Recently, the entire foundation of the world was shook to its core. I’m not talking about the GOP healthcare shootout or state budget agendas. I’m talking about something much more impactful. Well, perhaps not exactly “impactful.” OK, or even “earth shaking.” Unless, of course, you’re a fan of the TV show “Doctor Who.” A Whovian (a fan of the show – which I am) would know precisely what I’m referring to. The new Doctor.
Doctor Who background
“Doctor Who” is a show revolved around a Time Lord simply referred to as The Doctor. The Time Lords have the ability to, as you would most likely assume, travel throughout time and space. This specific Time Lord, The Doctor, is a fascinating character. He is the last known survivor of the Time Lords. Against the will of his people, The Doctor stole one of the nation’s time machines-a TARDIS. T-A-R-D-I-S: Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Now he travels throughout time and space seeking out adventure and historical events long past and yet to come.
The Multiple Doctors
There have been several actors who have portrayed The Doctor over the years. In the show, this is explained by what is called The Doctor’s “regeneration” phase. Instead of dying after one lifetime, Time Lords are given 12 regenerations. Essentially, the same person on the inside, but their appearance may change after the regeneration process is complete. This solves the issues with actor flexibility, keeps the show fresh, and adds a unique perspective to the Doctor Who character and overall lure of the show’s universe. There have been times when The Doctor didn’t want to regenerate. Times that it caught him off guard and imposed the fear of death. His quirks or clothing or even food preferences may change along with his regeneration, but The good ol’ Doctor always remained the same person. A man. A married man.
Today’s Newest Doctor
Recently the newest Doctor was announced. He is a woman. Doctor Who, like most modern shows, has interlaced social agenda and “openness” several times throughout the years, but none that has taken such a vocal stance that it might spilt the fandom forever. At least not until now.
As I scoured the Internet to see how my fellow Whovians were responding, I found an interesting divide. These are a few of the massive amount of responses I saw repeated several times:
- The content – intrigued by the idea of a woman as the hero of the show, and pushed no further into the implications of a man in a woman’s body (Or perhaps did, resulting in two additional groups of opinions).
- The conservative – appalled by the decision, exclaiming accusations of fraud against the show runners, disgusted by their ambition to sacrifice decades of the show’s reputation in order to push an agenda.
- The liberal – whole heartedly supportive. Expanding the scope of acceptance and ease of exemplifying people regardless of who they are or what they’ve done.
- The purist – continuing in faith that this decision is for the betterment of the character and the show. Perhaps The Doctor has done this as a way to throw off his enemies or to gain access to a society or other planet that supports women over men. Maybe The Doctor wanted an additional perspective to his life by observing through the attributes of a woman.
- The outsider – I’ve only seen a couple of episodes/never seen it. But any show that promotes/denotes equality I will support/denounce it.
Observations of the Divide
There are several conclusions we may draw from these responses. One spoke to me that I found very fruitful. The observation I had branched out from a video of a teenage girl on YouTube that was absolutely ecstatic after hearing the news. She said, “This is awesome! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run around the house pretending to be The Doctor. Now that The Doctor is a woman, I don’t even have to try that hard.”
What an interesting revelation. It was now easier for her to conform to a hero because of the spoon-fed commercialism the Western World is always willing to promote in order for their sales to rise. Is that the scary truth of sinful humanity? If it’s easier in my physical life, I’ll buy, especially for my state of mind. I’d rather be given than earned. I’d rather be conforming than challenged. I’d rather relate than be convicted. I’d rather be happy than joyful. Whichever is easier right now, I’ll take that.
Unfortunately, as a Christian, I’m always tempted to fall into that perspective.
“I don’t fully understand the gifts of the spirit, so I think I’ll focus my quiet time on something like one of the Minor Prophets. I never read those.”
“How can Jesus be fully divine and fully man? I think I’ll just take my pastor’s word for it. Less of a headache that way.”
“Why do we have these specific books that make up the Bible and don’t ever add or remove any? Well, they have to be correct. Otherwise there would be a much larger outcry from other people much smarter than me.”
A quid pro quo: our complacency and satisfaction for heresy and lukewarm faith. Romans 1:21-25:
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
Nothing is rewarded for those who do not actively pursue the truth. Rather, they are given over to sin and darkness.
I don’t know what this means for a Whovian like me. I love the show. The clever writing and rich duality that makes up The Doctor make the show so much fun and appealing. The pride and loyalty of being a fan is now tainted with unnecessary agenda-pushing controversy. Despite this, I do know I’m grateful for God’s creation – people. The Father continues to reveal such amazing and beautiful characteristics of His design through everyone. I may not agree with everyone’s opinion or sinful decisions, but I am in agreeance of an undeniable truth.
I am a sinner. A sinner who doesn’t deserve salvation any more or any less than anyone else. God keep us humble, not distracted by anything that may cause us to lose sight of how much You love us.
There’s a quote describing the Doctor from one of the episodes. It’s one of my favorite quotes. After hearing it I realized something. If someone could attempt at describing the Holy Father and Creator of everything, I imagine this to be a small taste of His majesty.
“He’s like fire and ice and rage; he’s like the night, and the storm at the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time, and he can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”