So tonight I went to this really great Doctor Who 101 thing sponsored by the Chicago Nerd Social Club downtown at Tech Nexus. Before I got to the event I thought, "Mmmm, if you're a fan then you don't really need a DW 101. But probably the only people that know about this event are people that are fans." And it turns out that somebody made some snarky comments to that effect on the Facebook event invite. It was a free event that I had to register in advance for to get clearance to get in because of there being high security for the building it was in, which was strangely appropriate in a "Torchwood" kind of a way (a DW spin-off show). It was in a building across from the Sears Tower. Oh excuse me. The Willis Tower. (I prefer to think of it as the Wesley Willis Tower. And by the way, I am THAT gullible that when someone was circulating a Facebook thing about petitioning that it should be the Wesley Willis Tower I was like "Really? They're really considering that? I will TOTALLY sign that.")
Anyway, this blogger guy did a Power Point presentation about it. Doctor Who, not Wesley Willis. I was thinking to myself that I was sort of a target audience because I wasn't a super huge mega fan, but I do like the series from 2005 and on when they relaunched it. My husband, Joe, has been a fan for like 30 years because he grew up on it. I think he might have been the person that had been a fan for longer than everybody there except the blogger guy who was leading the thing (and shucks! I left his card upstairs -- Joe is sleeping and I don't want to wake him up and go get the card). There were about 12 or 15 people there, and of them, there were 3 women (myself included). One thing he talked about how a lot of the people who ended up working on the show as writers or actors tend to be folks that grew up watching the show, except for the most recent Doctor, Matt Smith, because he's that young. Interesting. He is so cute and baby-faced and adorable but David Tennant is my fave. And the guy doing the talk said that the American DW sensibility tends to be, "Oh Tom Baker, he's that guy on PBS. David Tennant, he's the Doctor." Interesting.
--Wait-- before I go any further I have to tell you that my roommate just walked in and said, "There are some really excellent walrus fights I've been watching. Really excellent. You need to watch them now." This is not unusual for our roommate (named The Nurse, since he is an actual nurse). He walks in and makes pronouncements like this all the time. And I am always willing to listen for elaboration, which as of late seems to result in some bizarre YouTube viewing. So tonight's YouTube viewing with The Nurse was "walrus fight." Walruses get in to some pretty vicious battles with each other and stab each other with tusks! WTF?! That's awful! Bloody walruses? They fight over the ice who gets to stay on it and get some sun! That made me sad. BUT! Walruses are strangely cute. Just you know, not BLOODY WALRUSES.
ANYWAY the guy was talking about the sort of mythology of each of the Doctors on the series, and since most of the people there had been fans longer than I was, they were there just to sort of meet people who geek out about what they're into, which I love (no matter what it's about -- people are at their best when they're talking about stuff they love). I was actually there because I felt like I needed some more info. See, I have a working knowledge of the show because Joe has sort of schooled me and I've seen canonical stuff and he's filled me in on the sort of mythology of the show etc., but it was helpful to get filled in on stuff. For example, sometimes the actors would work with the writers once the writers kind of figured out what the actors' strengths were. Characters were written in such a way to capatalize on that. For example, Tom Baker had actually trained (studied? whatever) to be a monk. So they worked with that to make him more monk-like. (Monkey? Ha.) Also, I had heard that Douglas Adams did some writing for the show but I didn't know what era and for how long. Well it was one year. But I already forgot what era. Bah! Well, I can see into the future of space and time and I see an internet search in my future. Also! Apparently Christopher Eccleston (the ninth Doctor) and DW writer Russell T. Davies had worked together before Doctor Who! (OMG! An exclamation point about that fact! It's because Russell T. Davies is truly a gifted writer, I think, anyway.) When the two of them worked together, they did a TV mini series called "The Second Coming" (which as of eleven minutes ago is at the top of the Netflix queue instead of me having to wait 3 million years to get it because my queue is so long). Aha! So it makes sense that Eccleston would end up being the Doctor.
So there were a few guys there who I wondered where they might fall on the Asperger Syndrome-Nerd spectrum (I know, this is a highly debated issue as discussed in at least 2 different non-fiction books we sell at work with the word Nerd in the title, go Google that if you need more info, people have written so much about nerds and how they tie into Asperger Syndrome these days there's no need for me to rehash it here.) I kind of thought it was adorable. There was a hilarious moment where two guys had Tom Baker scarf replicas and they unrolled them to see who had the longer scarf, and the minute they whipped those out I hit record on my camera. I feel like this is a comedy sketch that writes itself if you just think to yourself "Size does matter":
And then it was on. One guy had a tiny Dalek he brought and kept pressing the speech button for everybody to hear what it was saying and it was all tinny sounding and we couldn't tell what it was saying, and he just kept pressing it. Then people started whipping out their I-phones and showing each other their DW-related applications: a Sonic Screwdriver sound, a Dalek speak app, a TARDIS sound. I think maybe Joe's Dalek tattoo and David Tennant coat might have topped everybody though. I was ready to whip out my I-pod with the really awesome Parry Gripp Doctor Who song but it was tucked away in my coat so I nixed the idea. Anyway, the show and tell scarf thing killed me. I neglected to announce that Joe used to have one but it got lent out for a friend's movie and never made it back, so I got him a replacement for Xmas. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to document with more photos here:
And then it was time to go. While waiting for the bus I noticed that the way Joe was standing in the bus stop terminal, he was standing in front of an ad with Suze Orman that gave him a um Suze Orman-ish glow, which was killing me, so I took pictures and laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up, especially because Joe looked like he was Suze Orman in a Doctor Who coat, and it just started to get more and more preposterous by the second:
Then on the bus we took off our gloves and I challenged Joe to a duel. I flapped my gloves at him and said, "I challenge you to a duel! But with gloves. Just you with your gloves and me with my gloves, flapping them at each other." We decided that if we were going to have duel, it would have to be at a mutually convenient time. I said, "10:30 tomorrow? Oh no, I have a meeting. How about high noon?" Then when we pulled the string to request the next stop for the bus, I said, "What if the request for a bus stop was like you couldn't really be sure they would stop where you wanted them to? Like it was actually just a request, like when you call up a radio station and request a song and they go, "OK, we'll try to get to your request"?" By the time I got home I was ready to collapse from the whole ordeal but instead ate a Hostess chocolate pie that some houseguests left there.
1:31am! Thank god I am off tomorrow!