Doctor Who, for those who don’t already know, is a British science fiction television show that has been a part of global geeky pop culture for almost 50 years. It follows the adventures of a centuries-old alien called The Doctor as he travels through time and space in a blue telephone box, usually with one or more human companions. It sounds like insanity, I’ll admit, and yet it is the most popular and lucrative show on the BBC, and seems poised to win over the States in the same way.
This rise in popularity started when the show was revived in 2005, after almost 15 years off the air.
The lead role of “The Doctor” has been played by 11 actors over the course of the show’s history. Every few years, the lead actor is replaced which helps to refresh the character and switch up the mood of the show. In 2010, Matt Smith took over the role, becoming the Eleventh Doctor, and the show’s popularity continued to increase. The sixth season in 2011, marked the first time new episodes were aired on the same day in America and Britain. The premier of the seventh season at the beginning of this month broke ratings records for BBCAmerica!
Doctor Who is turning up everywhere.
You can find Dalek t-shirts at Hot Topic, get a TARDIS beach towel at Newbury Comics…I even bought some TARDIS party lights for my apartment at F.Y.E.! If you tune into The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson you can’t miss the iconic blue box sitting on his desk and you’re likely to hear him mention the show during his monologues and jokes. Even stars like Glee‘s Chris Colfer have taken the time to geek out over Doctor Who.
But the growing “cool factor” of Who isn’t the only reason you should be tuning in.
As a long-time, proud “Whovian” myself, I see this show as a lot more than time travel adventures and space shenanigans. Now, I know that sounds incredibly silly. It is a family show about an alien in a box, but, in the midst of all the goofy good times, this is also a show that at its core is about freedom, love, acceptance, responsibility, and the importance of friendship. Its characters struggle with personal issues and moral dilemmas on a regular basis which, despite taking place on a spaceship, are relatable and touching. In a world where the media is becoming saturated with formulaic, predictable television shows, finding one that strives to make a point is rare and special.
You can watch new episodes of Doctor Who on Saturdays at 9pm on BBCA (channel 78-1 here at BSU!) or you can start from the beginning on Netflix!
Have you ever seen Doctor Who? What do you think about it?