Doctor Who – by Ian Manning
A great example of a hero for the modern age is the Doctor, the time-travelling Time Lord from the massively successful science-fiction British television show Doctor Who. Battling alien threats and saving the Earth almost every day are just part of the Doctor’s magnificent adventures. I hope to prove he is truly a modern hero in this post.
Part of the reason that the Doctor is timeless is that when he is injured or dying in the course of his heroic deeds, he can change his appearance to save himself. He can change his entire body, face and personality completely. This is called regeneration, and was a useful tool invented by the show’s creators to keep it going. This is reminiscent of the hero giving his life to protect the innocent or weak. Technically, a new hero is born in the wake of the demise of the old hero, like stories of old.
As I have previously said, the change heralds a change of personality for the Doctor, but he still continues his good deeds. There is a major cause of concern for the Doctor before his regeneration, as he has the constant fear of giving him to his dark side and becoming evil. He has already encountered a possible evil future version of himself and recently encountered (and defeated) his dark side made real in a dream-state. However, it hasn’t happened in the course of his many lives…yet.
The Time Lords, the Doctor’s race, are gone now, lost in the apocalyptic Time War. However, when they were around, the Doctor was always seen as an outcast even among his own people. His attachment to the Earth was seen as odd by his peers. The Time Lords mostly kept to themselves in all respects, which the Doctor never does. However, the Time Lords sent the Doctor to places of concern or worry, so there were lines of communication open between them. Now, with the Time Lords gone, the Doctor is even more alone and outside universal society. Throughout time and space, he can be summoned to places of intrigue or concern by former friends and associates. Sometimes, he can arrive at just the right time to prevent catastrophe.
Like King Arthur with Excalibur and Schwarzeneggar with his big guns and explosions, the Doctor is recognised along with his blue Police Box (pictured above); his disguised spaceship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), with which he travels through time and space, to different times and unrecognisable planets. As everyone says; It’s bigger on the inside! It’s the special item a hero always has with him.
Another thing the Doctor is never without is his companions, whether temporary or long-term, reminiscent of a knight’s table or a super-hero squad. A man can only spend so much time on his own. The Doctor does most of the work trying to save a planet, but his companions aren’t small fry either. Their different perspectives and experiences give the Doctor more options and chances to vent. He changes their lives with his adventures and become better people. As the Master says; The Doctor; the man who makes everyone better.
Ever the hero, the Doctor never killed his nemesis the Master, a fellow Time Lord, no matter what evil he had done. This is obviously due to the fact that they were the same species, and the Doctor couldn’t bring himself to slay his own kind. However, if the alien threat to Earth is great enough, the Doctor will be forced to act. The Doctor is a man of words, not force. He tries to reason with the aliens, and gives them the opportunity to leave. Even when this fails, he always gives the aliens one last chance to leave or undo their damage before destroying them, so they never threaten Earth or the general universe for a long time.
I hope I have made my case for the Doctor and I hope I have proved with this post that he is a modern hero.