As some of my more astute readers (particularly any who follow me on Twitter or tumblr or have seen my Facebook wall as of late) may have figured out, I’m a bit of a Doctor Who fanatic.
2013 marks the 50th year since Mr. Hartnell brought the mysterious Doctor to life in his first appearance in An Unearthly Child. Since then, armies of Daleks, legions of Cybermen, hordes of Weeping Angels, and even a fifteen year hiatus from television (punctuated only by the abominable TV movie) have been unable to stop the Doctor in his TARDIS.
If that made absolutely no sense to you, I apologize. Not for not making any sense, but rather because I genuinely feel sorry for the lack of Doctor Who in your life.
On the surface, it is a television show about an alien named “The Doctor” who travels through time and space in a spaceship called the TARDIS that looks like a police telephone box but is bigger on the inside, who saves people and other aliens and planets, with the help of his companions and a tool called a sonic screwdriver.
It may seem odd that I’m so attached to this. On the surface, it seems silly. It sounds like weird sci-fi with weird British humor that’s somehow developed a cult following for half a century.
But that’s just on the surface. Because when you work below the surface, it’s about friendship and bravery and love and loss, and life and death and forgiveness and guilt, and being human and being less than human and sometimes a bit more than human. It’s about having skill and intellect and sometimes a little bit of luck, finding the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, looking up at the night sky and realizing you’re part of an impossibly beautiful and mysterious universe and that you don’t know all the answers no matter how clever you are. It’s about looking inside yourself and realizing you’re far greater than the external conditions of your life: you’re not a shop worker, you’re not a medical student, you’re not a temp, you’re not a little girl who needs to grow up or a boy that thinks the love of his life could have done better. You’re the most important person in the whole of creation and at the same time you’re the most insignificant thing in the universe, and having the ability to choose between the two at any given time is fantastic. It’s about having the guts to do what’s right even when everyone else just runs away, and being able to see the light and the good even when the whole world has gone dark. It’s a mind blowing and emotional pep talk that makes you feel angry and brilliant and crushed and giddy all at the same time, and every time I turn on the news and see what’s going on in the world, I have a dozen new reasons why the world needs Doctor Who to make everything seem just a little less dark, even if it’s only for an hour or so.
And yes, it is about a time traveling alien with a sonic screwdriver who fancies bow ties and has been known to don a fez.
Deal with it.
The point of all this is because the 50th Anniversary is twelve short days away, this post is the first of twelve that will chronicle the eleven different doctors from the past five decades.
Sorry in advance to my non-Whovian readers, again because I’m sorry Doctor Who is not part of your life.
So, so sorry.
As a bonus, each post will include a tributary recipe that myself or one of my other fantastic Whovian friends will be preparing for our celebration of the 50th Anniversary special. Most of them are even applicable to real life cooking.
Except for maybe the fish fingers and custard.
Come along, Ponds.