I watched Dr. Who on PBS once in the 80’s.
It was so painfully lame, couldn’t get through the entire episode.
Thirty years later, I decided to give it another shot. “Season 1” (according to Amazon Prime; the show actually started back in 1963) with Chris Eccleston surprised me, and by the end of “Season 2” I found myself falling in love with the Doctor. For those who are not total geeks, consider my reasoning:
- The Doctor is brilliant, and I find intelligence incredibly sexy.
- The Doctor is extremely capable. No matter what the Universe throws at him, he can figure out a way to make it all work out and get himself (and usually his companions) to safety. I also find this intoxicatingly sexy.
- The Doctor is a man of integrity. Even when it rips his heart out or threatens his life, he does the honorable thing. Rarely (The Waters of Mars, in particular) does he violate his own code of ethics and do what could potentially hurt others. This makes him trustworthy in my book.
- He is a man of action, curiosity, and eternal optimism. He is a leader. Dr. Who never spends an episode in his sweats, watching football or playing World of Warcraft. He never tells his companion, “You are overreacting and the Earth will be just fine. Now move! You’re blocking the T.V.!”
- The Doctor is a man of deep feelings, though he does have a hard time conveying it with words. David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) does such an amazing job of conveying these feelings with his facial expressions alone.
Here is the inherent flaw that comes with loving or traveling with Dr. Who:
Time Lords are nearly immortal, so they age at an excruciatingly slow rate. Companions can only be with him for a little while. Even if she doesn’t get killed, mind-warped or sucked into a parallel universe, she will eventually grow old and die. She is destined to leave him, and the more he loves her, the more it will hurt when it’s time to say good-bye. The relationship is always doomed to fail. This is what hooked me.
I give an A+ to writer Russell Davies for the way he handled the end of Rose Tyler in “Journey’s End.” SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read this if you haven’t watched it yet! Davies did what we all long to do when we realize that someone we love is inherently flawed. He created a way to remove just that one aspect that makes it impossible for Rose and The Doctor to be happy together. Then he leaves them in peace in the alternate Universe without a Tardis. Rose gets to have what so many of us deeply crave: to have the one we love without having the critical flaw that makes living with/loving him (or her) insurmountable.
What if we could take the person we loved most and removed the fatal flaw? Imagine him without the addiction or her without the insanity. Imagine being able to remove the anger or depression or compulsive behavior from the person you loved so deeply it nearly crushed you.
Of course, I can’t. This is why I have become so attached to Doctor Who. I, too, feel alone in the Universe, continually struggling to do the right thing. I long for adventure with a companion upon whom I can depend, trust implicitly, knows me intimately, and stays with me forever.
Isn’t that what we all want?
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