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5/22/2014

Doctor Who by Matthew Gleason

 If I truly love anything, I love Doctor Who. It is a major science fiction franchise which has been building and expanding for over fifty years. The character of the Doctor is very appealing to many people due to the fact that he is an eccentric alien, adventurer with both very forward and very old fashioned thinking. His time machine/spaceship is called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). It allows for many different kinds of stories to be told. It has become an iconic part of popular culture. Doctor Who survives because of change and renewal. It moves forward just as our society does. 
Doctor Who first aired on November 23rd 1963. This was the day after JFK's death. The first story was later re shown before the second story, the Daleks/ The Mutants. This story marked the first appearance of the daleks, who are without a doubt, the most popular of the Doctor's many enemies. This led to a sudden boost in the show's popularity. 

 The Doctor was initially a very easily aggravated, grumpy and often condescending character who was meant to be both very grandfatherly and very alien at the same time. The character warmed over time. The original Doctor had to leave the show in 1966 due to major health issues. To some it seemed to spell the end for adventures in the TARDIS. Luckily, the Doctor's alien nature allowed him to transform the second incarnation as played by Patrick Troughton. Troughton's Doctor was much sweeter and goofier than his predecessor. He played the character as a sort of "cosmic hobo". Change in both physical appearance and behavioral aspects has become a staple of the character who is now on his 12th/13th incarnation. 

 The TARDIS is often noted to be bigger on the inside. This, according to the Doctor, is because it is a transcendental dimension.  It can travel to any planet in the universe and to any date in the planet's existence. It also has appeared in other universes but very rarely. The TARDIS is the Doctor's constant companion and traveling machine. According to most canon he stole it from his home planet (Gallifrey) shortly before leaving with his granddaughter, Susan. Upon landing in 1960's England the Chameleon circuit (cloaking device) in the TARDIS broke causing it to become stuck in the form of a Police Public Call Box. This was actually done by the production team so a familiar image would be associated with the TARDIS and they wouldn't need to find a new look for it in every story. 

 Doctor Who is not merely a television show. There have been spin offs of varying success, comic and prose stories, many audio adventures, spoofs and stage productions. I have faith that it can survive the end of television itself. It has a flexible story and almost infinite potential. I look forward to watching the hundredth anniversary special. 

Post By: Matthew Gleason
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