A Doctor Who Fan's Guide to Dealing with Doctor Who Fans
So, you've decided that you really like the top televisual program Doctor Who and you'd like to get more involved with the fandom in general. BEWARE it is dangerous and the unprepared can easily lose their footing. Doctor Who fans have a reputation of being obsessive to the point of dangerous. However like a common household pet tiger, they should be handled with care and over time can be trained to do tricks and eventually integrated into society as a whole. Before that however, there are a few important points.
1) Beware, Doctor Who fans are perhaps unrivalled in their ability to slag off the program they love, this may lead you to believe they don't actually like Doctor Who - but this has been going on for as long as the show has been around. "I don't like this Troughton fellow, he's nothing on my beloved Billy", "Christ, who is this goggle-eyed moron taking over from Jon Pertwee?", "Oh my god, I hate JNT", "OMG I H8 RTD" etc etc. It is unclear to scientists why they behave in such a way, other than some deep psychological masochistic need.
2) Beware, there are certain things which are liable to spark of an all-out warfare between them regarding what is canon and what is not canon. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you utter the words "Half-Human", "Peter Cushing", "Lungbarrow" or "Season 6b".
3) Beware, although 'common knowledge' may state that Colin Baker was the worst doctor, this is not always the case in Doctor Who fandom and Six-Fanciers have been known to take down an unwary critic faster than a Raston Warrior Robot on a cocaine fuelled bender.
4) Beware, ANYTHING CAN BE A SPOILER! Casting news? SPOILER! Sun-based rumour? SPOILERZ! A picture of RTD sitting naked in a bathtub filled with his television awards cackling away to himself? ZOMG SP01LARZ!!
5) Beware, asking a seemingly simple question like "How many companions has the Doctor had?" can result it more canon-wars as novels, audio adventures, comic strips and the 'Dr Who & The Darleks' cards free with Weetabix in the 1970's all battle it out to be considered 'canon'.
6) Beware, although talking to the grumpy curmudgeons of the old-schoolers may seem like throwing stones into a minefield: it is nothing compared to Ten/Rose Shippers. These people are like piranhas and the slightest whiff of anything suggesting that Ten/Rose is not OTP or that Martha Jones is anything other than a demon succubus then they will attack at such a speed that even the Six-Fanciers are shocked.
7) Beware, when not arguing amongst themselves or discussing how much they hate RTD, Doctor Who fans enjoy speculating on what will happen in the future. Generally these theories involve amazingly complicated links between details in the scenery or in a particular way a character said the word 'Rassilon' and concludes that Rose/Jack/Martha/Harriet Jones/Novice Hame/Extra #0249 is actually The TARDIS/Rassilon/Omega/Bilis Manger/The Rani/The Meddling Monk/Extra #0273 wearing a moustache. These theories are almost always complete crap, but don't say this otherwise they'll start fighting again.
8) Beware, Slash fiction is best avoided if you want to keep your mind.
9) Beware, Although you may initially avoid the aforementioned wars regarding hatred of the new series, wars regarding the canonical values of the canon or wars involving icanhastardis macros against a troll who stumbled in wildly from Stargate fan-forum and declared that they deserved the Guinness World Record you may find yourself not only siding with one particular side of the argument but actively participating in an argument. If at any point you find yourself quibbling vehemently about Looms then you're in too deep. Nothing can save you now.
10) But most of all, BEWARE, asking why they're slagging off the new series is always a bad idea as this just opens the floodgates...