“Small, beautiful events are what life is all about…”
Let’s take a moment, because we probably all need to.
Ten years ago, 2003, there was no Doctor Who on television. We had books, audios, fan fiction and the good people at Doctor Who Magazine keeping the dream alive, but there was no indication that Doctor Who was ever coming back to our screens. The Doctor was in permanent limbo, and there was nothing we could do.
Suddenly, without any warning, a small article in Doctor Who Magazine and several articles in newspapers confirmed the best news in a long time; Doctor Who was coming back to television. Not for one night, not for one week, the Doctor was back, permanently.
Eight years later and we’re three Doctors richer. We’ve been treated to Time Wars, two regenerations, a new Master, an old Davros and a new team of heroic time travellers. And throughout all of that, Doctor Who has remained the best, and one of the most profitable, television shows ever, proving to the BBC and public alike that there’s life after death.
We’re now in 2013, where we’re all anticipating the 50th anniversary. Expectations are high, the workload is heavier than ever before and the popularity of Doctor Who is at one of its all-time highs.
So let’s remember that for all the potential spoilers, all the wishing, all the worrying, all the conjecture of ‘who will appear in November 2013 and who won’t’, we still get new Doctor Who every single year. We’ve got a permanent exhibition in Cardiff, a three-day celebration in November, eight new episodes over March, April and May, specials in November, a Christmas special in December, audio plays from Big Finish and AudioGo all year round, DVD releases galore (with special animations), nine more issues of Doctor Who Magazine, Eleven BBC book rereleases, Puffin eShorts and even more to be announced. Not bad for a television show that was cancelled in 1989.
Yes, we all want the BBC to pull some big strings in November and get all of the Doctors, or at least some of them, to celebrate their birthday together, but we are a fandom that is being richly treated to the biggest birthday cake imaginable.
When Doctor Who came back to television in 2005, it was described as Doctor Who’s golden age, when David Tennant took over as the Tenth Doctor, it was described as Doctor Who’s golden age. And now, with Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Steven Moffat and a whole bright, shining future ahead of it, this era now is described as Doctor Who’s golden age.
There has never been a better time to be a fan of this show, we will look back in years to come and describe 2013 as one of the best years that Doctor Who ever had.
Enjoy every month that this year has to offer because in twenty-five year’s time, when younger fans are describing how good the seventieth anniversary in live 3D is, with the actors turning up at your house to have dinner with you, we can all smile and tell them that it was nothing compared to the sheer brilliance of the Doctor’s half century milestone.