Monday, March 8, 2010

Is there a Doctor in the house?

When I first learned this week’s topic would be favorite superheroes, I thought it would be a huge amount of fun. As I began running through my list of faves, I quickly discovered a few disturbing facts:

1. Choosing a favorite superhero is much tougher than it sounds.

2. I qualify as a major geek because I can name far too many superheroes, and in most cases, I possess more than just a passing amount knowledge regarding their histories.

3. I don’t like a lot of the superheroes I can name. In fact, I tend to identify with super villains more than heroes. Let’s face it –- the bad guys are having all the fun. (Watch the late Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight if you want a prime example of someone who’s having way too much fun being evil.)

Despite my revelations, I was able to narrow the field. My first thought was Ghost Rider. Flaming skulls, motorcycles, pacts with the Devil, vengeful spirits…yeah, Ghost Rider hits many of my geeky buttons. My second choice was Buffy Summers, the plucky vampire slayer who first appeared as the title character (played by Kristy Swanson) in a comedic horror film in 1992. She later grew to a complex kick-ass heroine capable of taking down the meanest big nasty the Sunnydale Hellmouth could spew forth. Oh, yes, I’m a proud Buffy fan.

However, there is really and truly only one hero who rules my geeky heart of hearts. A lone traveler from the distant world of Gallifrey. A Time Lord with a passion for scarves and Converse sneakers. His weapons of choice are quick wits and a sonic screwdriver. And he never goes anywhere without his TARDIS.* Literally.

That man is The Doctor.

Doctor Who?

Yes, that’s him.

No, doctor who?

He’s just The Doctor.

Actually, there have been eleven Doctors. (The photo at the right shows only the first ten.) As a Time Lord, he has the ability to regenerate when near death. (It’s also why the television series has been one of the most beloved of sci-fi fans since the show first appeared in Britain in 1963. A new Doctor is introduced every few seasons to keep things interesting.) As a Time Lord, The Doctor has a unique vision of the universe. He sees infinite time and possibilities. Fixed points in time, such as the undying Captain Jack Harkness, are anathema to him and he will avoid them. (Captain Jack is a whole story unto himself and one I adore. I recommend checking out the Torchwood series for more info.)

The Doctor is known for saving the day “in the nick of time” and has a list of enemies that would stretch from Earth to Gallifrey itself, if Gallifrey hadn’t been destroyed in the Time Wars with the Daleks. Other notable foes include The Master (an evil Time Lord), Cybermen, and Sontarans.

In his two hearts, The Doctor is an explorer but when he sees a wrong, he will do what he can to set it. This is certainly one of the main reasons I enjoy watching the show. Another is that The Doctor rarely resorts to violence and killing isn’t something he does lightly or without intense regret. A point of view I find often lacking in other “superheroes.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Doctor Who series, I highly recommend you do acquaint yourself with it soon. It’s sort of like Sherlock Holmes in space. Each episode usually begins with a mystery, involve quirky humor, adventure –- and The Doctor, the good guy, is the one having all the fun for a change.

*TARDIS = Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Seen in the form of a blue police box, the TARDIS is larger on the inside than outside and is the primary mode of transportation for The Doctor and his companions.


Sophie Littlefield said...

Jeannie, I LOVE how you can address this subject so authoritatively. You are one cool cat. :) I had never heard of The Doctor but I love the guy already!

Graham Brown said...

I love Doctor Who - back in my, I'm an outcast in High School days - I used to think how great it would be to pile into the Blue Police Box and go on adventures with the Doctor.

I liked the Doctor who wore the long scarf and looked a little like the good twin version of Peter Frampton or Howard Stern or someone.

I also liked the way he was always screwing something up. Fantastic.

Joshua Corin said...

When I was a child, just hearing the theme song to Doctor Who used to send me scampering out of the room and onto my bed and under my blankets.

I've since learned to stop worrying and love the Time Lord.

Jeannie Holmes said...

Thanks, Soph! I've been a Who fan since childhood. My brother and I will trade quips on a regular basis. The rest of the family think we're insane, but we don't care. We're having fun. :-)

Jeannie Holmes said...

Hey Graham!

Ah, yes, you like the fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker (aka "Teeth and Curls). He's my favorite. (David Tennent, the tenth Doctor, is a close second.) I loved the coat with all the pockets. I always thought that was so much handier than carrying a purse. And the jelly babies. How many arguments were solved by sharing jelly baby candy?

Jeannie Holmes said...

Lol, Josh! The theme had the opposite effect for me. As soon as I heard it, I'd drop whatever I was doing and run for the TV. My dad hated the show but he loved seeing my and my brother's reaction to it.

Graham Brown said...

Oh - and I also loved that it was filmed in England. Because it had such a different look than anything else.

Shane Gericke said...

Seven Doc Who's? Sounds like the Law & Order castapalooza for sure!

My father-in-law would have gladly skipped work if he could to watch Dr. Who. He adored it. I haven't seen enough episodes to judge, but what I saw, I liked.

Love this thread, whoever thought of it!