Doctor Who

The year is 51489.65. You are standing at the foot of a mountain range. The mountains are gently swaying in the breeze. The alien man next to you smiles and asks you if Felspoon is not one of the most beautiful planets you have ever visited.

Of course, you have never actually visited other planets, and the year is not really 51489.65. But it is Saturday night, and Doctor Who is on. You have set up camp on the sofa. You are cuddled up in your Snuggie®, with a bowl of popcorn. Beside you is a friend, because Stephen Moffat, the show’s head writer, has likely written some new and wonderfully terrifying villain or has brought about the return of a familiar and beloved nemesis. The two of you are hyped as the pulsing, heart pounding theme song starts…

Doctor Who, a British science fiction television show, is something of a cult phenomenon and rightly so. Doctor Who, soon to reach its 50th anniversary, began in 1963 with a quirky alien known only as the Doctor. William Hartnell played the lovable extraterrestrial and Carole Ann Ford played his granddaughter and companion, Susan. Since then, the Doctor, now known as a Time Lord, has travelled all of time and space with his various companions in his amazing machine known as the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) which is always mistakenly and lovably disguised as a blue British police telephone box from the 1950’s.

Since William Hartnell, there have been ten other actors to portray the Doctor through a plot device known as regeneration. Each actor brings a new and wonderful aspect to the ultimate character of the Doctor, as does each new companion.

The series was resurrected in 2005, as it had been shelved back in 1989 with only a television movie (1996) in between. The new pilot, Rose kicked off with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th incarnation of the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, the girl who was fated to become his companion. Immediately, one was intrigued by the mystery of the bad guy, but also of the mystery Rose faced: Who is this man, the Doctor.

Since Eccleston’s Doctor, referred to as “Nine,” there have been two more Doctors. Currently the actor in the role is Matt Smith. He plays the Doctor as eccentric and goofy, but only to cover up the inner turmoil and anguish that comes from 1100 years of tortured life.

The Doctor is now the last of the Time Lords. He is the lone survivor of the last great Time War. Yet he soldiers on, and tries to remain good. He still makes every effort to see the good and beauty in the universe, and despite having lost everything, he still manages to love.

That is the heart of Doctor Who, a love and appreciation for life in all its forms. When you strip away all the monsters and the nightmares and the aliens and the time machine what is left is beauty. This is the core concept that raises the show above the shameless immorality of 21st Century television. In a dark sea of naked body parts and vulgar words, of sex and alcohol and swearing, there is one brilliant light. In the midst of crass filth, the Doctor lands his TARDIS, scans with his sonic screwdriver, and settles into the hearts of millions, making the world of television all the better for his being there.





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AWScienceGeek This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I love love love love love Doctor Who! Glad someone's written a review of it!

~A fellow Whovian

 
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