Day 4 of the TV meme continues, the topic of the day being what is your favorite show ever? Truth be told, it's a extremely difficult decision to be made, and a lot of painstaking thought and reevaluation went into this post. There are so many shows that I love and respect and watch over and over and over and over again, how could I possibly pick one?
It was either the Time Lord of the Vampire with a soul.
I choose the Time Lord, miraculously enough. BBC's Doctor Who, a British program that has survived nearly 50 years and 31 seasons, was rebooted in 2004 by Russel T. Davies (mastermind behind Queer as Folk) and since that reboot a large new fanbase has emerged. I'm one of them. The show is about the last of the Time Lords - a race of powerful beings who were masters over time and events in the universe - known as The Doctor who weaves in and out of timelines and peoples lives to save the day from some great evil that will inevitably destroy the world.
My exposure to Doctor Who happened about three years ago, when good word of mouth prompted me to pick up Series 1 from the library. Well, since then, my Doctor Who watching is not too dissimilar to what people would call obsession or addiction. The show is utterly brilliant. And awesome. And fantastical. And wonderful. And awe-inspiring. And musically majestic. It's like every episode of the show is akin to a mammoth Hollywood movie production, where you've just experienced something grand, moving, and powerful. It's truly a mini movie every week. And for those who enjoy Chuck or Buffy, the show has a fantastic amount of one liners that I quote excessively - much to the displeasure of my girlfriend who is also nearly completely sick of me humming Murray Gold's astounding score for the series - and perfectly balances epic storylines, dramatic moments, character beats, and the funny all in a brilliant 45 minute package.
Because of the inspired concept of 'regeneration' (when a Time Lord is dying, its body regenerates every single cell, essentially becoming a new man but retaining the same memories of his previous appearances), The Doctor has had three actors play the role since 2004: Christopher Eccleston, who Americans will no doubt recognize as one of two villains in last summer's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, plays the Time Lord with sarcasm and a tinge of wickedness. Series 2 saw the emergence of David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), who has received near universal acclaim for his portrayal of The Doctor as a lonely god-like figure who makes the difficult decisions which cost him dearly. In fact, it's the Time Lord's weightful choices that make a Companion a necessity - that is, a person to tag along with The Doctor to enjoy the ride. They're there because he's lonely, because he can make awful choices if he's pressed too far...(but that's a subject of another time)
And now, in 2010, we have Matt Smith (TV: Secret Diary of a Call Girl), a young actor who perfectly encapsulates the awe, power, and wonderment of this lonely figure. As I write this, his first season as The Doctor is already winding down, but luckily he's intent on reprising the role for a few more series.
What makes Doctor Who my favorite show is that it's my show. It's a show that seemed to have been designed with me in mind. All the wonders that outer space and science fiction promises, the show delivers. And when a show with such a broad, brilliant concept like this features a character that can literally do anything and be anybody, it's truly a interesting, exhilarating thing. This show can always refresh itself, become a new animal when necessary. As the Ood tell The Doctor in "The End of Time", "this song is ending, but the story always continues." It's a show whose main character is the most brilliant, most burdened, most awesomest alien alive who saves the day every week. How is that not cool?
RUNNER-UP: My initial choice was Joss Whedon's Angel, the spin-off of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I will always have a special place in my heart reserved for Buffy, but Angel's story of never ending redemption and the goal to do good even in the middle of the greatest evil is a story that's exhilarating to experience. The show was fantastic, and its five season run featured characters and storylines that literally left my gob-smacked. It may not have been my final pick, but it's good as. We'll just call it Favorite Show Evah 1.5.