The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

When I was thinking what I might write about on this site, I came upon the idea of writing about people (real or fictional) who have been particular heroes of mine. There are, I guess, formative figures for everyone who model something – a behaviour, attitude, a dimension of life, an ability, a way of being, whatever. They inspire and lead us beyond ourselves, hopefully prompting us to grow and change.

My first hero, then, is one of the oldest in my life. I am one of those sad people (not so sad anymore, actually, with the rebirth of Doctor Who) who has been influenced in many ways by the lead character of the BBC television series, Doctor Who. He is a man known only as the Doctor. We know some things about him – he is a Time Lord, he is very old (though his age is variously stated through the more than 40 years of the show), he travels through time and space in his vessel, the TARDIS, and he usually travels with a companion.

Which brings me to the hero element of the Doctor. Though his face and personality changes throughout the show, some things remain consistent. The Doctor is implacably opposed to evil, tyranny and stands up for the rights of those oppressed – even when the cost to himself is high. The Doctor places a high value on life and freedom. He is open to new ideas and willing to explore new possibilities. He rejects violence and refuses to use it himself, or countenance its use by others. The Doctor feels deeply. He is self-sacrificing. He is also playful, generous and open to others. Those attributes, coupled with the sorts of stories told on Doctor Who (particularly of late), mean I have never ‘grown out of’ the Doctor. Doctor Who is the first TV show I remember watching, and is the one I always turn to when I need a lift.

Some resources for those of you wanting to explore the weird and wonderful world:

BBC’s official Doctor Who site
Outpost Gallifrey
The Restoration Team
Big Finish – Doctor Who audio adventures

Daily Telegraph Article – “It’s Now Time to Take Doctor Who Seriously”


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