Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi all portrayed as their respective Doctors

Happy 60th Anniversary to the Show That Gave Me Everything

There are shows that mean a lot to us, and then there are shows that change our lives. For me, that show is Doctor Who. So on its 60th anniversary, I thought I would share a story about how Doctor Who gave me the world.

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Like many Americans, I had an idea of the series but no real way to watch it until the show came back in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. With Russell T. Davies as the showrunner, that’s how I got my taste of time travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS, and I fell in love. I went through the typical feelings many fans do with a show like Doctor Who, where I didn’t want Eccleston to leave, and then I didn’t want Tennant to leave, until I finally fell in love with my Doctor: Matt Smith.

The thing about this show is that it changed my life because of the fifth season. I was in high school, getting ready to go to college, and I was obsessively rewatching the series as a way of coping with my life changing. Being told, at the time, by my well meaning mother that she didn’t want me studying theatre, that I had to study English instead, felt like the end of my world. It took watching “Vincent and the Doctor” to really make a decision for myself: I was going to study theatre, move to New York, and make art like that episode.

Some of that happened, but a lot of my life changed because of Doctor Who as a show. I moved to New York because of it, and I’m a journalist writing about the show because of my love for it.

A show that lets us love it through all of time and space

My story is far from unique. There are plenty of people who found a deep love for this show through an episode and it changed their lives, whether insignificantly or in an impactful way. To me, that’s the magic of a show like this. Doctor Who can and will always be there for its fans. That’s what makes it such a beautiful thing, and while it ebbs and flows through different Doctors and new showrunners, we can always return to what makes it so special.

Getting to review “The Star Beast” for The Mary Sue and write about David Tennant’s return felt like something I never thought possible becoming a reality. I was just a kid watching a space show when Tennant was the Doctor, and now this is my job. I get to write about a show that makes me so incredibly happy, and to review an episode that felt that good? It really just was a full circle moment for me. So on this, the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for giving me a show that taught me how to dream, taught me of a raggedy man in his blue box, and gave me the stars. I love you oh so very much.

(featured image: BBC)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.