Ten years ago, on Saturday 26th March 2005, The Doctor returned to our television screens for the first time in fifteen year (nine if you count the TV movie).
After so long away from our screens many heard the news of the new show and laughed. They remembered the show when it was cancelled, the silly acting, the wobbly sets, monsters made out of green bubble wrap and cardboard and they thought that the new show would be a flop. Before the first episode had even aired I remember hearing dozens of jokes about how the new show would be a flop, how it wouldn't last more then a season before it was cancelled again.
Thank god those people were wrong.
As soon as the first episode aired people knew that we had something special on our hands. Eccleston brought a sense of wisdom, enthusiasm and caring to The Doctor, whilst also being able to portray the age, pain and anger that came along with it. He showed an entire new generation that The Doctor was not only an amazing hero but a deeply flawed and very human person. Coupled together with a new companion that was a perfect representation of the audience we were treated to something that no one was expecting, a great show.
Over the next ten years we were treated to a dozen new companions and six Doctors, including the return of fan favourite Paul McGann for the 50th anniversary special. We were treated some amazing new monsters that would go on to become icons like the Weeping Angels, and the return of classic monsters both legendary and obscure.
The return of Doctor Who was not only a show for a new generation of fans, it was also a faithful continuation for long term fans. That's why it succeeded, it didn't exclude new fans, it didn't alienate the long term supporters, it didn't treat itself as something campy and only for children, it didn't make itself too dark and adult. Doctor Who found that perfect balance that allowed it to appeal to so many people the world over, from so many age groups.
The show was made with a passion and dedication that set it apart from so many other shows, because this wasn't something new that was being launched purely to make money, it was made by people who had grown up watching the original series. It was a love letter from fans to fans and that shows through the level of quality and care put into each and every episode.
After ten years the series shows no sign of ending soon, with The Doctor having received a whole new set of regenerations we can have another twelve actors in the role before the writers need to address giving him more regenerations. Hopefully we'll have another ten years of Doctor Who, and then ten more. With such a revolutionary way of keeping the show fresh both in front of and behind the camera I'm sure The Doctor will be saving the universe for decades more.
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