I consider myself a Doctor Who fan, but in reality I suppose I am much more than “just a fan.” I am OBSESSED with the show. Anything timey-wimey has my name written all over it. “Well, not literally, but give me time and a crayon," as the Doctor would say. Anyone who knows me understands this but I still get asked one question that always leaves me stumped: why do I like Doctor Who? It’s a simple question to be sure and one many Doctor Who fans would spring at the chance to answer. Me, though? There are many reasons why I love the show as much as I do. I’d love to be able to point out a few reasons and let you all be on your way. But we all know I love to ramble, but it’s a good rambling, I promise.
Have you ever read a great book and when you finish the last page, slowly lower it into your lap and think you just read something truly remarkable, something life-altering? If you have, then you understand how I feel after watching an episode of Doctor Who. I have never watched a lot of TV. I’m too busy juggling school, helping babysit my niece and nephew, and the other things life likes to throw into the potpourri of “To-Do.” But once a week, I indulge myself in a guilty little pleasure and I allow the Doctor and the TARDIS to take me places I should only ever dream.
What most people tend to not understand about the show is how different it is compared to anything else on TV. It has been on-air for 50 years. That’s at least three generations introduced to the Doctor throughout its run and I know for a fact it’s brought families together. It’s also the only show I have ever known to somehow break me down into tears after nearly every episode. And what makes that fact more interesting is they are not sad tears but of happiness. As cheesy as it may sound, any Doctor Who fan will tell you the Doctor is the best teacher. He shows what is best of humanity, what we should all strive for. He shows us how making the right decision is never easy and that even our enemies deserve our mercy. Some people have even gone to extents and said that Doctor Who, for all it’s lessons and morals it teaches, could be a religion. Now, I’m not saying it should be, but I do agree with those who say Doctor Who is a way of living. I learned so much about myself after watching this show and I can honestly say it’s made me a better person. People can scoff all they want but Doctor Who is much more than "that silly show."
There will always be the skeptic who will point out how other shows teach some important lessons and they’re right. After all, Real Housewives teaches people how NOT to behave. But most shows I have seen never come close to teaching in the same way as Who. Doctor Who doesn’t teach mercy by sparing the enemy. Sometimes the show teaches mercy by killing the enemy and letting us watch the negative effects of vengeance. It doesn’t teach us right from wrong by making the Doctor a superhero. He makes mistakes, like we all do, and he learns from it and in turn, we learn too. Perhaps one of the most important lessons Doctor Who can teach is how to have fun even when times aren’t great. Humans, as a whole, take life too seriously at times and it’s about time we relax. Stress has never helped anyone make a clear decision; I think we all know that.
And with all that lovey-dovey, wibbly-wobbley stuff out of the way, you now know why I will always defend an episode of Doctor Who. After an episode airs, I always go online to see how everyone else felt about it. Lately I have been shocked that so many people, who claim to be heartfelt fans of the show, hate the new episodes. Not to mention some of them complain about the smallest, most unimportant detail in the whole episode. Just last week someone complained that since there’s no air in space, the whole moped-in-space sequence was impossible. (You know, never mind we’re talking about a show with a 1000-year-old alien with two hearts, regenerative powers, and a time-travelling phone box.)
As to the real reason some of these “fans” hate the show, I would guess it’s because they’re bitter at the loss of Amy and Rory and were expecting someone more like them. What these fans fail to realize is Doctor Who combined qualities of both Amy and Rory and put them into Clara. I miss Amy and Rory too, but Clara is certainly working her way up into my favorite companion territory. Part of her appeal is how absolutely normal she is despite her frustrating impossibility of even being alive. Who is she and why does the TARDIS dislike her? I cannot wait to find out. I like River Song but I’m secretly hoping for a romance between Clara and the Doctor.
A few months back I read an article where a man reviewed Asylum of the Daleks and said he’s given up on the show because the writing was, in his opinion, piss-poor. After I was done yelling at my computer screen, I sat there and thought about his comments and came to the conclusion that either you understand the choices the writers made and accept them or you hate the writing. If you hate the writing, my suggestion is to write a different version of the same scene or even episode and let’s see how well you do. Since the start of Season 7: Part 2, I have enjoyed each episode for their own reasons. What can I say about Matt Smith? There’s something so unconventionally handsome about him. He’s the only person I know that can put on any hat and still look adorable. His new Doctor’s attire is very cool too. I’ve never liked a Tweed suit and bowtie more.
So to all the naysayers out there: bugger off. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch. It’s that simple. The Doctor could battle a peg-leg pirate with a stick and I’d still watch. But that’s because I appreciate the show for what it is: an escape meant to push boundaries. There was a bit of clever advertising when The Bells of Saint John aired. This was the episode where the Doctor drove his classy anti-gravity bike. Mercedes aired a commercial during the show and the announcer says, “…it feels like it can escape gravity.” Clever ad placement if you ask me. The Bells of Saint John is a key episode for one reason: The Great Intelligence returns. Amelia Williams’ book, Summer Falls, was a nice reference to Amy and Rory too.
The Rings of Akhaten was, in my opinion, an emotional episode. We got a rare glimpse into the Doctor’s tortured soul and a lot of people claim Matt’s ending speech made them cry. Mary’s angelic singing and Clara’s devotion to her mother was heartwarming. I loved hearing the Doctor bark like a dog! Some of the aliens were really creepy though, like the Hannibal Lecter/The Silence crossovers. And who can forget their giddiness at the mention of Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter! Not bad for a second episode.
As I said before, I will always defend an episode of Doctor Who. It’s no secret I’m biased, in a big way. I love Doctor Who, always have and always will. From Hartnell to Baker to Eccleston and Tennant, Doctor Who has made an impact unlike any show before and I’m proud to be a part of its history. Hold on tight my fellow Whovians, the 50th Anniversary is on its way!
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