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Why Every Child Deserves a Hero Like Doctor Who

"When I was a child, my favorite story was about a man who would live forever, but whose eyes were heavy with the weight of all he'd seen."

Matthew Horwood / Contributor/ Getty Images
Matthew Horwood / Contributor/ Getty Images

“Doctor Who” has been a part of my life since the new series came back in 2005, when I was just 4 years old. My wonderful dad watched the show back in the ’70s as a little boy, so it was natural that when he had his own family, he wanted to watch it with his own children.

“Doctor Who” is the story of all the adventures an alien can have with a time machine. It originally premiered in 1963 as an educational show for children, but with such high viewing numbers, it soon became one of the BBC’s most important shows until 1989, when it went off the air until 2005 (apart from one TV movie).

Between the ages of 4 and 13, I was a casual fan, but I would watch all the episodes. After that, I grew into a complete obsession. The 100 episodes were always playing on repeat on my telly, to the point where I could recite some of my favourite episodes. I loved it because of the adventure, the hero’s journey, and his companions. I wasn’t that imaginative as a child, but “Doctor Who” gave me the chance to go on adventures greater than I could even dream of.

Looking back, the Doctor was the greatest hero that I could have had.

One of my favourite interviews about “Doctor Who” was with Steven Moffat, who ran the show between 2009-2017. He was asked why the Doctor is such a great hero.

Think about all the superheroes that we see in film, and think about what makes them special. Is it laser vision? Flying? Shrinking? The Doctor is a hero who can walk into a fight and win just through words and wit. The Doctor values every single life no matter what. Through his companions, we see how special everyone is. Even if they don’t believe it at first, he shows them that they are — and he shows the audience that, too.

I don’t believe there will ever be a time when I don’t need a hero like the Doctor. Even now, when I’m getting a bit “too old” for fictional characters (whatever that means), I will watch my favourite episodes and be in awe of this person who can waltz around the universe, who can walk into people’s lives and save them from monsters and anything that goes bump in the night.

Why would we ever not need the reassurance we got as children — that the universe is actually very small, and we all need to be as good as we can be as much as we can?

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