I am Alone§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: September 11, 2014; revised: August 13, 2017; readers in past month: 700

One of the most popular television shows in the world is Dr. Who. It’s a science fiction show in which the main character, the Doctor is supposed to be a time traveler. The head writer for the show in recent years has been Steven Moffat. He’s the head writer of the new television series, Sherlock, and was the head writer of the comedy series Couplings. He’s a brilliant writer and has won awards for his work. He wrote the first episode of the current season of Dr. Who. It’s call, Deep Breath. The episode was excellent, but there was a special scene within the show that was marvelous.

In this episode, a dinosaur is transported through time to London in the 1890’s. It’s a weird situation. In the scene to which I’m referring, the doctor is sick and in bed. His friends have managed to contain the dinosaur temporarily in the Thames river, near the Big Ben clock tower. It’s night time and the dinosaur is moaning in the background, while the doctor is sleeping. When awake, the Doctor is able to communicate with any one, including any animal. He understands what the dinosaur is saying. In his sleep, he translates her lament. Below is a clip from this episode, showing this scene:

Dinosaur Lament The Doctor says in this scene the following:

I am alone. The world which shook at my feet, and the trees, the sky have gone. And I am alone now, alone. The wind bites now, and the world is gray. And I am alone here. Can’t see me; doesn’t see me; can’t see me…

In part, I like this scene because of the acting and directing. There’s a flurry of activity leading to this somber scene. Then suddenly the drama calms and becomes quiet, with only the sound of the dinosaur moaning in the background, seen in the distance pacing with her head down in anguish. Unexpectedly, the Doctor begins translating in time with the moans of the dinosaur. The actor delivers his lines in the same somber tone as the dinosaur’s lament.

The dinosaur says that she is alone, but she’s surrounded by hundreds of humans gawking at her. I find that interesting. What does she mean by alone?

The ending lines don’t seem to match the rest of the lament. It may be that the Doctor is also talking about himself in this part, that the Doctor, in identifying himself in the dinosaur’s words, he has transitioned to his own lament. The Doctor Who television series has been running for over fifty years. So that the series may replace actors, as part of the story, when the Doctor is killed, his body regenerates into a new body — a new actor. This episode is the first for this new actor. That’s why he’s sick and in bed: he’s recovering from a recent regeneration. His companion, the beautiful young woman at his bedside doesn’t understand what has happened to him and it treating him strangely. She doesn’t see the true, inner Doctor.

If we consider that the lines about being alone come from the dinosaur, though, what could she mean?