Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Doctor Who Fan's Responsibility

An alternative title may be: Why Doctor Who Fans Shouldn't Say "I'm not going to watch it". But that's probably a bit too long for Blogger.

My one complaint when it comes to Doctor Who 'fans', is not their obsession, not their compulson to collect, nor is it their dressing up at conventions. It's the time when they don't behave like fans. We all have opinions... including me, if you follow this blog, or have flicked through any other entries I've written, then you'll realise that. My opinions tend to be quite strong. And no, I don't like every aspect of Doctor Who. I'm not a huge Tom Baker fan (shock!), or a huge David Tennant fan (shock!), but I can appreciate the merits of the Doctors and most of their episodes - even if they're not something I watch regularly. The point is - I try and give everything a chance. And when it comes to Doctor Who on TV, even if I think it'll be awful, I have to watch it. I hope, if I'm not optimistic, I'll be proved wrong, and if I am optimistic, I'll be proved right.

I realise that some classic fans don't like the modern series (mostly Matt Smith), and I realise some modern fans haven't even tried the classics. I don't have a problem with the latter, as long as they're open minded.  And I appreciate that classic fans may not like the modern series - but they have to give it a chance. The thing I find really annoying are those who follow other fans, who make Figure Adventures, or do blogs, or write fan fiction and are quite good at it, and they take their opinions as their own. If someone says "oh I hated that episode. The whatever was rubbish - 2/10", then it's often followed by a row of comments saying "oh I agree, absolute rubbish, hated it". Maybe that's their opinion - maybe I'm being unfair. But often the ratings are the same, the comments are identical, and you often wonder whether these are their own opinions.

Whether it is the opinions of them, or the opinions of those who they follow religiously, the point is, it's the same people who say: "I've decided not to watch it". Or "if this is rubbish, I won't watch Doctor Who again". The latter comment is fair enough, it's giving it a chance - but you could argue their mind is made up. Doctor Who should be embraced - it may be hated afterwards, but you should give everything a chance, especially if you are a fan. There's no harm in trying something you think you might not like. And with the former comment, people who decide not to watch it from a trailer is the most annoying. I've seen it recently. I'll admit - I'm not confident about evil snowmen, snowmen aren't scary, they can't really be scary, there are other ideas to exploit, and in an opening episode for a companion it's a dangerous thing to try. But I'm going to sit down, with my party food and my paper hat, and watch The Snowmen at Christmas. I want it to be better than I expect. I will definitely watch it. But I saw one person say they won't be watching The Snowmen because dodgy snowmen on the trailer look silly. Yeah, they do. But you're a Doctor Who fan!

The other point I need to address is the dislike of Matt Smith. Lots like him but dislike the scripts, and I'm kinda with them on that one. They haven't been great for him, Amy and Rory's exit wasn't brilliant (in fact it was really quite poor), and the idea of a 'darker' Doctor is again, not quite going to work, I feel. But Matt Smith acts whatever he's given brilliantly. How is it not a delight to watch him just be brilliant? A fantastically Doctor-ish Doctor. So people should give him a chance, if nothing else.

There we have it. All those who don't want to give Doctor Who a chance - remember, you are fans. Not giving it a chance is what caused the viewing figures to drop in the 80s - and look where that got us (if you don't know where that got us, us as in fans, google it). Viewing figures are considered important by all those head Drama Commissioning people (probably) - so tune in. But the main reason should be: tune in because you are a fan. A Doctor Who fan. So there.

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