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Shipping is a complicated and subversive way of responding to a story’s characters – there’s a whole lot more to it than just “getting them together”.
How fandoms are affected when their favourite characters return to their screens.
The online mockery of fans of Zayn Malik, who left One Direction the same day Jeremy Clarkson was fired, would never be levelled at grown-up sports or Top Gear fans.
In advance of Peter Capaldi’s debut as the Twelfth Doctor, the cast have been on a world tour, doing their duty to its global fandom. By exporting this British cultural institution, what are we saying about ourselves?
The hypothetical direct channel to the writers and actors in our favourite TV shows fosters a false sense of intimacy. But it's all an illusion – television isn't a democracy.