I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was in my early teens, and was overjoyed when the series returned to television back in 2005, starring the divine Christopher Eccleston. These days, it’s the only television show I actually keep up with, as opposed to bingeing on DVDs at season’s end (though I do that as well, every Christmas). And though I’m rarely perfectly happy with any single episode—what fan is?—that never stops me from continuing to eagerly anticipate the next story, the next companion, the next Doctor. I also go backwards; as older episodes become available on DVD, I’m beginning to catch up on the series’ earliest history as well, and discovering how much I love the immense variety of the black and white stories, and all those awesome 1960s costumes.
To distract myself from vibrating with excitement for the advent of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, I put together this list of the top five things I’ve learned from watching this classic, long-running series.