I just finished watching Doctor Who Season 9 after around six months of journeying with the Doctor in the series, and I am reminded of endings.
I have a friend who I used to call Secret Comic Book Guy. (He has come out of the closet by the way. The comic book closet, okay?) It was from him that I got to borrow and read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. When I’d finished reading the graphic novel, my initial impulse was to discuss it with him when he said that he had not read Sandman in its entirety. Why?
The destination is never as good as the journey.
I figured this was true with Japanese movies and stories, but never really thought that it would be applicable to the process of watching shows and reading stories.
But it is.
If you watched the last two episodes of Doctor Who Season 9 (Heaven Sent and Hell Bent) before going to sleep last night, you’d be as emotionally frustrated and exhausted as I am. The frustration of (SPOILER ALERT) having to realize that 4.5 billion years have passed, of having to watch the Doctor punch through that wall to get home, of seeing him take the long way carry through real life. It probably is natural for all you Whovians out there, but season 9 got me so emotionally invested that I didn’t know what was I supposed to do afterward. What’s next for me? I mean, there’s no season 10 yet, and even if I could already watch the next season, how could you move on from being emotionally drained by the previous one?
There is clearer direction in the process than in the destination.
Where is the Doctor going? Home? To Gallifrey? To the end of the universe? (Well, we’ve seen him do the last one.) If there were a destination, would it make viewers or readers relieved that there is in fact an ultimate purpose? Highly unlikely. Why would a series that started in the 70s and ended in the late 80s be given life again in the 21st century?