Friday, May 28, 2010

Doctor Who (1996): The Movie, The Canon, and Scripture


Seven years after the original series was placed on “indefinite hiatus” and nearly a decade before its eventual return, an attempt was made to bring Doctor Who back to television—American style. The movie/pilot was not successful as it did not produce a series. (In many ways, we can all be thankful about that, as the series was too American, too nineties, and a mess.) However, it did produce a new wave of stories in book and audio form, both for classic incarnations of the Doctor and this new Eighth version. Indeed, nearly all of the Eighth Doctor’s stories are in books or on CD. Some even wondered after the new series was launched if this new Doctor was a part of the “canon” or not. The new series has since established that he is.

Even so, this has caused huge problems for Doctor Who fans. The movie quite simply cannot be reconciled with the story of the Doctor that came before. Apparently, several books and stories have been told in an effort to explain away many of the problems the movie created. Funny how so much can go wrong for a story after it is told by hundreds of people over a period of many years.

All of that makes the continuity and consistency of the Biblical message pretty amazing. Over thousands of years dozens of writers compiled a history and teaching that is amazingly cohesive. (The reports of its inconsistency are highly exaggerated and made by, shall we say, non-fans of the property?) It helps, of course, that the historical aspects of the story are just that—history. The teaching is simply amazing, though. For hundreds of years, many of the points being made were largely missed by its authors and teachers. Even so, when the full mystery was revealed, it not only did not contradict what came before, but made it all the more meaningful.

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