“Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do then I should warn you, you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past, aliens from the future, the day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime.” – The Doctor
I’m sad because out of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of people that I know, only a handful of them watch Doctor Who. Some of them don’t even watch it religiously. Most of them were able to watch an episode or two, and they think it’s awesome, but never really got around to watching the whole thing. And that makes me sad.
Before I move on to the reasons why you should really watch Doctor Who, let me give you a bit of background about the show. It’s basically about an alien with a spaceship that can travel to anywhere in time and space or, as the Doctor himself put it, it’s about a mad man with a box. He’s a 900 year old alien who is the last of his kind, and he travels to different places and different timelines because the Universe is so big and ever-changing that he wants to see everything before they disappear. Along the way, he picks up travel companions that share in his adventures. So, in a nutshell, it’s about beautiful people doing cool shit in space while travelling to different time periods. How can that be not worth watching?
You know how James Bond is played by different actors over time? Well, the Doctor is kind of like that, except the actor-changing is woven into the storyline so it isn’t as confusing as James Bond. The Doctor is, as mentioned before, a humanoid alien. When his body is dying, all his cells regenerate so as to give him new life. That means new face, new body, new voice, new personality, new everything–but the same memories, and the same man.
Another thing you should know: the current Doctor is his eleventh incarnation, played by ADHD actor Matt Smith. The first eight Doctors were part of Classic Doctor Who, which aired in the 60s. The series was revived in 2005 with the Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, who was my first Doctor by the way. Nine only got one season, and was followed by Ten (played by the awesome and gorgeous David Tennant) with three seasons. Matt Smith–or, as Whovians usually refer to him now, Eleven–just started with his third season this month.
Okay, so that primer ended up being too long. Sue me. I love this show. But please, stay with me guys. Let’s move on to the reasons.
1. The Noises
Okay, bear with me here. ‘Noise’ isn’t really the right word. I’m talking about all of the sound effects that come with the show. When you start watching Doctor Who, there are two things that will be hard to forget when it comes to sound: the Doctor Who opening theme, and the sound that the Doctor’s ship makes–the ship is called the TARDIS, or Time and Relative Dimension in Space–when it lands. Believe me, Whovians all over the world dream of hearing that TARDIS sound, hoping that the Doctor has come to take them away. And I once made a friend because I had that as my ringtone and my phone rang in public.
2. The TARDIS
As mentioned above, the TARDIS is the Doctor’s ship. It’s supposed to be manned by several Time Lords–which is what the Doctor is–but the Doctor’s only one dude so it does weird things occasionally. Also, it’s supposed to be disguised as any ordinary thing depending on what time period they’re in, but it got broke when the Doctor visited the 1950s, I think, which is why it’s stuck looking like a blue police box. Also, the inside of the TARDIS exists on a separate dimension, so though it might look like a small box on the outside, it has a library, a swimming pool, sleeping quarters, and a whole room full of costumes and period garb, among other things. Also, the Doctor’s been travelling with the TARDIS for hundreds of years. He’s become quite attached. He calls the TARDIS ‘sexy’, or ‘sweetie’–which is why the episode where the TARDIS comes to life was called The Doctor’s Wife.
Neil Gaiman, writer extraordinaire and big fan of Doctor Who summed the whole thing up quite nicely: “There’s a big blue box. (The TARDIS) It’s bigger on the inside than the outside. It can go anywhere in space and time, sometimes where it is supposed to go. Something will go wrong, and there’s some bloke called The Doctor who’ll make it all right because he’s awesome”.
3. The Settings
As I’ve mentioned above, the Doctor can travel to any point in space and time. This means that he can go just about anywhere–he’s taken his companions to see the end of the world, or to the library planet (yes, it’s an entire planet filled with books, what could be better?), or even to some place that resembles Narnia but with wooden aliens. The episodes I love though are the ones where the protagonists end up in the past, whether intentionally or not, and meet up with awesome people. Two of my favorite episodes from the show are Girl in the Fireplace, where the Doctor becomes the imaginary friend and later lifelong crush of the beautiful Madame de Pompadour, or Vincent and the Doctor, where they meet the depressed Vincent van Gogh and take him to the future to see how much of an impact his work has had on contemporary art. Heartwarming, don’t you think?
4. The Villains
I can guarantee that you’ve seen a Dalek somewhere before, even if you had no idea what they were. For future reference, they look like tin cans with lasers.
The Daleks are the Doctor’s main enemies because the Time Lords and the Daleks were on opposing sides during the Time War. Aside from the Daleks though, there are a whole lot of other monsters that can either be cute and cuddly or nightmare-inducing terrifying. One of my favorite Doctor Who monsters would have to be the Weeping Angels, as featured in the episode Blink. You know all those stone statues you see everywhere–at the park, beside the sidewalk, etc–and how you just take them for granted? Well, Doctor Who made me fear those statues. According to the show, most of those statues are alive, but they can’t move when you’re looking at them. When you look away though, or when you blink, they’ll be coming for you.
5. The Cast
I know a lot of people who watch shows primarily for the pretty cast. For example, how many people actually watch Suits and remember all the cases that Mike and Harvey have had to deal with? Not a whole lot, I’m sure. But I’m also sure that a large number of people can remember when Donna’s being adorable, or episodes where Rachel looks hot.
Well, Doctor Who wouldn’t be a disappointment. If you start with Nine, then you’ll encounter Christopher Eccleston, with his rugged looks and awesome Northern accent. Billie Piper’s with him, who now plays the lead role in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. After Eccleston, there’s the ever-gorgeous David Tennant with pretty Freema Agyeman and the bodacious Catherine Tate.
With the current cast, well, you really can’t go wrong with a boatload of awesome and hot people:
Matt Smith – who plays The Doctor – is known around England as a bit of a fashion plate; Karen Gillan – who plays companion Amy Pond – has garnered more than a bit of attention from the paparazzi for her short, short skirts; Arthur Darvill – who plays Amy’s husband Rory – is the loveable goof that gives geek guys like myself hope they can score a hot gal like Amy; and Alex Kingston – as River Song, the mysterious woman from The Doctor’s past and future – is simply the hawtness. So yeah, the show is covered when it comes to giving viewers eye candy. (source)
But seriously people–COOL SHIT HAPPENING IN SPACE. How can that not be enough of an incentive? Also, the Doctor Who fandom is seriously active. All you have to do is join Tumblr or any other site where you can interact with fellow fans and voila–it’s like becoming part of a family. As this blogger put it, “for those of you who care about romance, there’s sexual tension galore between the Doctor and his various attractive female companions. Most of the time, the show’s fast-paced and weird, but it’s not difficult to follow even for people who don’t typically enjoy sci-fi. But beneath all the WTF-ery and awesome factor, Doctor Who is a melancholy tale about an extremely old and powerful man destined to travel throughout the universe to save civilizations from suffering the same fate as his”.
So what are you waiting for? Watch Doctor Who now.