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The religious value of Doctor Who

I'm still working my way through Doctor Who, so I'm not quite as hardcore a fan of the show as Natalie Reed, but I do like her take on its appeal. And I particularly like her way of describing how fandom can fill all of the useful functions of religion without the demand for factual belief:

There's one thing where I never feel like that, though. One bit of geek culture that I do feel utterly, truly, stupidly passionate about. One thing that allows me to wholly and completely understand what it is to geek out over a relatively silly little bit of pop culture, to be a fan, to be part of a fandom, to understand a canon in and out and actually care about those details, to have this mutual language and set of metaphors and stories and myths and reference points and means of understandings things through this narrative that you all, the fandom, know and understand together... to be part of a community that way, and connect with a story so strongly. I mean, hell... it's pretty much exactly like religion, and meets the exact same social, cultural and psychological needs (myth, metaphor, community, morality, ritual, art), just without all the danger and harm that comes along with literal belief, absolute authority and insistence upon faith. The bit of sci-fi that does this for me, and allows me to feel all this genuinely? It's the answer I provide whenever anyone asks me whether I prefer Star Wars or Star Trek:

Doctor Who.

This is very similar, I think, to the take on Harry Potter fandom that I wrote about earlier.


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