Television. Television pictures are made of a series of dots. Standard definition TV is about 580 lines by 780 columns, meaning your crystal clear picture is actually a grid of about 450000 dots, in red green and blue. Sit too close and you can see the dots that the picture is made up of- it’s recommended that you sit at least 6 screen diagonals back to get the best viewing experience.
So… what has this got to do with being a Doctor Who fan?
I think as who fans we can metaphorically sit too close to the screen. We can pay too close attention to the mechanics of the plots going on in front of us, rather than just sitting back and enjoying it as intended. Of course there is nothing wrong in examining the plots in such minute detail, people can and do get a lot of enjoyment about it. I do. But if we do this we must always be aware of what we are doing, and be prepared to take a step back and a deep breath. We must always bear in mind that we are subjecting an entertainment product to far deeper scrutiny that it can reasonably be expected to sustain. And we must be aware that in our close reading of the subject matter we will be prone to missing parts of the bigger picture, that will be plain to the viewer sitting back and enjoying the show.
It’s fine to examine the plots and discuss them at length providing we remain aware of what we are doing and don’t go on about plot holes and lazy writing which really aren’t there for the regular viewer. The worst conceit of many sections of Who fandom is to assume it is the core of the audience, rather than a statistically irrelevant subset of it. And most of all we shouldn’t get annoyed if someone enjoys the show in a different way to us.