Doctor Who and the Tides of Fandom

I found Doctor Who in June of 2011. I watched the first five and a half series in about a week, and by then I was basically a fan. And now, five years later, I’ve sort of tapered off in my fandom. I wonder what happened to me.

Well, I kind of know what happened – I missed episodes, and subsequently lost interest. I was able to follow events passably well from gifsets on Tumblr, and that served as good enough. I’ve been keeping up with news on the series as a whole, but that’s about it – I’m excited about Pearl Mackie, sad about Steven Moffat’s imminent departure, and hopeful that Chris Chibnall can maybe bring his Broadchurch game to Doctor Who. I’m planning to watch this year’s Christmas special, at least (I wrote this on December 23). I want to love the show again, and be as excited about it as I was five years ago.

That’s why part of my plan for the new year is start up doing Doctor Who reviews again, this time covering Steven Moffat’s run in full. I kind of tapered off on my old blog with these; I guess my righteous fury at the end of RTD’s era only got me so far. I want to explore what made me like the series in the first place, and maybe in the process get back into loving it again.

Which sort of brings me into the secondary topic of this post – the tide of fandom. I don’t know if everyone experiences this, but I’ve found that my loves as far as fandom goes tend to change over time, sometimes even the point where I don’t like the thing I loved anymore. The Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom was my first fandom, but nowadays I don’t think I could stomach the series’s silly humor, even for the parts of it I really liked. I can’t forget the show, or say that I hate it – I have two of my best friends because of it – but I don’t really consider myself a fan anymore, either.

I worry the same thing is happening to me with Doctor Who. My interest seems to have faded, and I don’t do the things I used to do with regards to the show, like writing fanfic. (Then again, that could be because my fanfic never got much attention, but that’s a rant for another time.) I still like it, there’s no question, but I want the passion and fervent fanaticism I had in the early days back again. That feeling where everything is new and exciting is rare, and I want to feel it again with this show, because it’s always changing, so it’s always new.

It’s possible my passions have moved on, of course. My favorite show right now is Steven Universe, a show on Cartoon Network that’s doing a lot of interesting and exciting stuff, and has awesome storytelling to boot. My love for it is a topic for another post, but here I wonder whether I’m always just going to have a favorite show, and that that favorite is going to change over time. I’ll always like the things I like, but I won’t like them with the same passion I had in the beginning.

And here’s where I wonder if this whole post is just a metaphor for getting older and the worries one has about not being able to do the same things or feel the same way one did when one was young. And for crissakes, I am twenty-seven, I am not ancient, I am not withering away. I will be just fine.

I’m going to start watching Doctor Who again, starting with this year’s Christmas special. I’ll watch Series 10 when it comes out, and catch up on what I missed in the meantime. Maybe the new companion will spark my interest again, or maybe I’ll just like the show in the way I like a lot of things. It doesn’t really matter, so long as I never forget what I love about it.


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