passionate fanbase around the globe. This feature length movie documents the weird, wacky and wonderful world of Doctor Who fandom.
With the impact of the new series in 2005, it has never been a better time to embrace the affection this unique programme generates.
The film covers the vast spectrum
of fandom including conventions, fan fiction, artwork, merchandise, the
internet, professional fans
FANZ - just what the Doctor ordered!
Presented here is the FANZ Documentary and Extras.
Please click on the YouTube icon below the image to view.
(nb. you will be taken away from this site to view online)
So why are we making a film about Doctor Who fans? Well, that’s simple…why not? Doctor Who is the longest running Sci-Fi show in TV
history with a dedicated fan base that’s rivalled only (in global terms) by Star Trek. Over Fifty years of adventures in time and space and
years of fans…that’s one hellava legacy.
So, a couple of quick tit-bits from me. Fav Doctors - Jon and Tom, Fav Stories - The Daemons, Pyramids of Mars and Parting of the
Ways, Least Fav - toss up between Twin Dilemma and Paradise Towers! Fav Monster - the Daleks (what a surprise), Fav companions - Sarah
Jane Smith and Rose. Right, the reason for those little tit-bit’s is that I am a fan. Happy and proud to be one and have been since the
early Seventies. Now, many documentaries take the ‘outside looking in’ point of view but I wanted to be ‘inside looking in’. Having a passion
for the subject matter, I want the film to be a celebration of the fan community and show as large a spectrum of its many avenues as possible.
Now, I was never part of the fan community par se but I joined the Doctor Who Appreciation Society for a couple of years and attended
conventions in the eighties and early nineties. My first was Panoptican in Brighton in 1985 and (along with everyone else) was lucky enough
to see the great Patrick Throughton on a very rare UK convention appearance. I didn’t know anyone there accept my old school friend
Mark Stammers (who would go on to co-write and design many books on Doctor Who) and I would wander about listening to guests and
browsing the merchandise hall. It was great; there were other people as mad about this show as I was.
Although Doctor Who was still part of my teens and early twenties, I found other avenues that occupied my time (apart from the obvious).
Most apparent was music (The Wonder Stuff and The Mission were as much a part of my early adult life as The Caves of Androzani and
The Curse of Fenric!). I would go to gigs and festivals aplenty but still found time for the good Doctor.
Like every other fan, I was shocked and saddened when Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989. People have argued that the quality of the show
had declined by this time but that last season really had kicked into gear and it would have been interesting to see what could have evolved.
But there was no more Doctor Who, after twenty-six years it was off the air.
But the fans striked back. And striked back they did. During the nineties, Virgin Publishing produced their New Adventures range employing
many new writers, Independent filmmakers BBV and Reeltime Pictures were shooting exciting spin-off dramas with actors from the programme
and the Internet became the new way of communicating information. We even had Doctor Who back briefly as a US TV Movie with the excellent
Paul McGann playing the Doctor. Unfortunately, although it performed well in the UK, the US market didn’t pick it up. Bugger…good try but
it’s back to the fans to keep the torch alight.
In 1999, Big Finish Productions acquired the rights from the BBC to produce original Doctor Who Audio Adventures featuring past Doctors
and companions. Doctor Who works beautifully on audio and the company is still going strong producing quality dramas. I even appeared in
one of the plays but I’ll let you work out which one, answers on a postcard please and…oh, never mind.
Flash forward to 2003. The Fortieth
Anniversary and a lot of back patting and congratulations before the announcement
that we thought
And what a return it was. Exciting, emotional, slick, inventive and for the first time, a new generation of children had their own Doctor.
Friends who had never given the old show a second glance were raving about this wonderful series and would text their thoughts on the
latest episodes. I love the new show and as it heads onwards, I salute Stephen Moffatt for working the magic for a new audience whilst keeping
us ‘oldies’ in the loop as well. Many of the series writers had started out writing for fanzines and the New Adventure
book range and there they are writing for Who proper.
Doctor Who used to be called the children’s programme that adults adored, well thanks to the dedicated fans and the success of the new
series; it’s now the programme that everyone can enjoy. Its cool to like Doctor Who now but as we fans already knew…it was damn
cool in the first place.