If you follow me on Twitter, you know I tweet about Doctor Who a lot. If you see me on the street, you’re probably going to notice my TARDIS bag and matching necklace. If you’ve been in my room, you’ve seen my Van-Gogh-Pandorica poster and the Dalek on my desk (plus multiple seasons on DVD).
And if you know me in real life, you’ve watched me freak out about Doctor Who.
Yeah, I’m one of those people.
I don’t know how to explain it. It just kind of… happened. I didn’t know a thing about it when I started. A picture of David Tennant would occasionally pop up on my Tumblr dashboard or I’d catch a DW namedrop in a magazine, but that was it. It never really clicked — until one late May afternoon. I sat by my open bedroom window with my laptop balanced on my knees, and I pulled up the first season on Netflix.
Plastic people? I thought. You’ve gotta be kidding me. The special effects were in a league of their own; I remember thinking that the original Muppet Show looked better than some of this. So, he’s an alien? But he doesn’t look like an alien. His ears kind of stick out, though. What the hell is going on? Oh my god, it’s bigger on the inside…
For whatever reason, I kept watching.
I learned about the TARDIS and all her quirks and governing rules. I learned about Gallifrey, the shining world of the seven systems, and every strange planet between there and Earth. I learned about the Daleks and the Cybermen and every nightmarish creature that had ever crawled out of hell. And I can’t pinpoint when or where, but I realized something, something I never thought would actually happen.
I cared about every human being (or otherwise) that crossed paths with the TARDIS. I cared about these fictional civilizations I would never actually be a part of. And more than anything, I cared for that sad, lonely old man who stole a magic box and ran away.
I believed in this goofy little show and these wonderful, strange characters. I cried like a baby at Bad Wolf Bay and I cried even harder when Ten didn’t want to go. I had nightmares about children in gas masks and stone angels. I started on pre-Millennium Who and fell in love again with Pertwee and Davison and of course, Baker. I had my heart broken more times than I can count, but I know that from here on out, my heart will forever be police box blue.
Watching Doctor Who requires a certain amount of forgiveness. It’s not perfect. It never will be. So, we cope. We pretend episodes like “Love & Monsters” don’t exist, and we pretend we were actually terrified by the special effects of the 70’s. We do this because love is forgiveness, and we love this show with everything we have.
So for now, I’ll just be patient as I let people stare quizzically at my chest and read my T-shirts. They’ll mouth: “Mad man with a… box? What the…?” I’ll tell them it’s a Doctor Who thing and change the subject. They wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain anyway. It sounds too absurd. It is too absurd. It’s a show about a 900-year-old time-traveling alien, but it’s about hope and acceptance and curiosity and love. More than anything, it’s a show about love. So I’ll sit quiet and wait for the 50th anniversary, waiting for Eleven to waltz back into my life with a smile and a bowtie. I’ll sit quiet and try to remember not to blink.