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Monday, December 23, 2013

Eleventh Week: Thank You, Doctor


The Eleventh Doctor's gonna die this Christmas.

I'm pretty excited, actually. It's my first "live" regeneration, so to speak. I will not read about it from a wiki, or watch an old regeneration episode. I will be watching a Doctor die and be reborn, when it happens, as it happens.

It's sad, though. Matt Smith has just grown into the role of the Eleventh Doctor. I saw him stumble ever so awkwardly through Series 5 like a newborn giraffe, like someone who literally does not know what he's doing, until he found his feet in Series 6. Then Series 7 rolled around, and I was happy seeing Matt finally settle into the role. Then he says he's leaving, the Purple Frock Coat of Awesome not having found time to warm on his shoulders.

I'm one of the more level-headed fans who see this as a natural progression for the show. It happens. An actor doesn't want to do Who any more and, thanks to a clever plot twist created 50 years ago, somebody new takes their place.

At least, that's what I'd tell myself. I'm not one to mourn and fret over something that hasn't happened yet, but I think tears will definitely be shed once I see, with my own eyes, the Doctor regenerating into someone else.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm not ashamed to say it. I will fucking cry like a little girl when I see my Doctor die in The Time of the Doctor.

Yes. The Eleventh Doctor is my Doctor. It's because of Eleven that I became a Whovian. It's because of Eleven that I found a place where I feel I belong. It's because of my love for this Time Lord and his adventures that I met many new friends. Amazing what the latest incarnation of a fictional character created 50 years ago can do.

But he's not just any fictional character. The Eleventh Doctor is me. I see so much of myself in this bowtie-wearing klutz with the awesome frock coat. Like him, I am incredibly old but childish at times. Like him, I care too deeply for the people I love. Like him, I don't like not knowing or being told I'm not cool. Like him, I'm too hopeful for my own good, and I'm trusting to a fault.When I dress up as Eleven during conventions or at the office (much to the dismay of my officemates), it's not because I think I'm an awesome cosplayer (protip: I'm not), it's because I'm basically just being myself.

More importantly, the Eleventh Doctor inspired me with his words and actions, more so than any of his previous incarnations. He gave me so many things to aspire to, things no human being might ever achieve. But then he gives you that wink and that smile, as if saying "Don't worry. You can do it!" And you believe him.

A part of me will die alongside the Eleventh Doctor. But until then, I will not mourn. Until then, I will hold on to all the things that made me love this incarnation above all the others. The manic energy. The purple frock coat. His relationship with Clara Oswald (Whouffle 5EVER). The badass speeches. The way his enemies cringe at the mere mention of his name, and the smile he makes when they do. The way his eyes can show both rage and affection in equal amounts. And, most importantly, the way he assures us, like a loving parent, that everything will be all right.

He told us all to trust him. And we did. I did. And he did not disappoint us.

And for that I give him, our Raggedy Man, my Doctor, my eternal gratitude.

Now repeat after me: "GERONIMO!"

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