Friday, May 10, 2013

"The Crimson Horror" and More...

The latest episode of Who was a treat. Plot-wise it is a simple, ultimately throw-away concept, but the way it was told! The writing, the directing, the creative devices used are all wonderfully done. Where it lacks in cutting edge concepts or herd science fiction it makes up for in humor. This is the best trip to Victorian England for the Doctor since 1977’s “The Talons of Weng Chiang.” That one has a creepier and more interesting villain, but this one comes pretty close in the atmosphere and fun departments.

Of course, where some people look back at that old adventure and are offended by racial insensitivity; others will look at this episode and take offense at the way religious people and movements are portrayed. The question is: should they be?

In this latest episode the horror comes in the form of a revivalist branch of—well it is never called Christianity, but the assumption is there. It is nothing like true, Biblical Christianity of course so people should not be oversensitive and take offense. Or maybe that is exactly why it could rub believing viewers the wrong way. But—wait a minute—is it a fair portrayal after all.

Even though it is not Christianity or anything resembling the Biblical faith, it is a pretty spot-on representation of an outsiders understanding of what a lot of churches do. The revival in “The Crimson Horror” is all about finding the best people, washing them in the blood, and preserving them safely away from “the world” awaiting the apocalypse. In this case it is all a bit too literal; people are truly dipped into a red substance and preserved in giant jars. However, it is a bit too close to the approach of some churches.

To some Christianity is really all about finding the “good” people and isolating them in the “safe” community of like-minded and correct-behaved worthy people set apart to judge the world and its sins. This is an erroneous understanding of what Jesus was preaching, but only because that is what too much of Christianity has become.

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