Forewarning: The following is a rambling overview of one fledgling Whovian’s reaction to the Eleventh Doctor and his televised adventures. If such a thing does not interest you, I offer this TL/DR five-words-and-a-pregnant-pause synopsis: “Yeah, that was…pretty good.” If such a thing does interest you, bear in mind: if you have not seen the entirety of Matt Smith’s run, then you face spoilers.

Doctor Who: Matt Smith goodbye to the bowtie

I did not, like many of my compatriots on this site, grow up with Doctor Who. My first exposure to it was actually one issue of the Marvel/Tom Baker series which made no damn sense to me whatsoever (looking for the image just now, I see it was actually issue #1–I really should find a copy and re-read it…see if I understand it now). And as time went on, I continued to look at Who from the outside like something impenetrable–you would have to already be on board the train to understand what the hell was going on. Unlike, say, X-Men comics, about which even people who have been on board for decades have no idea what the hell is going on.

So I stayed away, even with the relaunch. Even with Eccleston, an actor I enjoy, taking the role. And then when I heard folks on Weekend Justice bitching about episodes (yet still backhandedly praising it in general), I thought I was wise to stay away.

The prospect of a new head burrito (Steven Moffat) and a new Doctor plus a new approach sucked me in, though. And so when Matt Smith took over for the new Series 5, I finally watched my first episode. And I was hooked pretty much from jump.

Even if I hadn’t known the basic premise going in, that first episode would have delivered it pretty quickly: mad adventurer in a vehicle that can travel through all of space and time, vehicle happens to be shaped like a police box, adventurer likes to bring people along for the ride. The ride is bumpy. The adventurer has multiple lives in an ingenious built-in way to switch actors. Oh, and there are Daleks, which are what happens when Roombas evolve into world-conquering bastards. I think those are all the basics it turns out you need.

It was a perfect place to get on board. It turns out The Doctor is one of those characters I really like: goofballs who seem goofy until the shoe drops and it turns out they’re badasses hiding behind a goofball facade. Another example would be Dumbledore, who seemed to be Bumbling Kindly Old Wizard Guy for 3.75 books until he plowed through a fucking door towards the end of Book Four. The Doctor has been around long enough to give enemies pause just by being on the scene and smiling. I appreciate that. And I thought Smith did a good job of working youth in with moments of the utter weariness that would come from such a long life.

Doctor Who #1 from Marvel Comics

My first exposure to Who