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For those who discovered Doctor Who at a young age, Graham Keeling's essay will strike a resonant chord. For those who discovered it after childhood, Graham will help make up for what you missed.

The Thrill of the Chase by Graham Keeling 13/3/99

My earliest memories of the show were the androids reducing some soldiers to a sticky pulp in Earthshock -- the images stayed in my head for years after. For a kid that age, it was real horror (I must have been four or five), and I don't remember much of the show since then until Frontios. Unfortunately, the sight of a man seemingly wired directly into a machine through his brain freaked me out even more. And then there was the Doctor and his friend being gunned down by a firing squad in The Caves of Androzani. And a Dalek being pushed out of a warehouse window in Resurrection. And a man having his hands squeezed by the Cybermen until his blood ran down them in streams. Incredibly thrilling stuff for a young lad with little world experience, I'd say.

However, it wasn't until the eighteen month suspension of the show that I became a real fan. I happened to be looking for a book to take home from the local library, when I laid my hands upon Planet of the Daleks and Destiny of the Daleks, both by Terrance Dicks. I took them home, opened up Planet, and started to read.

The TARDIS fascinated me, the Doctor fascinated me, the Daleks fascinated me, the Thals fascinated me, the Spiridons fascinated me, the ice volcanoes fascinated me... I was hooked.

Over the next year, I borrowed all of the library's stock of Doctor Who novelisations and read them all. I used to cycle down there on my 'Commando' bike and bring home the most books you were allowed in one time (four), and read them within a week -- I'd set my alarm half an hour before I needed to get up for school and read as many pages as I could and fall asleep later that night with a book on my pillow. Very soon, I found I was reading stories that I had already gone over twice before.

The continuity intrigued me, as it seemed as though an infinite amount of stories could fit in anywhere, and I had to strive to fill the gaps.

It was exciting when I got hold of a copy of a book that I hadn't read before, and it wasn't long before I started my own collection with Day of the Daleks and The Cybermen (The Moonbase). I really couldn't get enough, which made it all the more mind-blowing when the new series on TV got underway.

In retrospect, this was unfortunate as it was The Trial of a Time Lord season, but nevertheless I watched every single episode religiously -- although I hated the introduction of Bonnie Langford as a companion (I'll never forget the way one of my classmates said 'they've got Bonnie Langford in it now, haven't they?') -- I loved Sil and Kiv and the way that a companion was seen to die -- and I got to see the Master. This just fuelled my enthusiasm.

I continued to collect novelisations whenever I had saved up enough pennies, as it was the only way to meet all the different incarnations and companions. Part of the fun was going to the local second-hand bookshop every other day on my faithful 'Commando' to see if they had any new titles. The people that ran the shop (an old converted church) soon got to recognise me, and they'd keep all the 'new' books in the back halls -- especially for me to peruse -- before putting them out for the general public.

My obsession developed in the logical way since then, and I am now the proud owner of the complete range of Target novelisations. When the New Adventures first came out, I really didn't see them as legitimate, so I didn't start buying them initially. I realised my mistake a couple of years later, when I decided to buy a copy of Iceberg by David Banks. It sent me straight back into the swing of things and I started to collect again. However, by this time Virgin had lost their license and some of the titles had become extremely rare.

It was just like being a kid again! I'd rediscovered the old thrill of tripping into town and going through the second-hand stores to see what I could find. The excitement is just the same as all those years ago when you discover something that's missing in your collection and you bring it home. Unfortunately, I really don't see myself ever coming across books such as The Dying Days or Lungbarrow, but that will just make the excitement all the greater if I do.

Nowadays, I have a substantial video collection too, containing many of the telesnap reconstructions (those guys do a great job!), and I am just as obsessed as ever.

Although I love the stories themselves, the thrill of the chase is a large factor contributing towards my personal fanboy behaviour -- like all fans it would something out of my wildest dreams to find a lost episode hidden in some dusty store (is it just a dream, or will it one day become reality?).

I don't know if I speak for anyone else out there when I thank one man for introducing me to the infinity of worlds that is Doctor Who...

Thank you, Terrance Dicks.

This is an updated version of an article I wrote for Data Extract, the Australian fan newsletter. It expands on a paragraph I had in my previous fandom article, imaginatively titled Fandom.

Net.fandom by Robert Smith? 9/6/99

Fandom on the internet is a strange beast. On the one hand you have fans from all over the world who can now come together and celebrate, discuss, debate and argue about the one thing they truly have in common. On the other hand, you've got fans from all over the world coming together to celebrate, discuss, debate and argue about the only thing they have in common.

For me, the greatest thing about net.fandom is the diversity. I've encountered fans of all sorts of political persuasions, fans from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even Norway. It's amazing the sort of people you can encounter here: some end up becoming some of the best friends you've ever had, spanning the entire globe; with others you breathe a sigh of relief that there's 16,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable separating you.

In the UK or Australia, I tend to find that fans have less of a seige mentality than elsewhere. While it may not necessarily be popular, at least the general public knows what Doctor Who is, even if that knowledge is limited to "some guy with a scarf and darleks, right?" In the US or Canada, for instance, DW was never shown in the choice slots it experienced in the UK or Australia. For them, it was shown on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and invariably at 2 in the morning. This tends to produce fans who had to be dedicated from the word go.

The clash of cultures on rec.arts.drwho can be an exhilarating and a depressing thing. Sometimes I despair for the global village, if even fans who are all passionate about the same thing can't seem to get along; at other times I learn things I would never have dreamt of. I've made contacts all over the world. I find myself travelling, not just to conventions, but to social gatherings all over North America, finding new friends who live round the corner from an internet discussion and writing articles for other friends in the UK (and it doesn't matter in the slightest that we've never met).

On balance, I have to say that I think it's a good thing. I used to talk about Doctor Who once a month, at my local group meeting in Australia. Now with the internet, I spend just about every day talking, arguing, debating and laughing with people from all over the planet about our all-time favourite show. I'm addicted and I love it!

Graeme Burk's reviews speak for themselves. He is highly literate, thought-provoking and articulate. He's never afraid to state his opinions and defend them with eloquence and wit. He's been published in Short Trips and Side Steps, written reviews for Dreamwatch and is currently the editor of Enlightenment, the official fanzine of the Doctor Who Information Network, one of the largest and longest running of Doctor Who fan clubs in North America.

Doctor Who Fandom: An A to Z by Graeme Burk 20/7/00

A is for AUTHORS
During the 1990s, the authors of the various forms of Doctor Who fiction alone are responsible for Doctor Who as we know it these days. As it's a form of Doctor Who without actors, directors, set designers, etc., the authors alone get to be in the limelight for making the series continue to happen in some form. At US conventions, in fact, they were treated like rock stars by fans, which can explain the yearly migration from Heathrow Airport to a hotel in Van Nuys, California every February. Online and off, fans are enchanted by the authorial community's seeming foreignness, their charm and the fact that one of their own (more or less their own age) has managed to directly influence the ongoing story of "official" Doctor Who. Fans collect their books, defer the balances of power on newsgroups over to them, and follow them on-line as virtual groupies. More than all this, though, fans want to be them, and they keep sending their scribblings chock full of angst and continuity to the last Lawrence Miles book to the slush pile in Wood Lane in the hope that they too can receive adulation via e-mail and a hospitality suite at the Airtel Plaza Hotel.

Without the Brits, we wouldn't have Doctor Who. But British fandom is a curious breed. At times they seem quite enthusiastic, others they have an ironic detachment that seems off-putting. They grew up with Doctor Who, watched it in a golden age of childhood in a time and place where they knew at least a few people in the playground saw the same episode as them last Saturday night. For most of them at some point around the time they started to hit puberty, though, realised that it "looked crap". As a result they're afforded a certain long-nested embarrassment and general angst they still are fond of a children's series. But they look at the series with a particular cultural context as a result that makes other fans abroad envious.

The universal axiom for all conventions must be that more memorable things happen in the bars and hotel room parties than on the Con floor. Sure it's exciting to see Deborah Watling recount various stories about Patrick Troughton and knickers, or watch Sophie Aldred just be amazing as usual. It's thrilling to watch an episode of Adam Adamant Lives! and the surviving episodes of The Faceless Ones in the video room. And it's always a delight to discover you've parted with half of next month's rent money in the dealer's room buying Target novelisations. But conventions are where lifelong friendships are forged. The best thing you can do at a convention is hang out with people and discover there are people like you out there. People who know what the heck "New Adventures" and "telesnaps" and "Faction Paradox" are. People who care about who Eric Saward is and why he single-handedly buried Doctor Who by 1985. People who are as passionate about your favourite TV series as you are.

Here's a joke: "How many Doctor Who fans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" Answer: "We're still waiting for the BBC to screw a new one in. In the meantime we're arguing about whether a book or an audio can do the same job." Most fandoms tend to have their own inner factions, but Doctor Who fans are more nuanced than most. Who's your favourite Doctor? What's your favourite production era? Do you prefer the novels or the audios? Do either of them belong to the same canon as the TV series? Are the UNIT stories set in the 1970s or 1980s? Is book/author N better than book/author Y? All these debates can take hours and hours and megabytes of bandwidth to explore. Given the broad canvas these debates are situated on, it's amazing that we're all speaking of the same basic thing, more or less. The plurality of opinion that a 26 year old TV series and a 37 year old science fiction phenomenon is immense. Every Doctor Who fan is totally unique in their views as a result.

If you consider yourself a fan, then at some point or another (particularly if you're a male, as this phenomenon doesn't affect females as much) you probably started making a list of episodes, or compiling data on when the Daleks appeared and when, or bought The Programme Guide to know more about the Black and White episodes you heard about in Doctor Who Magazine, or found a copy of Doctor Who: A Celebration to learn more about the history of the programme. What seems to single out fans from casual viewers is our interest in learning more about how the fictional universe of the Doctor unfolded, or about the factual universe that made it happen. Doctor Who fans are proud of the history of their programme and they suck knowledge about it like a technologically advanced Androgum. To fill this need, there have been more factual books about the making of this series than any other genre TV series or possibly any TV series ever. And fans are even prouder of their attempts to make sense out of the willfully contradictory continuity that make up the series.

Perhaps the oddest thing that occurs in Doctor Who fandom is when fans lose touch with the source material and instead become involved for the sake of fandom itself. This has always seemed to me a bit like going to Church in order to get a whiff of incense and look at the pretty vestments. But it happens more than one would think. There are whole cadres of people more turned on about wearing their Doctor Who button collection to another con than about actually watching, heaven forfend, new Doctor Who. There are people more interested in the synopses of stories to add to their databases than enjoying the story itself. We now have whole conventions dedicated to fandom itself and fan-produced material. It's the fandom equivalent of third generation video, and one wonders how much further removed it will need to be in order to degrade into meaninglessness.

This is the most precious thing to find in Doctor Who fandom. If you don't love and respect the series on some level, there's no point in really continuing.

Fan fiction has been a part of Doctor Who fan culture since Doctor Who was invented. We write to recreate the thrills of watching the programme. We write to untie Gordian knots of continuity. We write to make our own unique stamp on the series. Fan fiction is perhaps the ultimate participatory response to watching TV -- a desire to become closer to the universe your imagination is enmeshed with by becoming a creator of a version of it. It's a shame that so much of it is terribly written and completely witless. That's not because the actual exercise is a bad idea, but because it takes talent and practice to write well. Not that this seems to have stopped anyone...

Here's another joke: "Why was the Internet invented? So computer lab geeks could discuss Star Trek when the original series was on the air the first time". Okay, it's a bit lame, but the links between Doctor Who and the net date back as far as when the original networks came to full bloom 15 years ago. Internet fandom is perhaps the most powerful voice fandom has right now. With the TV series still Missing in Action, they have ways of influencing the series as it exists right now as never before. 15 years ago, you could write BBC Worldwide all you like, you weren't going to get the episodes you wanted on video any sooner. Last year, Worldwide pulled a big-ticket box set of remastered early Hartnell episodes in part due to fan complaints on rec.arts.drwho. Robert Holmes wrote to entertain a faceless mass equaling near 12 million people. Today's novelists and audio writers can receive direct response to their work before during and after its publications by fans through e-mail, newsgroups and mailing lists. Whole novels in 1999 were seemingly produced primarily to answer debates on the r.a.dw newsgroup. And yet, in spite of the Internet being a powerful tool to influence the series, it seems to also propagate divisions and factions within fandom faster than anything else.

J is for JOKES
Doctor Who fandom is at its best when it has a sense of irony and humour about itself. And it's at it's worst when it takes itself deadly serious. Rather like the programme itself, then.

If there's one thing Doctor Who fans can do well, it's destroy any good will that might exist toward the series. From haranguing the powers-that-be at the BBC to behaving like twits with North American stations that air the TV series, time and again we learn that passion can sour all too easily into stridency, and no one likes strident people.

L is for LOSS and LOSING
Sports, as always, provides us with a good analogy: Being a Doctor Who fan is like, if you're into Hockey, being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, or if you're into baseball, being a fan of the New York Mets, or if you're into English football, being a fan of Manchester City (well maybe not that bad!). Being used to losing, and being used to loss, is central to the experience of being a Doctor Who fan since 1989. We cling to whatever slim hopes arise only to see them slowly vapourise: The Segal TV Movie never made it to series. The Doctor Who Night lost out to Cliff Richards. The Repeats season on BBC-2 were abruptly re-jigged and then pulled. Russell T Davies' Doctor Who 2000 project doesn't make it out of the starting blocks. Is it any wonder we're cautious about getting our hopes up about the new Radio 4 series? We fans soldier on all the same, watching things like Buffy and Gormenghast and thinking "Doctor Who could do that". And one day, we'll be proved right. One day...

While we wait for that illusory new series to come back, the best thing we can do is seemingly sink a lot of money into the franchise. We don't sell as much crap as Star Trek, but you could easily spend most of your disposable income on books, videos, audios, soundtracks, magazines and cheesy tat with the Pertwee logo thrown on them. Not to mention spin-offs and the older stuff that you find in second hand bookshops and memorbalia shop. You would think that items like, say, contemporary photographs of companion actresses, now in their 50s and 60s and looking more and more like your tarted-up Aunt Sadie, wouldn't sell. But they do. It's actually a reasonably impressive feat for a dead TV series to generate so much cash for the BBC and its licensees -- cottage industries like BBV and Big Finish owe their existence to the wallets of Doctor Who fans -- but one wonders how much longer the market can sustain the glut of material available.

N is for NOVELS
Perhaps the most vocal and enlivened aspect of fandom are the fans that have read the New Adventures, the Missing Adventures, the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the Past Doctor Adventures and the Bernice Summerfield New Adventures. And well they should be, because up until the audios came along, they were really the only game in town. Fans of the novels aren't much different than any other type of fan in that they crave love and respect for what is a cult activity within a cult activity. Unfortunately, they frequently achieve as much in that department as Doctor Who fans do in the mainstream. As a result, fans of the novels tend to have a back-against-the-wall scrapiness that is quite engaging (ask one "Do you think the novels are as valid as the TV series?" and find out what happens). After 10 years of the novels in its various forms, we seem to also have a fandom for the books itself, which see the TV series as a poor televised version of the books' backstory. These people are a bit intense and it's advised that you meet them only in daylight in places with lots of witnesses.

Okay, it's a bad etymological stretch for the Aussies, and the New Zealanders probably don't like being lumped in with them as well, but I had to include antipodean fandom somehow. Both countries are similar to the British fandom insofar as episodes were aired in both countries (on major TV networks) almost as soon as programme was exported so people tended to "grow up with it" but also like North American fandom afforded enough distance from the cultural context of the series. Fandom in the Southern Hemisphere is probably the coolest of all the English Speaking fandoms. Certainly they produce the coolest fanzines.

P is for PERTWEE
Not necessarily the actor Jon Pertwee, but rather a totemic figure built on his public image at conventions and on TV between 1970 and 1974. This figure is something of a fault line within particular areas of fandom, and liking his Doctor or the stories in his era have been viewed as everything between plodding, moralising sub-bondian adventure to deconstructed seventies kitsch. Whatever.

Q is for QUEER
It was no big surprise to any of us when Queer As Folk by former Doctor Who novelist Russell T Davies featured a gay fan as a major character. In fact it confirmed the appeal of Doctor Who particularly with gay men. (Time Out, a popular British arts magazine, went so far as to suggest that a "Doctor Who fan" was code for a gay male.) This is a part of Doctor Who fandom that has flourished within the past ten years. While gay and lesbian reality is for the most part ignored or rendered invisible in X-Files or Star Trek fandom (or their respective TV series), Doctor Who has been increasingly exploring its roots in camp in non-fiction and fiction. In the latter form it's gone even further to develop three-dimensional gay characters to the novels (and in one case even retroactively adding a same-sex orientation to a TV companion) in no small part due to the influence of gay and gay friendly fans. It's a part of Doctor Who fandom that we should be exceedingly proud of.

As this website confirms, Doctor Who fans are often very good as reviewers. That a TV series can sharpen people's critical skills to a fine point is a rare thing indeed.

S is for SLASH
It exists in Doctor Who but in much smaller quantities than with other series. You would think with an asexual alien hero (part of Doctor Who's queer appeal) there wouldn't be much use for slash in Doctor Who fandom, since with other series slash is driven partly out of a need to see the characters paired with equals, who usually turn out to be both male co-stars. But since the TV movie made the Doctor a snogging half-human heterosexual, maybe we need this to redress the balance.

T is for TAVERN
A monthly gathering of fans in a pub that happens the first Thursday of the month in London, Sydney and Toronto. It's often hyped as a place for fans to find each other but in actuality it can be a bit elitist and cliquey. Nonetheless the concept of gathering over a pint with other fans is an appealing one. Drinking and Doctor Who are two things which go together nicely.

The differences between North American Fandom and British fandom are as important as they are unique. In Britain, Doctor Who was a part of most Briton's television culture even if they didn't watch it. In the sixties and seventies, it was part of a Saturday night line-up that had the best family programming of the week. Kids played daleks in the playground on Mondays and grew up with it. The experience was much different in North America, removed from the series natural cultural context. It was aired on PBS stations as a cult interest. Most fans tended to get interested in the series in adolescence or adulthood, so there was no moment of disappointment that childhood UK fans tended to find. Having accepted it as what it was from the beginning, North American fans are perhaps more enthusiastic to embrace the series in all its glories and flaws. They also bring other facets from other series' fandoms, including a love of dressing up in costume -- something else Star Trek has to answer for...

Doctor Who fandom doesn't exactly have much opportunity for mating, although couplings between fans have happened (no one knows what happens to the communal collection of Davison episodes when they break up). Usually this means coming out of the closet, as it were, and introducing your fannish habits to your potential partner. The most sage advice one can give to a fan dating a non-fan is: own up to your Doctor Who habit, but don't try to "convert" them to the series. If they come into the series at all, it usually happens by their own doing.

W is for WANKERS
It's what you become when you lose your sense of humour and take the debates and erudition too seriously. It's a metaphoric term and, appropriately, you'll go metaphorically blind as a consequence of becoming one.

X is for X CHROMASOME and
Doctor Who fandom has fans of both genders and as such can be quite an all inclusive place, gender-wise. Nonetheless, fandom itself is more oriented to the interests of male fans. (See the output of David J Howe if you don't believe me). Whereas in Star Trek fandom, women fans have had a significant voice right from the start, females are still carving a niche for themselves. Again, rather like the TV series which in a 26 year history had two women writers and a handful of women directors and (as of 2001) three female novelists. Nonetheless, a number of fan fiction projects initiated by women in the past three years are ensuring that the glass ceiling will not remain in Who fandom for much longer.

Z is for ZINES
This year, 2000 will mark the 35th Anniversary of Doctor Who fanzines. Generations have gotten high on gestetner fumes, dirty with photocopy toner, lost thumbs from exacto-knifing artwork and developed carpal tunnel syndrome from desktop publishing. And 35 years on, whether as a print or online publication, it's still the best place to read what fans are thinking and still the best forum to organize fans. And as long as we're producing zines, there is still things to talk about this beloved television series of ours. And as long as there's still things to talk about, there will still be fandom.

A letter to fandom by David Lolito 2/1/07

Dear Fandom,

I'm here to warn newcomers, and remind old veterans, of things that might need to be cleaned up. I'm also here to give a set of guidelines to know and follow so there will be as few problems as possible. When I first encountered sci-fi fandom, there wasn't a set list of guidelines or a charter. For many groups, it's still that way. I had to learn the hard way. So, a few tips, concerns, and warnings:

  1. Communication. This is something that is important in any group. It can make or break any group, too. One of the biggest problems I've encountered in sci-fi fandom is that people have to warn others when they're mentioning something that's off- topic of the usual agenda. It's almost as if people are afraid to offend others, and be offended themselves. One of the points of having the feeling of camaraderie in a group is to have things be unscripted. If things are controlled too much, then it stops being fun. One shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable, like their insides are in a knot, feeling restricted at every angle. Which leads to my next point...
  2. Secrets. Again, this deals with communication, but it's more important. If you're thinking of opening up to others in whatever groups you're in, be careful. If you have a gut feeling about someone that you shouldn't trust them, then don't trust them with your secrets, because they're liable to use them against you. One of the points of being in a group is to have friends. But, if you can't trust someone, or if someone spills secrets, and people get hurt because of it, then what's the point?
  3. Artistic Integrity. The more people you're dealing with, the less likely you can hold onto your own personal vision. There's liable to be many points of view to try and lead the group, and with majority ruling, the minority gets ignored. Ideas can clash, feelings can be hurt, people can get jealous, and sometimes one tries to sabotage the other because they felt violated. It's best to work alone when doing a creative project, because then one can only blame oneself if something goes wrong. These groups aren't always for people spreading their wings and experimenting with their artistic ideas.
  4. Understanding. This isn't about miscommunication. I'm talking about understanding differences, and respecting them, or at least tolerating them. Some people just can't seem to live and let live. Some people have to poke those noses into other people's business and make it their own. Criticizing them for every imperfection, no matter how big or small. Gossiping behind their back, and thinking what they say won't ever get back to whoever they're talking about. Sci-fi groups aren't the place to fully express one's differences, because odds are, someone will be offended, and culture clash will occur. Also, some are critical and dismissive of those who aren't knowledgeable of certain aspects of sci-fi culture, and those who don't have the best social skills are ignored or scrutinized. It is attitudes like these that are giving fandom a bad name.
  5. Entropy. This isn't easy to explain, so I'll try and make it as painless as possible. If you're going to spend an extended period of time in any group, you should keep things new and fresh to a certain point, so things don't become stale and predictable.
Remember, democracy can work. Another point to know is that any group is liable to attract unreasonable and rowdy people, which can disrupt and threaten the status quo.

Although different viewpoints can be healthy, unruly behavior isn't, which is why the powers that be need to toss the bad people out, keep the good people in, and try to be convincing and diplomatic when other people's feelings get hurt, so they won't leave. Also, it helps to take some time off on occasion, and not be involved too much, or go to every event. It's dangerous to be too involved, and there's a reason why people get burnt out from overexposure. I know that some people are tired of conventions, and others are tired of many of the aspects of conventions, but the main reason why people go to them is to reunite with friends. It's not the guests or merchandise or panels: those are secondary when getting together with friends who act as a surrogate family. When it's like that, people will put up with any conditions to see them again. It's also about having fun, and it's a shame that some forget that fact, but some fans have too much fun, which can turn others off.

Yes, science-fiction fandom, or any fandom, is a subculture. It can be exhausting in every way imaginable, unless one paces themselves. We all need to remember that it's just a hobby, and not a religion. This is something that shouldn't be taken too seriously, but seriously enough to have fun. Of course, it isn't always fun. It can sometimes be boring and predictable. So, when things go sour, it may be good to take a break. Fandom should be a break from the normal routine that is life, and not a soap opera. Just remember what I've discussed, and everything should be fine.

Fans not getting their own way by Nathan Mullins 15/3/10

Doctor Who is at the forefront of all there is in the news these days. It's dominating the headlines in the press and in doing so, is exploiting the show in such a fantastic way that every other non Who fan out there knows what the show is about, wherever they turn. However, there some Who fans like you and me but who are so arrogant that thay make demands and question by writing such terrible articles in newspapers about all this speculation over the taking of the TARDIS.

Now, we all know who it is who will be taking over the controls of the TARDIS but whilst there was all this speculation, I read some terrible things. Mostly what fans had written over who they thought would and wouldn't be best in taking on the role of the Doctor. Even after Matt Smith was officially cast as the Doctor, fans made such offensive comments on him, that I thought wasn't on at all. We haven't seen him in the TARDIS as of yet so why are we so worried? The Doctor has been played by plenty of unknowns before; for example Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy but that had no effect on how they played the part. In fact, they came ofF even better being known for playing the Doctor and that was because of how good they were, and how well the fans took to them.

I even heard that fans back in the 80s helped to bring the show down, because of how groups of fans did and didn't like the actors or because of certain people at the BBC and because of how far they pushed the show in terms of want and greed. Since the show has returned, I have heard of fans who turned up at catherine Tate's play and saw David Tennant and began to disturb other people in the audiance by singing aloud the Doctor Who theme tune. So, it seems we haven't really learnt from our mistakes, and we ought to have. Perhaps that's the reason for David Tennant departing the show? Who knows.

All I know is that, as much as we have the right to have our say, it's not up to us to push others and bad mouth those who might actually not deserve it because of how good they are. Really.

Fans at the centre of the show they love by Nathan Mullins 18/5/11

There are so many people out there, in the world, who love Doctor Who. That's a given, as Doctor Who is broadcast worldwide. There are fans of the show in almost every country. But this has nothing to do with the point I am trying to make. Youtube, the website where anyone can upload videos to do with something somebody likes, has been the website to not only promote people and how well someone can act, but where people who are talented can upload videos that they have made for others to watch and enjoy.

There are several people I could mention, and want to mention, because the videos that they produce to do with Doctor Who are outstanding. The thing about watching fan-made episodes of Doctor Who is that whomever is taking on the role of the Doctor can make the part their own. There is a guy on youtube known as timelordfromhell (and yes, that is all one word!) and he is brilliant at producing fan-made episodes of Doctor Who. He has made spoof versions of many episodes of the series, both old and new, and has a full cast, who are all extremely talented, and are wondrous to watch on screen. Tony Coburn is the man behind the camera and has been filming his own series of Doctor Who adventures for a long, long while. He also stars as the Doctor in his fan-made series, and actually proves to be a very good one. He portrays his Doctor as dark (at times) and, like the fifth Doctor, calm and at ease with the world around him, but he also has authority, like every Doctor should have, in order to command orders.

The special effects used on his videos are outstanding, and terribly clever. By using a green-screen effect, his TARDIS shots look much like the real thing, and the camera work, as well as his supporting cast are all brilliant, in their own ways.

Much like timelordfromhell, another user on youtube known as carrol13 also produces his own Doctor Who fan series. Only, his series is a lot more down to earth, but in a good way. He too has a number of members to add to his supporting cast, who are all fantastic. What I love about these fan-made productions is the quality of the acting. David Tennant wanted to be the Doctor because he loved the show, back when he was a kid. Like many people, fans of the show want to be a part of Doctor Who. Some of these people who produce their own Doctor Who fan-made series have what it takes to become the next Doctor Who, because their acting skills are incredibly professional and inspiring.

There is also a Doctor Who fan series known as DoctorWho2009, who produce brilliant videos, almost like the show itself. Their first episode was fantastic, and featured the Ice Warriors. The effects were amazing, and just like the TV series.

There are many other people on youtube who provide fans of the show, like myself, with incredible videos to watch and enjoy. There is so much talent to be found on youtube, to do with Doctor Who that I for one am spoilt for choice.

There is also a user known as batmanmarch, who films a Doctor Who figure adventure series, which is simply amazing. His videos are fantastic and, like the show itself, he uploads them every Saturday. But, like I say, there are many people who are fans of the show who make things to do with the show because they love the show so much. I too intend on producing a fan series of Doctor Who soon, and this has much to do with those of whom I have mentioned above, for inspiring me to buy my own camera and film.

Fandom is such an almighty thing, as there are many people out there in the world who want to share their love for the show and are very good at what they do.