Fandom's paratextual memory: remembering, reconstructing, and repatriating "lost" Doctor Who

Matt Hills, Joanne Garde-Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we aim to bring fan studies and memory studies into greater dialogue through the concept of “paratextual memory”. For media fans, paratextual memory facilitates a sense of “having been there” at key moments of T.V. broadcasting, sustaining fan authenticity and status. We focus on B.B.C. T.V.’s science fiction series Doctor Who (1963–) as a case study due to the fact that the program's “missing episodes” (wiped by the B.B.C.) have been reconstructed by fans through “remixes” of off-air sound recordings and “tele-snap” visual records. Unusually, then, fans’ paratextual memory and related forms of productivity have taken the place of archived television. We go on to address how fan-archivists and entrepreneurs have sought to recover and repatriate “lost” Doctor Who. Processes of fannish paratextual memory typically draw on heritage discourses to valorize “classic” Doctor Who, and fans’ paratextual memory has thus fed into the B.B.C.’s recommodification of “archive” T.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017


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