, two more former companions will pop up.
And the TRUE identity of The One is revealed as we learn the shocking truth of who really is....The Nemesis Who Stole Time.
Part 10 in ONE week!