The new season of Doctor Who is set to premiere this weekend. With the premiere, there will be a new Doctor. There have been 12 previous Doctors (if you count the War Doctor) and Peter Capaldi will now play the Doctor. I’ve talked about on this blog before about regeneration and the Doctor so if you want to check out that post, feel free to check the archives.
Now you may (or may not know), starting around January 2013, I started watching the show. I didn’t just start with the 2005 revival. I started all the way back to 1963 with the first Doctor, William Hartnell. I watched on DVD and Netflix Instant Streaming from the first Doctor onward. Granted, there have been some serials and episodes that have been lost in time, but the majority that are out there I’ve seen. Aside from 8 classic serials and 1 modern Christmas special, I have seen all the Doctor Who episodes that are out there. Last month I finished up with season 7, the 50th Anniversary episode and the Christmas episode.
At the end of the Christmas episode, there was a line that really stuck out to me that the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) said just before his regeneration. He said this: “We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good. You got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
That quote really stuck out to me because it’s true. I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I’m not the same as I was two years ago. I’m not the same person I was when I was in seminary, nor am I the same person that I was in Seattle. I’m not who I was in graduate school just I’m not the same person I was in college or high school. Those are different people than who I am now but they are also still me. Just like the Doctor was still the Doctor throughout the years even though his appearance and personality would change, he was still the Doctor.
There are some people out there that just know me as “High School Michael” because that was when they interacted with me the most. There’s some that know me as “College Michael”, some as “Grad School Michael”, and so on and so forth. I think in some ways we all tend to do that. We have some friends in the past that we just know them in that context and if we saw them now they would still fit that context even though they’ve changed and we’ve changed. And like some of the Doctor’s companions, there are those friends in our lives that have seen more than one version of us, have seen the difference but still know it’s us.
I hope that I’ve gotten better. That this version of me right now is better than what I used to be. I also know that I’m not done changing. I will be a different Michael in a year, five years, ten years down the line. But I will remember all the different versions of me. I will remember all the people that I used to be. Because they are a part of who I am and they always will be. But they will not always be all that I am.
Time will tell how the new Doctor will be. In some ways, the same could be said for us as well.