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Postmortem of Doctor Who

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In software development, at the end of most projects, most good managers and leaders put something together called a postmortem.

This is a tongue in cheek reference to the medical term which means “an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.” and in the course of software development, is done whether the project being examined met with success or failure.

Postmortems in software development seek to ask two primary questions “What went right” and “What went wrong, and is done whether the project was successful or not, with the simple concept that there is just as much to be learned from successes as there are from failures.

I have found postmortems valuable on a wide variety of projects, whether they are iterative in development, for instance if they leverage Agile or Scrum methods, or they are waterfall based – for one simple reason: they put the team and stakeholders involved in the project on the same page which develops a foundation for moving forward.

While pursuing my MBA, we even had a few postmortems after our project’s grade was given.

So postmortems can provide valuable ‘team insights’ and do not have to be limited to just dead bodies or completed software projects.


In the Doctor Who universe, I felt compelled to ask – what caused the extinction of the vast majority of the Timelords?

Put specifically – what commenced the war of the Timelords versus the Daleks, and why did “The Doctor” push the button on the nuclear-bomb-on-megaton-steroids like doomsday device to annihilate not just the Timelords, but his arch enemies – the Daleks?

Furthermore, how can we as a civilization learn from these events to not repeat them?

To answer this question, we have to look at what caused the war between the Daleks and Timelords to begin with?

The Doctor on numerous occasions explains what happened with the Time Wars.

As he put it “Every nightmare imaginable came true.” and he on more than one occasion details the nightmares.

This alludes to the origin of the Daleks. They are a product of the Timelord’s paranoid and unstable mind.

He hints to the problem another time as he stops a companion from looking into something called an infinity mirror:

“Dont stare at it. Anyone who stares into it goes absolutely insane.”

And in one of the final episodes from last season, he alludes to the nature of his universe:

“We upload all our thoughts and memories into a Matrix.”

So how best to analogize this is simple: In a computer system, nearly anything I can currently think of visually and aurally can be programmed. I cannot program smells, tastes, and how it feels inside, but I have plenty of evidence to suggest those senses are imagined senses, for instance as I turn a corner of a cliff in a simulation and see over the cliff, in ‘real life’ I actually get my stomach to drop out almost as if I was there.

The Timelord and this entire series is actually in ‘the holographic/digital’ world, and they clearly have a keen sense of awareness of their environment if they are capable of both time travel and uploading their thoughts and experiences into the Matrix.

But herein lies the rub and chief reason for this society’s perceived failure (from an outside observer’s perspective).

Within a Matrix and/or computer simulation as their universe consisted of, the outside world around them came alive.

The fears and demons of THIS MAN named “The Doctor” manifested themselves as he commenced down a path of time travel.

The fears and demons went to war with his world.

And since this was his world.

Created by his mind.

The demons he manifested could never really cause him harm.

But they could cause everything else he knew and loved harm.

What is the lesson learned with this man and his universe?

Mental self control.

He teaches us how critically important it is for us to not just think.

But to think with some modicum of self control.

What caused the extinction and subsequent revival of the Doctor’s Universe?

It all started with a lack of self control of the Doctor’s mind when he realized his mind created all of existence as he knew it without ‘training’.

When you can think of your worst nightmare which creates itself in the beginning of time, and that nightmare, having undergone eons of evolution comes to meet you at the moment you have that thought….. it can pretty quickly and easily be demonstrated that time and time travel can very quickly become your enemy if your mind is not prepared for the journey and all you are doing is hunting your demons and saving those living in a universe and world they don’t want to be in to begin with.

However. As can be seen in more recent installations.

His planet is resurrecting.

His people are finding logic and reason, albeit currently faulty.

And he’s learning he was only alone when he thought he was, because his thoughts were creating the reality and proof to support his beliefs no matter what he chose to think.

The postmortem:

“What went right” with this man and his universe: He made strong and convicted choices and chose to believe in himself.  He also chose to always believe he was invincible. Thus he became so in his own way against the demons his mind conjured up.
“What went wrong” with this man and his universe: Guilt. he carried his guilt with him and took a long time to learn it was only he that was responsible for forgiving himself.

What can our Society, here on planet Earth learn from this man?

To understand that fantasies, like nightmares, can become true when one embarks down the path of time travel, and it’s as simple as belief.

And how do you intellectually and mentally prepare a blossoming mind and potentially an entire world to focus on the things they want?

I think America does this amazingly well.

But you know what.

While I had always watched Doctor Who thinking these are the adventures of a man in the course of a few years, it was not until lately that I considered applying Einstein’s theory of relativity to his life and came to realize, these are more likely tiny snapshots of the journeys of a man over a few hundred years….

And the whole time it was me focusing on the monsters.

I was and had been seeing my own reflection in him.

Not the fun times he was having.

That’s changing.



When reflecting on what happened to the Mayans and their mass disappearance. What happened to the Romans and why did Rome fall…. What happened to Greece, and Egypt, and other civilizations which left their mark on society…

I think it’s lessons from Doctor Who that need to be taken at heart.

Maybe, just maybe, these civilizations aren’t just historical milestones in the progress of this planet known as Earth.

But they are all actually lively and blossoming, burgeoning societies in alternate universes and we’re actively collaborating together to create more across realities because this provides us all opportunity to explore, to experience life, and to attain meaning beyond…

What do you do for a living?

“Why I’m an explorer”

I was a programmer. Which trained my mind for the seemingly endless possibilities and perspectives.

I suppose you could say I am taking law courses with Penn State and Harvard to assert and develop structure in this, my world, which is a reflection of my own mind before I go and start touring other worlds and universes without the need to involve drugs or alcohol.


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