Oh, Kroll, here’s another post in which I reveal my great age vis a vis the rest of the active fandom. But, yanno, it’s ok, because as I trace the history of my Character Identification, it will serve as an object lesson for you young whippersnappers on how to adapt as you age.
When I first got into Doctor Who I was all about Sarah Jane Smith. She was a journalist; I was the editor of my high school newspaper. She was from 1980; it was 1981. She had brown hair and a squarish face; so did I. It all worked.
Then Peri came along, and, gosh, she was an American college student the same time I was! On the plus side, she also had a ridiculous full name. So did I! Oh, okay, technically, it wasn’t me, it was my Mary Sue character, who was an American college student traveling with the 5th Doctor named Hildegarde Jones. (Hildegarde, or Hildy, after the Peter Scolari character in Bosom Buddies. Yes, my mind is indeed a strange and wonderful place!) It also helped that my go-to character in Federation fan films was Peri. I was all about her, and she was mostly me.
When Doctor Who entered “the wilderness years” and I kinda sorta dropped out of the fandom (not completely, though, since I was on the Visions con com). I still had a fondness for Peri uber alles, though. When the Federation got back together in 1998-2000 to make more films, I was happy to revisit Peri, because being her reminded me of a simpler time in my life. (One that didn’t include a toddler!)
(Years later, I found out that Nicola Bryant and I have the same birthday. Amusing, yes? She’s exactly one year older than me.)
Fast-forward to the new series. I vaguely twigged on Harriet Jones for awhile, because she was really the only older woman in the first year who wasn’t obnoxious or a chav. But then… Sarah came back! OH YEAH! Not only did she come back, but she got her own series! Now she was saving the world from the comfort of her own home, with a gang of teens to assist. As my daughter was getting older (and as I ferried a gaggle of Girl Scouts through several years of activities), I could totally identify.
As much as I want to be Sarah again, and as much as I try, I really feel I’m more and more like Sylvia Noble! I keep holding my daughter up to possibly impossible standards, and spend most of my time nagging her. “Have you done your homework yet? Isn’t it time for drum practice? Will you please get off the computer/xbox/iPad/iPod and do something that doesn’t involve the Internet??????? Where’s your school photos– I’ve told you several times already to go pick them up from Room H-206! What do you mean you didn’t bring the assignment home?” Ugh. You get the idea.
I don’t want to be like Sylvia, and require a traumatic incident to happen to my daughter, in order to just shut up and let her live her life. It’s work, though, to figure out which battles to fight and which battles to concede. Like Sylvia did, it’s really easy to just give up and criticize everything. I don’t want to be that kind of parent.