Right, I promised you all some notes on how the DePaul colloquium went last weekend.
I sadly only ended up catching half of the panels due to being behind on work, the lack of a scheduled lunch hour, and the fact that during one I got to make a choice between going to the panel or chatting to Rob Shearman, and I picked the latter. But some broad observations based on three panels (two of which I was on).
- I’ve never wanted to end the blog with The End of Time before this weekend. I’m not going to, but my God, the level of fan hatred directed at the series as it stands right now is sickening. And overstated. The number of people who blithely declare that “forty-five minute episodes don’t work” is just bewildering to me. I mean, I’m not going to pretend that Moffat is flawless, but to hear people talk you’d think he was producing Timelash week in and week out. It’s really kind of depressing.
- The fan/academic divide remains irritatingly persistent. There were a lot of unabashed fan presenters who just wanted to geek out about Doctor Who, and there were a lot of people who held to the traditional academic conference model of “I will read a paper out loud that is twice the length of the speaking slot I was told to fit a paper into.” The two did not always communicate edifyingly.
- Despite these complaints there remains a lot of really wonderful work going on regarding Doctor Who. Ashley Hinck is doing some marvelously interesting stuff with the intersections of fandom and social justice work. Derek Kompare does some lovely gritty technical analysis of Doctor Who. And people like Lynne M. Thomas and the rest of the people who created the (quite rightly) Hugo-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords anthology or the frabjous folks behind the Verity! podcast bring fresh perspectives to things. (I was absolutely thrilled to hear an extended analysis of Romana’s footwear – one that implied that there was an entire iceberg of further analysis on this point to come.) One of the things I’m going to really enjoy in a year or so when I’m done with TARDIS Eruditorum is being in a position to soak in more Doctor Who fandom.
- Rob Shearman is a wonderfully gracious and funny man. If you’ve not looked at the fiction collections Big Finish have put out of his stuff, I really recommend them. I snagged Love Songs For The Shy and Cynical at the conference, but seriously, if you’re only familiar with his Doctor Who work, you owe it to yourself to check out his wider body of material.
- I also need to thank Rob for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking into a restaurant and having someone whose work you’ve admired for nearly a decade bound up to you and tell you that he’s a huge fan. I, of course, repaid him by torturing him with the knowledge that I was in the midst of writing up Dalek.