Like other episodes of The Fan Show, it consisted entirely of a narrative story, though information about a real-life Doctor Who convention was conveyed through dialogue. The story is not, however, set in the Doctor Who universe, even in a parodical way, instead being a satire of the common behaviour of Doctor Who fans.
Michaela Traken, Chris Akhaten and Nigel Voord-Karabraxos, of the TV show "Fanwatch", go fanwatching at a convention, observing the peculiar animals that are Doctor Who fans and the unique behaviours of each subspecies.
It is on the outskirts of a convention center in "deepest London" that Michaela Traken, Chris Akhaten and Nigel Voord-Karabraxos greet their audience, promising to observe fans of many types, "from the Assiduous Autograph-Hunter to the Common Cosplayer" as they "feed, commune, and potentially find a mate". Nigel declares that viewers should "don their brainy specs and grab a Jammie Dodger, because this… is Fanwatch!", at which point all three cast-members take out laminated "Fanwatch" cards which they hold out for the camera.
The first specimen they observe is a "mature Autograph-Hunter", sitting in a corridor and reviewing the autographs he has already obtained, before they go over to the stalls, where they now have a "clear line of sight" on an example of "the Great Merch Collector", described as fans who "own everything… twice". Nigel gives further details on this type of fan, describing their overfull nests at some length (they apparently refer to them as "their very own TARDIS").
Michaela then explains to her audience that frequent viewers of Fanwatch have submitted their own amateur pictures of a very common type of fan, the Common Cosplayer. There follow pictures of varyingly-DIY cosplays of the Eleventh Doctor, a Bronze Dalek, the Eighth Doctor, one "flock" (containing two versions of Romana, K9, the Master and "a classic Fourth Doctor") caught on film in Brazil by Leticia, and a "snap" of a "very noble Draconian" submitted by Paul as Michaela explains in voice-over that such people can be recognised even from 20 metres away from the smell of poster-paint and PVA glue. Also included in the roster is a shot of some old Scottish guy as the Twelfth Doctor, submitted by a certain S. Moffat, of Cardiff.
Michaela Traken interrupts the litany of cosplayers and characteristics thereof, urging them to cut to the live Fanwatch camera, on which they can now catch a glimpse of "the Crested Completist", a fez-wearing fan notable for having watched the whole of televised Doctor Who. Caught reading through The Making of Doctor Who, the Completist is said by Michaela to already be wondering if the total length of Doctor Who she gave in the voiceover was taking Shada and Pond Life into account.
Moving behind the Completist, an example of "the Bewildered Best Friend" comes into view: such an individual is defined as the subtype of convention-goer who exists in symbiosis with any superfan, being the poor friend or family member dragged along to the convention by the fan despite not knowing anything about Doctor Who. They can be recognised at their constant bewildered expresson, insistence on calling the Doctor "Doctor Who", and blasphemous mentions of "the existence of Peter Cushing.
As the episode of Fanwatch draws to a close, Chris explains how next episode, the crew will be attempting to discover the real-world identity of a social-media-dwelling superfan by tracking their selfies right back to the source.
- Christel Dee as Michaela Traken
- Thomas Rees-Kaye as Chris Akhaten
- Billy Treacy as Nigel Voord-Karabraxos
- Christel Dee as the BBF
- Billy Treacy as the Autograph-Hunter, the Great Merch Collector
- Dominic G. Martin as the Eleventh Doctor Cosplayer
- Thomas Rees-Kaye as the Crested Completist
- The photograph of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, supposedly sent out by "S. Moffat from Cardiff" as an example of cosplay, was in truth a never-before-seen promotional image of The Magician's Apprentice, therefore making Fanwatch part of the promotional campaign around the start of Series 9.
- The last names of the Fanwatch cast members are all references to sci-fi concepts from mainstream Doctor Who: the destroyed planet of Traken (home to companion Nyssa of Traken), the Old God Akhaten from The Rings of Akhaten, the alien Voord from The Keys of Marinus and The Fishmen of Kandalinga, and Madame Karabraxos from Time Heist.