By VALERIE LOOKINGBILL
PA Cyber Charter School
All great shows must have an ending, but it seems as if BBC America’s “Doctor Who” could air forever. As if accepting this challenge, the British show began its 33rd season earlier this fall. The series originally aired in 1963 only to cease in 1989. But in 2005, after a 16-year hiatus, the show was brought back to life, stronger now than before.
“Doctor Who” begins as a mystery, telling the adventures of a Time Lord known only as The Doctor, his real identity long forgotten, his face and personality constantly changing due to a Time Lord’s ability to regenerate. He is left alone to travel the universe after a violent war eradicated the remainder of his species, branding him the last of his kind. Traveling in solitude for far too long, The Doctor consistently seems to find himself on Earth, becoming attached to particular humans, so easily persuading them to become his companions. He takes them into his time machine known as the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space), which appears to be a police telephone booth, but as everyone marvels, “is much bigger on the inside.”
With a new companion to lessen The Doctor’s loneliness, they travel through time and space, encountering alien species, most often more frightening than friendly. They come to battle The Doctor’s greatest enemy, The Daleks, who are determined to “exterminate” him at whatever cost. They refuse to blink with The Weeping Angels, a set of statues that only come to life when one is not watching.
“Doctor Who” delivers great excitement and suspense, never allowing a dull moment to reach its viewers’ eyes. But at its core, “Doctor Who” is much deeper than action and fury. It depicts the heartache of loneliness, of being far different from the rest. It shows the wound of loss, of being branded as alone. But in time, “Doctor Who” always proves the healing of acceptance, of having so many individuals find refuge, find comfort, in the nonconventional ways of an outsider, The Doctor. It proves that no matter what battles have left one stranded, one is never destined to be alone.
And while The Doctor’s appearance will change over time, and while the companions will eventually choose to return to their safe Earthly homes, “Doctor Who” as a whole will always remain a constant of actions and emotions. It will always remain as that safe haven to become lost within. And while the second part of the new season will not air until later this spring, fans will hold tight to their fantasies, refusing to forget The Doctor’s face, no matter how often it is changing.