By Penny Allegheri
Are you tired of well-place and witty TARDIS, Dalek and sonic screwdriver references falling on unreceptive ears? If you answered “yes,” then we have just the thing for you! Introducing, “Bring a Friend to Doctor Who” Day. This completely unofficial, but awesome, day can happen at your discretion, preferably on a monthly basis.
You’ve received so much joy from watching “Doctor Who.” Don’t you think it’s time to pay it forward to the rest of the unenlightened world? You’ve probably tried to explain the phenomenon of the Doctor before. Think about what you’ve told people. Maybe that you enjoy a British Sci-fi program about a Doctor (well, not a medical doctor) who pops through time and space in a blue police call box (you know, like a phone booth, but not) armed only with a closet full of tweed and a sonic screwdriver. And even though different actors play him, he’s still the same character but regenerated.
Common reactions to such an explanation (truthful though it may be) are:
- blank stares
- disbelief that you didn’t just dream this last night
- laughing at you (rude, but we’ll show them)
Well, fret no more. No longer must your friends live like an early Rose Tyler— walking the earth unaware of the possibilities available to them— content with downloading games and visiting the shops (well, until the mannequins attacked). Here are some handy tips on how to introduce new potential fans to the fantastical world of the Doctor.
Explaining the Show
One of the biggest mistakes fans make when trying to recruit new fans is ruining the mystique. The show is a drama and a comedy. Often mysteries are solved over an episode, season or multi-season arc. Start with the strengths of the show. British wit and imaginative story lines abound. Sure, the show is quirky and campy at times, but don’t try to explain it, let them experience it for themselves to really appreciate it. Finally, you’re a fan for a reason. Let your good taste stand as a solid reason to try the show.
Opinions vary on this tactic. The most tried and true method (determined by a very unscientific study) is to start with series one of the Christopher Eccleston episodes. Episodes featuring Eccleston, the ninth Doctor, are the first in the reboot of the series that began in 2005. The first few episodes are campy, sure, but they also establish a good understanding of the show’s universe.
If your charges aren’t fully sold on the show after two episodes, jump ahead to “Blink” (series three, episode 10) or “The Empty Child” (series one, episode nine). Or you can just start with those. If the Doctor can go where (and when) he pleases, why can’t you?
Do you have any tips for recruiting new fans? Let us know in the comments. The fan who converts the most new fans gets an imaginary TARDIS!