monthly fandom

Counting Blessings, Doctor Who Style

This week, I and most of my fellow Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to being thankful and celebrating all the blessings we receive throughout the year. It’s a wonderful tradition, and one of very few things that make me genuinely proud to live in the U.S. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to finish up this month by listing some Whovian blessings for which I am grateful.

1. The theme song.

Doctor Who is one of the few shows I watch without ever skipping the theme song. It’s just too fun and beautiful. And I love all the different “time vortex” credits sequences (except the one with Matt Smith’s face–that was a bit weird). I even sing along most of the time. DOO-WEE-OOOOO!

2. The TARDIS.

I love the TARDIS almost as much as I love the Doctor. She’s so clever, and odd, and funny, and beautiful. My favourite version of the TARDIS interior was the one she sported during Nine and Ten’s era–all the branchy pillars that made her seem even more like a living thing, and the coat hanger that never, ever got used properly. But I rather like the latest two versions as well. The names of the Doctor’s companions in circular Gallifreyan were a nice touch. Anyhow, you gotta love the sheer zaniness of the TARDIS’s existence. It’s hard to imagine any modern TV writer, especially here in the U.S., coming up with a sentient time/spaceship that’s infinitely huge on the inside but looks like a blue police call box on the outside, and is nicknamed “Sexy.” And without the TARDIS, there would be no Doctor Who. As she herself says in “The Doctor’s Wife,” “I always took you where you needed to go.”

3. David Tennant’s hair.

Just…thank you, Lord, for David Tennant’s hair.

4. Bowties. They’re cool.

Also fezzes. And Stetsons. And Apollo 11 spacesuits. Basically, Eleven is cool, and he makes everything he touches ten times cooler.

5. Donna Noble.

Donna was one of the best things ever to happen to New Who. She decisively broke the mold of young supermodel companions in love with the Doctor, and I adore her for it. She and Ten had some of the best chemistry ever seen on the show. They were hilarious together. But beyond that, Donna was a very strong and complex character in her own right, and she saved the entire freakin’ universe! Twice! Oh, and she came by her good qualities honestly, because her grandpa, Wilfred Mott, pretty much defines awesome. Too bad she and all her connections had to be eliminated in the most painful and unfair way possible…but it was fun while it lasted. “Watch it, spaceman!”

6. The Ninth Doctor.

Nine never gets as much love as he deserves. He was the whole reason I started watching the show in the first place. Him and his beautiful sarcasm, and his big ears, and the fantastic way he said “fantastic!” He deserved more than one season on the show. Although I love Ten and Eleven with all my hearts, and I’m ready to welcome Twelve with open arms, it’s true that you never forget your first Doctor. And there’s really no better introduction to Doctor Who than Christopher Eccleston shouting “run!” and grinning maniacally.

7. The sonic.

The most powerful weapon in the universe is a tool made for fixing things. If that’s not a stroke of genius, I don’t know what is. Eleven’s is the coolest.

8. Learning about history.

Doctor Who was originally intended to be an educational show for kids, in which the Doctor would travel to various important events in history and explain to his companions all about what was going down.
HAHAHAHAHA…..but seriously *wipes eyes*–I have actually learned several things about history from the show. Perhaps it’s due to the flaws in my education, but I never knew about Queen Victoria’s connection to the Koh-i-Noor diamond until “Tooth and Claw,” or Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance until “The Unicorn and the Wasp.” On the other hand, I knew enough about Shakespeare (and Harry Potter) to thoroughly geek out for the entirety of “The Shakespeare Code.” It got even better after I watched David Tennant’s Hamlet. Aliens or not, Doctor Who always mixes well with history, whether it’s inventing an end for The Mystery of Edwin Drood or explaining how Watergate got started.

9. “Allons-y!”

As long as we’re talking about things I learned from Doctor Who, I’ve now added this to my extremely limited French vocabulary. This, the way he says “well,” and the ever-present Converse All-Stars, are among my favourite things about Ten.

10. The constant changes.

The greatest blessing/curse of being a Whovian is that our show is like the weather in Colorado: if you don’t like it, wait 10 minutes (or, in this case, a season). Every season brings us a new Doctor, a new companion, a new TARDIS interior, a new credits sequence, and/or more new things. I’m especially grateful for this at the moment, because I rather dislike Clara Oswald and will be glad when she’s replaced. Others may be sad when Clara goes, but remain excited about Twelve and all the new possibilities he brings with him. Everyone’s got their favourite era of Doctor Who (mine is Russell T. Davies’), but I think we can all agree that the show is better for switching out actors and showrunners periodically. That’s why it’s the longest-running sci-fi show in history–it’s got something for everyone, and it constantly adapts to the times.

Long live Doctor Who! And always remember, my fellow nerds, to count your blessings.

Namarie,
Aldy

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