Doctor Who inspires a real-life romance for Edmonton couple
'It's an obsessed fan story, with a happy ending,' says podcast host Steven Schapansky
There's no shortage of romance in Doctor Who.
The classic sci-fi show follows the adventures of a quirky doctor who travels time and space in a blue spacecraft called TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space).
Since the show's inception in 1963, many characters have entered the iconic blue police box as friends, but left as much more.
Such is the case for Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, longtime superfans of the BBC series.
Their love story has all the trappings of a Doctor Who plot.
The pair, once strangers living worlds apart, met through the power of technology, and travelled long distances to become inseparable soul mates.
Their unusual romance was profiled on Edmonton AM, as the CBC radio show celebrates Geek Week.
It all started when Ensign, who was living in Madison, Wisconsin—tuned into Radio Free Skaro—a podcast dedicated to Doctor Who that Schapansky has been hosting and producing in Edmonton for the last 10 years.
"She's basically a stalker," Schapansky said with a laugh during a Monday morning interview with Edmonton AM host Mark Connolly.
After striking up an online correspondence, they started meeting up for dates at Doctor Who conventions, and the rest is history.
But unlike so many of Doctor Who's love interests, the pair refused to have their romance thwarted by the challenges of space and time.
Ensign eventually made the move to Canada, and a proposal followed soon after.
"It's not the most reliable or successful method to find a wife, but it worked for me," said Schapansky, who admits that his role as a Doctor Who podcast host didn't always lend itself to finding love.
"There are plenty of women listeners, but I don't know if many of them are on the hunt for a fella," said Ensign. "Lighting struck."
The pair have been together three years, and now co-host a Doctor Who podcast of their own.
To celebrate their anniversary on March 3, they kicked back with a bottle of wine, watched Doctor Who, and then turned on the mike to pick apart the latest plot twists.
"I think the fact that we have both been Doctor Who fans since we were very young children, that was kind of the baseline for everything else," said Ensign. "It formed such a powerful part of our personalities, it made us compatible."
Added Schapansky: "It's an obsessed fan story, with a happy ending."