I was asked recently why I like “Doctor Who.” Like most Whovians, I had almost 50 years worth of reasons rush through my head. Then I remembered that I needed to summarize, and my mind blanked. You know that moment when someone asks you what you want for lunch, and even though you are starving you can’t think of anything you want. That was the feeling I had. I couldn’t define what it was that drew me and millions of geeks around the globe to this cultural touchstone.
I began a journey to discover what it was that made this such a desirable show. My first theory was the history. This is a gold mine of trivial knowledge. Geeks love to share knowledge and relive their favorite moments, so a topic with half of century of facts seems like a sure win. But if facts were the only draw, it wouldn’t explain the passion people pour into it.
So what draws us in so deeply that we will spend money on sonic screwdrivers, go to conventions, make podcasts, and buy every damn t-shirt with a TARDIS or a reference to angels? It’s how much it impacts us in every aspect of our life. Whether or not you notice, the Doctor teaches us all kinds of life lessons.
1. Change is Inevitable. From a new control room to heart wrenching phrases like “goodbye raggedy man” and “I don’t want to go.” The only thing we can count on is that nothing is constant. Kids grow up, cars break down, friendships wax and wain. The important thing is to not get hung up on what was and look forward to the new adventures you have coming.
2. Curiosity is Cool. Why does the Doctor travel? Why do companions leave their homes and lives to go with him? Because knowing what’s around the next corner is always worth it. Even when he’s facing immenent demise, the Doctor is always curious. And more often than not, it’s his curiosity that gives him the solution to his problem.
3. Life is Complicated. Name a simple event in life, and I’m sure you can find as many opinions as you can people. Most people will hear only the first couple sentences before they start nodding their head like they have it all figured out. Nothing is ever simple, but it’s important to remember that.
4. Never Dismiss the Impossible. Stone angels chasing you may seem far fetched, but 20 years ago an iPhone was only an idea fit for Star Trek. Just because something is not the norm doesn’t mean the mannequin in the shop window won’t shoot you with it’s gun hand.
5. You Can Always Reinvent Yourself. Sure, two hearts and a TARDIS can make it a bit easier, but regeneration isn’t reserved for Timelords. Every new experience shapes us and changes us. The important thing is to never remain stagnant. New teeth ad not being ginger may throw you at first, but accept what makes you different from your previous version and discover who you are today.
The reasons to love this show are inumerable and the ways it can impact and influence your life can be astounding. Next time someone asks why you’re a Whovian, tell them it hits home for you, then watch their face when you explain daleks to them.