News Categories
Archives

Yes, I’m a Whovian, but I’m one of the nice ones

Guest contributor Alex Lawrence looks at the current state of fandom.

matt-smith-psycho-moffat

There has been plenty in the news recently about Doctor Who’s fandom (or “Whovians” as we are now more commonly known) concerning the general opinion of Steven Moffat and how he feels he is making everyone unhappy. There has even been a well done, in-depth article on this site about how the fandom needs to improve. However, I would like to reveal the truth about us Whovians and our true feelings for the show, which will hopefully enlighten you to spread the message.

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the seriousness of this article. I prefer to write quirky, up-beat and jolly little tales with a title something along the lines of “How many Nimon’s HAVE you seen today?” but right now I feel like I need to spread my opinion to the rest of you online to hopefully show you that things aren’t as bad as you think.

The main thing I currently see people talking about in relation to this topic is how the show is gaining hate from the majority of fans and how far we’ve fallen as a fanbase in our ways of speaking and respect, especially online. Day after day I (and I’m sure most of you) see comments moaning about how Moffat has ‘ruined the show’ and how much people want David Tennant back (despite him leaving Doctor Who 4 years ago and Moffat only writing a fraction of the episodes in his era) and there is no denying that this is a problem that’s going on as we speak, and it must be stopped. What I would like to say, however, is that there is no major need to worry. This is only a fraction of the fanbase. I don’t mean only a fraction use Doctor Who TV or any other fansite, I mean every Whovian on the net.

People who disagree with something are more likely to speak out than the people who agree. I don’t want to start a talk about politics here and will stay completely un-biased while writing, but evidence of this can be see with UKIP’s recent success here in the UK. The media made out that everyone was against the party, and over the past few weeks I heard non-stop shouting about how bad their policies are and how they are a “Racist party” yet when the votes came in, they still took a pretty good fraction. I’m sure there are many other factors that played into this such as their attention in the press getting their policies across much clearer than the other parties and perhaps people just wanted change (I don’t know, I’m not a politician), but the fact that their supporters stayed quiet also helped quite a lot. Of course some supporters were very loud in their opinions but this will play out later in this article.

Now comparing this to what we have in out fandom, we can see many similarities. All over the internet people are shouting at the show, and even the head-writer believes that we all hate him. But if the fandom was as bad as it is made out to be, then would The Day of The Doctor have won the Audience appreciation award at the BAFTA’s? It’s clear from the reactions at the acceptance speech that even the crew weren’t expecting to triumph there. The truth is, everybody that we see shouting and raging at Steven are just the percentage who do happen to be against him, and generally seem to be a bit more vocal in their responses. We as fans need to get this message across to the others we know, we need Moffat to see this so he can see that we really do appreciate his work, even if he has had a few bumps along the way.

I am also able to see where people come from when saying that we have declined in quality as a fandom. It can appear that even those defending the show can be just as vocal and offensive as those who express their opinions against it, and all those who aren’t like that waste their time making points that have no impact on the “important” world around them (rather like me right now) and again, this is true. But this is also where I get to my most important message that I hope is passed on through our society. On the internet, we only see the extremes of both sides of the Whovian fanbase. We see those who hate the show, those who love the heck out of it but rarely do we see any others. It may become easy to think that this must be all our fandom is, people who hate it and people who won’t stop until everyone else loves it too. But this isn’t the truth. It’s all too easy to feel like we know the whole fandom online, knowing who the big, respected fans are and who not to like but in reality we don’t. In reality, the average fan…probably hasn’t posted a Doctor Who related comment in their life.

You see, the average fan won’t spend their time checking for updates on Doctor Who TV, and won’t be subscribed to the Doctor Who YouTube channel or squealing about Peter Capaldi on Tumblr (dare I mention it). They will be all around you. When you walk down the street, the people around you may not be wearing a “bow ties are cool” T-shirt or have a TARDIS phone-case cover, and they may not even want to say much about the show if you questioned them about it. But when August comes and the opening credits roll, plenty of them will be sitting down on the sofa with a nice cup of tea and a smile on their face as they enjoy the longest running Sci-Fi show in the world. This is our gift of a secret community.

And that’s my point. We are not the screaming savages we often see ourselves as. We are normal people.

dalek-h-flowerExcept that’s not all. Because if it were, I wouldn’t be here writing this now. We are part of a special community of the fans. The online community. And while it is true that we, the online community, need to sort ourselves out, it is also true that we have something truly unique. We have each other. Yes, I know, that’s an utterly cringe-worthy line but it’s true. We are the section of the online community who over-talk things as I mentioned earlier, but that is still better than being the average commenter on YouTube. We talk to each other, and debate and discuss (not shout or argue) and we appreciate each others opinions. I would like to think that although we aren’t perfect (nobody is) we are at the upper-end of our community within a fandom.

Furthermore, the average online fan probably won’t post anything big either. They just won’t be noticed, and will be getting on with their life liking cat video’s while we natter on about the U.N.I.T dating system. We need to let people see this. Because if we don’t, then that’s what Moffat will see us as, and he’ll spend so much time making sure the script is perfect for a raging small boy on the internet and satisfies all of what that boys wants, then he won’t spend enough time doing what he does best. Writing stories. Thank you for reading.

I apologise for the shortness of this article, but this truly is all I need to say. It’s a message more than anything and it can be shortened to 2 A4 pages of paper. Just remember that things aren’t as bad as the press makes out. That’s what the press does. It wouldn’t be an interesting title to say “Doctor Who fans actually like the show” and as they say, “the only good news is bad news”. I would also appreciate some feedback as this is my first proper article. Now, off to comparing Peter Cushing to Richard E Grant I think!

Step back in time...

COMMENT GUIDELINES

Please be civil and keep article comments relevant and on topic. Flag and report any offensive/trolling behavior, or contact us with details.
Please do not post SPOILERS including anything from leaked episodes! Your account could be banned. For complete details on our comment policy please read.
257 comments
sarah Jane fan
sarah Jane fan

I think Steven Moffat is a great writer. I loved Couplings and Press Gang and now I'm enjoying his episodes of DW. Great article Alex. We should remember how much we missed the show when it was taken off air and harness our online voices to make sure that never happens again. Whether the episode is great or 'not as great as the last one' - they are all 100 times better than nothing.

DoctorCapaldifan
DoctorCapaldifan

I as a fan do enjoy man of moffat's stories, and I don't think he's ruined the show, but sometimes his story endings (e.g. The power of three, dinosaur on a spaceship etc.) are a bit weak, and I didn't feel like that with RTD. Still, with some of his recent stories, he has definitely been improving. I'm looking forward to the rest of series 8!

Elionu
Elionu

As far as I can tell, the Doctor Who fandom has three opinions on Moffat: 






1) The Tennant fangirls who resent Moffat for not being RTD. 





2) The fans who genuinely enjoy the post-2010 episodes more than the 2005-2010 episodes 

3) The fans who enjoy seasons 1-26 more than seasons 27-33, and completely ignore the RTD vs. Moffat argument (Hey, at least neither of them are JNT).



James42
James42

I am one of the fans of Doctor Who that can be vocal. I don't hate Moffat. It's impossible to as I don't even know the man. That being said, I don't think he's right for Doctor Who either, not as the showrunner.

As a writer, brilliant. Can't fault him. However as the showrunner, many of his decisions have been questionable to say the least.

I'm not going to go through the list, as many of you already know those decisions that have been debated time and again.

At the end of the day, he knows he has made mistakes with Doctor Who. I just hope he learns from them, and at least admits when he's been wrong.

craig33
craig33

Ive decided to not read comments on any site again. I miss the pre-internet days when you bought Dr Who magazine once a month and that was it. No trolls no rude people. It was just me and the tv show. Good days.

TinaJenkins
TinaJenkins

Hopefully I'm one of the moderate fans who don't hate Moffat but I'm not obsessed either.  I personally prefer Moffat's showrunning to Davies'.  I have enjoyed the direction the show took under Moffat.  As to whether Tennant should return.  As much as I liked his portrayal of the Doctor, bringing him back would be ridiculous.  That's not how the show works.  I hope Moffat can continue to run the show for a while yet.

A Friend of the Ood saw the mummy! :O
A Friend of the Ood saw the mummy! :O

While I agree that some fans can be a bit overly critical and rude, I can't agree with the idea that everything everyone says must be positive. I love the show, that's why I'm here, but that doesn't mean I have to love every little thing about it. No one here (or Gallifrey Base or any other forum) hates Doctor Who.

ENDrain
ENDrain

I'm sorry but you'd just discovered the fact everybody knows. It's psychology. The dissatisfied ones are the loudest ones. They obviously have some specialists in public relations or psychology or something in Dr Who's crew, they understand how fandom, how any kind of crowd works.

I can tell you, there are identical situation in every of the dozen other fandoms I personally know - including TV show's, videogame's, book's and rock band's ones.

Polyphase
Polyphase

You don't your blowings things out of proportion do you ? This hate that you see written all over the Internet, Is it real or  an exaggeration ? I don't look at much else Doctor Who except for this site and I must say I just don't see that hate word very often and I have never seen anything like "I hate RTD-Moff" I have seen a people attacked pretty viciously for expressing their views by some fanatics though.

Ivegotkidneys is companionless!
Ivegotkidneys is companionless!

I doubt the average fan even knows who RTD or Moffat is or they know of them but they don't every episode they written when I was a kid the only writer I knew was RTD and I thought he wrote every episode because of the amount I saw his name appear 

craig33
craig33

I've found the state of fandom to be genuinely shocking in some quarters. I often wonder if some fans should actually be fans as they seem to despise the show. I don't know why they watch at all. It is true that it's a small vocal minority and all the nice ones don't often comment at all. I think we should make more of an effort to spread joy.

Mary Sue's Vertue
Mary Sue's Vertue

At the end of the day a big corporation like the BBC doesn't give a hoot what the Whovian fandom think's of the show, they make up only a very small percentage of the overall viewing audience. What matter's to them is it's popularity amongst the wider television audience, and the show has proved to be very popular with mainstream non-genre viewer's under both RTD's and Steven Moffat's tenure's. Moffat himself once said that he doesn't make the show for the fans, he makes it for the other 100% of the viewers, and that is correct, because as a fandom we can sometimes act as if this show is our personal property, which it certainly is not, and the people who make this show, whether it be Moffat , or whomever takes over from him when he eventually steps down, should never pander to the wishes of the ''hardcore'' fandom . Marvel Studios will not be dictated to by the hardcore comic geeks and Peter Jackson will not be told ''what he can or can't do'' by the Tolkien purists, and that is right. Whoever is making ''Doctor Who'' has creative control and as long as people are tuning in week upon week, and it is receiving good positive feedback the BBC will continue to make it, and as a fan, that is all I care about  PS Moffat is a brilliant and clever writer and we are blessed to have him as showrunner, but I will also add that RTD and David Tennant were definitely NOT overrated as some think, they were both fantastic

shots1
shots1

I Love Dr Who enjoy all series & stories to different extents and can NEVER understand fans needing to overly examine every little thing or poo pooing those who like something different to what they enjoy.

I loved Matt's Doctor in all ways and episodes like The Bells Of St John and Mr Moffats stories do make me think rather more than other writers which, again, I like.

I love the music...yes ALL of it and overall am an extremely happy bunny : ) 

Enjoy what you have....we all know what it was like to lose it ! . 

JulianPrime
JulianPrime

Average fan here too. RTD era was great mostly and for me Moffat era even better mostly. I'm very grateful for the show.

TomBaker74
TomBaker74

Average fan here. Moffatt is brilliant. Tennant and RTD massively, massively overrated. Goodnight.

ChrisCreveling
ChrisCreveling

What is this article?  Who the hell are you to tell me what opinion I can and cannot have?  It is MY opinion that Steven Moffat is ruining the show, as well as the opinions of others who agree with me on that.  We're not calling these opinions facts, because they are not.  Some may enjoy the Moffat era, while others, like myself enjoy the RTD era.  We as a community do NOT need to improve, nor do our opinions, because they are owned by us and reflect our likes and dislikes.  It is YOU who needs to improve and learn to accept that other poeple have different opinions that may not align with your own, which is perfectly okay.  Get rid of this garbage article.





TerryDixon
TerryDixon

Lest we forget, from 2005-2009, websites were awash with RTD hate.

The next Showrunner will have just as rough a ride.

ClaireAbraham
ClaireAbraham

@Elionu You missed at least one category: The fans who genuinely enjoy the 2005 - 2010 episodes more than the post-2005 episodes. That group does not consist solely of fangirls who resent Moffat for not being RTD. Some of that group consists of people who think Davies' storytelling was more coherent, took consequences for bad behavior more seriously, and made more sense.


That does not mean that the people who prefer Moffat are wrong at all; this is an entirely subjective debate. I think Ollie's got it right.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Elionu That's not right.

You're saying there, that the people who don't like Moffat are all just girls who love Tennant, and hate Moffat for no real reason.

There are:

The fans who enjoy RTD's era, and dislike Moffat's.

The fans who prefer RTD's era, but also like Moffat's.

The fans who have no preference.

The fans who prefer Moffat's era, but also like RTD's.

The fans who enjoy Moffat's era, and dislike RTD's.

The fans who hate modern Doctor Who, as it's not the same as classic.

There are of course the 'fangirls' that obsess over the actors looks, and have little regard for the story, but they're not reall relevant. 

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@TinaJenkins Well, technically, Moffat has introduced now (in 'The Night of the Doctor' and 'The Day of the Doctor'), the ability to have control over the next regeneration - to decide a personality (The War Doctor), and even a body (Tom Baker's cameo). And here I'll briefly state how annoying and silly I find that.

So technically, though certainly stupidly, it would be possible to have David Tennant return.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@A Friend of the Ood I agree, but I think the problem is that people forget that everyone here loves Doctor Who. People are welcome to give their opinions, disagree with others and have a healthy debate, but it needs to be done respectfully - I'm sick of this "I'm right and you're wrong" mentality. People need to start respecting the opinions of others, even if it differs from their own.

ajl117
ajl117

@ENDrain  Clearly not everybody knows, or I would have no need to post this article.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Mary Sue's Vertue I can't remember if I already replied to this, as my computer isn't telling me, but:

I think that's a lot of an oversatement to say that "the BBC doesn't give a hoot". I think the BBC certainly does care about the fandom, or else they wouldn't keep making references, for the fandoms sake.

And the fandom certainly doesn't make up for "only a very small percentage". The fandom makes up for a large amount of the people who watch the show.

And Whovians don't think they own Doctor Who. They just have opinions on the way it's going, and like to share them, and potentially have the writers, take some advice. Not completely give in, and let the fandom run the show. Just take some advice.





 Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

@Mary Sue's Vertue Well said I'm in agreement. Also on a sidenote as a big marvel fanboy the movies do a solid job at pleasing us with their movies adaptations.

DavidBlyth
DavidBlyth

@ChrisCreveling How rude you are, I think it's time to admit you've outgrown a kids show if you think it's been "ruined"

Strontium
Strontium

@ChrisCreveling Actually, now you say it, you have a good point, as long as we are all respectful of each others opinions

Doctor What
Doctor What

@Ollie Walton Harrod @TinaJenkins It was not Moffat who introduced that!


You've never seen The War Games, have you? in the last regular episode of the Second Doctor, he's captured by the Timelords (it was also the first time the Timelords appeared in the show), and they force him to regenerate, but they show him a series of drawings of different faces and allow him to choose one. So, it was not in 2013, but in 1969 when it was established that the Timelords could have certain control over regenerations. This fact is explored a bit more in Destiny of the Daleks, when Romana regenerates at will and tries different bodies, until she decides to "wear" the body of Princess Astra, seen previously in The Armageddon factor (yes, it was meant to be a cheap joke, but DW canon is clearly a joke in itself).

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

Yes. Outgrowing it. I'm sure that's the only possible reason people could have for disliking some areas of Doctor Who. No it's not possible that maybe he just doesn't like something/or everything Moffat's doing. No. He must have just grown too old for it.

ChrisCreveling
ChrisCreveling

@DavidBlyth @ChrisCreveling Yes, I'm rude because I expressed my opinion.  This is the problem I have with most fans of anything: they forget that opinion is not fact, and is the sole belief of the owner of said opinion.  You are failing to respect my opinion, which actually, makes you the rude one.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

There are. They just 'don't show their faces around here'. I mean, they're less interested in debating it.

Also, I think, people probably have initial preferences. But then because someone/a few people decide to argue the opposite point, that person then feels the need to emphasise their point more. And so gradually each persons point gets extremified (not a real word).

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@Ollie Walton Harrod @A Friend of the Ood Well, no, you don't meet a lot of those people, but what i mean is that people are unwilling to accept the opinions of others and insist that theirs is the only correct one. For example, I post a comment about how I like the serial The Space Museum, and I get a plethora of replies like "how can you like that abomination of a story?! You need help" etc.

bluBob
bluBob

@ChrisCreveling @DavidBlyth It's not the fact that you have an opinion that differs. It's the "Who the hell are you... Get rid of this garbage article." That I believe is what DavidBlyth was responding to. Once again, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. The person writing the article was trying to be as respectful as possible, and you responded... kinda viciously. Not the worst I've ever seen (not even close), but enough that it caught other people's attention.

[[Account Deleted]]
[[Account Deleted]]

@Ollie Walton Harrod @The Exploding TARDIS is DELETED Are we forgetting all the people that died in the Time War, on Trenzalore, Solomon, Kahler Jex, Kahler Tek, Kahler Mas, The Daleks in the Asylum, Victorian Clara, Simeon, Amy, Rory, the people who died in the Battle of Demons Run, Bracewell, Bob, The Vampires in Venice, Alaya, Vincent van Gogh, The Cybermen in Closing Time, The Minotaur in The God Complex, The Doctor, River Song, The Viking in TWoRS? There's more, but I'll stop here.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

Compare each episodes number of deaths to that of an RTD era episode death.

The people that died in the Time War - That was off screen. And that was RTD who made the Time War, not Moffat.

The people on Trenzalore - Again, only implied. Not shown.

Solomon is a villain. He's meant to die. I'm talking about the innocent's.

Amy and Rory - Neither died (Rory's don't exactly count). They just stopped travelling with the Doctor. They both lived happily together, just in a different time.

The people who died in the Battle of Demon's Run - Again implied.

Bracewell was an android - He was never alive.

Bob - Fair enough.

The Vampires in Venice - Again, they're the villains.

Alaya - A villain (mostly).

Vincent van Gogh - He died in real life. His death in Doctor Who was only mentioned, the same way Charles Dickens' was in 'The Unquiet Dead'.

The Cybermen in 'Closing Time' - Villains.

The Minotaur in 'The God Complex' - Villain (mostly).

The Doctor - He didn't die. A robot that looked like him was shot. But he wasn't. So he didn't die.

River Song - Part of the RTD era. Loads of people died back then. A good amount.

The Vikings in 'The Wedding of River Song' - I can't really remember them.

So, no. I'm right in saying very few people die in Doctor Who any more.

[[Account Deleted]]
[[Account Deleted]]

@Ollie Walton Harrod No, you aren't right. Villains don't deserve to die, and not everyone must die on screen. I also said there were more. And, The Library 2-parter was part of the Moffat Era storyline. There are way more deaths, and you don't recognize them. Go to TARDIS wiki if you aren't capable of paying attention on your own. "Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all." 






Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

For me, the saddest minor people deaths of the modern era are of the Hath (that one specific Hath, that befriends Martha) in 'The Doctor's Daughter', and of the people in 'Voyage of the Damned'; specifically Foon and Morvin Van Hoff (the fatter couple).

Also Ursula's kind of death, in 'Love and Monsters'. Although she was saved, in that weird way, her initial being killed, I found quite sad.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@The Exploding TARDIS is DELETED @Ollie Walton Harrod I'm not saying villains deserve to die. This isn't me showing some underlying support for the death penalty here.

I'm just saying, as, when I'm complaining that not enough people die, I'm talking about the innocents. Not the companions or the villains. Though now that you mention it, it would be nice if there were more villains dying, as there seems to be little sense of threat anymore.

Not everyone MUST die on screen. But if Doctor Who wants to re-gain it's past level of fear/threat, then it's a good place to start.

I know 'Silence in the Library'/'Forest of the Dead' were writen by Moffat. I know River Song is part of Moffat's creation, and story arc. My point still stands though. That it was in the RTD era. And I'm saying, that in the RTD era, people died. Whether they were Moffat stories or RTD's or any other writer, people died. Same for the classic.

There are more deaths in the Moffat era, in that there have been more 'This is the End of the Doctor' war type scenario's, meaning it's implied that many died. But the war's in which many people die, don't really count, as killing off characters. I'm talking about an average RTD era episode where about 5 people would die. 5 people that would become known to a decent degree first before killed. Not just showing an explosion in which people probably died in. Or showing people at the least, falling from the explosion.

To be clear: I know some people do die. I'm not looking for everyone to die, or anyone central to the overall story. Just someone who is part of, or gets caught up in whatever situation, wherever the Doctor lands. I even don't mind when people die, but then its reversed, because then, at least it kind of happened. Although that's been overdone a bit now with Rory and Clara. So, the modern original, 'everybody lives', for example. A number of people, you see turned into Gasmask Zombies. Some, only given a line or 2. It's even reversed completely at the end. But that's enough for me. I really don't think it's too much to ask for people to start dying again.

And please don't just be rude, and act as if I don't know what I'm talking about.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@The Exploding TARDIS is DELETED @Ollie Walton Harrod Rory's 5 memorable deaths - www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/09/rorys-deaths-remembered/

I did say 'very few', more than once.

and it's like you've just ignored my point completely. A lot of people died off screen. The same amount of people (possibly less), died off screen in the RTD era. But on screen deaths were shown too; and a significant amount of them. 

[[Account Deleted]]
[[Account Deleted]]

@Ollie Walton Harrod @The Eyes of the Doctor More than a few. A few sounds like four, or seven, or something. Rory only ACTUALLY died twice, though.  I know that RTD had a lot of deaths on screen, but so does Moffat. You miss my point. I actually have one. I'm going to say this once more. "Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all." 



Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

Yeah I'm not sure what you're point is there. That's just an extended version of 'everybody lives'. And it's not exactly relevant in proving either point. If anything, that just serves as additional evidence that Moffat likes to keep people alive.

And Rory didn't only die twice. He 'kind of died' a number of times, but if you're being technical, then he didn't really die at all.