Published on June 14th, 2010 | by Andrew Reynolds
Doctor Who Fans who love blurry pictures (of nothing) and tabloid journalism were given a treat by the Daily Star who believe images of Matt Smith’s â€˜Little Mattâ€™ were seen by millions during Saturdays episode The Lodger.
The paper reports that forums went into â€˜meltdownâ€™ as fans tried to glimpse images of Matt in the buff.
They even went so far as to quote Who fans themselves:
â€œWho fan Rich Johnston, who posted details on a website, boasted: â€œIt is true, you can clearly see. Yes, while millions were watching the football I really did see the Doctorâ€™s willy.â€
Another fan added: â€œAmazing, it leaves little to the imagination.
â€œThe Doctor may have two hearts but he appears to be a typical human male in other areas.â€
Earlier today Kasterborous emailed Who fan Rich Johnston, who is in fact a former Doctor Who Comic writer, and was once the recipient of Punch magazines Young Writer of the Year Award, who said:
â€œDidn’t say a word of that. What I did say is on BleedingCool.com though which is, I hope, a little wittier.â€
Johnston attributes the quote used by the Daily Star to a posting he made on the message board of Popbitch.com which actually says:
â€œMatt Smith. IDSHC. While everyone else was watching the football. Freeze frame into Doctor Who, 15 minutes, ten seconds in.
â€œDon’t question my motivationâ€¦â€
You may argue that people are always complaining that they are being miss-quoted in the press and that journalists themselves often teach trainees to get ready to have complaints from sources about their quotes once they see them in the harsh backlit glare of their computers.
However this was taken from a website, where the actual words were written down and not just any part of a website, the forum section .
Its considered bad journalism just thinking about taking a quote from what is a free discussion page and not, a grab-a-quote stop off for lazy journalists.
All this begs the question; why go to the trouble of accrediting Johnston with the quote if the Daily Star was just going to change it anyway? Before the story was circulated in the echo chamber of the internet, anyone who could a) spell Rich Johnston b) has and knows how to use Google would find the quote and see it was inaccurate.
The fact that they tried to hide this by citing â€˜on a websiteâ€™ for Johnston makes it all the more clear that the next two quotes are fakes with not a syllable of either appearing on Bleeding Cool or Popbitch.
Citation is made all the more difficult now because other news sites are cautiously avoiding quoting Johnston, rather, sites like Digital Spy are crediting the whole thing to the Daily Star.
Who writer Gareth Roberts recently found himself defending jokes made about Lady Gaga joining the cast of Who by the Daily Star after it miss-quoted him.
A BBC spokesperson responding to the Daily Mail said:
“Fans might speculate about what they saw. But I can assure them that Matt wasn’t totally naked when he filmed these scenes. He was sporting an item to protect his modesty.”
Which makes a group of Who fans posting under the title â€œDoc-Cock-Watchersâ€ (no, really) sound incredibly serious.
So what does this have to do with Doctor Who? Well the next time you settle down to vent some much deserved spleen about any facet of the Whoinverse, just be careful whose looking in and make sure you get in touch.