One of my best friends from high school messaged me one morning. You see, her daughter is a young teen who is now out on summer break and was looking to try something new. “Sara”, she asked, “can you give me a synopsis of Doctor Who. My daughter wants to start watching them.”
I wasn’t surprised to be asked that question by her. You see, I’m one of those people who I like to call “seasoned geeks,” the one that lives in way too many worlds at once and has for a long time, and well all my friends know it. I was that girl in high school who wore Star Trek Communicator Badges on my winter coat, and that does not lend itself well to that popular girl persona so popularized in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
But I never backed away from it or tried to change who I was as a person, and certainly would never consider giving up any of my passions. And those interests grew with time. New people I met introduced me to new ways to geek out. “Have you read so and so? Do you watch such and such?” No, but I will now. And it’s because of those people that I feel it is important for the new geeks to have the same guidance many of us did. I myself have a very good friend who introduced me to Doctor Who when I was 39 years old. Sitting there, binge watching it, all I could think was why had I waited so long to get lost in this world too.
I struggled to give her a brief understanding of why her daughter should delve into the world of the Doctor. I could have given her the intellectual answer that it deals with the philosophical and moral struggles of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. Or the technological answer, highlighting the TARDIS’ time travel abilities and all of the alien technology they encounter. Or one of those cheap answers I hear bandied about, like the Doctors are all so cute or it’s British, it has to be great. Cringeworthy.
As I was busy at work that day, I gave my friend a basic overview on what the show was about, but as I sat there at my desk later in the day, looking at the Lego TARDIS that my husband designed and built for me last Christmas, I want to tell her this. It’s about change and friendship and your personal journey and being exactly who you are along the way. That’s why it’s the perfect show for a young teens. Life is thankfully a very long trek for most of us, filled with changes both good and bad. And I think many of us know that’s exactly how those teen years can be. But, as the Doctor shows us again and again, if you have the right companion by your side, be it a friend, family member, or someone you love, life can be exactly what it was intended to be…a great adventure.