In one semester, Belmont juniors Ben Neumayer and Joel David hooked dozens of Belmont students on longtime British sci-fi series “Doctor Who” – even though the BBC series about intergalactic time travel isn’t televised on campus.
“It started with five people just sitting in my dorm room, crowded on a futon, and turned into a Facebook group,” Neumayer said. “Other people found out about it, and just started joining. Now it’s filled with complete nerds like ourselves who are giant Doctor Who fans.”
In one semester, more than 50 students joined the campus Facebook fan group idolizing the 50-year-old series that rebooted in 2005. Now, the group has topped 75 members, many who actively contribute to the page.
The group’s wall is filled with inside jokes, debates and theories over what will happen in next episode, and where fellow students can access episodes of “Doctor Who” or organize watch parties like the one that attracted 35 people last year.
Because many people access the show by watching episodes online , the Internet has had a major impact on the growing popularity of Doctor Who in America. Mandie Guy, a member of the group, said fans are getting hooked on the show because people share it with their friends online.
“People are like ‘Oh I wonder what this is, and why is everyone talking about it?” she said. “They start watching it and all of a sudden, you are a giant Whovian.”
The growing popularity of “Doctor Who” can also be contributed to America glorifying the ‘geek persona’, said David, one of the administrators of the group.
“With things like Star Wars and Star Trek now becoming okay to like without being a ‘nerd’, it would make sense that a show like “Doctor Who” would take off,” he said.
David said the show itself became appealing to college students because of its fantasy and historic themes, as well as the characters such as the Doctor and his companions.
“Plus, there’s a part of everyone that wants to be a super hero, whether that’s Spiderman, Batman, or the Doctor,” he said. “And the Doctor is more relatable than some genetically altered brat.”