The British have taught us many wonderful things over the years – how to queue, how to drink tea, and how to embrace kidney pie. Yet one of the most important things they’ve taught us might be the importance of an alien with two hearts speeding around in a blue box that’s bigger on the inside.
For those of you that don’t know, the BBC aired a show in 1963 called Doctor Who – a Sci-Fi series about an alien Time Lord named the Doctor, who travels through time and space in a ship called the TARDIS. The Doctor has the ability to regenerate or change form, a nifty trait that has allowed different actors to take on the role over the years. And with the upcoming 50th year anniversary, Doctor Who will be the longest running Sci-Fi series in history.
If you aren’t yet a Doctor Who fan, you could embark on the particularly ambitious task of marathoning all 700+ episodes, but be ready with your fishsticks and custard because you are going to be glued to the television for a solid month. To help get you started, I’ve composed a short list of frequently asked questions from both Whovians and non-Whovians alike.
What season should I start with?
When Russell T. Davies brought back Doctor Who in 2005, it wasn’t meant solely for Old Who fans. Doctor Who was rebooted with the intent to introduce new viewers to the show, so I would recommend starting there with the 9th Doctor. Then, if you are feeling particularly feisty you can go back and watch the old Doctor Who episodes starting from 1963. If you’re not sure about Doctor Who, and just want to test the waters, here’s a couple of episodes to get you started: Blink, Girl in the Fireplace, Gridlock, The Doctor’s Wife.
Why doesn’t the sonic screwdriver work on wood?
It’s rather strange that it can do almost anything except work on wood, right? We’ve seen it do everything from unlocking doors, to reprogramming Cybermen, to even working as an actual screwdriver,yet it still won’t work on wood. Although the inner workings of the sonic screwdriver have never been revealed, we do know it uses some impressive soundwave technology. When making musical instruments, different woods are used for different sounds, so it is possible that wood is the only substance that can resonate in a way that makes it immune to the soundwaves directed at it. More likely, though, it’s just used as a plot device. If the sonic screwdriver could get the Doctor out of every sticky situation, it might seem like more of a cop-out. Having the sonic screwdriver not able to work on wood allows the writers to create a situation where the Doctor can’t sonic his way out, so he has to think of another clever solution.
What does TARDIS stand for? And why is it a police box?
The TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. Oh right, it’s also bigger on the inside! The TARDIS used to have this fantastic camouflage system in which it would blend in with its surroundings. Due to a faulty chameleon circuit, however, the TARDIS is currently stuck as a 1960s police box. The Ninth Doctor once said that if he traveled back to ancient Rome in a TARDIS with a working chameleon circuit, it would be disguised as a statue on a plinth.
Anywho, tell us about your favorite Doctor in the comments! And to keep you occupied until the next episode, here’s some of the most popular Doctor Who quizzes on Sporcle: