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Time-traveling, regenerating Doctor Who has his own JU fan club!

Wave Weekly recently had a chance to ask Jacksonville University Web Manager Erick Stover, adviser to the JU Doctor Who Fan Club, and JU student Ashley Rodriguez, club president, a little about the group, the long-running TV show and the first club meeting Oct. 5: 

How’d the first meeting go? How many attended? 

Erick Stover: About a dozen. It was a bit of planning for the upcoming year. We also talked about Hurricane Who, a Doctor Who convention coming to Orlando next month. Then there was a trivia contest. 

Ashley Rodriguez: We discussed things such as what direction we wanted to take the club, how we wanted to handle our finances, and all sorts of timey-wimey things. 

So what’s so great about Doctor Who, anyway? 

ES: The show is a great combination of humor, drama, romance and sometimes even horror (especially lately). It’s just a fun show that doesn’t have a lot of the pretentiousness and social commentary that Star Trek is known for. It’s a geeky show for people who might not identify themselves as geeks. It constantly stays fresh as well due to the “regeneration” aspect. One ability of his alien heritage is that every time The Doctor dies, instead of just dying, he regenerates into a new look and personality. This allows them to bring on a whole new actor and writing crew every few years to keep things interesting. Right now they’re on the 11th version of The Doctor. 

AR: Doctor Who is just a great show! It’s engaging, exciting and downright awesome! It has time travel, space travel, all the traveling you could want. It’s got bad guys, good guys, aliens and all sorts of creepy monsters. You get really attached to the characters and feel for them whenever anything bad goes wrong. 

Give us a quick description of the show.

ES: It’s a science fiction show about a time travelling alien that’s been on the air since 1963. The Doctor (the main character) travels through space and time with various companions and getting into all kinds of trouble. The Doctor abhors violence and prefers to fix problems using wit and cleverness, but that’s not to say he won’t get his hands dirty if there is no other choice. One of the most fun aspects of the show is seeing how The Doctor is able to work his way out of some pretty bad situations. 

AR: Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television series featuring The Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey whose adventures see him travel through time and space. Over the years, different actors have starred in the role, and to compensate for the realities of the television business, Time Lords were given the ingenious ability to regenerate their bodies when they die. Doctor Who also gives the viewer someone to connect to, a companion to the Doctor who’s usually human, since, well, the Doctor is an alien and therefore reacts oddly to situations at times. 

What’s it feel like helping run the club? 

ES: I’m enjoying the heck out of it. It’s more fun watching this stuff with a group. 

AR: It’s a great feeling knowing I was able to bring together Whovians from all across campus to share their interests in the show.

If you had to cross two shows together so they became Doctor Who, what would they be? 

ES: That’s a tough one. The problem is that the show has been on so long that most sci-fi shows out today are influenced by it. This show is truly in its own category. 

AR: Hmm… I suppose I’d say Star Trek and MacGyver. It has the space travel and discovery element of Star Trek and the ingenuity of MacGyver. The Doctor can figure out how to get out of just about any situation! Not to mention it has normal people (companions) being thrown into an otherworldly realm of wonder and adventure.

What are your plans for the club?

ES: Keep it fun! 

AR: Well, I plan on getting the word out there that we’re a club, and getting other people interested in the show. I want to keep the club members informed of all the latest Doctor Who news and even go to any local conventions. I just want everyone to have a good time and enjoy the show and meetings. We’ll play Doctor Who-themed games, discuss the history/themes of the show and hopefully get everyone to realize just how good of a show it is. 

The JU Doctor Who Fan Club meets at 6:30 p.m. every other Friday. The next meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the Oak Hall Multipurpose Room. For more information about the club, contact Rodriguez at arodrig17@jacksonville.edu.