True Aficionados Relating to Doctor Who and Intersecting Subjects, or TARDIS, is a Penn State club that revolves around the common love for the BBC produced television show “Doctor Who.”
Created in 2008, TARDIS originally was a small group of people who wanted to meet others with interest in “Doctor Who.” In the past four years, TARDIS grew into a club that has more than 50 due-paying members.
“Doctor Who” was created in 1963 and was the first science fiction TV show, said Anya Godigamuwe, president of TARDIS.
The show centers on “Doctor Who,” who is a 900-year-old alien from Gallifrey. He travels in his time machine that doubles as a space shuttle, which is also called TARDIS, and brings humans on adventures through time and space. The Doctor is also the protector of the universe, so there are enemies included in the plot.
What many members like about the show is how the characters evolve throughout the series, said Abbey Frost, secretary of TARDIS.
Godigamuwe (junior-architectural engineering) said the best part about the show is how the characters grow through the show.
“After going on these adventures they realize there is more to life or realize a personal goal,” she said.
The modern “Doctor Who” show is currently in its seventh season, but is on its 11th doctor. In the plot, the Doctor reincarnates once his human body dies off, so there are many versions of Doctor Who. The producers wanted the show to continue since it was a cultural phenomena in Britain, Frost (senior-industrial engineer) said.
The attraction to the show for many of the members is that it had a huge impact on British culture. Everyone in Britain knows who Doctor Who is, even if they do not like the show, said Jenny Thompson, webmaster and public relations officer of TARDIS.
The show is a way for members to look at British culture, but also see how cinematography has changed throughout time since the show has been running for so long, Frost said.
Members see the club not as an obligation but as a relief from everyday life, Godigamuwe said.
With a broad range of personalities and majors in the club, many of the members would have never associated without Doctor Who, Frost said.
“SciFi is one of those communities that is like ‘We like you. We want to hang out with you,’” Thompson (junior-information sciences and technology) said.
Thompson is in charge of organizing the club trip to Los Angeles for its “Doctor Who” three-day convention called Gallifrey One.
At the convention, many actors from the multiple “Doctor Who” associated shows attend and talk about the shows influence on culture.
Many of the “Doctor Who” characters have spinoff shows including “Torchwood”, “K9 and Company” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” These shows range in age groups so people who grew up with “Doctor Who” can continue watching the genre once they are adults.
“It is a really supportive and beautiful community,” Thompson said.