Guest contributor Garrett Castello on fandom’s diverse opinions and reacting best to it. (Doctor Who TV)


I consider myself to be one of the more positive and optimistic Doctor Who fans you’ll find. Normally, the worst reaction I’ll have to an episode is that I’ll find it to be okay and there’s only one episode I dislike (a certain Series 2 episode).

Fear Her, perhaps? 🙂

I can always find something to love and enjoy within an episode and I have been thoroughly satisfied with each season this great series has given us over the past ten years. I’ve been a fan since the summer of 2012 and I’ve loved every minute of it.

I have been one since 1982!

However, it didn’t take me long to discover that not everyone in the fandom had such positive things to say about the show or even about other members within the fandom itself. It’s come to the point where there are only a few select Doctor Who comment sections I’ll dare venture into as most of the threads I’ve read would lead to me shaking my head out of annoyance in response. But let me make it clear, my biggest problem has nothing to do with the negativity and criticisms driven at the show but rather how the fans go about expressing their thoughts.

That’s why I stay off most of those boards myself. But I started fandom in the pre-Internet days so my perspective is a bit different. Back at Central Michigan University where I discovered Doctor Who I have noted in the past that there were “Tom Baker Groupies” who were Doctor Who fans only from “Robot” to “Logopolis” and since Tom technically wasn’t in the “Five Doctors” as a live performer that one doesn’t count.

It was also a very local experience for the most part. I did read fanzines like Doctor Who Bulletin (later DWB) and wonder why all this vitriol was poured out on to the pages with poisoned pens from alleged “fans” of the program.

This is how it was done in the age before the instantaneous and impersonal Internet magnified this Trillions-fold.

clara-who-logoI’ll admit that I can feel a bit angry after reading a comment ranting on something I love. I’m sure a lot of us in the fandom share that reaction. Nobody likes to see something they like being presented in a negative light. On the other side of the coin, it can be aggravating to see someone praise something you hate.

Anything with the Title, “The Housewifes of…” 😦

Sadly, more often than it should, this results in fans clashing through a brutal flurry of insults in order to somehow convince the other person that they’re wrong.

Back in the early days this was called a “flame war”.

I once got into a conversation with a charming individual who said that I was “mentally challenged” because I like Clara. That’s where I draw the line. I cannot stand people who treat their opinions as fact and talk down to those who dare have a differing opinion. Whether you’re on the positive end of the spectrum or the negative end, that is no way to go about expressing your opinions. I have seen this mentality all too often within the fandom and I think it needs to stop.

But it is very pervasive because, after all, you must be a moron not to agree with me, IMHO. 🙂

matt-smith-psycho-moffatLet’s start off with those off on the positive end of things. Yes, it can hurt a bit to see someone insult and bash an element of the show you love; whether it be a season, an episode, a character, an event, a moment, showrunner etc. However, before you go and try to convince that other person to see things your way, ask yourself this: do the negative thoughts of that person affect or change your love of the season/episode/character in question? The answer to that should be as follows: no. Simple as that. Most likely, whatever you say isn’t going to change that person’s opinion; and, in all honesty, having that person agree with you shouldn’t even matter. So what if they hate what you like? You’re on the better side of things. You’re the one being entertained. Don’t let what they say drag you down or make you angry. Just acknowledge that someone doesn’t share your opinion, respect their opinion, and leave it at that. Agree to disagree.

But that’s not how the internet works, unfortunately. Confirmation Bias is strong with this one! 😦

On the negative end of things, does it really matter if someone loves something you hate? No. It doesn’t. Let them have their fun. Don’t try to ruin it for them. Feel happy for them. At least someone is being entertained.

Someone has to watch “Fear Her” or “The Gunfighters” 🙂

However, if you’re happy that you hate the topic in question and you feel the need to try and ruin it for those who do like it then you’re watching this show for all the wrong reasons. But if you simply didn’t like something, don’t feel like an idiot or an outcast because you dislike something that a lot of others like.

Gridlock. 🙂

tennant-vs-tbakerYou don’t love Blink? That’s alright. You think Tom Baker or David Tennant are the best Doctor? That’s fine. It’s your opinion. Don’t feel ashamed or intimidated by the positive masses to express your thoughts and discuss the topic with others. I met a certain “fan” on the Doctor Who IMDb discussion forum who told me that he told off anyone who gushed about anything in the Moffat era. Again, does it really matter that someone loves something you don’t? Just acknowledge that someone doesn’t share your opinion, respect their opinion, and leave it at that. Agree to disagree.

Too mature and too logical (to borrow from another franchise) for many a “flamer”.

What I’m saying overall is be respectful of others’ opinions and don’t treat yours like it’s fact. Entertainment is subjective.

Fans of “Misfits of Science” anyone? 🙂 I know I am.

There is no fact when it comes to how Doctor Who or anything else regarding entertainment is to be received by people. For example, people who loved Series 8 are not blind sheep. People who hated Series 8 are not idiots. People who like Tennant are not all ‘fangirls’. People who dislike Tennant are not just ‘haters’. There is no right or wrong reaction to Series 8, Doctors or anything else in Doctor Who.

Except in your humble opinion. 🙂

It’s all opinions. This is a massive, diverse fanbase that stretches all across the world. People have differing opinions from one another. Some fans will love the new Doctor/companion/episode/season etc and some fans will hate it; but that’s okay. I’m going to wrap this up with a philosophy I have, which is one I think would make this fandom a whole lot happier and friendlier if everyone in the fandom followed it: like or dislike whatever the heck you want, just don’t be a jerk about it.

But that’s half the fun of the Internet. 🙂

I wish that weren’t true, but if Wishes Could be Horses (and not of the Trojan kind either)…


About mydoctor1962

Doctor Who fan like few others. Also a fan of Science Fiction, Cooking Shows and more.

Posted on May 3, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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