A few thoughts on the influence of Doctor Who

I’ve been talking an awful lot about my childhood and coincidentally about Doctor Who in a number of places recently and so I thought it might be a good time to let you, my dear readers, in on few thoughts I’ve had about The Good Doctor and his influence upon me.

Ever since that dreadful morning that I woke up (literally, my clock radio went off and it was the first thing I heard) to the news that Douglas Adams had died, I’ve been casting about for some meaningfully British Geek Guidance.

Now after a long absence, The Doctor is Back!  And even after a couple of reincarnations (and another one coming) he seems to be sticking around,.

So much of who I am and how I view the world was influenced by my babysitter, the television.  And my little b/w TV very rarely got much more than a couple of local channels and PBS.  WGBH to be specific (she was my favorite babysitter).  Monday through Friday I would come home after a long day of being teased and taunted at school and I would watch all the interminably violent American “kids” cartoons, soaking it all in, until my 7 o’clock reprieve.

And then at 7pm, for half an hour every night, I’d hear that same eerie theme and I would fall into the time vortex.

Was it a violent show?  Yes, quite.  People/Lifeforms/Entities tended to die rather horribly left and right.  Sometimes whole civilizations would be wiped out.  But there was never any celebration of death.  The Doctor always tried to find a peaceful solution when one was available.  And when one wasn’t, he always used his wits and his intelligence to try to save himself/his friends/the world/the universe/the whole of creation itself.  And he never used a gun.

The Doctor made being smart seem sexy.  He had a Sonic Screwdriver, his Companions, and his intensely clever curiosity and that was all he ever really needed.

Plus he had a wicked fashion sense.

From The Doctor I learned that it was more than just okay to be different.  It was exciting.  It was a thing to be treasured.

I learned that a loyal friend is just about the best thing one can have in this universe and you should be willing to face down a Dalek to help one.

I learned that you can be any number of different people over the course of your life and still be the same person inside.

I learned that if you can sound like you know what you’re talking about.  Sprinkling in a couple of big, important sounding words here and there.  Most people will give you just about the time you need to actually figure the thing out for real.

I also learned that pretty much everyone in the universe is actually English.

Thanks Doctor.  So nice to have you back.  I look forward to meeting you again for the Eleventh time!


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