I figured it would be funny and it certainly fills my need for goofy sci-fi monsters and ridiculous plots. What I didn't realize was quite how exciting it would be or how emotional. I have to admit, I got completely choked up in the episode where Ten is reunited with his past companion Sarah Jane (and Anthony Stewart Head eats children -- that wasn't the teary part) who tries to explain to The Doctor what it was like to get left behind. Okay, I knew zero, nothing and nada about what had gone on in past episodes, but wow, it was sniffle city when poor Sarah told him no other man had matched up to him. And seriously, her robot dog got to me, too. And then realizing that the Doctor's current companion, poor Rose, would one day go through the Companion Ditching, too. Ugh. This must be what "normal" women feel like when they watch "Sex and the City." Except for the robotic dog part.
Oh, and the two-parter with the Cybermen! Seems lame on paper: mad scientists puts human brains in robotic army to take over world. Oookay, but damn, it was exciting! Poor Rose and her parallel universe family. At least they named the dog after her.
The real draw, though, is Tennant. He's so frenetic, careening from one emotion to another. So charming and effusive one minute and then truly scary the next. He gives the Doctor more than enough edge to keep him from going cartoony. And I like the fact that the Doctor is not always a nice guy. He can be cold and deeply arrogant. But flawed heroes are the best heroes, right? All I know is, when the Doctor yells, it's six parts scary and four parts sexy...and that's pretty much reason enough to watch the show right there.
I'm not quite sure how I'm going to feel watching a new Doctor when the time comes. And that conceit of a new doctor every few years ties in with the one thing about the show I don't actually like. It's the same thing that always bothered me about "Star Trek" actually and that's the fact that the show is restricted by its format. I know just by watching the ten or so episodes I've seen that the relationship between Rose and the Doctor will likely never be resolved in a satisfying way because the Doctor is always meant to change and the Companion is always meant to change. Perhaps I'm wrong about this, but I can see where the writers hold back on what could be very powerful scenes or character developments because of the impermanence of these individuals. It's kind of a drag, but certainly not enough of a drag to get me to stop watching.
This post was meant as my act of contrition to any and all people who told me I'd grow to love this show. You were right! And yes, you don't even have to say it: I'll be trying "Torchwood" too.
ETA: It's now official that Tennant will be leaving after this coming season of "Who." Was it something I said??