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I am giving serious consideration to banning myself from visiting the Doctor Who New Series News Page at Outpost Gallifrey. Not due to spoilers, since Shaun has set up a lovely little bit of html to put them behind a spoiler button. No, my problem is that each time there is a big bit of news I get stupidly excited and am unable to concentrate on my work. Losing an entire day of writing time because Christopher Eccleston gives his first interview about being the Doctor on BBC Breakfast with two nonentities on a sofa (or whatever it's called these days) is just not useful or productive. If I'm like this now, how much worse will I get when there is the inevitable Doctor in costume photo shoot in June/July? By which time I will be a scant month away from the deadline on two books. Maybe I need to move to Spain? Except that won't stop my using the internet to get the news...

Why do I get so distracted though? I think it must be the technology. When Davison, Baker and McCoy were announced, photoshot etc., I was a pre-teen or a teenager with no video and certainly no internet connection to fans. I could go to school the next day and discuss it but that was it. With McGann, I had a VCR (a toploader, mind, that the cat liked to sleep on) but had only just convinced the office that we ought to have some kind of internet connection. And, it being dial-up, I daren't spend too long looking at non-work stuff. I was also deeply, deeply cynical about the TVM. Not because it was American, or that it was 90 minutes or any of the rumours about the Doctor, I was so utterly cynical that I didn't really believe it was going to happen until the BBC started showing trailers. Online fandom was nascent, rec.arts.drwho seemed positively lovely compared to how it became and my main connections were via the printed fanzine world. We'd seen the tv show vanish, we'd had the various rumours of new shows, we'd hoped each one were true. So with McGann, I wanted to be excited but my experience told me not to believe anything until it was on-screen.

With Eccleston, I believe it. I can't believe it, in the sense that it's a good main writer, it's got good other writers, it's got a bloody excellent Doctor and it's being filmed by the BBC with a stupidly good budget a mere 2 hours from me. Yet the cynicism of the 90s has worn off and I can get excited before the series is actually on screen. And the level of instant communication with other fans means we can get into a spiral of rising enthusiasm very quickly (unless you go to the BBCi boards). Hence my total lack of focus and hence my horrified realisation that I may have to stop going to OG and its forum.

Posted @ 12:34 pm on Saturday, April 03, 2004
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