Even if you're not already a fan of the long-running and much loved British science fiction series Doctor Who, we highly recommend taking a look at the newest season, premiering tomorrow night on BBC America and on Space in Canada. In a nutshell, Doctor Who has been more-or-less on the air since 1963, with the neat plot twist of having a succession of different actors playing the title character, a galaxy-traversing Time Lord from the Planet Gallifrey. Last year the very popular 10th Doctor, played magnificently by David Tennant, regenerated into the 11th Doctor, played by 26-year-old Matt Smith, the youngest actor to ever inhabit the role.
Expectations have been very high for the new Doctor, as well as there being some trepidation that anyone could successfully step into the sneakers of Tennant's stunning and moving Doctor. Since the new season started two weeks ago in Britain, I've been able to watch the first episode already, and am thrilled to report that all feedback is positive and the new Doctor Who is bloody brilliant! I can't think of another recent entertainment experience -- save the new Star Trek movie -- that contained so much concentrated excitement, heart and sense of wonder as this new Doctor Who incarnation.
(Though you don't really need an iota of previous knowledge to enjoy Doctor Who, it might be of interest to realize that the Doctor always picks up a companion from Earth to be his traveling buddy, and you'll love how Smith's Doctor Who finds his. Charming!)
One thing that's so terrific about Doctor Who is that it's always presented very strong, intelligent and vibrant female roles for a succession of actresses, and this newest Doctor Who is no exception. Even -- especially! -- the little girl who figures prominently in the early part of the episode is amazing, exquisitely played, and unlike anything you'll see on U.S. TV.
The Doctor Who craze in the U.S. really began several Doctors -- and decades -- ago with Tom Baker's delightful interpretation from 1974 - 1981, he of the long knitted scarf and slouch hat. (Younger folks might know him as the narrator on Little Britain.) For a quick look at all 11 Doctors over the years, take a look at the short video below. You'll see that the good Doctor has become generally younger as the years go by, and a good deal wackier than the first one out, as he reflects the different seasons of the production. What has never changed is the Doctor's intelligence, humanity, courage and willingness to help Earth out of a number of mindbending catastrophes.
Don't miss Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who! I can't think of anything that you won't enjoy, except if you happen to object to outrageous monsters, frightening, spectacular and potentially Earth-shattering plot predicaments, beautiful leggy girls in British Bobby costumes, clever dialogue, beautiful English settings, or the like.
The new season -- and face -- of Doctor Who debuts tomorrow night at 8pm on BBC America. We also highly recommend tuning in an hour before for Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, which will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about DW. (The BBC America DW website is here, but you may also want to check out the official UK version of the Doctor Who site, which is located here.)
I think you're going to love him.
Because he's the Doctor.