A 50 Year Adventure with Doctor Who
- by Kazekun, 16 November 2013
The 50th Anniversary of the hit BBC program "Doctor Who" counts down, with only a few days to go until the premiere of "The Day of the Doctor". And all eyes will be on it. Mine as well, since I’m writing this article. Those who know me (and probably stalk me on Facebook) know that I am a huge fan of the show, being baptized in the New Who era (2005-Present), and finding so much to love about it. But what about it do I love so much? And why is the 50th really such a big deal?
The answers to those questions are quite simple, and yet still quite complex. Let me start with the easiest: It’s been going for 50 years, that’s really impressive for any TV show. The only ones to generally gather such praise are soap operas, not dramas.
My second experience with this show was watching the first ever episode, titled An Unearthly Child introducing William Hartnell as the original and 1st incarnation of the Doctor, it was written by Anthony Coburn and C.E. Webber.
You may be confused on why I am using the term “incarnation” for the Doctor, and if you noticed two different actors playing the Doctor. Well, let me explain, this is another reason why I love the show. Since its debut in 1963, with the above episode I mentioned, there have in fact been 11 different actors who have played the Doctor (there is a twelfth on the way). It’s really not that hard to follow so I will break it down: After an actor finds his time on the show ending, a story is written where something of enormous impact happens to the Doctor character that causes him to regenerate his body (change every single cell) into a new form, personality, quirks, the works, etc. This way the show can continue and no one actor has to play the same character for 50 straight years, which I’m sure, is a nice break for anyone who takes on the role.
The reason I watched both the first episode of the latest Doctor incarnation and the first episode ever, was to get an idea of how far the show had come in its long time running. It was a wonderful experience and I quickly caught on to the vast differences, yet strange similarities, as the character has kept different quirks from past incarnations throughout his long life on screen and in story. Another reason I love the show so much, is that I feel I can cast myself onto the Doctor like a mirror, because I feel he and I are very much alike. We both often feel alone amongst the people we care about, because maybe they just understand me or him in the way we would like to, and we feel much older than we actually look (in his case, that’s literal, as with every “regeneration” often times his body gets younger), for example.
I also truly love the out of this world, larger than life storytelling. It feels like a real adventure and other than anime, I just don’t get that with a lot of shows. Especially with the more grounded in reality, street level shows. I like being out and about in the wide open, feeling like I’m larger than what I really am, it’s a great feeling and something the Doctor and companions must definitely feel when they travel. It’s a show that is very open to allowing you to explore your infinite imagination, and if you can dream it, it can probably be done in Doctor Who, and in the time period or other world you set it on, which is fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
When I started my journey through the T.A.R.D.I.S. (Time and Relative Dimension in Space; the Doctor’s time machine/space ship), it took me two months (life’s busy, yo!) to get caught up with everything that had aired since 2005, when the show really hit its massive worldwide popularity amongst the current generation of young folks and the world at large. For me that’s really fast watching, though, so I fell in love with this series very quickly.
The 50th anniversary may be celebrating all these years the show has been going, but what its really celebrating is the 50 years this show has been watched, viewed, and loved by millions of people the world over, and that is so wonderful. Instead of feeling like I joined the party late, I truly feel like I joined the party just in time, so that I can partake in the monumental occasion. There just aren’t that many shows out there that allow for a person to expand their imagination and let anything become possible. There are so many cop shows, lawyer shows, and just straight up gritty, street level dramas out there that when something comes along that grabs you and says “Hey! We got a time machine that can take you anywhere in time and space, it doesn’t matter where, anywhere you want to go!” you don’t turn that offer down!
Whether you’ve never watched the show, or you’ve been a fan since the classic era (any episodes pre-dating 2005) or even the new era, Doctor Who opens up its TARDIS doors to you, anywhere you want to go, it doesn’t matter, it’s all yours. And allows you take a wonderful journey that, if this show keeps going another 50 years (I hope!), will definitely last a lifetime. And isn’t that really what it’s all about in the end?
Are YOU looking forward to the Doctor's 50th anniversary? What do you love the most about the show? Share your thoughts and opinions below, in the comments section!
Tagged: movies & TV.