Whovians in the Mediated Public Sphere

The popular British science fiction, Doctor Who follows the adventures throughout space and time led by timelord, The Doctor and the companions he invite on the TARDIS. Internationally cultivating worldwide appreciation,  multitude of fans have actively expressed their love for the show by creating content and generating debate in a mediated public sphere.

The 2005 revival held onto its charming storytelling and became a hit, gathering fans, new and old who call themselves ‘Whovians’. With the incoming wider range of representation, the broadcast has incorporated different notions of gender, sexual expression and orientation and races. Some of the modern characters and themes shown has made the Whovians exhibit great gratitude for highlighting these diverse qualities. Some audience identify well with recurring characters like pansexual time agent, Captain Jack Harkness as portrayed by openly homosexual John Barrowman and the African-English aspiring doctor and strong female symbol, Martha Jones played by Freema Agyeman.

(Weheartit, 2014)

We have many different methods of contributing discussion in a mediated public sphere.  By providing this variety of representation that the audiences can identify with, makes them want to also make their own forms of content. We have Sydney pop culture conventions like Smash, as a gathering of fandoms to buy merchandise, dress up in cosplay and if we’re lucky, talk to cast. On an online aspect, Whovians have taken to media platforms such as Tumblr to vocalise their passion by means of fanart, fanfiction and online discussion.

(Tumblr, 2014)

(Youtube, 2014)

Much controversy came with the anticipation of a new doctor to be announced for the 8th series. Many Whovians wanted to see a variety for the doctor rather than cast ‘white males’. Some Whovians wanted a more diverse image of their community to challenge the conventions of the character such as creating a person of colour or woman doctor. However expectations were not met with the reveal of the talented Peter Capaldi. Amongst disappointed and negative responses. Ageist views on the recent casting were brought up as some Whovians commanded a younger doctor for the means of sex appeal, rather than the fresh portrayal of character Capaldi could provide. Capaldi also contributed in a mediated public sphere by submitting fanart and articles to May 1976 issue of the Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine in his youth. (Veritas, 2014)

(Capaldi, 2014)

Reference:

Capaldi, P. 2014. Dr Who Titles. Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine.

Tumblr. 2014. Jack, meet the 12th Doctor, (re)meet Jack. [image online] Available at: http://halorvic.tumblr.com/post/81722664355 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Veritas, U. 2014. Oh, nothin’, just some Doctor Who fan art… by Peter Capaldi!?. [online] 1/18/14. Available at: http://observationdeck.io9.com/oh-nothin-just-some-doctor-who-fan-art-by-peter-c-1504177150 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Youtube. 2014. *SPOILERS* Peter Capaldi is introduced to the world as the next Doctor! – Doctor Who – BBC One. [image online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zim8zL3Q5k [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

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