There seems to be a wee bit of controversy over the new line-up of Doctor Who Magazine’s Time Team feature.
The controversy being that they are all young sexy handsome whippersnappers who don’t have a single grey hair between them. Or that is what most people assume is the issue.
If I were being cynical I might say that DWM are trying to aim themselves at a younger market, at those that already follow the current Time Team on that new fangled social media like Bebo or MySpace or RayGunBlastr…
It is not as simple as that or as what some would have you believe. I’ve read comments that the problem is that they are young or that “Why pick them? I can make snarky comments too” which misses the point. It isn’t their youth or snarkiness (they actually aren’t snarky) but rather the fact that the new ‘fresh’ team are only young.
A combined age of 264 years split between twelve and you get an average age of 22. The oldest is, at the time of writing, 26. This isn’t a real issue but how is this representative of DWM‘s readership?
I could understand if they had retooled the Time Team so as to introduce Classic Who (‘classic’, meh. It is all classic even the new stuff!) to the Rookie Whovians but even so, that shouldn’t stop them having some Greybeard Whovians to give their opinions. But no, the Time Team now only watch groups of themed episodes such as tearjerkers or first episodes. Urgh…
Kezia: (witty comment)
Christel: (interesting comment)
Miles: (interesting and witty comment)
Greybeard: During the War…
When I saw the new line-up, I felt, I don’t know, I felt off, it felt off to me. Not because of any particular reason. It is hard to explain. The fact that later that day I cried myself to sleep after seeing the ravages of age in my bathroom mirror is just a coincidence…
It was reported that some fans are planning on boycotting the magazine because of the Time Team’s ‘yoof’. I only know this because I saw Christel Dee’s comment about it being a slow news day when that fortress of journalistic integrity (sarcasm) the Mirror reported it. I thought she was being snotty but then again I can’t really blame her. Goodness knows how many trolls and fans mocked her over her saying she watches “a lot of classic Who on 1.5 speed”. Presumably she watches Pride and Prejudice with the finger on fast forward. Ahem.
I single out Miss Dee simply because she is the most well-known out of the new line-up. I should add that her role there plays more to her strengths than her cosplay articles because it shows off her personality that we all loved and enjoyed on The Fan Show. Her cosplay articles grew on me like bubblewrap painted green. Um, this is a compliment.
To some extent some of the trolls are jealous. Hell, I am jealous, not that I would have accepted a place on the team. I wonder how many people turned it down? Not many I’d wager.
I have seen people say of them that they are not proper fans presumably because none of them was born during the original 1963-89 run. Pish-posh, Greybeards! Now that is a truly snotty comment. A comment slicker than snot. A grotty snotty comment. Or to put it another way, just plain snobby. We are all fans no matter how old we are or aren’t, or what episodes we’ve seen or preference for either Classic or NuWho. I personally prefer the spin-off fiction and novelisations over the actual show but it doesn’t make me any less of a fan.
Saying that, a few days before the new line-up horrified/amazed the fandom, a Greybeard on Twitter tweeted that they were annoyed when Rookies said “Don’t skip Nine” when they skip One to Eight. I argues that it could be a daunting prospect for a new fan to sift through the older series. Which is why I applaud the new Time Team since they might be the gateway drug to Pertwee or Troughton or, heaven forbid, Dimensions in Time.
I enjoyed the new team. They didn’t really say or do anything wrong. I would just prefer a more varied range of ages rather than the cast of Grange Hill. However I feel that DWM are shooting themselves in the foot by not including any other demographic in a time when it is mainly the over-thirties who tend to purchase print media. the Time Team selection might hurt the magazine more than it helps. I hope not but it seems, from what I’ve read, possible.
I should add that DWM does cater to the Greybeards with interviews, features and articles about what the best type of slipper to wear when they are watching the new series on their black-and-white television boxes.
There should have been another way…