Monday, September 26, 2011

The God Complex

The writers of Doctor Who have been using more and more religious and divine imagery for the Doctor for some time, and now we go ahead and go all the way. In “The God Complex” our adventures end up in a hellish hotel, (comparisons to Kubrick’s “The Shining” are unavoidable) where every room contains a source of fear.

The idea is that people will eventually stumble upon their particular phobia and in their terror they will lose their faith and be open to worship something new. It is all rather convoluted and doesn’t do to being thought about too much, but that is not the point. We have been building up to this moment for some time now: The Doctor needs to become aware that people (particularly Amy) believe in him religiously, and that usually leads to their doom.

This is not the first time this whole storyline has been attempted in Doctor Who. Back in seasons 25 and 26, The Doctor (in his seventh form) and his then companion, Ace had a similar relationship. The Doctor had to destroy her faith in him to help defeat a powerful adversary. (That serial, “The Curse of Fenric,” explores ideas of faith and belief from another interesting perspective, although both fall ultimately short.)

It remains to be seen where they are going with this idea—and we can be virtually certain that it is not the death of the Doctor since there is a season 7/33 on its way—but we now see the Doctor mentally set up to actually want a universe without him in it.

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