Your First Doctor

I may need this t-shirt.

You never forget your first doctor.

About this time last year, Drew decided he would finally watch the Doctor Who reboot. My response was something like, “Uh… have fun with that!”

You see, he’d described Doctor Who to me many times in the past, and the idea of a show about a time-travelling alien who could regenerate his “human” form as many times as the show needed to keep the franchise alive just didn’t work for me. Even when you add in that said alien killed all his race in an effort to stop its greatest enemy from destroying the world. Or that the show treats some truly heart-rending topics—travelling back to try to save a loved one, an enslaved race, parting forever from a lover for the benefit of the universe—with enough finesse and brutality to make an angel weep. (You see what I did there?)

As you can probably tell, I came around. When Drew reached the 2010 episodes (series 5 of the reboot) a certain handsome young man and gorgeous redhead repeatedly caught my eye: the Eleventh Doctor and his Companion, Amy Pond.

Still I resisted, because, after all, the Doctor’s greatest enemy is a race of trash-can aliens who roll around waving toilet plungers and saying “EXTERMINATE.” But then Drew reached the series finales of the 2010 run, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this:

“Who are all these attractive people?” I finally asked. “And why are there Romans?”

“They’re not really Romans,” Drew said.

Um, curiosity: piqued. We watched “The Eleventh Hour,” Matt Smith’s first episode, and the music was so good and the Doctor so adorable, I was completely hooked. At my insistence, we watched all of Matt Smith’s episodes before we jumped back and started with Christopher Eccleston and watched all the way through David Tennant, most viewers’ favorite doctor… and then we went back to Matt Smith

Because even after all the rest, I like the Eleventh Doctor the most. I was charmed by his ability to be both a nine-year-old and a nine-hundred-year-old. He was whimsical and weary, silly and sad. And the music was just so damned good. When he leaves the show, I’ll probably cry and pout and hate the next Doctor forever.

When I saw that ThinkGeek t-shirt, I realized how true it was. Drew still loves Tom Baker, the first Doctor he saw as a kid, the most. And he had the wonderful experience of seeing the show as a child… which, given that it’s technically a show for youngsters, is more than most of us can say. And I think Drew can really sum up why we love the show so much:

“My first Doctor was Tom Baker (I think of a lot of 80s US kids first saw the Doctor through PBS which bought all his episodes).  He was the apotheosis of everything your parents told you not do: he dressed weirdly, he offered candy to everyone he met, and lived his life for the simple joy of turning a rock over and seeing what sort of weird and wonderful creatures were living underneath.
We try so hard to proscribe what kids can do: don’t trust strangers, don’t ask questions, don’t play with matches, don’t wander off on your own.  The Doctor doesn’t believe in any of those rules … which is why his companions are always breaking rules 1 & 2 ‘Don’t ask stupid questions’ and ‘Don’t wonder off’. 
Plus the hat.”

Tom Baker and the hat. And the infamous scarf.

So there you have it. It’s am amazing show, one that gets under your skin and never leaves you. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely give it a try… but choose your first Doctor wisely, because you’ll never forget him. (*coughpickMattSmithcough*)
Are you a Doctor Who fan, readers? Who was your first Doctor? Who is your favorite Doctor, and why?

5 thoughts on “Your First Doctor

    • Do it! It’s amazing. The special effects (especially in the early seasons of the reboot) are more than a little cheesy, but the show is just plain wonderful.

  1. The first episode I saw was a tenth doctor ep – so, of course, he is my favorite. Matt Smith is fantastic, especially given the shoes he had to fill, but like they say, you never forget your first doctor.

  2. Ironically, I was introduced to The Doctor by fanfiction. A friend of mine wrote out her version of David Tennants doctor, a show I’d never seen, in a freeform text-only RPG.
    It might sound strange, or silly, but she captured him perfectly. I was captivated by this odd skinny man in a suit, who seemed so random and so hurried, yet alternately so sad.

    I started watching the show. I wasn’t impressed with Rose, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about him. Then I reached “The Girl in the Fireplace” an episode that broke my heart. It so quintessentially sums up the Doctor. Always with the best intentions, always with so much hope, but sometimes… just a moment too late.
    I fell in love with The Doctor then. He wasn’t any doctor, he was MY Doctor, and I wanted him to take me away in a phonebox just so I could see him smile.

    Watching him turn into Matt Smith -STILL- makes me cry.

    Though a chatroom fanfiction I got to meet the doctor, and my character got to fly away with him and have adventures, and like every Doctor we love so well. It ended too soon.

    I still miss MY doctor, even though I’ve come to love the new one, and I love every episode. Even if he’s not my Doctor and it’s not my Tardis.
    I will miss him when he goes.

    • Thanks for the lovely comment! I too felt dubious about Rose, and still do. But “The Girl in the Fireplace” is one of my favorite episodes, even though it’s not *my* Doctor. And Tennant’s departure from the show is seriously heartbreaking.

      But the Eleventh Doctor is the one who makes me cry. 🙂

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