Doctor Who

August 7, 2008
Imagine, just for a moment, worlds beyond this one. Imagine hundreds of planets, hundreds of galaxies. Imagine planets with names like Skarro, and Traken, and Gallifrey -- planets with beings more evil than you can imagine and more amazing than you can imagine. Imagine a society held together, by, in one man’s words, “people basically being very very nice to each other.” Imagine a type of species with no heart, no morals, no conscience.

Now, imagine parallel universes, all stacked up next to one another. A universe in which there are men with frozen hearts and a body of steel, worlds with “ultimate upgrades” and people who died long past still alive.

And now, imagine a man with two hearts, a man who isn’t quite a man. A man with no name, just a title. A man who can change his face with as much ease as people change clothes, a man who travels through all of time and space in a blue police box… a man who will take you along for the ride.

That’s Doctor Who. The premise is simple. A man -- or, rather, an alien, called the Doctor, from the planet Gallifrey. A Time Lord, equipped with a time machine -- the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), who travels all of time and space, picking up people along the way, saving alien planets and Earth alike. A man who can regenerate when he’s dying, changing his face, and, conveniently replacing the actor. A man who fights, and wins, not using guns or swords or violence, but just his mind. And he always wins. It’s one of the rules.

But by the end of the legendary British sci-fi’s show run, it had turned into less of a legend and more of the regular, stock-trade sci-fi with bad special effects if good plot lines. And in the 1980’s, it was discontinued.

Until Russell T. Davies came along, with clever new twists and a brand-new, war-scarred Doctor, faced by Christopher Eccleson as the Ninth Doctor. But this wasn’t just some sci-fi show. Because behind the quick words and quicker wit, there was something deeper. Darker. A touch of reality. In the first season’s finale, the Doctor is forced into the 2002nd century, into a game. A reality TV show, Big Brother. But this time, if you’re evicted, you’re evicted from life. And the whole world’s watching, because they can’t go outside, it’s too dangerous to breathe, because of the ozone. Between escaping from the game and fighting the Daleks (his worst enemy), he says, “Half the world’s too fat and the other half’s too thin.” You ignore it then. But then you think. And you know this might happen. If we’re not careful. We’re getting closer and closer every day.

Then David Tennant comes, as the Tenth Doctor. A wild, laughing, slightly manic Doctor, who can’t help but laugh and joke in the face of evil, and often does. A Doctor who wants to be ginger and doesn’t give people second chances. A kind, passionate Doctor -- but not necessarily a nice one. A Doctor who, when asked what monsters under the bed have nightmares about, smirks and says, “Me!” A Doctor who never uses a gun, who orders everyone to put their guns down -- who’s only armed with a sonic screwdriver, who never fights, and still manages to save the world every time, with a sonic screwdriver, his wits, and the people he picks up along his journeys. A Doctor who quotes Back to the Future and, when asked how come he doesn’t know about Utopia, replies he’s a bit of a hermit, and when asked about his friends, shrugs and says, “Hermits united. We meet up every ten years, swap stories about caves. It's good fun. For a hermit.” Who always wins, no matter how bad it looks. And who never, never kills, whether he’s facing psychopathic Time Lords that destroy the world listening to the Scissor Sisters, or Daleks, creatures with no heart and no morals and no purpose but to “Exterminate!”

And we’ve had him for three years, and each one has been, in the Ninth Doctor’s words, “Fantastic!” It’s quickly become one of the most well known sci-fi shows in England, and in the US. It’s won over twenty awards in five years, and keeps on winning more and more.

It’s run for 45 years, and through the years, it’s gotten smarter, quicker, and, occasionally, darker. But always fantastic, whether the Doctor is the first -- an old, slightly strange man, or the Fourth, with his inanely long scarf, or the Sixth, with a “coat of many colors,” or the Tenth, with his red converse and sarcasm. Because he’s the Doctor, no matter how he looks or dresses or what he says, at the heart of it, he’s still the Doctor.

45 years.

219 stories.

Ten Doctors.

One legend.

Join the Discussion

This article has 28 comments. Post your own now!

mermaids.dream.tooThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm
This is one of the more perfect articles that I have found on teen ink! wibbly wobbly timey wimey
BigcatAttack4113 said...
Oct. 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm
Doctor who is the best tv show on earth hands down.
Whovian101 said...
Oct. 2, 2014 at 9:52 am
Wow. This explanation is EPIC!!! I was thinking of writing a review about it, but you just did it in the best way possible. In the words of the doctor himself, "Fantastic!"
Hails_Was_Here said...
Aug. 5, 2014 at 1:38 am
WHOVIANS UNITE!  i love DW and i love how you wrote this amamzing piece! its Fantastic!  I've always wanted to write a DW essay for this website but i don't think i can ever come up with an amazing piece like this one!  This needs to be in the teen ink magazine!  if you watch Supernatural, (maybe you're a SuperWhoLockian fellow like mwa) you should read a piece i wrote about Castiel! He is, ofcorse, my favorite (besides Dean)... (more »)
Jordan H. said...
Dec. 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint- it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...time-y wimey...stuff.
Whovian101 replied...
Oct. 2, 2014 at 9:48 am
YES!!!! This is one of my all time favorite David Tennant quotes! (in DW of course, Barty Crouch jr is a whole other story... :))
Ccierrs said...
Oct. 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm
good Doctof Who is my favorite 
necro said...
Sept. 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm
i.. am the doctor
Wanimwa said...
Sept. 18, 2013 at 10:02 am
I myself am a whovian and I love how you take on the subject. Doctor Who is just amazing, and even though I just started this summer I‘m completely hooked, and clearly so are you. 
LittneyTheLionPirate said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 10:41 am
Doctor Who is my favorite T.V. show! One thing you didn't mention is that it isn't just Sci-Fi. A common problem with Sci-Fi is that it doesn't have an emotional part to it and I think Doctor Who does. I think the fact that the Doctor can regenerate keeps the show exciting because it isn't just the same person. If you haven't seen it, I reccomend you give it a try!
ConsultingCompanion221B said...
Aug. 18, 2012 at 11:24 am
I love doctor who. You have captured the whole seasons in thier entirety. I applaud you, fellow whovian. 
FantasyTruth said...
Jul. 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm
This was astounding. My jaw dropped at the precisesness of this. I, being a person who wouldn't talk to another if they think they know Doctor Who better than i do (Not to brag on myself XD,) was amazed by the accuracy and deepness of this piece of writing. I dont know what to say. Brovo! Encore!
The_Pen_is_Mightier said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm
I think this is a beautiful review that accurately and gracefully portray's the best of the best - Doctor Who.  I salute you and your work and your style (but not the Doctor because he'd get upset). In his words, Molto bene!
Jacob44 replied...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Aaah!!! A Doctor Who fan! That show is excellent!!!!!! Visit my Teen Ink Thread and/ or my blog at:


www. whoviansanctuary. com

(no spaces of course)

Jacob44 replied...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

oops, scratch that, its:

whoviansanctuary. blogspot. com

AlyssandriaFlamel said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Doctor Who is quite possibly the best show currently on air. * ducks the knives thrown by Glee fans * My first Doctor was Eccleston (I was six and my mom showed me The Empty Child. Needless to say, I did not return to the fandom for a while), and I am one of those rare Whovians who calls him their favorite Doctor *dodges bananas and fish sticks thrown by 10 and 11 lovers *

I wanted to say that this is very well written and has inspired me to do individual episode reviews *hides from pe... (more »)

Wolfheart said...
Feb. 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Doctor Who is AWESOME!!! I love paradoxes and stuff like that. It's cool how instead of just randomly changing the actor and leaving everyone wondering where he went, they make him die and regenerate. Great review, feels like its the back of a DVD. Great.

David Tennant is my fave, although he just BARELY squeaks past the newest guy. He just has so much personality. (I loved the part in that one episode where he was like, "Oh so you got sent back to 1987 too!" *grabs his weird gadget* "... (more »)

RiverSong said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Finally, someone who is as Doctor-Who-obsessed as me and my friends! (Just look at my username... XD)

David Tennant was the first Doctor I ever saw, at my friend's house a few years ago.  Ever since then I have been completely addicted.  I made my family watch it too, and now they are addicted as well--so addicted that we bought BBC America for our TV for the sole purpose of watching Doctor Who.

But there's more to it than that, more to Doctor Who than its super plots ... (more »)

Blabs said...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm
I love the tenth Doctor!! (Just a random fact! :)
VampireX said...
Dec. 2, 2010 at 7:41 am
I havent watched the WHOLE series, but i know enough that out of the 8th, 9th, and 10th Doctors, David Tennat is my Doctor.
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