The first picture in this post is my Paffooney for the day, a picture I drew myself in pen and ink and colored pencil. I felt it was about time that I wrote a post on Dr. Who. And that is a pun in more than one way. The Doctor? Doctor Who? Back up in time four sentences… or is that three? I felt it was about TIME that I wrote about the Doctor. You see, now that I am retired, I have become more than ever a time-traveler. Really. I mean it. We are ALL time-travelers. We normally go from the present into the future, traveling in one perceived direction. But yesterday I spoke to the ghost of a teacher who taught me in 1965 and 1966. Through the magic of memory we can revisit the past. Through the magic of dreams we can alter what happened and how we perceived it.
The first Doctor to me was John Pertwee, actually the Third Doctor. He was on PBS Channel 9 out of Des Moines. We watched him on Friday night, mostly my father and I, but sometimes my sisters too. As I went to college, Tom Baker took over as the Doctor, and we watched every episode we could. PBS went all the way back to William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton and I watched those too. I was devastated when Baker left in the 1980’s, but then was completely renewed as a fan when they chose Peter Davison to play the new Doctor. I was completely devastated when they canceled the series. When it came back in 2005, I could share it with my sons… though only the eldest showed any interest at all. My younger sister still watches Doctor Who and she watches with her kids. There is an element of this thing that runs in families.
This goofy Time Lord from Gallifrey has been gallivanting through time back and forth since 1963. He picks up young, pretty girls, and sometimes guys, and takes them with him, totally endangering their lives and even getting them killed. He fights malignant talking trash cans called Daleks, some dude who can also completely change out a new body called The Master, and all sorts of bizarre monsters from space and time The stories are always complex, loaded with comedy and occasionally science fiction, and the actor doing the juggling act of the title role has so far always been a totally unique and totally eccentric individual. The Doctor continues on now, for more than 50 years, and he keeps connecting the past to the future to the present and rewrites entire lifetimes of galaxies in the process.
I love Doctor Who, and will probably be watching it whenever I can right up to the time when I myself ultimately run out of time. I am quirky just like he is. I travel through time too. And I identify with him in ways I can’t even begin to describe. So, Who am I? Yes, I think I am.