Way back when my brothers were in the high school marching band, I was a preteen with no social outlets. During this time of boredom and not much identity, I met the 5th version of this man. Joel and David had band practices on the nights that Dr. Who would air on our local public broadcasting station, and as we didn't really trust the timer on our VCR, I was instructed to turn to channel 8 at 8PM and push the record button. For the following hour I could be found alone in our den, leaning my elbows on our avocado green ottoman, taking in more classic sci-fi than most people my age. It would usually leave me confused and probably a bit scared, which would require that I watch each episode again with my brothers in order to benefit from their commentary and their ability to find the humor in the strange creatures that had so terrified me in my first viewing.
Eventually, I became well acquainted with this man in all of his many versions, and I think I can honestly say that aside from my family and Jesus, Dr. Who probably has more to do with my character, worldview, moral compass than anyone else. He informs my response to absurdities. I appeal to his judgement in situational analysis. When I'm about to write someone off, I'm reminded that he finds each individual to be of infinite worth.
When I brought my now-husband home to visit my family for the first time, I made him sit through some Dr. Who tapes. It was the best way to really explain myself to him, and if he was still interested after viewing, then I figured he was a keeper.
The show disappeared for awhile but came back a couple of years ago. And now, through some gracious miracle we've found enough interested and patient friends to start up a regular Dr. Who viewing party. I'm a bit overwhelmed as to how to introduce this complex character to my friends responsibly, but I'm confident that while I'll have to fight the urge to apologize for cheesy lines, scary saltshakers, and the absurd handiness of the sonic screwdriver, they will eventually understand that the underlying message of the show is about the significance of people-- that just like his spaceship/police box, we're all bigger on the inside than the outside.