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I see Angels everywhere....

No I haven't joined a religious cult...I haven't totally lost it yet.

I did however get to thinking about how aspects of my PhD have infiltrated my whole life. Not least that I see AIDS and gay characters everywhere I look. Watching Doctor Who this weekend (Spoiler alert across the blog!) where the Weeping Angels take over New York was I yelling 'Don't kill Rory again Moffat' no. I was shouting, and I quote:

'Oh no Moff, not my Angel, the Angel Bethesda is not a weeping Angel.'






Now of course the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is no more a Weeping Angel than any of the others, nor is she 'my' Angel (I said I haven't totally lost it) however I am incredibly attached to this particular fountain. Every time I go to New York I go there, I greet the Angel with a 'Salut' and in winter I mutter something about 'ice in the pipes' that it's my 'favourite place in the park'. None of this actually has anything to do with me, it's all from Angels in America. One of my favourite plays and one of my PhD texts.

(Incidentally I've long been convinced that Steven Moffat's idea for the Weeping Angels actually comes from the opening of the HBO version of Angels in America when the statue turns her head at the end of the opening credits, something that was echoed in a more sinister way in Doctor Who)




That physical place has become significant through the text, and seeing it used in a different context was very strange, particularly in something else I'm particularly passionate about and also associate with physical locations. You see I moved out of Cardiff and the Doctor moved in, since then he's brought a number of friends including Sherlock Holmes. So two of the television programmes I am most geeky about film in my home town. I find I no longer refer to places by their real names but their fictional ones. I've lost count of the times I've told someone to meet me 'at Torchwood' to the point I forget what anyone called it before Torchwood existed. It's one thing to watch the TV show and shout 'Cardiff' and 'not Cardiff' or 'That's not an alien planet that's the WMC' or 'Victorian London looks a lot like Bute Street' It's another to spend your life parking by 'Sherlock's alleyway' or 'The Pond's House' or giving directions via Ianto's Shrine (which really is a whole other level of...well something else) But my hometown has at once become a playground of my favourite fictional worlds.


All of Cardiff has become a Tardis at times it seems


So it was very odd for a start to see New York, the very definition of a living film set, take on Doctor Who, but then to see Doctor Who become part of another fictional location that has become physically important to me.

It is a very odd phenomenon that fiction elicits such strong attachments to places and along with that things and the things and places that actually through strange fan associations extend beyond the original text-I'm mightly attached to my black umbrella and woolen jumper due to Sherlock Holmes associations that have nothing to do with what Conan Doyle wrote. Likewise I have a particular pair of Converse associated with a particular production of Angels in America that I can't throw out despite dual associations with someone I'd rather forget existed. An extension of books, tickets photographs and autographs for fans of whatever it might be it's the objects that have a more fan-based self referential significance, a significance only a certain demographic would understand that has more significance.
Although I'm not above posing at Baker Street....

Perhaps that's why a dirty smelly alleyway in Cardiff makes me smile as much as Baker Street itself, why I have to point to a 'little shop' in the WMC and why I always greet a certain stone Angel in central park the same way. And why I will never, ever forgive Steven Moffat for turning her into a scary monster.




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