Doctor Who in Canada and The United States - Fandom


Initially, the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, the British Doctor Who fan club, had North American chapters but by the early 1980s decided to divest themselves of international components for administrative reasons. As a result, national fan organisations sprang up in North America, including the North American Doctor Who Appreciation Society (which took over from DWAS), the Doctor Who Fan Club of America (which organised regional weekend events with actors headlining the event), the Friends of Doctor Who, and the Canada-based Doctor Who Information Network (which was originally a DWAS chapter). Most of these organisations folded by the 1990s (Friends of Doctor Who lasting to the end of that decade) although the Doctor Who Information Network still continues (celebrating its 25 anniversary in 2005) and is now the longest-running Doctor Who fan club in North America.

Local fan groups also developed, some disbanding when the series ended production, others which are still running; among those still in operation are The Whoosier Network (Indiana, celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2009), the North East Wisconsin Friends of The Doctor (NEWFOD), the Prydonians of Prynceton (New Jersey), the Guardians of Gallifrey (Central Florida), Tardis Repairs Inc. (aka TRI, Southern Florida), Doctor Who New York and the Gallifreyan Embassy of Long Island (New York), the Atlanta Gallifreyans (Georgia) and the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles (California). Other prominent fan groups have included the Unearthly Children (Pennsylvania), Friends of the Time Lord and UNIT (Massachusetts), T.A.R.D.I.S. (Arizona), the Legion of Rassilon (Northern California), Emerald City Androgums (Washington state), Motor City TARDIS (Michigan), the St. Louis CIA (Missouri), Space City Time Lords and the International House of Daleks (Texas) and the Chronicles of Who (Illinois). Many others have existed over the years.

Fan support of the 'Classic' series, while not as pronounced as in its heyday in the 1980s, continues, especially in light of the current revival of the program. As of 2011, four annual events occur in America that are exclusively devoted to both 'generations' of the series: the popular Gallifrey One (which has been running annually since 1990) which takes place in February in the Los Angeles area, the smaller Chicago TARDIS (begun in 2000) taking place in late November, Hurricane Who (begun in 2009) taking place in Orlando, and the Sci Fi Sea Cruise which runs out of different ports annually to destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean. Although not exclusively devoted to Doctor Who, the Massachusetts-based New England Fan Experience (formerly United Fan Con) in early November also featured one or more actors from the series, while the start-up Georgia event TimeGate Atlanta also focuses on the program as well as other series (such as Stargate). San Diego, California's annual Comic Con (the largest media-oriented convention event in the Western hemisphere) has also featured related guests, especially from the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, due to that show's current popularity on BBC America.

The Whoosier Network created and hosted two Doctor Who convention, "WhoosierCon" in 1991 and its successor "WhoosierCon II" in 1992. Major stars from the classic series were guests at these two conventions, including Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Richard Franklin, John Levene, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.

Many expressions of fan interest have moved online exclusively. Though the series is a product of the United Kingdom, North American support for the program online has been as fervent and, in some cases, more prominent. Shaun Lyon's Outpost Gallifrey website, statistically the most popular fan-created Doctor Who website in the series' history, originated out of Los Angeles and supported its extremely popular discussion forum community. While Outpost Gallifrey closed during the summer of 2009, it was succeeded by the Gallifrey Base discussion forum, based in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Siobhan Morgan's "The Doctor Who Homepage," one of the earliest Doctor Who information pages and still a widely-regarded portal site, is based in Illinois. Shannon Patrick Sullivan's "Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel)" and Dominique Boies' "The Doctor Who Guide," both popular Doctor Who reference sites, are based out of Newfoundland and Ontario, Canada, respectively. More recently, the Doctor Who pages of, the website of the Sci Fi Channel (which broadcasts the new series episodes) attracts hundreds of fans to its own forum community. Dozens of other popular Doctor Who web pages continue to thrive, and the earlier UseNET newsgroup rec.arts.drwho – a central source of Doctor Who discussion during the 1980s and 90s – still attracts fans.

In the late 2000s, new media developments led to several worldwide internet radio and podcast broadcasts. One of the podcasts, Podshock, originates out of New York while another popular Doctor Who podcast, Radio Free Skaro, originates entirely out of Canada. Meanwhile, Joey Reynolds' American Who webcast has been hosted on select public radio stations as well as internet radio channels.

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