Five Tips for New Whovians
by Andrea Heckler (@andrea_heckler)
I’m going to take a guess and assume that I don’t need to tell you what a “Whovian” is. Over the past few years, Doctor Who has taken over a huge number of nerds everywhere and even spread into a mainstream audience. Its massive popularity right now means that there are people from all over the world absorbing as much DW as is available to them and embracing their obsession. But with a burst of popularity comes a burst of new fans too.
I’m a proud new Whovian. A few months ago, I couldn’t have told you what a TARDIS was, and I thought David Tennant was just that guy from Harry Potter who only got to play his character for the last part of the movie. (He’s now my favorite doctor, by the way.) In the few months that I’ve had with this show so far, I’ve watched two seasons and picked up other facts from friends and Twitter, but I definitely don’t consider myself an expert.
Fandoms take time! Especially ones with a few decades of story building and a concept as complex as Doctor Who‘s. The time that it takes to enter this intricate world of time travel, though, can be overwhelming for us noobs. So, to help out my fellow Newvians, I’ve put together five tips to make your transition into this community a little easier!
1. Don’t be intimidated.
You may feel completely out-of-place amongst lifelong Whovians, but they will welcome you in. That’s how good fandoms work! Getting into a new series can be difficult too, especially when it introduces its own set of fictional rules. But that makes it even more rewarding once you’ve broken through the initial barrier and begun to explore the complex web underneath.
2. Talk to other Whovians.
DW is more popular than ever right now, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find other fans, in real life or online. There are communities on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube – probably every social media outlet that exists, really. Not only can you make new friends through this common thread, but breaking into the fan community can help you learn more about the series and make up for all the years that you missed. (This has been around since the sixties. That’s a lot of catching up to do!)
3. Be loud and proud!
The best way to connect with other fans is to let them know right away that you’re one too. No, I’m not saying you should go out and buy every piece of DW merch you can get your hands on, but having your favorite doctor as your profile picture or even just reblogging a doctor meme or two on Tumblr can let other Whovians know you’re one of them, without having to say a single word (yet!). In real life, it can help to have a TARDIS t-shirt or phone case – you know, conversation starters.
4. Avoid spoilers.
One of the biggest dangers of being a new Whovian right now is that you’re probably going to find a lot of information online about the latest episodes. If you’re like me, you started watching from the beginning of the newest series, starting in 2005 with the ninth doctor. If you’re extra brave, you might have even started back at the very beginning. That means there are a lot of episodes to spoil before you catch up! Be careful what discussions you encounter, and if you’re talking with a more experienced Whovian, make sure you let them know where you are in the series so they don’t accidentally spoil something.
5. Don’t think of yourself as an outsider.
Some people might assume you have to understand the ins-and-outs of your chosen fandom to really be a part of it. Well, they’re wrong! Even the most die-hard DW fan had to start somewhere, and I guarantee there was a time when s/he was just as confused as you are. If you’re too worried about whether or not you actually belong, you’ll never be able to enjoy your new obsession! So be confident in the progress you’ve made, however much that might be.
Let me know in the comments where you are in your own Doctor Who adventure!