What motivated you to join WikiProject Doctor Who? Which incarnation of The Doctor is your favourite? Do you have a favourite companion?
Redrose64: I've been aware of Doctor Who from summer of 1971, when (age 6, nearly 7) I saw an episode of The Dæmons at a friend's house (that friend's father was Spencer Chapman, for those in the know). Colour TV was still rare then, and my parents only had b/w until the mid 1970s. From about 1975 (The Ark in Space) I really got into DW, and in 1976 started buying the Target novelisations, not as they appeared, but when I could afford them. I have also amassed a stack of reference books; and, from about 2005, the DVDs. (ii) Jon Pertwee; Sylvester McCoy; David Tennant. Definitely not Colin Baker. (iii) Sarah Jane Smith; Ace; Rose. Ian Chesterton was always dependable, like an uncle.
SoWhy: I discovered Doctor Who relatively late, when German TV started airing the new Series in 2007 but have then caught up on all the info there is and decided to join the WP to help with those articles, especially those concerning the 2005 series which I am most familiar with. My favorite Doctor is the Tenth (played by David Tennant), followed by the Ninth, Fifth and Fourth. My favorite companion is Jack Harkness even though he only spent little time with the Doctor.
Glimmer721:Doctor Who was brought to my attention by seeing it around on the Internet (including Wikipedia), and as I love time travel I decided to check it out, remembering that we had the channel BBC America. On April 23, 2011 I watched the series 6 premiere "The Impossible Astronaut" and was hooked. Since then I've watched all of the new series (except I haven't gotten around to "Planet of the Dead" and The End of Time yet) and I've been bouncing around the classic series. After a rough first encounter with an editor who has since been banned, I did some minor work with the project, eventually joining. I began editing majorly about a year ago. Matt Smith (11) will always be my Doctor, but i enjoy them all and like embracing the show as one big anthology. My favorite companions are Sarah Jane, Romana, and Amy and Rory.
Sceptre: I was brought up watching reruns of Doctor Who on what was thenUK Gold. I got into the new series about halfway through Eccleston's run and, I think, started contributing to the Wikipedia articles after every Saturday evening during the second series led to me often semi-protecting the articles from IP edits. My favourite Doctor would probably be McCoy. He had, to borrow a phrase from Gallifrey Base, the gravitas to carry the role but was bogged down by poor writing that Colin Baker was bogged down by. Eccleston and Smith would take second and third, respectively. As towards companions, no-one will ever live up to Sarah Jane for what she did for the show, but Rory takes a close second.
MarnetteD: I stumbled on the show on PBS one Sunday in 1981. The story was The Keeper of Traken and I was hooked after the first 5 minutes. Our PBS station aired all the episodes for a given story together so I was already spoiled in the way I got to see the show. I remember being rocked the next week when Logopolis aired. I didn't know anything about "regeneration" and I was bummed that this actor (Tom Baker) I had just been amazed by wasn't going to be on the show any more. Little did I know that I would be seeing his serials for about 18 months before any Davison eps aired. I enjoy all 11 actors take on the character (and there even some fun things about Peter Cushing) but I had admired Pat Troughton since seeing his performance as the Duke of Norfolk in The Six Wives of Henry VIII and I enjoyed learning that was the first role he performed after leaving Dr Who. It would be difficult for anyone to top Sarah Jane. I feel like the 4th Dr and Leela were a lethal brains/brawn combination. Ian and Barbara helped make the show work in the beginning. As I rewatch the first two seasons of the new series my admiration for Noel Clarke grows. Even in his early episodes he is making Mickey into something more than a one note character and Arthur Darvill has done the same with Rory.
Interest in the Doctor Who franchise has grown beyond Britain, particularly in recent years. Do you tend to see more editors from inside or outside the UK working on Doctor Who articles? Are there still some cultural differences or language barriers that get in the way when working with these other editors?
Redrose64: It's not always obvious where somebody comes from. We've tried to harmonise (and not as an obsessive adherence to British terminology) right down to terms such as "season" and "serial" by producing WP:WHO/MOS.
Glimmer721: I am an American, but I have a weird trait where I insist that I call everything by its proper name. I have quickly mastered British terminology and sometimes I even spell "realize" or "civilization" the British way in my everyday life. The only problem with being in America is that some resources are unavailable, especially video or audio commentary on the official website.
Sceptre: Since the gap between transmission in the U.K. and in North America has been cut to hours recently, there have definitely been more American contributors to Doctor Who articles. I think the project is better for it; there are few British editors who would contribute to an article about a Lost episode, for example.
MarnetteD: First I would be remiss if I didn't point out that interest in the show outside the UK has been strong for decades. In the mid 80s the Dr Who Fan Club of America was the largest in the world and I was lucky enough to live in Denver where it was based. The planners for the 20th anniversary convention in Chicago had prepared for two or three thousand attendees but wound up with over 10,000. My feeling is that we have always had a mix of editors over the years. When I joined the project User:Khaosworks was one of the driving forces in keeping things in order and he is from Singapore. Later User:Edokter took a major interest in the project and he is from the Netherlands. Now we have editors like Redrose64 and Don Quixote were are active in keeping things going. They are good at helping enthusiastic newbies understand WP:ENGVAR and I have never noticed big problems or at least sustained ones with Dr Who articles.
Are some subjects or periods in the franchise's history better covered than others? Are there any notable gaps in Wikipedia's coverage of Doctor Who? Have the lost episodes from the earliest seasons complicated matters?
Redrose64: The lost episodes do attract WP:HOAX postings along the lines of "A copy of Rider From Shang-Tu on Kodak Super 8 has been found in a cave in Antarctica and will be released on DVD next week in full colour and Dolby 5.1 surround".
SoWhy: Since the 2005 series started airing at a time that Wikipedia existed, articles concerning this period are mostly written quicker and with much more editors taking an interest. For example: Category:FA-Class Doctor Who articles contains 3 episodes and 1 person related to the new Series out of 7 in total. Similarly, Category:GA-Class Doctor Who articles contains almost exclusively articles related to the 2005 series. On the other hand, unlike other areas, there are no notable gaps (to my knowledge) in the coverage and every part of the Classic series is covered extensively as well.
Glimmer721: The new series has more online sources which are obviously more accessible. I have been working almost exclusively in Series 5 and 6 because those sources are more avaliable to me, although I am open to collaborating with the earlier episodes and even the Classic series (City of Death is the best of these articles by far).
Sceptre: I think the Baker and McCoy eras have the problem of being a time when Doctor Who was the laughing stock of the BBC, so coverage other than in retrospective books is actually more scant than the days of Tom Baker, when the show enjoyed about 14 million viewers each week. Other than that, the missing episodes also lead to a gap in coverage, although recent discussion of the lost episodes in Doctor Who Magazine mitigates this. That the audio for all episodes exists helps too. Conversely, the new series has a lot better coverage. I was able to get the article for the episode "Partners in Crime" to featured status within two weeks of its transmission due to such a preponderance of sources. And the attention given to Russell T Davies allowed me – although this time over eighteen months – to get that article featured too.
MarnetteD: I would agree with SoWhy that there are not any major gaps in coverage of either the Classic or the New series. We did lose an article that described the naming conflict/confusion of the serials through the first three years of the show but we had to since it's source was self published. It was correct in its research though and if it could ever be resurrected with better sourcing I think it would be helpful but that is just one editors opinion. I haven't noticed any problems with the "lost episodes" perhaps because coverage of them is still pretty thorough - especially as the soundtracks have been made available on CD over the years.
Does the project deal with a lot of fancruft? What elements of the Doctor Who canon make it on Wikipedia and what elements are cast aside? Is the project in contact with the Doctor Who wiki?
Redrose64: Fancruft? I'll say. Some people just don't get the idea of WP:V and WP:NOR - "just watch this episode, then that one, and you'll see that Martha has clearly used exactly the same two words that were spoken by Barbara in 1965".
Glimmer721: The continuity sections can be a problem and hinge on trivia. I generally try to weed it down to only things found in reliable sources (reviews, official website, books), although sometimes things deal with the main story arcs or are a deliberate nod noted by writers, in which case it can be moved to the "writing" section.
Sceptre: Continuity sections are a problem that the articles have always had. There's a shift among WikiProject editors against these articles, and I for one have been vocal about not using them, and the featured articles don't use them, instead dividing the content throughout the article.
MarnetteD: Fancruft or trainspotting as one editor called it (I know I used that term for a bit until asked not to but it is still apropos) is always a dilemma. Lots of editors show up with "I just noticed this cool fact" and we have to explain the problem of it not being proper for an encyclopedia. Many years ago these were a feature of WikiP but the BLP problems that came to the fore over six years ago, and lead to our WP:RS and WP:V policies meant, rightly, that they had to go. I have sometimes wished that there was a WikiFiction or Fictionpedia that we could send editors to to play with to there hearts content. I can remember two+ years ago there was one newbie who wanted to add the term "base under seige" to various articles. We couldn't find any reliable sources to back up the use of the term at the time. Now the term is used numerous times in the documentary about the 2nd Doctors era of the show that is an extra on the DVD for The Krotons. If a Wikifiction existed the editor could have entered it there and then it could make its way back here when the sourcing problems were solved. I don't know if there are many (or any) editors who work both here and at the Dr Who wiki.
Has the project had any difficulties acquiring images for articles? What are the copyright implications of posting fair use images of British programs on the US-based servers of Wikipedia?
Sceptre: We used to have a problem with non-free screenshots being used in articles about yet-to-be-transmitted episodes. The scrutiny given to non-free images at FAC has trickled down and editors are more aware of those issues. Because people are very good at crowdsourcing filming locations, we have been able to find images of the show in production (for example, this photo of "The Eleventh Hour" being filmed, something I don't believe we have for other shows.
MarnetteD: We do still have several articles of the Classic series (and even a few for the currant one) that do not have images in their infoboxes but I understand so little about the ins and outs of usage that I do not know if that can ever be solved.
The project has built a collection of 66 Good Articles and 7 Featured Articles. Have you contributed to any of these articles? Why do the Good Articles outnumber the Featured Articles by such a wide margin? What are the most difficult aspects to improving a Doctor Who article to GA or FA status?
Glimmer721: I have promoted 22 episodes from series 5 and 6 to GA status, as well as "Fear Her" and Doctor Who (series 5), and I have collaborated with User:Eshlare on some of the character articles. Series 5 is currently at WP:GTC in hopes of becoming the project's first GT. I do not have much experience with FA, but I hope to bring "The Eleventh Hour" and Doctor Who (series 5) up to that status sometime; my only concern is some questionable sources. The FAs are most likely outnumbered by GAs because many of them are episodes, and not all episodes have enough information to bring them up to FA. The most difficult part for me, as I noted earlier, are continuity sections and sources, especially for the earlier episodes and even the classic serials. Many of the earlier articles are comprised of bulleted lists, which I am working on removing. These articles must be reformatted before any significant improvement can be made.
Sceptre: I think the main reason is that I've had a case of burnout relating to the Russell T Davies article, having been working for months to get it featured, and I don't really want to go to FAC so soon. For the past four years I've been meaning to make Doctor Who (series 4) a featured topic, but a lack of time or motivation is the major obstacle. I would believe, though, that most post-revival episodes have the potential to become featured, if any editor was interested enough. The controversial cancellation of Doctor Who Confidential may have an effect on future series become featured, as that show was valuable for the amount of information about the show's production it provided.
How does WikiProject Doctor Who compare to other science fiction projects, like WikiProject Star Trek and WikiProject Star Wars? Is there any overlap in membership between the projects? Have there been any efforts to collaborate with these projects?
Sceptre: I would assume that there was overlap, but I'm not actively aware of such. Seeing as there will probably never be a crossover between the shows, I don't anticipate inter-project collaboration, but I think those project's editors may be able to provide us with help as Doctor Who fans.
MarnetteD: I have also noticed very little overlap between projects and I know of no efforts to collaborate. While there might have been some crossover when the Star Trek franchise was still producing television episodes that was in the early days of WikiP and Dr Who was in hibernation at the time.
With the seventh series scheduled to premiere this Saturday, what are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
Glimmer721: I think the most pressing matter now, with the new series coming up, is that we make sure we are up-to-date on information but do not include rumors or info that are published on fansites and not officially confirmed (such as episode titles or details). We have been doing a good job so far. The new companion (played by Jenna-Louise Coleman) is also something to watch out for, as according to reports little information will be released on her before her debut at Christmas. I also have a goal to bring the newly created episode articles to DYK. Any new contributer is welcome to drop a message at WT:WHO detailing what he or she would like to do and what sources he or she has.
Sceptre: I'm more concerned with the upcoming fiftieth anniversary next year; I anticipate that a Doctor Who article will be featured on November 23 next year, for example. I think general maintainence work to ensure the articles are reliably sourced and decently written is the top priority, as well as some vigilance to ensure rumours aren't reported as fact; Wikiality is a real concept, as I can testify.
MarnetteD: Due to the way that I like to experience the show I stay away from the articles about upcoming episodes so that I will know as little about them as possible before viewing so apologies for being of no help there. I would agree with Sceptre that anything that we can do to prepare for the 50th anniversary (due to the quirks of our calendar it is going to fall on a Saturday which I think is kind of a fun coincidence) would be a benefit to the project and to WikiP in general.
Next time, we'll check out the fungus among us. Until then, pretend you're a mycologist in the archive.