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#DoctorWhoDay: What Doctor Who Means to Me

Doctor Who season 11 episode 1 review

Everyone remembers the first time they saw Doctor Who, and everyone has their Doctor. That’s what makes the show so special.

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I also remember the first time my brother and I talked about Doctor Who. Christopher Eccleston was about to leave the show, and my brother got a really long scarf for Christmas. I told him that he could look like the Doctor, and he instantly wanted to show me the rebooted series. I watched, and the rest is history.

Every Christmas, we would run down to my grandparents’ basement (because we lived in the time before BBC America aired the Christmas special in the U.S. on the same day), and we would try to find somewhere to watch it so we wouldn’t be spoiled about what happened before it officially aired in the U.S. When I went away to college, we would call each other after particularly great episodes and, when he had to come to my school to see me in a play on the 50th anniversary, we made a deal to not watch it at all until the other could.

Doctor Who has the power to bring people together. Whether it’s your brother, mother, friends, or even someone on the other side of the world who you met online, the show has this way of making us want to talk about it and connect. Sure, when your favorite Doctor is gone, you feel a loss, but you still have a connection to the show itself.

Personally, Matt Smith was my favorite Doctor, but that hasn’t stopped me from watching the show. Every week I tune in and watch Jodie Whittaker take on her foes and teach us valuable lessons while doing so.

A show that started as a way to teach history to children, Doctor Who has evolved into one that teaches us of compassion and looking to our fellow human beings to help in whatever way we can. My favorite episode comes in the form of “Vincent and the Doctor,” focusing on Vincent Van Gogh and his struggle with his art and mental health. It helped cement the fact that Matt Smith was my favorite Doctor and continues to be so.


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i was 18 years old when matt smith took on the mantle of the doctor. my mom took me and my brother to london for my graduation gift, his episode was premiering and from then on, i was enamored with his ability to convey so much through his performances. nearly ten years later, i finally got to meet the man responsible for me studying acting and moving to new york. it also was awesome because he was in a radiohead shirt so i geeked out. maybe i am still shaking but this is truly a dream come true. when i graduated high school, my friend painted me as the doctor’s companion where we were back to back in front of the tardis. the tardis wasn’t there but holy shit guys, i’m traveling through time and space with my doctor #mattsmith #doctorwho

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Getting to look the current Doctor in the face and tell her that I couldn’t wait to see what she was doing to do was an out-of-body experience.

For so long, we girls were told only that we could be the companion in the short skirt. We could be River Song, the impossible astronaut who changed the Doctor for the better, but we were never the Doctor himself. Now, the show is inspiring an entirely new generation while still remaining a source of joy for older fans. It’s wonderful to see Jodie taking on the role, and this season is proving that Doctor Who remains a bright light in the bleakness of the world.

(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.

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