Students at The Lamplighter School are receiving international attention for their fan club, “Who Is Doctor Who,” dedicated to the British science-fiction television series.
Their involvement in writing episode reviews and raising money for Habitat for Humanity led the London-based Doctor Who Appreciation Society to feature the students on the cover of their magazine, Celestial Toyroom, in May. The 5000-word article includes a Q&A with drama teacher and club founder Jeff Peck and his students.
The club started when one student brought a lunch box decorated with the famous time-travel machine from the show and sparked interest from other students. Lunch conversations slowly turned into a summer camp and then weekly after-school classes during the school year with 16 participants this year.
Peck encourages students from second to fourth grade to write about different facets of each episode including plot development, favorite quotes, and what they would change if they were the director. Their entries contribute to a 217-page and growing episode guide the students are working on.
“It’s incredible that something we started two and a half years ago has blossomed worldwide,” Peck said. “Fans all around the world are reading what our Lamplighter students have written about the show. I don’t think even the kids realize how big they have become.”
In April students dressed as their favorite characters and collected souvenirs, autographs, and took photos with celebrity guests at the third annual WhoFest convention in Dallas. Later on a panel discussion they shared their love for the show and talked about their episode guide, which was signed by students and celebrities and auctioned for $135 for Habitat for Humanity.
Students also got the chance to meet five stars from the show including Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Michelle Gomez at Fan Expo Dallas, a science-fiction and fantasy convention held three times a year.
At conventions, students have given copies of their guide to Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy, who played the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, and Karen Gillan, who plays the companion to the eleventh Doctor on the show.