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For me, Doctor Who is the perfect example of stealth TV. I cannot remember exactly when I watched my first episode. Who crept into my consciousness with all of the slow inevitability of an Auton. I remember being mesmerized by an article in Time magazine as a kid describing Who and several other British sci-fi shows and wondering who in heck these aliens were. I now know they were an early iteration of Davros, an Osiran, a Zygon, and one or two others I have forgotten. I remember coming across pictures of Daleks and being creeped out before I even know what the Daleks were. [A monster is truly an effective monster when someone completely unfamiliar with them finds them terrifying.]


Since this was the heyday of the VCR (My family didn't have one. Of course.) I remember desperately trying to stay awake to watch Who at 1:30 a.m. on our local PBS channel – and usually failing dismally as I was an early bird in those days. But I do remember my first full episode: Planet of Evil. The eerily not-all-there anti-matter beast of Zeta-Minor still haunts my nightmares on occasion along with the tentacle monster from Space: 1999. But I digress...


Then, when I transitioned from solitary geek to true fan, I gave in and began my quest to watch all extant Doctor Who episodes. Of the original 155 Classic Who story arcs, I've watched exactly 104 [Thank goodness for my copy of Doctor Who The Television Companion which has a handy list – in proper order, mind you – and I can tick them off with a pencil.] And of course, I remember waiting with baited breath of the 2000 movie with McGann as the Eighth Doctor. And the fact that I watch New Who goes without saying.


My Who quest amuses my husband to no end; why I'm not precisely certain as he is a fellow Whovian. Maybe I remind him of when he was as obsessed with Who as I am? Maybe it just that I'm so enthusiastic? Who knows. Personally, I think he was more obsessed than I am as he admits to dressing up as the doctor (I still don't have pictorial proof of this and I live in eternal hope that someone will cough up a Polaroid or two.) and he got to meet Doctors 2 through 7. sigh


So needless to say, when I heard about the essay collection, Chicks Dig Time Lords, getting a copy was inevitable. Of course, the fact that I knew that several local writers who were contributors only added fuel to the fire. And I am pleased to say this volume has something for everyone. Since it is a collection of essays, you can dip in to it at any point without losing anything. I jumped from the tribute to Martha Jones, to the walk down memory lane by John Barrowman's sister to...the book reminds me of a kaleidoscope in that many different facets of female Doctor Who fen are revealed in all their glory and sans stereotypes. And sometimes the stereotypes come up for dissect...er, discussion. To me, this is a good thing as it accurately portrays just how complex Who Chicks are; 'bout the only thing that unifies us is that we love Who – anything else is up for grabs. I loved reading about fen whose experiences were similar to mine; but I loved reading about those who came to Who from a completely different angle even more as they expanded my view of what the Doctor and his universe is, was, can, and may be by orders of magnitude. Maybe that crack in the universe this season is really one in my brain...


Personal faves include Carole Barrowman's description of how she made her brother stand outside a department store to make certain the mannequins weren't Autons, Johanna Mead's piece on costuming (And yeah, you could say it is a drug.), Francesca Coppa's tribute to Nyssa, the interview with Sophie Aldred, as well as the essays Jody Lynn Nye, Seanan McGuire, Kate Orman, Catherynne Valente...oh just go pick it up and read it as there is something for everyone – whether you prefer Classic to New Who, whether you agree or disagree on various regenerations or companions, old or new whatever...well this book pretty much explains why we're hopelessly devoted to Who.


Recommended for: all (female) Who fans and those who strive to understand us.


Oh, any be sure to check out tw_babiez: sick, twisted and oh, so right!

Comments

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classicwhoblog
Jul. 9th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
I got my copy at a book signing, so I actually got to meet some of the authors (and Katy Shuttleworth, the artist of Torchwood Babiez). They were all awesome and launched some pretty intense discussions. Also, I've probably read "Marrying into the TARDIS Tribe" about 10 times by now. Needless to say, this book is awesome.
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