To Whom it May Concern:
Maybe that’s too formal a greeting for this letter, but it’s too late now, it’s there, and we’re going to roll with it. I am addressing you, all of you, whom I may know, who do not like Doctor Who. Yes, you folks who simply roll you eyes when I mention the series, or make a disgusted face, or refuse to understand my constant references to the show. This letter is for you. Not to win you over, because the truth is, i don’t really care if you like Doctor Who or not. To be fair, and to give full disclosure, while I am not bothered by whether you like the series, please know that behind your back I am secretly judging you because you do not like the series. I just want this post to be honest…
The point of this letter is for you to be informed about why I like Doctor Who. I don’t know if you’ll ever get the series, but I want you to get why i like the series. In this letter I am going to explain three reasons why I like Doctor Who: The history and mythos that has been created around the character, the Doctor himself, and simply because it is good, clean fun. Hopefully, at the end of the letter, you can at least understand why I like Doctor Who.
The History and Mythos of the Show
One of my favorite things I hear from you non-Whovian types is this: “Oh, I tried Doctor Who once, and I just didn’t get it, so I don’t watch it.” Doctor Who has been delivering classic stories and entertaining fans around the world for over 50 years. While the series was “rebooted” in 2005, the reboot was a continuation of the original series, feeding off the history that had been built since 1963. There are hundreds of episodes of Doctor Who, hundreds of stories. In fact, there are so many stories that we don’t even know where some of them are. The original tapes have been lost, or are secretly being kept hidden from us, depending on who you believe (the truth is probably somewhere in the middle). The Doctor we see on TV today is the same character we watched in 1963, and by we, I mean other people who were actually alive back in 1963. There have been thirteenish incarnations of the Doctor, and each one has been different and unique, some I have liked more than others. The point is, there is a lot of Doctor Who out there. So much Doctor Who, I would say it is almost impossible to decide whether you like the show based on just trying it once.
Any series that has been on the air for any length of time has had its ups and downs. Not every season is the same in caliber or quality. Look at a show like The Office that was on for like eight or nine seasons. Overall, the series was pretty good, but there were some stretches in there that were pretty sketchy. It only makes sense that there would be runs of Doctor Who that were the same. If all your basing it on is some very old reruns you saw on PBS, I implore you to give it more than just one try. You may find a Doctor you like, or you may find a story you like, something that might draw you in. As pointed out, there is a lot of material, so there is probably something for everyone.
The fact that there is so much history behind the show is something that I love. I don’t get sick of learning about Doctor Who, because there is so much and I will never learn it all. While to most of you, my non-Whovian friends, I may seem like I know a lot or that i am obsessed, let me just say that compared to a lot of other folks out there, i know nothing. It is so intriguing to look back at the history of the show and the characters and there is just so much. As a history buff, I love it. It is a back story and history that is as intriguing as Star Trek’s or Star Wars’. I know, it seems like with this latest surge in popularity for the show that it’s all about the fangirls, I promise there is much more depth there.
The Doctor Himself
To be clear, his name is simply the Doctor. Well, that’s not actually true. We don’t really know his name. Doctor is the name he chose for himself. In any case, it’s not “Doctor Who.” In reality, the name of the show is really kind of a running joke throughout. Whenever the Doctor introduces himself as the Doctor, it’s almost always followed up with, “Doctor? Doctor Who?” That’s really not the point here, though. The second reason I really like the show is the main character, the Doctor himself. I know that when I write this next part, it might be confusing to you. I think the Doctor is easy to identify with. Wait…Easy to identify with? He is an alien, time traveller who is currently over 1000 years old. How is that easy to identify with? He is also a generally good guy, but he’s not perfect. He has had to make decisions and choices that he’s not proud of, but he somehow finds a way to keep going and generally tries to make the universe a better place. Don’t we all think of ourselves as the heroes of our own stories? And don’t we all make mistakes? The Doctor reminds me of myself, in some small way, in that I am always trying to move forward and make the best of whatever situation I might find myself in. Like the Doctor, I have the hardest time forgiving myself. Like the Doctor, I would like to think I am generally a good person. Like the Doctor, I have an almost magical blue box that can travel throughout space and time…oh wait…I guess two out of three then.
I also really like that in a world that almost worships violence, the Doctor uses his brain to get out of trouble. He never carries a gun, and his weapon of choice is his sonic screwdriver (or spoon). Do you know what a screwdriver does? It fixes things, usually without making other things or people dead. The Doctor is a fun example for my kids of someone who is not afraid to stand up to a bully, but does it without violence. He uses words and reason instead. I think we need more heroes like that in the world today.
It’s Good Clean Fun
That actually leads into my last point. Doctor Who is fun, entertaining series, that I can watch, and I don’t get nervous when my kids are in the room. The stories keep me entertained, and some are even a little creepy, but I don’t worry about the language or the sex or the violence. In fact, I am tempted to just have my kids watch nothing but Doctor Who and see what happens. i think they we would be nicer to each other, instead of always beating each other up. Seriously, some days it’s like the Thunder Dome at my house. Doctor Who was originally a kids’ show, and it hasn’t totally lost its roots. It is still family friendly, but they have made it more appealing for adults. Or maybe, we as adults are just more open-minded to this kind of entertainment than previous generations were. In any case, the show is good clean fun, and we need more of it in TV today.
That’s it, my friends, three reasons why i like Doctor Who. No I turn it over to you. What questions might you non-Whovians have about Doctor Who? Let me know in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
For my fellow Whovians, please feel free to share this with your non-Whovian friends through Facebook of Twitter or Google +. Also, feel free to let me know why you love Doctor Who. Everyone has their reasons, and yours may be totally different from mine.
I can say this, i do believe Doctor Who could be for everyone, if everyone gave it a chance, and everyone should.
Jake Dietz, the geeky mormon