A couple of years ago, I went through a peculiar transformation. I used to be an ordinary woman with commitment issues. Unlike some people who shop too much or eat too many sweets, my problem was with my television. I could NOT consistently watch a TV series. My journey with a new show would start off strong, but by the third episode I would begin to shift my focus to other activities. Yes, I could get a rush from a great movie or a riveting documentary; however, it didn’t seem to bring the same elation others received from pledging their allegiance to a fandom. One fateful day, a Facebook friend’s simple question sent my life on a different trajectory.
“Have you ever watched Doctor Who?”
I was baffled. A million poignant questions scurried through my thoughts.
“What is this Doctor Who? Can this show save me from my lack of TV loyalty? And, why do I care?”
I needed answers. I started my initial research by asking my sci-fi friends if Doctor Who was a good show. I received an overwhelming and resounding “YES!!” from everyone. Next, I hopped online to get a general (albeit confusing) gist of the show. A series about a time-traveling alien named The Doctor who travels to different planets in a blue box called the TARDIS seemed relatively interesting. But, I didn’t have BBC America at the time.
While I was perusing the Internet, I discovered that the entire reboot was on Netflix. Netflix?!?!?! I had Netflix! So, I decided to watch the first episode of the revived series to see if it would deliver on its promise to be “fantastic". I grabbed some popcorn and snuggled in the bed beside my iPad to give it a whirl. I didn’t realize I would soon become a crazed fanatic of an iconic British sci-fi show.
This is a true story about my 4-step transformation from being a normal person to a full-blown Whovian:
Act 1: The First Encounter
I was immediately intrigued after the first episode. I identified with the young sales associate and soon-to-be-companion Rose Tyler. Like Rose, I desperately wanted something thrilling to interrupt my regularly scheduled life. I watched her leave everything and hop into the TARDIS. And when she left her world behind, I also felt like I was being transported away from my own humble existence.
I wondered where the time-traveling alien known as The Doctor would take her and what they would discover in the universe. My first encounter with Doctor Who was like eating a Lay’s potato chip: There was no way to be satisfied with just one episode.
Step 2: The Extended Binge
After watching two episodes, I needed to carve out time in my schedule to satisfy my insatiable hunger for traveling space and time. I was a TARDIS fiend. I marveled at the blue police box and how it was bigger on the inside. I felt my heart leap in my chest when the TARDIS made its trademark “vworp” and groaned as it dematerialized. And I knew Doctor Who would not be another futile attempt at joining a fandom.
A few days later, I spent several hours diving deep into the Whoniverse. The rest of the first season was a mixed bag of emotions as I laughed, cried, Googled, and screamed my way through the 9th Doctor’s tenure. Since then, I have continued to take my doses of The Doctor in binge form.
Part 3: The Wandering Mind
The struggle to conduct my normal life became difficult after my self-taught history lesson in Doctor Who and a couple of seasons under my belt. The adventures of The Doctor flickered in my head on a 24-hour loop. My mind would wander in the middle of the workday as I mused about what I would do if The Doctor invited me to travel with him. I anticipated returning home each day so I could detach from reality and immerse myself in a world filled with adventure and bravery.
My brain was wrapped around the TARDIS and I knew I couldn’t avoid a Whovian takeover.
Stage 4: The Lifestyle Assimilation
I was finally a Doctor Who fanatic. I faithfully watched new episodes and memorized dialogue from my Netflix binges. I began recruiting other Whovians in the name of the Time Lord. I even ushered my then-toddler daughter into the world of The Doctor! Terms like “fantastic,” “Bad Wolf,” and “Allons-y” became a part of my daily dialogue. And my assimilation didn’t stop in my actual life. Soon, my online persona began to change. Doctor Who pictures took over my Facebook profile and #DoctorWho hashtags ruled my Twitter timeline. I finally found my place in a fandom. I was a full-blown Whovian with the shirts and screwdriver to prove it.