a groom’s moment

[Last week I had the privilege to be apart of a best friend’s wedding. The following is a moment that I will never forget. Congratulations Amanda & Tyler! I love you both.]

A man in a suit stands, adjusting his cuffs. A man of confidence and control. But today he is far from being in control.
It’s his wedding day. And he’s about to see his bride. His hands shake, his heart pounds, his mind races.
Months of waiting have lead to this day. The whirlwind has ceased, all is calm.

He panics. He paces back and forth, throws his shoulders, shakes out his shakes. Through prayer he quiets. Instead of fleeing he stays with his emotions. Excitement, joy, fear, all whelm within him. Fleeting they may be but this groom decides to bask in them.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”

This verse clings to the forefront of this groom’s mind. Reflecting on his own family. How they’ve raised him, what they’ve taught him, and now send him off to start his own. Sorrow fills him.

He ascends the stairs. To gaze upon his bride for the first time. And in due time dwell with her. On the stairs he’s suspended in time. Fighting off panic, yet allowing it to take him. Walking away from his family yet running to his wife. Mourning the conclusion of one chapter yet celebrating the next.

Taking the last step, he arrives.

At the beginning.

elephant in the room

Okay, so I didn’t keep my word on finishing reviewing/summarizing the Eighth Season of Doctor Who.

My list of reasons seem justifiable to me but they’re just excuses to you. So…

Sorry every buddy! I continue to bite off more than I can chew. My apologies.

So here’s the plan. There isn’t one. I’ll write & post when I can. I know this isn’t the best news but we’ll all be able to sleep soundly because of it.

Here we go. All ahead full!

Listen – Doctor Who Explained

[This post is of a series: Doctor Who Explained. It’s the fourth installment. Read the prior one’s here!]

There are episodes of Doctor Who that are fun loving but plain (like last week’s episode, Robot in Sherwood.) And then there’s episodes that blow up all expectations. Episode 5, entitled: Listen, does just that.Fear is a superpower

Steven Moffat the current director (show-runner) is known for writing the most intriguing episodes of Doctor Who. So when I saw him as the writer for this episode I was excited. And he did not disappoint.

[This next bit will make the most sense if you have watched the fourth episode of Season 8. Entitled: Listen. Go watch it on Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, I’ll wait for ya! SPOILERS!]

Listen, is an episode that shows how complicated time travel can and should be. Some of Doctor Who’s episodes boil down time travel to simple placement within a story and ignores the implications of every action. Listen, is not such an episode. Its a glimpse into timelines collapsing in on each other and shows the danger of meeting your future and past self.

Not only does time come alive within this episode but the Doctor comes alive as well. Several iconic traits of the past Doctor’s come out within this adventure with the 12th.
One of these traits is the Doctor’s pure joy in discovering the unknown! He is so delighted to make a hypothesis and then prove it. He get’s so wrapped up in the pursuit of discovery that everything else becomes a blur. All smiles, he plunges into anything & everything without fear. The Doctor latest theory, that everyone has feared of something lurking under their bed at night. Like a mad scientist he is driven to near insanity in the pursuit of finding this creature. And when he does, it’s wholly underwhelming.
Every once in a while there’s a moment where compassion & love shines from the Doctor. This is when the Doctor comes alive for me! He becomes the best of everything within the universe. This happens in this episode when He gets eye to eye with a fear driven Rupert and speaks words of encouragement & love into him. The Doctor sees the flame of humanity flickering within Rupert. He comes alongside and stokes it into the all consuming fire that is the human spirit. The never ending, never yielding, uniqueness of being human. This time it is the power that comes from fear! As we fear we are propelled much like a superpower. A superpower that we can only feel & wield. Oh the timing of the Doctor and his deliberate words!

All the while, Clara is driven to her own madness. As they ride her timeline, Clara begins to meet critical people in her past and future. As she sees these points of time unfold, she takes hold of the present, trying to right her wrongs. Which in turn collapses in on itself. Bringing more complexity into the mix, and yet all the while keeping the Doctor in the dark about what is really going on. (I was screaming at Clara to tell the Doctor what’s actually going on!)

And with a last ditch effort to straighten things out, Clara finds herself underneath the bed of a fearful child-timelord. She’s the “creature” under the bed that a fearful adult-timelord is driven mad to discover. Surrendering to defeat, Clara consuls the child with the only words that she knows are true.

“Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger… It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it… You’re always gonna be afraid even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that’s okay because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home.”

 

Holy Smokes! What is happening in this season! Just when I thought I had a grasp of something, it leaves me! Ha! Here’s the list of question that I still have:

  1. Who is Missy?
  2. What’s the Doctor’s catch phrase?
  3. What did the Doctor see at the last planet?

Let me know what you thought of the this episode. What questions do you have that are left unanswered? And what parts of the Doctor do you wish to know more about?

Robot of Sherwood – Doctor Who Explained

[This post is of a series: Doctor Who Explained. It’s the fourth installment. Read the prior one’s here!]

“If you had a time machine where would you go & who would you meet?” It’s a classic imaginative question. Time periods, or specific events might have been suggested but most of the time, people are mentioned. Famous people.Clara & Robin Hood

Doctor Who plays with this every once in a while. Either the Doctor treats his companion to a treat of meeting Shakespeare or He gives them the choice to visit who they want. Agatha Christy, Picasso, Churchill & Dickens have all been visited and its a been a joy to tag along.

[This next bit will make the most sense if you have watched the third episode of Season 8. Entitled: Robot in Sherwood. Go watch it on Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, I’ll wait for ya! SPOILERS!]

Within this episode, the Doctor gives the reins over to Clara, to go wherever she wants to go, meet whoever she wants. Her answer takes a turn to the bizarre as she requests to visit the fictitious charter, Robin Hood. To prove that he doesn’t exist the Doctor takes her to that time and is promptly met by the guardian of Sherwood forrest!

The Doctor is thrown into confusion while Clara is loving every minute of it. The Doctor turns on his detective skills, trying to get to the bottom of why Robin Hood actually exists. In his pursuit for the truth the Doctor acts peculiar, he’s starving for attention, bickering with Robin Hood the whole episode. It’s atypical of the Doctor. Through the dialogue between the three, childish charm dominates their speech & actions. So much so that Clara & the Doctor begin to realize that they speak in rhyme & rhythm.

Ironically, a spaceship has taken over the Sherwood township, fueling the legend of Robin Hood to this comical state. It is unclear if Sherwood is real or only a projection. As we prance through this fairy tale it is revealed that a race of robots are using the Sheriff of Nottingham for their own selfish gain. They desire to repair their ship so that they can reach the Promise Land, an actual planet. Swashbuckling and witty dialogue ensue. The story frolics to a happy ending where the Doctor, Clara, & Robin Hood defeat the robots and they live happily ever after.

As custom to historical figures that the Doctor encounters, Robin asks him one question, “Is it true, that I’ll be forgotten as a man but remembered as a legend?”
And as the Doctor explains as much as he knows, Robin challenges Him. Robin awards the Doctor with the title of Legend. The Doctor can’t fathom such an endearing title.

Once again, just as the Doctor helps another being find their way, his question of “Am I a good man?” gains another layer of complexity.So far, the answers have been:

  • you’re different
  • you’re a good Dalek
  • you’re a legend

But! We have answered a question we’ve been asking, “What is Paradise?” It’s a planet! And apparently, everyone wants to go there. But questions still remain:

  1. Who is Missy?
  2. What’s the Doctor’s catch phrase?
  3. Did Sherwood actually exist?
  4. Why must every hero reject endearment and posses a dark side?

With foggy thinking, we push farther into the adventures of the Doctor and his companion.

Let me know what you thought of this episode. What questions do you have that are left unanswered? And what parts of the Doctor do you wish to know more about?

Into the Dalek – Doctor Who Explained

[This post is of a series: Doctor Who Explained. It’s the third installment. Read the prior one’s here!]

The Doctor has several enemies but none can rival, the Daleks.

At first glance, they look more docile then threatening with their plunger arm and motorized wheelchair speed. But its the psyche of the Daleks that’s frightening.Good Dalek

Daleks only experience hatred and are powered by fear. The fear of what they can do to every being in the universe. Their mission is to purge the every planet of life. As they wage war upon the worlds, people resist, people fight, but most of all people fear. Which in turn fuels the Dalek’s existence. Met by fierce opposition from all armies but none have succeeded in defeating the Daleks.
Except the Doctor.

Within the show, the Daleks have been a foe from the very beginning. The Doctor has faced them single handled through duels, world wars, muses, and traps. But the epitome of them all, the Time War. Every routine scenario has been played out so the only place left to go is into the Daleks. Literally.

And doing so aides the first time viewer, we get to see what makes a Dalek. Why are they nothing but hate and how do they strike fear into every living soul? As we follow the Doctor we see that a Dalek is a small creature infused within a metal case of destruction. It’s part alien, part machine. It’s hard drive stores everything that it has experienced yet only allows anger, fear, and hatred to be felt.

[This next bit will make the most sense if you have watched the second episode of Season 8. Entitled: Into the Dalek. Go watch it on Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, I’ll wait for ya! SPOILERS!]

As the episode starts I am pleasantly surprised by how fresh and polished it feels. From the 2005 reboot the production value has increased immensely. Sure, sets are recycled & CGI has crept into everything but Doctor Who’s storytelling has matured well.

As the Doctor confronts Rusty, the Dalek, his distain for his race is evident. So when he discovers that Rusty is good, he is beside himself.
The mystery of finding a “good Dalek” mirrors the Doctor’s pursuit to find the “good Doctor.” This theme is embossed by the Doctor’s question., “Am I a good man?”

So as the Doctor goes on this Dalek safari, the Doctor’s mind is preoccupied by something deeper than just curing a helpless patient. Once again, as the Doctor figures out who he truly is, so do we! I found his cutting words and harshness unflattering. Yet Clara stands beside him, being a “pal” as best she can.

Anticlimactic is an understatement when the Doctor “heals” Rusty only halfway through the runtime of the episode. So as Rusty returns to his “normal” destructive self, I rejoiced. And ironically, so did the Doctor. I thought that as the arch-enemy of the Doctor returned, he would valiantly destroy it. Instead, the Doctor just gave up, slumped his shoulders and retreated into his own mind.

“He is lost in the ruin of himself, and we must bring him home” came to mind as I watched this 12th Doctor not live up to The Doctor’s true nature. The Doctor always questions logic and endlessly redefines time. But apparently not with this one.

Clara’s swift slap to the Doctor’s face surprised me but even more so the Doctor, himself. He’s always aware of his surroundings and knows what’s coming. But not this. He’s perplexed. Clara mocks the Doctor with questions. Is that all? Is that all we learned today? Dalek’s will always be bad, and that’s it? As she goes on you can tell that for once she has it figured out before the Doctor does and is begging him to catch up. (But only in Clara’s fierce yet flirty way!) The Doctor’s gears begin to turn and within a blink, the Doctor is back!

Instead of seeing all Daleks as fixed beings in time, unable to change or grow, the Doctor finally sees Rusty’s unique potential! Joining minds with him, the Doctor shows Rusty true beauty. Just as he does, the plan backfires as Rusty discovers the Doctor’s own hatred. His instilled hatred of the Dalek race mirrors Rusty’s hatred for every race. The Doctor himself is a Dalek in nature. Fueled by the fear of an alien race, desiring to obliterate them from the universe. This is what makes the Doctor a “good Dalek.”

For the Doctor, this victory isn’t celebrated. He is just left back where he started. Asking himself, “Am I a good man?”

 

For me, I am still pondering on that one as well as:

  1. What is Paradise?
  2. Who is Missy? (a crazed Mary Poppins?)
  3. What’s the Doctor’s catch phrase?

I am still just as confused and intrigued as ever!

Let me know what you thought of the this episode. What questions do you have that are left unanswered? And what parts of the Doctor do you wish to know more about?