If you grew up a Doctor Who fan, then it’s current popularity and acceptability can seem a bit disconcerting at times; and at others eleven different shades of wrong. Doctor Who was not something you did out in the open, amongst normal people! It was a great and heavy shame which caused our sofa-slump-ruined backs to arch yet further under the pressure. Just a month ago three teen girls (teen girls!! WHAT?!) brazenly, and with no effort made to keep the conversation from the people surrounding them, discussed how they were going to throw a ‘Doctor Who party’. They’d each wear a fez and cook up some fish fingers and custard. It was all I could do to stop myself screaming in their faces ‘You weren’t there, man! Oh you don’t know what it was like back there, in the nineties! I’d read my copy of DWM in the safety of my bedroom lest the eyes of norms should see me with it and cause me to feel vaguely embarrassed! Take your ‘I Heart Tennant’ T-Shirt and shove it up your arse!!!’
But of course I exaggerate.
Growing up, I didn’t know any other Doctor Who fans. I don’t recall ever really talking about it with anyone; and this was pre-internet, so there was no online community to argue with over why McCoy was the best/worst thing to ever happen to Who. Young fans today all know what Doctor Who is, and a lot of them watch it and talk about it, online and in actual scary real life. Which is brilliant. And bonkers. This is my little secret that nobody else really cared about, that people made fun of; they laughed at the dodgy effects and rubbish monsters – and now it can muscle its way up to the number two slot in the American Box Office. HOLY FRAK. That’s how big this thing is now, and not just here, around the world; more and more people seem to be falling for this shows distinctly shonky charm.
This is good.
This is weird.
This sort of feels like it proves all us quiet kids growing up in the seventies, eighties and nineties right. You see, we knew all along this show was special, and now? Well now the rest of the world is starting to see what we see, and that’s amaz… no, weird. That’s still a bit weird.
Of course one day, perhaps even one day quite soon, that popularity will nosedive again. It happened before, it will happen again, there’s no way to prevent it. But right now, oh right now, Doctor Who is not just something isolated boys pore over in their bedrooms, it’s something teenage girls throw parties about.