I’m watching Doctor Who right now. I’m a huge fan of science fiction serial shows, the same way that some people are fans of gorey primetime slasher rapist and murderer filled shows. And I’m the weirdo. Hm.
(These numbers suggest I’m no weirdo, by the way. So screw.)
Any-who, Doctor Who recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. 50th. The show has been around in some form for 50 years now. That’s crazy. They pull it off with a very simple, and very clever bit of character-making: the Doctor (that’s his name, just, the Doctor…and you can imagine how the dialogue goes, and thus the title) is a time lord, and whenever he dies (or an actor has to move on) he transforms into a different looking, slightly differently tempered and dressed, Doctor. Brilliant stuff. Very clever. This has allowed the series to continue on, and, as is the case with all quality sci-fi serial shows, his adventures can allow him to tackle the metaphorical and very real issues of whatever time his viewership is living in.
Did I mention the premise of the show is that the Doctor and his companion (always a vaguely pretty woman in her late ‘20s, early ‘30s) travel throughout time and space righting wrongs and battling baddies in the now iconic Tardis? Well, now I have.
The greatest thing about the incredible run of Doctor Who is the bad guys, the antagonists. They reflect the fears, the threats, and the most rotten aspects of humanity at the time. We have the Daleks, a monomaniacal race of mutated creatures living in metal cages, the main baddies of the early runs and an easy stand in for the Nazi’s or soviets. We have the Cybermen, robotic men who were once of flesh and blood until they got plugged — another easy stand in for our increasing dependence on technology and sometimes sheep mentality. My personal favorite is the Adipose, vaguely humanoid blobs of walking fat. In one episode, the Adipose invade America and people simply turn to blobs of fat. Great stuff.
Here’s to 50 years of the Doctor — just the Doctor.
image credit: Wikimedia Commons