Fan rabies that is. If you have never heard the podcast or read the blog for PopStuff from HowStuffWorks.com you may not have heard this description of rabies before. One, I suggest you listen to an episode of the PopStuff podcast because Tracy and Holly are podcast goddesses and two, fan rabies is just what it sounds like. You are basically so in love with a show, sport or cultural phenomenon that you become a drooling, gibbering animal anytime the object of your affection is mentioned.
So just what is it that gave me the FRs? So many things. I think I have mentioned before in my defense of geek girls post that I am a proud and true geek. Growing up it was the many versions of Star Trek, the constant stream of anything on PBS, Monty Python marathons and pretty much all things that were shown on the BBC when we could get them, theatre production after theatre production and the like for me. Not much has changed in the years since I was a little geek-girl. I still watch all of those things religiously when I have the time. I still get pulled into text and facebook meme wars with my friends and co-workers, although this is new it is just an updated version of a trivia-off at the lunch table.
It wasn’t until just a few years ago, however, that I got turned on to a show called Doctor Who. “What is this thing for which you have gone rabid?”, you may ask. Well, I shall tell you and I won’t even sing, promise. Doctor Who is a show from the BBC that started in the early 1960s. If you want to know the exact history of the show click on this link to go to the History of Doctor Who on wikipedia. I don’t want to tell you a dry, old history of the show, but rather tell you why I have the FRs for this show.
There have been a few versions of the show with the basic premise being a time and space traveling being, non-human, but similar in appearance, who travels through-out the universe with a companion fighting injustices and helping those who can not fight for themselves.
The Doctor himself, yes he is simply known as The Doctor, is a Time Lord from a planet called Gallifrey. The Time Lords when confronted by their own death can choose to regenerate into a different form instead of passing and therefore the lead actors who have played the Doctor have changed many times over the years, but are still all playing a version of the same man. That may sound confusing, but trust me it has more to due with my inability to describe the show accurately than with the show itself.
I came to the program after its rebirth in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston, LOVE HIM, as the newest version of The Doctor. From episode #1, new series not old sorry, I was hooked. Now let me be clear that I have not seen all the classic version episodes, yet. But, don’t judge me too harshly as I have been trying to find them in order on instant view on Netflix, because I like all of the things to be in chronological order. I know, I am a bit compulsive, but you are reading a post written by a woman who likes to set up here coffee station in her kitchen like this.
I still haven’t gotten to why I love this show so very much and I think I can do that now that I have given you a brief history of what it is that I have actually been watching. The premise of the show is, in itself, quite clever. I am a person that has always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. Though, that still did not get me to watch The Butterfly Effect, ugh Ashton Kutcher, ugh. I love the thought of traveling back through time and getting to watch history unfold before my eyes. This show takes that premise to a whole new level by adding in space travel as well. Not only can The Doctor take you back in history to the very creation of planet earth, he can also take you to other planets and show you new life forms. HOOKED.
Get past the premise of the show and add to it that The Doctor, while not human himself, has such a fondness for humanity that he shows up to save the world on multiple occasions. The reasons he gives for his love of our species and planet? Our endless curiosity and urge to explore and learn. His grasp of the cosmos and time itself is near limitless and yet he is intrigued by humanity and our blunderous, probing into unexplored depths at the limits of our understanding. His view of us as a species is filled with hope, wonder and amusement and I find such solace in that sentiment.
His love for humanity aside, there is the constant companion. The Doctor, whether he admits it or not, doesn’t want to be alone. He needs someone to share the universe with and he finds some admirable trait in each companion he takes along with him. When I joined the show, Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler joined The Doctor and her unending compassion and eagerness to explore and discover brought The Doctor back from a doom and gloom that he acquired after having to go through a war. I will leave it at that because I don’t want to spoil anything for a newer viewer and because this post would become a lot longer than it is already.
This brings me to a final few points regarding my FRs for this show. The writing, direction and acting. I can not say enough about what an amazing group of talented people have worked on this show. Since most of my experience is with the newer version of this classic I do have to say thank you to Russell T. Davies and Stephen Moffat and the entire writing staff for showcasing their love for this series by writing such amazing and touching stories. I have cried and laughed harder watching this series more than any other I have seen in my 32 years. Also, the amazing list of actors who have played The Doctor is just astounding and the companions are just as breathtaking in their performances. It is hard to pick an all time favorite. I have to say that Catherine Tate, is just so mind-blowing in her character arch as Donna, Billie Piper as Rose just melts my heart, Elisabeth Sladen, may she rest in peace, as Sarah Jane Smith, whose character arch reaches back to the original series as well as the new series, I could just eat with a spoon and the list goes on and on. Even the supporting characters are amazing and extremely memorable.
So let me wrap this up a bit, because I could honestly go on and on and on about what an amazing show this is and how it has impacted me on many levels and I haven’t even gotten to the TARDIS yet, which could be a whole post in itself. If you are interested in sci-fi and have gotten the FRs for other shows like Battlestar Galactica that give great insight into what it means to be human, I highly suggest this series, but only if you have the time to watch a somewhere around 700 episodes, probably more. Give it a try, and let me know what you think. Also I have a huge David Tennant crush so watching those 48 episodes is bonus.
What do you have the fan rabies for? A sports team, a tv show, pod cast, book series? Let me know, I am always taking suggestions for new brain candy.