So there's this show about an alien who travels through space and time in a big blue police box...
It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but no--this alien, known only as the Doctor, inspired decades (generations, even) of fans so passionate that they stuck with this man through changing times and faces.
Oh wait--I didn't mention that this spacetime traveling alien reincarnates into a new body when he dies?
Many of you, I'm sure, have seen snippets of Doctor Who. Others have been bitten by the Whovian bug and are positiviely overjoyed from this weekend's 50th anniversary episode. But don't tell me anything! I'm seeing it tonight.
I can't speak for every Whovian, but my utter love for the Doctor stems from seeing worlds through his eyes. There are ugly realities about modern life that we don't want to face, but can acknowledge and criticize when we see those same flaws in a different time or place.
It's fascinating to see different aspects of one being highlighted in each incarnation. The 9th Doctor (Eccleston) was dark and brooding; the 10th (Tennant) was a believer in the goodness of people, though that covered up so much angst; the 11th (Smith) was a jolly good time, right up until his loved ones were ripped away--then he was downright frightening in his coldness. Same man, different faces, and it's impossible for me to watch that without thinking of how we have a tendency to silo our personalities, or how nature and nurture battle for supremacy in our formation.
But beyond that, the thing that it most awe-inspiring is how this powerful, ancient alien so desperately needs human companionship to keep him whole. Us, petty little humans, are absolutely essential to the Doctor.
Maybe I'm overthinking this whole thing...maybe he's just a 900+ year old alien who picks up human strays and gallivants around the universe with them. But where's the passion and hope in that?