Gosh, I’ve missed “Doctor Who”! I’ve missed it in the way I miss having a “Star Trek” series on TV. (Please get “Star Trek: Discovery” ready to go!) I know “Doctor Who” hasn’t been off for that long in the grand scheme of things, but it’s far longer than I would’ve liked. BBC America just released a new trailer for the upcoming season featuring the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), his new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) and assistant Nardole (Matt Lucas). The tagline is, “This is the gateway to everything that ever was or ever can be.” Ah, the TARDIS.
If you’ve never seen the show — and guys, it’s been around for 50 years — it’s about an alien who time travels and takes (mostly) human companions with him around time and space. He has two hearts and the ability to regenerate into a new body (the way they dealt with needing new actors to play the role). Seriously though, even if you just start with the reimagined series, it’s worth it. That’s how I got into it.
After years of watching, doing a number of aftershows about “Doctor Who” and co-writing chapters for the book “Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman With a Box,” I’d say I’m pretty familiar with this show. Certainly millions of you are. The reason I love it though is that it’s pure fantasy with a message. There is nothing they can’t invent, despite having rules in the universe. There aren’t a lot of shows out there that run on pure imagination. Want to punch Hitler? Check. Ride a dinosaur? Check. Deal with homophobia? Here’s a quote from Madame Vastra: “Good evening. I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife.”
I’ve missed watching the way someone who has experienced planets, aliens, war, peace, and the loss of friends, the betrayal of others and the meeting of brand new ones looks at the world. I’ve missed seeing a creature who loves humanity despite all of our flaws, and hearing about current events from a man who knows better than anyone that everything passes. It’s beautiful to watch someone who should be so jaded still work to feel attachment to people. It’s a mirror for all of us, trying not to be defeated, despite what’s happening in the world.
There was an episode last season when the Doctor experiences the loss of a close friend. His journey though grief, physically manifested as working his way through rock, over and over again for millions of years, is what grief feels like to us. It feels like it takes forever to get through, and we watch that literally happen for the Doctor. It’s cathartic.
I’ve missed you, Doctor. I’ve missed seeing humanity through your eyes. Welcome back.