Now that I’ve finished the available episodes of my new favorite TV show, I’m hardly a new fan anymore and I think it’s time I fully share my enjoyment of it with the blogoshpere. Here are some reasons why I love it so much.
- Every episode is different. With all of time and space as fair game, the BBC can create endless adventures. One day the Doctor could explore the satellite where a corrupt news network will broadcast in the future as means to control the thoughts of the entire universe. The next he could give one family a chance to flee Pompeii before the volcanic eruption. After that he could save present-day London from an alien invasion. Later he could prevent Winston Churchill from using dangerous alien technology as a weapon in Wold War II. Yeah I think you get my drift. This variety makes the show creative, intelligent, and intriguing.
- Historically and today, Doctor Who has had a reputation for positive portrayals of women. From the strong sweetheart Rose Tyler to the sensual rebel River Song every female companion is fully developed and important to the Doctor’s missions. Each woman has strengths, insecurities, good and iffy qualities, ideas, and motivation. Guest appearances also include women in positions of power who do not fit the “bitchy boss” stereotype and female villains who can wreak as much havoc as any man. In all cases, women in the show are valued for far more than their looks and sex appeal.Because the Doctor knows so many great women, he is not afraid to call out sexism when he sees it, regardless of time period and location. On a similar note, the cast also includes some great queer characters. Gay and lesbian couples casually exist in many episodes and are presented in a variety of ways. Captain Jack Harkness, a popular companion, is pansexual and is seen flirting with men, women, trans people, and aliens. However, he is not presented as a “player,” but as a loyal friend who always knows when to jump in and save the day but also finds a lot of people attractive. I heard something about the aforementioned River Song being outed as bisexual by the screenwriters, but I don’t think any basis for this is shown so I’m not sure if I can count it.
- Hot actors. Yeah, I just went there. If you like guys they have David Tennant, John Barrowman, Arthur Darvill, and Matt Smith. If you like girls there’s Billie Piper, Karen Gillian, and Alex Kingston. Maybe you’ll find some of the other ones to your liking as well, but those are the ones who I prefer.
- Interesting tackling of tough issues. Influence of the media, bioethics, the consequences of deciding who lives and who dies in a situation, mental illness, dehumanization, authoritarian governments, and many more are all featured and approached in creative, thought-provoking ways.
- The Doctor avoids unnecessary violence. I know this doesn’t sound like a good trait for a TV hero to many action-lovers, but as a result his solutions to problems are much more creative and interesting to watch than the typical “shoot all the bad guys” approach.
If you’ve never watched the show before, I hope these traits will convince you to. You won’t regret it. If you are a fan, I’d like to hear whether or not you agree with these points and some of your own reasons why you watch it.