Happy Birthday OMNI!

Oh, doesn’t time fly? One day your baby is just a newborn in tiny clothes that are too big and then before you know it they’re out of diapers and running around the house like crazy. That is the spirit in which I wish the omnirumour a Happy 1st Birthday.

That’s right. One year ago today the news hit the internet. The omnirumour was born. Oh sure, it had been kicking around the dusty ME forums for a while prior to that, but I consider that it’s conception (continuing with my analogy) while it’s true birth was one year ago today.

As we blow the candle out on that cake, and make a wish (we’re all wishing for the same thing, I am sure), I present a repeat for your reading pleasure. Here is a little piece I originally wrote for Doctor Who Worldwide back in January, celebrating a different milestone!

Dr. MEWlove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Omnirumour

January 14th is a little bit of a milestone for me, one that I celebrated quietly on this very site. It’s not really important like my wedding anniversary or my kids birthdays, hell it’s not even something my wife wants me to talk about anymore. That’s because on January 14th my family will have been hearing my omnirumour conspiracies for a whopping seven months.

Oh, I remember June 14th very well. It was one of those warm summer days that always fill me with nostalgia. Even though I’ve been out of school for more than a decade, I still feel happy and optimistic toward the end of the semester. My brain’s hardwired to enjoy those last few weeks in June, remembering the thrill that comes when you’re set free from the confines of class and able to laze about for two months.

So I was already in a great mood when my friend Jamie came in to work. He was a recent Who convert, having spent most of his life thinking the show was more suited for his Dad than for himself. Over the course of a year my enthusiasm for the show and Matt Smith’s tenure in particular, eventually won him over and he gave it a shot, starting with “The Eleventh Hour.” I don’t know if it was love at first sight or not, but he became a fan and we’ve spent many hours discussing new episodes.

On this particular day he dropped the bombshell. “There’s a report on the internet that they found all kinds of lost Doctor Who episodes!” He said gleefully. And I stopped breathing. Literally. Even though he was a fan, Jamie had never delved into the classic series, so he didn’t really know what this news meant to me. Yes, he was aware that there were a number of classic episodes destroyed by the BBC and that my favourite Doctor, Troughton, had lost practically all of his stories. But there was a big difference between our two reactions. To him this was a “oh, that would be cool if they found them” sort of thing.

But to me it was like being struck by lightning.

A few years previous I had been sitting on my bed surfing the web. I was supposed to be writing, trying to finish up a novel that I had been working on for quite a long time. My wife was in the other bedroom trying to get our one year old daughter to sleep. It was always a challenge, the toddler hated going to bed and most nights we would have to rock her to sleep, sometimes spending hours with her in that dark room. I had hit a road block in my editing and decided to waste a little time looking at my favourite Doctor Who news site. My heart stopped when I saw the headline proclaiming that two lost episodes of Doctor Who had been found and screened at the Missing Believed Wiped event. I was so excited I fist pumped the air and hopped up and down. It was only with the utmost self-restraint that I kept myself from barging into my daughter’s bedroom and telling my wife the fantastic news. This was one of the greatest days in my life.

So you can imagine how I felt when suddenly confronted with the possibility that many episodes were found. My emotions ran free and unchecked for a moment and I doubt $50M lottery winners were as excited as I was, hopping up and down and making a complete fool of myself. After a minute I felt the tug of reality and tried to rein everything in. “That would be awesome,” I told him. “But you know you can’t believe everything you hear on the internet.” With extremely limited web access as work, I knew there wasn’t a chance of finding anything out right away. It would have to wait until I got home from work.
Those were some of the longest hours of my life. The clock ticked slower and slower as 5:30 neared, but eventually it was quitting time and I took off for home, ignoring everything and everyone on my way. Once there I burst through the door, side stepping my wife and kids to run straight for the computer, anxiously twitching as I waited for my trusted Doctor Who news site to load up. And I was devastated when it did. There was nothing. No report of missing episodes found. No rumours. Just a boring release about the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Frustrated I grabbed my phone and sent Jamie a coded text that read “…” That’s it, three dots. We had come up with the response earlier in the day. It was the fastest way I could tell him that he had gotten my hopes up for nothing.

I pouted around the house for a few hours, inconsolable. Yeah, I didn’t really think that the rumours were going to be true, but still… Eight o’clock came around and it was time for the kids to go to bed. I read them a story and tucked them in. With no other distractions I headed back online, determined to find the source of the rumours that Jamie had passed along. It only took me a moment before I traced them back to Bleeding Cool and I laid my eyes on that site for the very first time.

“Will Doctor Who Have A Very Special Surprise For Us In November?” It said and under the headline was a picture from Evil Of The Daleks.

It was a defining moment in my Doctor Who fandom, one that changed my life forever. I abandoned my previous Doctor Who site immediately. No more waiting for official news, no more being completely in the dark. It was time to embrace the speculation and love the omnirumour.

 

That’s the end of my original article. Here we are six months after I wrote that and we’re still no nearer to actually seeing anymore of those episodes. The wait has been hard on a lot of fans, some more than others, but at least something good has come from it. Friendships. I have made several awesome friends over the past few months with DWW and TIMD, and don’t forget about the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook. So, even though no more episodes have been announced, many of us are still better off than we were before.

Having said that, I would still like to see some more of those episodes…

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