I am a child of the digital age and of social media. My brother teases me about the time I spend on Facebook and Twitter. However, I can justify that as part of my job with Sunrise Promotions is managing social media for musicians and labels.
However, the downfall of always being on social media is a little something that Professor River Song refers to quite a bit in Doctor Who. Something we all absolutely hate:
I’m talking about SPOILERS.
Obviously, I am a huge Doctor Who fan. And with the new season coming up, I realize that me cutting the cord to my satellite and cable means that I have to watch a bit later than everyone else. I am not downloading the episodes via torrents or other means, though, and am choosing to purchase them legally from Amazon Video On Demand.
This does mean, however, that I see the episode the day after it originally airs. It’s the small price I have to pay for not paying nearly $100 a month just to receive BBCAmerica where I live. And it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? I’m saving that money so I can go see David Tennant in plays in the UK, after all (and yes, I do have tickets to “Much Ado About Nothing” and yes I did travel there to see “Hamlet”).
I don’t ask a lot of those I follow on Twitter, as far as fandom goes. But I do usually request that the people I follow don’t post big plot point spoilers (the little ones, I can handle) at least for 24 hours. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, do you? I mean, I can’t be the only person who has to watch the day after. I’m pretty sure I had a Twitter conversation with several other fans of the show who can’t watch it right when it airs. This is a new world of DVR’s and On Demand, after all, and even people with cable and satellite have lives!
But I got irked when the first 15 minutes of the latest episode “The Impossible Astronaut” was spoiled for me via Twitter. I’d already seen a few little comments about the episode here and there and was fine with it, but one particular plot point was suddenly right there in my face.
I was wrong. Apparently, a group on Twitter (of which several of my friends are part of) were watching the episode and I inadvertently read a spoiler right before I was going to sit down to watch the episode. However, I was hoping they were discussing a different one, so I watched the first 15 minutes of “The Impossible Astronaut” and realized that a major plot point had been given away.
So I got mad and I hit Twitter with my “HOW COULD YOU?” rant. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but by the time it was over, I had been blocked by one guy for being called a troll (that’s a new one) and then un-followed and re-followed a friend.
But I can’t help it, I take my Doctor Who seriously. Because it’s literally one of the few bright spots of my week. I don’t go into detail about my personal life, but let’s just say, it’s rarely ideal. I have high moments, though, and some of those involve the Doctor. So let me have that, okay?
After I calmed down, though, I still couldn’t watch the episode. It took me some time to actually sit down and do it after that. I was already tired after a long trip the previous day and a little grumpy and in a general bad mood. Doctor Who was something I had really looked forward to at the end of the day to make all of that go away. I did eventually watch it and Matt Smith did his magic and made me feel better again, but I was still a little upset.
It actually bothered me that Doctor Who fans would do that because they’ve always been so very awesome and cool. And non-spoilery. They have always been very respectful of each other in that sense. So I obviously have high expectations of that particular fandom and part of my anger came from that. I just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come in Doctor Who fandom (and I have already seen a small split between some of the energetic younger fans of the new series and a sort of elitist attitude from the classic Who fans and I DON’T LIKE IT).
I try not to post spoilers publically, not on my Twitter and not on my Facebook. I think that as a fan of the show, it’s the least I can do. I would rather people see the episode for themselves, even if it’s a week later, without any preconceived notions than talk about every little detail that happened for all to see.
Is that asking for too much? I understand the excitement that comes after watching an episode. I guess I just don’t understand turning that excitement into something that ruins the experience for others. I think asking for 24 hours from the time the episode airs in the U.S. is reasonable, but who knows?
Of course, I’ll be reviewing both episodes after this week on this blog, but not without a big “SPOILERS” alert in the title of the post. It’s a little easier to give warnings on a blog than it is on the endless stream of Twitter conversation, after all.
And for the record, Mr. Jay Lucas, I am not a troll. I am just a fan. Like you.
So does anyone else have any spoiler stories to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.