I love science fiction and fantasy, be it in novels, movies or even television. I am a major fan of Dune, Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, Fringe, Eureka and so many others, it’s hard to know where to begin. Today it seems relevant to pay tribute to a show that I recently discovered but that has quickly become a favorite.
Dr Who is not only a story line of truly epic proportions (not epic as the newer generations would know the word), but a record setting (check Guinness) cultural phenomenon centered around a character known simply as “The Doctor.”
First aired in 1963 on the BBC, Dr Who is the winding tale of a “Time Lord”, a humanoid who travels the length of time and space in a blue police box (the TARDIS: Time And Relative Dimension In Space, a sentient time machine) accompanied by ordinary people, to save civilizations, right galactic wrongs, and somehow make people feel like they are the the most special thing in the universe. As a Time Lord, The Doctor can see time as a whole (I think that’s the idea…correct me if I’m wrong…please), and the time vortex along which he travels in the TARDIS. The Doctor might be humanoid, but there are differences. Among them, he has two hearts (with which he loves with reckless abandon). Another, and this is a big one, is that he can survive grievous injuries through a process called Regeneration (this is how the writers have had so much time to continue the show as a VERY long progression).
This fine piece of programming has had some broadcasting trouble along the way, as it went off air in 1989. But as it had come to be a beloved piece of British pop-culture, there were attempts to restart production, and finally success in 2005 (Many thanks to Russell T Davies for sharing The Doctor with a generation that might have otherwise missed out).
The Doctor has touched many people in the nearly 50 years since it’s first episode, and influenced the science fiction genre. Since my discovery, I have come to love who The Doctor is. My favorite Doctor is undoubtedly Matt Smith (who is finally leaving the show 😦 ). He is quite simply a 900-something big kid, trying desperately to be the hero all kids want to believe in. He IS the Oncoming Storm, but he never uses guns. He is friends with Charles Dickens, Vincent Van Gogh and Winston Churchill, among others. He is frequently scared, but he doesn’t run away. Nay he runs into the big scary thing, with a smile on his face, willing to give his enemies a chance to change their ways.
He may not be my hero (no disrespect Doctor), but that’s only because I’ve already got two, and you will have to stay tuned to my blog to find out who they are. But the Doctor is a great role model for the big kid of any age, and I for one would like to wish him a happy 50 year anniversary.