• When Your Doctor is No Longer the Doctor: How to Survive Regeneration

    From Gryphon@1:2320/105 to All on Mon Dec 30 19:18:00 2013
    Doctor Who on Tor.com
    When Your Doctor is No Longer the Doctor: How to Survive Regeneration
    Emily Asher-Perrin
    December 27, 2013 12:00PM

    Doctor Who, Eleven, Amy

    Theres a thing that happens in the Doctor Who fandom that plenty of
    people talk about, and no one can prepare you for. See, fans love each
    and every Doctor but one of them is yours. That Doctor belongs to you
    very specificallythey helped define parts of you, they saw you through
    rough times, they encompassed a portion of your life. And for many
    Whovians, that Doctor will soon be gone.

    Its okay, Eleven fans. Im here to help.

    Having already dealt with 2010s I Dont Want to Go Farewell Tour, I
    have some tips. Or maybe theyre just stages of grief. Or things to
    expect as you brave the next year without bow ties.

    To start this off, lets talk regeneration: You might have noticed that
    Elevens passing felt a little more real to you than the average
    fictional character death. (Or nota lot of them seem unfortunately
    real on my end.) So youre basically in mourning. Youre allowed.
    Dont let anyone make you feel weird about it. Dont let anyone tell
    you that youre not allowed to wear tweed and a fez every day for the
    next ten years. Or a black armbandhey, Gary Oldman did it for Sirius
    Black, so its totally a cool thing to do.

    Doctor Who, Eleven

    Speaking of thatsupport group time! Hugs all around! Unless you dont
    like hugs, in which case, weve got a crate of Jammie Dodgers and
    probably TARDIS blankets. Actually, is that a real office somewhere? It
    sounds like a service that should be available to the general public

    Of course, thats what the internet and fandom friends are for. There
    will be a sudden pressing need to rewatch every Eleventh Doctor episode
    in marathon form, and long after that, youll have moments where
    nothing will comfort you so well as a viewing of The Lodger with a
    cup of tea. Its especially useful for whats comingan era shift that
    will leave the show markedly different in ways that are often difficult
    to explain.

    Whats odd about Who fandom is how its rhetoric consistently changes
    over time. Its not like Star Trek where there are distinct, separate
    series, each with their own entity that are easy to define and keep
    apart in your mind. Doctor Who may shift in tone and execution, but
    its still ultimately the same show. The Doctor is still the same
    character. Except now, your Doctor is no longer the Doctor.

    Its a weird feeling.

    Doctor Who, Eleven

    And it will likely never pass. Its entirely unique to the Whovian
    experience. Sure, it sort of happens with James Bond, but thats a
    different can of dirt due to how long it takes for an actors Bond
    tenure to come due, and how staggeringly different each incarnation is.
    (Call me when Robert Downey, Jr. is no longer playing Tony Stark and
    well talk again, I think.) The point is, its always going to be
    awkward knowing that your Doctor is now former. That someone else is
    ably holding up the mantle and carrying it off into the dark corners of
    the universe. Its like a microcosm of aging, revved up to light speed:
    This was mine. Its still mine. But now it belongs to someone else.

    That doesnt mean that the new Doctor wont mean anything to you!
    Learning to love a new Doctor is part of the charm of the fandom. What
    you will have to be prepared for are the fans who find that their
    Doctor is Peter Capaldi. Those new kids who are just like you, only a
    few years removed. Respect their experience. Dont get into better
    Doctor battles with them. This is not a fight that anyone can win, nor
    should they. Its down to the individual, down to what you needed and
    when. In fact, it can be its own reward, watching those new fans revel
    in their experience with a Doctor who moves them the same way. To see
    the difference in the fanbase, to watch it shift and morphto watch it
    regenerate. Whovian history is singular that way.

    Its exactly as the Eleventh Doctor put it: you will carry all these
    lives with you always, but you will always be especially glad for the
    time that the Doctor was the Eleventh Doctor. The same way I will
    always be especially glad that the Doctor was Ten. Give yourself time.
    Heal up from the loss and launch yourself back in. Never let go of the
    time that Doctor Who was specifically, unequivocally yours.

    Doctor Who, Eleven, Amy

    Thats what makes it special. Thats what makes it your show. Youre
    not supposed to let that go, youre supposed to celebrate it. So do
    just that and never be sorry.

    Its hard to say goodbye to a friend... but you never really have to.
    Keep that Raggedy Man close and keep going. You never know when you
    might need him.

    Emily Asher-Perrin wants all the Eleven fans out there to know that
    shes so, so sorry, and shes here for a shoulder to cry on. You can
    bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

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