Doctor Who… The British Science Fiction television show about the time traveling Doctor and his various companions as they travel through time and space in the TARDIS saving the universe as we know it week after week. The show has been running since 1963 and has only hit one snag in the 1990’s before being rebooted in 2005. So far 11 people have played the crazy Galifrayan in the Big Blue Box with the twelfth coming early next year.
This show has been going on for six decades now and could be considered one of the longest running television shows of all time. While calling it the greatest television show of all time is very premature, the fact that a show can survive six decades while others struggle to survive six seasons is a pretty impressive task. Now personally, I absolutely love the show and is one I can watch anytime that I am board. Plus on a personal note I do consider it one of the greatest television shows of all time as well.
BUT that is not the point of today’s list. Today’s list is not about the greatness of the show but a matter of why the show has been able to last as long as it does. Doctor Who is one of those shows that found one of the perfect formulas, a veritable Fountain of Youth of TV. One that does not necessarily guarantee a spot on the greatest list, but does guarantee a spot on the longest running list So today we are going to look at what keeps a show like Doctor Who from stopping.
4 The Show is Not Limited to Any Sort of Time Period or Location
Being a show about a time traveler who can literally go to any place in time and space in the known universe has its advantages. All that ever was and will ever be from the big bang to the end of everything ever and even possibly beyond that are up for grabs. This show is not set to any specific time period or setting. It can go anywhere and do anything. They can kill Hitler, chat with Einstein, and then save the world from a Dalek invasion all in one season and still have thousands of possibilities for the next eighteen seasons to follow.
Not being held to any time period or location really keeps this show going. When the sky isn’t even the beginning of the limit, you can do so much with the series and go to so many interesting places.
Not only is the Doctor’s multiple personalities able to adapt to the likes and desires of people from different generations, but really you don’t have to be a hardcore nerd or far into the fandom to enjoy the show. There is a little something there for everyone. It is a fun show that can be dramatic, romantic, comedic and so forth with a tongue in cheek style of show that can become just as serious.
2 They Can be as Imaginative as They Like
As long as writers of the series have the semblance of an imagination then the show can go on forever. Granted this one is the most similar to other television shows that as long as the person writing isn’t a complete idiot and has an imagination then they will be able to keep the series going. BBC is good about keeping talented writers writing Doctor Who and keep changing writers in order to keep the show fresh and interesting.
1 The Main Character Can Change Appearance and Personality
Easily the number one reason for Doctor Who’s longevity. For every scripted television show out there, there is a cast of characters that is being played by actors and as we all know, actors are just people. People with lives and ambition. Some people are quite content with working on a television show forever… While others want to do more with their career than just play one role for years on end. Then actors get older and they get tired. Not to mention for some shows, a person who now looks 37 when they are supposed to be in high school can be a bit of a problem. Sure, shows can replace them and some of them succeed… But it doesn’t quite feel the same after they are gone. Just imagine if Neil Patrick Harris decided to leave How I Met Your Mother. The show would not be the same without Barney Stinson on week after week. Just imagine when 30 Rock was on and Alec Baldwin decided to cut out of the show early. Wouldn’t be the same show without Jack Donaghy would it? For all you CSI fans out there, the show just isn’t the same without William Peterson playing Gil Grissom is it?
Major actors and actresses leaving a show can be the fatal blow to a franchise. When fans are so used to having a certain character being portrayed and that character is gone, many cannot fathom watching the show without them there… Then there is Doctor Who. For non Doctor Who fans out there, let me explain what it means to be a Time Lord. A Time Lord is a time traveler naturally. They have the unique ability to regenerate their body whenever they are near to death. After this regeneration, the Time Lord is still the same Time Lord but can look completely different AND have a different personality and moral compass… So in a sense… The perfect replaceable character. The idea of The Doctor as an entity is brilliant for television. He or even she can be replaced over and over and over again.
The Doctor can be old, young, goofy, serious, cooky, stoic, whatever the hell they want! Whoever had the idea that Time Lords can regenerate the way that they do should receive a damn medal for this idea. Because this element of the series is key for the longevity. Companions of The Doctor can come and go. Enemies of The Doctor can come and go, but The Doctor has an entity can always be present. There is no way to get rid of him because in a sense, he is immortal. Even during the current run of the series, The Doctor lists his age in the 900’s and really shows no signs of stopping. Even if the show conclusively finishes the series, like they did with the movie… They can still bring the series back, easy as that.
And that just about wraps it up. Sorry to anyone who was expecting Fruitvale Station. I promise that I will have a new release film coming up soon. If you enjoyed this list than please like and subscribe for more reviews from me.