Are We Gridlocked Today?


The premise of season three, episode three of New Who was particularly interesting to me since it was based in a dystopian future on a planet called New Earth. Apparently, five billion years in the future humanity has not only survived but has moved to a planet many light years away.

Early in the episode we see the underground world that most of the people on New Earth live in. It’s like the “slums” of a bigger city and we find out there is a superhighway that people drive on for years at a time (some for their whole lives). As us viewers watching this episode here on “current” Earth, we see this New Earth scenario as ridiculous and far beyond anything conceivable in our lives today. However, are some of our lives really that different from the citizens of New Earth?

Most scenarios presented in Doctor Who should be taken for something more than their surface value. Even though it seems preposterous that anyone would drive for years on end, wasting their life, how many of us are guilty of simply going through the motions everyday and not truly seizing everyday as an opportunity for something new and exciting. Much like the people driving on the superhighway, it is all too easy to get comfortable in living the same way we have been for so long.

I think anyone can find himself or herself living this kind of life, but we, here on Current Earth, are at a disadvantage compared to the people of New Earth. We cannot wait for the arrival of the Doctor (or some other outside source) to enlighten our lives. We should all learn from the people of New Earth and break free of our own superhighways we might be stuck on.


9 thoughts on “Are We Gridlocked Today?”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. I think you did an an excellent job of reading the hidden message behind the episode. The idea of a futuristic world where people drive meaninglessly around for the bulk of their lives is one that seemed silly to me at first. Your connection of this futuristic world and our own has helped me reevaluate how I viewed the episode. Too many of us actually spend our lives going through the motions without stopping and thinking about what the purpose of it is and how this will enrich our lives.


  2. I completely agree with your statement. Some people are always in a rush to complete things, and they miss so much. Instead of stopping to take a moment and actually invest time into things, we have made it a habit of going through the motions. This holds us back from getting engaged, and actually experiencing a lot of opportunities! For example, there are students who just want to get college done with, and then there are students who get involved, and participate. From my experience, it seems like the students who choose to be involved and mix up their routine, seem to enjoy college more!


  3. I’m glad you picked up on this, because I noticed it, too! I think that the writers of Doctor Who intended to make that connection. I also agree with you when you say we need to break free from just going through the motions. It’s so easy to get stuck in a routine and forget about living!


  4. I totally agree with you. every day I see people rushing to places and rushing to do things, and I just sit there thinking, why don’t everyone just slow down, open their eye, and take in everything around them. It’s so simple to get lost in an everyday routine, you get so used to it, it becomes difficult to stop. I really like what you wrote. nice.


  5. I agree also. I winder if people even know why they are rushing around. To get somewhere is not a good answer. If there is no real explanation as to why we do what we do, why are we doing it?


  6. Very interesting idea you thought of! One thing that you didn’t mention is the fact that the people who lived in the cars were, essentially, stuck. They didn’t have an easy escape until the Doctor managed to open the roof. They were in a pattern on living their entire lives inside of a car and in this case, they truly didn’t have a choice. On the other hand I don’t think that we, or at least I, am “stuck” like those in the car who didn’t have a choice. I do have a similar pattern throughout every day, but I wouldn’t consider myself stuck. I enjoy my routines. All of our lives are full of options, I just happen to stick with similar options that satisfy me and make me happy.


  7. I thought that this post was well written and I also wonder what life will be like in five billion years and if doctor who got any of I remotely write


  8. I think that you bring some good aspects to the blog about how the Earth may potentially end up like. The idea that our planet will end up like this terrifies me. I hope that we don’t come to that. I think that some of the things that were part of the show would be possibly for our Earth’s future.


  9. You make a very interesting point. It is unfortunate that we can relate to this episode, but we do. People have become so focused on getting from one place to the next that they don’t stop to enjoy the present. Maybe the connections made in this episode can be an eye opener for us.


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