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    Posted November 17, 2013 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    ‘Doctor Who’ turns 50

    Cosplay and Friends


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     jhstack told me, 'The show's biggest impact, in my mind, is its unifying power. It has given me something in common with a large swath of my friend base, and it has enabled me to join conversations with people who would otherwise be strangers.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    My first experience with The Doctor was in college. Well, maybe a little before college. The summer before I started college (June - August 2008), I went on a sizable family bar/bat mitzvah tour in Israel, and one of the places we stayed was a kibbutz. As my brother and I were relaxing in our room, I flipped on the TV to see The Tenth Doctor with a horse on a spaceship ("The Girl In The Fireplace"), and I almost knew what I was watching, as if it was deja vu or preja vu. My brother wanted to change the channel, but we had to head out.
    Zipping ahead to college, I had a decent-sized group of friends, some from the dorm hall, others from the radio station and extracurriculars, others from classes, and some who overlapped between those categories. I consider two of those friends, Matt and Katherine, to be instrumental at getting me into 'Doctor Who'. The curly-haired Matt was a geeky man-child who always carried a Sonic Screwdriver in his messenger bag, along with a card game or two and had piles of graphic novels in his dorm room. He was probably more influential, now that I think about it. I don't remember if we all plopped down to watch an episode or two, but before long, I was settling down with Saturday night repeats on the local PBS affiliate, which might have aired the episodes in some order, or it might not have; if anything, it was mostly Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) episodes, like "The Shakespeare Code".
    Since freshman year (2008), I fully caught up on "New Who" and have watched the new episodes as they've come, savoring each one and discussing it with friends, locally and around the world, thanks to social media. The Tenth Doctor has become my Doctor, so much so that he's become my cosplay default. I've gone to several PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) East conventions and handed out cookies in character, and spent three out of my four Halloweens in college as Ten (pictured above with Caroline (gender-swapped Eleven) and Sam (gender-swapped River Song); picture taken by Kim Merani), even if it got a little old. But, really, The Doctor and the show will never get old; they'll just regenerate.
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