I don't watch television, and I do not own a television. However, I make a few exceptions. For example when I'm traveling there's often a television in the hotel room, there's nothing to do, so flip on the tube and zone out. It always reminds me why I don't watch television but what they heck a little tube surfing doesn't hurt. Anyway, what I want to write about is one of the exceptions: Doctor Who.
Somehow I missed watching Doctor Who when I was younger. Despite being an American and normally without access to British TV, the local educational TV system (KET) carried a lot of British TV shows .. such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail. They also carried Doctor Who but somehow I never watched it, but my siblings and friends did watch it. I'm really surprised at myself, being such a geek and all, that I somehow missed this show. But I'm making up for it now.
Fortunately the BBC has begun a new Doctor Who series .. er.. well, actually, it's been 3 yrs since this began, that's how long it took me to get access while not owning a TV. Never you mind how I'm getting the episodes without owning a TV, some things are better left unexplained. Wow are these new Doctor Who episodes really good! I've managed to watch a number of the old series episodes as well as all the new ones.
The 9th Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, .. wow.. very dark, very powerful, brilliant. The 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant, excellent and funny.
There's a theme which has run the length of these new episodes.. loneliness and the yearning for companionship. Clearly it's stemming from a war, the Time War, that the Doctor keeps referring to. The story has been slowly revealed .. that there was a climactic war between the Daleks and the Time Lords.. that the Doctor reluctantly became involved .. that the Master was revived for the war .. that the Doctor himself did a deed which burned the home worlds of both the Dalek and Time Lords .. etc ..
I'd assumed this story had been covered in the last episodes of the previous Doctor Who series, which would have been Season 26 in 1988. However I see from the Wikipedia listing that no such story happened in the TV series. Now I am assuming the Time War is a story yet to be told and for the time being is being revealed in these snippets.
It leaves me imagining that this theme of loneliness and longing for companionship stems from being the last of the Time Lords. That what he must most want in the world is for there to be other Time Lords. The prior Doctors did not go around begging people to join him in his travels, the previous Doctors didn't seem to care whether or not he had companions. This new one for example approaches Rose Tyler and Martha Jones and Donna Noble practically begging each to join him. Well, okay, he didn't quite do that with Donna Noble, instead Donna kinda barged in on her own but that's just Donna's way.
It's very interesting how the relationship between the Doctor and his companions are front and center now, while for previous Doctors this was not in the slightest bit addressed. Is this just for the purpose of the story? Or does it reflect differences in our society from the 60's and 70's??