Guest Post by Simon Watkins
Earlier, in my conclusion to our Chalk & Cheese review, I said ‘just for the record, I love Doctor Who, I think it’s a wonderful programme – I am a fully fledged bonafide fan. Looking at some of the social networking activity over the last week, you’d think that being a fan was only about being positive about a show. That fans must only say nice things, or according to some, they’re not proper fans. To those less than enlightened individuals I say firstly “sod off!”. And follow this up with; “You don’t get to define what a fan is.”’ It got me thinking…
An opinion on whether an episode of a TV show was any good, or whether it entertained me, is involuntarily anyway.
It says a lot about the state of the things, if people are expected to force themselves to like an episode against their will. Doctor Who is a pretty eclectic show that can’t possibly be all things to all men every week. It can be wonderful one week, then the next it can serve us up rubbish like this, or to quote a famous video blogger; ‘when it’s good it is fantastic, but when it’s bad it’s absolutely terrible’.
Nobody should need to deny this, and it’s important to be true to each of our own honest opinions. I happen to hate the direction Moffat is currently taking the show, that’s if the last 4 episodes is any indication, and to mindlessly and unconditionally heap praise on garbage like The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar, due to some form of Good Fan duty, is not being a good evangelist for the show – quite the opposite. The entire furore over this episode by the usual weirdos who have been patrolling Facebook and Twitter this last week, slagging off fans for having the audacity to dislike an episode of Doctor Who, smacks of “I demand you agree with me” and nothing good can ever come from embarking down that road. What’s even driving this? Are they in denial themselves anyway? Are they just not well-adjusted enough to tolerate another viewpoint?
I honestly don’t know the answer, but I will say that if you honestly enjoyed these last two episodes, I might not agree with your view, but I’m actually happy for you. And am certainly not going to start demanding you agree with my position, or question your abilities of discernment. But if you didn’t like it, I repeat, don’t be bullied into pretending otherwise.