Friday, 7 November 2014

In defence of a fandom...

Ever since I was 8 years old there has always been something within in me that desperately hopes to hear a wheezing, whirring sound of a blue box turning up out of nowhere so that I could go away and visit the stars for the day. I am almost 17 and that wish only gets stronger.

You could say that being so involved in a television programme is juvenile and a waste of time and there are so many other things I could be admiring. I do admire lots of things, I find the world an extremely delightful place and I do a lot of things in it, but there is such a strong sense of escapism with Doctor Who that I cannot help but feel it is something rather special to me.

It is ridiculous, absurd and often very silly but I have been in love with the idea of the Doctor for a long time and its impact has a wonderful effect. We all whine and moan about Stephen Moffat's new plots that slightly go off on a tangent and end up contradicting everything that's been said before on the show but if you look past the sometimes precarious writing and focus on the conception it never really loses its magic.

Imagine that one day this old fashioned police box appears suddenly and out steps a forthright man in eccentric clothing. Somehow you get caught up in some save-the-day scenario that's both terrifying and exciting and afterwards he invites you to travel with him. But he doesn't mean just travel the world, he means the stars and all of time. You step inside the blue box to find it's infinitely bigger on the inside and can do all manner of peculiar but wonderful things. You meet historical idols, and fight unimaginable alien beings in far off lands that no other human has heard of. And eventually you come to realise that the man you've been travelling with is a mad genius who is kind and wise and dark and fun and represents every person you could be or have been. You know that in any situation you could possibly be in he will always, always save you and take you away. You understand, after a while, that no one is better than he is and that's just the most fantastic thing about him. Even when he changes his face, you can never really be scared with him around, you are always safe from every evil.

I think that the last bit, about having an eternal friend who can save you from everything, is the idea that most people connect with. Because for 45 minutes on a Saturday night you can escape from everything frightening and be in a world of possibilities. Sometimes, although it's a little bit sad, it feels like coming home when I watch Doctor Who.

And that's what I love about it. It's terribly British and quirky and nonsensical. And it gives you this brilliant imaginary friend that I think all of us want and need.

So there is something slightly ludicrous about adoring a silly TV show so ardently and I do seem like a bit of a loser, but I think that the Doctor is really, really cool. And that's a nice thing to have.