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    Posted November 11, 2013 by
    Easley, South Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    ‘Doctor Who’ turns 50

    More from JRabon1600

    A "Fantastic" Fandom and Friends


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JRabon1600 told me, ' For the longest time the fandom was confined to the United Kingdom, but took a foothold here when public television and other stations began to broadcast reruns with Jon Pertwee then Tom Baker and their successors. During this time I think the fandom was pretty insular, but dedicated. Doctor Who had more of a cult status and was considered something for pure nerds. Even before I started watching, VHS tapes of Tom Baker’s episodes were in the public library, but you couldn’t find them in a store. I think the lack of major network support, low-budget special effects, limited market, and the attitude towards nerds and geeks kept it from growing in the United States, even while becoming a cultural institution in Britain. The new series certainly changed all that since the BBC really put their weight behind Doctor Who, giving it more support than it ever had in the past. The new show kept up with the times while increasing the quality of special effects and the depth of the stories. The market for the show also increased thanks to technology, first broadcast in the States on Syfy and then BBC America, not to mention Netflix, iTunes, and others. I think this helped Doctor Who reach an even broader audience and bolstered the fandom. You go to any Doctor Who convention now and you see thousands of fans of all ages and walks of life. Doctor Who isn’t simply a guy thing or a girl thing, old or young, classic or new series. It’s for everyone. Like many shows, films, and comics, it’s really become a mainstream cultural phenomenon.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    I started watching the show thanks to the British Media Track at Dragon*Con and its telly night in 2006. The first episode I saw was "School Reunion" with David Tennant and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, the Third/Fourth Doctor's companion. Well, I was hooked immediately and when I got home I bought Series One with Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor.

    How I got to do the Ninth Doctor was that I remembered seeing a lot of Tenth Doctor cosplayers at Dragon*Con, but no Nines. Coming off watching Eccleston's season, I felt like his Doctor needed some love and so I put together the costume for Halloween. Over the years I've changed the jacket a couple times, then added a fake Roman nose and a wart.

    I've done the character every year of Dragon*Con since for a total of seven years. I've made a lot of great friends in the cosplay group Prydon Academy and beyond. Being a part of a group like that is really like having this great extended family. That's something the show has given me that is unlike anything I get from other shows.

    Now I'm a well-recognized Ninth Doctor cosplayer across the southeast and at Gallifrey One in Los Angeles, but the friends I've made are the most worthwhile part of fandom for me. For anyone who wants to see what "fantastic" antics I get into next or follow my creative projects, check out my cosplay page on Facebook--Agent Doctor (https://www.facebook.com/DoctorJohnsCosplay).
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