Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Doctor, and fan behaviour

I have watched an iconic British Television show for a while now, and the name of this show is Doctor Who. It is a Television series that had its origin in 1963.
          I was sat in England when they aired the 50th anniversary episode, and the people who were there with me couldn't get a word in if they tried, not that they tried. But sitting there, watching a pivotal episode like that, felt almost like being in The Colosseum, I was suddenly a part of history. So I felt like I had to write something on this brilliant Television experience, and to address the fan behaviour, both within the show and the storyline, as well as fan behaviour and hero adoration on the outside. The actor playing The Doctor becomes a hero, and not just in England, this reaches most of the western world.
          I also feel that this is a work in progress, as I watch more and more, I will get more and more thoughts, and as I do, I will update this post. :) And a little thing, I'm not an expert, and I might say something that's wrong, or maybe I have simply misunderstood, so go easy on me. This post represent my personal opinion :) And obviously I am a fan, so I won't be able to look at this from a completely cold and scientific angle, not that I can brag on being either cold or scientific. However, I will try to remove myself as the fan from this, and look a bit at how this might look for an outsider.

I called the entry The Doctor, and fan behaviour, and the reason for this is that we have a fan mechanism at work on more levels than us as the viewer. I will, however, look at it from a quasi psychoanalytical point of view as well, in terms of some of the villains and their relationship with the doctor. Some of them are more connected to The Doctor than we might think about when we watch the weekly episode (or take seventeen during one sitting on Netflix - which is a reference to addiction and fandom btw).

The Doctor thrives in the limelight, and his companions provide him with the fame he probably deserves, having saved the planet numerous times. Only a selected few know about his existence, and these selected few become addicted to his personality, to him being constantly on the move, and to the excitement and thrills while on the move. We might suggest that they become action junkies, or doctor junkies. And we can certainly draw a line from their behaviour to the fan behaviour we see in for example teenagers and their subject of adoration, I don't want to mention the Beliebers, but I might have to. 
         Another fun fact, and completely irrelevant to this, is the fan base of my favourite band, Marillion, who have very dedicated and loyal fans, but that will be an entry on its own. 
         Getting back to the Doctor. Even though they know The Doctor, and talk to him, they are at his timetable, at his mercy. To summon him is a thing only a few could do. When he wants to contact them, he will, never the other way around (and this is also an interpretation, as both Rose, Martha and Donna manages to summon him. Even Mickey Smith and Donna's grandfather manages to summon him, but in his world he always gets surprised when someone manages to do exactly that, it baffles him. He's in charge, or so he thinks, but he really isn't...he is a madman in a box). His friends will be on the constant lookout for him when he's away, always on alert, always wanting him to come back, mourning him as a dead loved one when he's gone, always wanting him to do just one more before curtain call. I will put in a small spoiler alert, as I probably will spoil some important points, and if you haven't watched it yet, and plan to, then you probably should keep on reading, as I have many good points, but in regards of what happens in the show...maybe not? Though, I suspect you cannot keep away now :) So, spoiler...
          Rose Tyler, for example, cannot stay at home with her mother and her boyfriend, Mickey when The Doctor tempts her with cataclysmic happenings in the universe ten thousand light years away, she chooses The Doctor over the life on earth. And he mother's prediction of her future life, as an old woman sitting on some strange planet somewhere, not remembering who she is or what made her come to that point, is correct in a sense. The only difference is that Rose remains the only one of The Doctor's companions who actually ends up with The Doctor, romantically, the fact that he is a mortal version of his Timelord doppelgänger, is considered technicalities. The real Doctor would, in my opinion, have chosen Rose if he could. But all of the companions end up falling a little bit for The Doctor, even though some of them would never admit to the fact. 

But let's turn this a little bit. The Doctor himself is addicted to his friends. He needs an audience, he cannot simply save the world and not have anyone not know about it. Not even he is that noble. And when he does travel alone, he gets high on power, so he needs an audience for more reasons that just someone to awe, he needs someone to stop him.
The Tenth Doctor's first episode, he says he's a man with no second chances, and at the end of his run (just before the eleventh doctor takes over), he proves this to be right. He becomes clever and dangerous. One cannot change fixed points in time, not even a timelord, but he attempts to do just that, having decided he's the closest thing there is to a God. Power corrupts, even the timelords. Look at The Master, he's fully aware he's above humanity, and instead of trying to protect, he wants to govern. And in the end, the tenth Doctor almost becomes The Master. The only thing he didn't take into account was human nature, and that snaps him out of it. Fan behaviour is well and good, but at one point we see through our heroes, and see them for what they are.
         Even a fan must admit that the first episode in the fourth series is absolutely appalling, and had they continued with episodes of that poor quality, they would have lost even their most loyal fans. So, fans are loyal as long as they get what they want. 

The Daleks are the Doctor’s double, only they are the same. “You would make a good Dalek” (Dalek Kahn) (episode 6 new series 1) The Dalek comes alive because of Rose’s dna, but he says he is contaminated because Rose gave the Dalek human emotions like fear. The Dalek gets an identity crisis. 
        The Doctor also suffers an identity crisis. Who am I, what am I? Doctor Who… This is the biggest question of the whole series, Doctor Who. Even though we get close to an answer, I think, and suspect that not even the Doctor knows. He has been this question for so long, that the question itself has become a part of who he is, and to let go of the question would be to not be the man he has become. In some parts of the future, Doctor means Soldier. In some parts of the future all alien forms fear the Doctor... the only ones who remain blissfully unaware of his existence, are the humans. 
        The Master is the ID, and a very big part of The Doctor. And they are the weapon. That is why the doctor never needs a weapon, because he is the weapon himself. He is a weapon that makes other people do the dirty work. And that can link back to fan behaviour. If someone are admired, people will do what they ask. And sometimes they will perform rather difficult tasks, just because the one they admire asks. This can obviously translate to real life. If a teenager's hero asked him or her to do something that objected to their moral compass, they would still (in some cases) do it, because to keep on someone's good side is more important than technicalities such as morality and wants and likes. Some take advantage of this fact. 

The eleventh Doctor, in the Praise Him, says: “I’m not a hero, I really am just a mad man in a box."
Amy Pond has an almost religious belief in The Doctor, to the point where it’s inhibiting her to properly live. She’s always waiting for The Doctor to save her.
A bit of a foreshadowing (spoiler): The Doctor predicts standing over Amy and Rory’s grave, and he will when they encounter the weeping angels in New York. 

The Doctor will continue to gather fans in front of the TV, in front of screens as such, and people will continue to write about and discuss the science behind it. People will continue to write about a fictional character as if he was real. And having been around for 50 years, he has taken on a life of his own, and I would not be surprised if the blue box appeared in my back yard x

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Tenth Muse

Good early summer to you all...

I have written a book, and it has been published... Now I encourage you all to read it. I think it is a very important story :)