On The Bandwagon: “Doctor Who”

doctor who

On Fridays, On The Bandwagon will bring you Marissa Morales’ recommendations of all the TV you really should’ve seen by now.

Every now and then a show comes along and creates such a massive cult following that the line becomes blurred between the show and its fans. While this can create a stigma for non-watchers, for Doctor Who fans, or Whovians as we proudly call ourselves, it’s a way of life.

For those not in know (and at this point how could you not be?), the bare bones of the show is about a Timelord (the last of his kind…! Sort of), who can travel through time and space, saving not only this universe but many, many others.  The show is currently in a revival, so for sake of keeping this article within word limit, we’ll be talking about Doctors 9, 10 and 11.

I know people say you can skip 9, but in the name of Almighty Television, DON’T! Christopher Eccleston ushered in the revival in 2005 along with Billie Piper, who played the perfect Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s Companion. Their season together, Eccleston’s only one as the Doctor, sets up the dynamic between the two, which will span a good chunk of the series. Together they also come across some of the greatest villains the show tackles, which will be important in forthcoming seasons. I’m talking Daleks, Cybermen and…well, I don’t want to get too spoilery, but rather to hopefully entice. There is definitely an episode where Britney Spears’ “Toxic” is played as a last salute to Earth before it is destroyed. “Moisturize me.” Remember these words and thank me later. But I digress. The point is that Eccleston’s spin on the Doctor is important, so do 9 a solid and don’t skip him.

The show’s second season brings in the one and only David Tennant, the gold standard of Doctors. Tennant’s take on the Doctor is full of puns and quite frankly, some of the best facial acting I’ve ever seen. (Those Brits sure know how to churn ‘em out at the Affable, Annoyingly Talented Men factory.)  10 also gets a string of companions: Rose Tyler (get your Kleenex ready), Martha (Freema Agyemen), Donna (played flawlessly by the flawless Catherine Tate) and most importantly, Jack Harkness, played by the most likable man on this planet, and quite frankly all of space and time, John Barrowman.

(Quick break to fan myself.)

Right. So. 10 and his string of companions go through some really heartbreaking missions, but you can blame Steven Moffat for this, a name you will become all too familiar with. The best advice I can offer is to just grab the Kleenex and a pillow to throw anytime you see his name preceded by “Written by.” You can thank me later. 10 is also the era of the Weeping Angels, some of the most terrifying villains to ever grace a television set.

Unfortunately, TENnant’s reign couldn’t last forever. (Do you see what I did there? Do you? Yeah you do.) He passed the torch to Matt Smith, the new Doctor and 11 for those keeping score at home. His companion is Amy Pond (played by my forever girl crush Karen Gillan), and Amy’s boyfriend, Rory (played by the swoonworty Arthur Darvill). I will say this: GIVE SMITH A CHANCE. Admittedly, the first few episodes come off as Smith doing his best Tennant, but he finally puts his own spin on it and makes 11 a Doctor for the books. Moment of truth: he may just pass Tennant for me. Depends on my mood.

The trio is hilarious together, and is occasionally joined by River Song (played by Alex Kingston-meow!). I refuse to make this column spoiler-y so I can’t say too much about Song, save for that she has one of the most intriguing plotlines in the series.

While the reign of Amy and Rory has come to an end, the show has recently gained Clara Oswin (Jenna Louise-Coleman, Robb Stark’s real life she-wolf!). She’s the brand-spanking-new Companion and a lovely match to Smith’s fast-talking 11. Her character is chock full of intrigue, but that’s to be expected; she’s a newbie! You can also keep your eyes and ears open for guest appearances from Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, James Corden (!!!!), Simon Pegg and Penelope Wilton (better known as Matthew Crawley’s mum), just to name a few.

Plus, there’s nothing quite like the bond you gain when you find a fellow Whovian. So what are you waiting for? Hope on dat Netflix and allons-y!

Series seven of Doctor Who will return to air in the U.S. on March 30.