Peter Capaldi’s ‘enduring fandom’ and the intersectionality of ageing male fan-celebrity: becoming, playing and leaving the 12th Doctor in Doctor Who

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article considers ageing fandom and celebrity as focused on a single figure–the intersectional fan-celebrity. Contra work in celebrity studies which has focused predominantly on ageing female celebrities, and work in fan studies which has addressed the ‘fanboy auteur’ rather than other intersections between celebrity and fandom, I focus on the ageing male actor-fan, taking Peter Capaldi as a case study. Capaldi was 55 years old when cast as the 12th Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who, but had been a fan of the series since his 1960s childhood. I analyse how Capaldi has been subjected to ageist press coverage of his time in Doctor Who, before addressing how his enduring fan identity has been discursively managed as ‘good’ fandom; how it has complicated ideologies of celebrity by supporting a ‘Fan Dream’ of crossing over into official production; and how it has intensified celebrity’s ‘housing of affect’. The ageing fan-celebrity thus offers a way to disavow social ageing in favour of romanticising childhood ‘originary affect’ which can be (re-)claimed in adult professional life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
JournalCelebrity Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018

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