For months, I’ve been reviewing episodes of a series with which few in the States are familiar. That being said, BBC’s Doctor Who is a show everyone should get to know. Some shows become so common that they become less interesting. Thankfully, in Doctor Who, that never happens. But what is this mysterious show that I speak of? What about it is interesting? And why should anyone see it in the first place? The best reason I can give you is that it is a show surrounded in change, both literally and figuratively.
The show’s weekly premise is simple — an alien known as The Doctor travels through time and space passing through both planets and alternate dimensions. For most of his adventures he gains companions who help him control his time machine (a police box on the outside, but a real ship inside) and to bail him out of the usual fix (or vice versa). When near death, he can change into a completely different person — sometimes completely intact with his original personality, and sometimes with a whole new one. Due to his power being as such, he never feels the need to be attached to anyone for long. Often times at the very end of an adventure, he leaves the people he takes on along the way with very few parting words, sometimes saying nothing at all.
There have been seven Doctors for the entire run of the original series (1963-1989), and two more for the new version that started last year. Each actor who portrayed The Doctor gave their own spin on the character. That won’t determine which one you’ll enjoy the most because all of them had their bad episodes (some more than others).
According to its own legend, The Doctor is a Timelord. They act as sort of the time police for us and the timelines of other races and planets. He is completely different from the rest of the Timelords in that he wishes to be part of the universe, not just to be an observer from afar. During a few points in the series, he has encounters with them — sometimes for a trial, sometimes for his help. They, like The Doctor, can change their appearance when at the end of their lives.