The Doctor, the Eye Doctor and Me
Analogies and parallels between the world of Doctor Who and the Syrian conflict, as seen through the eyes of a Syrian activist.
“Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in” – The Doctor’s Promise.
“Assad or we burn the country” – The Eye Doctor’s Promise
The Doctor, the lead character in the BBC’s phenomenally successful TV show “Doctor Who”; a time-traveling alien hundreds of years old. A compassionate person with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of the ages.
The Eye Doctor, Bashar Assad of Syria, whose ophthalmology studies in the UK were interrupted to enable him to inherit the presidency of a country from his father.
“The Doctor, the Eye Doctor and Me” is the world of Doctor Who and the Syrian conflict as seen through the eyes of Aboud Dandachi, an activist and refugee from the city of Homs. The book attempts to explain the events of the Syrian conflict by exploring the remarkable analogies, parallels and contrasts between the war and the adventures of the Eleventh Doctor. Among the thirteen episodes the book draws on include;
- The Impossible Astronaut/The Day of the Moon, the day the Doctor fought his own revolution.
- The Doctor’s Wife, the day the Doctor lost his home and himself became a displaced person.
- A Good Man Goes to War, as opposed to how a “bad man” implements “reforms”.
- Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, when the Doctor proved truly capable of Machiavellian manipulations that would put dictators to shame.
- Asylum of the Daleks, and the narratives individuals create and live by in order to endure the burdens of war.
- The Night of the Doctor, what happens when both sides in a conflict are perceived to be as bad as the other.
- The Time of the Doctor, the most important factor and lesson in war, any war, as exemplified by the Doctor’s hundreds year battle to protect one town from the combined forces of the universe.
The book also examines the contrasting languages used by the Doctor and the Eye Doctor, and how the year 2013 was a milestone for both Doctor Who and Syria’s political history.
Written by Aboud Dandachi, a Syrian activist who over the course of the war would live in both opposition and loyalist areas, and would witness first hand the effects of the conflict on both communities, “The Doctor, the Eye Doctor and Me” is a unique interpretation of Doctor Who as it marked its fiftieth anniversary, and a first-hand account of the most devastating period in Syria’s modern history.
It is both the story of one person’s journey through the different stages of the Syrian conflict, and the lessons and insights into the meaning of the events of that journey as gleaned from parallels and analogies with one of the century’s most remarkable cultural achievements.