CC Issue 30 / Film / TV / Reflections

Walk Among the Stars

So, after almost 7 years since its epic revival, I’ve finally gotten round to watching Doctor Who. If you don’t know what this is (“Doctor who?”), the only excuse you’re permitted to have is that you were born in the late 80s, hence missing the last few episodes broadcasted in 1989 because you were too obsessed hunting down chewy matter to ease your teething problems. Or you’ve never lived in the UK long enough to get infected by the great British sci-fi institution that it is.

I was born in the late 80s (unfortunately missing the experience of hiding behind the sofa from the evil Daleks), but somehow I’ve always known about the show; the time traveling Doctor with his blue police phone box (aka the TARDIS – Time and Relative Dimension in Space) which materializes and dematerializes in the most ghostly and noisiest way a phone box can. Not until I began to watch the last 3 series (the nerdiest two weeks of my life) did I discover the Doctor has the ability to regenerate every time he ‘dies’. And so this Doctor, who never truly expires for good, goes on wacky adventures with his ever-changing ‘companion’ (who tend to be a young, ballsy, pretty female) to save the Universe from the next alien threat.

I had found my inner geeky kid again. And it must have been from watching all the numerous CGI scenes of our beautiful solar system on Doctor Who, that I became intrigued by outer space. I had always been interested in the ‘great unknown’, but gave up when I was 10 when I couldn’t make head nor tail of any of the constellations. Finding Wally amongst a sea of Wallys proved far easier a pastime.

Almost anyone who lives in a bustling city will know how difficult it is to see the night stars thanks to a shroud of nasty pollution and neon lights. But we accept it as fact that they’re floating high in the ether, twinkling to us from millions of light years away. I have rarely seen the stars in all their celestial glory – once in the pitch-dark Welsh countryside (accompanied by the gentle sound of mooing cows) and the other on my flight from Hong Kong this past February. I had lifted up the window flap to see where our current location was, expecting only sleepy clouds at best. Instead I was greeted by what I can only describe as Disney like – a perfect blanket of luminous white stars sparkling against the pitch black night. My face was literally pressed up against the cold glass because it felt like I was staring into forever.

Then, thanks to my new found interest in all things Doctor Who and galaxy related, I made sure to check on the clear night sky during Moon Autumn Festival, which was on the 29th September this year. And I wasn’t disappointed. Freezing cold, wearing my PJs, armed with only a hot cup of tea and my dressing gown for warmth, the first thing I saw as I looked skywards was my very first shooting star. The scene from Pinocchio immediately comes to mind. Then I saw the others and counted. Almost 15 of the brightest stars (apparently one of them was Venus!) aligned across the night sky, like a giant smile. I stared and craned my neck until it started to go numb.

I share this experience because rarely have I found such delight in anything these days. For reasons only best known to myself, to feel this child-like wonderment is a rare occurrence and to experience it, is like a new yet familiar feeling every time, like watching a star being born (not the Judy Garland type but she was one grand leading lady). Perhaps you experience joy by going on holiday to an exotic location or greeting a newborn baby. Those are perfectly valid reasons to feel elation but for myself, as I stare at those heavenly bodies in the silent night air, whose miniscule glimmer belie the true magnitude and complexity of their makeup, I am reminded of the great design of you and I. If the Universe has been filled with beautiful compositions such as the stars and nature’s finest creatures, then how much more attention and detail has been placed into our own design to form the intricate beings we are today? That is perhaps something that deserves the greatest wonderment.

The Doctor to baby Alfie: “You are so young. Aren’t you? And you know, right now everything’s ahead of you. You could be anything. {Alfie gurgles} Yes, I know. You could walk among the stars.”

Please enjoy this clip of our awesome universe and all its gems (and happy 30th issue CC!):

One thought on “Walk Among the Stars

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