Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Doctor Who 9.7 "The Zygon Invasion"

We classic fans of Doctor Who always talk fondly about the good old days when the show was about real philosophical issues and political-social topics disguised as a kids show with shoddy special effects. Yet even in its most meddling days, Doctor Who was never this blatantly about the issues of the day. It is too soon to see how they are going to play things, but they have already spoken more in one hour about the challenges, opportunities, and potential threats facing Europe than most editorial shows have this year.

This is not some idealistic, hippy take on refugees and Islam in Europe. The show does a good job of presenting seriously scary scenarios. The threat is palpable. But it also isn’t a gung-ho, rah rah, solve the problem with force story either. The Doctor does what the character is so good at: he is the unbiased outsider working to find solutions for everyone. There are no easy answers. Sacrifices have to be made. His position always looks so weak because he refuses to threaten or harm any being. But, somehow that is what always makes his position the strongest, and perhaps that is why circumstances always go his way. He is on the side of right and good.

It is the show once again casting the Doctor in a messianic role. WWTDD has been invoked in the way WWJD is. If you are imagining what Jesus’ approach to the refugee crisis would be, you certainly don’t think of fear mongers who invoke His name to excuse their racist “defense” of Christendom. But you also wouldn’t want Him to allow Himself to be trod upon by religious extremists. He consistently attacked the religious hypocrites in His day.

Then again, He did allow Himself to be sacrificed for those who hated Him. Perhaps that is the approach where the Doctor most imitates Christ: do right and good and trust circumstances (or providence) to see you through in the end.

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