Thursday, November 03, 2011

Christology of Who: Father's Day Part Three

A look at a few spiritual themes in Doctor Who, episode "Father's Day" written by Paul Cornell.

For part one, go here.
For part two, go here.


Here’s the idea of the Predestination: Everything that is going to happen is going to happen, and there’s nothing we can do about it. If you decide to become a Christian, it is because that was predestined, not because you chose to decide to become a Christian.

Or to look at it in a more serious light, George Lucas was predestined to create Jar-Jar Binks, and no matter what anyone may have tried to do to prevent that from happening, it was destined to be.

The folks on the other side of the aisle say, “It ain’t so, Joe.” They argue that life is all about free will, and our choices matter. For them, the existence of Jar-Jar could have been avoided as a product of free will.

The Doctor says, “This debate isn't all that important.”

Well, more like: “Is there predestination? Sure, at times. Is there free will? Absolutely. But the essential part of the equation is: what are you going to do with all that?”

Let me explain with this episode:

Pete is going to die. No way around it, no choice in the matter, it is written in the stars. That car is going to keep appearing in front of the church until it collects its victim.

But what that death means – that bit of information is up for grabs.

Pete Tyler, apparent ne'er-do-well, good for nothing, failure Pete Tyler figures it out: everyone is in danger because he was supposed to die and didn't. The Doctor is gone, no one is going to fix this. And Pete Tyler has a choice.

Pete could keep hiding in the church; he could make a run for it; he could fight to the finish. And in doing so, more and more people will be wiped from the face of the earth.

But Pete knows those aren't the right choices – not for who he really is.

Once he has decided that he is going to sacrifice himself, he explains it to Rose by getting her to tell him why he is going to do it.

(putting his jacket on)
The car that should've killed me, love. It's here. The Doctor worked it out way back, but he - he tried to protect me. 
Rose just looks at him, eyes filling with tears.
Still - he's not in charge anymore. I am. 
(voice cracking)
But you can't...
Pete reaches out and strokes Rose's face.
Who am I, love?
My Daddy.
And Daddys take the punishment so their daughters can live.

The question isn’t “what’s going to happen?”

The question is,

“What will we make it mean?”

Just my thoughts,


Next up: The Doctor Dances.

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