I mean, I'm only (relatively) new, even if I have gone and thrown myself into it whole-heartedly, and even I can feel the weight of the past - not just the stories, but the fandom itself. It has anecdotes and rivalries and disputes and grudges going back decades.
And more than that, I don't think I have ever seen a fandom in which the line between fan and creator has been so heavily blurred.
You should have seen the look on my face when I first headed into the OG, and found posts by the actual writers of the show. It's just...amazing. That the people who make something like this can be so closely tied to the people who most enjoy it (and, of course, it's harshest critics).
The interactions between fan and creator is non-existant, almost. When the writers are fans and among fans, when you can chat away to someone who's work you admire so much and it is no big deal...
Perhaps it's just the fandoms I come from, the way they are so big and distant, and the idea of meeting the people involved is almost impossible, except under certain circumstances. Particularly for someone who lives on an entirely different continent to most of the people I fangirl.
But Doctor Who fandom...
It still makes me giddy at times.
It still makes me gape.
It still makes my jaw drop, and want to laugh at the sheer, insane, brilliance of it all.
Just this afternoon, I headed over to the OG, just to see what the current news and throughts were. I wasn't feeling my best, I felt like a distraction for a while.
And, I got that little pop-up, you know the one, telling me I had a Private Message.
From Rob Shearman.
Yeah, that Rob Shearman.
Now, I know some people on my flist have some issues with Dalek, and it isn't exactly on the top of their episode rankings. But that was the episode that made me go from, "Yeah, I like this show, I'm looking forward to next week," to "Sweet Jesus, someone get me the rest of the episodes NOW!"
So, as you can expect, I was somewhat surprised by this situation.
Anyway, I go and read through the PM - He's a nice bloke. Rather funny, too - and he mentions that he was just messing around with one of those Blog Search thingies, and he entered his own name. And my LJ came up (I linked to a post he made at the OG in my last Links List).
And so he came and had a look at the post. He read my livejournal post.
Let me repeat that for clarity: ROB SHEARMAN READ MY LIVEJOURNAL POST.
And it wasn't just a quick glance at what I said about him, either (though he mentions being very flattered that I recommended a post of his as entertaining). He found some of the fanfic I linked to very funny (Should I add "The Writer's Choice" or something to my next Links List. "Used by people from the actual production team"?)
And not just that, then he goes on to mention things that weren't even in that Links List. Chatting about the colour pink, and how people don't wear hats as much anymore.
Things that he could have only picked up on my interest in from other posts of mine. From the pink thing, I'd guess it's most likely the introduction post I link to in my userinfo.
Let me hammer that point in, yet again: ROB SHEARMAN HAS BEEN READING MY LIVEJOURNAL. And commenting about it.
I mean, I'm the girl who had a minor squeegasm when a fanfiction writer who I am a big fan of friended me back. So an actual writer of the actual canon not only sends me a message, but has been reading my LJ...
There are no words for that sort of thing.
And I am just sitting here, and I can't understand this. How is this happening? How is this real? The people who make the things you love, they don't do that, they are distant and far away, and untouchable.
They don't send you messages chatting about tiny, irrelevent things you mention on your LJ.
This fandom, it's too good to be true, it's surreal. This does not happen in the real world.
And it just happened to me.
I don't care how stupid and petty and wanky Doctor Who fandom can get, the fact that it has this potential, that it brings this possibility, that it takes the unreal and makes it real...
That is something to be cherished.
Thank you, Doctor Who. You've got me for life.