The Doctors are in: The Philosophy of ‘Doctor Who’

By Alexis Dickerson
Times-News correspondent 

Illustration by Alexis Dickerson / Times-News correspondent

   “Doctor Who,” TV’s longest-running sci-fi show, is about an alien who flies through time and space in a big blue Police Box. How has this show about a doctor with no name stayed on our screens for so long? The answer to that lies within a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff; it lies within the philosophy of Doctor Who.
The Doctor is the last of an alien race called the Time Lords. He travels through space in his spaceship called the Tardis. Along his travels, he comes into contact with these humans that somehow intrigue him and he takes them on as companions. Through their journeys he shows them and the audience the universe as nobody has ever seen. Aliens and constellations, could be visited at any given moment.
The show’s writing and story arcs are arguably well-written, but it is the true essence of Doctor Who that has made it a classic. Doctor Who can be relatable to our own daily lives and struggles in a way that most TV shows just can’t seem to grasp. We learn the values of love, knowledge, sympathy, and also the lessons of failure and heartbreak. These are concepts woven into the plot lines of every episode: that it is a metaphorical interpretation of our lives.
The Doctor himself could be considered a symbol of a higher power. He has seen the beginning of the universe and the destruction of it. This leaves us with the idea that there is something bigger than us. He is also good, with a capital “G.” The Doctor constantly shows us the greater good of man. He also shows us the tough responsibility of being good. Through his decision-making, he allows us to see that sometimes the right choice is not always the easiest choice.  There are rules he must abide by; these rules could be seen as the morals and ethics that most people live by. The Doctor is not above these rules and he cannot always save everyone, including his companions. (Insert here the tears of millions of Whovians crying about their favorite companion and cursing Steven Moffat.)
Through exploration, evidence, collaboration, do-goodery and even with his own struggles with mortality, the Doctor teaches us that while responsibility is hard, that’s how we learn and grow. In return, we show him through the idea of the companions that even if you have seen it all, you can still be exposed to new emotions and experiences. The show creates a metaphor for the human experience that can be relatable through the ages.  Doctor Who, in essence, teaches us what it to be human.

 Alexis Dickerson is a senior at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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