There is a distinct difference between the hard-core Docor Who fan and the casual fan, one for whom Doctor Who is a pleasant entity, a diversion perhaps but ultimately not something to seek out let alone obsess over. The same, perhaps even larger gulf, exists between the casual fan and the even more casual viewer for whom apathy or indifference is the operative terms of engagement.
Even within the spectrum of casual fans there are gradations, people for whom Doctor Who, and a rather particular slice of it, was just a phase, something that appeals when one is 8 or 11 or 18 but gets supplanted by something else as another phase begins. For kids especially, there are seemingly innumerable such phases, most of which can only be discerned well, well after the fact.
For the Doctor Who fan being thought of here, her dalliance lasted a little more than 18 months. It was something neither encouraged or discouraged, but rather merely accepted as a welcome confluence of interest. Her Doctor was Matt Smith and her interest coincided, more or less, with the conspicuous push to make Doctor Who big here in the States. When she first saw The Snowmen she let out an audible gasp when Matt Smith’s face appeared out of a cloud of stars in the opening credits. At that point she was still all in.
But, as suspected, the glimmer would soon fade. She made it, more or less, all the way to The Day of the Doctor, more out of courtesy than anything else. By then all parties involved tacitly acknowledged she had moved on. And that was okay, for the hardcore fan knew something that she did not. That it was a phase come and gone. A really welcome phase.
That same fan is about to enter another phase quite, quite soon. Getting married. Marriages are really rare in Doctor Who. The Wedding of River Song was the overly complex conclusion to Series 6 that had in wedding in title only. The Big Bang at least had Amy and Rory’s wedding at the end of Series 5. We couldn’t think of another one, on screen at least, although Father’s Day and The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith come close.
But the upcoming nuptials we know will not be a phase. They will be forever.