Doctor Who 50th anniversary musings

So here’s a thing. Hits on my website spiked on the day the Anniversary special was broadcast. I guess y’all wanted to know what I thought, eh? Also, the search “who is the curator on Doctor Who” apparently led to my website. WHICH IS AWESOME. Because, yanno, I’m a curator in my day job. *g*

Well, I talked about it quite a bit over on the Verity! podcast, but I thought I’d do the summary version here. 🙂

So, that was the best anniversary EVER. It lasted nearly 2 weeks for us, if you count the trip to Chicago TARDIS as the capper. Which I do. Because we got to spend a whole weekend geeking out about Doctor Who with a couple of thousand people.

I’m in the camp of relatively uncritical about the whole shebang. I loved the Day of the Doctor, the Night of the Doctor, An Adventure in Space and Time, and The Five(ish) Doctors, each for their own reasons. I love that the production team found a way to have as many people participate as possible in the anniversary, both classic series and new.

We did not see the anniversary special in theaters because a) too far away and b) Caitlin can’t process 3-D. But I was very, very content to watch it on my couch with Michael and Shira, with Cait on the floor surrounded by her toys and having the time of her life.

I love that so many people love this show, and are inspired to do creative things as a result.

This was the ultimate love letter to the show, and its fandom. 50 years in television is no small feat, and Doctor Who is rightly proud of outlasting a lot of other shows, ESPECIALLY given that for much of its history, the BBC itself was actively trying to kill it for a long list of reasons beginning with “we think science fiction is silly and unworthy of BBC television.”

The creators and the actors all put their hearts  into it, and it showed. As I noted on Verity!, I couldn’t have been more pleased, especially with Mark Gatiss and Peter Davison’s love letters to the show, respectively, which both acknowledged the foibles and challenges, and gave it a great big hug at the same time.

Chicago TARDIS itself was really, really good. It was tiring and challenging to have Cait there for the entire weekend, but she was on her VERY BEST behavior, and I think she had an excellent time. Everyone was really good to her, and we had minimal issues navigating a much larger than usual convention with her. People really did make an effort to let us get by, which was nice. She was REALLY excited to meet Freema Agyeman and Paul McGann especially, and they were very kind to take a few minutes to chat with her, in addition to the other media guests who did so. 🙂 And, I admit, the photo of our family with the three (!) Doctors (McGann, Davison, and Colin Baker) includes us with enormous, goofy grins. Which is as it should be.

I didn’t get a lot of breaks as Michael was guesting, but I did get to see Louise Jameson and Colin Baker in Love Letters on the Friday night, which was absolutely wonderful. Yes, I cried. It was lovely, and they were spectacular. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen live theater, even in this setting, and it was quite powerful.

I’d like to joke that I have a Doctor Who hangover, but … no, I really don’t. I’m just happy to be here. Happy to be part of this fandom, this family, this thing that has such a long, loving tradition of, as Craig Ferguson puts it, “intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.”

I can’t wait for the Christmas special.  🙂



About Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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2 Responses to Doctor Who 50th anniversary musings

  1. MayorOfUlthar says:

    “I’m in the camp of relatively uncritical about the whole shebang.”

    I guess I am of a school of fandom that, if I like something, I will tend to find reasons to like it. That makes me uncritical, but so be it. I am not like one of those fans who claims to enjoy something but they spend most of the time ripping it apart.

    I greatly enjoyed at all, and miss the constant new material and surprises we had for a while.

    I haven’t counted up the hours, but I think that, compared to several years of new Who, we actually had more material released this year (counting each lost-and-found Troughton episode, counting “Night” as one…. it is THAT significant, and counting “Adventures” and the Christmas special).

    I hope we can make Chicago TARDIS some time. We were real close to going this time, for the first time, but family medical problems made it inadvisable. I am figuring that Chicago TARDIS 2014 will be less crowded. But I hope the guests are as great.


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