Photo copyright Lisa Hazlegreaves
If you have read any of my other posts you may have noticed that I’m quite a fan of Doctor Who and science fiction / fantasy in general. I have been this way since my late teens, yes, dear reader for twenty five years I have been a sci-fi fan. Now this is something I have always been proud of but it’s only recently I have been so outspokenly proud about it. I mean, I’ve had a reputation to keep. I have a really good job, I’ve partied in Kurt Geiger shoes with DJ’s, promoters and their bitches. I have not spent all my spare time alone amusing myself with Spok’s Biography and a scale model of The Millennium Falcon. The attitude to science fiction is definitely softening, it is not thought of as such a weird thing to like now, especially for a female. This has got a lot to do with Doctor Who, which has introduced science fiction to the masses at peak family viewing time on a Saturday. I have lots of friends who watch Doctor Who with their kids but who have probably never heard of Terry Brooks let alone read any of his books and this is a good thing, it’s a great thing it is opening minds and getting a whole new generation of kids into science fiction. Hopefully these kids will love Doctor Who so much they want to go on and read some classic fiction. Less judging of the sci-fi geek.
This in turn however has brought up a whole new set of rules to be judged on. Within Whovianism (wondering if I just invented a new word? A Whovian is a Doctor Who fan) there is a fraction who will publically sneer at fellow Whovians who know little, if nothing of Classic Who. Classic Who? I hear you ask. When Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005 and became the mighty goliath that it is with its merchandising and experiences and conventions, the BBC decided that there needed to be a distinction between the brand sparkly New Doctor Who and the Doctor Who that was on our screens when I was a lass. So they re-branded old Doctor Who re-releases on DVD as Classic Who. Glad we got that cleared up. There are Whovians like myself who are old enough to remember Classic Who and whose Doctor is not nine, ten or eleven but a number prior to that. But then there are also the next generation of fans like my kids whose Doctor’s are Tennant and Smith and you know what that’s absolutely fine. They will never ever like Classic Who, its old fashioned to them, the sets wobble and there is no CGI but they shouldn’t be derided for this they should be cherished, brought into the fold of Sci-fi geekdom and nurtured. They certainly shouldn’t be sneered at nor judged for not knowing the name of the actor who played Tom Baker's scarf or even who Tom Baker is, although my kids know this because he was MY Doctor and I have bored them stupid with tales of him. I’m happy to pass on my sci fi baton to my kids, I don’t care if they don’t know about Classic Who I simply care that in the future they read some great books by Neil Gaiman perhaps, because they heard of him from writing a script for New Who. I won’t judge them for that.