5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Doctor Who

doctor-who-matt-smith-karen-gillian-bbc Doctor Who. It's a thing now, whether you like it or not. So let's just talk about it. I feel like enough traction has been gained surrounding this show for me to gush about it now without being met with blank stares.

Well, you will be staring blankly, because this is the Internet, but I'll pretend you're smiling and nodding enthusiastically with every word.

Today I'm going to tell you five reasons you should be watching Dr. Who.

If you've never heard of it, or you have heard of it but don't understand what the gibberish is all about, it's a British sci-fi show about a 900-year-old alien who travels through time and space saving the day. GIVE ME A MINUTE TO EXPLAIN.

The alien--a Time Lord, to be specific--goes by the name of The Doctor. No one knows his actual name, hence "Doctor Who?"

He has a time machine called the TARDIS that looks like a blue phone booth (technically a "police box"), which can travel anywhere in time and space. Therefore he can go to Rome in 84 B.C., then an unpronounceable planet in 8000 A.D., then China in 1975 and it all works because, long story short, the TARDIS can basically do anything and is indestructible.

He also travels with a companion, almost always female, almost always pretty. He travels to random places and times, finds things that are amiss and fixes them. For the most part.

On to the reasons you should be watching it:

1) The character of the Doctor. This is first and foremost the reason anyone connects with Dr. Who. Probably. I haven't conducted a poll.

But The Doctor -- his personality, thoughts, feelings, experiences--is what makes a British sci-fi show about aliens totally relatable. The Doctor has lived hundreds of years. He has had many friends come and go, particularly humans who don't live for 900 years and/or decide they just want to live a normal life that, y'know, DOESN'T involve almost dying at the hands of psychotic aliens on a weekly basis. And often in his attempts to save some people, he has inadvertently killed others.

Because of the power he has, he is constantly having to make terribly difficult decisions. He's the epitome of a tragic, flawed hero. He's captivating and brilliant and funny and heartbreaking all at the same time, and I adore it. And you will too.

2) Matt Smith and David Tennant. Technically this show has been on for nearly 50 years, and there have been 11 incarnations of the Doctor. This is possible because Time Lords can regenerate when they are dying, giving the writers of the show the perfect way to keep it going with new actors.

I was introduced to the show with Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor (pictured above), so Matt will always have the number one spot in my heart. He's charming and adorable, but he also carries the weight of an old man who has seen far too much in his life perfectly. He hunches a bit, wrings his hands and says old man types of things, but with a youthful spirit. Plus, that man can deliver a monologue like no one else. I adore him and he will always be my favorite Doctor.

david tennant dr who

Exhibit A: David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

Most people I meet (on the Internet) adore David Tennant in much the same way. He is what will turn your casual interest in Dr. Who to an all-out obsession in a matter of episodes. Most people start with number 9, when the show was rebooted in 2005, but he was only okay, so David Tennant wins them over. He's also charming, but in a bit of a nerdier sense. Where Smith is more of a professor, Tennant is more of a scientist. (This description has not been validated by anyone except yours truly.) Tennant will capture your heart, and you will have to pay for a few therapy sessions when he leaves. So start saving now.

Matt leaves in December of this year, so I am collecting donations for the amount of therapy I will require then.

Both are incredible actors, and largely the reason for the widespread success of Dr. Who in my opinion.

3) Fantastic story lines. I think this is particularly the case in Matt Smith's era, but in each episode and across the season, the storyline is intriguing and usually brilliant. There's an element of mystery as you try to figure out, along with the Doctor, what is amiss and why. The "enemies" he comes across are complex--not just monsters with no capacity for reason. Except the Daleks.* They're just the worst.


Exhibit A: Dalek.

The Doctor, being generally against outright violence, is often put in a hard spot trying to amicably resolve conflict between two opposing forces.

Additionally the Doctor's own story is fascinating --things he must do and must never do, facing his past, facing his future, losing companions and friends--all a part of his grander journey. Even compelling are the stories of the historical figures and myths he interacts with. One of the show's most popular episodes focuses on Vincent Van Gogh, whose troubled character in and of himself will draw you in.

4) Recurring characters. Dr. River Song, Madame Vastra, Jenny, Strax, Captain Jack, all of his companions…these are people you cheer for when you see again. And the best part is, you probably will see them again. Even if you didn't like them very much, you'll cheer, because you're so invested in them. They are friends of the Doctor, who are few and far between, but unwaveringly loyal. They're all honorable and brave in their own way, and some give the Doctor a run for his money, which he needs every once and a while to knock him down a peg.

5) Because you will finally know what everyone is talking about on the Internet. TARDIS, "Allons-y!", "Bowties are cool," Daleks, "Hello Sweetie," random 3D glasses, "Don't Blink," Fezes, a weird wand looking thing called a sonic screwdriver…all of these phrases and pictures will make sense to you now. Sure, it will mean you're a total nerd, but don't worry, you're in good company.

In conclusion, Dr. Who will play to your whimsical side, enthrall you, make you laugh, make you cry…usually all in one episode. That is why you should be watching Dr. Who.

Oh and because Matt Smith.

All seasons beginning from 2005 are on Netflix besides the most recent one, which you can buy on iTunes. So NO EXCUSES.

Some of my favorite episodes to bookmark: Vincent and the Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War, The Lodger, The Doctor's Wife

*basically glorified R2D2-looking things with slimy octopus guys inside that have no sense of any emotion apart from hate and the will to destroy anything to keep the Daleks supreme. Oh and they talk like a YakBak that has been crushed by a steel-toed boot and just keeps repeating "EX-TER-MIN-ATE" over and over again.

If you've watched Dr. Who, which is your favorite Doctor and why? If not, when are you going to start watching it? Today right? During your lunch break?