I don't know about all of you, but I need a break from this election and all of the other depressing events happening in the world right now. People can only take so much continual nastiness before we need to take a break and recharge our batteries. What I need right now is something positive that speaks to my spirit and gives me a shot of adrenaline to keep pushing forward. What I really need is some Doctor Who.
Now, I know that of the hundreds of millions of you around the world who read Clutter each day, not all of you watch Doctor Who (though you're making a mistake), but even if you don't know a thing about it, and don't really care, humor me and read this post all the way to the end.
I've been repeatedly watching the clip below for the last few weeks to counterbalance all of the negativity out there right now, and I invite you to do the same. First, let me set the stage.
The Doctor (played by Peter Capaldi): A two thousand + year old Time Lord, who as you might have guessed, travels through space and time in his TARDIS (a time machine currently disguised as a blue police box.) He is currently on his 12th life (we're not counting the version played by John Hurt-long story), and he's had many companions on his adventures.
Clara Oswald (played by Jenna Coleman): The Doctor's current companion. She met him in his 11th life, helped him adjust to his 12th incarnation, and she has also saved all of the other 10 versions throughout time. (Another long story for another time.)
This video is the (slightly edited) ending of last year's season finale, titled, "Hell Bent." Here's a recap: Clara died, and the Doctor spent four and a half billion years (yes, billion) fighting to find a way to to save her, which included him dying roughly every third day and having to start over until he succeeded. The Doctor did eventually save Clara, but doing so put all of time and space at risk (another long story.) They eventually decided that the only way out was for one of them to have their memories of the other erased and then go their separate ways. (Not sure about the logic there, but let's continue.) Turns out the Doctor was the one who lost the memories, and the clip starts with Clara saying goodbye to the Doctor, who has no idea who she is.
Here's why I've viewed this a thousand times so far. To begin with, this is probably the only TV show I watch where I completely lose myself in the story. I don't see Peter Capaldi on the screen. I see the same man who I grew up watching as a kid in the 1980's. I see the same man that used to look like Tom Baker, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and others. I see the man that's experienced so much loss over the last two thousand years. Hell, it's the man who has died 11 times. I see the man who fought for four and a half billion years to save his best friend and doesn't get to remember her in the end. Obviously it's a TV program, but I feel his sadness.
The Doctor plays a song called "Clara" on his guitar (which is really Capaldi playing.) The music's been played at a faster tempo throughout her time on the show to represent daring and adventure. Now, every mournful note is weighed down by loss and heartbreak. He looks so lost as he plays. It's brutal that the Doctor's saying goodbye to this woman who meant so much to him, and he doesn't even know it. One could argue this is the worst defeat of his many lives, and the question then becomes, where does he go from here? He's truly hit bottom.
Then it begins.
Clara says goodbye, and we discover this diner was in fact her TARDIS. The Doctor is left in the desert where he is reunited with his own beloved TARDIS after four and a half billion years. (Really, I can't stress that enough. Billion.) This machine is the true love of his life, and its reappearance is the start of his comeback. The music changes, the Doctor puts down his guitar, the TARDIS lights come on, he gets a new suit and a new sonic screwdriver, and it's the look on Capaldi's face that seals the deal.
Yes, life has handed him yet another immense setback, but he's taken the blow, and he's still standing. One chapter has finished, and another is about to begin. No matter what, he's still fighting. He's still pushing.
That's just the message I need.
I'm not saying you need to love this clip as much as I do (well, maybe a little bit). What I'm saying is that I hope all of you have something out there which can help you reset when life deals you a defeat. We all need one of those now and again so that we can continue on and keep pushing.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch that video another 30 times before I go back to catching up on today's headlines.
We all face challenges, and we keep pushing forward. (pic via cultbox.co.uk)
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