Today’s installation of Finding God in Stories brings to you Doctor Who!
Doctor Who is a British TV series about the Doctor, a time-traveling alien. For the past 50 years, viewers have watched the Doctor travel through time and space in his T.A.R.D.I.S (Time and Relative Dimension in Space)–his time machine that looks like a police telephone box from the 60s–having adventures, getting into scrapes, and saving the world, usually accompanied by one or more (typically) human companions. A trait unique to the Doctor’s species of alien is their ability to regenerate: Instead of dying, every cell in their bodies is reborn, giving them entirely new appearances and giving each regeneration some distinctive personality traits (see the above picture–those are all of the current incarnations of the Doctor).
The setting: Anywhere, any-when.
So here is our main character: He’s non-human but humans resemble him.
(Start video at 1:34)
He has innate powers–he can see inside a person’s mind and/or communicate with a single touch (or, in the case of the twelfth Doctor, with a headbutt), he can silence people with a single “sh!” He has a vast knowledge of the universe–he always seems to know of the new creatures and planets they come across. As Amy Pond says about him:
He is not bound by time–in a sense, he’s outside of it.
He is moral and, in many ways, the ultimate good guy.
He brings hope:
He is worth knowing, despite dangers:
And being with him changes people for the better, takes ordinary people and makes them extraordinary:
He gives value to people:
He is fierce and terrible to his enemies, he defends the Earth and the innocent, he is able to make armies flee by talking, he punishes the evil in justice.
From this look at his character, he certainly seems analogous to a God character.
I think this show plays into our desire as humans to be the companion of someone good, powerful, time-transcendent, and kind like the Doctor (namely, to have a deeply personal relationship with God), to go on adventures, to be someone more than we could be on our own. This desire is good; it’s how we were made, and it’s what Jesus offers. He called to His first disciples, “Come with me to change the world and save lives wherever we go” (Mark 1:17), and Jesus calls again to us, “Come on an adventure with Me” (Matthew 28:19-20).
This is what we were made for, this is what we long for. Doctor Who reveals our need for adventure and purpose, and carries the idea that those can be found in someone who is greater than any human. That is exactly what the Lord offers.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
What do you think? Do you agree? Do you see other redeemable things in Doctor Who? Is there a particular story you’d like to see in this series? Please give me your feedback, and have a wonderful day! :)