The episode of Doctor Who, “The Witch’s Familiar,” had my poor brain in a tizzy. I should have seen through Davros’ act—he even gave himself away early in the conversation when he called the Daleks’ compassion a “defect.” He told the Doctor that compassion “grows strong and fierce in you like a cancer” and that it “will kill you in the end,” to which the Doctor replied, “I wouldn’t die of anything else.”
Tag archive: Doctor Who
Stories about eternal life on earth abound in sci-fi and fantasy; I think of the Dúnedain from The Lord of the Rings, That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, many a Star Trek episode, and the list could go on… The Highlander movie and TV series, however, is a favourite of mine. My family will attest to my random singing of “Who Wants to Live Forever”by Queen, or shouting out the catchphrase “there can be only one!” during battles with… well, anyone who will battle me.
The theme of immortality is also a constant in Doctor Who, since the Doctor is essentially immortal. Though there were two recent episodes that dealt with immortality head on—”The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived.” In the first episode, a young Viking woman named Ashildr dies to save her village from aliens using a helmet that the Doctor modified. Feeling sad for her poor, grieving father, and perhaps guilty for his part in it, he decides to bring her back to life. He uses a modified microchip (he’s really into modifying alien tech in this episode) to bring her back and gives her a second one to use on someone else so that she will not be alone—because there’s a catch to this remedy—she will be immortal.
“The Woman Who Lived” picks up in Ashildr’s adulthood, several hundred years after her encounter with the Doctor. We find her so jaded, broken, and lonely from the solitude of her immortality (she never did use the second microchip) that she has been living a life of crime.
Most of the time, when I’m watching a movie or TV show, I can see right through it. I catch the foreshadowing and can predict what’s coming (and sometimes dialogue—which means that it must be pretty poorly written). I have worked in pastoral ministry for almost 20 years. That means that I should be able to see a lie coming from a mile away.
But, last week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Witch’s Familiar” had my poor brain in a tizzy. I should have seen through Davros’ act—he even gave himself away early in the conversation when he called “compassion” in the Daleks a “defect.” He told The Doctor that compassion “grows strong and fierce in you like a cancer” and that it “will kill you in the end,” to which The Doctor replied, “I wouldn’t die of anything else.” “You may rely on it.” Davros warned. I mean, he completely laid it out there. He said it flat out. Could he have been more obvious?!
But, I got sucked in to his tears. I got sucked into his apparent remorse right along with The Doctor.
When I was in middle school, I started to notice that very often there would be a connection with the things I was learning and the things I was living. It seemed uncanny at times how we’d study a particular historical item, or something in religion or science and then that thing would show up in some way in a conversation or, even better, it would be useful to a situation I’d find myself in. And, sometimes it would be on a funky delay and turn into a fun surprise…
A few years ago I got sick. I still don’t know what was wrong, but I was basically couch-ridden for about a month and a half. I missed my son’s and husband’s birthday celebrations and a whole bunch of other events. It sucked. The only bright spots were my cat who kept me company, and the TV. I watched a lot of The Mr. Men Show and Dragon Ball Z. And one night, I was watching the Syfy network when Doctor Who came on. I hadn’t been watching it previously, and might have changed the channel, but I started recognizing some names that stopped me in my tracks. Caecilius, Metella, Quintus…I knew those guys! They were the characters from my Latin primer in high school! Magistra Kirschner brought those folks back from the ashes (as it were) like they were in the class with us. I was riveted (and maybe a little delirious) in the nerdiest way possible. Well, that cinched it for me—I was a Doctor Who fan, and it’s all because The Fires of Pompeii was the first modern episode that I saw. (Well, that and the fact that Puddleglum from the BBC’s The Chronicles of Narnia was played by Tom Baker, and I recognized him as Doctor Who from PBS years before…) And who should be the next Doctor, but Caecilius himself—Peter Capaldi! I loved the new guy before he had a chance to do anything, simply because he was Caecilius.
This past weekend, my eldest and I hit a local Flea Market. He found some treasures, and so did I! I found a few Star Trek Next Generation collectables (a phaser, communicator and a Lore action figure that the guy threw in for free) and a Doctor Who comic book in excellent condition, in a sleeve, from 1981. It was the Fourth Doctor, who happens to be one of my favorites.
I usually only collect The Tick comic books (because I’m a lady on a budget), but I was psyched to find this one. It’s called “Doctor Who: City of the Cursed.” It’s about a society that lives under laws that forbid emotion of any kind. The reason is that, in the past, there was a lot of crime and violence and they saw the root of it as being emotion. Now they have a thing called the “Harmonizer” that you go into if you accidentally have an emotion and it removes it for you.
The Doctor needs to make a quick landing to make repairs to the Tardis and, naturally, shakes things up. But, he’s not the only one shaking things up—there’s a band of rebels who are trying to overthrow the big, brainy dudes on the cover. The rebels have each taken on one emotion, and have even taken that emotion as their name. So, there’s a guy named Very Angry, another called Half Daft, etc. There’s also a guy named Freddy Feel Good. He’s a clown who gets killed. But, he’s a clown…so I didn’t mind. The rebels have a prophesy that promises a “Great Emoter” who will have all the emotions and teach the rebels how to really feel.