Post details: Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Expanding one's thoughts...

03/30/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1468 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays, Doctor Who Fandom

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Expanding one's thoughts...

As word of warning, I've decided to talk about Doctor Who one last "intentional" time here... only as it pertains to my blessing... which will make sense, promise!

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Ian Chesterton: Let me get this straight. A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard, it can move anywhere in time and space?

Susan Foreman: Yes.

The Doctor: Quite so.

Ian Chesterton: But that's ridiculous! Time doesn't go round and round in circles. You can't get on or off whenever you like in the past or the future.

The Doctor: Really? Where does time go then?

Ian Chesterton: It doesn't go anywhere. It just happens and then its finished.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Allow me to share a memory with you again... this one a happier one.

Back in 1976, I was a strapping nine-year old boy... and we were on our first family vacation that wasn't cottage-country related. We didn't go to Disneyworld... or to New York... or even Quebec... nope, we went en masse to London England...

We stayed for a little over a week in town... in a lovely flat at the Grosvenor House... and while there, my father introduced me to something that had a profound affect on my life... a television program... a silly sci-fi broadcast feature a rather old-fashioned yet dapper man fighting pretty silly looking rubber monsters. It was Jon Pertwee in the odd clothes and the show was Doctor Who... it was love at first viewing... and that first show is a memory included my late father, my whole family really... London, and having fun in general.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've spilled enough pixels on the show of late with Sue and I plunging rather fiercely back into the "Whoniverse" over the last couple of weeks catching up on the new series (which we are REALLY enjoying,) with the shows since 2005 until present... and I suppose I could go into the show being a blessing for entertaining us so much now and entertaining me so much as a kid... but there's more to it than that...

The real blessing is that it expanded my thoughts a lot...

Science fiction does that... but things like Star Trek, especially the original series of Trek, was pretty two-dimensional... the morals and lessons were good and usually pertinent to everyday life now... and the action was "in your face"... and yeah, I am a PROUD Trekky...

Doctor Who went further... because unlike the world of rockets and phasers the viewer is faced with time and dimensional concepts.

"The Doctor" (the titular character) is an alien... but he not only looks and acts human, he has human quirks... and LOVES humanity because he sees us as the ultimate survivors and explorers as we're unwilling to remain stagnant in our knowledge.

Now, as a nine-year old raised on "The Trek", the concept of a benevolent alien was nothing new... but I did like the way he genuinely seemed to care about the Earth and humanity.

Next is his "ship"... the TARDIS... (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension(s) in Space,) which appears significantly smaller on the outside than the inside... effectively, from the outside, it's a 1950's London Police Box... a phone box used for police emergencies... it's this "design" for camouflage... the TARDIS is SUPPOSED to camouflage itself in all environs... but got stuck in 1950's London Police Box mode and was just never repaired... Anyway, it's about the size of four "normal" phone booths on the outside... inside, it's a large room capable of holding about a dozen or more people... with "off rooms" that range from similar size to literally cathedrals...

It's a dimensional thing... small on the outside, huge on the in.

Yup, as a nine-year old, I ended up getting a very basic concept of dimensional concepts and the altering thereof... effectively, the basis of quantum physics 101. Just because WE assume something is what it looks like, we may be incorrect about it's true dimensions. We must expand the ideas we have about limitations in dimension because those laws may not be played out everywhere in the universe.

It's this kind of questioning that led me to fight with my grade seven science teacher... he stated with certainty about "Absolute Zero"... which he said was −270 on the Celsius scale. Yup, NOTHING could get colder than that, he said...

I said, Why not?

He said, with absolute assuredness, that we KNEW that ALL atomic functions cease at that temperature.

I asked how we knew about ...every atom and particle, considering we're stuck here on one planet? How can we have a clue that something is absolutely "universal" in nature?

I was quite roughly told that "It Was!" and silenced. Never argue with a teacher that's right!

I have to admit, even years later, in 1994, 2000, and then 2003 when "Absolute Zero" moved... I cheered... because, yup, they discovered that certain particles and atoms DID continue to move at -270 degrees centigrade.

Meanwhile, back at the show... the TARDIS and The Doctor travel through time and space... yup... time AND space...

Again, as a nine-year old, I was confronted with another bit of simple quantum physics...

How do you measure distance? Do you measure it in space or time?

For example, if I have to go from point "A" to point "B", I will either say "That will be a distance of 'X' miles." or "It will take me 'X' amount of time to do that."

Now, the faster we move, the "shorter" the distance in that aspect, correct?

Well, what if I travelled so fast, I arrived at virtually the same time I left?

...what if I moved faster than that? Would I arrive before I left?

While examining that, one realises we are all time travellers... going at a rate of one second per second... but Doctor Who made me ask, what if we altered that?

Doctor Who also posed some rather heavy moral questions on my young mind... in one episode I watched back in Toronto, The Doctor is about to kill his mortal enemies, The Daleks, before they get started... in essence, he had travelled to their nursery... and was confronted with the task of having to kill these shapeless monsters before they would inhabit a robotic body that would allow them to effectively wreak havoc on the galaxy....

...well, he hesitated... he was in the nursery... he knew they would BECOME evil... but at the time, they were "babies".

So, as a kid... here was a "hero" wrestling with a conscious decision... over what SEEMED like monsters by their appearance... but to him, as an alien himself, they were "new life"... and hesitating to kill them because they had not yet become what he knew they would be.

The question posed to me at the age of ten or eleven was effectively, if you found Hitler's pregnant mother, could you kill her or somehow destroy her unborn child?

By the time I was twelve, thanks to my fandom, I was familiar with the early variations of string theory, the "time-space-mesh", dimensional physics, and ethical and moral concepts including genocide.

Sure, it was "sci-fi"... it was trashy, campy rubber and tinfoil monsters... but it led to a very young man to become thirsty... VERY thirsty for scientific concepts and ideas... many well beyond the average university student (unless they were in theoretical physics.)

My Blessing is Expanding Knowledge through Entertainment...

One thing funny about this... when a recent revelation went through a part of our study about the concepts of the "bubbleverse", many people went Wow! What a striking new and exciting idea! Of course, to many Doctor Who fans, it was not exactly a new concept... but hey, everyone is not a Doctor Who fan!

Now, I want to point out... the "original" Doctor Who's were very campy at times... and the new shows have a MUCH higher budget and are a LOT more exciting and action-packed... and although I have nothing but respect and reverence for Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, (these three are "my" doctors... I watched them first... and re-started for a brief time with Sylvester McCoy...) we really enjoyed Christopher Eccleston...

...and David Tennant is now THE Doctor. He's done the role proud... and I'm glad he's Sue's and Schnookie's Doctor... and mine too.

I'm equally glad that Doctor Who's writers and producers CONTINUE to introduce us to expanded thoughts on time, the universe... and everything.

I wish everyone would examine the universe around them as thoroughly as the average Doctor Who fan...

____________________________________________

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Comments:

Comment from: SandyCarlson [Visitor] Email · http://slchome.blogspot.com
Sci-fi and social satire are close relatives in the art world. We could argue that crazy Irishman Jonathan Swift was writing sci-fi when he penned Gulliver. Both raise the question, "To what good purpose might we turn our humanity?" The answers.....Well, that's why we need these entertaining forms of art.

Excellent post, as ever. Thank you. Happy BYB Sunday.
PermalinkPermalink 03/30/08 @ 00:52
Comment from: The Friction Of The Day [Visitor]
While I may disagree with you over 'earth hour' (at some eejit's blog) I couldn't help but be impressed by this post.

On the off-chance that you're not one of the Canucks without relatives in the UK who send you DVDs every other month, have you seen this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfL-ZjLL-Tg

ps .... OT, but if I capitalise 'green' it tells me I'm wrong ..... at least, I think that's what was wrong .... let's see.
PermalinkPermalink 03/30/08 @ 02:12
Comment from: admin [Member] Email · http://www.doubledeckerbuses.org/
Hey SandyCarlson... Many thanks... and yes, most people consider Swift a "Sci-Fi" writer that I've ever crossed paths with!

Hello The Friction Of The Day... Okay... Did I believe that "Earth Hour" would make a big difference in anything? No... Did I believe it was a chance to celebrate conservation? Yes... Did I think people that did the EXACT OPPOSITE by turning on everything in their home and revving their car engine were idiots? Absolutely!

To waste and be that much of a dink to show "us" your political stripe (which is also dumb as this shouldn't be a political issue,) seems to me to be just revolting.

That said, nope, no relatives... but access to 'em and yup, I caught "Time Crash". Hearing the final speech from Tennant (which he wrote in honour of "his doctor", Davison,) was borderline tear-jerking! They've done a magnificent job on the new series.

...and yup, it's a Unix server... so the case of letters is taken into account... "green" it is!
PermalinkPermalink 03/30/08 @ 08:19
Comment from: Andy [Visitor] Email · http://spicycauldron.com
Um, 'Gulliver's Travels' was fantasy, certainly, but science-fiction? Where's the science or pseudo-science? There isn't any. So, no I have to say with my English graduate head on, that science-fiction is a child of the gothic literature of the Victorian era - the most obvious parent being Shelley's 'Frankenstein' which, while you could argue was the first true science-fiction story, was sticking very closely to all the requirements of the gothic genre. x
PermalinkPermalink 04/09/08 @ 09:06
Comment from: admin [Member] Email · http://www.doubledeckerbuses.org/
Hey Andy... Most "histories" I've read about the genre (including Serling's notes, Asimov's books (2), Bradbury's, and Rodenberry's notes,) all credit Gulliver's Travels (1726) as being the seed that planted the concepts of "travelling to far off and strange worlds" with even Wells speculating that it was the genesis of either the idea of space travel or dimensional travel... and it does pre-date Frankenstein by 98 years.

I s'pose it's in the eye of the interpreter though.
PermalinkPermalink 04/09/08 @ 19:25

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