I admit — I entered the Zinema’s “Doctor Who 101” with some trepidation. The organizer is the sharp, innovative Tony M., the real engine behind the Zinema for some time. (I know there was another architect, but frankly, some architects are engineers, while Tony is an artist, breathing life).
Still, while Tony has been the friendly face and passionate soul, his Dr. Who cred was thin, at least from a distance. After all, he looks too young even to remember classic Dr. Who at the time of its initial broadcast. And these Johnny-come-lately Who fans bug me. In the early 1980s, I watched with trepidation as PBS aired the final Tom Baker episodes. I struggled to stay awake at a friend’s house, long into the night, to watch the earliest William Hartnell episodes on – the first US station to carry them, at least in the midwest. And as I knitted my 22′ scarf, I has no idea that my classmates would later use it to tie me to a playground fence.
You see, there was nothing Cool about Who fandom at the time. We were, at best, wobbly PBS Saturday night fodder. Not funny, like Monty Python. Not military, like Star Trek. Not epic, like Star Wars.
Imagine a nerd so nerdy, Star Trek fans could make fun of us. That is what it meant to be a Whovian in the 1980s.
So Tony, no doubt not yet a gleam in anyone’s eye in 1980, had a tough audience in me.
Dr. Who 101, then, was a well-researched and articulate introduction to the 50-year legacy of Dr. Who. Errors were minor and did not detract from the point. And learning was powerful. The presentation was dynamic and well-researched. And the minimum of 80 nerds assembled were edified, educated, and entertained.
See you there next week?