On today’s date, November 23, 1963, the BBC aired the first episode of what was to be one of the longest running science fiction shows ever made, Doctor Who. Three years ago today, I was watching the BBC America marathon, leading up to the premiere of the 50th anniversary special, Day of the Doctor. But, let’s rewind back a bit more, to see just how much this show, my favorite television show, has affected me.
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I was always aware of Doctor Who, it was one of those pop culture, nerdy things. Occasionally I’d catch minutes of it here and there on PBS reruns of the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker, and my friend Dave in high school tried to get me more into it, but I just wasn’t feeling it just yet, it wasn’t my time to, I realized later on. I did watch Fox’s Doctor Who attempted revival movie in 1996, with the 8th Doctor…it was fun, but just like the movie itself, my fandom went nowhere after that.
Years went by, and I was still aware of Doctor Who, but it was still one of those things like Babylon 5 that I was aware of, but couldn’t really tell you anything about it. Cut to 2012, my one and only deployment in the Navy, where my best friend on deployment, James, talked to me about the show a bit, and got me actually wanting to watch the show.
So, not long after we returned back to the states, I gave it a go, starting with the 2005 revival, and I was hooked by the time I got to “The Empty Child”. What a show..it really has everything you want in entertainment. Action, suspense, humor, characters you actually care about. It’s the perfect package of entertainment. And, being that it’s a show about time travel, they can literally do an episode with any genre of entertainment, and it’s brilliant.
I got about midway through the first season when we didn’t pay our Netflix bill for whatever reason and I was left without my fix of The Doctor and Rose. I found a streaming site soon after so I watched a few episodes like that, but then life got in the way, and I stopped watching.
A few months there after, my fiancee at the time had broken up with me, due to a number of different factors, and I was forced back into my parents house for a short time until I found an old friend that needed a place and I was soon on my own once more. Doctor Who helped me during these next few months, binging the series on Netflix was my comfort, and helped me get over that breakup just as well as the way alcohol had helped fix previous heartbreaks.
I enjoyed Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor, but when David Tennant took on the role, and he quoted “The Lion King”, I was sold. I could see why everyone loved him as The Doctor. I got other friends hooked on the show during this time as well, it was just one of those rare bits of great tv that nearly anyone can enjoy if they give it a chance.
Months went by, and I the Doctor Who binge continued, mixing in Torchwood when it was time, and I loved that show as well. It healed me from that breakup, and inspired a new sense of optimism and hope in me, it taught me to never give up, even when things are at their bleakest, if you can run, there’s still a chance.
Eventually I finished up Tennant’s run, and got caught up with Matt Smith’s run in time to start on Series 7-B to air. There were many feels to be had along the way, and soon enough I was watching the show weekly, which was kind of a weird feeling, after having all this content to binge on for months, to be all current. I had to wait for more just like everyone else.
During that time I started to watch some of the Classic Doctor Who episodes as well, whatever was available on Netflix at the time, which wasn’t much, but it gave me a taste for the older stuff, and really could appreciate even more the current series. My favorites from the classic era were/are Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor and Tom Baker as The 4th Doctor.
Which brings us up to today, Matt Smith became my favorite Doctor overall, but I really like what Peter Capaldi has been doing in the role since he took over a few years ago, when Matt Smith left and The Doctor was given a whole new cycle of regenerations (the character was on his last, or 12th regeneration when Capaldi came on board) Who knows, (ha! Pun!) how long the show will last, if we’ll one day be watching the Doctor Who 60th, 70th , and one day the 100th anniversary special.. If we’ll ever get a SuperWhoLock crossover with Supernatural and Sherlock, or if we’ll ever find out why Capaldi’s 12 looks like a man he met in his 10th regeneration on a trip to Pompeii, but all I know is it’s going to be a brilliant, fantastic ride.