Feb 09, 2014 02:35pm
Doctor Who: Who cares?
December 5, 2013 - 6:15pm

On the surface, it’s just a cheesy show about a time traveling alien who wears strange clothes and changes his face every few years. But there’s a lot more to Doctor Who than meets the eye.

On the surface, it’s just a cheesy show about a time traveling alien who wears strange clothes and changes his face every few years. But there’s a lot more to Doctor Who than meets the eye.

The British sci-fi show started in 1963 and ran until 1996 where it took a little break, only to return again in 2005. Since its return, the show is running strong and just passed a huge milestone that most shows can only dream about: their 50-year anniversary.

Doctor Who recently celebrated its 50th birthday with a 75-minute special that aired at the same time in almost 100 different countries. The episode earned Doctor Who the Guinness World Record for “world’s largest ever simulcast of a TV drama.”

This is not the first world record that the British sci-fi show has won. The show is already in the books as the world’s longest running sci-fi TV series. This record was broken in 2010, and according to the official record, the show had racked up 769 episodes and 212 different storylines. 

Many people do not understand the appeal of the show. They hear that the main actor changes every few years, or that the main villain is a salt-shaker with a plunger and a whisk for a weapon. Both of those are very true points, and there definitely isn’t a fan who can claim to be watching for the special effects (although they have improved greatly over the years, there is still a bit cheesiness going on.) So why do people watch the show?

Doctor Who brings people of all ages together. Whether you are a classic Who fan, a new Who fan, a fan of the novels or a fan of the audio dramas, you’re still a Whovian, and you are still a part of the same fanbase.

Many of the viewers of Doctor Who are the people that society would label as outcasts or nerds. They’re painted in a negative light and living like that can get lonely and discouraging.

That’s why the sense of belonging is so important to the people who watch the show. Even if a fan never talks to another Whovian in their life, that person still knows that there are people (a lot of people) out there with the same interest.

The show also gives validity to the idea that even the most ordinary person is important and that everyone matters, even if it’s in a small way.

“You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.” That is a quote from the Doctor in the 2010 Christmas special.

The Doctor is always accompanied by someone, sometimes they’re called assistants, and sometimes they’re called companions. For the most part they are just average humans, but through traveling with the Doctor, they discover how extraordinary and heroic they can be.

The companion is the show’s equivalent of the viewer. Because, up until very recently, the companion is just an ordinary human, it’s not hard for people to put themselves in the companion’s shoes. Through the companion, the viewer gets to travel with the Doctor.

Due to the nature of the show, Doctor Who could very well last for another 50 years. If it does, hopefully it will continue to spread the ideas of hope and togetherness as it picks up new Whovians.

I'm not a real Dr. Who fan, but I loved the idea that even ordinary people are important. They can even be heroic! Thanks for the reminder Ashley... via Dr. Who. And yes, I believe you are a very talented and creative writer, and should do more of it.

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