The effects of evolving fan practices on the revival of Doctor Who
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In the nearly 60 years since Doctor Who first aired in 1963, fandom and fan practices have not only evolved, but moved into the mainstream culture. Collecting and preserving information, and creating melodramatic fanfiction that explores the emotions of the characters, are now commonplace practices across a wide number of properties. This thesis examines this intersection between fandom and industry production using Doctor Who as a case study. Throughout Doctor Who’s original run, fans focused on archival practices as means of preserving the series. Today, fans draw on these archives to both watch and rewatch the series, which has led to an increased emphasis on continuity and the history of both the series and the characters. Fanworks, such as fanfiction often added dimension to the characters, exploring their emotions and psychology. This fan influence, in conjunction with the growing influence of American melodrama and seriality on television, can be seen in the Doctor Who revival. Additionally, the fans themselves who grew up watching the original series have become industry professionals who use their status as fans both in production and in the marketing of the series as a means of authentication as experts who best understand the property. Ultimately, I demonstrate how fandom and fan practices can color production and what that means for the television industry.