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    Craig @craig

    All comments and suggestions welcome for this new site.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Maybe the standard welcome and intro section would be nice, perhaps some threads devoted to old Who and maybe a section for discussion of other fav’ programs. (I know for instance that a lot of the Who crowd were posting on the Red Dwarf thread. I guess it really depends upon how much of a fixture you want this site to be. (My feeling is that quite a community has been developing on the Who Guardian threads and is in need of a home.)

    Cheers Janette


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @janetteb some good thoughts, particularly on other shows, and I guess we could look at it. I often see names on the G from the Who Blogs who ask for coverage and discussion on other TV shows (not only Dwarf, but also recently Merlin and Misfits, and suchlike). The next one may be “Being Human” which is due to start before the next series of Who, so it might be something to consider (The G used to do blogs on the series but stopped them a couple of series ago to much consternation).

    Craig @craig

    Thanks @janetteb and @phaseshift. I will try and find some time this weekend to make the site more welcoming, haven’t had much time to breathe since I set it up. Any suggestions for old Who threads would be much appreciated.

    I’ve added topics for all the episodes in the latest series but no comments yet. However, that’s maybe to be expected. But you got me thinking that we could be like my Mum’s book group. Maybe all watch the same old Who story one week, then chat about it afterwards. I think that would be pretty cool.

    I’m also quite happy to set up other forums for other programmes. That sounds like a great idea. It kinda doesn’t fit with the site name but who cares? In the future I can always port the whole site to some sort of URL anyway.

    I’ve now made you, @phaseshift, a Mod, but for some reason that doesn’t come with Forum creation rights, just Topic creation rights. As I said on the other blog, hopefully I can fix that with a bit of hacking. Until I work that out, anyone can email me, address is currently on the Home page, or PM (personal message) me via my user page, to request a new forum.

    janetteB @janetteb

    You are doing a great job. Setting stuff up takes time and we all have a deficit of that precious commodity.  I like your suggestion about watching old episodes each week. “He who humours my madness” and I would be happy to schedule that into our weekly viewing program, which is usually a little thin.

    I noticed the threads but have not got around to commenting yet however will do so over time. It is all about time after all. 🙂


    ScaryB @scaryb

    Re suggestions for topic threads – How about one for the 50th?  Plot speculations, news posts etc… inc alerts/links for eg the audio stories. Pretty please?

    <tugs forelock ingratiatingly>


    Meanwhile this is circulating re 11 “top children’s authors” being commissioned to come up with 1 eshort each, released monthly till Nov. Probables inc JK Rowling, Philip Pullman…

    Craig @craig
    ScaryB @scaryb

    @craig Yay! Thank you. Love the groovy new banner (and avatars) as well

    ScaryB @scaryb

    And the recent posts listing is VERY handy

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Thanks for doing all that work to make our new home so nice.  I’ve just uploaded an enhanced avatar to show my pigeon in all his glory.

    I’m all for doing a book club type thing for the classic series.  However not having seen it since it was first shown, you’ll need to give me time to *ahem* acquire said episodes in some way…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Do we have a ‘general’ general forum yet?

    In the meantime,  sounds very Who-ish

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Website keeps getting better and better. Simple, but elegant, and easy to navigate. If only you were running my employer’s IT team!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Not quite sure where to post this, so I’ll put it here.

    Note – MAYBE VERY SLIGHTLY, VAGUELY SPOILERISH? (lLocation for upcoming episode. Possibly)

    Affleck in episode of Dr Who    (and no, not that one)

    Ha Ha – Irvine Herald scoops the world  – well, OK that’s an exaggeration,  it doesn’t really give anything away. (Go local press!)

    @bluesqueakpip – interesting article tho most of it went waaaay over my head 🙂  Quantum Gas would be good name for a band tho 😎

    Rob @rob

    As an avid reader and very occasional poster on the Guardian Dr Who Blog, thanks for setting up this site so I can get my Dr Who fix on a regular basis 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Posting this here till we get a General thread


    Guardian article re the National TV Award nominations (Predictable comments at the end)

    If we’ve got time, I think we should keep commenting on these articles.  Just to keep the numbers up, so they keep reporting Who news. Then CiF hopefully won’t mind if we leave a link to this site from time to time. It’s interesting how many commenters they’ve lost on the Who threads. Us 24 didn’t really make the difference of 500+ pages did we????!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Nipping on to the G site reinforces what a moany, grumpy bunch most internet posters are 🙂  And what a cosy, comfortable new home you’ve built for us @craig  (thank you x 1m).  I see you’ve even installed a big comfy sofa  (big enough for everyone since we technically occupy no space in this virtual environ) and space to hide behind!)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @scaryb. And the wonderful others who have disappeared, like @HTPBET and @whohar (probably still in the bath) and so many others. If only we could entice them back.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Suggestions for the lovely website (I hope it’s not taking too much of your time to run Craig)

    I’d quite like a sci-fi/ fantasy book and film review section – but that may be deemed off-topic as I was envisaging something broader than just Who novels?

    I’d also like a Who fan-fiction and fan-art and fan-video recommendations thread – I am a fan of fan creatives!

    Finally, what about having a space for us to post relevant short articles – I’d like to see, for example, an article on the theory of black holes (not one I could write) or on the evolving sexuality of the Doctor over time (that’s one I’d have a go at)?

    Perhaps this is all getting too complicated – but it would increase the richness of the site and it would be fun 🙂

    Finally, when you Google TheDoctorWhoForum, Gallifrey Base and all sorts of other Dr. Who forums come up  but not us – we’re rather hidden. Given that this is a new operation with a very small team of our enterprising founder Craig and our glorious moderator @phaseshift perhaps that’s a good thing, but I’m just wondering – would a name-change to the site make for more searchability. What do others think?

    @scaryb – The Guardian loss of Who comments is interesting, but truth be told, they need to have more interesting things above the line. The piece on the National Television Awards is just fluff. We congregated under such articles because we wanted to talk to each other and now we can do it here! I’m sure we will faithfully return for Dan’s episode blog…




    ScaryB @scaryb

    @blenkinsopthebrave Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a way to DM people through the G site (unless anyone knows different).

    So we need to leave a link every so often on the CiFs we think will be the most likely to attract people who want to get involved in bonkers posting. And if we see anyone we know making a post, should reply with a link and an invite – now FINALLY I see a good use for nesting. Otherwise try to post the link where it will be seen – near the top or bottom of a page. But shouldn’t do it too often – otherwise we may pull in a few trolls as well, tho hopefully the registration process should put them off.


    (PS Am based in the northern half of the UK, but spend a fair bit of timeshifting and generally being naturally nocturnal 🙂 )

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish @craig

    re additional threads/topics. I think this is a good idea (I’m assuming just setting up the threads doesn’t take too long). It means that those who want to go and discuss other things can do so without clogging up discussions on other topics.  If people aren’t interested they won’t comment.  If only a few people want to comment on eg fanfic or related youTube links that’s also OK – providing space for minorities is good thing 🙂  Use will go up and down over time anyway depending on people’s work and sleep patterns.  At the moment we’re still in the first flush of excitement at our new home and housemates.

    J-fish – re Guardian articles – you’re right – I forgot that for most of them the most interesting thing was meeting you lot below the line LOL. And it’s mainly Dan’s blog that pulled in the big postings. But a little judicious posting of the link won’t go amiss.

    Re search engines – it sometimes takes a while for new sites to start showing up. @craig – what metatags have you used?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @craig (sorry for multiple taggings this morning!)

    You mentioned there were about 17 people like Juniperfish who had partly registered but weren’t fully signed up. Did you email them all?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Searchability on Google tends to grow with a) number of posts and b) the linkages to other sites.

    I’m a frequent poster-and-technical-assistant on another smallish site (Joss Whedon based, though for some reason we discuss Steven Moffat’s shows a lot 🙂 ) and that has now migrated to top of the list if you search for it by name.

    So I wouldn’t worry too much about being way down the lists when we’re less than ten days old.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @craig – is it possible to do a “like” button? Sometimes you don’t need to make a specific comment but just mark approval if there’s a post you particularly agree with.

    Craig @craig

    Wow, suggestions coming thick and fast today people. Great!

    @scaryb I’ve increased the latest posts to 15. You can also click the Activity tab to see what’s been going on recently.

    I’ll go through the list of possible forum topics tonight and draw up a plan.

    As for SEO, I’m pretty good at it and advise companies on it, I just haven’t had time to do any yet but there are a few things to fix with this template that will make it more search engine friendly. However, if you search for “The Doctor Who Forum” with quotes around, it we are 7, 8 and 9 in Google, which is not bad for a brand new site. It just takes time.

    @juniperfish there is a blog function and I was going to ask people if they wanted to write articles/blogs for it. That is not a problem at all. If you want to write something, do so and then I can make you an “Author” on the blog so that you can post it.

    Re registered members, I did email them. One of them was Juniperfish, which is how she finally thankfully got here. I also added another 2 people who haven’t posted yet I don’t think. However, when I looked closely a lot of them seemed to be spambot sign-ups (which is why the confirmation process is required before you can post). But I’m keeping my eye on it and will continue to email people if they look genuine and haven’t confirmed after a few days.

    Sorry if I haven’t dealt with everything here – will have a lot more time this evening.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Don’t apologise @craig you’re a star!

    In terms of a thread for Part 2 of the current series and speculations thereof that might be useful (although we’ll have to deal with the spoilers issue). The difficulty is that we don’t know whether the 50th Anniversary special is going to be the place where Trenzalor or Clara’s identity for instance are dealt with or not – so it might be useful to have a separate “future narrative speculations separate from the 50th special” thread.

    Thanks again for all your hard work.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish re @craig – seconded, wholeheartedly – complete star. I’m amazed at what’s been set up so far. It’s been discussed as a possibility since at least last September. @craig jumped in at the eleventh hour (on the G blog) and saved the day by creating this lovely new nest/escape pod. (It’s even got it’s own “registration confirmation” security bots on the door 🙂 )

    And yes, we are very early days here, so absolutely no worries re any of it.  In time this could be as big and exciting as the TARDIS as we add new rooms and topics! We’re definitely bigger on the inside 🙂

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Logging in at work *shhhh*

    I’m wondering if there should be a news page or something like it.   I don’t mean that we write our own articles or cut and paste them from other sites, but rather provide links to them.  For instance the new short story series which the Guardian had an article on the other day would be a contender (I posted it in the 50th Anniversary forum I think).  A lot of us seem to be finding interesting stuff out there and it could solve the problem of where to post ‘spoiler’ type things – as long as the intro was suitably cryptic but with a warning to those of a sensitive nature .

    Where is @whohar and @Baldynapper?

    Craig @craig

    Ah, lunchtime!

    @chickenelly I’ve now set up a Doctor Who news topic under “General”. You can find it here:

    Also @whohar is signed up, that’s why their @ mention turns into a link. Don’t think they’ve posted yet though. Go figure.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Thanks @craig!  Of course I’ve got nothing to post there now but I’m sure it will come in handy in the future.

    Hmmm there seems to be quite a few johnnycomelatelys about.  Young @whohar is probably gadding about in his country pile as we speak.




    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip and @scaryb‘s suggestions to fish/ entice other Guardian regulars by posting the link in relevant comment threads occasionally is a good one – hope the Guardian are not mean-spirited enough to delete!

    @craig – might we also have a thread for discussion of “Companions – Past and Present” – I want to talk about how in love with Jenny and Vastra I am 🙂


    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish I’ve set up that topic:

    I’ll set up a few more that you and others have requested shortly.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Every time I come in there’s new spaces! Love the new threads 🙂

    I don’t think we should worry too much about promoting the site/attracting new people – we’ve built it – they will come!

    Up to 49 now and the site’s less than 2 weeks old.

    I think one of the main things is to preserve the very sociable/community nature of this site as far as possible – quality rather than quantity of members. eg DoctorWhoForum (not “THE” 🙂 ), formerly Outpost Gallifrey, has tens of 1000s of members and operates a strict no free email subscribers (ie no hotmail, yahoo etc) policy as they’ve had so many problems with trolls etc in the past. (Not suggesting we go that route tho, just pointing out there’s a MASSIVE (and diverse) bunch of Dr Who fans out there! Not all of them are pleasant)

    For me a safe haven/community of like minded bonkers theorising enthusiasts is to be treasured. Selective postings of the link to here on the G CiF threads, but it doesn’t have to be frenetic, so shouldn’t piss them off. There’s nearly a year and the rest of season 7 to catch the Dan Martin bloggers for example and they’d be my main target.

    Think we should let this grow organically, but not too fast.  eg I remember a particular poster (names not necessary) on Dan’s blog who used to bait people endlessly and at 1 point (in season 6 I think) it threatened to destabilise the whole blog.  That was the first time I noticed the special thing about that blog as several other posters rallied round to support the one who was being trolled. But it was noticeable that comments were less frequent when he was around. Thankfully he wasn’t around for 7a.

    My point is that it takes just 1 person to drench the rest of the blog in cold, lumpy soup.

    Now obv this is a less public forum and there are safeguards already in place (thanks @craig)  but (IMHO) it will work better if it goes slow and steady as the numbers build so that new members start to feel part of the community and comfortable enough to try to get a word in edgeways!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @scaryb – well you get the award for the “very sensible post” above 🙂 This is me “like” rating it!



    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish Thank you <oops, takes sensible hat off again>

    Go and check out what they’ve been up to on Spoilers thread – it’s very funny, and very silly

    Craig @craig

    A blog for the site

    Dear all, @juniperfish raised the possibility of adding articles to the site yesterday. There is a blog function that I have currently turned off which could be used for that. I can make anyone who wants to post a blog or article an “author” so that they can do so. It would operate just like the Guardian blogs, but I will of course turn off nested comments!

    I think it’s a good idea. It will give us a chance to explore different topics that might not fit with the more general chat on the forums. It will also be good link-bait and improve search engine rankings.

    It will be a place to post whatever you want that you think your fellow members might be interested in. Juniperfish was keen to write one on the evolving sexuality of the Doctor over time, but it could be something as simple as “My favourite Doctor” or something more in-depth and off-topic as “The Theory of Black Holes” (also suggested by Juniperfish, although she said she couldn’t write that herself).

    So if you want to contribute something, let me know. I look forward to hearing from all those budding (or even professional) writers out there.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    The website is looking good!

    Can we have  a thread/ space to discuss fan creativity (fan fiction, videos, art, costumes, conventions)? We could ask that any links posted be SFW (suitable for work)?


    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish Done! I’ve opened it with a general thread for now, but will add more threads as it develops.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi @craig – the website continues to grow and is looking good!

    @jimthefish suggested a thread for “Dr Who Memories” and I really like that idea – can we have it? Please :-)?

    I know nothing about creating websites but re your battles with spammers etc. – thank you!

    Craig @craig

    Hi @juniperfish Great idea from @jimthefish. Your wish etc…

    I’ll put something up on the Home page shortly.

    And thanks, no spambots have registered since I made the changes so hopefully that means they’ve worked.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Should we also have a link to LindaLee’s Dr Who reviews? What do you think? 🙂

    Latest here

    janetteB @janetteb

    This forum is about two weeks old, (that old already!!!), and I want to say a massive, massive THANKS to Craig.

    You are doing a wonderful job with this. I am sooo impressed by the continuing effort you are putting in to making this a very special place for us bonkers fans. Thank-you.



    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi @craig – the website continues to evolve splendidly.

    I wonder about a thread titled something along the lines of “Here Be Dragons  (Honestly, Not). A Space for Newbies and Quieter Comrades”  which might offer something like “a space to welcome you here, whether you are new to the site or have been part of the community for a while but have maybe been felt a bit shy about posting”?

    I’m just conscious that for new folk or the less gob-shite among us (obviously I fall into the gob-shite category 🙂 ) this space might provide a gentle “entry point”?


    Anonymous @

    Yes, @craig. In just two weeks you’ve created a really amazing must-haunt website. Excellent work.

    Craig @craig

    @janetteb @juniperfish @jimthefish

    Many thanks. It’s been my pleasure. You guys (and I include women in that too, like actor for all, not actor and actress – hopefully I’m not offending anyone) have entertained me for the last few years on The Guardian while I’ve been lurking. This seems like the least I could do to pay you back.

    And I kinda enjoy it. I’ve messed about with these programmes but never really run a proper community site before. This one is developing as it grows, and that’s a lot of fun. It’s like watching my baby grow. And I’m learning new stuff all the time.

    Re a thread for LindaLee or a thread for newbies such as Here be Dragons (not), I’m not so sure, at the mo. I’m not a big fan of forums that have thousands of topics but each topic only has a few comments. I’d like to keep the site focused, at least for now, on the essentials. I think it makes it better for everyone. But I am open to change as things develop.

    But if you disagree, just let me know. I’m not the boss here, just the facilitator. And that will always be the case.

    Anonymous @


    I tend to agree RE. website comments. With regards to the two suggestions, couldn’t we just link to LindaLee’s reviews in the relevant episode thread as and when it becomes appropriate? With regards to the ‘here be dragons’ thread, it’s a nice idea but I think it would be sufficient if we just all do our best to encourage interaction wherever possible by being thoughtful, polite and welcoming. We diehards aren’t that scary, are we? (Well, @scaryb might be, but we’ll just have to make allowances for them…:))

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    A couple of reflections on this wonderful–and ever expanding–site.

    On the one hand, it is brilliant that we have it. @craig has been a hero. He deserves endless thanks and plaudits.

    The speed with which the site has expanded is amazing. And some of the contributions over the last couple of weeks since the site went active have been wonderful.

    We can now go to separate pages for speculation, or memories, or pages on specific episodes, even non-Who pages. Which is great.

    Sometimes, of course, the different pages can be a bit confusing. Reflections on the forthcoming episodes can be posted on the page about speculation for the 50th. Comments about companions are sometimes really personal Who memories.

    Indeed, in a strange sort of way, the amazing diversity of the site, with its different pages, has a tendency to repeat some of the problems of the Guardian site, where the nested structure broke the flow of the conversation.

    Which brings me to the whole question of “conversation”. That, it seems to me, was the very best of the Guardian Who blog. There was a genuine sense of a flowing and developing conversation that was embedded in the one simple thread. The conversation might range from bonkers theories about what was to come, to reflections on the difference between Old and Nu Who, to assessment of the writing and acting. But is was all part of a single conversation. People actively responded to what went before and a genuine collective conversation took place.

    But I wonder if we might have lost something of that conversation. Many of the posts now are single contributions, rather than part of a collectivbe conversation. Of course, there are responses to what posters have said, but they are immediate and do not really lead to an ongoing discussion. In fact, in many ways, the responses that do appear are strangely similar to what happened under the nested structure on the Guardian pages.

    Now, having said all this, I am still deeply grateful that we Enthusiasts have a dedicated site to share our thoughts and reflections, but, I also find myself missing the feel of the single, ongoing conversation.


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @craig and @blenkinsopthebrave and @jimthefish

    I think we have a richness here that a single thread wouldn’t capture. For instance, we’ve had conversations about fan-creativity, thanks to that thread here, that we did not touch on whilst on a single “episode discussion” thread on The Guardian.

    I can see that endlessly proliferating threads could be a problem however.

    One solution might be to add a thread called “On the Sofa” which could be a drop-in general chat about anything thread, which could also cover my “welcome newbies” idea as well.  That could be maintained as a drop-in, first port of call, discuss anything you like space – the first place we all head to – and people can hive off into the other threads for more specialist topic discussion?

    Sure, we can leave links to Linda Lee’s reviews to post under particular episode discussion threads. Although sometimes websites have a “blogroll” of their own favourite recommended blogs, so alternatively we could have one of those and recommend her there?

    We’re only in the beginning stages of a 50th Anniversary Year fantastic experiment, so let’s just play with it, see what happens and enjoy the journey!


    ScaryB @scaryb

    We’re only in the beginning stages of a 50th Anniversary Year fantastic experiment, so let’s just play with it, see what happens and enjoy the journey!

    Works for me!

    Re the newbies – I think we all tend to go thro the same process – a period of time lurking till a formulating theory becomes too strong not to share! How long that is will be different for everyone. Some people will be happy lurkers forever.

    But maybe a general chat area could be useful. We could put the sofa in there (it’s not really got a home yet)!  If it’s to work as encouragement for the newbies, would need to have it highlighted on the home page, with a wee bit of text suggesting it’s the first stop.   I agree with Craig – there’s a fair bit of fragmenting already. Not to mention some deadly time loop lotus-traps (eg the fanfic strand) 🙂  Let’s see which threads get posted on and how many stay on-topic. Would link to Linda Lee’s reviews not come under news? (or fan creativity)

    Craig @craig


    I am still deeply grateful that we Enthusiasts have a dedicated site to share our thoughts and reflections, but, I also find myself missing the feel of the single, ongoing conversation.

    I completely agree with you. That’s why I’m reluctant to set up too many topics, it does fracture the conversation. If I’m honest I’m not used to a forum like this. My experience of forums has mostly been technical ones about building websites where users start a new topic almost every time they post, usually along the lines of “Help, how do I do this?” Then I would go on and answer their question. Those sites have thousands of topics with a few replies, but that is how it should be.

    This is different, and if anyone with more experience of this sort of forum wants to provide some sage advice, I’m very happy to hear it (I think @bluesqueakpip said they helped out on a BUffy one). I’ve had a look at a few other Doctor Who forums (at least the ones you don’t have to register for) and many of them have not edited the software or changed permissions and so allow all users to start topics. They are therefore a lot more fractured than this. For example, this one has 652 pages of topics:

    I think the current issues are probably due to the fact that we are very few users at the beginning of an experiment, as @juniperfish said. As we grow (which I expect will only really happen once the new series starts) more and more people will be making more and more posts. Hopefully it will get to a point where no one can possibly read every post, but you will just find topics and conversations you enjoy, follow them and join in. At that point it should be much more like the old Guardian threads. I do hope so.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi @craig <waves>

    Can we just have one more thread – “On the Sofa”? A general drop in/ hang out space?

    This would be a place people can just congregate to say “hello” to one another. If no one posts in it, we can get rid of it, but I have the sense it might be a comfortable spot – somewhere for us to “hang out” with one another, even if we are not burning to dissect something particular at the time?

    Thanks (and pretty please?) @juniperfish

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