So What’s the Big Deal About Doctor Who, Anyway?

I’m a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan through and through–I mean, I’m heavily involved with helping run MisCon, Montana’s Science

Cubee___TARDIS_by_CyberDrone
Tardis paper cutout by Cyberdrone

Fiction Convention, so I have at least some geeky street cred, right?

I’m also a Star Wars fan, and I love Fantasy, especially the epic variety, but I have to admit that these days I’m on the outside looking in with one issue: Doctor Who.

My mom watched it when I was little, so whenever I think Doctor Who, I remember bad monster suits, crappy special effects, and a guy with lots of curly, reddish-brown hair. I was born in 1976, so I’m talking the 1980s here, although I bet most of you know exactly which Doctor I’m talking about and which years he was on the show. I’m going to hazard a guess and vote that he was the . . . 3rd Doctor? Maybe 4th?

So please help me out here, people.

What’s the big deal about Doctor Who? Why do so many people love it so damn much? I’m not saying it isn’t great (I mean, Neil Gaiman loves it, so there must be something to it, right?). But why do you love it so much? Is it better than Star Wars or Star Trek?  If so, why? Does there need to be a clear winner? Is it even a competition?

Also, what do you Whovians like about Daleks so much? What’s the attraction?

Doctor_Who_logo_2010_by_TheGraphicStation
Thanks to TheGraphicStation for this Doctor Who logo

And for all you Tardis lovers out there, check out Cyberdrone’s paper cutout tardis models on DeviantArt. You can print his stuff, cut out the shapes, and have your own little Tardis. You nerds. Just kidding–I need to get a Millenium Falcon paper cutout.

Please jump in and talk Doctor Who.

11 Replies to “So What’s the Big Deal About Doctor Who, Anyway?”

  1. I love Doctor Who because I love stories. The Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, isn’t just a machine that takes him to different points in time and space — though that is part of it — but rather it’s a machine for transporting him to different stories. Doctor Who can be a horror show, a hard sci-fi show, a historical costume drama (those last two a bit more so in the early years), a swashbuckling pirate adventure, a touching melodrama, or a wacky comedy. It can be all these and more. It can be something different. The show has revinvented itself nearly a dozen times in the last 50 years, all while staying true to the same concept. The idea is the universe is a wonderful, terrifying, amazing place. Danger and excitement can be found around any corner. The Doctor takes his companions (and by extension us) across all these and more. Showing us that everything is exciting.

    1. @fhtagnFC Does it change like this from episode to episode? Or is it ore os a seasonal thing? Plus, do the stories carry over across episodes?

      1. @JustinBarba Originally the show was done in a serial format. Six episodes for a story, 6 or so stories a season. Recently the show has gone on for a more episodic format, though each season has an over arching theme or villain, kind of like the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer used to do it. So, for example, using this last season as an example, we start with a two part mystery episode, the Doctor and his friends each receive an invitation to a murder that hasn’t happened yet. This sets up the season long arc as the ending brings up more questions than it solves. The TARDIS crew then finds themselves on a Pirate ship, cursed by a mysterious Siren with a thirst for blood. Next, in an episode penned by Neil Gaiman, the Doctor travels outside of our reality, following a distress call from an old friend, long since thought dead. There is then another two parter about a crew working on a highly volatile substance, that uses cloned avatars to do the dangerous work. The avatars however gain setience, and have all the original memories of their hosts. This episode leads into a cliff hanger, set up from the first two episodes which take us to the mid season finale, where an army has gathered, trying to find a way to kill the Doctor.

        We pick up again with the strangely named Let’s Kill Hitler, where the TARDIS is hijacked by an old friend of one of the companions, who figures she needs to Kill Hitler (if only there was some sort of peace keeping force their to prevent time travelers from killing Hitler. Now THERE would be a story).

        The Doctor then investigates a young boy, whose nightmares are having real world consequences in the chilling Night Terrors. Alternate Timelines are explorded in the next episode, where Amy Pond (one of his two companions) gets abandoned in a hostile alien hospital for over 40 years, while no time at all passes for the Doctor and Amy’s Husband.

        Next, in the God Complex, the Doctor and crew, along with random strangers from across the galaxy find themselves stuck in an endless hotel, where every room contains a very specific, specialized fear, meant to kill them and drive them insane.

        The Doctor then gets a job at a shopping mall to investigate the strange murders around the area, while babysitting an old friend’s new born child.

        Finally, the season long mystery comes to a head. Knowing his fate is linked to the murder from the first episode the Doctor goes to meet his fate, only to be thrown into an alternate reality where time no longer flows correctly. He and The Holy Roman Emperor, Winston Churchill must solve this mystery before time itself becomes unraveled.

        1. @fhtagnFC Okay, that makes the show actually sound good. I read nothing about goofy aliens or crappy special effects (which is what I have locked in my head regarding Doctor Who). It definitely bounces around a lot but maintains an overall story arc, which I am a huge fan of.

  2. @justinbarba curly brown hair doctor you are talking about: #4. Got half way though the description when I thought to myself, ah Tom Baker.

  3. My follow up question is, where does a newbie start watching? Should I start at the beginning or with the newer stuff? And when does the newer stuff start?

  4. I hope this comment makes its way over to my actual blog (unlike the previous test comments I tried out). I also hope this doesn’t show up in the feed of all 6 of my “followers.” If it does, please let me know so I don’t clog up your FB with crap.

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