12 days of Interred: Time Travel in Today's Media
Time Travel in Today's Media*
By Marilyn Almodóvar
I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, so I guess it comes as no surprise once we get that out of the way, that the first novel that I’ve published has something to do with Time Traveling.
The very first time I watched an episode of Doctor Who, Peter Davison was the fifth Doctor, and in the mid-eighties. I fell in love with The Doctor, probably because at that age I had a predilection for blond boys who looked different. To this day, there is no one more different than The Doctor.
He’s an Alien from Gallifrey with two hearts who tends to insult his companions when he’s backed up against the wall. He loves humans and invites them to travel with him. But the show that started off with a Doctor who was a grandfather figure has turned, in the last fifty years, into a cult show followed by many Whovians across the world, something that its first producer, Verity Lambert, maybe never could have imagined in her wildest dreams.
Doctor Who works, not only because The Doctor has the awesome ability to regenerate and thus provide the audience with a new Time Lord, but also because his Time Traveling on board the TARDIS takes the audience through time and space. On top of that, the core of the show is all about relationships: love, friendship, family…everything is important when you travel along with The Doctor.
Twelve incarnations of the Doctor later (13 if we include the War Doctor), Doctor Who’s formula is very simple. Alien travels around Earth, meets Human companion and off they run to fight aliens, and sometimes humans. The Doctor’s most constant companion is his TARDIS, which he stole a long time ago, in order to travel through time. This amazing machine was meant to camouflage itself in order to blend in; however, the chameleon circuit broke and it got stuck in the form of a Police Box. The TARDIS, which is bigger in the inside, transports The Doctor from the beginning of the Universe to the end, providing its companions and the audience a glimpse into the future or past. And this is precisely one of my favorite things.
Doctor Who is sometimes accused as a whole of being a bit too sweet and nice, but there are very dark episodes, and sometimes The Doctor himself is not the nicest person. All of this serves to remind us that this man, who may look human, isn’t. He’s an alien traveling through time, helping others discover different places and historical eras which fuel our imagination.
There are loads of Time Traveling books and movies, but for me, Doctor Who is the prime example of the genre. Taking humans who have never even thought this sort of traveling can be done and showing them--most of the time throwing them--in the midst of chaos, teaches us all we need to know about human nature. We’re resilient, and this is one of the best lessons I’ve taken from all my years watching the show. No matter who you think you are, or what you do in life, whatever life throws at you, you’ll be able to adapt and continue living, even if The Doctor doesn’t show up at your doorstep. However, that would be a cool thing, right? So for now, I’ll continue writing about my Time Bender, all in the hopes that maybe someday I can hear the TARDIS’ engine roaring quietly outside my door.
*First published, here
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