Sunday, March 24, 2013

The What of Who

Doctor Who is coming back next week!  It's not too late, it's never too late, to start traveling with the Doctor.

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love Doctor Who and people who have never seen Doctor Who.  Clearly I'm a lover, an ardent admirer and wannabe companion.

I haven't been there since the beginning, there will be no pretense of super fandom here.  Over the years I saw the odd episode and was unmoved to seek out more.  The show has been around since before breathing was invented, we're on the eleventh Doctor now, so when the reboot started making noise, I didn't pay much attention.

That all changed one grey December afternoon upon sequestering myself in the bedroom to wrap Christmas presents.  I cruised the offerings on TV, not much was on so I didn't change the channel from BBC America and got to work.  I remember thinking "might as well have a look" and I wasn't expecting to fall in love.

But that's how love is, love is surprising.

The very first episode of Doctor Who that I ever saw was perhaps one of the worst ones for a rookie to start on.  Utopia was the beginning of a three part story arc that relied very heavily on events from the previous season, I had no idea who the players in front of me were, let alone the former players being discussed.  I didn't know that Captain Jack Harkness was unable to die, I didn't know who Rose Tyler was and I didn't know the Doctor was the last remaining Time Lord.

None of that mattered, I was hopelessly confused but none of it mattered.  It was love at first sight.

Here is Cairn's big theory about how Doctor Who became a worldwide phenomenon.  It's all David Tennant's doing.  Yep, that's it in a nutshell.

David Tennant was the perfect person in the perfect role at the perfect time.  It was a confluence of events, a collaboration of enthusiasms, that transcended the sum of its parts by the power of pure love.  David Tennant grew up being a Whovian, a geeky fanboy that fatefully grew into a devilishly handsome and talented actor. That fanboy lived out every fanboy's dream scenario and got cast in the role of his own hero.

David Tennant loved every single, delicious moment of playing the Doctor and it was a visual delight.  His enthusiasm for the role, for the legacy of Doctor Who, coupled perfectly with his talents and we the viewers could feel it too.  No sentence was wasted, no word ever tossed away; those words were usually flowing faster than rushing water, but being carried away on them was sublime.

It was the personification of joy, the realization of delight and the frenzied abandon of glee all in one beautiful blue police box.  I love to watch people in love with what they are doing, it's glorious to see a human in such a pure state, such a raw state.  We see raw hate all the time, but don't stop to revel in the raw love as much as we should.

Nothing on television ever affected me the way the tenth Doctor does, still to this day.  I can't watch an episode of the Tennant series without crying, all the way through usually.  My emotional response to the tenth Doctor is powerful, overwhelming almost, but my tears are not sad, they are tears of joy I think.  Because I get to be in on the joy, there's so much that it spilled out onto the entire world, I became part of a family bonded by pure joy.

I'm pushing back a few tears right now just thinking about it all :)

There is a new Doctor now, however Tennant is a tough act to follow.  Matt Smith is a fine Doctor, he really rocks a fez and has culinary leanings of which I approve. There will be a new companion soon, so we had to say goodbye again and those are always hard.  Amy and Rory Pond were great, their personal love story was one of the best ever on television and they will be missed.

But I am and always shall be a DoctorDonna girl.

There have been eleven Doctors and each one is a different man, that is the real glory of Doctor Who. Each man carries the memories of his predecessors, but each man reacts to them differently.  There is no predictability when you travel with the Doctor, be prepared for surprises, be prepared to run a whole bunch and never turn your back on statues of angels.

But do yourself a favor, next Saturday night go and meet the Doctor if you haven't already.  He's a good man with two very good hearts and a sweet ride.  Give him an hour and he will give you the whole of time and space in return.

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