I hadn’t fangirled over a TV character in a while.
Whizzing in and out of my housemates’ conversations in the lobby of my dorm, I felt like dancing, like I could run and run and run outside and into the rain and down 60th Street until I got all of the excitement out of my system. Being so eager to share my newfound love for a fictional character that I almost barrel people over? Doesn’t happen often.
I skipped toward the railing and yelled to the people down below, “It’s a beautiful night. You know why? I met a madman with a box!”
I usually don’t lose my shit over a TV show, partially because I hardly watch any. I don’t have TV at home, at least not cable or satellite or Netflix or whatever little boxy thing people use to watch shows nowadays. I have a TV…with seven channels, roughly half of which are in Spanish. Nonetheless, I don’t completely deprive myself the opportunity to become a vegetable in front of the TV, but I indulge mostly in the summertime over shows featuring Benedict Cumberbatch.
This is part of the reason I had never watched Doctor Who. I thought Sherlock was enough to fulfill my dose of beautiful cheekbones (that sounds super creepy if you haven’t seen Benedict’s cheekbones in Sherlock. But if you have…well, then you know). I was wrong.
Last Saturday night, a friend of mine suggested we Netflix it up instead of going out somewhere. I agreed, and the next thing I knew the Doctor was traveling through time and space and straight into my heart. Doctor Who is frightening, stimulating, thought provoking, clever, and oh-so painfully beautiful.
This kind of intense loyalty a fictional character inspires is only accessible through one’s imagination. Imagination—in its fanatical, borderline-childish, and brilliant form—is hard to come by in college. Our obsessions usually quiet down after middle school and early–high school’s fixations with boy bands and fantasy books. Those unadulterated, jump-up-and-down-squealing moments are replaced by opinions that involve complicated E-words like “esoteric” and “existentialist.”
Until I watched Doctor Who, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to want to be a part of something truly impossible. Losing my mind in that lobby, adrenaline in my veins, I wasn’t crazy or on drugs. I was experiencing the rush that comes with rediscovering the glory of uncomplicated, childish obsession.
That’s the best part about the Doctor. He is a madman with a box, and he makes me into a madman, too. Except he is a madman with a time-traveling box, and I’m just a madwoman peering into a box with a screen, feeling the irrational, uncontainable desire to be a part of a universe that doesn’t exist and to become even madder.
Anya Marchenko is the blogger behind The Anyion. She is a first-year in the College.