My two favourite Doctors

Since Doctor Who is celebrating his 50th anniversary this weekend, I’m paying tribute to my two favourite doctors.

However, I don’t mean my most loved incarnations of The Doctor. I’m talking about Doctor Who (in his various guises) and someone you would recognise another doctor entirely…
Cartoon of the eleventh Doctor Who throwing open the door of the TARDIS to greet the Cat in the Hat.
Namely, Dr Seuss.

Cartoon of a little girl rapt in a book.To the casual observer, the two probably don’t seem to have much in common: one renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey who is in possession of a TARDIS and a sonic screwdriver, and one human being from Earth, armed with a typewriter, black ink and crayons. One science fiction character, and one creator of children’s fiction.

Cartoon of a little girl avidly watching television.But as a child, I didn’t think much about the similarities or distinctions between them. Both doctors simply held sway in my most important realm – the world of imagination and ideas.

An encounter with either doctor was filled with the promise of humour and adventure. Both doctors championed the idea that an individual, however flawed and strange, could instigate extraordinary things. And both left me thinking Wow! and What if…?

They were ingenious, my doctors. They conjured possibilities of other worlds so subtly or outrageously different to mine that I had to wonder if these were worlds within our world, or parallel to it. And could these worlds be kept alive outside the story if I carefully nurtured their seeds?

It’s only been in recent years that I’ve thought about these connections – as well as more uncanny similarities.

Why, for instance, did Dr Seuss take us to visit and revisit Whoville and the Who’s in several of his stories?

And why did he – plain old Theodor Geisel – flirt with with a series of playful pen names (Rosetta Stone, Theo LeSieg and Theostraphus Seuss) before settling on one with “Dr” in it?

Was he hinting at a more arcane identity, just perhaps?

Then, with the Eleventh Doctor, a new dimension to the similarities emerged. Because it turns out both my doctors revelled in a singular and somewhat marginalised belief that

Bow ties are cool.

Line drawing of the eleventh Dr Who.Drawing of Dr Seuss wearing a bow tie.
So,
I have to wonder. And it should make you wonder, too.
Was the brilliant Dr Seuss yet another Doctor Who?
Drawing of the Cat in the Hat winking.

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10 thoughts on “My two favourite Doctors

    • Yes, it was very exciting! It was my Knuckle sandwich epiphany post. Once I worked out that it wasn’t a prank, I felt very validated and clever!

      I also got a huge amount of traffic from it for about a fortnight, but it’s died back to a very ordinary view rate now. I suspect my posts are too quirky and eclectic to maintain such a wide audience for long. Nonetheless, it sparked ongoing conversations/connections with some really interesting and talented people, and exposed me to some fantastic blogs I wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.

      All in all, a most lovely and unexpected experience xx

  1. I’ll be sharing this excellent theory with my husband, who is a confirmed Geek and Lover of the Who; so much so, in fact, that I got dragged along to see the 50th anniversary episode in 3D at the cinema. Okay, I might have enjoyed it just a little bit…

    • Just a little? I bet you enjoyed it lots! If nothing else, the atmosphere at the cinema must have been energetic and fun.
      I hope my cheeky theory doesn’t offend your Whovian husband 😉

    • Oh! That’s funny. I read your post this morning. I chuckled about your New Kids on the Block posters, marvelled that two of your favourite books are also two of my favourites, scrolled past your list of nominees and thought ‘I’ll definitely have to visit some of these later.’ But I didn’t stop to look at the names.

      Thank you! That’s very kind xx

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