I was chatting with a friend a few days ago, and he allowed that he’d never seen Doctor Who before, despite being a lifelong science fiction fan. His thoughts were eerily similar to my own as recently as 2011, when the show not only did not interest me, but actually intimidated me.
The advice I passed along to him was the advice I wish I’d gotten a long time ago: The first time you watch a Doctor Who episode odds are good that you’ll say, “Ewwww,” and seriously wonder about the mental state of all us fans. “How could something this campy be so popular?” “How could a series this cheesey have survived since 1963?”
Then, maybe assuming you caught a dud of an episode, you watch two or three more; and you think to yourself, “Well, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, but this isn’t exactly The Sopranos.”
And then, … and then, … and then you catch one of those episodes, one that causes a lump to catch in your throat, makes you want to jump into the TV and help the characters; one that brings a tear to your eye.
And that’s when it hooks you. That’s when it grabs you. That’s when the series’ power ignites like a Saturn V, taking you to heights of awe and mystery that you thought you’d left back in your childhood.
And pretty soon you’ll be saying to yourself, “The smell of dust after rain. The smell of dust after rain. The smell of dust after rain.”
Or maybe you’ll simply tell yourself, “Don’t blink.”
You don’t want to look away. We all need fantasy, especially now. That’s one the things that makes us human.
Copyright (c) 2013