I learned from Radio Free Skarro that Paul Cornell dubbed the process of watching Doctor Who, in order, from the beginning, The Great Prilgrimage. If that is true, I’d say that going to Gallifrey One maybe be the “Other” Great Prilgrimage (“The Great Prilgrimage, Part Deux?”)
Anyway, I have just completed the original Great Prilgrimage, finding myself delighted by the Seventh Doctor and Ace and terribly sad to see them walk into the woods, and now I am off to Gallifrey One. I am terribly excited. Almost obscenely excited. And a rather large chunk of me feels ridiculous about that excitement, and a little guilty to boot.
I know, I know. I am always going on about enjoying your life. “Free the Squee” and all of that. I am a believer. Really. But, telling someone else to do it, and doing it myself are two different endeavors, as any therapist worth their couch will tell you.
My willingness to embrace the immense hassle of securing childcare for the weekend, getting tickets, putting together a kick ass River Song outfit (if I do say…), and shelling out a not inconsiderable amount of cash for three days of hanging out with other people who like the same TV show has, once again, forced an encounter with my persisting, niggling question about myself and Doctor Who, “What the hell?”
Surprisingly, at least this time around, I may actually have an answer.
In so many ways, Doctor Who fulfills is not psychotherapy.
I love being a psychologist and feel quite gratified when I help someone. In fact, I have some pretty serious concerns about the global out of control chaos that appears to be intensifying and expanding each decade. I actually think healing trauma on a personal, but also broader social scale, could actually make a difference in the world. I know that my work is important, not just for the people I treat, but for the community in which I live. However…
…things can get pretty real in my office. In real life, we can’t jump into TARDIS and rewind the tape. Usually, the way through a seemingly impossible life challenge has painful periods. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, but the walk to get there can be messy, and muddy, and sweaty and exhausting. And scary.
And, I need a break. Doctor Who gives me a chance to be the one who is being taken care of (by the Doctor). The challenge always gets resolved in 90 mins or less. And, almost all of the time, good wins and the bad are punished in some way. There is Michelle Gomez as Missy and Alex Kingston as River Song and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood. And everyone is smart and clever and funny. Honestly, what is not to adore about this show?
So, I am off to Doctor Who Oz, looking forward to a wonderful adventure with smart, clever, and funny people. We will do silly things like exchange ribbons, and watch TV, drink a lot (apparently), dress-up, and play silly games. We’ll also spend a lot of time talking about why we love this crazy show and the unique ways it gives each of us some time off. Geronimo!