“Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension? Have you? To be exiles?” So asked William Hartnell’s mysterious Doctor back in An Unearthly Child (1963), the very first episode of the long-running British, BBC produced science-fiction TV series, Doctor Who. He is a Time Lord travelling the universe in the TARDIS, a bigger-on-the-inside time machine disguised as a Police Box, fighting monsters with the help of his human companions. Complete with its own convention (the Feb. 2020 convention in Los Angeles is sold out) and other events, Doctor Who has inspired devoted fans worldwide who pour over every detail of each episode (now more than 850 episodes) of the time-travelling doctor. But there’s a tension running through the show’s more than 50-year run, one that goes to the heart of the character of the Doctor. The Doctor is both scientist and messiah, a rationalist trying to grapple with the realities of evil in the universe, and romantic who brings about the fairy-tale ending of everyone living happily ever after.”
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