How Doctor Who Saved My Life

That title is no exaggeration--at least, not in a sense, anyway.

I've been through a living hell, this past year and a half, and Doctor Who has helped me cope, by giving me an outlet--some bit of happiness--joy, even.

I'm an old "Whovian" from way back (well, "way back" by American standards--in this case, the early 1980's, when the show began to be shown for the first time, in northeastern New York state) and I've a photo of me sitting in the 3rd Doctor's car, "Bessie" to prove it.

Doctor Who's a UK show, a kid's sci-fi series, that's been around since 1963. The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Galifrey--now destroyed in the "Time War." The Doctor has something like 13 lives---instead of dying, he regenerates his body--a plot device that enables the series to plausably continue with a change of actor in the lead role. Which is what lead to its longevity, mostly. That--and the stories (most of them) are very creative and different. The old, or "classic" series ended, I think in 1989. There was a TV movie revival in 1996, with a new actor in the lead role. Then, in 2005, the series was revived as the "New" Doctor Who, with yet another actor--Doctor number 9--in the lead. The 10th Doctor is presently portrayed by an excellent Scots actor named David Tennant...whom I make the occaisional joke about, but really, I enjoy his work very much. He's quite good at his craft and makes a splendid Doctor, I think.


DAVID "Teninch" TENNANT: "Now where did I put that tape measure?"

I know I shouldn't pick on poor Mr. Tennant, but I must say, the nickname really begs for it, ey?


The Doctor travels in a time machine/space ship---one that supposed to be able to change its appearence to blend in with its surroundings--but whom is forever stuck in the shape of a 1960's British police call box. Tardis--stands for Time and Relative Dimention in Space. The Tardis is part machine, and part living creature...and it's trancendetally dimentional--it's bigger on the inside than the outside.

The Doctor's main job: defending the universe--mostly earth, these days--from evil. Usually evil in the form of horrible alien monsters--but sometimes it's something more ordinary--and sometimes it's something that goes beyond just a monster. He usually does this with the help of a human (or humans) companion...usually female, but sometimes male, sometimes alien, sometimes a funky robot dog named "K-9."

Doctor Who is...well, to me, it's just plain fun. And sometimes, it's even a bit thought-provoking.

So, how did a television programme save my life?

Well...I don't like to discuss this much, but, truth to tell, this past summer, I dearly wanted to die. I'd lost all hope, lost most of my family, my home, many of my possessions, and..my chance at a future. I was totally and completely alone--I mean, alone. 24/7.

I did have a website that I visited, to keep me going--and thanks to an anonomyous person on that website, DVD's of New Dr Who series I and II. Those few DVD's kept my spirits up, when there was nothing else in my life to do it.

Well, by the end of the summer, my pain had become just too great for me to bear. There was no one whatsoever to talk to...I began carefully planning to end my life, over a period of several weeks. By early October...I was ready. I didn't really want to do it--I just wanted to be rid of the crushing pain and loneliness inside--the pain that was like a knife being plunged through my heart, day in and day out, without let up and without relief. With the continual threat of homelessness hovering over me, the knowlege that my future that I'd tried to hard to give myself, was now dead. The realization that I was going to be physically alone for the rest of my life.

I just couldn't bear the pain. But, I didn't want to die...so, one day, I called the suicide hotline--got put on hold, then got a recording that there was no one there. Typical.

So, putting my flat in order, making provisions for the cats, I prepared. I spent what I thought was my last day on earth, just walking around the resort town where I was living, at the time. Looking out at the lake, and wishing I could be one of those happy, smiling tourists that were everywhere around. And, I said my goodbyes--without getting specific--to my friends on a Doctor Who website.

And somehow, they found out--I'd forgotten about my blog entries, that they had access to my blogs, and fiugured out what was going on with me..and one Who fan, went so far as to ring me up long distance from London--literally just minutes before I was ready to do..the act. He talked me out of it.

You don't realize, what a precious thing a human voice is, someone actually listening to you, caring about you--until it's gone from your life for months on end. That one phone call from a fellow Doctor Who fan, saved me. That one person, making the effort--someone who I found out later, could ill afford to ring me up long distance--who reached out to me...a total stranger, and who since has been so incredibly kind...as have other fans, as well. One fan, who also showed concern for me--is now just about one of the best friends I have, and we write nearly every day. I will never meet him, but I thank God every day for letting me find a friend like that.

So, in a sense, Doctor Who really did save my life--and he didn't even need his sonic screwdriver to do it.
whovian whovian
46-50, F
3 Responses Mar 16, 2007

I'm so glad this show has helped you too. I spent a long long time being so afraid of just about everything and having no one really care enough to tell me things i needed to hear besides "Just stop being afraid". I also was in a morbid depression and hopelessness this last semester about what in the world i would do with my life and how id get by because nothing is interesting to me as a career (nothing realistic anyways). Everyone always told me to be a a scientist or computer engineer and I hate those things and they just won't understand. It'd be lovely to be an actress or a scuba instructor or a worker at a wolf or big cat preserve. But those things dont pay well :/ but as I watched this show (that i hadnt intended to get hooked on) the doctor would say things, simple little things that may not have been intended to be so perfect. things like "do what you want to do, nothing is stopping you", "dont take life so seriously", "enjoy the moment, go with the flow" just things that helped me so much. I had planned to major in theater just beacause I enjoyed it and maybe travel and live in england and scotland and just see where life takes me. now several months after Freshman year ended my mom is back to feeding my anxiety ridden statements like "you can't do that, get a better job" "it doesnt matter if you like your job as long as you have money", my friends tell me my expectations arent realistic. I just feel sick but when i think back to those episodes i find that flickering hope that they are all wrong and there is always another answer. I'm so glad this show exists and continues to exist so it can save all of our lives.

and the Dr was very right

I am so grateful that a fellow Whovian reached out to you in the midst of your pain. What an amazing thing shared loves are!!! I am glad you are around to share this with me as I am going through a low period also. Thank you.

I can relate to this so much. I've got a depression problem and occasionally think of suicide. I dont want to die but I have had this feeling that I don't matter anymore. Recently I started re watching Doctor Who episodes and it has made me realize how beautiful life is even though it can be painful. The Doctor goes through a lot and has lost a lot of friends and yet he still moves forward. I admire that. So when I am down I watch my favorite Doctor Who episodes and eat a bunch of food to calm myself down. I owe a lot to this show and I love it so much that for my 21st bday my mom surprised me with a Doctor Who bday cake and I cried when I saw it because it was so amazing. I think a lot of people can relate to this. Just know that you are never alone and that no one is unimportant in this world.