However, rewind back to a time before Moffat and Capaldi departed from Doctor Who, and think of what was being said regarding the series. One could argue that the constant complaints amongst the fandom was the poor writing, especially from God Almighty himself, Steven Moffat. Another complaint came from the fan girls of the show, as they saw their handsome, young, stud-McDoctor, Matt Smith leave the show, only to be replaced by Peter Capaldi. Is Peter going to have a Scottish accent? Why replace good old Matty with an old actor? These and many more were the points of concern and contention among Doctor Who fans regarding the previous change in Doctors. While personally I believe the Capaldi era struggled immensely because of poor writing, I believe it finally clicked on all cylinders during series 10. Though I cannot speak for every Doctor Who fan, I believe it was series 10 and also the news of Capaldi, and Moffat to some extent, leaving the show which sparked worry and concern, because fans finally decided that they could accept an older Doctor, and now things were changing.
I once said on a previous podcast with Liam, that my biggest concern regarding the Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall era was that any weakness in series 11 would fall primarily on the shoulders of Jodie. My rational for this believe was how quickly the fans were to be either all-in or state that she is "not my Doctor." I also stated on a podcast that with Jodie comes the following concern: "Either you like her because she's the first woman Doctor, and she did a fantastic job, or you don't like her because you choose not to acknowledge a Female Doctor (which is very short sided). Still, you could say that you like Jodie's Doctor, because you fear that by not saying you like her will make you look or sound sexist. Or further, you don't like Jodie because you she doesn't work as The Doctor. However, it is my belief (both now and in the past) that the latter option will generally be not believed by fandom." Additionally, both myself and Liam discussed that if there was any fault in series 11, it wouldn't come from Jodie, as she is a stellar actress, it would be in part of the writing and storyline. Fast-forward to present time, and lo and behold it was the writing (and perhaps the crowded TARDIS) was the issue.
Now back to the toxicity in the fandom of Doctor Who. One could argue that social media is to blame for the toxic atmosphere that has taken hold of a show that I believe all of you who read this post, at least at one time, use to love and enjoy. Yet, pointing the finger directly at social media is taking the onus off of the Doctor Who fans on both sides of the isle. Think back to when the classic Doctor Who series began to get toxic, did they have social media accounts in the late 70's early 80's? No. Part of what is happening is that the young fans of Doctor Who, those that were children or preteens when the series came back in 2005, are now 14 years older now than they were during the RTD era. Well if you look at those fans that were toxic in the late 70's early 80's, they too were young, preteens during the initial run of the series back in the 1960's. These fans too grew up and became toxic, and although they did not have social media back then, the toxicity was still prevalent. To see how JNT handled that, look no further than the 7th Doctor story The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, where JNT created a parody of an annoying fan, Whizz Kid, and had that character killed during that story. Additionally, watch the special features found on the 4th Doctor story The Deadly Assassin, as it features fans criticizing the show's partial of Time Lords, and Time Lord interaction.
Another contributor to the toxicity of fandom is how mainstream Doctor Who has become. Similarly to Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (to name a few), both original series, Doctor Who had their secret fan base. Now that you have Doctor Who as being part of popular culture, you have the original fan base, that cares about canon and continuity from the William Hartnell era all the way to the present. Whereas many modern fans only see five feet in front of them, Christopher Eccleston to the present. Yet oddly, some of the modern fandom decide to pick and choose what they are willing to accept or even watch. Some focus on only the Moffat era of Doctors 11 and 12, others like 10 and 11, and still some only like 12. Picking and choosing fandom is similarly to what many of my young students do with sports teams. They are die hard fans of team X, until their favorite player leaves team X for team Y, then all of a sudden, these students are not and have never been fans of team X, they've always liked team Y, and will continue to do so, until their favorite play leaves for team Z, or in some instances, returns to team X.
For me fandom in the shows I watch, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, and much more is similar with my love and allegiance towards my favorite sports teams. My love of both goes beyond the man who plays a particular character, or is currently on my team, because here's a shocker for you, that player will not always be there, or if he is, may not be always that good. When you love something, and are devoted to it, you take the good with the bad, discuss, debate, even cry out of frustration, but there's still hope that one day, that show or team will be back to what it was in its glory days. But if it doesn't, talk, discuss, debate what you like, and what needs improvement, and what you'd like to see in the future. Because if you cannot....get another hobby or interest, and leave all that like it alone.
I end with this, and highlight the second to last sentence in the previous paragraph. Discussing and debating likes and dislikes, changes and what not, is so enjoyable. Opinions, though at times might be a bit annoying, are still simply one's own thoughts on a subject. Do I believe that you should be toxic for toxics sake, absolutely not. But should these opinions be shut down completely...no. As unpopular as they are, it is still someones opinion. Intentionally hurtful and harmful speak that causes one to feel unsafe are out of line, and should be reported. But one of my biggest concerns regarding fandom of sports, TV and movies series, or even politics for that matter, is the lack of dialogue. If you disagree...okay, state why. If you think someone is saying something sexist or racist, don't infer, ask...dialogue with that person, but don't label without confirmation. And if you still disagree, try seeing their views from their perspective. Though we are all human, we don't all have the same life experience, background, home environment, etc. As far as I am aware of, nobody has been upgraded to human 2.0 yet (cyberized). If that individual is what you think they are, if it is that egregious, report them, block them on social media. But to do that, just because they don't have the same opinion as you....that sounds like my young 8 year-old students saying to me, "Hey Mr. Williams, he looked at me funny."
The Twitter post on the left was what caused the initial reaction by another twitter account, the ones on the right are the responses on that account to the screen shots from the @NotMyDoctorP account. Neither side represents my opinion, as my opinion revolves around being tolerant and proactive regarding dialogue.
To see the posts in their entirety click on the following link. It was not my intention to take ANYTHING out of context, I merely looked to highlight what I believe is the issue at hand