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Happy Birthday, Doctor Who - trinalin thinks things through — LiveJournal
Happy Birthday, Doctor Who
Today is the 40th anniversary of the BBC series Doctor Who. While I don't know if I'll be watching or listening to anything Who-ish today, I have been reading (and writing) Who-ish things in honor of the anniversary. GallifreyOne has a huge set of articles and fan remembrances on Doctor Who (with more coming). I wrote the Seventh Doctor retrospective. It's been fun dipping in randomly and reading what various people think about the series. (I've seen some names that I've not seen in awhile, and that was fun.) Another great source of 40th Anniversary celebrations is the 40th Anniversary Issue of Enlightenment, the fanzine of the Doctor Who Information Network. DWIN has also released a collection of fanfiction in honor of the occassion called Myth Makers Presents: The Essentials. They're very well done and you should buy them. :-)

For me, Doctor Who is more than a television show (with multiple spinoff media). It's been the biggest factor in my expansion into the world. My two best friends in the world (elsaf & judiang) I met through Doctor Who fandom. I got online because of Doctor Who. I've been to England (6 times), Australia, New Zealand, California, Vermont, Cape Cod, and many other places because of Doctor Who. I've been published in fanzines, both online and on paper, because of Doctor Who. I have spent far far too much money on photographs of Sylvester McCoy because of Doctor Who.

I am sometimes amazed at myself when I compare the Current Treen to the Treen in College. I was a homebody. I went to Wright State University because (a) it was less than 40 minutes away from home, (b) I knew some of the science folks because my dad graduated from there and taught physics part time there, and (c) cuz I could get a dorm room with only 1 roomie (though I'd've preferred no roomie, they rarely gave those to freshmen.) Oh yeah, the scholarship helped too. But the Treen of College wasn't adventurous. She certainly didn't go to parties (and certainly not to parties in her own hotel room that went on until 3am). She didn't go to science fiction conventions (though she did go to record collectors conventions - a completely different thing). She didn't talk to anyone online (and certainly didn't fly off to stay with people she'd never met before in person). She had dreams of someday going to England, but didn't know anyone there to visit. She eventually graduated and got a job teaching chemistry and physics.

Well, the newly teaching Treen soon bought herself a computer. And, thanks to an article written in a Doctor Who Magazine about an online forum called "rec.arts.drwho," she decided that her summer vacation that year would consist of the phone bills that would come when she got online. (There was no local ISP at that time, so every online connection was expensive.) She tried AOL and some others, but decided that Pipeline (remember those days, Elsa?) was the ISP for her. So, in the summer of 1995, she first began posting to radw. And found out there were many many people out in the world who loved the same series she did. It was an awakening. (And certainly better than the one Doctor Who club meeting she'd gone to at WSU, which was populated by Tom Baker scarf-wearing weirdoes who didn't even acknowledge the existance of other Doctors (like, say, Sylvester McCoy) and preferred to make fun of Star Trek fans during the meeting.) Not only were there Doctor Who fans, but there were Seventh Doctor fans on radw.

It was on radw that newly online Treen found out about Visions '95 and that Sylvester McCoy would be a guest. The convention was in Chicago (not terribly far away - the family used to go there to visit Uncle Lee and Aunt Ruby) and over Thanksgiving Break. There really was no excuse for not going. So the Treen mentioned on radw that she'd love to go to Visions, but was very much a homebody and scared to be on her own, yada yada yada. The ladies on radw were very supportive and encouraged Treen to come, and one poster, in particular, offered her services. Elsa Frohman, whose posts I'd always enjoyed reading, said that she could meet me partway and take me there, and we could then room (to help sway costs). And she swore she wasn't an ax murderer.

So it was that the day after Thanksgiving in 1995, that my family (I'm getting tired of talking about myself in the third person - why did I ever start?) drove me up to Fort Wayne, IN to meet Elsa in the mall by the (then existing) ice rink. Now, those in the US know just how busy shopping areas are the day after Thanksgiving. But it worked out. We found Elsa, she found us (poor dear, coming alone to meet up with a family of four - one of whom could well have been an ax murderer - but wasn't!) We went out to eat together (I forget where, but I'll bet Amy remembers). When it was time for Elsa and I to depart together, we discovered that she had parked in the same region that dad did. She also owned a Dodge Shadow (I had a Dodge Shadow). In other interesting coincidences, we had similar hair colors and cuts and she was wearing a long red coat (I had a long red coat that I wore to school). Apparently, when the folks and Amy got back in their car, Amy queried the folks "Um, was it just me?" Yes, it looked like Trina and Elsa were going to get along just fine. (We did and we still do!)

Visions '95 was my first venture out into the Real World without a school group or family members. I met many radwers there and made more friends. I found out about IRC and decided to eventually try that. By February, I was on Dalnet on IRC and in the #drwho channel on a regular basis. IRC is still my favorite way of talking with online folks. I prefer the instantaneousness of it. What's more, thanks to IRC, I met Spigi and Keeper. And then flew off to Santa Cruz (my first flight, my first time to stay with people I'd never met before in person, my first time on the West Coast) in the summer of '96 to hang with Spigi and Keeper.

Visions '96 was coming up and by then the talk of a new Doctor Who was rumbling around fandom. One person who heard the rumble and wanted to find out more was Judi Grant, a Chicago native. She came on IRC and quickly became friends with me and Elsa. So when Thanksgiving came around, we convinced her to room with us. She figured she could always leave home if it turned out we were ax murderers or weirdoes. But when we three met, it was as if we'd been best friends forever. And it's been that way ever since, IMO.

May of '96 was when Paul McGann debuted as the Doctor. It wasn't long that many ladies in fandom (or new to fandom) decided to make a McGann fanclub. And the PMEB (Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade) was formed. I decided to be the token Sylvester McCoy fan in the fanclub (though he already had his own fandom, the SMCSB - Sylvester McCoy Chocolate Sauce Brigade) and have been with PMEB since the beginning (or nearly). I made many more friends thanks to the PMEB. Indeed, I went on the first PMEB Invasion of England tour (basically, me, Elsa, Judi, and fellow PMEBer Brenda), and thus fulfilled one of my dreams in life. I got to go to London. Heck, I loved it so much, I've been there 6 times now. The last two trips I've gone on my own, even. A far cry from homebody College Treen.

Geez, I think I've written plenty. But as you can see, Doctor Who has been instrumental in my life. It's more than just a TV show. More than the sum of its parts. So I thank Doctor Who for helping me come out of my shell, for introducing me to many many lovely people, for giving me the best friends a girl could want, and for taking me all over the world.

I shall finish this very long entry with my Top 15 Reasons why I Like the Seventh Doctor (which I've sent to a few mailing lists that I'm on):

  1. He can play the spoons.

  2. He talks his way out of a jam by using his captors' own rule book in Paradise Towers.

  3. When Ray is in desperate need of comforting, he hasn't a clue what to do. He's an alien who likes humans, looks human, but still just doesn't get humans.

  4. "That's right, yes, you're going. Been gone for ages. Already gone. Still here. Just arrived. Haven't even met you yet. It all depends on who you are and how you look at it. Strange business, Time." - Dragonfire

  5. Suddenly, we find out that this Time Lord whom we've all known and loved for twenty-five years actually has a past that we haven't a clue about. And even when Remembrance of the Daleks is over, we still don't know about it.

  6. "Look me in the eye. End my life." - Happiness Patrol

  7. This Doctor likes jazz music.

  8. He can walk out of an exploding circus tent and not even flinch!

  9. He is Merlin - or was Merlin - or will be Merlin. Or something.

  10. "I can't stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations, terrible places full of lost luggage and lost souls. And then there's unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty. We all have a universe of our own terrors to face." - Ghost Light

  11. When he needs faith to combat haemavores, he mutters the names of his companions.

  12. Even when given the chance to finally destroy (yet again) his deadliest enemy, he still can't do it.

  13. The New Adventures of Doctor Who. ('Nuff said.)

  14. Death Comes to Time. (ditto)

  15. He regenerates into Paul McGann. (I have plenty of friends who love the Seventh Doctor for this very reason.)

Current Mood: grateful grateful

4 comments or Leave a comment
drake57 From: drake57 Date: November 23rd, 2003 09:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw you didn't mention #DrWhoChat or meeting the Drake :/
trinalin From: trinalin Date: November 23rd, 2003 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know - there's a lot that I didn't mention. When I realized I was still in 1996 and it was noon (and I'd yet to have breakfast) I felt it was best to stop where I was. Drake was indeed one of the many folks I met online thanks to IRC (first #drwho, then Drake's own channel #drwhochat) and later in person (Spring of '97). Cool thing, this Internet. :-)
elsaf From: elsaf Date: November 23rd, 2003 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
We found Elsa, she found us (poor dear, coming alone to meet up with a family of four - one of whom could well have been an ax murderer - but wasn't!)

I just figured you came with your family so they could check to make sure *I* wasn't an ax murderer. ;-) (I'm not -- I prefer poison.) I think we ate at a place called "Cheddar's" (or something similar to that).

trinalin From: trinalin Date: November 23rd, 2003 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just figured you came with your family so they could check to make sure *I* wasn't an ax murderer.

That was indeed the case - but I wouldn't be surprised if the thought once crossed your mind about me. :-) (And like Elsa, I prefer poison as well. It's the chemist in me.)
4 comments or Leave a comment