I think it's amazing on just how many people Tom has touched through just this one role and not just in the UK but throughout the world. When I was a young boy, I couldn't wait for 6:00pm to catch Dr. Who, Monday through Friday, on PBS. Every year when PBS ran it's annual marathon to collection donations to keep the station running, I always prayed that Dr. Who would be picked up by PBS again (and, luckily, it was). Tom was my first exposure to Doctor Who and he is, without doubt, my favorite Time Lord. I grew up in what they called a "broken family". I never saw my father and I wasn't always close to my stepfather. Tom's Doctor became surrogate father and hero to me all rolled up in one.
Someday, my ship will come in, but with my luck, I'll be stranded at the airport!