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50 Minus 3

November 20th, 2013

I have to say that I have mixed emotions about this Saturday’s 50th Anniversary¬†Doctor Who¬†episode. Do I want to see it? Oh, very much so. But I know that no matter how much I enjoy it, I’m going to be a little sad afterwards. The anticipation; the flood of interviews, articles and retrospectives; I’ve loved every moment of the build-up to the 50th. By Sunday, it’ll all be over but the endless kvetching of Internet forums.

These past few weeks have felt like sweet vindication. As a kid, being into Doctor Who made me a weirdo. These days, it’s utterly mainstream. Okay, the majority of Americans still wouldn’t know a TARDIS from a teapot, but when I can walk into Walmart, or Barnes & Noble, or Gordman’s, and see Doctor Who merchandise right out in the open; when other pop-culture shows make reference to it without further explanation; when moms and kids and tweens and seniors all openly proclaim their love for it; I know that my time has arrived.

I’m just shy of 50 myself; I was most likely a blastocyst in my mother’s uterus when Doctor Who premiered in the U.K. Being an ocean away, my initial introduction to the Doctor came via television airings of Peter Cushing’s pair of Dalek feature films. A couple of years later I had my first chance to watch the real thing.

As I approach my own big five-oh, one of the things that I appreciate about Doctor Who is that it’s older than I am. For me, it’s always been there. It very well may outlast me. That’s a comforting thought.

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