Happy 50th Birthday Doctor Who: A Fan’s Tribute

Doctor LineupHow do I love thee?  Let me count the sonic screwdrivers.  As I write, the fiftieth anniversary special of the longest running sci-fi show in history is making its wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey way across tele and movie screens, proving that nothing outlasts a geek romance.  Fans make other fans.  It’s probably one of the biggest grass roots success stories in entertainment: a British indie gone big budget time travel-palooza.  But finding Doctor Who merchandise in major retail chains isn’t what has drawn and kept fans.  Doctor Who remains true to its roots—a character-driven adventure story with depth, quirky humor and two lumps of the mysterious.

What drew me to Doctor Who wasn’t some big marketing campaign but the persistent urging of a friend and longtime Whovian who kept saying I should watch the Shakespeare episode, being the literary geek I am.  First, I had to watch “The Christmas Invasion,” the annual holiday episode that perpetually revives the Doctor’s story and reminds us of who he is, especially if it’s a regeneration.  It’s no big surprise then that my Doctor is Ten.  I love asking the same of other fans.

Sorry, where was I? I just got sidetracked by the Doctor Who game on Google.

 Doctor Who is both old and new, familiar and reinvented with each episode.  No television show has surprised me as often with bold storytelling choices and ridiculously good acting.  Taken with a bit of cheese, Doctor Who is unique as a sci-fi adventure.  We’re not just treated to aliens but also meet the likes of Vincent Van Gogh in the same scintillating suspense story.  The Doctor is the perfect hero-never winning too easily but always making sure you know who he is and what he’s capable of.  He can ride a horse through a mirror or drive his spaceship into the sun.  Watching him frolic and barge his way through time and space, across cultures and history is like sitting in a TARDIS motion-simulator ride.

Doctor Who’s longevity comes in part from brilliant writing that is both episodic and overarching.  Even though I’m for Tennent’s Ten, my favorite series is the first of the 11th Doctor’s regeneration.  My mind was blown when bits of story came back to form a completed jigsaw puzzle at the end of “season” five.  Episodes like “Blink,” though stand alone, generate compelling foes like the Weeping Angels.  I’ve even turned my dad into a bit of a Whoovian.  The other day he astounded me by naming the first two words of the TARDIS acronym.  Even my mom saves me her TV Guides when she sees the Doctor on the cover.

With a new generation of fans adding to the numbers of long-time Whovians, America eclipsing England in their viewing numbers and world-wide Who fever, The Doctor’s days in the pop culture sun are long from over.  My trepidations of an older incarnation for Doctor number twelve are soothed by the promise of Moffat’s writing, the momentum from the touted revelations of The Day of the Doctor and the fact that no matter who is in the TARDIS, that big blue box will always take me away from the mundane world.  I am indeed the Doctor’s companion and I’ll be along for the ride as long as he travels.

Doctor Who 50th Poster

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Gina Rivera Fickett
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 12:27:17

    Alright, you sold me. When are we getting together for a Doctor Who-a-thon?


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