Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Doctor Who 8.3 "Robot of Sherwood"

I love this episode of Doctor Who. Not for the simple, somewhat already done plot, but for the ideas and messages it is delivering.

When Clara asks the Doctor to take her to see Robin Hood, he scoffs. Robin Hood is a mere legend. He doesn’t exist. When He takes her to Sherwood Forest at the right time in history to prove it to her, they indeed do meet Robin Hood. The Doctor spends the rest of the adventure (an effort to save the people of that day from some invading, alien robots allied to the Sheriff) trying to both prove that Robin is not real and solve the puzzle of why he is there.

It turns out that Robin, the legend is also Robin the real, historical person. This legend appears to be based in reality.

This idea is fun because it explores the fact that pervasive, enduring legends are pervasive and enduring because they convey truth. Either they are based in a kernel of reality or they illustrate important reality or both. C.S. Lewis used to talk about this.

Where this episode specifically takes this idea is meta. Robin Hood has become a heroic legend that is based in a flawed and not nearly so perfect a man, and he tells the Doctor that he may also be such a man-legend. A pretty daring claim for a show to make about itself, but in this case it is likely to be right. “Doctor Who” has already become as important a British icon/legend as Sherlock Holmes or, well Robin Hood. And going forward it is likely that this show and its characters will endure alongside those other literary and legendary figures.

Beyond “Doctor Who” these ideas are particularly interesting for people of faith, specifically Christians. We believe in a figure many would consider legendary. As much as people try to make the legend and the Man two different people, there is an amazing reality, both historical and heroic, in the stories we have had delivered to us in the pages of Scripture. I find this episode a good reminder that there is a lot more reality to faith than many would like to concede.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NonModernBlog written content is the copyrighted property of Jason Dietz. Header photos and photos in posts where indicated are the copyrighted property of Jason and Cheryl Dietz.
Promotional photos such as screenshots or posters and links to the trailers of reviewed content are the property of the companies that produced the original content and no copyright infringement is intended.
It is believed that the use of a limited number of such material for critical commentary and discussion qualifies as fair use under copyright law.

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP