I can remember growing up and accidentally landing on Doctor Who while "channel checking" late at night.  At our house, this consisted of lying on the floor and reaching a foot up to turn the dial with two toes.  It didn't take very long to go through the channels, so it wasn't overtaxing: ABC, CBS, NBC, WGN, TBS, PBS and a local weather image.

Yeah, that show.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
And if you stayed up "too" late, there wasn't much on.  Charlie's Angels reruns were over at midnight and quite frankly, what ON EARTH was going on with the strange stuff on PBS?  It had creepy music, and worse sets & props than the community theater or a soap opera.  No, I didn't get it.... not even a little bit.
This was also the era of fairly awful production qualities at Masterpiece Theater.  I can respectfully assert that I'm a convert there as well (ahem, Poirot, Pride & Prejudice, Foyle's War, and even Downton Abbey of late).

I didn't realize that like a lot of sci fi, the price of admission was getting past the unconvincing sets to a place where you could be challenged by the story lines and characters.

Enormous straw sculpture of a Dalek (Snugbury's Cheshire)
one of the Doctor's worst enemies
Image courtesy of Paolo Camera via Flickr
A Doctor Who Primer

It was only been the last few years that I'd heard enough buzz about the Doctor enough that I thought we'd give him a try.  We started with the eleventh Doctor and then went back and watched the ninth and tenth doctor before him.  I've dabbled in some highly acclaimed episodes from the early years: likely some of the very same episodes I'd snubbed as a kid.

If you're not a Whovian, you might be helped in conversations about the Doctor by knowing a few facts:

  1. The Doctor is referred to simply as "the Doctor" and not "Doctor Who."
  2. Versions of the Doctor
    Image © BBC via Wikimedia Commons
    (fair use)
    The Doctor is "regenerated" into different incarnations; each one has a different personality played by a different actor.
  3. The Doctor is very old (it varies with which episode you are watching, but lately in excess of 1000 years), and in theory may be regenerated into a child's form, a woman's form, or a non-human form, but so far as we know has always been a white adult male human from the UK.
  4. The Doctor is a time lord, meaning he can travel through space & time in his only slightly glitchy time machine, the TARDIS, which looks like a blue police phone box.  TARDIS is a machine but also has a soul, and she calls herself "Sexy."  Sometimes she's just called "the box," poor girl.
  5. The Doctor usually has companions that travel with him, who get to be really impressed by his brilliance and power and who must be contractually required to comment that the police box is bigger on the inside.
  6. A good portion of the travel includes trips to London, which is being invaded again by aliens.

Why has Doctor Who become so popular?

TARDIS image
courtesy of © via Wikimedia Commons
Some people say Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant or Matt Smith (the actors who played the Doctor in recent memory), the use of reasonably attractive men in their prime rather than older gentlemen.  Some say improvement in production qualities, some say writing (Moffat?!)


It's the TARDIS.  Everyone wants one.

Why should I want a TARDIS?

  • because it's an ├╝ber tiny building
  • because it’s bigger on the inside (get a tour at the link)
  • because it has a soul and a memory
  • because you can take it with you wherever you go
  • because it takes you on adventures (not necessarily where you want to go, but where you need to go)

Places of the Soul by
Christopher Day
a zessn pinterest board

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