(there may be one very mild possible spoiler in this- not as in plot but as in "funny thing that happened"- you have been warned!)
A rare thing is happening across the internet at the moment- the Doctor Who fandom is in a good mood.
I know, weird, isn’t it? I dabble in fandom a little, as I don’t seem to have the real dedication it takes to stick to one or the other (I did once, in my Star Trek TNG and X-Files days, and oh my, there was fanart, oh yes) so I tend to be an observer more than anything. One of the conclusions I have made over the years is that hands down, Dr Who fandom is the grumpiest out there. You can forget your Harry Potter shipping wars, the shitstorm over the Avatar casting (Airbenders, not smurfs), Doctor Who fans can create a boiling sea of hatred just over a logo, for goodness sake.
There are certain science-fiction forums where the Who thread is a sort of no go area for casual fans, and the podcasting politics is mindboggling. But, let’s be fair, I have always forgiven them this. After all, of most fandoms, Who fans have had the roughest of deals. It has an epic history, and being a tv programme about time travel, the continuity is a glorious migraine inducer. During the Sylvester McCoy years it was largely ignored (possibly with good reason) and just when it started to find it’s feet again, it was cancelled. Then there were the wilderness years, where fans kept the spirit of the show alive through their own enthusiasm for it, and never quite gave up hope that it would be back in one form or another. In all of geekdom, the Who fans deserve the greatest credit for utter dedication.
So on Saturday night, Matt Smith had his debut episode as the Doctor, and you know what? I don’t know of anyone who didn’t absolutely love it. Well, maybe there are a few out there who just really thoroughly enjoyed it, but largely the Who fandom is currently basking in a warm glow of decent story telling and witty writing, that they can all agree on. Almost. It’s a beautiful thing.
And if you need to ask, I loved it too. My patience has been stretched thin in the past by RTD’s boomy music, nonsensical plots and Jesus-esque Doctor, but both Matt Smith and the story of Eleventh Hour were a joy. We’re back to clever writing, a story that is both fun and scary, and a Doctor who is both bonkers and confident. And Smith does have very lovely hair.
(The only voice of whinging so far has been, surprise surprise, the Daily Mail, although I’m not sure their article on it counts as a review as such. It was largely about the HUGELY scandalous fact that Amy Pond is a kissagram, and wore a short skirt. SWEET JESUS WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! There were also some eyebrows raised over Amy watching the Doctor get undressed, because god forbid anyone see a woman finding a man attractive… I mean, where will it end?! Certainly men have never been depicted as drooling over young girls, because that never happens… Honestly though, how sad that the Daily Mail (or more accurately, the readers of the Daily Mail) find the idea of a young woman with a sex drive so distressing. Yet again, I wish the Daily Crapfest would disappear up it’s own bumhole)