I was planning to say something more about the Dr Who
fiftieth anniversary and, more specifically, the so called 'fans' who seem to spend their every waking hour on Twitter bitching about how shit the programme is nowadays and how they can't bear to watch it any more. (Although they seem to know a lot of the details of those recent episodes they claim not to watch). However, that would involve having to read more of the ignorant, ill informed and utterly poisonous bile they pour forth on Twitter. Frankly, I find that prospect utterly depressing. So, instead, I'll settle for a few generalities about such 'fans'.
I think it is clear that their resentment toward the current Who
lies in its success in reaching out to a wide audience. Prior to its resurrection in 2005, the series had effectively become a cult interest, with only the fans keeping the flame alive in the face of general indifference. Consequently, many fans could console themselves with the idea that their continued enthusiasm for a defunct TV series showed their superiority to the masses - only they were able to recognise its true artistic merit and intellectual genius. Initially they welcomed its return as this confirmed their faith, not just in the programme, but also their own superiority. They had been proven right.
However, as it became apparent that it was now popular with a whole new generation of viewers, who weren't die hard fans and, for many of whom, the original series meant nothing, their joy turned to dismay. They were no longer special. So, naturally, they turned on the programme, denouncing it for not being true to the heritage of Dr Who
, for dumbing down the series, for coarsening it, for being poorly written, for any allegedly exhibiting any defect they could imagine. And lo! Once again they felt themselves to be special again - they were once again part of an exclusive minority: the only people insightful enough to see what the masses couldn't, that the new series was shit. Moreover, it once more put them in the position - in their own minds - of being the true guardians of the show's heritage. To be fair, it isn't just Dr Who
'fans' who are guilty of such delusions. I've mentioned here before the comedy 'fans' who denounce the evils of 'modern comedy' because it doesn't measure up to, (in other words is simply different to), the comedy they used to like in the 1980s or 1990s. (Indeed, many of these Who
'fans' suffer from the same problem - they first saw the programme when Colin Baker, or more usually Sylvester McCoy, were the Doctor and have decided that this represented the 'definitive' version of the show. Anything which diverges from this is shit).
They are, of course, completely deluded. That said, to a certain extent I can appreciate how they feel. The most recent Star Trek
films, for instance, don't feel like Star Trek
to me in any way. In truth, I only bothered watching the first one - it seemed to me that it had been made by people with no idea of what had made the original series so great and clearly had no understanding or empathy with it. So I skipped the second one and any more they make. Which is what these Who
'fans' should do. Just don't watch the new series if it offends them so much and watch their DVDS of the classic series instead. What they shouldn't do is bore the rest of us with their continued whining about how it isn't 'their' Dr Who
any more. Tough. Everything changes. That's actually one of the core themes of Dr Who
, funnily enough. As I said last week, I don't think the current Dr Who is beyond criticism. I believe that there are many legitimate criticisms which can be brought to bear upon it. However, these need to be articulated in a coherent and constructive way, rather than expressed as an outpouring of irrational hatred and bile. I mean, it's only a bloody TV series, for God's sake! Let's keep things in perspective.
Labels: Musings From the Mind of Doc Sleaze, Rise of the Idiots