Sunday, January 9, 2011
The Triumph of Intellect and Romance Over Brute Force and Cynicism
Chelsea and I have crossed over another nerd threshold.
We've started watching "Dr. Who". In particular, we've been watching the most recent incarnation of the show which debuted in 2005. We're only a few seasons in, so don't spoil anything.
Here's the premise- the Doctor is a Time Lord- an alien who's come to Earth to help us out. He travels throughout time and space in a device called a TARDIS (a space ship/time machine that looks like an old Police Box) solving problems and helping people and aliens. Every few years he "dies". Except the Doctor can't die. Instead, he re-generates, and becomes a new-ish person. This has allowed the show stay on the air for nearly 50 years as the producers can re-cast a new actor every time the Doctor suffers a fatal wound..
And...I'm enjoying the show. Thoroughly. Why? Well, no one ever believes this when I say it, but I'm an unabashed optimist. I really, truly, in my heart of hearts look for the best in people, and believe that things will turn out well more often not. And the show, as stated in the funny video above, features the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. For a hopeless romantic, optimistic, brainiac nerdasaurus rex, this strikes a chord.
The Doctor wins his battles by outsmarting his enemies. He believes in the inherent goodness of humankind.
Is the show kind of silly? Yes. Especially the Daleks (evil Nazi-ish aliens that look kind of like trashcans with plungers stuck to them.) Is it British? Very. But that silliness is part of the charm. That absurd, dry British humor is part of the appeal of the show.
But again, beyond the sci-fi, beyond the humor, what really appeals to me about the show is the central message- people are good, things will turn out good, and the little smart guy with the sonic screwdriver is going to beat the big, racist aliens with his intellect, and resolve.