Recently, I was listening to a podcast by a friend of mine, in which she and her husband discuss pop culture tidbits and other awesomeness. I enjoy listening to podcasts to and from work, because it makes the drive go by faster and it makes me feel like I have friends in the car (it gets lonely, guys).
In the episode that I listened to the other day, though, my friend’s husband was discussing a book that he wrote (props to him, man) in which the main villain was an evil doctor. Because of this, he was referred to as The Doctor throughout the book, which caused a lot of negative feedback from people who are super fans of Doctor Who.
Now, fans of Doctor Who, or Whovians, are a special kind of fan, in that they are obsessive to the point of crazy, and highly defensive of negative ideas or portrayals of pretty much any character from the show (even villains can cause a soft spot in Doctor Who – Whovian life is not always black and white).
Because of this obsessiveness, I can completely see people taking his story the wrong way, being offended that the villain is called The Doctor (“How dare you use that name for someone evil!”), and hurt by the fact that he didn’t know that in Doctor Who, the main character is referred to as The Doctor, which is common knowledge for people who have see the show (but not common knowledge for anyone else).
Now, I personally identify with Whovians, because I love a good story (and they really are fantastic in Doctor Who), but I can also see where he was coming from. Fans of Doctor Who can be crazy, and that can be a huge turn off.
I myself was hesitant to start watching Doctor Who at first, because I knew people who were so crazy in love with the show that I couldn’t imagine it to be that good, and I would only end up disappointed. I’ve been burned by crazy fans before (a former roommate told me to read Twilight, because “the story is kind of lame, but the writing is really good”. Lies.), and I wasn’t really looking to put myself out there for a show that I wasn’t already attached to.
So I get it – crazy fans are crazy, and they can easily turn people off of a show, movie, comic, book, whatever. It’s a fine line being a fan of something. You have to ease people into it, like stepping into a hot bath – dip their toes with a clip or two, and hope that it is comfortable enough for them to want to slip in.
The thing about fandoms is, people are always going to be fanatical about them. That’s the point – they love this thing so much that they can’t help but want to push it onto you too – they want to share their wonder with the people around them, so they can wonder together.
But shows are not the fandom – the boy who builds his own life-size dalek, the couple who have a Star Trek wedding at Comic Con, or the girl who writes erotic fanfiction of Supernatural and tries to publish it – they are not a representative of the thing itself, or even the fandom. They are the extremes.
So please, don’t judge a thing by it’s fandom – you could be missing out on something life-changing.