Considering how much of a fan I am, this post is long overdue.
51 years ago today, but one day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the BBC aired the series premiere of a show about an alien who travels through time with his granddaughter and two 20th-century school teachers. I wonder if anyone back then could have foreseen its becoming the longest-running science fiction television show of all time.
I am speaking of Doctor Who, that magical tale of a runaway Time Lord, both a legend and a “mad man with a box”, with something of an affinity for flying through space and time with human companions. A show at times funny, at times deep, and not really easy to explain…
Just in time for Christmas, that clip. :)
One of the amazing things about Doctor Who is that it is still around after all these years. Sure, it was off the air from 1989 to 2005, but it was finally resurrected by good old Russell T. Davies and co. at BBC Wales. It’s certainly not what it was in 1963; more of a quirky sci-fi drama now than an educational series.
Why is it still around? It has found ways to stay relevant, such as the ingenious plot device of the Doctor’s ability to “regenerate” into a new body (and actor) whenever he is mortally wounded. The idea of the TARDIS being stuck looking like a blue police box was originally due to the show’s low budget. Now, it is iconic.
But most of all, I think The Doctor’s story is one that we need today, that we may always need. We need someone to remind us of how utterly fantastic and wonderful, and yes, dangerous the universe is. Someone who solves dilemmas not with guns but with his intellect and a sonic screwdriver.
The world can be so devoid of hope. Our dreams can seem lost in a starless sky, an inevitable void. But there’s always that hope, that fleeting hope that the TARDIS is coming for us. The Doctor is a metaphor. For hope. For right and not might. Heck, he’s a metaphor for Christ even, whether the show’s producers like it or not.
See, I kinda feel like Doctor Who is greater than the sum of its parts, of the people that work to put it together and keep it alive. That’s why I have issues when Steven Moffat makes comments about how he’s going to “change things up” this season, that “it hasn’t really changed since 2005″ and that it needs to. IT DOESN’T NEED TO! Just let it be Doctor Who, let it be what it is: awesome. Guide it, renew it, weave complex season-long storylines, but don’t change its essence. Otherwise it’s no longer Doctor Who.
I don’t entirely trust Moffat. I’ll say it out loud. But I do think that the core of what Doctor Who is is safe, is rather unchangeable, and that the show will always be my all-time favorite. This season didn’t start out strong, but it got better, and by the end, yes, I was excited for Doctor Who again.
And if it ever goes seriously downhill, I’ll just go drown myself in the David Tennant and Matt Smith years. ;)
So, my fellow Whovians who may be reading this, wherever you are, grab your sonic screwdrivers, your fezzes, and your 14-foot long striped scarves, and let us sally forth into the world, bringing bananas to parties, not blinking or looking away from statues, proclaiming proudly to the world that Doctor Who still lives!
Happy Sunday folks! Just a few more clips and links I couldn’t leave out:
One of my favorite funny scenes. Sorry ’bout the quality; only one I could find:
The Doctor’s famous quote and his farewell to his granddaughter:
The very last scene of the classic run:
And finally, a video containing a short clip of EVERY EPISODE of Doctor Who EVER, spin-offs included. This obviously took a lot of time to make, and I think it’s pretty cool.
Also, one of my all-time favorite blog posts ever: proof that Oscar the Grouch is a Time Lord. I laughed so hard the first time I read this…
Peace, y’all. To the next year of Who!