WE’RE COMING BACK – AND (IT SEEMS) NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON!
For those who have never been to one of our events, or perhaps never heard of us (?), it’s probably best that we start with an introduction.
The first ever Doctor Who convention in the world took place on Saturday 6th August 1977 in London (United Kingdom). Some of us were actually there! The following year the event took the name “PANOPTICON”, after
(1) the (then recently introduced) meeting hall of the Time Lords in the Capitol on Gallifrey, and
(2) the meaning of the word in the original Greek (“To See Everything”), which seemed fitting, given our intention to investigate all aspects of the BBCtv show and its production.
It then began its lengthy annual run (from 1977 through to, and including, 2003 – apart from a couple of ‘gap years’), helping to fill the ‘Dark Time’ between the end of the ‘Classic’ Series in 1989 and the beginning of the ‘New’ Series in 2005, at which point we felt the event had run its course.
But events within the worlds of Doctor Who over the last few years have led some of us to question that view. Frankly we are aghast and appalled at the increase in abusive, aggressive and exploitative behaviour ‘across the board’. For some time it’s been clear that, in the parallel evolution of social media generally, our favourite TV show itself, and its fandom specifically, some traditional values have suffered badly – notably calm, common sense, empathy, reason, tolerance and ’spiritual’ (as opposed to material) value.
Having ‘retired’ from active fandom many years ago, hitherto we have been unable to influence the situation directly. Well (to coin a phrase) – No more! To echo an even earlier quote (of the First Doctor), the day has come, and we are coming back!