Through time, space and 50 years

A review on the opener of Doctor Who season 8

Through time, space and 50 years

Since 1963, the show Doctor Who has been going strong. From the first vision of the Daleks, to the new fear of the Weeping Angels, people have been drawn to Doctor Who for the action, relationships and humor.

For those who do not know what Doctor Who is, it is a show produced by the British Broadcasting Channel. Its main protagonist is The Doctor, an alien from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor has two hearts, a time-traveling spacecraft known as the TARDIS, and the determination of saving lives.

He is seen alone, but travels mostly with companions from Earth that helps the viewers relate to The Doctor and his actions.
The Doctor also has a wide variety of villains including the dreaded Daleks, his main enemy bent on exterminating all things that are not Dalek. Some other villains include the Cybermen, The Master, Davros, Sontarans, etc.

One of the main reasons Doctor Who has been on the air for 50 years is the fact that The Doctor constantly changes his form. When he dies, his whole body goes through a regeneration phase that results in a “new” Doctor.

Up to now, there have been 14 regenerations. Even though the current Doctor is known as the 12th, there was the 10th Doctor who regenerated and kept his appearance the same. Also there was a regeneration from the 9th Doctor to the War Doctor, but he was never verified with a number on the show.

Another reason is the fan base which is not only based in the U.K., but has spread worldwide. The show has spread through not only the show, but through books, action figures, T-shirts, etc. Also, the show creates a fun fantasy world that is both backed up by fact and fiction.

Continuing the 50 year tradition, the series 8 opener greets us with a Dinosaur regurgitating the TARDIS. From there, The Doctor, whose memory has been warped, must stop gear work robots from dismembering the people of old Victorian London.

This season opener also returns the 11th Doctors detective trio and his semi-current companion who have not been through one of his regenerations before. For the trio, it is business as usual. But for The Doctor’s companion, she must learn to trust this new person, who bears her old friend’s name and occupation.

This opener had references to past Doctors. For one, it brought back the old image of the fourth Doctor’s scarf. Also it made a reference to the SS Madame De Pompadour, an abandoned spaceship found by the 10th Doctor. It even brought back the 11th Doctor who called his semi-current Companion to give her strength when facing this new Doctor.

One of the many questions that came with this opener was “Who is the Doctor?” A common question asked every opener, but this one goes deeper into if the Doctor’s actions are just or if they make him a monster. It also brings in a new character called Missy a.k.a The Doctor’s future girlfriend.

The opener also brings up real current questions like what does it mean to be human, what is the price for paradise and are we who we say we are or just another copy of another person.

With a new doctor, new villains, and old references, it seems this season is going to be a rememorice of the past Doctors in a new light. It also seems that this season will bring new emotions from the characters and the fans.

So as we allow a new Doctor into our lives, let us not forget the past Doctors who have set the ground for all future Doctors and their adventures which we enjoy.


Doctor Who airs Saturday’s at 9 p.m. on channel BBC.