You may think you are a Doctor Who fan, dear reader, but are you really? Are you? Does it worry you that you may be an imposter, a dilettante, a dabbler, a die-soft rather than die-hard fan?
Well: do not worry! Set your mind at rest! Simply take the DWC’s simple test! Score 1 point for every one of the questions you can answer “yes” to. Then add up your score and check the diagnostic at the end of the test to establish whether you are, indeed, a true Doctor Who fan.
- When drying your hands in a public convenience, do you bring them up close to the drier’s nozzle and then take them away again, repeating this several times, because it sounds like the TARDIS’s take off noise?
- When taking the lid off a bottle of washing liquid or fabric conditioner, do you secretly push it along the counter with your hand to imitate a gliding motion, while saying, “Exterminate! Exterminate!” to yourself – and then guiltily pretend you weren’t doing anything when your spouse, child, or similar enters the room?
- In the days of old fashioned phones with wires and stuff, did you check no one was watching, then clamp the phone to your chest, assume a robotic stance and a blank face, and say in a buzzing voice, “There is now one hour to Invasion Time”?
- Have you ever made a pilgrimage to Earl’s Court tube station, so you can stand outside for about four hours and gawp, lost in wonder, love and admiration, at the police box stationed outside it?
- You’re watching Planet of Evil and your 15-year-old daughter, who quite likes the David Tennant stories, wanders in. She giggles at the anti-matter monster and says it’s rubbish. Do you immediately telephone your solicitor and tell him to alter your will, to disinherit her?
- When peeling potatoes, you come across a very large and round one. Do you cut it in half, gouge out a slit-like mouth and two eyes, and mutter, “I claim this planet for the glory of the Sontaran Empire”?
- Have you downloaded the font called “Dalek” and shamefacedly added it into the fonts available on Word?
- You’re waiting in a supermarket car park. Do you take a quick look round, assure yourself that no-one’s watching, then take your tyre pressure gauge out of the car’s glove compartment, hold it vertically before your eyes, and make strange buzzing noises?
- Do you favour puffy quilted jackets because you secretly think they make you look like Field-Major Styre in full battle armour?
- Have you ever Googled “Georgian state dancers” and watched them on YouTube?
- You find a large house spider on your wall. Being a humane sort of person, you gently trap it using a beer glass and a piece of card. However, prior to defenestration, do you hold it up and say, in a cold, feminine voice, “I have come to give you the power you seek”?
- Do you ever secretly go down to the kitchen in the dead of night, take an egg whisk out of the drawer and the plunger out from under the sink, put a pudding basin on your head and cavort around the room saying, “Daleks conquer and destroy! Daleks conquer and destroy!”
- When you lift the lid on the loo, do you actually secretly hope to discover that Davros is hiding inside it, like he was in Remembrance of the Daleks?
- Have you seen This Sporting Life?
- Have you blu-tacked a label next to the rear window heater button in your car, reading “Fast Return Switch”? (Remember to hide it if anyone else is going to be in the car with you.)
- Have you got a copy of the rarest Target novel, The Wheel in Space (and if you have, will you sell it to me for 20 quid)?
- You’re watching the news, and pictures of Westminster Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral (including the steps) come up. Do you immediately think of Daleks and Cybermen? (NB: it has to be “immediately”. If you have to think about it, it doesn’t count.)
- You walk past a CO2 fire extinguisher. Do you have to fight very hard against the temptation to let it off, because that would be brilliant because you could pretend to be a Dalek from the Peter Cushing movies?
- In the winter (and assuming no one’s watching) when you’re walking through the snow, do you suddenly assume a lurching gait, hold your forearms out in front of you, hold your hands in the shape of big clamps, hiss loudly as you breathe in and out, and say things like, “Are you capable – ssssss, ssssss – of operating – sssss – the T-mat mechanism?”?
- Do you like wearing mirrored shades on the sole grounds that you think they make you look like the Exxilon high priest?
- Do you secretly refer to your fridge as “the Quark”?
- Have you ever asked your wife or girlfriend (or other random female personage) to stand in the middle of a small rug, so that you can shout, “Sarah: get off that mandala!” at her?
- Have you entered “Totter’s Lane, London” on Google maps (and if not, why not)?
- Have you ever answered the phone by saying, “Contact has been made” or “Trap One receiving you, over”?
- When the rest of the family are enjoying holidaying on the beach, would you secretly rather be in a quarry?
- Once it’s possible to personalise Alexa fully, are you intending to program it to respond to the name “Packer”, and for it to answer, “Yes, Mr Vaughn”? (That would be so cool, wouldn’t it? Especially if you could elongate and drawl out the word “Pack-aaarr”.)
- Have you ever named one or more of your pets after a character from Doctor Who? (I once had a gerbil called Morbius. Other pet name choices might include Adric, Colonel Masters, Eldrad, Mavic Chen, Borusa, Channing, Benton, and Sutekh. A cat called Koquillion would be really good.)
- When in a rage, have you ever called anyone a “ham-fisted bun vendor”? (Yes you have. Don’t lie.)
- If you ever come across a grand piano with its lid up, are you ever tempted to scrape your front door key along the fattest string? (I’ve done this. It’s great.)
- When eating spaghetti, do you dangle the ends out of your mouth because you think it makes you look like an Ood?
- Have you ever held a canister of shaving foam next to your chest and then squirted it out do that you can pretend to be a dying Cyberman?
- Do you know who Gilbert MacKenzie Trench is?
- Have you ever lain awake at night, troubled by thoughts as to why the TARDIS telepathic circuits didn’t translate the German spoken in The War Games (e.g. Wer sint diese Leute? and Sie sind englische Spione! and Sie kamen in etwas namens TARDIS!)?
How Big A Fan Are You?
Diagnostic scores to establish whether you are, indeed, a true Doctor Who fan.
33. Don’t be silly.
20-32. Well done. You have established that you are a true Doctor Who fan. Reward yourself with a snack of jelly babies, gobstoppers, celery or fish fingers and custard. Or uncork a bottle of expensive red if you like Pertwee.
10-19. Borderline. You clearly like Doctor Who and are a fan but consider: are you sufficiently fanatical? Does it dominate and control your life enough? Should you not commit yourself more?
Below 10: Dear dear dear dear. How very disturbing.