Just What the Doctor Ordered
by Nicole Perez (@PrettyNGeek)
When most people hear the word superhero, they think of tights, capes, and superhuman abilities – but mostly tights. I, on the other hand, think of bow ties, red Converse shoes, great hair, and a blue police box.
I first encountered Doctor Who about a year ago and, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t understand why giant salt shakers, (a.k.a., Daleks), were terrifying or how a talking trampoline of flesh managed to be the only surviving piece of the human race. Still, I stuck with it and the payoff was even greater than I imagined.
By the second season – of the reboot, I should say – my interest in this show turned into downright obsession. I used words like “Allons-y” and “Timey Wimey” in every day conversation and spent a good amount of time plotting ways to get to Cardiff to visit The Doctor Who Experience.
One day, I asked myself why this absurdly wonderful show from the U.K. commanded so much of my attention. The answer: I fell in love with the Doctor. He is – in every form of regeneration – a bona fide superhero; he is the Avengers, the Justice League, and an awkward James Bond rolled into one.
What sets this superhero alien above the rest is that while he’s saving the universe, he’s also teaching us a thing or two about what it means to be a super human.
First of all, the Doctor shows us we need to be ourselves even if who we are or what we enjoy seems alien to everyone else. “I wear bow ties now. Bow ties are cool.” Who says that and gets away with it? He does because he owns it and no one can convince him otherwise.
There are fewer things cooler than someone with that kind of confidence. Who cares if no one likes your fez or thinks your crazy interest in a British television show is ridiculous? You go out there and own it like a boss… or the Doctor, in this case.
Second, we learn that no man (or alien) is an island. The Doctor has companions, not to appease loneliness, but to share in and broaden his own experience. He always needs someone to watch his back, anchor him, and teach him new things about himself and the universe.
And despite the fact that opening himself up to others makes him vulnerable, he continues to allow people in because the benefits of companionship far outweigh the heartache and loss that inevitably comes with sharing your life with others.
Third, love and respect for all creatures – human or otherwise – despite who they are or what they look like is of utmost importance. Just think of the way he lights up and exclaims, “You are beautiful!” even when encountered with a giant vengeful wasp. He looks beyond the surface and finds beauty in everyone and every… thing.
Lastly, no matter what life throws at you, stay soft. The Doctor has experienced great loss – his entire planet as well as numerous companions – but he still moves forward through life filled with optimism and joy as if untouched by pain.
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant” (Vincent and the Doctor).
We may not have two hearts or a TARDIS, but any of us can resemble a time lord if the heart of who we are beats with confidence, companionship, compassion, and courage. Living a life like this is exactly what the Doctor ordered.