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The Article

Doctor Who And... The Importance Of Being Kind
By Doctor Who Online

In light of recent events, I wanted to write about a subject that has been increasingly important to me; being kind. Not just because it's what the 12th Doctor told us to do, but because now, perhaps more than ever, it's vital to our wellbeing.

Back in 2017, when Jodie Whittaker was revealed to be playing the 13th Doctor, I have to admit, I was a little shocked. I was comfortable in my bubble of male Doctors - as it had always been that way and why should it change?... Nevertheless, I was open to the fact that this was a new direction and I was genuinely excited.

Skip forward to 2020, and with two seasons under her belt, I'm loving Jodie's Doctor and Doctor Who just as much as ever - more than I could have possibly imagined, in fact.

Running a Doctor Who fan site isn't an easy job. As well as keeping up (as best we can) with all the latest news stories, we also have an online forum and a busy Twitter account to manage, and Twitter in particular, requires a lot of...ahem... extra attention...

When the news broke about Jodie taking over the role, I'd never seen so many negative comments and truly vile attacks at the casting news. As days became weeks, and the negativity died down, the majority of comments were happy, excited messages of support for her, but those few negative comments started to niggle away at me. Somehow they started to feel personal; like an attack on Jodie was an attack on my own love for the show.

Bear in mind, by this point, all anyone had to go on was a 60-second clip - only 12 seconds of which *actually* showed Jodie's face. What it boiled down to was that some fans didn't like the fact the Doctor was now a woman, and a small portion of those felt the need to pour anger and hatred into their online expression.

Even now, almost 3 years since that reveal video, we will post a 'Happy Birthday Jodie' tweet (on her actual birthday, of course) or share a tweet on something she has done for charity, and I can guarantee you there will always be one person who has to turn it into an attack on her casting or the show in its current form. It gets tiring, and whilst being at the front of a fan site means you have to deal with it, it doesn't mean it gets easier to constantly put up with such negativity. Because it really doesn't. In fact it's bloody hard.

I've always believed that if you are a fan of something, even if there are bits that you occasionally don't like, then you are generally supportive of it. We are, after all, fans not critics. That's not to say we can't be critical from time to time, but as a show that has been running in some form throughout most of our lives, it's a constant that we love and support.

Which leads me to the point of this post; being kind. At the end of the day, it's a choice, right? We can either choose to sit and dwell and be generally negative or we can choose to be positive and give something a go.

A few weeks ago all our lives changed...no, not because Season 12 ended, but because of Coronavirus, or COVID-19 to give it it's true serial code. Shops closed, schools closed, the economy tumbled, we're mostly confined to our homes and, most importantly of all, people have gotten sick and in worst cases, have died.

Kindness has NEVER been more important. Look around your community and you'll see people who have gone out their way to help those in less fortunate situations than our own - perhaps you are one of those people and have benefitted from other's kindness. No matter what side you are on, it is an undeniable fact that kindness has been a wonderfully positive force in this negative time.

When we heard that Emily Cook of DWM was putting together global rewatches of Doctor Who episodes to help spread positivity, it was such a wonderful thing to see. Fans from all over the world got together to watch 'The Day Of The Doctor' at the same time. We all supported the show, and, more importantly - each other.

THIS is the best of fandom. Its love, its support, its kindness.

Site Editor - Doctor Who Online

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© Copyright Doctor Who Online, 2020.
Page Updated: 2/4/2020

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