Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Doctor Who; Big Bang Review…

SPOILERS ahead, don’t read if you haven’t seen the last episode of Doctor Who.  Ok, so I’m going to skip straight to editorializing the last episode from my Christian POV.  As many of my readers already know, I’m fascinated by atheists writing storylines that actually support certain contentions of Christianity, especially when it is not the writer’s intentional, conscious aim.

As I’ve said before, I do believe many atheist writers show the internal “knowledge” of God by what they write about even though they very publicly state they are against the idea of there being a God.  This episode wasn’t an exception.  Moffat was indeed the writer for this season ender, BTW.

The name of the episode catches the attention right off the bat; the big bang…modern science’s label of the declaration that the universe did indeed have a beginning.  Why that title?  Because during the course of the episode we discover the Doctor’s answer to resetting the universe is to create Big Bang Two (or Too would work I suppose ;) ) Why do I find that particularly interesting?

Well, apologists will recognize that one of the main arguments for God is the Cosmological argument which I have blogged on previously.  With the recognition that the universe had a beginning, one should be ready to admit that it had to have a Creator.  Something transcendent, something un-caused and ultimate…that is God.  Atheists attempt to deny this and to dance around the issue.

Well…in the show we have a set up for Big Bang 2.  Ok.  Big Bang 2 is set up and executed…it is designed.  It would not come about unless it had a designer.  Isn’t that interesting?  So Moffat can conceive of a second big bang, but that big bang has a creator…isn’t it possible for him to admit that the first big band also had to have a Creator as well?  Add another layer on.  I’ve already discussed the Messiah-like attributes of The Doctor (and it’s linked above)…who designs and executes the second big bang?  The Doctor, the Messiah-like figure on the show.  Hmmm…..

As far as a review; I enjoyed the finale…but the ending was a bit anti-climactic, and I do mean the very end.  I got used to the series setting up an exciting hook and catch for the next season…Big Bang didn’t really do that for me.  I am indeed looking forward to next year, but it is because of the show in general, not just because of the ending of this eppy.  Big Bang was fast and fun, and of course we got to see a side of the new Doctor in his new style of dancing and his interactions with the kidlings.  Downside to the eppy?  The presence of River Song…boo.  I really hope I’m right in that she is not who the writers want us to think she is!  I suppose we’ll see…

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Doctor Who; Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Okay, spoilers everywhere, so if you haven’t seen it don’ t read any of this.  I talked a bit before about Time of Angels…it did indeed contain bits that were very interesting to me pertaining to matters of faith/religion.  I have to say that Flesh & Stone took it up a notch…and I was pleasantly surprised.

Some of the themes brought up were faith and fear…how they are related and the limits of both.  The discussions back and forth betwixt The Doctor and Angel Bob were very interesting.  Bob did have some good points about the fact that the Doctor keeps making promises that he might not be able to keep; he gets people to put their trust in him, then does indeed let some of them down.  Sometimes being afraid is the most intelligent position,as Bob kind of alludes to…and of course, one can’t truly be brave without fear.

The military nature of the church wasn’t explored much further than in the first part.  In Time of Angels it is said that the church has “moved on,” whatever that might mean (kind of an odd comment seeing as how the church did have a military nature in the past (rightly or wrongly)).  The Bishop, Father Octavian (BTW, the real St. Octavian was martyred by the Vandals) was one of the most interesting characters Who has had on it in a long time.  A solid military man of moral character with strong faith in God, and a willingness to help the side of good even unto death.  No bones were made about his belief, it was pretty straightforward in the phrases he used.

I have to admit I was caught off guard by the way Moffat handled Octavian and The Doctor’s relationship.  When Octavian was caught by an Angel, he faced death with extreme courage, saying that The Doctor was seeing him at his best, “For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety.”  Eleven had actual tears in his eyes, with no witty comebacks.

It’s always interesting to speculate how many things I can spot in plots that line up with scripture are there intentionally or just by coincidence.  Two examples; the first is Octavian reply about giving up his life, he said he was content…when we look at what Paul tells us in scripture: Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The second was the idea that the angels needed Eleven to sacrifice himself to save them…and he didn’t do it.  Again, perhaps a messiah-like allusion that actually matches the biblical idea pretty closely.  Christ, the true Messiah, did not die to redeem the fallen angels; His sacrifice was not for them, nor efficacious for them, but rather His sacrifice was for humanity.

A difference that I noted between the Doctor and Christ; a big deal was made out of the fact that the Doctor doesn’t always tell the truth, yet he expects to be trusted despite that.  God’s nature is such that He does indeed always tell the truth, and that is one of the reasons why we know He can be trusted.  It is an interesting juxtaposition.

I really enjoyed these episodes…as far as plot, Blink was better, but as far as characters, I preferred these (that is, if I leave Dr. Song out of the equation, I despise her character, not the actor, but the character).  Who else out there doesn’t believe that Song is the Doctor’s future wife?  Maybe that’s just me hoping…

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Doctor Who review; The Eleventh Hour…

This is the latest eppy of Doctor Who to air (in the US, that is), and also the first to feature the new Doctor.  This is the Eleventh Doctor (and we won’t mention Ten… *sob*), and he is played by Matt Smith.  Other “firsts” in this eppy?  The unveiling of the new TARDIS, both the outside and inside got a bit of renovation, a new companion (Amy Pond), a new sonic screwdriver, and this ep is also the first with Steven Moffat at the helm instead of RTD.

As always on the Christian Scribbler, I look into any religious implications, or discussions that arise from the actors, the writers, the script, the directors, etc… This new incarnation of Doctor Who seems it will also set up nicely for me to comment upon from time to time.  With Moffat as the showrunner, will we see as much of the Doctor’s Messiah complex?  I dunno, but we already have religious/spiritual implications creeping into the show.

A quick summary of the ep follows, with mild spoilers, and then I’d touch upon the religious bit.  Ok, Eleventh Hour sets up a plot line to introduce us to all the new stuff in Doctor Who, so we have a basic episode with a basic alien baddie.  We meet Amy Pond as a young girl who has a suspicious crack in her bedroom wall.  It is a creepy crack to be sure, and we are left to no other conclusion than the Doctor is directly involved.  Said Doctor, in his newly regenerated body, crashes the TARDIS in Amy’s back yard.

One of the funniest moments in the show ensues as Eleven tries to figure out his favorite food…MAJOR SPOILER…fish fingers and custard. hahaha…Anywho, we also find out the alien baddie of the week is; “prisoner zero.”  The Doc has to take off for a bit and promises to return in five minutes in the TARDIS…twelve years later he does manage a return and we get to meet Amy again.  Teaming up with various extras results in Eleven and his human helpers saving the day in a basic Who plot carried out very well.  Another standout scene was a montage of all the previous Doctors (including Ten…*sob*) leading up to Eleven.

So, my opinion?  Matt Smith did the role proud and I will happily tune in every week.  I really enjoyed Amy’s character  as well (played by Karen Gillan), and she seems like the perfect companion for The Doctor.  The new control room for the TARDIS is going to take some getting used to; I liked the organic feel to Nine and Ten’s TARDIS a bit better.  I also realized after watching all the Tennant specials and this episode, that the changes to the show were needed to advance the storyline past the Rose/Nine&Ten romance subplot.  I’m a fan who really enjoyed the romance aspect, and am also glad they found a way to move the story on now.

Anything really negative?  No, I just hope that Smith relaxes into the role and makes it his own…I don’t know his acting well enough to tell if the manic edge to Eleven was a deliberate overlap in the transition from Ten to Eleven, or he’s trying too hard to match Tennant, or that’s simply his acting style.  I hope that there is unifying storyline through the season, as in seasons past, and that all the writers are on the same page as to where to take the Doctor as far as character goes.  And I would absolutely love a TARDIS centered episode or two…or three..or…

As to the religious aspect, once more, it can’t be helped: the theme of the Doctor arriving in the nick of time, as if it was arranged and orchestrated by a higher power was definitely there.  In fact, attention was drawn to it by having the child-version of Amy Pond praying at the very beginning of the show for help with the crack in her wall; and what a blatant prayer it was with kneeling and prayerful hands and everything ;).  The perhaps (atheist) dig of having her pray to Santa instead of God is easily overlooked by the underlying point; her prayer was answered regardless (she was a little kid too, and these misunderstandings do happen)…perhaps she’s Roman Catholic and was indeed seeking Saint Nick’s aid?

For readers just joining in on my Doctor Who discussions, I’ve blogged about the interesting themes I see in Doctor Who, esp. when those themes that are religious in nature are coming from atheist writers; for those blogs that will help explain my interest and where I’m coming from in my reviews go here:  Doctor Who, Atheism and God pt. 1 and Doctor Who, Atheism and God pt. 2

Overall?  Two thumbs up; like the new Doc and companion and am looking forward to all the new episodes!

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Torchwood; Children of Earth. My thoughts…

So, during the normal US seasons of Doctor Who I add my thoughts on the eppy’s quite regularly, but during the hiatus I apparently have to fill some space with a brief Spoiler-filled discussion of Torchwood‘s five part miniseries; Children of Earth.  I didn’t like it.  Pretty much that’s it.  Heh.  No, really, there were aspects of the plot that I literally laughed outright when they hit me just right, and that was not the intention of the writers, I’m sure.

If any of you have read my Doctor Who articles, you know I’m amused and intrigued, as a Christian (and a conservative) , when some of the atheistic writers (such as RTD) throw in religious references and such…well, this time it wasn’t so much a religious aspect that got me laughing, but rather a political one.

Really simplified version of the plot; Aliens want some of earth’s children.  The Aliens are using the kids in a symbiotic manner that gives them a high; yes, a drug high.  The aliens can apparently kill every human on the face of the earth (which is never really even established), but are willing to trade earth’s overall safety for 10% of the children of Earth.  Britain’s gov’t is covering up the facts, and they come to a point of sending the military out to take their populace’s share of the children by force.  Captain Jack is at first pursued by the gov’t, not to help, but so that they can kill him if they can, and if not, so they can contain him.  Of course, that doesn’t happen; Jack is freed, Ianto gets killed by the aliens and in turn…Jack kills his own grandson to stop the aliens from taking the children or killing off humanity.  Yes, yes, RTD’s fingerprints are all over this ‘un.

So, I have to mention that RTD was interviewed about the plot and one thing he mentioned was that this is like the war on terrorism…no, not that he is in support of the war, but rather that our soldiers are  basically over there fighting, doing who knows what to who knows who…hmmm…yeah, completely missed that intention (in fact I agreed with the bloke that labeled the aliens terrorists).  What kept running through my mind was; This has got to be a big advertisement for the Second Amendment of the US constitution!  For those of you who don’t know, that’s the one talking about the right of the populace to arm themselves.

Yes, the British military is shown with automatic weapons and body armor invading civilian homes and taking their children for sacrifice…I mean, to appease the aliens.  The citizenry gets to “fight back” by running away and/or throwing things like bricks and rocks at the armed personnel…really effective.  Seriously, I was distracted to the point of not caring about the actual plot so much as laughing and pointing at the TV, loving the support of the right to bear arms.

The next thing that had me laughing out loud was when Darwinism was on full display, and it was meant to be taken negatively by the audience!  I love it, as this too seemed to be completely unintentional on the part of the writers.  So, we need to trade 10% of the world’s children.  How does the British gov’t decide which kiddies get a living death being crack for the aliens?  The dumbest 10% of the young population!  In a move that should make Darwin proud, and Hitler very happy, they go through the school records and prepare a sacrifice of the “weakest” members of the species.  Flows right along with Darwinist thought, though the writers seem to be making it a point that we should be horrified over…yet, I’m laughing…

Morally that was a wrong and evil decision.  From a Christian perspective that would never ever fly, and it is indeed horrendous.  But, from the supposed position of an atheistic Darwinist, it’d be the “right” thing to do.  Not only that but one of the “tree-hugging” members of the gov’t points out that this sacrifice…I mean trading of the Children, is actually a good thing; we get rid of 10% of the young population…think about all the disappearing carbon footprints both now and in the future!

Alright, now for general thoughts and commentary.  First, shame on Jack.  I’ve lost any respect for the character, and just with the Doctor was around to put him in his place.  Let’s not try to come up with an alternate solution to the alien dilemma, such as engineering replacement drugs for them.  Let’s not blow up the lone alien present on earth after we shoot a few rounds from two little handguns at the bullet proof glass protecting it and it doesn’t work.  Let’s not figure out how to resonate something other than a child to send a return signal (the aliens did just fine with a pair of earth-manufactured speakers oddly enough).  Let’s not ask the children for their help, or consent…No, let’s needlessly murder an innocent child that doesn’t even know what’s going on.

Was there any religious elements?  Several; a mention of someone who had once had faith, but offed themselves when they found out aliens were real because the person felt so small and insignificant.  Then there was the them of sacrifice throughout, and specifically human sacrifice.  I kept thinking of: Leviticus 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech… and, 2 Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. At one point Gwen brings up the Doctor and how she used to wonder why he didn’t always show up to stop the evil happenings, and how she know realizes how he must look away because of the shameful state of humanity…how wonderful for us that the real Messiah hasn’t done that.

Anywho, I’ve seen a lot better.  I also don’t know what this bodes for the future of Torchwood, nor the character of Jack Harkness…

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The Eleventh Doctor…

Yes, this is old news by now, they have cast the eleventh version of the Doctor in Doctor Who, but I thought I’d post this clip for all those who haven’t seen/heard Matt Smith actually talking about the role;

It’s really odd to me, for someone this young (he’s 26) to be playing the Doctor!  I had such a bad reaction when they changed the Doc from Eccleston to Tennant, but then absolutely loving the Tenth Doc, that I’m willing to give anyone the chance now.  I’m sure his youth will play into the plotlines, so that will be exciting and fresh.

The poor Doctor, though…still not ginger.

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Doctor Who news…spoilerish…

Say it isn’t true!!!! Oh, the anguish; Tennant steps down as Doctor Who.   Well…at least he’ll be around through all the Doctor Who specials in 2009.  On a positive note, perhaps this means the human-Doctor and Rose will make a reappearance at some point in the series? Ten’s been my favorite Doctor so far, and whoever they do wind up choosing, they have some work to do to keep the show up to par.

How depressing…but it’ll make the Specials…special. ;)

posted by OddShoe over at youtube.

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Carbon Leaf, Doctor Who, and Stargate; just because…

One of my favorite vids on youtube introduced me to a band that has quite an interesting sound, very Indie or folk rock.  I owe that introduction, BTW, to my brother who first discovered the vid, so because I can, I’m going to introduce my readers to Carbon Leaf via their song “What About Everything,” and three vids that feature the exact same song.  I never really get tired of hearing it, and I’m betting you won’t either.

As you listen, pay attention toward the end for the line; “What about that midnight phone call…the one that wakes you from your peace,” it’s the one that gets me in the gut every time I hear it.  If you’ve gotten that midnight phone call you know exactly what that line is talking about…

First, the Stargate Atlantis vid by “footindasink” on YouTube, this is indeed one of my favorites:

Second, a wonderful Doctor Who vid with “What About Everything;” this one is edited together very well and is by “Emery16Board”  and showcases both Nine and Ten:

Third, the guys themselves.  This is a video that was done at “SudFlood” in ’07.  This was done after the Virgnia Tech shootings.  “What About Everything” is over at 4:51, the sound goes downhill from there as they caught the end of another Carbon Leaf song, “Mary Mac;” which doesn’t do them justice, IMO (the recording, not the song itself).  This one was posted by “CarbonLeafTerry” which I take to be Terry Clark of Carbon Leaf.

And, finally, just because I can and because they sing this hymn so well, here’s Carbon Leaf singing “Gloryland” A Cappella posted by “Angelynn77:”

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