The Challenge Returns - My Fandom, Let Me Praise It For You
Challenge #9 - In your own space, promote at least one canon that you adore (old, new, forever fandom).
This one is going to be both fun and difficult, since I've chosen to talk about two created worlds of which I am a fan (as many do, I've fallen into the habit of referring to those worlds and my love of them as "fandoms," but pedantic me (which more than occasionally surfaces) thinks of all such specific worlds as a subset of of larger fandoms; media, movie, book, and generally those themselves existing under one larger umbrella fandom of SFF - science fiction and fantasy.
But let me not digress any more than necessary. The two fandoms I want to praise are Doctor Who (no surprise there)
Nope, The latter is going to get its own post, because I've already written way too much about Who, and The Goblin Emperor deserves more time and space.
To start with, here's part of what I wrote in a meta about the TARDIS, after watching "The Doctor's Wife."
Remember the first time you watched the show? Remember the first time the doors of that tiny police call box opened up into a huge white room? One that was taller than the box, broader than the box, deeper than the box and yet inside the box - a glorious impossibility acting as the stage for a strange and alien adventurer?
If you were as young as I was when that first happened, you went looking for that blue box everywhere thereafter, in unfamiliar hallways or unexpected rooms, (perhaps thinking it might be found next to a huge wooden wardrobe.) You wanted to go inside, and feel the strangeness of it. Yes, you wanted to find the old man (whatever his guise), and have adventures with him outside the box, certainly so. But if you were anything like me, the underlying enchantment was ... bigger on the inside.
Because as young as you might have been, you suspected that "bigger on the inside" held a great deal more than four words should be expected to hold. In fact, as you got older you wanted to explore "bigger on the inside" just as much as you wanted to be inside the TARDIS.
While that was a segment of a larger meta about the Doctor's beloved sentient and sometimes sapient transporter, it can also apply to the show itself, or probably more correctly to the Whoniverse, that creation with a television show at its core and books, audio plays and fannish devotion ringing that core about with creative embellishment.
The story of a face-changing alien who travels the universe and drags companions (mostly human, but not always,) along for the ride - largely because this alien is curious, quirky, intermittently but largely dedicated to fairness and justice where they can help nurture those things, more intermittently kind, very often dangerous, murderous upon occasion, incredibly intelligent, but very, very lonely - transcends the silliness that accompanies the story. Or at least it does for me, and for thousand upon thousands of fans.
It is silly, there is no doubt about it. There are plots with holes large enough to drive tanks through. There are often ridiculous villains - ridiculous in looks, in Villainous Plans (usually no sillier than Villainous Plans in comic books, graphic novels, Bond movies, or the like of course, but sometimes people forget that.) There are writers who can't write, some that don't write quite as well as we want them to, and others where one simply goes "wtf?" (Horns of Nimon, I'm looking at you, despite Romana II). There are actors who ... oh dear. Let's leave it at that. There are production values that, depending on the year or decade, range from "wow, I'm amazed that they can pull that off, bravo and brava!" to "*snrk* *snort* *guffaw* why the hell am I watching this, I'm embarrassed for them."
There are remarkably complex plots that somehow stick their landing, despite or sometimes in addition to silliness. There are actors who elevate the materials until you gasp in appreciation, cry because your heart has been squeezed, clap with joy. There are concepts that bear chewing over, disagreeing with or whole-heartedly embracing. There are writers who provide stories for those actors to do all those things - whether it's emotional (here's to the man who revived Who in 2005, Russell T. Davies, who understood the need for at least one of the Doctor's two hearts to visibly and wonderfully care for his chosen Companions), intellectual (Invasion of Time was what convinced me of this, and it galloped to the fore again during showrunner Steven Moffat's time) or spiritual writing (see: Moffat, Steven; Davies, Russell T.) , or a combination of all three things. There is fun to be had. There are Villains to Hiss and Heroes to Cheer, and costumes to love, and more than 50 years of tradition to build onto or to ignore if you don't like sections of it.
The characters beyond the Doctor - oh, the characters! Ian and Barbara, Susan, Steven, Polly, Victoria, Jo, Sarah, Romanas I and II, Tegan, Adric, Peri, Ace, Grace, Charlie, brave Rose, gallant Martha, remarkable Donna, River - oh., my beloved River - Rory, Clara and Bill, Thirteen's Fam. I've left out so many, of so many differing temperaments and virtues, you're sure to find one who you love like crazy, whether it's on screen, in books or in audio.
There is the fandom, too: the writers of fic who range from painfully bad to painfully good (and more of them are at the latter end, and the former are to be cherished for the love they bear the fandom and the potential they have to become better). There is cosplay and fanon and fourteen different Doctors to choose from to love, or you can love all of them. There are the flamewars and the ship wars and the people who eschew fighting despite its toxic lure, and who just become friends - in person, online, it doesn't matter.
They, those other fans, become your friends, and you have someone to share the joy with, to explore the concepts, to shake your head with over stupid plots or Styrofoam headpieces, to look for symbols and find them, to squee over ships and different fics and fanons.
In short (HA! I am never, ever, short) Doctor Who is a huge and sturdy tree in the fandom forest, with branches that blossom quite impossibly with all different types of fruit and flowers, its gardeners ranging from churlish to sublime, who keep it growing, a dimensionally transcendent tree with blue leaves and golden bark, and the occasional door inviting you in. Give it a try ....
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