MR. PEABODY: ABSENTEE TIME LORD?
When I was a kid, I was a little young for the original run of “Rocky and Bullwinkle”, but I really liked the reruns. One of my favorite features was the segment “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” Now, many years later, I still hear Mr. Peabody saying in his most contemptuous voice, “Quiet, you.” He whisked around through time in the Way Back machine with his young friend Sherman maki g pithy remarks and giving Shedman lessons about history.
As I got older, I discovered Doctor Who. about a renegade time lord who was always the smartest person in the room who flies around in time and space in his TARDIS.
Recently, I watched the 2014 film “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” with the kids. It’s a lot of fun, keeping the spirit of the original characters in a contemporary setting. As I was watching this, I suddenly realized:
THE DOCTOR. MR. PEABODY.
THE SAME DUDE.
Thesis: Mr. Peabody is just be another incarnation of the Doctor.
This could be controversial among fans, I know. Doctor Who fandom can’t agree on the potential of a future Doctor being a woman. The idea that the Doctor could be a canine could well destroy the Internet.
Still, the signs are all there. The Doctor has no name other than that title. Mr. Peabody is just “Mr, Peabody”. Even his kid Sherman calls him that. Peabody wears glasses. The tenth Doctor wore glasses. Peabody thinks bow ties are cool, the eleventh Doctor thought bow ties were cool.
And there’s more. Peabody finds other people frustrating, frequently saying “Quiet, you.” The 12th Doctor, frankly, doesn’t really like anyone, often telling people to “shut up shut up shuttity-up-up-up.”
Both adventurers have mad skills. Peabody is a great chef and a master of industry and science. The Doctor juggles, dances, is an absentee president of Gallifrey.
Both characters have hearts (in the Doctor’s case, TWO of them) that would fill a TARDIS, but both are super smart and have trouble relating to us ordinary folk. The 12th Doctor, in particular is “not the hugging type” and has little regard for individual people, even while struggling to save the species as a whole. Peabody loves his boy Sherman, but can only muster the occasional “I have great regard for you.”
The Doctor and Peabody both flit about time in impossible machines, and are a first name basis with historical figures. Both know Davinci. Peabody and Ghandi are pals. The Doctor knows Shakespeare and a Queens Victoria and Elizabeth.
Both have companions who stir up trouble. In the movie, Penny tries to marry King Tut. Sherman wrecks Davinci’s airplane prototype. Clara betrays the 12th Doctor out of desperation, to which he replies, “do you really believe I think so little of you that betraying me could make a difference?” Peabody responds to Sherman’s betrayal by saying he loves him and setting things right.
For both characters, setting things right usually involves some scientific-sounding techno babble. For Peabody, somehow traveling to the future repairs a rift in the past. For the Doctor,saving worlds has involved moving planets, reversing polarities, sending planets into pocket universes and on and on…
A man. A dog. Is the universe big enough for the two of them? Or the ONE of them?
The prosecution (or the valyard, if you like) rests.