Wednesday, 7 February 2007

"Enlightenment

...was the choice"; so goes the payoff in a deeply underrated but beautiful Doctor Story starring Peter Davison of the same name. The main focus of the story concerns beings - Eternals - who need to divert themselves with entertainments (they are currently racing sailing ships in space), but the snag is that they have no imagination: they possess great power but no real ability of thought or feeling. Manipulating the story's race - the prize being Enlightenment - are the two Guardians, black and white, the two halves of morality.

There are many many reasons why this is a wonderful story: its slightly elegiac tone being one of them, but I mainly love its two messages - the exercise of choice, for the right reasons, is Enlightenment - and the simple idea that the gods or godlike beings are flawed, bored, unimaginative creatures, while the quick-dying Ephemerals (you and me) are glorious creative things (even if we expend a lot of that creativity finding ways of dying). It seems to me part of the gently subversive nature of Doctor Who that it could undermine the concept of godlike beings, show us for the magnificent things we are - and chide us for our murderousness, all in the same slow, careful, ninety minutes of drama.

Tegan is at one point being hounded and harrassed by Mr Marriner, an Eternal with, it seems a deep crush on her, who continually tells her how important she is to him, how she makes him feel alive:

"Wait a minute, are you trying to say you're in love with me?"
"Love? What is love? I want existence."

2 comments:

james higham said...

...the exercise of choice, for the right reasons, is Enlightenment...

Pure illuminati b---s--t. It 's the old, old chestnut again that Enlightenment stems from 'choice' when there is, in fact, no choice. It is the illusion to assuage man's ego that he's pulling the strings when in reality he's being drawn to Gehenna. It is towards darkness he is headed.

Enlightenment, as any Buddhist knows, is getting closer and closer to the G-dhead.

The Tin Drummer said...

James, call me naive, but I have no idea what the illuminati is or are. Enlightenment is the choice because we do have free will, to whatever degree: and using it against desires for self-satisfaction is a good thing.