I first met the Doctor not long after my fiancee Amanda and I broke up. We've been together for six years, and engaged for five of them. I don't want to go into the reasons why we broke up (trust me, there are way too many!) but I will say that after we broke up, I wasn't sure what to do with my life. After six years, now what? Being Amanda's fiance was no longer part of my identity. I had to rediscover and reinvent myself.
That's when I met the Doctor.
A lot of my online friends are obsessed with Doctor Who, so I finally decided to give it a try. Not knowing where exactly to begin, I started with the first season of the new Doctor Who, the one with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.
Most people who are new to Who can't really get into the first few Eccleston episodes. I, on the other hand, was immediately hooked. As soon as the Doctor asked Rose to travel with him in the TARDIS, my heart immediately said, "Yes!"
Since then I've been going back and forth between seasons. I've seen the first two seasons, but after Rose left I took a break from past episodes. I've seen all of season five (the first one with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor), half of season six, and I'm watching the current seventh season now. I haven't seen any of the older Doctor Who episodes yet.
So far my favorite doctor is a tie between the Eleventh Doctor and the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). Eccleston was great, too, but he was a little too butch as the Doctor. Still did a great job, though.
Now, as far as why I love the Doctor so much, well . . . it's hard to explain, really.
G.K. Chesterton once said fairy tales are true not because they teach us dragons are real, but because they teach us dragons can be defeated. And to me, that pretty much sums up the Doctor. No matter what kind of bind the Doctor finds himself in, there's always a way out. Even if he has to sacrifice himself, all is made right in the end.
Not only that, but the Doctor also teaches me that the universe is full of wonder and adventure. Time is a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. Naturally, I don't have a time machine that's bigger on the inside, but maybe I don't need to. Maybe I can explore time and space right here, where I am now. Life is happening right now; at this very moment, each new experience is shaping and transforming the future. Of course, there are fixed moments in time that no one can change without changing the fate of the world (here's a hint: it only makes things worse), but in those moments we learn that sometimes we just have to let go and let things happen as they are supposed to happen.
One of my favorite episodes is the one where the Doctor and Amy Pond meet Vincent Van Gogh. They try to save him from suicide by taking him to the future so he can see how much people in the future will love his paintings. After the drop Van Gogh back off and return to the present, though, Amy and the Doctor learn that Van Gogh still committed suicide. Amy is distressed, but the Doctor offers some words of wisdom:
"The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but, vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."And maybe that's the most important lesson of all.