Understanding Doctor Who Part VIII: Doctor Who Primer A-M

Being a primer of terms understood by Doctor Who fans and meaningless to everyone else.

Anorak: What Doctor Who fan stereotypes are supposed to be wearing all the time. The equivalent of Spock ears. Maybe this is because they once all stood in line outside in the cold for a week at the first Who convention. Gotta keep warm somehow. (See Longleat)

Behind the Sofa: Where kids are supposed to be watching the program from, for protection. No home in the UK pushes the sofa against the wall.

Children in Need: An annual telethon in the UK. Though I'm sure it's a great charity, mostly important here for its Doctor Who contributions, such as the anniversary show The Five Doctors, the parody Dimensions in Time, and the short segments that fit between New Who's season finales and that year's Christmas special.

Dalekmania: The idea that in the 60s, the Daleks were second in popularity only to the Beatles.

Enemy Within: Whenever you don't know what to call an episode, try this title for size. The creators usually did. It might be the 1996 tv movie's title.

Freak Weather Conditions: Why in the Whoniverse there's snow in one scene and green grass in the next, and why there's never ever any real snow at Christmas.

Gay Agenda: Russell T Davies' habit of inserting gay characters and gay innuendo in New Who. Fans don't know that the show was almost retitled Queer as TARDIS.

Hanky Panky in the TARDIS: What everyone old enough to think such things thought was happening once the Doctor became young Peter Davison. Shudder to think what those same people think of Tennant.

...ish: Some say, the single most divisive Doctor Who audio. You either love it or loathe it. Pretty much how many Whovians treat every single thing about Doctor Who.

JNT: Short for John Nathan-Turner, producer of Doctor Who throughout the 80s. Right up there with George Lucas and Jeff Loeb when it comes to clueless decisions.

Katy Manning and that Dalek: Famous nude photos of the actress who played the Pertwee Doctor's companion Jo Grant posing with a Dalek. Girls love the bad boys. Created the false expectation that we could one day see all the companions' naughty bits.

Longleat: Woodstock to British Who fans of the 80s. In the interminable cues to this 1983 convention were born tons of fan projects and contacts were made that would impact Who to this day. It's what happens when you expect only a couple thousand people to show and tens of thousands do instead.

Monsters: Once the Daleks broke the seal, it became progressively more difficult to do a Doctor Who story without a monster of the week. Even if the Daleks were already in it (the Slyther, anyone?). But do the kids cower behind the sofa because of the French Revolution? No. (See Pure Historical).

Those that know their alphabets know this is... to be continued!


De said...

I don't suppose there are any Katy Manning-ish pics of Nicola Bryant around?

Anonymous said...

anorak is a general term for geek in Britain. I think it derives from trainspotters, the stereotype of which would wear anoraks while they drank from flasks in dismal weather awaiting trains to pass for them to note down

Siskoid said...

De: Plenty of sexy pics of course, but nothing like that.

Anon: I might have boiled it down a little too much, but yes, that's exactly what I've heard.

Austin Gorton said...

Is "anorak" (the jacket, not the slang term) a British thing, or am I just clueless?

Because I've always called such items parkas, and with almost the entirety of my Dr. Who knowledge coming from Siskoid in the last couple weeks' worth of post here, have never heard the term before.

Siskoid said...

Yep, it's Brit for a parka.

Anonymous said...

You mean the Dimensions In Time special?

The Five Doctors was the 25th Anniversary episode. I don't think it was a Children in Need event.

Anonymous said...

Love your JNT comparison too!

Colin said...

Dimesnions in Time was made specifically for Children in Need; The Five Doctors wasn't, but just happened to be broadcast on that night.

The Curse of Fatal Death, however was made for Comic Relief, and broadcast in March (not November) 1999.

Siskoid said...

What Colin said (and fixed). Its appearance here should in no way condone Dimensions in Time.

mwb said...

"Created the false expectation that we could one day see all the companions' naughty bits."

Bah, you're a destroyer of dreams, sir!

Jack Norris said...

Do you have "Doctor Who: the Completely Useless Encyclopedia"? These days, after years of things like television without pity et al, its brand of snark may not seem all that new or clever, but back when I first found it, I thought it was pretty funny.
Longleat! Back in 1984, I actually made something of a pilgrimage to the permanent exhibit there, taking a day away from family during a vacation in London and shelling out for a bus tour that included about three other tourist sites, because that's the only way I could get there.

Siskoid said...

Yes, I own the original edition.

Only now are some of its jokes becoming understandable.

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