The Doctor is in

We had gorgeous weather in my new neighborhood this past weekend, though I hardly got to enjoy any of it on account of being knocked on my arse by my own traitorous sinuses. With sickness comes a lot of time spent languishing under warm blankets and snuggling into fluffy pillows while I wish away my sore throat and the onslaught of mucous hordes. Husband was out of town (he felt icky before I did and I forced him to take ALL the cold medicine with him since he’d need it more than me) and I had no one to keep me company except for our two cats and The Doctor.

Doctor Who?

Yes. That’s the one.

Some friends of mine are dead mad over this British Sci Fi program Doctor Who. I had never really watched it, but they kept telling me I’d love it. I was all alone in a strange neighborhood in a strange state with no agenda to speak of and mix in the thickening agent of feeling ill AND homesick on top of it. With the help of Netflix I decided to give it a go.

Turns out, there’s always something about a fast-talking, wickedly smart, funny English bloke I can’t help but adore (*waves girlishly at Simon Pegg*). The Doctor is an alien in human form and he is a Time Lord, the last of his kind. He travels through time and space in his blue Police Box called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) with his (usually female) companions. He helps the races of the universe sort out their messes. He really just wants everybody and everything to get along, but woe to those beings set on conquest and destruction (I’m looking at you, Daleks, you jerk asses).

The episodes are fairly formulaic, but in that comforting way your childhood shows were: Episode begins normal (as normal as a show about space and time travel throughout the entire universe can) there’s some sort of mystery to be solved, problems arise, ensue and are overcome always in the nick of time (unless it’s a two parter).

I’ve found Doctor Who extremely medicinal while I’m ill and homesick (see what I’ve done there?). British TV series have always been my favorites since I was a child. I grew up watching things like Fawlty Towers and the BBC miniseries of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams’ glorious tales of space travel, wacky characters and alien life forms always held my attention. Through Hitchhiker’s Guide, and those two weeks I spent every February battling strep throat, I developed television-viewing stamina and have since become a damn champion of TV series consumption.

This weekend was spent watching more Doctor Who than I care to admit, but to give you an idea, Husband could tell as soon as he got home just from the way I was talking (Oi, whats ‘e on about?). Doctor Who has so many aliens, monsters, wacky characters, plot twists and cliff hangers that if you miss a single episode you’ll miss someone or something awesome, so there is no choice but to watch ALL of them. Apart from that the acting is so strong and breathtaking at times that I will openly admit to weeping like a baby during the more heart wrenching moments. Aliens and destruction of the universe aside, that is what has kept me so strongly invested in the show. The characters are lovable and strong, quirky and human (er, some of them, sort of), vulnerable and consistent except for, you know, all the different people who have played the Doctor.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith being awesome, even without his bow tie. Bow ties are cool.

As an alien The Doctor is able to regenerate new bodies when he has need of them like, say, when his current body is dying (aka the lead actor is stepping out). This is how there have been eleven Doctors. The show first aired in 1963 and ran until 1989 when it was suspended. The BBC brought the series back in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor for a new Season (Series) 1. I must say, that while Eccleston is an exceptional actor, but he’s got nothing on David Tennant (Ten) and Matt Smith(Eleven) as the Doctor. Tennant and Smith are delightful, terrifying, endearing, brilliant and heartbreaking as the last of the Time Lords.

The music is worth mentioning too. There are T.V. sound tracks, and there is melodic fried Gold. Murray Gold is responsible for fantastic scores throughout the episodes, which gives them a cinematic quality like no other television show I’ve ever watched. I’ve got quite a collection of songs and soundtracks from my favorite films and shows, and the Doctor Who scores are soon to be among them. This gorgeous, intense, and tender music is expertly woven into the story lines.

Though I’m several states away from my hometown The Doctor and his friends have made me feel at ease in my new abode while they traveled to different times and unseen corners of the universe. Doctor Who is awesome. And British. And readily available on Netflix. Just the dose of comforting BBC television I needed to put me right. I may be a little late to the Doctor Who TARDIS party, but I’m definitely onboard.

Lindsey Malta writes “Thoughtcicles” for The Idler.

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