Dr. Who talk turns to time travel

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The gathering at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library was less “whodunnit” and more “Why ‘Who’ Does Photo by Brandon HicksIt.”
And while time travel was the focus of discussion among Dr. Who fans Monday night, the TARDIS (time machine) was never brought into action during the Teen Night session of the library’s Summer Reading Program.
During the session led by Jonathan Goff, teen readers discussed Dr. Who, a humanoid alien who travels through time working against different foes to save humanity, along with the characters of the long-running television series.
“Dr. Who is an alien with two hearts,” said Holden Roaten. “He can regenerate if he is hurt or if he dies, he can come back in another form.”
It is this ability that has kept Dr. Who on the air for more than 50 years. Throughout the life – or lives – of the series, Goff said there have been 12 characters cast in the part of Dr. Who.
Goff asked the teens why they believed time travel was a part of many science fiction stories.
“There’s no limitations,” said Grace Jackson. “The story can go anywhere and the characters can be involved in more situations.”
Goff agreed, adding another reason writers use time travel as a storytelling tool is to compare the way things are now to how they were in the past, and to encourage the reader to imagine differences in the future.
“This is a way for writers to look at how we have improved, or not improved, over time,” he added.
Goff noted the creators of Dr. Who also used time travel for “edutainment.” In the storyline, the Doctor uses a TARDIS, or a time machine, disguised as a blue police box, to travel to different eras.
“While he is in the past, they can learn a lesson,” Goff said. “This way it is entertaining but also educational.”
The teens then made their own models of “daleks” – one of Dr. Who’s greatest enemies. The daleks are driven by hate and need to destroy and exterminate anything that is non-dalek.

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