As you may have gathered, I’ve been watching Doctor Who lately. I’ve been watching my way through the new ongoing series for the last few weeks.
I’ve been getting the odd feeling that familiarity with Doctor Who is somehow a prerequisite to being a “proper nerd,” lately – at least around here. A year or so back, at my last school, it seemed like every day in Shakespeare class, nearly everyone (or at least all the good Nerdfighters) was talking about Doctor Who, the “Tenth Doctor,” and some guy named David Tennant, and the TARDIS this and so on and so forth and all this stuff that I wasn’t familiar with (or at least not more than in the vaguest sense). It was like Harry Potter all over again, and I added it to my list of “Things I must See Eventually.”
Thanks in part to having spring break, I’ve had a bit of time to spare, so after finishing Lois and Clark again, I started running through Doctor Who from the beginning.
This has been my first real exposure to the Doctor Who mythos, and I have to say, I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. It’s like a weird and wonderful romp through everything I love about Science Fiction, touched with everything I love about good British humour. (You must spell Humour with a “u” when speaking of the British. ^^)
In fact, I would go so far as to say that I find it fantastic.
It’s like . . . I don’t know how to describe it, even, it’s brilliant. A little dark at times, I will admit, but the lighthearted sense of humour it shows constantly keeps it from becoming oppressive. The Doctor (I’ve seen the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s at work, now, I gather) keeps me laughing almost constantly, and the show has done an excellent job of reminding me of something very, very important.
Sure, life gets hard sometimes (as Voltaire would say, “Compared to what?”). But that’s no cause to stop smiling. The world is really a pretty fantastic place. Give it a smile, a laugh, and do your best to do some good.
So, thank you, Doctor. I’m happier now than I’ve been in weeks, and I owe that (in part) to Doctor Who reminding me to keep a positive attitude (though it’s been murder on my accent. I caught myself pronouncing lever as “LEE-ver” the other day. At this rate, I’ll sound like a Londoner within a month…)
But there’s more to it than that, and I’ve been trying to decide what it is that I really like most about the show, the characters, the major themes. . . and I think this sums it up best.
Doctor Who is about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.
Maybe that’s what I find so appealing about it. Maybe it’s that (even amid some of the bittersweet moments and endings) the core identity of the series and the mythos resonates strongly with my own beliefs.
Or maybe it’s the brilliant storytelling engine (wait, so they travel anywhere they like through time and space … in a blue box? As long as he doesn’t cross his own lifeline? Okay, cool, I can roll with that.) combined with the fact that it’s just very funny and cool (Time Lords? Did you say, “Time War?” Fantastic!) and British (Wait, why do the most feared beings in the universe look kind of like trash cans? Oh, just go with it). Maybe it speaks to me the way that Hitchhiker’s Guide does.
In any case, The Doctor has been added to my list of personal (literary) heroes. I highly recommend checking the series out, if you haven’t already. And if you have, feel free to talk about it in the comments.