AD Collaborative Post // Warning: This article may contain spoilers for the DC teen drama Stargirl, now airing on CW.
In a series full of outcasts, the Justice Society of America’s newest incarnation of Dr. Mid-Nite, also known as Dr. Midnight, is one of the most interesting. She is particularly worth examining as an example of the overall optimistic theme of this popular new series produced by Geoff Johns.
The character of Dr. Mid-Nite in CW’s Stargirl is played by Anjelika Washington, an actress who also worked on a 2017 series entitled Young Sheldon. In Stargirl, she’s known as Beth Chapel. Although she is an outcast, she is a stark contrast to the issue-laden members of the Justice Society of America.
Her parents still live together and seem relatively functional despite their reliance on her cooking. Even though they are constantly working, they obviously care for their daughter.
Beth finds Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles in Stargirl’s bedroom and, being a curious person, decides to put them on. The AI that is the last remnant of the original character begins to speak to her almost immediately, identifying Courtney Whitmore as Stargirl, among other facts. Although the show doesn’t explain the AI’s uncanny abilities, they are easily believable by anyone who knows the original Dr. Mid-Nite.
Her Role in Stargirl
Although her role in Stargirl is mostly secondary, Beth with the Dr. Mid-Nite goggles is the brains of the group. She gains a friend through the AI and talks to it incessantly, further showing her optimism and generally happy outlook.
She is a member of the outcast group that Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl) befriends on her first day of school. As a character, she is more for exposition in the show than as a teammate.
Other than being extremely friendly and hopeful, Beth is also extremely intelligent, even without the AI that is Dr. Mid-Nite. The goggles give her use of multiple types of vision, including night vision, x-ray vision and infrared vision.
The goggles also do a variety of other things.
For example, they can project holographic images, as seen in the fifth episode, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite. In this episode, Beth projects an image of what led to the murder of the new Hourman’s biological parents. They also give her abilities like lie detection, object and facial recognition, weather prediction, decryption and, inexplicably, karaoke.
Her primary power is information and her weaknesses are basically due to lack of training. She is not a particularly good fighter but she makes up for it by being smart enough to stay out of many of the main battles.
Beth’s costume consists of the former Dr. Mid-Nite’s cloak, goggles and headgear. The cloak and headgear are a dark forest green, which is a nod to the comic book original character and not the later yellow-and-black adaptation. She also wears Dr. Mid-Nites pocketed gloves. These gloves contain any number of healing salves and other useful chemicals.
Beth Chapel and the intelligent goggles defy several stereotypes because she is so happy, optimistic and friendly. As such, she is an unlikely but excellent choice for this latest incarnation of the Justice Society of America. Her portrayed personality easily complements the other characters, including Stargirl herself.