Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Whoniverse!
                                         Over four decades ago,towards the beginning of the evening on this same day in the year 1963 people all over England were treated,albeit late due to news of President Kennedy's assassination in America,to this compelling science fiction show about two teachers,a student who knows more about the future than the present and this humming police box with an interior larger then the exterior. Inside was an mysteriously man who spoke in riddles and,to the teachers disbelief they find themselves in the time of cave dwelling proto-humans still on the verge of discovering fire.  Whatever these people thought at that particular time Doctor Who has entered their lives.

                                  Hard to believe that this show is celebrating it's golden anniversary next year. And honestly? It wasn't until this February that I even began to become interested in the show. I am one of those people where it often takes me quite awhile to come to fully appreciate programs that are very near and dear to me. The one exception being Star Trek,which was literally (in the form of a Spock doll) present with me in the crib. But Doctor Who was always this very far away,and very foreign seeming thing on PBS with this guy with a huge scarf (Tom Baker) travelling around in this tricky telephone booth time machine At the time,found it overwhelming but always was interested in the back of my mind.

                                   And it is overwhelming. Star Trek impresses because it explores the human condition in dealing with the complications of interstellar space travel. Doctor Who deals mainly with the complications of time and space travel dealing with the human condition. The doctor is a time lord,travelling with what is nine times out of ten a human travelling companion and helping them learn about themselves in different ways through their journey. With all of the 90's era conspiracy theories about alien abductions,culminating in even Stephen Hawkings himself cynically coming to think that extra terrestrials would have nothing to gain from Earth aside from some form of conquest,it's particularly refreshing that the BBC has launched a program about the very human seeming and benevolent doctor who wishes to help humanity all through time and space. 

                       So on this 49'th anniversary I wanted to offer how my fairly recent experience with Doctor Who has been of benefit to my life. On that level,I must say it's done for me now in my 30's something very similar to what Star Trek did for me as I was growing up until it suddenly ceased to be on TV. And that is not something on a TV screen that tries to tell me how to think,but rather that I can think-to quote George Clinton there,someone else rather obsessed with space I may add. The happiest part of Doctor Who,after 26 years airing nonstop from 1963 to 1989,came back as a series again in 2005. And that having very recently experienced the newest episodes with Matt Smith as the doctor,with his companions Amy and Rory,that in particular these new shows are absolutely amazing and as the doctor himself might say "pretty much marvelous". 
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