I am a self confessed Anglophile.
I realize no one is shocked or astounded by this confession. Well, at least no one who knows me in person. I could recite for you a long list of You-tubers from England and their individual merits. I have been known to slip into a sincerely ridiculous faux-English accent at times, to the point where I snobbishly differentiate between my Northern and Southern English accents, posh, hackney, Welsh and London. They are probably equally terrible. My favorite band, The Wombats, who are the best at everything ever, are all from Liverpool, and I will belt out the chorus of Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves) with a horrifically empathetic IF EWE LUFFF ME LET ME GOOOO BAK TO THAT BARRRE IN TO-KEY-YOOO.
It stands to reason, then that I would love British television. And good god, do I ever love British television. All of it including and especially Doctor Who. I even made my phone into a Tardis.
Some of y’all may feel inclined to call shenanigans on my fandom, because I actually only started watching Doctor Who in May of 2012. However, since that time I’ve watched all of the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctor’s series through twice and I’m currently working my way through the classics. I thought I might give you a few of the reasons why this show, for me at least, offers so much of what I find lacking in other series on the telly.
1. Moral Ambiguity – The Doctor is constantly struggling with the concept of right and wrong on this show. He strives to do the right thing at all times, but since the show is playing not only with space but with intersecting timelines, races, planets, creeds and even galaxies, what is “right” is sometimes incredibly complicated and obscure. This show makes you think about and challenge your own beliefs.
2. Complex Story Lines – The writer and producer of Sherlock, Steven Moffat, has been writing for Doctor Who and officially took the reins for the show in 2008. He’s well known for his intricately crafted and detailed plots and he does not disappoint. The twists and turns of each show often contain details that tie together entire seasons and span several story arcs.
3. Tension – I don’t know how they do it, but almost every episode has me sitting on the edge of my seat and watching through my fingertips. A few have made me cry (no shame). One made me scream so loudly my mom came sprinting up the stairs.
4. An Evolving Main Character – I love it when writers give their characters a little more bite to them than usual. Since the Doctor (not to give any serious spoilers away) is written in a way that allows a new person to take on the role when necessary, each of the 11 actors who have taken on the role in a new and refreshing light. Since the reboot, Doctor 9 was a tortured and dark man, 10 charismatic, dramatic and somewhat corrupted, and 11 has been funny, lighthearted, and utterly lovable. Each are refreshing and add new spice to a very old role.
5. Clever Humor – The show is extremely funny. From the terribly rendered early CGI to the random and ridiculous gags. Well-crafted and amazing and side-stitchingly funny, especially the particularly irreverent Doctor 11.
I know current Doctor Who fans are nodding in agreement, and non-believers are probably shaking their heads, but honestly, forget the sci-fi nonsense, the time travel, and the weirdness. It’s a damn good show. Get two episodes into Doctor 9, internet, and get back to me.
You shan’t be disappointed.