Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Doctor is Back

Doctor Who is back on our screens, and this time it’s for a full series. We have a new Doctor, a new companion and a new Head Writer. Last week saw the introduction of the new companion, Amy Pond.

Previously, The Doctor had dropped into the new companion’s life and rushed them off their feet in a whirlwind adventure. Last week’s opening episode saw The Doctor land in Amy’s life when she was seven, he only stayed for short period but at the end of it promised to come back for her; but he never did that night, not until twelve years later. In the meantime Amy became fixated on The Doctor, “The Raggedy Doctor” as she called him.

This storyline struck a chord with me. As a child I was a dedicated fan of Doctor Who, it was a terrible day if I missed an episode, though my parents didn’t share my belief. I loved the adventure and other-worldliness of the stories, but most of all I loved the idea of The Doctor’s Tardis – the vessel he travelled time and space in.

As a child, I imaged the Tardis landing in my own back garden, me stepping inside and then taken away for a world of adventure. In a magical blue box being able to escape both my life and the place I lived, I hated them both. It was a cliché but I was a very unhappy child, I had few friends and hated the place I lived in, suburban Liverpool wasn’t kind on those it saw as “different”.

Watching Doctor Who certainly filled my childhood need for escape, but it was more than that. It was the quality of the stories that kept me watching, and keeps me enjoying it now with the new series. Then I watched the first episode of this series, The Eleventh Hour, and that childhood longing came back to me. In seven year old Amy’s desperation for escape and the sadness of when The Doctor never returned for her, for a moment, I remembered that feeling of longing for escape when I was a child.

But isn’t that what good drama does, allows us to see ourselves in the lives of its characters.


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