Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Doctor Who Season 6 (32) with spoilers

As the first half of this season progresses, the viewer (and Amy) are wondering what that moment on the beach in the first episode is going to mean in the end. One thing that never really crosses our minds is that the Doctor is, in fact, going to die. For one thing it would make no sense for the show to kill off the main character after 32 seasons and there are no plans to end the season any time soon. But, more to the point, we believe that it will not happen.

Doctor Who set out to be an educational show about history and science; it has become a timeless story about deeper philosophical and religious issues at times. The way the Doctor relates to characters and events in the stories is often an exploration of the way God relates to His creation. He faces challenge after challenge, encounters dangers and evil, and never once do we doubt that he will emerge victorious. At the same time, he is not going to simply wave his hand and fix things. He allows characters to make decisions and live with the choices. The bad guys get their just desserts, and the good guys are allowed to play a part and events actually hang on how they act and how well they perform.

An interesting example of this comes at the climax of “The Curse of the Black Spot.” Rory lies moments away from death and the Doctor does nothing to save him. It is all up to Amy. We know that the Doctor and the Tardis have all sorts of means to revive and rescue him. The Doctor is not helpless, but he chooses to do nothing. It is a powerful moment and not a chance moment.

The entirety of Neil Gaiman’s “The Doctor’s Wife” is a deus ex machina. However, it is a good example of the way Doctor Who works in spite of this. We are here for the ideas, the characters and the ride, not for the plausibility of the plot. The Doctor’s explanation of how they can be outside the universe:

Doctor: “Imagine a great big soap bubble with one of those tiny little bubbles on the outside of it.”

Rory: “OK”

Doctor: “Well it’s nothing like that.”

Amy: “Wait so we’re in a tiny little universe stuck to the outside of the real universe.”

Doctor: “Yeah. No! But if it helps, yes.”

Sometimes it pays to go through life on faith. Not understanding every little detail, but trusting someone who does, even if we can’t hope to understand all the explanations we get.


  1. So Jeff and I have never watched Dr. Who. Can you recommend a dvd series to get started with?

  2. Maybe that would be a good blog entry?

  3. Hmmm. Maybe I ought to compose an entry for where to start. For most of today's audiences I would probably encourage starting with the 2005 "1st" season/series. Working your way through all 13 episodes of the Ninth Doctor is a good introduction to the Doctor Who world.

    Now, if you are a little more courageous and want to taste the original series you need to start with a good serial. My personal favorites for beginners would be Ark in Space or Genesis of the Daleks. Even better, do Tom Baker's entire first season including the two just mentioned.

    The thing you need to keep in mind with the originals is that they are more theatrical, right down to the cheaper sets.

    This latest Doctor, the Eleventh, has perhaps some of the best the season has ever had to offer in the entire 30+ years of the series, but one needs a little background to fully appreciate it.


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