Doctor Who will be parking his TARDIS at the library

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2016

“We’re in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!”
— The Doctor, Season 2, Episode 2

By Hope Loman

Rowan Public Library

It’s a great time to be a science fiction fan. Once derided as something only nerds or geeks would enjoy, the sci-fi genre has become mainstream entertainment, appealing to boys and girls of all ages.

The Star Wars franchise is one of the biggest movie series ever and only continues to expand, with seven official movies to date and plans for even more. “Star Trek,” originally premiering on CBS 40 years ago, just had a successful summer blockbuster, with a new television series expected to premiere early next year.

Most recently, the series “Stranger Things” became an overnight phenomenon when it came to Netflix this June. Now, all of the series that have just been listed are distinctly American in origin, so I would be remiss if I failed to mention a certain sci-fi franchise that is just as popular and beloved, but might not be as easily recognizable to us “across the pond” because of its English origins: “Doctor Who.”

“Doctor Who” is a British science-fiction TV program that has two distinct series: the Classic Series, which ran from November 1963 to December of 1983 in 25-minute episodes, and the Revived Series, which has run in 45- minute episodes from March 2005 up to the present on the channel BBC One.

Doctor Who, a Time Lord from the alien planet Gallifrey, goes on various adventures as he travels through time and space in his Time and Relative Dimension in Space (TARDIS) machine, disguised as a blue British police box. As a Time Lord, he has the ability to regenerate, causing the Doctor to gain a completely different appearance and set of character traits (a clever explanation for when the actor wishes to be written off the show).

Doctor Who is often joined by his companions, a changing cast of men and women who act as the audience’s surrogate, and fights against a rogues gallery including the mutant Daleks and robot-like Cybermen.

If this premise sounds intriguing to you at all, then the Rowan Public Library can be your “Doctor Who” central. We have copies of the complete seasons of each of the Revived Series, as well as different collections of episodes of the Classic Series and several different “Doctor Who” specials.

If you are a fan of graphic novels, there are also copies of “The Tenth Doctor,” volumes 1 through 3 by Nick Abadzis and Robbie Morrison, “The Eleventh Doctor,” by Al Ewing, and “The Twelfth Doctor” by Robbie Morrison.

For reference, there is the “Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia¸” and for a behind-the-scenes look at the history of the Classic Series and how it was made, there is “The Making of Doctor Who,” by Terrance Dicks, and “Doctor Who, the Key to Time: a Year-by-Year Record.

Visitors to NC Live can also find some interesting e-books and articles in regards to this subject: one fun find is “Who is the Doctor: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who—The New Series,” by Graeme Burk, which is part episode guide, part series of essays written by authors of official Doctor Who fanzines.

Finally, we now have Doctor Who’s Days on Tuesdays — a new program every second Tuesday at 4:30 at Rowan Public Library headquarters, where we have begun screening episodes of the Revived Series, beginning with the Ninth Doctor.

“Doctor Who” was originally intended as a family show; for this reason, although we are advertising the program as being primarily for teenagers, we wouldn’t mind seeing their parents or younger siblings come along. So if this article has piqued your interest at all, as the Doctor once said: “All of the time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will — where do you want to start?”

September Movie Series: Celebrate Library Card Sign-up month and enjoy film adaptations of classic books from childhood. Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m., “The Neverending Story.”

Oct. 1, 11 a.m., East Branch 110 Broad St., Rockwell,  “The Indian in the Cupboard,” rated PG; run time, 96 minutes. Nine-year-old Omri receives a magical, wooden cupboard for his birthday. When it animates a 19th-century Iroquois warrior named Little Bear, a friendship is born and adventures begin. Popcorn and lemonade will be served; this event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Sept. 27, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme.”The Graveyard Book.” Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Back to School De-Stress Fest: School got you down? Come chill out with us and relax for a while. Teens will engage in a variety of activities and learn about healthy behaviors to learn how to minimize stress during the school year. 4:30-6 p.m., Sept. 26, East.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join provide input on teen programming and book selection, as well as discussing current events and issues. Meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Members can count hours of participation toward school community service requirements. Sept. 27, headquarters.

2016 Book Cover Contest for Teens: This contest is for middle and high school students in grades six through 12. Entries will be accepted at any library location through Oct. 10. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in each age group for the best original book cover design for a published book. See the official entry form for detailed instructions. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258 or Sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Technology Tuesdays — tablet tutorial: Sept. 27, 7-8 p.m., headquarters, study room 4 on second floor. Learn how to read free books and magazines on your tablet. Space is limited. Call 704-216-8248 or email to register.

Displays: Headquarters, Constitution Week and 50th anniversary of Star Trek, ; East, Chiari Malformation Awareness; South, jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

Weekly events for children through Nov. 18

Baby Time: A loosely interactive program of simple stories and songs for infants up to 23 months with parent or guardian. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Char’s Little Stars, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Tiny Sprouts, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Miss Pat’s Tiny Tots, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: Sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills for children 18-35 months with parent or caregiver. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Reading Rumpus, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Tammie’s Tot Time, Mondays at 11; South, Miss Pat’s Wee Readers, Tuesdays, 10:30.

Preschool Time: Encourages the exploration of books and builds reading readiness skills for children 3- to 5-years-old with parent or caregiver. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head Story Times: Children of all ages can listen to silly books and tales together. 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays at 4 p.m.; East, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs: Activities and instruction based on various themes and media vary by branch. Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Bethany’s Brushes, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Emma’s Easel, Wednesdays, 4:30.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7-9 can practice their reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Reading therapy dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations recommended, not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m., call 704-216-8234 for details; East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Sept. 26, Oct. 10 and 24, call 704-216-7842 for details; South, selected Saturdays, 10 a.m., call 704-216-7728 for details.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets at East branch meeting room, Tuesdays, 5 p.m., Sept. 13-May 2017.