By Alex Rawlins, Staff Writer
On Nov. 23, 1963, a children’s show premiered about a man in a box who travels the universe with a human companion. That show is called “Doctor Who”, and 50 years later, it is more popular than ever.
The show was taken off the air in 1989, but after much demand was brought back in 2005 and has since gathered an enormous fanbase.
How has the show been successful for so long?
The secret lies in the main character, The Doctor. He is an alien called a Time Lord, and if he suffers a fatal injury he regenerates into a new person. This allows multiple actors to play the same role, thus enabling the show to continue on for decades. But that only covers the practical aspect of the show’s longevity.
Variety is another main reason the show has lasted for so long. Each week The Doctor and his companion travel to a new and exciting location with different adventures. One week the show may be a Western, or a horror film.
“Doctor Who” shows the viewer the whole of time and space, but also tells us about ourselves.
This is a show that has the ability to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Every person who watches it can get something different out of it. Children can watch it for action and aliens, while adults can watch it for its astonishing meaning and emotional depth.
In the new series after the sixteen year break the Doctor often explores very dark themes. He isn’t always able to save everyone, and sometimes he has to make choices where there is no right answer.
“Doctor Who” isn’t all dark though. The show is quite famous for being so inspiring that watching it is sometimes close to a religious experience. The Doctor is a complex modern hero and isn’t someone who solves his problems by punching them, but by using his mind. This message lends people hope that intelligence can triumph over brute force.
Writer Stephen Moffat said, “There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like The Doctor.”
It definitely isn’t the children’s show that it started out as, because often times the plotlines are quite complicated; however, there is no shortage of complexity and emotion for fans to analyze down to the minutest detail.
The show also features semi-complex science, but “Doctor Who” has never really claimed to be hard sci-fi. At its heart, “Doctor Who” is more of a fairytale about a brave man who comes out of the sky at just the right time to save the day.
Whether you are a long-time fan of The Doctor or are just beginning to embrace the series, there is something in it for everyone.