- by Jeremiah Unless you have exactly zero friends on FaceBook who are the least bit interested in science fiction or more specifically Doctor Who, you are probably aware that today is "Impossible Astronaut Day." A day in which Doctor Who fans are planning on putting tally marks on their arms, legs, faces, wherever, marking how many times they saw "The Silence" and forgot about it.
I'd just like to say to the world of Doctor Who fans who will take part in this national nerdy holiday: "You're welcome." "You're welcome?" you say, Yes, let me explain.
You see there was a time not so long ago, and not so far away, when the mainstream culture of our country frowned upon, nay mocked, the likes of people who knew what a T.A.R.D.I.S. was, who carried air pressure gauges around as if they were Sonic Screwdrivers, and kept terms such as Gallifrey, The Time-Space Continuum, and EXTERMINATE (said in an obnoxious robot voice) in their vocabularies. It was a dark time in our nation's history, when admitting in a public setting that you enjoyed British science-fiction, produced on shabby, wobbly sets, with terrible special effects, and very low production values, was not only met by blank and quizzical stares but also accompanied by ridicule, wedgies, and many other forms of mental and physical abuse, from the "cool" kids.
Doctor Who was so frowned upon by culture that you had to watch it on PBS, and you couldn't walk into a mall store, or any store for that matter, to pick up any type of merchandise bearing a Doctor Who logo, or a blue police box. The only way to procure such items was through a pledge drive on PBS, or to brave the danger of public shame by going to "Doctor Who U.S.A. Tour" which was a roaming exhibit of props and costumes from the show that toured cities that were home to PBS stations that aired the series.
Like anything else in the world, adversity tests our devotion and the new generation of Who fans, have countless fans of previous generations to thank for sticking to their guns, facing the laughs and ridicule of peers, and supporting a fun show that they saw as creative, and inspiring. Without the older generations shows like this would have died out and never been reborn, and the pride with which we wear the badge of "nerd,""dork," or "geek" today would still be subject to the frequent wedgies, name calling, and demeaning treatment of those dark days known as the mid to late-80's.
So go ahead, post all the Doctor Who references you want on Twitter, FaceBook and across the internet! Just please don't forget those who have gone before you—in a time when Daleks didn't fly, the Doctor drove a canary yellow roadster named "Bessie," and Sylvester McCoy wasn't known for playing Radagast, so place an extra tally mark on your arm for your forefathers. And never forget your history, because some moments are fixed points in time and cannot be altered.
Thanks for reading and taking this diversion with me! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter, and now you can find us on Instagram too! Post your tally mark photos on Instagram and tag @TheologyofGames, we'd LOVE to see them!