In a world where we are used to project our fears on palpable objects or beings, what can one do when we are left with no one to point our finger at?
This phrase sums up the best a recent episode of Doctor Who, Listen, an episode when we are told that the boogeyman exists, but we can never see it. While it may seem like a play on Schrodinger’s Cat experiment, this also represents perfectly the age that we live in, when we have to know who our enemies are in order to fight them. We give them names, we give them faces, but only afterwards ponder as to how these enemies can be defeated.
The concept isn’t new at all in the Doctor Who series. The new villains are actually a reiteration of the Weeping Angels, an even more paranoid emphasis of a recurring theme in the world: the Weeping Angels are able to do you harm only when you don’t look at them. What would you do when all bets are off and danger lurks everywhere?
Of course, Doctor Who comes with its own interpretation of the subject, a metaphor which (surprisingly or not) is perfect for our real world also: it may be that this new boogeyman was created by us, and it may be us that we are feeding it and renewing its strengths. We are, ultimately, terrified by our own imagination. We are scared, in the end, by ourselves.
It’s good to see a show that is meaningful for the harsh times that we live in. It is even more meaningful to see that a light flickers at the end of the tunnel. As Clara says, fear is a good thing, because it is the one that gets us closer to each other. Even more, it is fear that, can make you faster, and cleverer, and stronger, as Clara also says.
In the end, I believe, we should only fear our own capacity to fear – this is the message I have taken with me after watching Listen. In other words, we shouldn’t just give in and let it paralyze us. We have created it and only we can unmake it.
Peter Capaldi breathes in new life into this enduring show. But this wouldn’t be possible without such magnificent and meaningful scripts. This is a show to be watched. Even more, I can say that this is the necessary series for our days.