“So… all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will – where do you want to start?”- Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who “The Eleventh Hour”
Be around me for a few minutes, and you’ll realize a few things: I am vegan. I am a bookworm, and one other very obvious thing.
I am a massive Doctor Who fan.
If you live under a rock with no access to technology, Doctor Who is a British science fiction show about a time traveling alien with two hearts and his revolving door of companions as they make their way through the cosmos throughout time. It’s also the longest running sci-fi show of all time at almost fifty-four years old, a show that has reached multiple generations over its half-decade reign.
My travels with the titular Doctor and his companions began during my junior year of college. After a rough couple of months and one bad night, I felt like all I wanted to do was retreat inside and never come back out into the sun. I sat down on my desk chair in my dorm room after a dark sunny day trying to commit to my new vow of staying hidden in my dorm room and turned on Netflix to drown my sorrows in a movie.
Scrolling through Netflix should be a sport in itself, but there’s always one show or movie that will inexplicably show up on almost every single list as you scroll up and down. For me, it was there was a picture of a young man in a tweed looking jacket with a red bowtie holding a weird glowing stick with a young red haired women. The title read Doctor Who. Not knowing what this show was about and not bothering to look it up, I pressed play and went down the rabbit hole of the show…
..and what a rabbit hole it’s been.
The Doctor I met when the episode began wasn’t the same figure who was on the picture I saw, nor was his companion. This man was clad in all black with a leather jacket and big ears as he grabbed a young blonde woman’s hand and said, “Run.”
It was in that moment that it felt like he grabbed my hand too.
I would learn that this Doctor was the ninth incarnation of the titular character, a man who could change his face at the point of death. I didn’t know that he could change his face at the time, so to me, he was the Doctor. When I met him, he was going through something terribly dark. He felt so alone in the world and hopeless that his life could get any better. He was angry and bitter at a universe that took so much from him. He was ready to give up.
Just like I was.
Then, with a chance encounter with a young human girl, he catches glimmer of hope. Slowly but surely, the weight of grief and guilt over all of the darkness in his many lives began to dissipate. His scowl was replaced with a smile. Hope replaced his self-hatred.
He moved through his depression and helped me move on with mine.
Doctor Who is not even close to being my favorite show, but I will be forever grateful for what it gave me. This show provided a friend that held my hand when I needed it the most. He gave me hope and helped step outside the darkness as I followed him through space and time.
I’ll follow him anywhere or anytime.