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Who watches the watchers? These days, it seems the answer is: quite a few of us…

The Channel 4 series Gogglebox has been a popular hit since 2013, showing various people’s reactions as they sit down and watch the week’s biggest TV shows. But Gogglebox was merely tapping into the popularity of something that had already been an online phenomenon for some years – the ‘reaction video’.

Simply put, a reaction video shows how someone responded while watching a film or television programme. A search of YouTube will bring up thousands of videos of people reacting to all kinds of things – and, of course, Doctor Who is no exception.

The first reaction video to really get the attention of Doctor Who fans emerged in 2007 – a time when not many people were familiar with the idea. Two Irish fans, Niamh Dolan and Briege Grant, decided to use the camera on Niamh’s laptop to record themselves as they watched the first broadcast of Utopia (2007). They knew that Captain Jack would be returning in that episode and wanted to capture their reaction. As Niamh explains, they had no idea of the episode’s other twists, nor that their hysterical responses to them would elicit such huge enthusiasm when the video spread online.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

The bumper 100-page Christmas 2016 issue of Doctor Who Magazine contains a wealth of seasonal goodies including: a huge preview of the 2016 Christmas Special, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, with contributions from writer Steven Moffat and director Ed Balazgette; exclusive interviews with Matt Lucas, who plays new companion Nardole, and guest-star Justin Chatwin; a brand-new Christmas comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Jess: "Be Forgot"; a feature which reveals the Doctor's amazing superhero-like abilities!; The Fact of Fiction looks in-depth at 2006’s Christmas Special The Runaway Bride, with new insights from writer Russell T Davies; a look back at all the things that have happened in the universe of Doctor Who in 2016; The Time Team watch The Sarah Jane Adventures: Death of the Doctor and 2010's A Christmas Carol; a look at how the Doctor Who Pinball Table has been recreated for a new generation; the Watcher's fiendishly festive Christmas quiz; plus previews, reviews, official news and much more!