Today’s The Day! Saturday is Doctor Who day and, at just after 5.15 tonight, it will be exactly Fifty years to the very day, the very moment since it all started with that very first, classic, episode. And it’s still here. That’s amazing.
So, at 5.15 tonight, why not watch Whopix’s Fan Edit of “An Unearthly Child” and marvel at the fact that what they did in those initial twenty-five minutes of black and white Sixties TV [wasn’t “Space and Time” brilliant!] continues to creatively inspire Fans like me to this very day, continues to give enjoyment to millions of people all round the planet, and will keep on doing that so long as there are people who need an answer for the bullies.
And then, at 7.50, no matter where you’re watching tonight, or who you are watching with, or if, like me you’re watching on your own, enjoy the celebration of a cultural icon that means just as much to some as Manchester United does to others. Even if they don’t watch Doctor Who, they know what a Dalek is, and some people behave like them, intolerant and hateful of others, on both sides of the argument, whatever it may be. Everybody knows what the Tardis looks like, and everybody has thought, at one time or another, about going back and undoing the things they wish they hadn’t done, or doing they things they didn’t do that they wished they had. I know I have.
Doctor Who is still here because there’s no other show like it, nor will there ever be. I think Paul Cornell summed it up best when he said that The Doctor stands for what the bullies are against and stands against what the bullies are for. We’ve all experienced the haters in our lives, the people who don’t understand us and, I suspect, don’t want to. We’ve all suffered at the hands of people who want to tear us down instead of build us up. But in The Doctor you have a character who not only celebrates being an individual, he embodies the idea that it’s okay to be different, that’s it’s okay to be an outsider, it’s okay if you don’t quite fit because anyone and everyone can be a hero. And I think, in our hearts, every single one of us wants to be a hero, we want to be significant, make a difference. Deep down we need to know that we matter, that we’re important in even a small way, that we can leave something behind when we’re gone that said we were here, and that while we were here we made a difference to the lives of the people around us, made them better, happier and helped and encouraged them to keep going, inspired them to be themselves and be who they want to be without the tyranny of other people’s opinions of them holding them back. And that a TV Show can do that is one of the many things that makes it so special to people like me. And, if you’re reading this, you too…
Happy Anniversary, Doctor Who. Here’s to the next Fifty Years!