Back in June, Matt Smith announced his departure as the Doctor in BBC’s popular and long-running show Doctor Who. For those of us who consider ourselves Whovians, wild speculation flew with many lists of potential contenders hitting the internet immediately. Anticipation heightened when the BBC announced they would reveal who the next Doctor on Sunday, August 4 at 2pm (EST) live.


To understand why there’s excitement around the announcement, consider what the show does so well that it’s lasted for 50 years:

It caters to a broad audience: The show was not meant strictly for children nor only for adults. It works to straddle between the two. Sometimes the show may seem silly at times for adult viewers. But it tries to balance the silliness with some darker stories as well. Remember, they like the kids to watch but want to make them both squeal with delight and hide behind the couch. The show gives something that families can watch together and everyone can enjoy.

It understands how ridiculous time travel is: One of the hardest things to use for a story is time travel. It comes with so many issues such as crossing time lines, what happens if you run into your past or future self, and more. The show does give some answers, but really it doesn’t care. I’m sure there are fans that have a deeper knowledge of the actual time streams used in the show, but I’m okay with knowing that the time travel in the show is, “Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.”

It regenerates its lead: We all have favorite shows that after a few years became stale. But with Doctor Who, the writers created a loophole for the Doctor that would allow for exits of actors and the introduction of new ones. The trick helps the show live on, but it does something more important. While there are elements of the Doctor’s character that must remain, it allows for a new take on it with new beginnings. Some Doctors have been more successful or popular than others. But there’s such a variety that we all have one or two favorites. And while companions don’t regenerate, there are changes to those that help the Doctor that also bring new life to the show.

Even the show runner has undergone a change from Russell T. Davies to Stephen Moffat. With all the changes, there’s a fear that the show will suffer. So far, that hasn’t happened. It’s always fun to find other Who fans and find out if they like the same regeneration as you. For the record, my favorite Doctor is Tom Baker as he was my “first” followed closely by the 10th Doctor played by David Tennant.

It highlights the human condition: Even though the show centers around a 900-plus year old Gallifreyan, the show is really about humanity. Time and again, the Doctor comments on his awe of what humans are capable of, both good and bad attributes. Although we travel through space to other worlds, most stories show what we humans are able to achieve or bring about our downfall. But in the long run, the show tries to give hope that we can all be better. After all, he chooses to be humanity’s defender, and we should live up to his choice.

It’s bigger on the inside: We’re celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. What other television show has lasted as long as it has? And its done so with long periods of nothing in between. It’s been regenerated for a modern audience with a fandom that spreads across multiple countries. Many will be paying close attention to who will become the new embodiment of the Doctor today.

I have my wishes for who will play the 12th Doctor, but so far those actors are not at the top of the betting pool. I will go out on a limb to say that I believe the Doctor will remain a male. Whoever does get the part will have their lives changed as he joins the beloved show. All I can say for this time of change is, “Allons-y!”

Update: After a prolonged special by the BBC that made everyone wait until the very end, it was confirmed that it’s Peter Capaldi. Capaldi was at the top of the list for betting as of this morning, so perhaps it wasn’t a huge surprise. Those who are not familiar with him may be googling him right now. But two fun facts make the choice okay with me. One, he recently played a W.H.O. (World Health Organization) doctor in the film World War Z. Two, according to Wikipedia, he was in a punk rock band with future comedian Craig Ferguson in his youth. Those two things mean he gets a thumbs up from me.