I’m about to drop something really nerdy on you. Like, really, really nerdy. I know you all know I’m a huge nerd at heart, but I hope you’re sitting down.
About two months ago, some friends got me hooked on watching Doctor Who. For those of you who are unfamiliar, which is probably most because it’s quite possibly the nerdiest thing I’ve ever admitted, it’s a British TV show that’s been going on since 1963. Here’s a really good short video that will completely catch you up. You know, as much as a video can.
There. All set?
Well, I’m going to assume you probably didn’t watch the video, because six minutes is about five minutes and forty-five seconds too long for most people’s attention spans (including mine).
Doctor Who is a show about the Doctor, a 900+ year old Time Lord (an alien from the planet Gallifrey, but the last of his kind, due to a tremendously brutal war between the Time Lords and the Daleks, one of their oldest enemies) who travels the universe and also all of time in a 1950s-era police box that is, as the saying goes, bigger on the inside.
And on the inside. See? I told you. Bigger on the inside, and this isn’t even the half of it.
The Doctor travels time and space with his human companion(s), righting wrongs and ensuring events happen correctly. He also has the unique ability to regenerate (up to 12 times) upon a fatal wound or other very-near-death experience, and he is currently on his eleventh regeneration, acted by Matt Smith. Each new Doctor has his own personality and set of quirks, while remaining true to the original character. The Tenth Doctor was David Tennant, who most of you probably know as Barty Crouch, Jr, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (man, I’m a nerd tonight), and his companions were Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (my favorite, played by Catherine Tate, who incidentally is up for the new boss spot on The Office). Current companions are Amy Pond and Rory Williams (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, resp), with recurring appearances by the mysterious River Song (Alex Kingston).
The reason this promo shot is so goofy-looking is that the first episode of the new season takes place in Utah, the first time the Doctor has visited anywhere in the US that isn’t Manhattan. He doesn’t usually wear a Stetson. From left to right, it’s River, Rory, the Doctor and Amy. And the TARDIS, of course.
It all sounds rather sci-fi and silly, and it is, but there’s just something very endearing about it. They frequently visit well-known people, places and events in time, so there’s the aspect of occasionally learning something, too – or, at the very least, a humorous look at things you’ve heard about. There’s also the aspect of alien life in almost every episode, which adds an unexpected twist to a lot of historical events. And some of them are quite scary, it’s true – don’t even get me started on the Weeping Angels. That’ll keep you up at night.
I feel like I’ve done DW a serious disservice here, because it’s impossible to explain the enormity of the concept and how great it really is in one blog post. But it really is worth a watch.
And the best part? The New Who seasons are on Instant Netflix. I think the newest season, series 5 with Matt Smith, is my favorite, but they’re all good. If you’re looking for something to watch after school gets out, I’d recommend it. The new season starts next Saturday, and I fully intend to watch it, if not live, then immediately after it uploads online.