New Year’s Eve tends to bring nostalgic reflections and hopeful projections. Tonight, no matter how hard the year’s been, it seems we always find some warm, nostalgic feels for what’s come before. And no matter how hard life may feel in this moment, it seems we always find some excitement for what lays ahead. If our last year was more beautiful and joyful than not, well all’s the easier to touch those bright reflections and projections. I’m not sure why. If I was to hazard a guess (which I feel I should as I brought all this up), I’d say it’s because – deep down – we are fundamentally hopeful. We want to find reasons to celebrate, to believe. New Year’s Eve is as good a reason as any! While I’ve never been one to buy into the magic of tonight and the promise of tomorrow too much, I do enjoy a reason to be nostalgic and hopeful as much as the next person :). So, in the spirit of the night, I figured it would be fun to get way nostalgic and look back at a few childhood fears I spent ages preparing for, only to find they were problems I’d never encounter in adulthood (well, at least not yet).
The Monsters and the Doctor: Reframing That Which Scares Us
One of my favorite marks of the Doctor’s character is the way they respond to meeting all manner of monsters. When I first began watching Doctor Who this was one of the earliest signs of how different a hero they were than I was used to. Time and again – no matter how scary or threatening or unapproachable whatever the Doctor finds in the universe may appear – their first reaction is never one of fear or judgment. They certainly never attack. Rather, they marvel at its beauty. They are overcome with joy and excitement at seeing something they’ve never seen before. And, if what they encounter appears frightened or injured, they are moved by compassion and offer help. In all this they are a beautifully important model for us, too. As Steven Moffatt, the Doctor Who showrunner for Series 5-10, rightly observed, “There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.”