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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Jarl
    June 25, 2014 @ 1:37 am

    I was just about to say that it seems like we should be hitting Miracle Day pretty soon, unless I'm misremembering. But that lead out…


  2. Chris
    June 25, 2014 @ 2:06 am

    "…the actual TARDIS displayed was a perfectly ordinary and easily purchased toy… clearly from the Moffat era, making the Davies signature an inexplicable anachronism. It is, in other words, seemingly written by someone who has looked Doctor Who up on the Internet as opposed to by a committed fan."

    I've not seen this episode, so there may be something more that reveals the writer used Doctor Who without real knowledge, but the prop not matching the script points to the person who procured the prop, not the writer. Based on the presented evidence of the TARDIS toy alone, I don't think you can reasonably say the writer has no real knowledge of Doctor Who. There might be something more in the dialogue that supports this statement, but that is missing from today's entry.


  3. Frezno
    June 25, 2014 @ 2:47 am

    Ah yes, Doctor Who transmission on this side of the pond. We really do have it good with the Moffat era and the same-day broadcast. I've experienced the Davies era in a number of ways. Being from Canada, we got the episodes on the CBC (which I actually believe is listed in the credits of the Series One episodes)… only months later. As I had never heard of this Doctor Who thing before happening to catch a glimpse of a Slitheen in the spring of 2005, I wasn't affected much. The CBC didn't really care much. There was a month between The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit because of… Christmas cartoons. Imagine Doctor Who today getting pre-empted for a rerun of Charlie Brown or something. It would never happen.

    To say nothing of how they handled the later series. They air Smith and Jones, and then realize "oh shit we never actually broadcasted The Runaway Bride, did we? UH PUT IT ON AFTER MIDNIGHT!". The last two episodes of Series 3 aired back-to-back because they needed that time slot for something. Didn't get a week to sit on the grim Toclafane cliffhanger. By Series 4 I was smart enough to be torrenting, and it's good that I did because I hear that the CBC edited the hell out of Journey's End to fit a 60-minute timeslot with commercials.

    Then the rights in Canada went to Space, which is a nice little network that likes to air Stargate and Star Trek reruns, among other things. They pretty much follow the BBC America model, so two or three weeks between shows in Series 5 and then same day transmission at 9 EST for the rest. It's a lovely system, and Space even went hog wild for the 50th and aired every new series episode and all of those Doctor Who Revisited specials.

    This was longwinded, but Doctor Who broadcasting in Canada was a hell of a thing.


  4. macrogers
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:05 am

    Building on the discussion of the Moffat-era use of the celebrity guest writer, as a moderate fan of Scandal (I haven't seen more than bits of Grey's) I feel like Shonda Rhimes would be a fantastic choice for the next one. Scandal revels in the accelerated storytelling that Moffat loves, and a Doctor Who story written in that style could slot in very nicely into a Moffat season as a variation on a theme rather than an outlier. Certainly Rhimes is used to working for vastly more money and having total creative control, but both of those things are true of Neil Gaiman, right? Rhimes is on record as being a big fan who tried to create a post-Who role for Gillan (http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/08/02/doctor-who-greys-anatomy/), so maybe writing a Season 9 story would be a pleasant diversion for her. I mean, okay, yeah, it'll never happen, but I persist in thinking it would be super-cool.


  5. storiteller
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:13 am

    One thing I would really like to see a Pop Between Realities on is the rise of crafting culture in relationship to Doctor Who, like the thousands of Doctor Who goods for sale on Etsy. Besides the fact that most of the folks making Doctor Who crafts are female, there's also the really interesting aspect that the BBC is not very protective of its trademark at all, at least not against fans. This is in contrast to Lucas and Star Wars, which cracks down on everything.

    Also, I'm not a Gray's Anatomy or Scandal fan, I think having Shonda Rhimes write an episode would be really interesting.


  6. macrogers
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:32 am

    Right? I don't even think it would be that hard to tee up. Just go the whole Gaiman/Curtis/let-Bartlet-be-Bartlet route of having Who go to Rhimes rather than the other way round – like set it in the contemporary US and have all the characters other than the Doctor and the companion(s) be American. Obviously you couldn't have a Who-Scandal crossover, but I'd love to see the Doctor crash a Scandal-style corridors-of-power story.


  7. macrogers
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:33 am

    Oops, that should've been a reply to storiteller. Apparently I can't use teh internet.


  8. Richard Pugree
    June 25, 2014 @ 4:11 am

    "But in many ways we’re only restating something that’s long been observed about Doctor Who: that in a world full of depictions of masculine heroes, Doctor Who stands out by virtue of having a different set of values than most. And changing everything and starting over has always been among them. No wonder “What is it About Men” features Doctor Who as a plot point. In the end, it decides that Doctor Who is what it thinks men should be."

    This, for me, is the interesting thing about the whole female doctor debate. When it happens (and I think it is 'when' as opposed to 'if' now), I hope it happens in the right hands.

    While all the "but the doctor has ALWAYS been a man, he CAN'T be a woman, I'll stop watching, IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT" arguments are ridiculous, there is definitely something to be said for keeping Doctor Who as a much-needed mainstream alternative to normative hetromasculinity.

    I suppose it would depend on whether the Doctor, as played by a female actor, is treated as "female representation", "male representation", "trans representation", "queer representation", "alien representation" and so on.

    Of course, it should be all of these things and in the write hands, could be. It would be a shame if casting a woman led to the Doctor ceasing to (also) be a representation of alternative masculinity by becoming a "Strong Female Character".


  9. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 6:26 am

    I do wonder whether the surge in Doctor Who appreciation in the US and Canada over the last few years isn't so much down to the improved quality of the series but very much down to the relative youth of the male leads. Does anyone have any information on the current (and past) Doctor Who demographic? Because I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a significant proportion of fanboys and girls who like it for Tennant and Smith. Certainly Matt seems to have had a bit of a celebrity status in the US caused in no small part by him being young and accessible, and this does seem to have coincided with the US boom in popularity.

    There are 4 main things you can change with the Doctor: Gender, Sexual orientation, colour/race, and age. The 1st and 3rd are by far the most contentious in fan circles. The 3rd is largely kept at bay by keeping the Doctor aloof and (relatively) sexless. The 4th has been played with since Davison in the 80s. I wonder which of these would affect appreciation of Doctor Who in the US? The appointing of a black or female Doctor would probably (after the initial impact) be fairly well accepted in the UK, and quickly become the default norm. After all, the initial concern in fandom that Matt Smith was a far too young "emo" Doctor largely faded away after The Eleventh Hour.

    But what about the US? From what I can gather only the UK still sees Doctor Who as family viewing, with kids being brought into the fold from the age of 7 onwards and watching with parents. The US seems to view the series as a more teenage upwards cult show. How would a female and/or non-white Doctor be received?

    Well we can never know until it happens, but we've already seen what a young vibrant Doctor does to the US viewing figures, and in a couple of months we're going to see what the replacement by an older Pertwee-esque Doctor does. Does anyone think US appreciation will wane? Because I think it will.


  10. BerserkRL
    June 25, 2014 @ 6:48 am

    There are 4 main things you can change with the Doctor: Gender, Sexual orientation, colour/race, and age. The 1st and 3rd are by far the most contentious in fan circles. The 3rd is largely kept at bay by keeping the Doctor aloof and (relatively) sexless.

    Did you accidentally switch 2 and 3? Because sexual orientation is surely more contentious than race; and because keeping the doctor aloof does not seem to address race.


  11. BerserkRL
    June 25, 2014 @ 6:50 am

    That interview you linked to does seem to cast doubt on Phil's assumption that the Grey's writers aren't genuine Who fans.


  12. encyclops
    June 25, 2014 @ 7:04 am

    But then, valorizing completely inappropriate and abusive male behavior actually demonstrates a fairly thorough understanding of that fandom, doesn’t it?

    Give me a break.

    Anyway, "What Is It About Men" is of course also the title of an Amy Winehouse song. It would be fun if it were about the female gaze appreciating men (you have to look to "Amy Amy Amy" for that) but it's more concerned with how her desire for men causes her (self-assessed) self-destructive and relationship-wrecking behavior.


  13. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 8:23 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  14. arcbeatle
    June 25, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    . "It is, in other words, seemingly written by someone who has looked Doctor Who up on the Internet as opposed to by a committed fan. "

    That is a prop department error rather than a writing error, and though the episode was written by Stacy McKee, it should be said that Shonda Rhymes is an open and avid Whovian :)!


  15. John Seavey
    June 25, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    Any comments on the Doctor Who cosplay in 'Criminal Minds', or would that all generally fall under the same umbrella as the 'Grey's Anatomy' post?


  16. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 10:37 am

    Doh! Yes I did mean 2.


  17. Seeing_I
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:05 am

    Um, so? Why shouldn't RTD (or Terrance Dicks or whomever) sign a piece of merchandise that came out after he'd left the show? It's still the TARDIS, after all – it's not like it's a photo of Amy Pond.


  18. BerserkRL
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    There's an episode of Agents of SHIELD in which all the characters are asked what they would most want with them on a desert island,and Elizabeth Henstridge's character says "a TARDIS."


  19. Jesse
    June 25, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

    I stopped watching after they killed off George.


  20. Pen Name Pending
    June 25, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    Ah yes, this I have experience with firsthand. Back in 2011 I had just seen Doctor Who pop up around the Internet and knew it had time travel of some sort, so I just tuned into the Series 6 premiere without knowing much beforehand (BBCA did air a special recapping series 5, so I knew the basics), and I loved it. I also expected the Doctor to be more of an older eccentric in the Doc Brown style, so age wasn't a factor for me, although I'm not really everybody. I remember thinking early on that I really liked hanging out with the characters, even though I wasn't necessarily liked all of them. I also liked the complexity and craziness of the storylines and wondered how they came up with new settings and plots for each week.

    I do admit that I may not be the best source for insight into why female Americans are interested in the show, however, as I was almost 14 when I first watched it and it's always carried that childlike wonder for me, it was the first current scripted show I watched (previously I just watched reruns of Star Trek: TNG or something), and I didn't watch it in order like just another show on Netflix. Oh, and I never like a show because of attractive young actors, partially because it's such a cliché that I just avoided it, and also it's also just distasteful for me. I actually saw the Doctor, and Matt Smith's in particular, as more of a father or teacher future, and I could actually relate to Amy's storyline of not wanting to grow up at times (as well as the Doctor's of hurting people and guilt).

    Doctor Who is very different in America though, as far as I can tell. First of all, BBCA isn't the most common channel, and most viewers come from Netflix, to the point it's believed the "correct" way to watch it is in order. (As for myself, I checked out the fifth series from the library just a few weeks after first watching, and watched BBCA reruns from "Rose" onwards when they began that summer.) As such, very few have lived through it the way I have, which I think makes it a totally different viewing experience. In America, most people watch it the same way as if it were a standard show (slow beginning, and get thrown if they haven't been warned when everything changes in Series 5, instead of viewing it as a collection of eras that are all different spins on the same concept. American fans seem generally interested in the classic series and may have watched a bit, too, but reactions to it vary. It usually isn't seen as necessary (or readily avaliable, which is part of the problem).

    (That said, there is certainly the PBS crowd–of which my local librarian is a part–and others whose gateway was the TV Movie or the Syfy channel. I have focused on my generation.)

    As far as I've seen, the popularity of the show has really taken off from 2011…back then I happened to know one person who was familiar with the show, and I got my best friend interested in it (who does not have BBCA or Netflix, so she would come over to watch what I had on DVR). Now, at least everyone of the high school/college age (or even below) is somewhat familiar with it, and a high school near where I live even has a club apparently. It isn't "mainstream," and a lot of fans do seem to be female, but that isn't unusual since the same is true of Supernatural and Sherlock, etc. People were watching the 50th anniversary who had never seen it before. My local library also had a pre-50th party…of which I was the only one aside from aforementioned librarian who knew who Carole Ann Ford was. But those high schoolers could tell you which previous Doctors would have come back for the 50th and that they SHOULD have.


  21. Pen Name Pending
    June 25, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I think it might be a tad too cynical to suggest that the popularity will wan–I certainly will still be here, and online fandom and fans in general have still been enthusiastic. Rather, since the show is popular with the Netflix-obtaining youth, it's more likely that it caught on because of the youthful vibe rather than if it was someone older, but that can easily be transferred to Capaldi and the excitement for series 8 shows it. And besides, it doesn't look like Capaldi will have trouble running around or talking quickly.


  22. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    Nah, I'm going to stand by that, if only for the utter horror with which I watched the #gameofthrones hashtag on Twitter for the finale explode with people cheering on Tyrion for "choking the bitch."


  23. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    Several people observed this, so I'll just make it as a reply here – fair criticism. Too big an error to fix with a quick rewrite, so it'll wait a few years and get fixed for the book, but yes, I was off base on that line of argument.


  24. encyclops
    June 25, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

    I'm not sure watching a hashtag on Twitter counts as a "fairly thorough understanding of that fandom."


  25. John
    June 25, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

    There certainly is a strain of Game of Thrones (and Song of Ice and Fire) fandom that is horrifyingly misogynistic. I don't think it's fair to cast the whole fandom in that light.


  26. John
    June 25, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

    Shorter me: Not all Game of Thrones fans…

    Sigh. (But, as Phil himself notes, GoT has a very large female fandom, which I think is important to keep in mind when making broad generalizations.)


  27. Ben
    June 25, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

    Huh? What happened to my comment.

    Short version is, I think the majority of anti-female Doctor fans are old schoolers back in the UK. It doesn't strike me as something that would be a dealbreaker in either country, but if anything less in the US.


  28. encyclops
    June 25, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    I'd bet good money that there's a section of GoT fandom that has problematic (misogynistic at the very least) attitudes, though I haven't seen much of it firsthand. Then again, I don't really spend much time in "fandoms" (apart from Doctor Who's, and even there this blog is probably the closest I get to participating), so if Philip told me he spent a lot of time in the GoT forums and that's the way they talked all the time, well, okay. Maybe I and pretty much everyone I've ever talked to about GoT in other settings are not part of "fandom." Fine by me.

    But yeah, maybe in a discussion where female fandom is a significant topic, let's not marginalize the female fan perspective. A "thorough understanding" would include at least that, surely.


  29. Jarl
    June 25, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

    All this talk about which particular TARDIS toy is being lusted after has nudged loose an idea that's been growing in my mind lately, one tied up in the idea of Doctor Who's American presence, both in how it's marketed and how it's presented. Bear with me as I try to hork up this hairball in something resembling a coherent fashion.

    When I got back into Doctor Who in a big way at the start of Series 6, I decided I needed to have a TARDIS on my toy shelf. I'm a collector, a plastic addict, a semi-professional nerd, and I needed something with more heft and features than the simplistic papercraft designs I was seeing on the internet. I even tried designing one of my own, which was basically a disaster and would never have seen a drop of ink (I happen to like my papercraft arcade original designs, but I'm hardly objective on that). So, like anyone indulging in a merchandise fixation, I did some online research.

    If you want a toy of the TARDIS, and here I mean a proper toy with lights and sounds and doodads, something you can have the Doctor leaning out of looking worried, what you want to get is a Flight Control TARDIS. At a proper toy store (or other nerd-indulgence vector, such as a Barnes and Noble, or a comic book shop), you'll be able to find the Eleventh Doctor's Flight Control TARDIS for around 30-40 dollars. It's got lights, it's got sounds, it has working doors and a phone hatch, it has something I'm pretty sure is just pretending to be an accelerometer so it knows when it's moving, it's scaled for the 5 inch toyline which has recently met its sad and merciful end, and it has an incredibly amusing “spinning flight mode” that lends it the otherwise mystifying name. If, like me, you need something on your shelf or desk for Loki to try and hijack, or a Predator to drag a T-Rex skull out of, or a Claptrap to be terribly confused by, I heartily suggest you get one.

    All that said, let me be clear. If you go to a toy store, or an online shop, or some other reasonable place to purchase action figures and related toys, you will most likely be buying the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS. The other option is far less palatable: Collectibles.

    There's no real hard and fast distinction between the two, I've come to accept. There are toys that are collectibles, there are collectibles that are toys, it's simply a venn diagram with a decently sized overlap. There are, however, a few guidelines I consider to be relevant, especially to the matter at hand, and it gets to the point that I've been drilling towards.

    A collectible generally isn't as easy to purchase as a non-collectible, either due to rarity, geography, chronology, or cost. These three factors tangle together in a lot of really ugly ways, as anybody who's ever searched “mint in sealed box” on ebay can tell you. And the fact is, the versions of the Flight Control TARDIS that represent those piloted by the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth Doctors are collectibles, and the one piloted by the eleventh is not. If you go to a toy store for a TARDIS, you will be presented with the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS with its shiny blue paint and its St. John's Ambulance sticker, and that's all you'll get, because the Eleventh Doctor, in America, has toys, not collectibles.


  30. Jarl
    June 25, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    Toy distribution is a tricky business, and I neither know enough of it nor have room and time to really get into the meat and two veg of why the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS is the only one you can buy at a regular store, but the basic idea is that, to borrow from our gracious host's terminology, Doctor Who was a cult show until Matt Smith and Steven Moffat came to America. If you wanted to buy a Flight Control TARDIS representing one used by a past Doctor, even though it's basically the same toy, you'd have to import one, make use of a collectibles distributor, or purchase one on the secondary market, which is a long way of saying it's more expensive.

    I won't get into whether it's worth the expense, since that would basically just be reviewing the toys, something probably better suited to another time or venue (or both), but the fact that the seventh Doctor's Flight Control TARDIS both costs more than the eleventh Doctor's and has fewer features speaks pretty strongly for itself, I think.

    Ultimately, that's the level to which Doctor Who has invaded America. It may air on a cable channel and be produced and populated by people who spell things like “color” and “neighbor” strangely, but dammit, the kids love it. In terms of market penetration, Doctor Who is about even with, say, NECA's and McFarlane's action figure lines, so you won't find it at Walmart or Target just yet. But if you drop by Toys R Us, or an independent toy shop, you won't find the TARDIS and the Daleks and the incredibly disappointing action figures standing by those toys. They'll be at a kid's eye level, where the LIGHTS and SOUNDS and TRY ME action of the TARDIS is large as life.

    If this level of engagement continues along this path, and with the way the 50th was celebrated and embraced here there's no reason to think it won't, then it's not unreasonable to see a future where the big hegemonies, should they still deign to stock toys in the grim darkness of the 21st century, would stock Doctor Who action figures, somewhere between Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Which, by the way, have been really eating up shelf space as of late. It's not safe to assume sales and fan reaction based on shelf space, but it's very safe to assume retailer support and jesus christ, Walmart loves them some turtles. I guess that's where the money they aren't spending on Star Wars Black is going.

    To bring us full circle, when I was researching the TARDIS toys way back then, I found something truly disheartening. By any standard short of “which color do you prefer” and “which interior is your favorite”, the tenth Doctor's TARDIS is by far the best one. It has the most lights, it has the most sounds, it has the most awesome. I did a lot of searching, and the prices I were seeing were all secondary market, which is a nice way of saying it was a hundred dollars shipped at best. So, because I ended up seeing one at a store, I settled for the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS, the one with fewer lights and fewer sounds (but, on the upside, with my preferred interior -_^). I still recommend it over the tenth Doctor's, though, because while those extra features are nice, they aren't 60-70 dollars worth of nice. And ultimately, that's what this has all been about: settling for the Moffat era TARDIS because you couldn't find an RTD era one. In a way, that single flub spoke to me more than anything else.


  31. TheSmilingStallionInn
    June 25, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

    Personally, I think this post might be adequate enough to address or at least mention how Doctor Who is getting at least quite a few shout-outs on U.S. shows–it's also been mentioned on NCIS: Los Angeles and Big Bang Theory from what I gather. I was surprised to see Grey's Anatomy mentioned on here, but it makes sense as well given the context/content of the episode and storyline fitting in with Sandifer's blog and analysis. (And it's a significant enough part of the storyline that Sandifer can incorporate this episode into the analysis and build upon it, instead of the random, usually in passing, 'blink or you'll miss it' mentions of Doctor Who on other shows like Big Bang Theory, though it does happen on Big Bang every once in a while there.)

    This really was a Pop Between Realities in terms of how Doctor Who is being recognized/perceived in the realms of U.S. television shows and dropped, for better or worse, into storylines or mentioned in passing as part of characters' lives. It's not normal in some ways in terms of US television. It's uncanny and strange enough that it deserves some mention or highlight in terms of the growing popularity/recognition of the show here for those who know about it or at least hear of it.

    And the mentions themselves are usually posited as that–being strange and uncanny, usually coming from the 'geeky' characters of US television. It's not recognized as being normal and so here, we get an abnormal Pop Between Realities with Grey's Anatomy, nothing that I would have expected.


  32. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

    I think it's important to stress that the overall popularity of Doctor Who isn't down to fans (or rather Fans). It's down to ordinary viewers. Doctor Who fandom does tend to continue watching the show no matter how it changes (regardless of those who say they no longer watch since Moffat etc took over), and since actual Fans (read Whovians if you like) are a very small subset of viewers, any drop in viewing figures is down to the Ordinary Viewing Public , not "Tha Fanz".

    Online fans and fandom may well be enthusiastic about Capaldi & Series 8, but 90% of viewers could simply tune in and say "oh I don't like it now he's not young and fit anymore".

    Just because I'm considering this a possibility doesn't make me cynical, any more than considering the opposite would make me unrealistically optimisticc. But I am genuinely curious as to why Doctor Who's stellar increase in US popularity has occurred, and why it happnes to have coincided with two very young and vibrant actors taking the role.

    Doctor Who's popularity in the 60s and 70s with the very young may have had a lot to do with the reassurance factor of an older paternalistic Doctor. A 7 year old could feel very safe watching the confident Doctors portrayed by Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker. However the elements of vulnerability and imperfection introduced with Davison and Colin may have contributed to their decline in popularity. It's easy to feel reassured by the 3rd or 4th Doctors since they are so supremely confident, but not so much by the 5th Doctor who so often seems in need of reassurance himself.

    In an alternate 1980s where Doctor Who had a bigger presence in the US, I wonder if a similar increase in popularity would have greeted the more youthful and attractive Peter Davison as he took over the role.


  33. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

    You've given me a lot of insight into the possible answers to my posts further up this thread. Everyone watches things for different reasons (my wife definitely doesn't watch Supernatural for the same reasons I do), but I'm always interested in the majority reason, because that's ultimately what provides the viewing figures.

    Incidentally my wife avidly watched both Eccleston and Tennant with me and the kids, but then has watched no Smith at all, because she doesn't find him attractive. Much fickle, huh?


  34. Spacewarp
    June 25, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

    You can find RTD era ones on eBay, and for reasonable prices so long as you don't mind out of the box. I picked one up for £10 earlier this year and I'm currently trying to convert it to a War Doctor TARDIS.


  35. Aylwin
    June 26, 2014 @ 1:47 am

    "Elizabeth Henstridge's character says "a TARDIS.""

    Kirsty wouldn't stand for that.


  36. mengu
    June 26, 2014 @ 1:49 am

    The only problem with the sentence is the word 'that'.


  37. Katherine Sas
    June 26, 2014 @ 5:30 am

    How delightful that the signature is from one of the writers, and not one of the actors!


  38. storiteller
    June 26, 2014 @ 7:10 am

    What's fundamentally different about Doctor Who being mentioned on Gray's Anatomy rather than Agents of SHIELD or Big Bang Theory is that as TheSmilingStallionInn notes, the characters on the latter shows are definitively labeled nerds. Also, to some extent, the shows themselves are as well. Even though Big Bang Theory is incredibly popular and mainstream, people who aren't nerds I think still think of it as a "nerd" show – just one that they happen to like. Agents of SHIELD is inherently a nerd show by being a spin-off of what had been a fairly obscure comic book topic before all of the movies came out.

    In contrast, I don't think I would ever hear anyone call Gray's Anatomy a "nerd" show. It would be about as likely as calling ER or Modern Family one. That's what makes it radically different from the other mentions. (Excepting the Criminal Minds one, but those shows love mentioning nerd things in the context of them being "weird." See every episode involving video games or virtual worlds ever.) But Gray's Anatomy brings Doctor Who into a similar space in America as it holds in Britain – a show that if you watch it, you aren't necessarily part of Fandom, and even if you don't watch it, you may recognize the iconography. It brings it out of being a "nerd-only" space.


  39. Robert Lloyd
    June 26, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    I also seem to recall both Nicholas Courtney and Sophie Alfred being asked to sign prop beverage cans from a story neither had appeared in…


  40. Pen Name Pending
    June 26, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    Yes you make good points, it's just so often that reaction is paired with the young female fans who fancy the Doctor, but I see you mean more than that. For me, though, Capaldi doesn't seem to be too much of a change.

    A lot of Doctor Who viewers in America come from Netflix and BBCA isn't a very avaliable or popular channel, so to tell you the truth there may not be too many casual viewers, unless you count those who have seen a rerun or two or watch occasionally on Netflix.


  41. Pen Name Pending
    June 26, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

    No problem–and certainly there are many male fans too. I think the main drive to watch it is because it's niche and cool and applies to that crowd who wants to understand all the in-jokes. A lot of the excitement comes from discovering it.


  42. TheSmilingStallionInn
    June 26, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    Paradise Towers? (I'm trying to think of a Red Kang/Blue Kang quote, especially in regards to those sodas they tried out…)


  43. storiteller
    June 26, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

    I think you'll especially find a big rise in little kids liking Doctor Who as fans of my generation start to have kids. My little one isn't quite big enough – he's only one – but I'm eager to show Who with him when it's appropriate. He already has a TARDIS onsie. More than ever, nerds are getting together with other nerds and sharing their nerdy passions with their kids and I think that'll become even more obvious 10 years down the road.


  44. Leslie Lozada
    June 27, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

    Well, just to throw my hand in, I (in 2011, about 15 or so, and was living in the U.S at the time) came into Doctor Who through a Comcast maraotho watching of series 5 and 6.1.

    And, I didn't really 'fancy' the Doctor, at first. I admire his acting, from one of the kids to Michael Emerson powerful acting. Then, well, it just happened.


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