Emperor Churchill: You mentioned a woman.
The Doctor: Yes. I’m getting to her.
Emperor Churchill: What’s she like? Attractive, I assume.
The Doctor: Hell. In high heels.
Emperor Churchill: Tell me more.
-Doctor Who, episode The Wedding of River Song
Lately, my friends and I have been playing an email game, for conversation, about what character you are from TV shows or books or movies. Why its proved interesting is that it tells you something about yourself, about how others see you, and how they see themselves. If you’re not a Whovian OR Trekker/Trekkie, not all of this will make sense to you, but I’ll try to bring it around.
We started with a conversation about what Star Trek Captain you were most like. So for myself I said that I thought I was most like Janeway, trying to keep my crew together under difficult circumstances, far from home and without as much of a support system. Some agreed, but the majority said Captain Kirk because “willing to punch both the prime directive and the temporal directive in the face to do what you think is right and to protect your crew. And a real visceral love of life and adventure.” and my dad “you’ll follow the rules up to the point they don’t make sense, then you’re going to do what you think is right.”
This conversation continued with which Doctor from Doctor Who (recent Who, Eccleston and on)
I changed the question, though. I asked “Who do you present to the world verses who do you think you are.” The responses for who I present were very much The Eleventh Doctor: quirky, fun, whimsical with a childlike sense of wonder…and then, the outlier…and probably more accurate than I care to admit.
9th Doctor. To which I responded, really? (9th is kind of dark) “he has an almost maniacal sense of humor and life…but its concealing a deep hurt and scar over the past, what has happened to him, and choices he’s made.”
Of course I was taken aback, I mean, that’s a lot for someone to read on you. Then I thought about it, and its true. Its closer to who I am on the inside. But The Eleventh is very much who I want to be on the outside.
Which brings us, to River Song. She’s a complicated character. Basically, we got to talking about it because we’re going to a party in December where we’ll need to cosplay as Doctor Who characters. And everyone was unanimous in that I have to be River Song.
River Song is a female adventurer, wife of The Doctor, lady Indiana Jones…living her life and her love forward as the love of her life starts knowing everything about her and, by their final meeting, doesn’t know anything about her. She’s strong, interesting, and ultimately, tragic. And, in the words of Firefly she’s “A big damn hero.”
And I noticed that a lot of my friends. They put me in that spot. And I thought about that. I thought about the weakness I’ve been feeling, the sorrow, the weight of it all. And I thought about River Song. Hell. In High Heels.
We all need something to pull us out of the doldrums…and what better than internalizing an interesting, strong, complex, character who has her own heartbreak but makes heroic choices. Who goes head to head with one of the smartest people in the galaxy…and knows more than him. Who, when asked about what’s going to happen tosses a cheeky smile back at him and says “No…spoilers, sweetie.”
That my friends…that’s the kind of person I need in my corner right now. River Song sees a lot, she loses, not only the man she loves, but sees him loose his memory of her, of everything they’ve done. She is doomed to know everything, but cannot share, doomed to see the solution, but unable to change much of it, and cursed to know how it must end.
She’s sad. Seeing all these things, how could you not be sad? But she sneaks out and dances, she flies into battle like a warrior queen with a grin on her face. Yeah, if I’m going to find someone as an inspiration right now…she’s ok. A little of her, a little classic Kirk. Maybe I’ll just break my own rules of self-imposed sadness…and see where we go from there.
Hours of Sleep: 6.5 hours…stress leads to nightmares leads to an unfortunate lack of sleep. I’m going to bed early tonight, trying to make up for it.
Exercise: I have 2 exercise free days left. Totally taking one today. One left and 7 days to go!
Breakfast: Breakfast pizza. Breakfast of champions
Cleaning or Packing?: Washed a bunch of dishes, organized some clothes…cleaned out a bunch of emails, actually, so I’m going to count that too.
Made my bed?: I threw the covers back on the bed and fluffed the pillows. I will count this as making it.
Read 1 book a week: Four Letter Word by Joshua Knelman & Rosalind Porter.
The Doctor: Oh, this is my friend River. Nice hair, clever, and has her own gun. And unlike me, she really doesn’t mind shooting people. I shouldn’t like that. Kinda do, a bit.
River: Thank you, sweetie.
Doctor Who, episode Day of the Moon
River: You. Me. Handcuffs. Must it always end this way?
The Doctor: What now?
River: The prison ship’s in orbit. They’ll beam me up any second. I might have done enough to earn a pardon this time. We’ll see.
The Doctor: Octavian said you killed a man.
River: Yes, I did.
The Doctor: A good man.
River: A very good man. The best man I’ve ever known.
The Doctor: Who?
River: It’s a long story, Doctor. Can’t be told, has to be lived. No sneak previews. Well, except for this one: You’ll see me again quite soon, when the Pandorica opens.
The Doctor: The Pandorica. [laughs] [Leans in to River Song and whispers in her ear] That’s a fairy tale.
River: [laughs] Oh, Doctor. Aren’t we all? [smiles] I’ll see you there.
– Doctor Who, episode Flesh and Stone
I have fantastic hair, I’m clever…time and space can’t stop me from doing what’s right by my friends, I’m a fantastic flirt, and mad, bad, and dangerous to know. If you can’t believe you friends, who can you believe? I’ll take it!