I didn’t really enjoy the first episode of Doctor Who this season. That episode was a soft reboot, so the Doctor really didn’t spend his time doing Doctor-y things. But last week’s episode “Smile” and this week’s episode “Thin Ice” were great. The Doctor got out of his study, which led he and Bill to some wonderful adventures.
“Thin Ice” saw the Doctor and Bill visiting 19th century London and a frozen over River Thames. Obviously it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without some disappearances and little peril, which both made an appearance in this episode. The Doctor and Bill also got to make use of the TARDIS’s wardrobe, which always makes for an exciting time.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching “Thin Ice.”
Bill freaked out at being in the past. Like most of us who have watched too much science fiction, we believe that even the smallest change could alter everything. Bill tells the Doctor that she’s worried every choice she makes could change her future. The Doctor tells Bill that fear is true of every choice, not just ones made in the past. Every choice we make will have an impact on our lives. Some choices like what we eat for breakfast won’t have as large of an impact like who we choose to marry. Our lives are the summation of every choice we make, what choose to do and not to do. So we need to make wise choices, especially in the big things, but we probably shouldn’t have pancakes for breakfast every day.
One of my favorite parts about new companions is watching them uncover who the Doctor is. The most committed Doctor Who fans have over 50 years of experience with the Doctor, but at this point Bill has only known him for a few months. She doesn’t know how old he is, she doesn’t know how many lives he’s saved and she doesn’t know how many lives he’s taken. When Bill saw someone die for the first time she couldn’t believe how little the Doctor seemed to care. The Doctor said he had learned how to move on because that’s what was required of him. When we experience tragedy, moving on is important – eventually. We need to experience the depths of our emotions no matter what we face. We have to engage in a process of mourning and acceptance, which will allow us to move on in healthy manner.
“Human progress isn’t measured by industry; it’s measured by the value you place on a life.”
The Doctor gave a killer speech about the value of a human life. Speaking to a wealthy man who cared more about lining his pockets than the life of anyone else, the Doctor gave an impassioned speech highlighted by the above line. Followers of Jesus should definitely be moved by the Doctor’s speech. Jesus died for everyone on the cross, which means that every life is valuable. Every person is also created in the image of God, granting each of us innate value simply by being alive. It’s tempting to place more value on material possessions or earthly success, but those don’t really matter. People matter. Jesus showed us that reality on the cross and the Doctor reminded us of it in “Thin Ice.”
As you can tell, I really enjoyed “Thin Ice.” Peter Capaldi is building on his strong finish to last season. Seeing him peaking like this only makes me wish he was sticking around for one more season. His impending departure, though, will just make me appreciate this season and his performance even more.
What did you think of “Thin Ice?”