Overall I am pretty buttoned up, especially with people I don’t know. I don’t share but with the closest of friends, really. But I feel compelled to tell you why Doctor Who and why I am so over-bearing with all the Nuvians (aka Doctor Who fans who’ve only watched the newer 2005-Current, episodes).
I didn’t have an easy childhood, both my parents were dead by the time I was 12 years old. Growing up was very difficult, moving from home to home, being disappointed by blood family in ways I can’t describe, losing my best friend (my mom) was the worst thing ever, nonetheless so that by 1987 I was living alone, nursing a broken heart after causing the break-up of a long relationship. I was very depressed, to say the least, but even more so I had become an extremely negative person. One friend had likened me to a black-hole, i.e. sucking in all happiness so everyone around would be as miserable as I was.
One night while channel flipping I landed on my local PBS (The Public Broadcasting Service) station and there was some odd program ending that looked somewhat “SciFi-ish.” The TV announcer said another episode was coming on next so I decided to stay tuned and check it out despite the irony that that upcoming episode was entitled “The Happiness Patrol“. I just hoped it wasn’t too cheerful because I was quite settled into my misery.
That was 25 years, 5 Doctors, 1 helluva long hiatus, 799 episodes, 300 books and a little over 500 action figures ago!
Why? It’s simple really; all my life I needed hope, I needed to know it was possible that maybe people were reliable, that even if they left, they were still good and kind. Amy Pond said it best in describing what I was hoping for; “What if you were really old and really kind and alone, your whole race dead with no future. What could you do then? If you were that old and that kind, and the very last of your race, you couldn’t just stand there and watch children cry.”
The Doctor became a beacon of hope for me that people could be better, people who were in your life a limited amount of time still meant something good. I started thinking a different way. People leaving isn’t always make them or me bad. Some will come, share, enrich my life, stay for a while until change whisks them off to be there for someone else. Every Doctor incarnation since then (and those from before I got to know retroactively) healed a piece of me that was broken. I got to have role models who taught me that I could be a good companion, I could give and go when the time came as well.
This may sound crazy or whatever but Doctor Who consists of many ideas that came from 50 years worth of writers, and as a person who started writing at the tender age of 7, I am 100% sure that there is nothing crazy about the FACT that words can inspire, enlighten, educate and even heal.
Doctor Who, for me, is about HOPE, LOVE and gives me personally a sort of confirmation that GOOD is out there and it is our responsibility to make sure everyone knows “Good is defended!“
Every Doctor has taught me something. From Hartnell to Smith. I have seen the first Doctor dance and laugh like a child, and the 11th carry the weight of life seeing everything through empathic, kind, ancient eyes. The Doctor has taught me to trust, to try when I didn’t want to, to forgive and forget even the most horrible offenses against me.. I don’t stop learning from him. Ever. Now he’s teaching to grow old, which I can’t explain to you how hard that is, especially for me.
So yeah, I encourage, no wait I really really truly ENCOURAGE you all, from 10 years to 100 years old to watch the whole story. From the junkyard, to Trenzalore. Through bad props and no CGI to 3D episodes in crowded theatres. Because it IS a WHOLE story and every minute will change you, even if you don’t see it right away.
So next time I go “erg” or I “ugh” when one of you says, New Who or Classic or the first episode being “Rose”, forgive this old overly passionate Whovian. The Doctor (great chaps, all of him!) saved me so I am always wanting to do him justice, always wanting to share ALL of him.
Now go watch this for me, if you don’t LOVE it, I don’t know… I can’t fathom that you won’t love it.