The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. Image (c) BBC.
Ok, I lie.Â This has been an obsession of mine, oh, since I was about 7.
Doctor Who (Wikipedia link for full and wondrous history) is a science fiction TV series produced by the BBC.Â Its initial incarnation ran from 1963 to 1989. I am a Brit, and I grew up with it.
It’s about a mysterious time- and space- traveling Time Lord who goes by the name of the Doctor, and is a great mix of science fiction, mystery, fairy-tale and old-fashioned adventure romp.Â It’s funny and thrilling and cheesy in just the right balance. The clever trick is that Time Lords can regenerate their bodies, so that when an actor quits the series, he can be replaced by another. My doctor was Tom Baker, complete with awesome scarf (which, naturally, has its own website with patterns for the different versions from different seasons).Â The series sorta petered out in the 1980s.
But in 2005 it was brilliantly revised by Russell T. Davies and his team.Â And this new incarnation is, IMHO, even better than the original.Â It’s funnier and thrillinger and cheesier, but all still in perfect balance. We’re on our third Doctor of the new incarnation, Matt Smith, and he’s turned out to be terrific.Â No-one was sure he could fill the very large shoes of David Tennant, who left last year;Â just as no-one was sure Tennant could fill the very large shoes of Christopher Eccleston, who was the initial relaunch Doctor. But each has made his own impression – and in the case of David Tennant, what a delicious impression that was.
The latest series is running right now in the UK on BBC One, and in the US on BBC America. (Choose your link carefully – the US is two episodes behind the UK, and the UK site has spoilers for upcoming episodes.)
If you’ve not given it a go, start with the Christopher Eccleston series.Â Knitting television of the finest order – and not just because there is a knitter in the recent episode, Amy’s Choice.