Dr. WhoDat returns for second year

Dr. Who Lecture

Fans and students alike attended Dr. William Robison’s lecture on “Doctor Who” and the historical figures
highlighted in the show’s episodes. Last year Robison held the same lecture as a part of Fanfare,
titling himself as Doctor WhoDat.
The Lion’s Roar / Heather Jewell

Fans of “Doctor Who” went to the Tangipahoa Library to hear the lecture of Department head of History and Political Science and history professor Dr. William Robison. This was Robison’s second time doing the “Doctor Who” lecture in just as many years. The library’s assistant director Bianca Roberts asked Robison in the early summer to present his lectures on vampires, the War of 1812 and the “Doctor Who” lecture. This was not a Fanfare event, though Robison did present, “A Feast of Famous 15’s,” where he listed things and connected them all back to Halloween.

The crowd who attended were fans of the 50-year running show and students in the professor’s class.

“For most of the people who were here, it really was because they are ‘Doctor Who’ nuts and will do anything because they are fans,” said Robison. “I’m a really useful channel for them to hear stuff about the show.”

Some of the fans in attendance included Kristel and Bliane Nickerson with their daughter, Hannah.

Like Robison, Kristel grew up watching the fourth Doctor portrayed by Tom Baker. She and her daughter have watched all of the new episodes since 2005, and even the “Classic Doctor Who” disks from before.

“They lost some of the film, and for some of them, it is just the audio,” said Kristel. “Sometimes they draw comics out to watch as everything plays out so viewers can see what happened.”

The family went on a family vacation to England, and went to “The Doctor Who Experience” in London before it moved to the show’s filming location in Cardiff.

“The show has lasted this long,” said Kristel. “Because it does a lot of British history, a little U.S. history, the characters are in space a lot and they [the episodes] grow as the technology grows.”

In their opinion, Bliane and Hannah’s favorite part of the lecture was the trivia.

“Guessing what episodes were the right answer was a lot of fun,” said Bliane.

Hannah also admitted that David Tennant and Matt Smith are her favorite Doctors so far; and her reason for believing the show has lasted this long: “It’s awesome.”

“The angels from the episode ‘Don’t Blink’ freaked her out a bit,” said Bliane. “We got a miniature statue in her room once and when she woke up she let out a little squeak. For a few weeks, we would move it around until we found it one day with ribbon tied around the eyes and a sign saying ‘don’t blink’ written on it.”

Robison’s own fanship of the show began when he lived in London in 1981. However, when he moved back to the U.S., he lost touch until the new series started and his daughter became hooked, then the whole family followed.

Robison believed this would be a fun lecture to do since the show deals with real historical figures. He also thinks the show has lasted the way it has because of its ability to evolve.

“The Doctor gets a new companion, and continues to keep it fresh,” said Robison. “People who like it will continue to like it; it doesn’t tire out. It’s also something to introduce kids to: it’s safe, it might be a little scary, but there’s nothing on there that you wouldn’t want them to see; and there’s not much on television that you can say that about now, too.”