This summer saw the introduction of a new type of related media in ‘Doctor Who: The Fan Show.’
‘The Fan Show’ is a weekly YouTube series hosted by fangirl Christel Dee, featuring fan and cast member interviews, visits to the set, trips to events, discussions of fan-made and licensed spin-off media, and so on. It’s also an interesting blend of fanwork and official, an area where the BBC is breaking new ground.
Dee shares in an early episode that she was asked to audition for the show after BBC bigwigs saw her own YouTube productions. She was already doing the work – in the same way that Alice XZ was already painting portraits of DW characters – and the BBC decided to stamp it with their approval and support. They didn’t have to; other networks prefer to intimidate this type of fan, as if they were some kind of threat. The BBC chooses to put their fannish energy to work, for everyone’s benefit.
‘The Fan Show’ is a lot of fun. It’s full of silliness and squee. It engages other fans in its creative play, from Minecraft-style titles to cosplay and cakes. I enjoyed its off-season run immensely.
Now that the real show is back, ‘The Fan Show’ has taken on a new format. Dee sits down each week with fellow fans to discuss that week’s episode. Participants so far have been shameless in their approval. However, fans who feel differently are not left out: in last week’s episode, Dee read an assortment of less-than-delighted tweets for her guests to refute as best they could. It’s a show by fans for fans, but I think it tries to be as all-inclusive as it can.
Personally, I love it. But that’s the kind of fan I am. 🙂