The Traveling Show

Doctor Who Series 9My viewing of tonight’s Doctor Who involved an NFL player, the Marines and a “famous” author (who I didn’t know). There were so many comedic road blocks for me to see this episode; my evening should have been title: “Mr. Bean Watches Doctor Who.”

When I say I’m a passionate Doctor Who fan, I mean it. People underestimate me when I say this like I’m sarcastic; I’m not.

I had an important work event tonight away from home. With the time difference, I knew I had to leave by 7:30 pm to make it back to my hotel to watch the episode. This installment carried a higher priority than usual. A main character was rumored to be leaving the show tonight, but this isn’t about that (no spoilers). For me, Doctor Who is what any sports game is to the obsessed sports fan.

This is live TV. I can’t pause it. Yes, I could watch it tomorrow. Yes, I could view the re-run at midnight, but I saw it trending all day from the UK airing. The spoilers were at the gate fighting to get in. I managed to avoid them and still live tweet my non-Doctor Who events.

After a while, my anxiety clock was presenting a rude face to others who wanted to stay. I looked at my phone, and suddenly, I had five minutes to make it back.

Magically a cab was waiting out front; this was like a birthday gift. I left my colleagues behind. I started to stream the show live on my phone through my satellite TV app (a service I am glad I pay for).

The episode started with no issues. I relaxed a bit and even took a moment to be in awe of the technology of our time. Here I am in a moving vehicle watching live TV on my tiny phone. My younger self has so much to look forward to.

I needed to make two hotel stops. One to pick up my things and the other was my destination. We got to the first hotel, and the show paused for a commercial. The timing was perfect. I killed the app to pay the driver. As he swiped my card, and I notice a crowd outside of the hotel. Seemed odd. I knew there as a military ball inside, but why the crowd? As I walked in, I saw a line of people organized in a single file behind a low-hanging rope. I ignored it in my hurry for the elevator, which is being guarded by some very well-dressed Marines. They call the elevator for me while a small herd of people gather. I quietly fire up the app.

We stop rather quickly. I look up to see multiple stops in my future. The show is pausing and starting because of the poor cell service in the elevator.

Many people keep getting on and off. This is taking forever. But I know what’s happening in the story.

As we ride north, the Marines explain they’re having a celebration of the core. As they get off on one floor, a group of teachers jumps on. With each button they push, my anxiety grows. They recoginze the woman next to me who is an author; they’re fans. Diane something, I didn’t catch it nor did I know her. At each elevator stop, they take a selfie and get off at their respective floors. I’m now screaming in my head. As one jumps off, she shouts, “you’re so famous, we just had to see you!” I look at the author’s name badge and I still have no idea who she is. I feel bad, but then she says, “I clean my toilet like everyone else. Which I need to do when I get home.”

Finally my floor. I run to the room and launch the app again. I’m a little lost, but I quickly catch up.

I still need to get to my hotel. I think for a moment about just staying for the last 45 minute, but I was borrowing the space to leave my stuff. It felt odd to stay.

I keep the show going and jump back in the elevator. As I descend, we make a couple more stops, and I lose service again. People get on and off. I’m going crazy.

Finally, I walk through the lobby, and the line has now added police. I see jerseys in hand, dads with their sons and their Sharpies at the ready. Then it clicks, there’s an NFL player is visiting the hotel. Everyone is lined up to see him. As I walk through the rotating doors, I seem him out front with a series of hotel employees taking selfies. I chuckle at my crazy fan moment with the show and theirs. We’re not that far apart. As I’m standing there, the show is playing on my phone. I try to concentrate as I race to my hotel. I lose the service, and it crashes.

I call home to see what I’ve missed and no one’s caught up either.

I rush back to the hotel. I run in, fire up the wifi and settle in for the last 35 minutes. I’m crazed, a little lost, but I’m happy. I join my fellow Whovians on Twitter as we watch this heartbreaking episode together.

I love this show.