Tribes and Dr/Doctor

Recently I went to see a Dr Who movie at the cinema. It might actually be called Doctor Who. I’m not really sure and that was part of the problem.

I went to see it because I had never been to see a movie at the British Film Institute in London and I quite fancied collecting that experience. There was a chat on Twitter about it and I like Dr/Doctor Who, so I thought I’d give it a bash.

When I say ‘I like Dr Who’ I really mean that. I settle down to watch it with my wife and some Pringles on Saturday nights. If we miss an episode life goes on. My wife and I have an informal arrangement that if I meet one of the assistants in real life I am allowed to marry them. I can’t name episodes or characters and I don’t watch spin offs or get magazines.

If Dr Who were to clash with Spurs playing or Wales in the rugby – no contest. I’m watching sport.

So I turned up at the cinema and saw the following things

– An unruly crowd, turning ugly at the prospect of not being able to get their tickets quickly enough to catch the movie
-a grown man swearing loudly and repeatedly, after he had failed to persuade someone that I couldn’t recognise to give him an autograph
-almost everyone except me had a uniform. For some this was explicit, tshirt or long scarves – for others it was more a subtle uniform that meant you could pick them out as a type

I thought ‘it’s OK, watch the movie and scarper. You don’t belong here’.

I settled down in my seat and then an hour long panel discussion on ‘Dr Who the wilderness years’ started . People whooped and cheered at the group on stage. I had no clue who they were.

At this point I switched my people watching mode on and noticed a few things

– I saw these people as sad lonely Sci Fi outcasts with a minority passion. In fact I was the outsider who didn’t belong
-their passion was genuine and their enthusiasm wonderful to watch. It reflected badly on me that I was so cynical about it.
– I resented being the outsider. That was what was leading to my sneering and unfair judgement. I felt out of place in the environment and was desperately reaching for some kind of superiority to justify it

I’m not saying all this translates straight back to work – but it was a magnified version of what happens in life. We dismiss that which we don’t feel part of.

I put my preconceptions to one side and listened to the panel debate. I enjoyed it. Then I watched the film. I enjoyed it. Then they announced another panel debate and I thought this is getting ridiculous and left.

A glimpse into someone else’s world is intriguing, educating and energising. It doesn’t mean you need to live there but it does mean you are more likely to appreciate it.

PS – Now with added Simon Heath genius

5 thoughts on “Tribes and Dr/Doctor

  1. Aren’t people fascinating!! I see some chimp paradox at work here (have you read that?). Chimp feels threatened by being with strange tribe (a bit of fight ‘I’m better than these people’ and flight ‘I should just leave’ going on), human settles chimp and tells him it’s ok, human experiences the situation with a logical, balanced perspective. And human makes the choice to leave at the end. Great post as ever David!


  2. I expect the Cybermen were playing mind tricks on you. Or was it the Ice Monsters? Nope – it was the Yeti with the Zygons and the Green Death in support. The Daleks would have turned out to play too, but as you know the cinema is downstairs….


  3. I feel you were probably right in your instinctive reaction against the ” grown man swearing loudly and repeatedly, after he had failed to persuade someone that I couldn’t recognise to give him an autograph” – passion is one thing, but bad manners are still bad manners …


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