Saturday, May 29, 2010

Geek Hero #1: The Doctor

Exhibit A: A Time Lord. Exhibit B: His awesome tie.

There's a lot to say about The Doctor. (Doctor... Who? That is the question, isn't it?) He's a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He travels across time and space, seeking adventure and righting wrongs. He's over 900 years old. He has two hearts. His face and body and change (he's currently on his eleventh incarnation), but his core personality is a constant. He's insanely smart, with a powerful sense of right and wrong. He's also saved the entirety of the universe several hundred times. And counting.

Geek Cred: 
  • The Doctor's space/time-ship, the TARDIS, is about the geekiest/awesomest thing imaginable.
    • Outside, it looks like an old-school British police box. This is cool by itself. It's also bigger on the inside as a result of dimensional engineering.
    • It can travel anywhere in space and time, and can withstand basically anything.
      • It's been exposed to temperatures of several thousand degrees (Celsius, of course... this is an English show), been hit by missiles, fallen off cliffs, and who knows what else.
      • It even has an adjustable air shield, so the Doctor and his friends can open the TARDIS doors and stick their heads out of the ship while it's floating in deep space
  • Most sci-fi heroes carry a laser gun or a sonic disruptor or something like that. The Doctor's tool of choice: A sonic screwdriver. Essentially, it's a Swiss Army Knife from space. This is clearly a guy who solves puts mind over matter.
    • It's a really, really, really, REALLY versatile Swiss Army Knife, but still.
  •  The Doctor's a master of nearly every sort of science imaginable. You sort of pick it up after traveling the universe for several centuries.
    • His third incarnation could fix anything by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.
      • Yes, neutrons have no polarity... he's just that good.
    • His fifth incarnation disabled a an android ordered to kill all humans by making it scan his nonhuman biology. Then by cutting its solenoids.
    • His ninth incarnation reprogrammed a bunch of faulty nanogenes without a computer. He was just extremely clever, and had the nanogenes follow his example.
    • His tenth incarnation built a DNA scanner out of Depression-era equipment, and built a rather famous "timey wimey detector" (it goes "ding" when there's stuff) out of 1970's electronics.
    • His eleventh incarnation improvised a TARDIS power generator... with kitchen supplies.
  • The Doctor knows the universe like the back of his hand. Nearly every planet, lifeform, phenomena, etc. He knows basically all of them.
    • Note the basically. There's still a good bit the Doctor doesn't know.
      • The back of his hands change with some frequency, after all.
  •  Being a time traveler, the Doctor pals around with many historical figures. Thus far, he's meet...
    • Leonard Da Vinci
    • William Shakespeare
    • Queen Victoria
    • Queen Elizabeth
    • Marco Polo
    • Emily Post (he's on her bowling team, actually)
    • Charles Dickens
    • Agatha Christie
    • "Who" knows who else? 
  • In his tenth incarnation, the Doctor was called "a science geek." Being the geek he is, he had no idea what the term meant.
    •  Geekier still, when he learned the meaning of the term, he considered it to be a compliment. 
      • You go, Doctor.
  •  OVERALL SCORE: 10/11
Day-Saving Ability:
  •  The Doctor's saved every planet in the universe at least three times. I mean, seriously. You can't beat this guy. A few awesome examples, though:
    • The fourth Doctor goes back in time to avert the creation of the Daleks, his arch nemesis. After wiring the Dalek production facility to explode, he stops, famously asking himself "have I the right" to commit genocide, even against the Daleks.
    • He gets a legit hero speech during the whole thing also. Look it up if you can.
    • The fifth Doctor and his friend have been poisoned, and he needs to get an antidote. Having been kidnapped by mercenaries, the Doctor takes over his captors' ship, facing down both the armed crew and an imminent crash-landing, just to save his friend. And all the while he's slowly dying of Spectrox poisoning.
    • And he still gets to give a hero speech. You go, Doctor, you go.
    • The seventh Doctor, in the midst of navigating a Dalek civil war, tricks Davros (creator of the Daleks) into destroying their home planet using a device he hid in his first incarnation.
    • Chessmaster much?
    • The ninth Doctor saved the entire earth for a swarm of gas mask zombies. 
    • A fleet of several thousand Daleks tells the Doctor that they're going to burn the earth. The Doctor tells them to shut up. Awesome ensues.
    • His tenth incarnation faced down a sentient swarm of flesh-eating microbes in a planet-sized library. How'd he do it? He told them to look him up.
    • Immediately following his regeneration, the eleventh Doctor crash lands his TARDIS, only to find that he has twenty minutes to save the earth from annihilation. He has no TARDIS and no sonic screwdriver. He doesn't even know what he looks like. He does it with two minutes to spare.
      • The Doctor's eleventh incarnation is made of win: He bluffed his way onto a Dalek ship using a Jammie Dodger.
      • The Daleks eventually call his bluff, but he still gets a cookie out of the deal.
    •  There are so many more, (900 years worth, as it were) but there's neither time nor space to list them all.
      • Sorry.
  •  OVERALL SCORE: 11/11. Heck yes.


    1. So um, I think you should change the pic to Matt Smith because Matt Smith is boss.

    2. Tim, I do agree with your day saving ability, but not the geekiness. The Doctor is definitely as geeky as MacGyver!

    3. Molly: Matt Smith is certainly is boss. However, I linked to an image of him earlier (I believe in my "Bearded Business" post. Hence we have the also-awesome Tennant.

      Anon: I'd agree that The Doctor is as smart as MacGyver. However, I feel like the Doctor gets through a lot of situations based on sheer force of personality, whereas MacGyver's much more dependent on his geekiness. It's still really close, though.