I keep going back to the Doctor Who episode (reboot Series Six, ep four) ‘The Doctor’s Wife.’ Its Neil Gaiman’s writing, which would make me happy regardless. However, there’s one bit of dialogue between Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill that I simply love. It encompasses Smith’s tenure as The Doctor:
Rory: So as soon as the TARDIS is refueled we go, yeah?
The Doctor: No! There are Time Lords here. I heard them and they need me.
Amy: But you told me about your people and you told me what you did.
The Doctor: Yes, yes. But if theyre like The Corsair theyre good ones and I can save them.
Amy: And then tell them you destroyed all the others?
The Doctor: I can explain. Tell them why I had to.
Amy: You want to be forgiven.
The Doctor: …don’t we all?
There’s so much pain in that one line from Smith. So much promise. People who dont like Smith’s run as Eleven just dont get that line.
All that said: I think it speaks to me because I want to be forgiven as well. I know the pain I’ve caused people over the years. Everything I do now, I do because I want to be a better person. Better than what I was, when I was a rampaging heathen in my twenties.
Look. I know I’ve held on to a lot of grief, and guilt. Longer than I probably should have. But I know that there are a lot of people I owe apologies to. I’ve tried to make things right, but I will never be able to shake the feeling that I can do more. I can fix things. I can use the voice I have, loud and ringing, to fix things.
If I can explain things, can I be forgiven? Religious dogma aside, can someone like me find peace when there was so much callous behavior in the past?
Here’s where another piece of sci-fi comes to the forefront of my memory: Ivanovas piece from (close to) the end of Sleeping In Light:
Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the future and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope, that there can always be new beginnings. Even for people like us.
I’ve had a new beginning. Being with Manda, knowing our future will always be intertwined, has given me hope. I’m 43 years old, and I’m only now realizing my adult life is underway. I still have my friends from 20 years ago, and through all of the bumps, bruises and horrifying choices, we’re still alive and raging against the dying of the light.
What I think I’m trying to say, now, is I will always hope that I can be forgiven for my past but I’m not chained to it. My adventure continues.
Idris: Whats wrong?
The Doctor: It cant hold the charge. It cant even start. Theres no power. Ive got nothing.
Idris: Oh, my beautiful idiot. You have what you’ve always had. You’ve got me.