Today, The Parker Institute of Time Travel Studies (The PITTS) addresses one of the pressing issues of our age. This topic is bigger than the global economy, cheaper than a Kardashian wedding, and happier than a college kid with a keg. It is the question of The One … the question of whether there is only one Doctor Who.
My sister-in-law, who’s never cared much for science fiction, is now hooked on the show. She said you have all these ridiculous episodes chock-full of plastic-headed aliens, and yet you can’t look away. Nope, you sure can’t.
Commenting on a scene with Matt Smith, she said, “I don’t know who that man is, but he’s not the Doctor. He’s an impostor.”
“Who is?” I said.
In a word — or a name — she replied, “David Tennant.”
And so there were have it. David Tennant, a.k.a. the 10th Doctor, is her Doctor. I’ve heard many similar sentiments about Tom Baker, especially among my friends who were sentient in the 70s. So, I asked her to tell me — off the top of her head — what she likes about Tennant. She said, “He’s passionate, caring, intelligent and soulful.”
And he is! He’s all these things. And yet, none of my sister-in-law’s impressions were the same as mine. It’s not that I disagree with her; I agree he has all the characteristics that she mentioned. But if you asked my impression I’d tell you that he’s fun-loving and funny, yet distant and lonely. What does this say about us? Does it say that my SIL and I see the world differently? Actually, we don’t. We have very similar opinions and tastes. And we’re from the exact same demographic; how much different would our reaction have been if we came from cultures on opposite sides of the planet? Maybe the difference would be stark; maybe not. What this says to me is that character loyalty is a deeply personal attachment. The development and emergence of characters from novels, short stories, films and TV have a profoundly different affect on us all, providing a lens into our own personality. Like eyes being the lens to the soul, the characters we love are like mirrors on our selves. Or they’re people who we think are mighty fine (like Clara Oswald). Either way, it’s fun to sit back and explore the possibilities.
During this long holiday weekend here in America the good people (read: me) at Fish and #TARDIS Sauce ask you to remember that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. Until next time, peace and hair grease.
Copyright © 2013 Fish and #TARDIS Sauce publications, a paleolithic branch of The PITTS.