“What do you love about me?”
Anyone that as ever been in any sort of relationship has heard this in some variation or another, and thought “How do I dodge this bullet?”. How do you explain love, it’s not easy to explain what someone makes us feel. Sometimes we don’t even know why we love something, let alone someone. There are things we simply love, if you go to any of the websites of things you enjoy, whatever it is, you will find someone that loves that to same level or extremely above yours.
Why am I going through this introduction, you may ask if you haven’t given up already? The Doctor is the answer. Many people don’t understand my love for the series, for the characters, for the stories. Why I have a TARDIS in some form in every room of my apartment, why I have one tattooed in my forearm, why I have a quote in circular Gallifreyan tattooed with it, why I watch the same episodes again and again and again…
Most times, I don’t even bother to explain, but mostly because I never really thought about it. Partly it is unconscious; I love it because I do. But can it be explained? Can a love be analysed and described? I’ll try.
I don’t even remember which was the first episode I saw, or when. It wasn’t love at first sight that I can guarantee. It was from the Ecclestone season, and I do remember stopping my TV zapping and thinking “What is this?”, “Those are some bad special effects, is this recent?”, “What is that creature?” and giving up… How stupid I was those days… Sometime afterwards I saw an episode with the 10th Doctor and Martha Jones, “The Shakespeare Code”, and that one caught my interest. I didn’t get much of it, but loved it. I couldn’t understand why the blue phone box was there or what it was, who they were, why they were in fairly recent clothing and no one else was saying anything about it, but I just enjoyed that strange thing with a man called The Doctor…
Off to the Internet I went to discover more about this and the Universe opened up in front of my eyes. For me, that episode was the outside of the TARDIS and going through the door it was so, but so much bigger on the inside. So on with the binge watching of everything I could get my hands on.
But what exactly do I love?
It’s a bit of several parts that make its total. Obviously there are stories, characters, parts I don’t like, but nothing is perfect. What matters are the ones I love and the rest becomes minor traits that can sometimes be ignored.
I love the character of the Doctor, although each one is depicted in his own way by the actors and writers, it’s all the same person, just with a different look and a different perspective in life. Much like any of us, we all change over time, I am not the same person I was 5, 10 or 20 years ago, I think and act differently, I just don’t change my look as drastically as he does. In every other aspect, the Doctor is just like us, or we are more like him? Do humans look like Timelords or Timelords look like humans?... Anywho… I love the fact that in spite of all the boasting and eccentricities, the running around and the Deus ex-Machina of the sonic screwdriver, he always looks for a nonviolent way to sort out the problems, sometimes there is no other possibility but he always tries to avoid violence. He always tries to save everyone, regardless of the side they’re in, even his enemies. I could go on and on about the complexity of the Doctor’s mind but I don’t want this to become a thesis, I just like that he always tries the peaceful, clever way first.
Another point is the traveling. I love traveling; it’s what I live for, what I work for. Every single chance I have travel I take, and in a way this show is a very imaginative and expansive travel show.
Donna Noble… oh Donna… The best companion, the saddest story… There were many that stood side by side with the Doctor, from Sarah Jane to Rose, Martha to Clara, Susan to Captain Jack, but none like Donna Noble. Her character was just perfect for the 10th Doctor, the way their relationship grows has two friends, how she grows from the air head of “The runaway bride” up to that terrible day, when she was the most important woman in the universe and had to forget it all. It still hurts every time I see that, but every time I love it more. The character build up, every story in her run is so well written, that there is no way I could not love it.
Speaking of love, “The girl in the fireplace”… my favorite episode of all. I am hopeless romantic, what can I say… This episode has everything in there, except Donna. The jokes, the dialogs, time travel, a horse, strange enemies, impossible love… even the music of the episode is perfect for it. As I said before, we are all a bit like the Doctor, and which one of us never had our own Reinette? That one that could have been perfect but time and space always leaves her just outside our reach? It’s painful, but so beautifully painful…
But these and other aspects of Doctor Who are just looks. “What do you love about me?”, “Your eyes”, “Your hair”… is it just that? Is it just the appearance that we love in someone? Maybe… but that would be attraction. What is it that makes me love this so much?
Freedom! That is what the Doctor means for me, what I love about it, for me Doctor Who is about freedom. “All of time and space, anywhere and everywhere, every star that ever was”, is there a better description of what is freedom than that? The possibility to go everywhere from the beginning to the end of time? Travelling with a mad man in a blue box (metaphorically speaking for some)? As I said before I love to travel, but I can only move in space, and on the planet Earth, not time, not the universe, even my own freedom is limited, but not the Doctor’s, there is no end to the possibilities there. I don’t write fan fiction, but sometimes the Doctor is my escape from reality, when I need to. I escape to the TARDIS in my head and imagine where and when I would go to. What would I do, what could I see… My imagination knows no bounds, not in the TARDIS, that is why I love the Doctor, it allows me to escape. It has done it more than once.
During the roughest part of my life until now (a bad marriage and a divorce) the Doctor was there for me. Especially in the divorce part, when I had to start over alone, when I had to regenerate myself into the man I am now, the Doctor, Donna, Rose, Captain Jack, they were all there. They made me laugh, they helped me cry, they kept me company when I didn’t want any, or sometimes when I did. It was in that series, and in what it brought me that I managed to survive the pain, the hurt, the sadness. I was in the same episodes that I started building up again, it was why I never gave up on travelling, what pushed me into making myself into a better person, stronger, wiser, it’s what made me take an attitude of helping people when they needed and afterwards just disappearing from their lives, just like him. It was my inspiration…
In “The last of the Timelords” Martha Jones says: “…And his name is The Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops, he never stays, he never asks to be thanked...”
This may sound sad and stupid, the Doctor has saved countless fictional worlds, civilizations and people, but there was one time in my life, my real life, that the Doctor saved me. And that is why I will always be thankful, why I love it.