I can't be the only woman in the country with a ginormous crush on The Doctor? Maybe it's his amazing floppy hair, maybe it's because he knows his way around a sonic screwdriver - hell, it's probably even the bow tie (they're cool, you know). I could spend ages waxing lyrical about why Matt Smith is like the skinny nerdy version of Adonis, but that's actually (woefully) not why I'm here.
No, I am here to tell you why Doctor Who is one of the very best things on television. Yep, you heard me. I, a grown woman, confess that Doctor Who is my favourite thing about Saturday evenings. 6pm sees me clutching the sofa cushions in excitement, and alternately swooning over Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill (speaking of which, have you seen this?). I realise I am painting myself out to be a bit sad, so I will add that as soon as Doctor Who finishes I run straight out of the door to enjoy myself, like normal people do on a Saturday night. Sometimes, anyway.
Back to The Doctor. When the BBC resurrected Doctor Who back in 2005, I was only dimly aware of it. But as soon as David Tennant took over the role, it piqued my interest and I started watching. I was hooked after two episodes. I would like to say it was Tennant's red Converse that kept me coming back, but it wasn't. It was because Doctor Who has something really magical about it. As a family programme, it is not penned in by the cynicism you find in adult programmes. It isn't set within the confines of normal reality - it reaches far out to the stars and beyond a million possibilities. It is quite simply built on imagination, complete with the beauty and devastation that exist there.
It isn't a light and fluffy programme akin to something you might find on CBeebies. It is sometimes raw, sometimes angry, often impossibly complicated. It is real life, re-imagined in a world with few limits; a world where heroes can and do exist; a world with darkness but so much light; a world where bow ties are cool. It can take you on a roller coaster from the downright ridiculous to the impossibly sad in a single episode, without ever losing that inherent message of hope that Doctor Who seems to embody. It's not something that can be dismissed as being aimed at kids. It is so much more than that.
Whether it is about being brave, or being honest, or being fantastically eccentric for the sake of it, there are a hundred messages in Doctor Who that both children and adults can learn from. It's ok to be scared sometimes, or stupid, or plain ludicrous. Doctor Who is one of the best things on television, because it has something truly rare: it has heart.
And I think that's kind of extraordinary.
A programme that brings together children, their nostalgic parents and grandparents and normal (!) women like me? That's pretty rare. A programme that does it all with an eccentrically sexy male lead? Even better. But the true beauty of Doctor Who is that it's infectiously exciting. It's funny and brilliant and devastating all at once. So go ahead and dismiss it if you like, but if you dare to open your mind, you might just find a place for Doctor Who. Let your inner child out for a bit and get to know The Doctor. He's pretty cool, you know.
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