Even growing up as a science fiction-obsessed kid, Doctor Who somehow never made it onto my adolescent radar. I knew about the show, I ever watched a few episodes, but I never really “got” it until much later. In my defense, it was a show that in my area aired on our PBS affiliate at odd hours, so it’s not like it was, say, a certified pop culture phenomenon that was gracing the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
Yes, with Doctor Who returning with new episodes next week, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith is strutting his stuff on the cover of the latest EW, along with new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman and two classic Who baddies, a Dalek and a Cyberman. It sounds like the setup of a joke. “The Doctor, a Dalek, and a Cyberman walk into a bar…”
Either way it’s cool to see just how much the show’s popularity has ballooned these days. When I was a kid the only way Doctor Who would have been given the cover of a mainstream magazine like EW is if Tom Baker had walked into a tube terminal and sprayed a crowd of passersby with an automatic weapon.
Of course, Doctor Who has more than just the second half of season seven to celebrate. 2013 also marks the show’s 50th anniversary, with various still-somewhat-vague celebrations including an anniversary special set to hit in the later half of the year. No word if EW will have any hints about the anniversary celebrations, but the issue will include a breakdown of all 11 Doctors, an interview with showrunner Steven Moffat, and an essay where The Hobbit director Peter Jackson opens up about his longtime love of the British series. This is one Who fans might want to track down.