Over the last year I have loudly and proudly adopted the moniker of “Whovian”, someone who is wildly addicted to Doctor Who. I’ve officially geeked out over the mad, fearless and sometimes oblivious Doctor and his growing cadre of loyal companions. I’ve laughed outright, cried quietly and sat in a tight ball on the couch waiting for the tension to break.
The BBC had no clue the relaunch of this legendary character would explode into the modern-day phenomenon it has, but after only a few episodes you will immediately understand why it has done exactly that. The charm, wit and heartfelt honesty to the sci-fi genre makes Doctor Who not only unique, but it sets a stratospheric bar for all other shows to reach. This fact is only increased and enriched by the legions of die-hard fans who’ve created a community across the globe and share their love openly. So if you are one of those people or one of them exists on your holiday shopping list, this review of just a few of the perfect gift items will help you narrow down your choices nicely.
Starting off the list I thought why not open with the biggest and most exciting one, The Complete Series 1-7 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Gift Set ($349.98.) This monster box set finally brings all of the new series onto the magnificence of Blu-Ray, along with all the bonus features from the original DVD offerings and new ones created just for this set. Your insanely addicted fanboy/fangirl is going to shriek with glee when they unwrap this gift from outer space. It also includes some nifty extra, like three exclusive art cards and a comic book with a new little adventure which is filled with cameos from the Doctor’s past and present. There are a couple of fully bonus discs that cover some of the Doctor Who specials during the new run and a series of BBC specials that document just how wide ranging the fan base is for the show. The nerdiest and most fun piece of the box is surely the Eleventh Doctor’s Universal Remote Control Sonic Screwdriver. It has three programmable memory banks with thirteen gestures in each, so you can lock in just under forty different actions for it to control. I connected it to one of my iPod docks and now with the flick of my wrist I can raise the volume, lower it, skip to the next song and even turn the entire unit off. Add in the glowing, greed LED at the front and the sound effects, you can immediately become the Doctor of your own home.
For those who might not be ready to marathon through the entire series or aren’t quite sold on jumping in with both feet there are a trio of DVD compilations to take you from the beginning of the Doctor to his present-day form. The Doctors Revisited ($39.98/ea) are multi-disc documentaries, each disc focusing on one version of the famed time traveler. The first edition covers Doctors one through four (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker), the second one cover Doctors five through eight (Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann), and the final one cover Doctors nine through eleven from the recent reboot (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.) Beyond interesting pieces about each actor and the time period in which they took over the role, the discs also include one story from each actor so you can get a taste of how they played the character and the style of the show during that era. It’s a great way to get an introduction to the older versions and learn about how some of our favorite themes and characters actually got their starts, like the Cybermen and the Daleks.
Now for those fans who want to take their love of the show out into public instead of just sitting in front of their televisions, there are a ton of clothing options just waiting for you to don them and parade your addiction around the neighborhood. I was lucky enough to test out myself the Tardis Hoodie ($52.98) and the Tardis Adult Hooded One-Piece Pajama ($40). Yes, you read that right, I got a Tardis onesie and I could only be happier about it if it actually fit me. The only one available to send me was a medium and I’m a little over 5’10”, so it was a bit snug. But in a glorious bit of family cajoling I convinced my wife to try it on just so I could get an opinion from someone who actually fit into it. Keep in mind, she has not watched the show and is absolutely not a fangirl, so I was even more impressed when the awkward look on her face as she zipped it up quickly became an amazed display of comfort and coziness. She has now claimed it as her own forever. It’s incredibly soft and super warm on the inside, especially when you bring the hood up. For the price, this is not only hilarious, but you’ll find yourself wearing it more out of comfort than out of allegiance to the show. The Tardis Hoodie is also really comfortable and heavy enough to be worn as an outdoor zip-up on those brisk walkS at night. Plus, if you ever run into trouble, just pull the hood over you, start humming really loudly and wait until you disappear into a time stream. Better yet, call the police. That’s probably a better idea.
If you’re looking for something cheaper, more along the line of little collectables, here’s a few options worth checking out. The Eleven Doctors Micro-Figure Set ($39.99) is a complete tiny person version of each of the actors to play the role. Most of them come with their own sonic screwdriver or accouterments and the facial designs are perfectly adorable. The packaging tells a little story about each one and how they met their final end. Normally I would tear open any and all packaging, but in terms of a collectable set, this actually looks better in the box and displayed in my office. It also keeps my seven-month-old son from eating the Doctor, which is an ending I really don’t want to see him regenerate from. Getting under the $25 mark, you find the Dalek Mr. Potato Head ($24.99) and I immediately found myself pushing it around the floor telling my cats it was going to exterminate them. It comes with a interchangeable front face so you can make it look even more like a Dalek by changing out the eyes. It also confirms my long-standing theory that all starches are inherently evil. Lastly there is the Cyberman Bust and Illustrated Book ($9.95), which is very well detailed and the book tells the history of one of the Doctor’s most resilient and feared enemies. The only thing I wish for here is for a higher price point I would love to see this done in pewter or some type of metal. The weight of it makes it feel a little cheap, but on the flip side it would make a great stocking stuffer.
You can find these and a ton of other gifts online at the BBC Shop and other sources, so I think you deserve to go hog wild this holiday season and let your inner Time Lord fly free!