Doctor Who Day

I would be remiss if I didn’t do a post on Doctor Who Day. Besides being the longest running science fiction program – it first aired on November 23, 1963 – I have also been a fan for forty years or more.

The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who travels anywhere he wants in space and time in his TARDIS, which is bigger inside than outside. Because the cloaking device, or chameleon circuit as it is called in the program, got stuck when he was visiting Earth in the mid-twentieth century, it now looks like a blue British police telephone box. If this sounds like Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure, it is because they swiped the idea from Doctor Who.

Of course, having the TARDIS look like an ordinary object was originally done to save money, but it has become an iconic figure, particularly in England, where the program first aired. It first came to America in the late 1970s, and a few of us became diehard fans then.

Being an alien, the Doctor has one trick which has enabled the show to continue for so long. When his body gives out either from age or another reason, he is able to regenerate, and look like someone completely new. This has enabled thirteen different actors to play the part on television, not including some extra-canonical appearances like Peter Cushing, who played him on the big screen.

His iconic enemies are the Daleks, who are mutants traveling in machines which look like small rounded tanks. They are very much like Nazis in their pursuit of racial purity and domination.

Although this all sounds like escapism – and it is – we also learn important lessons from our favorite Time Lord. Fight injustice when and wherever it is found. Stand up for the weak even when no one else is willing to do so. Never give up. Help those who need help. Be brave even when you’re afraid. When called on, be willing to make the hard choices. Never give in to hate. Celebrate intelligence, not force.

So check out Doctor Who if you have never watched it. I’d recommend some of the newer episodes, the ones aired in the last 10 years of so to start with.

Dalek outside the TARDIS
Dalek outside the TARDIS

Some quotes from Doctor Who

The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.

You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!

Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.

In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.

There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.

We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?

You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.

The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s a world, or a relationship… Everything has its time. And everything ends.

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.

There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.

Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.

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