While there have always been dedicated fans of popular films and tv series, the advent of social media has driven degrees of obsession to new and worrying levels. The ability to connect with likeminded people across the globe has driven fandom to reach new heights. The desire for ‘content’ is almost unquenchable, as is the thirst for retribution when something happens which is unpopular. This toxicity has reached worrying proportions.
Doctor Who has benefited from an avid fanbase since it was first broadcast in the UK in 1963. While today the property is big business again, there was a time where it had all but died a death. In 1996, there was an attempt to bring the franchise back and attract a whole new audience with an American Dr Who television movie. It did not go down well with fans at all. Screenwriter Matthew Jacobs tried to put the backlash behind him, but 25 years later he dips his toes back into the ‘Whoniverse’. Doctor Who Am I follows him on his journey.
Doctor Who Am I looks at modern fandom and why it has become such a powerful and popular driving force. America, in particular, has embraced these conventions and conferences. Giving fans the opportunity to fulfil their dreams, meet their heroes and escape from the drudgery of everyday life. And while there are, of course, people who take things too far, there is also a supportiveness and family which goes with it. Jacobs and co-director Vanessa Yuille’s documentary is a celebration of these communities and what they can offer.
Doctor Who Am I will open in UK cinemas on 27 October and then on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital on 28 November.