Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4: Are you a "Whovian"?

Today I thought I'd try something a little different, and talk about one of the greatest shows that has ever been on television.

That's right, I'm talking about Doctor Who.

For those not familiar, it is a sci-fi/drama/fantasy show produced by the BBC about a man from a planet called "Gallifrey" who is known only as "the Doctor", who travels through space, and time, righting wrongs, saving civilizations, clashing with various hideous and disgustingly evil villians, and, well, being pretty marvelous. His spaceship is called the "Tardis", which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. He has two hearts, and, when he is close to death, he has the ability to "regenerate", which results in a complete change in his appearance. This means that each time he regenerates, a new actor must take the role of the Doctor, something that no other tv show or movie I have ever seen has ever done. It would take me a very long time to spell out all the nuances of the show, and to describe exactly what it's all about, so if you're interested in knowing more, here is Wikipedia's description of the series and a lot of very good information on Doctor Who.

My earliest memories of the show are from when the Doctor was in his 4th incarnation, played by Tom Baker, but the one that I remember most, and is one of my favorites, is the 5th Doctor, played by Peter Davison. I liked the clothes he wore, and the way he would sort of brush his coat back and then shove his hands in his pockets. And there was just something about him, the "youth" he brought to the role, and compassion, something the prior 4 Doctors did not have in abundance, but it suited him well.

What I like the most about this show is that each man who has played the Doctor has added his own distinctiveness to the role, and while each one is decidedly "the Doctor", each and every one of them has really had their own personality, which to me is amazing. You don't have to have watched all the prior episodes of his other incarnations to know that this man is the Doctor, you may have only seen a few, or you saw it years ago, as I did, and even today, he, at his core, is still the same. I believe the writers have done an incredible job over the years of keeping that continuity.

The show has gotten even better since its relaunch in 2005. At first, I had misgivings about how they could make it work, after so many years of being off the air, I mean sure, the original series ran for over 25 years, from 1963 to 1989, so there was a lot of material to work with, but, you never know. The fact is though, that's the beauty of Doctor Who. Absolutely anything can, and often does happen. He and his companions can literally go anywhere and any "when" they want to, and it leaves you dying to see the next episode, because it never gets boring. Whether it's ancient Egypt, or the planet Skaro, you know that when the Doctor shows up, there will be excitement, danger, and surprises.

Everyone's got their "favorite" Doctor, and for a time, so did I. But I have to say that since the new series has been on, I have gotten a new appreciation for each one of his incarnations, and the subtle, or sometimes not so subtle differences each actor brought to the character, all the while each playing the same man. The writers in this new series have shown a lot about how he really feels to be himself, and what it feels like to him when he does regenerate. I think the greatest line he ever spoke was when he said "It feels like dying......I die, and another man walks away." That alone speaks volumes, as the regeneration is not only of his appearance, but of every cell in his body, so it is understandable that the brain would also undergo a drastic change, resulting in an almost completely different personality. For all intents and purposes, he really is another man, while retaining the memories of all his prior incarnations. That's what makes it so special to me. There are so many possibilities of what he can be, it's mind blowing.

So, are you a Whovian? What's your favorite thing about the show? I for one love the science of it, the exploration and explanation of time, and just, well, that there's no end to the possibilities. Oh, and where else have you heard that a major fan of a show, a person who idolized his favorite Doctor (Tom Baker, 4th Doctor) as a child, was able to grow up, and get to actually play the role of the Doctor himself, as an adult? Yup, David Tennant did that, he became the 10th Doctor, and, even more ironically, he married the daughter of the 5th Doctor. Talk about wibbly wobbly, timey wimey eh?

I leave you with a picture of all 11 Doctors, all wonderful actors, and each of them, distinctly, the Doctor. And a few other pics from the show. Oh yes, and by the way, he does seem to appear he gets.......older.....only a Time Lord can, I suppose lol......

The Tardis

A Dalek, one of the Doctor's arch enemies.


  1. Sadly, I am not a Whovian. I tried (several) times to watch the show, but could never really get into it (same thing with Downton Abbey). It kind of bums me out, too, because I'd really like to like it.

    1. I am the same way Mama...I have tried so hard to like it, but it just does not do anything for me!

  2. Not a Whovian yet - avoided this show because of the time investment involved in "catching up." Got sucked in at a season premiere party a few weeks ago, now trying to watch this season and the David Tennant years on Netflix. Just what I needed, yet another sci-fi show to obsess over! ;)