Tue
Apr 19 2011 3:36pm

In Line with Doctor Who Fans: Joy and Karen (the Accidental Toshiko)

Tor.com was recently in line at the 4/11 NYC Doctor Who premiere with a ton of fans. We’ll be shining a spotlight on a few of them leading all the way up to April 23rd.

Karen Ho (who isn’t Tosh) at the Doctor Who Line ConEver had someone mistakenly identify you as a cosplayer? At the Chicago TARDIS convention, I actually had a Tenth Doctor come up and ask if he could take a picture with me...because he thought I was dressed as Rose. Which I wasn’t. Then again, Rose is my go-to cosplay of choice (I was wearing my “Journey’s End” jacket at the DW Line Con whenever I was chilly), so I was far from offended. Though it did make me wonder how much of my wardrobe selection was being subconsciously affected by Billie Piper.

Doctor Who fan Karen Ho went through that herself while in line for the premiere, as folks saw her rocking the hair, specs, and jacket in a very Tosh-from-Torchwood manner. Turns out she wasn’t dressed as Tosh, she’s just a snappy dresser!

What was your first experience with Doctor Who?

I was flipping through BBC America… Actually, when I was much younger, when I was four or five, they would show classic who on PBS, and my dad watched Doctor Who when he was a kid, so I’d watch them with him. I saw a bunch of the Tom Baker episodes, but I was super, super young, so I don’t remember them very well. But yeah, a few years ago, I was flipping through BBC America and I saw that they had a reboot and they were playing “Doomsday.” I caught the end of that episode and I had no idea what was going on. It was the moment were [the Doctor] finds the 3D glasses, and I watched from there. So when Rose gets sucked into the void, I was like, “this is really intense, but I have no idea what’s happening.”

So then a few months later, I think I caught my first full episode. [It] was “Midnight.” And I watched that one all the way through, and I loved it. It was amazing. So I started watching from the beginning. I finally watched “Doomsday” in context and I was sobbing, oh my god. I was like, “How could I have not cried that first time?”

What other types of science fiction and fantasy do you enjoy?

I’m not really that huge on science fiction. I watch a show called Misfits, I guess that’s supernatural/sci-fi. Other than that, yeah, Doctor Who is the main one.

Favorite Doctor?

That really difficult. I don’t know if I can say definitively. But definitely, the top three are the last three [Eccleston, Tennant and Smith] because they’re the ones I’ve watched.

Favorite companion?

Donna Noble.

How about favorite villains or episodes?

Favorite villain would probably be the Master because I love John Simm so much. Favorite episode… obviously “Blink” was great, and “The Empty Child.”

Is there anything you would like to see them do on the show that they haven’t done?

I’d like to see...like when the Tenth Doctor had his meltdown in “Waters of Mars,” I really enjoyed that, and I’d like to see him kind of go explore his darker side. That would be interesting.

***

Joy Fleisig got my attention not only because she was listening in intently on Nick and Dominic’s interview, but because her arm was clothed in bubble wrap. If you can guess which Who monster she was going for, you get a prize! A prize made of respect and awe at your fandom knowledge.

Joy Fleisig at the Doctor Who Live ConWhat was your first exposure to Doctor Who?

I watched a story called “The Ribos Operation,” which was the first story of the Key of Time series. I remember particularly there was a scene where there was this character named Binro who’s sort of the Galileo of his planet, talking about how the stars were not ice crystals, that they were suns, and this con man from another planet says, “Binro, you’re absolutely right.” And the whole relationship between these two characters was so wonderful. That’s what made me say, “Hey, this is really good.” And I kept watching and eventually I got hooked.

Favorite Doctor?

Colin Baker. Although, I tend to agree with the Brigadier—he’s a wonderful chap, all of them. I adore David Tennant. I think I will start to really adore Matt Smith now that they’re starting to write for him, as opposed to writing a generic Doctor.

Favorite companion?

Sarah Jane Smith probably. I like Donna a lot. I liked Barbara.

How about favorite villains or episodes?

I have to go with The Valeyard from “Trial of a Timelord” because he’s the darker side of the Doctor. Of course, I do like the Master. Favorites episodes… for me, the original series it would have to be “The Curse of Fenric,” “Genesis of the Daleks,” “The Pyramids of Mars,” and maybe “Logopolis.” Oh, and “The Time Warrior.” And [in the] new series, “Girl in the Fireplace,” “Human Nature” and “Family of Blood.” I’m still thinking about series 5, I’m not sure which one I thought was the best there.

Is there anything you would like to see them do on the show that they haven’t done?

Well, I’m not entirely happy with the way Amy has been developed so far. Basically, I think the way that Steven [Moffat] writes female characters—well, to be fair, it’s not just the female characters, he does this with the men, too—the most important thing is how sexy they are. And there’s more to a character than that. I feel like Amy was just there to wear a tiny skirt, show off her legs. I know there’s the element that she’s this damaged child, but I think that was more like window dressing. The impression I’m getting from what I’m hearing about this season is that they are going to give her a lot more depth, and I hope that’s true. Because I think that Karen [Gillan] is really good; when’s she’s giving real depth to play, she can do it.

What is something that you like about Doctor Who that you think might not be as popular with other fans?

I like just about everything, so I get mad at any criticism. There are some fans who are very toxic and they will take everything to pieces. Also, I tend to like the romance more than some fans do. The problem is, I liked [Rose’s] character, I just didn’t like the cult that sprang up around her.


Emily Asher-Perrin also sobbed during “Doomsday” and knows that you did, too. (You can admit it. You’re among Whovians.) You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

2 comments
Nightsky
2. Rowanmdm
I'm glad someone else has Donna as a favorite companion. She's my favorite for two reasons:
1) I love the best friend relationship she has with the doctor partially b/c it's fun (the banter, oh the banter!) and partially b/c it's so different from the romantically tinged relationships of the other new Who companionts.
2) She has the best character arc of all the new companions. True, she does start out really annoying, but by the end she's this amazing, confident woman, which is why I was MUCH more upset at her getting her mind erased than Rose's getting stuck in another dimension. I do admit that some of the older companions might have had as good or better character arcs, but I haven't seen enough episodes to really know.

My favorites of the old Who are Barbara and Sarah Jane (RIP Lis).

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