Oh, Dr! The infinite vision and experience, the pain you carry. That miraculous regenerating flesh. And now this out of wedlock, un-church-sanctified threat of carnal passion.
Dr. Who is for kids like Harry Potter is for kids. Dr. Who fills our need to envision, charting a direction large enough to fit what we know (and suspect) about the cosmos. Sci-fi, like the old religions, the old gods, is like the Tardis, a vehicle to project yourself far enough from the mundane to glimpse both your inner and outer states -- the total psyche -- and the binding, unquestioned parameters of your culture's hold on those states.
You think kids don't have sexual feelings? At five, I was totally in love with Robin Hood (the one with the BBC accent: Richard Greene, The Adventures of Robin Hood. Wow -- did you know Lindsay Anderson directed some of those?). I think I also had a thing for the Sheiff of Nottingham. He was just so evil and had that demonic little beard. But I didn't know the facts of life, the old in-out, not growing up on a farm. But still -- the feelings. The passion and attraction.
I remember being very shocked by it all when I learned about sex. It's so preposterous, and, unless you're actually experiencing the moment, seems to have very little to do with the feelings that caught you up into that act in the first place. Which is why porn and even so many sex scenes in adult movies fail to attract or intrigue me. It's like eating, really. I'm not interested in watching it. Some things are simply not spectator sports. (And if sex is -- what? -- 80% visual as they say it is for men, is not watching porn 80% infidelity?) (Oh, lusting in his heart.) (Kidding!) It's more romantic to have Dr. Who un-entangled: I know he's a passionate being, body and mind. A Time Lord! What an aphrodisiac. He doesn't need anything more than what he simply is. It just breaks the spell. Makes him -- human. Mundane.
(Of course I love the scene, what they did, River Song, all of it.)
And love is also awe.
On Netflix, I read the reactions to "An Education". It's a marvelous film that understands all I'm trying to get at here: grappling with mysteries, the forces that make life and move the sun and all the stars, how easy it is to lose oneself. Thank the gods Jenny doesn't. Thank Jenny, saved by her own wisdom: her ability to learn. She's far too whole to be cut in pieces, which is what we do with sex. Hell, we sell cars with it, cut it away from Being. But reading the Netflix responses, how many write that they were creeped out by a 30 year-old man seducing a 16 year-old girl -- so creeped out that they missed the point of the film. It's symptomatic of our sexual dysfunction, the way we've divorced body and soul. Romance is eros centered, and we've lost reverence for the eros. And Eros is life itself, life as it moves and lives.
Ah, Jenny. How we love you. How we love our Doctors. As for carnality, it was 1885, an eye-blink ago, that the age of consent was raised in England from 12 to 16, and it took a good long jolly fight to get that passed by Parliament.
I trust adults will grow up at some point. Hollywood is looking for actors who have real, non-silicone bodies. Reality centered bodies. A place where we can fully dwell, where we can travel the cosmos, defy time and space, plant our feet, dance, and get -- educated.
extra credit: STEPHEN HAWKING:TIME LORD