Doctor Who? Doctor Jew


Liel Leibovitz in Tablet:

There are few undertakings more daunting for a writer interested in popular culture than to attempt to write, coherently and elegantly, about Doctor Who. For one thing, the sheer size of the monumental television series is daunting: To date, 796 episodes have aired, clocking in at various lengths and representing divergent runs, story arcs, and seasons. Famously, the Doctor, a member of a superior race called the Time Lords, occasionally slips into a new body, acquiring not only a new face but also a new personality. Eleven actors have portrayed him thus far, making any attempt at coherent characterization an exercise in footnotes and futility. Finally, being not only one of the most successful science-fiction franchises but also one of the most intellectually intricate, any attempt to dive into its philosophical depths is fraught with risk—the show’s universe is so rich and dense that unless a writer is very careful, he or she may very well end up finding hidden meanings in everything.

And yet, here I go. With the series’ seventh season ending next week, and with a stunning twist promising to rock the tenets of the Doctor’s world, allow me, by way of playful tribute, to suggest that the esteemed time-traveling do-gooder is the most compelling Jewish character in the history of television.