When I started watching Doctor Who, I only knew a handful of people who were part of the fandom, and most of them were those I’d met at comic conventions. So it was much to my surprise to find that amongst all of my friends in other fandoms, that there were more than a few Whovians! Some of them were people I’d known for years! If you’re like me, when you find out someone else is a fan, you have this moment where you want to do nothing but talk Who with them, no matter what else it is that you were supposed to be doing. It’s like you’ve made an instant connection with someone, and that little piece of the world where ever you are just got a little bigger because you share a fandom!
Now while we don’t always think about it, celebrities really are just normal people that happen to have a job in life that puts them in the spotlight. They go the same kinds of places we go, sleep, eat, breathe, and live just like you or I. And the have their own likes and dislikes, even if their job has made them part of what a fandom obsesses over. So is it any wonder that there are Whovians among the celeb crowd too?
Florence Welch, Florence and the Machine
Welch is a new Whovian. She really hadn’t watched it much before but when Matt Smith became the Doctor, she was hooked. Reports are that Smith even hoped she’d make a guest appearance on the show, but that never occurred during his tenure. Doesn’t mean it still can’t happen!
Riordan, most known for the YA series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is among the famous Whovian writers of the world. He’s mention the Daleks in one of the books of his Kane Chronicles and mentioned the show itself in his most recent book, The Blood Of Olympus, the last book in his Heroes of Olympus series, the sequel series to Percy Jackson. Hey, Mr. Moffat, fancy a Greek or Roman mythology based story? How about asking Riordan to write for the show?!
Yes, that Mike Tyson, the boxer with the penchant for ear nibbling and facial tattoos. Seems that he, too, is a fan of the Doctor, though he thinks the Doctor is older, not some young man like Matt Smith. He apparently told Smith as much to his face when they met at a convention. Check out the interview with Matt at Comic Con last year where he mentions it. (Smith’s interview starts around the 4:22 mark)
The current DIRECTV pitchman, Lowe once told the Metro newspaper that he was a Doctor Who fan, back in 2005. They quote Lowe as saying, “I love the show, and did not realise they were remaking it. I’d even play a Dalek.” Even a Dalek? I personally think Lowe would be an interesting Master…
Bakula is no stranger to sci-fi, with his two most notable roles being in Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Enterprise. So it’s not really much of a surprise that he’s a fan of the longest running sci-fi show of all time. So much that he was even offered a part on the show. When casting for the series 7.1 episode A Town Called Mercy, the role of the sheriff was offered to Bakula. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to accept, so the role went to Ben Browder, from Farscape and Stargate: SG1. “They were filming in Spain, and it didn’t work out timing-wise, because my daughter was getting married, so I just couldn’t go. I’m fascinated by the whole idea of the character being bigger than the ideas, that blows my mind, and I think it’s great. I watched a lot of it when I was on stage in the UK, and I realised that this is a show I could get behind.” Sam Beckett meets the Doctor? Can this actually happen? Please?
Now this might be common knowledge to some, but I was unaware that the band were fans of the show. (Does explain the PF/DW graphic mashups though) But given their style of music, which has influences of the work from the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, I should have known! The band even went so far as to sample the theme tune in one of their songs, One Of These Days, and are said to be a favorite of the Doctor himself. Did you catch the tune he briefly whistled in The Caretaker? (Hint: It’s a wildly popular song by the band, one that even those who aren’t fans know.) The band recently released a mostly instrumental album in honor of their late keyboardist that includes two songs both titled Allons-y. They aren’t really tributes to the show, but that name is sure to spark any Who fan.
So playing an alien investigator wasn’t enough? When David Tennant ended his tenure as the Doctor, speculation was of course rife with suggestions of who should be the next Doctor, which ultimately turned out to be Matt Smith. Duchovny was among those suggested to replace Tennant. He, however, wasn’t interested, even though he was a fan of the show. “I love Doctor Who and I remember the first one, which was wonderful in its low-tech quality,” he told the Daily Star at the time, in 2008. “‘I also loved the theme song, which sounded like The Cure to me.” He joked that he might play a foe of the Doctor. “Who’s the bad guy? The Dalek? OK, I’ll play him.”
In the wild rumor category, back when the show was prepping to relaunch, some people believed that the Beeb would tap the mask wearing metal heads of Slipknot to record the show’s opening theme. Their sound isn’t what one normally thinks of when one hears that familiar tune but it turns out the band is among the fandom. At the time, drummer Joey Jordison told Blabbermouth that the band would be thrilled to have such an honor. “I’m so excited Doctor Who‘s coming back. It’s a great show, wild and exciting. I watched it as a kid and it freaked me out. I’m 29 now and it was only a couple of years ago that I figured out what was going on. It’s weird timing that Who’s coming back after so long because Prelude 3.0 [on their record Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)] is based on the theme. It’s our way of saying this album’s going to take you on a wild, messed-up journey.” Interesting. Maybe their sound might be one that would match Capaldi’s new darker Doctor?
Another British musical institution, the band Iron Maiden are also fans of the good Doctor. On the album sleeve for their record Somewhere In Time, the TARDIS can be seen, as well as in the artwork for the song Wasted Years off the album. Now, given the album is about journeys in time, it’s not surprising to see the image of the TARDIS included in all of the sci-fi references. But turns out that at least one member of the band, vocalist Bruce Dickinson, is a fan of the show. “I always watched Jukebox Jury because it was on before Doctor Who, on a Saturday night. So Jukebox Jury and Doctor Who became inseparable in my mind. The excitement of seeing The Beatles or whoever on Jukebox Jury was kind of similar to the excitement I would get out of seeing the Cybermen on Doctor Who. They were both from a different world to me.”
Reports are that he even owns a Dalek!
(Incidentally, the great Bruce Dickinson is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Kasterborous would like to wish him the very best, speedy recovery.)
The original list I compiled while writing this article had 100+ names on it. I’m fairly certain that even such a long list barely scratched the surface of all the famous fans of the Doctor that there have been and will be. It’s amazing to see how far such a show has reached in it’s influence across the globe, in many parts of life. Doctor Who is not just a pop culture phenomenon, it’s a permanent part of society. Are there any other famous folk out there that you know are part of our Whovian fandom, aside from the oft mentioned likes of Peter Jackson, Johnny Depp, and Queen Elizabeth?