By Valerie Rice | November 23, 2020
I have been waiting a long time to write this, and it has nothing to do with Fauci or the W.H.O. and everything to do with WHO. Yeah, it is Doctor Who day, and I am here to explain why we all need this in our lives. Who is The Doctor? Well, The Doctor is an alien. The Doctor is a hero, a madman, an idiot!! With a box and a screwdriver. The Doctor is never cruel nor cowardly. The Doctor never gives up and never gives in. The doctor is here to save us all. So let us all grab our sonic screwdrivers, jump into the TARDIS, and whirl away to learn why the world is in love with a Timelord. Hint: It is not just the twin hearts.
WHAT IS THIS FANGIRL ON ABOUT?
SQUEEEE! (you knew that was coming). The Doctor is a Timelord from Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous, the oncoming storm, the bringer of darkness, and YOU….you are basically lost, aren’t you? The Doctor, as the title (not name) implies, is a healer, a great warrior, a genius, and hilarious. He travels in a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a big blue police box shaped time machine/spaceship that is alive and named Sexy. The doctor rattles around with companions getting into trouble and helping people or aliens throughout forever and teaching us fangirls lessons while providing extremely emotional catharsis along the way. (Oh! My feels!)
A WARRIOR’S WEAPONS
The Doctor protects us from violent species and, more often than not, ourselves. We love this. The weapons of choice? A sonic screwdriver, teamwork, and intelligence. Many times throughout the show when actual weapons, like guns, are brandished, the Doctor manages to make those holding them seem small and childish. Because violence really doesn’t solve anything, and those who need guns to feel powerful are weak. This is what the Doctor teaches us, because words are far more powerful. Working out our differences are more effective.
A screwdriver? Well, it is a scientific instrument (and it assembles cabinets) that can change the vibrational pattern of items as well as read them (just not wood, it is rubbish on wood). Why would we need to see science as a weapon? Knowledge is power. Yes, that old adage is absolutely true. Arm yourself with facts and power will flow through you, your voice being all you need. In fact, in the episode “Tooth and Claw,” the Doctor says “Books are the most powerful weapons in the world.” and I truly believe that.
But there is one more weapon that the Doctor cannot survive without. Teamwork and friendship. In almost every episode the Doctor has friends, and in those where the Doctor is alone, things go terribly wrong. Saving worlds without number and people from themselves without shedding blood? What kind of hero is that? Well, the best.
THE LESSONS WE LEARNED
Doctor Who is, at its core, an educational program. Seriously, it was designed to teach science and history. Now, it is an international phenomenon that teaches us so much more by taking on social issues, touching the edges of human compassion, and bringing together strangers in massive comic cons. How many other public television shows have done that? None. So what do we learn, other than a bit of history and science? We learned that violence is not the answer. We learned that gender and sexuality can be fluid and that is perfectly normal. Yep. The Doctor is a Timelord and therefore neither male nor female, it depends on the body the soul inhabits. Just look at the Doctor’s BFF/ Arch Enemy. We all fell in love with Missy, who was the Master, and has been linked to the Doctor forever. Male, female, whatever. That’s just the body.
And the body is prone to change. The body of a human ages, the body of a timelord regenerates and can be any race, gender, or age. So why judge? It truly is the person inside that matters. This is mentioned numerous times throughout the show and we see other Timelords regenerate from male to female and vice versa. The doctor changes from male to female and nobody bats an eye, because it is perfectly normal. Okay, there were some fandom haters, but I’m pretty sure they are over it now.
Thank you, Doctor Who, for taking on gender equality. Sexuality. Well, not only do we have Madame Vastra, the lizard woman from the dawn of time and her wife, but the Doctor is married. We also see the episode where the Doctor and Craig run around with a baby and everyone is cool with the “two daddy” dynamic. Okay, Craig actually married a woman, but who cares? The point is that Alfie (Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) needs two parents who love each other. And who can forget Captain Jack Harkness? The super sexy, super funny omnisexual who will flirt with everyone and every species. We love Jack. We also learn about equality. One of my favorite episodes is “Thin Ice” where the Doctor, so upset by a racial outburst, loses himself. Just…just listen to the speech on inequality.
HOW IS THIS MENTAL HEALTH?
Well, if you have been following, you know that implementing these lessons improves the mental health of everyone. It will uplift our entire communities. The most important thing we can get from this sci-fi public television sensation is…wait for it… hope. Hope is something we have found waning, over the last year especially. Now more than ever we need a doctor. We need THE Doctor. Not just for the lessons and the distraction and the entertainment, but for the HOPE. The writing, the characters, and the message have all managed to create a world in which a beacon of hope shows up in the darkest hour. All with a huge dose of humor! That beacon is a madman/woman, and idiot in a box, crashing about who manages to help us save ourselves. The hero who shows up just in time for us to Save. Our. Selves. Yes, the example setter, the BFF, the one person who loves us unconditionally and absolutely will not put up with the bulls*t. So really, the ultimate counselor.
MY FINAL SAY
I am now going to binge watch as many episodes of Doctor Who as I can fit into this day. I will probably continue until I have finished every episode I have on DVD. What I need now is hope, and this show is packed with it. The very sound of the TARDIS makes me smile and fills me with it, and I have hope that humanity can pull together and get through this hellish year. We can do this, we can fix the problems brought into the glaring spotlight by this pandemic: systemic racism, social inequality, rampant dysfunctional capitalism, sexual and gender discrimination, and so on. We can do this, together, even without the big blue box.