Opinion The Fifth Doctor: "Small, beautiful events are what life is all about..."

Published on March 11th, 2013 | by Meredith Burdett

“Small, beautiful events are what life is all about…”

Let’s take a moment, because we probably all need to.

Ten years ago, 2003, there was no Doctor Who on television. We had books, audios, fan fiction and the good people at Doctor Who Magazine keeping the dream alive, but there was no indication that Doctor Who was ever coming back to our screens. The Doctor was in permanent limbo, and there was nothing we could do.

The Fifth Doctor: "Small, beautiful events are what life is all about..."

Suddenly, without any warning, a small article in Doctor Who Magazine and several articles in newspapers confirmed the best news in a long time; Doctor Who was coming back to television. Not for one night, not for one week, the Doctor was back, permanently.

Eight years later and we’re three Doctors richer. We’ve been treated to Time Wars, two regenerations, a new Master, an old Davros and a new team of heroic time travellers. And throughout all of that, Doctor Who has remained the best, and one of the most profitable, television shows ever, proving to the BBC and public alike that there’s life after death.

We’re now in 2013, where we’re all anticipating the 50th anniversary. Expectations are high, the workload is heavier than ever before and the popularity of Doctor Who is at one of its all-time highs.

So let’s remember that for all the potential spoilers, all the wishing, all the worrying, all the conjecture of ‘who will appear in November 2013 and who won’t’, we still get new Doctor Who every single year. We’ve got a permanent exhibition in Cardiff, a three-day celebration in November, eight new episodes over March, April and May, specials in November, a Christmas special in December, audio plays from Big Finish and AudioGo all year round, DVD releases galore (with special animations), nine more issues of Doctor Who Magazine, Eleven BBC book rereleases, Puffin eShorts and even more to be announced. Not bad for a television show that was cancelled in 1989.

Yes, we all want the BBC to pull some big strings in November and get all of the Doctors, or at least some of them, to celebrate their birthday together, but we are a fandom that is being richly treated to the biggest birthday cake imaginable.

When Doctor Who came back to television in 2005, it was described as Doctor Who’s golden age, when David Tennant took over as the Tenth Doctor, it was described as Doctor Who’s golden age. And now, with Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Steven Moffat and a whole bright, shining future ahead of it, this era now is described as Doctor Who’s golden age.

There has never been a better time to be a fan of this show, we will look back in years to come and describe 2013 as one of the best years that Doctor Who ever had.

Enjoy every month that this year has to offer because in twenty-five year’s time, when younger fans are describing how good the seventieth anniversary in live 3D is, with the actors turning up at your house to have dinner with you, we can all smile and tell them that  it was nothing compared to the sheer brilliance of the Doctor’s half century milestone.

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About the Author

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!



5 Responses to “Small, beautiful events are what life is all about…”

  1. avatar Gerard Evans says:

    Cool stuff mate cheers

  2. avatar Francesco says:

    Great, great, great post!

  3. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I think what’s best about the return of Doctor Who is that its reach more people than it ever had before. Whole new generations have discovered it, and will continue to keep the dream alive when we’re gone, and no matter what else happens in the future. I think its even more of a success story than Star Trek, because its ONE show, about ONE character, and it resonates with so many people. I for one agree that no matter what comes ahead, I am simply glad we have so much Who to enjoy.

  4. avatar Shawn says:

    I agree with TimeChaser, to a point. Who is amazing, wonderful thoughts, incredible ideas, intelligent scripts, and fantastic storytelling. It is permanently engrained in my brain, and it has definately influenced who I am now. You cannot really know me and not know I am a Doctor Who fan.

    I am not sure it is at quite the fever pitch that Star Trek was in the early 90′s. The TNG based conventions that I attended were amazing, such excitement. Now, however, Trek is trying to find it’s footing again, and I wish it luck, but no amount of movies can make use feel like we’ve spent a long time with characters, than does a series of episodes. It is Time spent with the characters that causes them to engrave themselves into our psyche. I do believe in quality over quantity, but quantity has it’s benefits as well. I wish Treck and DW would both find a balance.

  5. avatar Bob James says:

    It’s always great to introduce a little perspective, especially from those of us that were there then, and are here now. We Doctor Who fans have so, so much to be thankful and grateful for, that not only does our favorite television show exist, but that’s it’s thriving worldwide, and maintains such an excellent, brilliant level of integrity and quality. It enjoys a great showrunner in Steven Moffat, and the full support and pride of the BBC. This is exactly why I have such little patience with the nitpickers and haters, the armchair critics, that often appear and post in forums like this one. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and tastes, but some of these people are just ingrates with issues that have nothing to do with Doctor Who, angry people who aren’t angry about this television show, but just angry about something, and have found a forum to vent their bile and venom. At fifty years, and with the brightest of futures, Doctor Who fans are the most blessed and fortunate fans in the whole world.

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