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Honey, I’m a Whovian!

Guest contributor Shane Spangler on how to out yourself as a Whovian to your significant other and what episodes to pick.

amy-and-rory-wedding-album

There comes a time in all our relationships and friendships that we must, in effect, “come out” as Whovian. Without knowing this about us, our significant people will never know the fullness of what makes us who we are. Further, they will not understand why we make certain noises when we read about the Doctor’s new full-length overcoat, clap our hands excitedly while making comments like, “The TARDIS console is a hexagon again!” or hover over our computer screens late at night waiting for the latest filming photos to be posted on Doctor Who TV.

If you are like my college music history professor, who met his wife at a Doctor Who convention (he was wearing a 20-foot scarf, and she was dressed as the second Romana) this article will most likely be superfluous. However, for those of you acquainted with, or in relationship with, or possibly related to by blood or marriage, a non-Whovian, I offer the following essay to provide helpful hints and techniques in bringing Doctor Who into your important interpersonal associations, and possibly initiating that special someone into Whovianism.

Planning

Planning is essential. Don’t make the mistake of jumping into Inferno, or The Doctor’s Wife too quickly. That’s like proposing marriage on the second date, and will most likely frighten people away, rendering any possible future Who-related dialogue impossible.

Firstly, you must set the mood. A good red wine and a tray of some chocolates, fresh, crusty bread and some parmigiano-reggiano cheese are a great way to start. (Or, if you’re under the drinking age, some nice cocoa and biscuits, jammy dodgers, etc.) A small dish of jelly babies could also feature in your snacking array, both as a rubbery, sweet treat, and as a clever conversation starter (Oooh – look! The Doctor eats jelly babies too! Just like these!) Dim the lights, and create an atmosphere worthy of your favorite Time Lord. Then, use your instincts and discernment in choosing an episode of Doctor Who as a good introduction. Given the breadth of subjects and contexts used in Doctor Who since 1963, it is possible to choose an episode that will appeal to nearly any taste, and hopefully pique the curiosity of the Non-Whovian.

Doctor-Who-Vincent-and-the-Doctor-Trailer-(13)If your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/spouse/relative/special friend (who, for the sake of brevity, I shall henceforth refer to as ‘neophyte’) is the least bit artistic, then by all means, show him or her Vincent and the Doctor. Your arty neophyte will appreciate the “art hater” metaphor of the Krafayis, and the irony of him being blind, afraid, and ultimately impaled upon a painter’s easel. He or she will weep as Van Gogh helps the Doctor and Amy see the star-filled night sky through his eyes. And, the scene of Van Gogh witnessing the fruits of his labors finally appreciated in the Louvre museum, will be moving to any artist, musician, writer, or really anyone who’s ever wondered if his or her life’s work will make any long-term difference. Then, there are the excellent performances by the series regulars, Tony Curran as Van Gogh, and the lovingly recreated scenes of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings.

The Lodger FootyIs your neophyte into sport? There’s always The Lodger, which has a “buddy film” feel to it, and a nice football scene showing off Matt Smith’s athletic skills. (Black Orchid has a cricket match too, but leave that one for hardened Whovian friends who “just haven’t seen all the Peter Davison episodes.”) It’s also not too difficult a plotline to follow, even if your special someone is… really into sport.

state-of-decay-vampires-doctor-whoIf your neophyte is a bit of a vampire lover, you can’t go wrong with State of Decay. The direction is tight, the sets are magnificent, and, of course, dear old Terrance Dicks’ script is intriguing, yet fairly easy to follow. All cast members take their roles absolutely seriously, turn in superb performances, and, apart from his awkward rooster-like ambling across the console room in episode one, even Adric is tolerable in this story. By the time you get to the horrible “rocket turns upside-down” model shot in episode four, your neophyte will most likely be so charmed by the show, he or she will laugh it off and ask, when the final credits roll, “can’t we watch another?”

doctor-who-the-beastIf you have a couple of hours to spare, and your neophyte is interested in philosophy, spirituality and hard sci-fi themes, then show him or her The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. There isn’t a weak performance in the whole show, the Beast looks amazing, the action is tight, music is superb, and the plot is layered with religious metaphors, references and symbolism; some more obvious than others. Or, if your neophyte is Christian, particularly Roman Catholic or Anglican, and has a great sense of humor, show him or her The Face of Evil. Chris Boucher’s satire of Christianity pokes not-so-gentle fun at the dogmas and doctrines of organized religion and the adherents who make themselves slaves to outdated ritual without considering the possibility of a progressive Revelation. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are excellent together, forming a new, slightly abrasive dynamic between Doctor and companion. And then, regardless of sexual orientation, your neophyte will certainly appreciate the near-naked Sevateem Warriors of both genders. Because of the studio-bound “look” of this show, however, I believe it would be better suited to a neophyte who has professed genuine interest in seeing some of the “older Doctor Whos.”

The-Caves-of-Androzani-dAnother sure winner for the non-Whovian, sci-fi buff is The Caves of Androzani. The storytelling and acting are both first-rate, and the direction is the fastest-paced of any of the classic shows. This is not surprising, as it is handled by the wonderful Graeme Harper. Further, Caves ends, as you know, with a regeneration scene, which always whets the curiosity of even casual viewers. Whether to proceed to Twin Dilemma, however, is a matter of discernment. If your neophyte really wants to see more Who after this, it might be wiser for you to suggest watching another regeneration episode, and then proceed to The Parting of the Ways or The End of Time.

BlinkIf you don’t know your neophyte as well as you’d like, and are unsure about which episode to begin with, then show him or her Blink. This is a perfect introduction to Doctor Who for anyone. It’s scary, smart and funny, and makes a tasty appetizer for “meatier” episodes. And, as a stand-alone, it shows, arguably, better than any other single episode of Doctor Who in nearly 50 years. But be cautious – just because a non-Whovian likes Blink doesn’t automatically mean you’ve successfully made a new Whovian out of him or her.

doctor-who-krotonsDoctor Who can also be used as a discernment tool for your relationships. If you’re ready to take your relationship to that next level, or if you want to see if your special someone has long-term potential, it’s time to break out the heavy artillery. (Again, save Inferno for marriage.) Show your neophyte The Krotons. If he or she says, “I love the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe, but the monsters are terrible,” you will know he or she speaks the truth. Conversely, if you show your neophyte Paradise Towers, and he or she is terribly complimentary about the production values, the performances and the incidental music, you will know, sadly, your neophyte is either a big liar, is clingy and desperate, or has a serious brain condition. Whatever the case, “you better get OUTTA that relationship.” And the acid test in any relationship would have to be The Web Planet. If, by the end of six episodes of giant maudlin moths, grunting, monosyllabic grubs, and ludicrous larvae weaponry, your neophyte turns to you and says, “I still think you’re great,” then you definitely have a keeper there.

Finally, if you sense your relationship is approaching a breakup, and you want to hurry along the process, then show him or her The Chase, or The War Games. Chances are favorable that he or she will excuse himself or herself during the course of The Chase, and save you the trouble of initiating the breakup. Or, if he or she doesn’t like The War Games, you can say, “I’m sorry, dear, but that’s a deal-breaker.” In either case, say farewell to your now ex-partner, re-start The War Games, and drink the wine or cocoa, and eat the bread, cheese, biscuits, jammy dodgers and jelly babies yourself.

Step back in time...

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135 comments
TheOncomingStorm
TheOncomingStorm

You have to read Adventures With The Wife In Space - funniest book ever.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Ha Ha, Very good article. Will keep your theories in mind :)

gingersnapgirl
gingersnapgirl

I tend to use The Eleventh Hour to introduce my friends to DW, because I am not-so-secretly trying to create an army of people whose Doctor is Eleven. :P But this is a great list of alternatives for future reference! 


(Personally, though, I'd avoid using Classic Who to introduce the show to anyone younger than 20 or so.)



Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Ha! I wish I had a significant other to try to convert to Whovianity now this sounds like fun XD Aaaagh I hate Valentine's Day it makes me feel single :P

DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

My grandmother hated DW because the modern episodes were too fast-paced.  Then we watched The Mind of Evil with her and she liked it.  If you're trying to convert a James Bond fan, watch an episode of Pertwee.

AnthonyMercer
AnthonyMercer

I would personally start with City of Death. It's my favourite classic series story and doesn't really require anything in the way of knowledge about the show.

ErikRunnels
ErikRunnels

Best article I've read yet. It obviously addresses a question most Whovians have considered at some point. If, like me, you've generally found yourself embroiled in relationships with girls who barely like sci-fi, much less Who, I've so struggled with this question. I usually choose The Girl In the Fireplace. Second, I go with Blink. But after that, brilliant stories that don't require a love of Sci-Fi, or a massive knowledge of Whovian lore (i.e. The Doctor's Wife; Human Nature) can be hard to come by. I usually go with The Doctor Dances/The Empty Child or Rose or Pompeii or The Eleventh Hour or The Lodger ... but the point is that I usually am looking, like the author  says, for epps that will appeal to those who don't have an innate affinity for sci-fi and who haven't been with the Doctor long enough to get touched by journeys into the lore. Most of my paramours find character explorations to be the most interesting sort of dramas

edoe101
edoe101

Oh I laughed... and sounded so stupid when I read this article. One of the most humorous and interesting articles I've read XD 

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

On the flip side I know a lot of male and female Freinds who have watched all 10 seasons of the Xfiles and Supernatural or smallville and All 10 Seasons of Stargate SG1 (the American equivalent to DrWho it think) but they refuse to watch doctor who , don't understand why?

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

This is no the real world , What do u do if you have a superficial girl who only like XFactor and heat magazine, people like that Ussually think Sci if is silly and for loners and geeks. Most women hate Sci Fi, FACT unless u meat them in college, if u meet a woman outside of college there the XFactor type of person (Most real women are) and would never watch it with u. Anybody who does have a gaming Girlfreind or Whovian Girlfreind is lying about it or they met them in college/Conventions. The real world sucks, also depends on where u live, in Ireland all normal women hate Sci Fi, simple . No wonder I'm so alone.

rosisundin
rosisundin

My husband doesn't get Doctor Who. He just doesn't. He, however got interested in An Adventure in Space and Time. It does show how the show came to be and the importance it had on the English culture as well as portrays the magic of the show. who would have thought it?

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

My fiancee already loves Doctor Who. Heck she loves a lot of things I like. There is only one problem with female partners and that is a lot of them will have this crazy obsession with David Tennant. My fiancee got mad when The Doctor got married to Liz the first whilst I giggle...It's okay, I love Amy Pond, much to her disgust :P

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

Here's how I made my friend a Whovian.

Me:Oh, look, it's my friend's birthday.

Me:*goes to computer*

Me:*illegally downloads Season 5*

Me:*asks dad to burn Season 5 on CD*

Me:*giftwraps present*

Me:*goes to school*

Me:*gives present to friend* Happy Birthday!

Friend:Gee, thanks!

(3 days later)

Me:*picks up phone*

Friend:Where can I find Series 1?

Mad-Mad With A Box Productions
Mad-Mad With A Box Productions

I'm so lucky my significant other is a Whovian too. (Albeit on a much, much, much, much smaller scale compared to me.) Anyway, I really feel for anyone having trouble getting their partner into Doctor Who, good luck and happy valentine's day! :)

Petrolheaded Wholockian
Petrolheaded Wholockian

I'm sorry but if you want to make someone a Whovian all you have to do is show them The Day Of The Doctor. I can't tell you the amount of people I know who aren't Whovians but watched TDOTD and became fans. They all say they loved it and will watch series 8. If anyone doesn't like TDOTD, then they have a black heart and will never see the true awesomeness of Doctor Who. It is quite simply, the best episode of Who EVER!! I've seen it about 15 times now and never once have I got bored or disliked it!

HRH_Elentari
HRH_Elentari

My brother-in-law turned me into a Whovian on Christmas Eve 2012, when the show was on BBCA leading up to The Snowmen.  I don't remember which episode was the first, but by the time Snowmen aired I was hooked and caught up on all of NuWho before season 7b aired in April.  According to my husband, the first episode I made him watch was The Empty Child.

David Walston
David Walston

Love this article!  I got my wife to watch it with me from the beginning of Matt Smiths run. On BBC America the series had a beginning with Amy talking about the Doctor. My wife has watched it with me since. The only unfortunate side effect was her having a crush on Matt Smith.  

JFrance
JFrance

I haven't turned anyone into a Doctor who fan yet. The only person I know who is a fan of the show is my Dad he's been watching it since 1963. So in someway I was destined to be a fan of Doctor who.   

AndrewMarsden
AndrewMarsden

Great article! Loved it. Great examples too!

AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

My girlfriend has never seen any Doctor Who, classic or new, because she is from Spain where it just isn't AS popular. I was going to show her Rose once, but the electricity went. Another time I tried to show her An Unearthly Child, but the DVD player stopped working.


On another note, the other day a fellow Doctor Who fan and I suggested to one of our other friends that he watch a classic story with us. We said he could watch a standard 4 or 6 part story but unexpectedly he insisted on The War Games.

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

I agree Doctor Who is addictive. One of my 'girl friends' wasn't so keen on Doctor Who before last year but I told her about it and eventually she watched it online and has been addicted since, it's like a drug this show, that's the amazing thing about it, anyone can like it. If I'm in a future long term relationship it will be on my list of priorites that they like Doctor Who or try to like it or how else are they going to fit into my lifestyle of watching new episodes every weekend plus someone to talk to about it. I always been quite open as a Whovian compared to my other TV likes, I'll defend Doctor Who to the death if someone opposes me liking it compared to other programmes, just shows how special it is to me.

jellybabyeater
jellybabyeater

There are really only two reasons why I would watch the chase

I haven't seen it yet and I would like to see it ( basic good reason for any show)

And the other one is that I have an interest in classical music ;)

TimewandII
TimewandII

Such a useful article! Thanks!

Now I don't want to nag but it actually was Musee d'Orsay in vincent and the doctor.

Sorry, just a bit of an art freak :)

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

My girlfriend had only heard of Doctor Who in the vaguest of contexts before meeting me and had never seen and episode before. Now her room is filled with merchandise and it is one of her favorite shows. I would say that the conversion was a success. :P We started straight with "Rose", though, and worked our way through it in order. I've never converted anyone else though, mostly because I have like, four friends, and my immediate family either already watches it (my mom, dad, sister, and aunt, (my dad and I are the only "superfans")) or doesn't really watch TV at all (my grandparents).

OpinionatedTARDIS
OpinionatedTARDIS

I have a good but risky suggestion. The Girl in the Fireplace

WhoMallow666
WhoMallow666

my favorites for any conversion: Robot, Rose, Smith and Jones, The Fires of Pompeii, The Eleventh Hour, A Christmas Carol, and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

ilyootha is back in home Universe
ilyootha is back in home Universe

My classmates in the uni saw me watching Warriors of the Deep on a train in the tube one day, and a few weeks later, The Mark of the Rani on a boring maths lecture (I wasn't choosing what to watch each day, I was just watching all Who in order), and now I never hear the end of "this Doctor Who of yours is such crap!" :(

I'm not sure I agree with "you can’t go wrong with State of Decay", but anyway, great article! Although I have to say, I am always being terribly complimentary when I watch Paradise Towers... Maybe I do have a serious brain condition after all XD











shane spangler
shane spangler

Thank you all for reading this, and for your nice comments!  

TheBaconLovingDoctor
TheBaconLovingDoctor

Great article! I have successfully converted my mom and sister-in-law into Whovians.

shane spangler
shane spangler

Wow - thanks for publishing this, DWTV, and happy Valentines Day everyone!  I actually wrote this last year pre-November 23, as you can tell from the "nearly 50 years" comment.  You made my Valentine's Day!!  




Nightmarish
Nightmarish

Oh wow I only just noticed this was posted on Valentines day. Maybe just because I never really got the point of Valentines day, I'd rather spend it with my Doctor Who DVDs than my girlfriend/boyfriend.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Valentines day is weird, its like "heres something with decorated with pictures of a inaccurate vital organ" 

Plus the good thing about being alone is like more food for me. And nobody is going to judge you or disturb you for how many Doctor Who marathons you could possibly complete in one sitting (or I'm just socially inept)



Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

Funny. My brother was just talking about something that was linked to love and all that and then I stumbled upon this article.

Moxx
Moxx

A super-duper article, Shane! I'm dreading the thought of falling in love with a non-Whovian - this is a guide I will treasure forever. ;D

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

The worst thing is when you can feel people slipping away from Doctor Who, then its like "I don't know who you are anymore..."




Whogasms
Whogasms

I'm trying to convert my mum but to no avail

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

I once introduced someone to Doctor Who. "Bring some DVDs" they said, the only thing I brought were Doctor Who DVDs :)

Baker Street is excited for Series 8!
Baker Street is excited for Series 8!

I've just finished for a week off but am diving straight into some revision. I can always count on DWTV to cheer me up! Great article, and I have to agree with the majority of your choices.

TimeLord22
TimeLord22

Watching Vincent and the Doctor now...forgotten how truly incredible it is :)

The Genie
The Genie

What a fantastically inventive and terrifically-written article.  Well done!

Ceire6
Ceire6

Maybe you're so alone because you generalize "all normal women." For the record, I'm a "normal" woman living in Ireland and I love sci fi. Just because someone doesn't walk around in fandom tshirts every day doesn't mean they don't have the same interests as you or wouldn't be amenable to trying something new. Being open-minded goes both ways.

Doctor von Wer
Doctor von Wer

@AztecsDaleksAndCavemen Sadly it isn't popular at all in Spain. No one knows it :( anyway, make sure that when she watches it, she doesn't watch the dubbed version, it's awful.

bmazz220
bmazz220

@OpinionatedTARDISWell I wouldn't say its too risky. At the Long Island Doctor Who convention someone asked McCoy just this question and without skipping a beat he responded with "the girl in the fireplace" cause it has all the essential elements that make DW what it is while still being a self contained story. Honestly I was shocked it wasn't in the article

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

Woman in Ireland run a mile if they know your geek, you would have to pretend your not a geek to get Girlfreind.