Doctor Who is my favourite show of all time. Period. I could gush about it for pages and pages and still not do it. This isn’t that though.
For those who are uninformed, the protagonist of the show, The Doctor, is a Time Lord (read: super advanced humanoid alien race) who wanders through all of Space and Time helping people wherever (and whenever :P) he can. It’s been on since the 60s because one of the abilities of a Time Lord is that of regeneration. So when something happens that would lead to the death of a normal human, the Doctor undergoes a transformation into a new physical form and a somewhat different personality. This may seem like a convenient way to elongate and freshen up the series but fans of the show would know of the true emotion attached with the event, how there are episodes and sometimes even whole seasons dedicated to the countless interweaving storylines all culminating in that one seminal event.
But why bring this up now? I’m going to be moving soon to a new country for college. A completely new experience leaving behind all the friends and family that I know. With internet, it’s easier than ever to hang onto these relationships so I am still who I am but some things are bound to change based on the people I meet and the environment itself. My memories and qualities are going to remain but I may become more quiet and introverted or outgoing and social and I have no way of knowing which way it’s going to go.
This is the next stage in my own figurative regeneration cycle.
Part of me doesn’t want to go. It’s hard to let go of what I have here. The past few years were the best of my life. It had all become so familiar, so easy, so comfortable. I know that this new challenge is good for me, it’ll help me grow as a person. I know that in all likelihood I’m going to be fine once I move there. But there’s still a small part of me, and that small part is always going to exist, which won’t ever want to leave.
As the producer of the show, Steven Moffat explains:
“The turmoil of regeneration, while it extends your life, does sacrifice parts of you that you want to keep. It’s too radical a change. He’s frightened and horrified that yet again he has to do this ghastly thing where he won’t know what he looks like, won’t know how he sounds, what’ll he’ll end up with.”
Now that is a bit of a stretch I agree, but I sort of get it now. Like from when I moved to a new school and then again when I moved to a hostel, a new job maybe. One big change that takes your life in an entirely different direction to what it was.
The emotional upheaval alone can really get to you. Even the Doctor’s friends and companions are affected by it. A stroll past the departures lounge is enough to verify that. It makes for really compelling television that I’m also relating to it now will probably keep me invested for as long as the show airs. I guess that’s why it’s been on so long.
It’s not all gloom and doom though. A friend once told me something about relationships. Maybe every time you make a new friend, every time you touch someone in any way, you make a horcrux of yourself in them. You leave an imprint of your soul on them forever. And vice versa of course. That reminder of your relationship at that point in time lives on in the both of you forever.
The same way that when the Doctor calls in a favour and summons his friends, they arrive in hordes, regardless of how many regeneration cycles have passed. Demons run when A Good Man Goes to War.
So though change maybe eternal, but the past will always remember.