Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let’s talk about Doctor Who.
Except today I’m less enthusiastic about it, because the 2016 Christmas special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” wasn’t all that great. But if you ignore most of the Doctor Who parts and focus on the Ghost (a knockoff Superman) and Lucy Fletcher (the reporter love interest), you get an almost decent story. Steven Moffat admitted that this story is based on his love for Clark Kent and his “love triangle with two people in it.” So apparently he wrote his version of that and then threw in the Doctor.
But even the superhero plot has problems. Lucy is way too good for her superhero crush. She’s clever and interesting enough to be the Doctor’s new companion, and the Ghost isn’t even very good at being a superhero. For one thing, his alternate job is being a nanny, which means he’s either abandoning a human infant to save a hot reporter or leaving a criminal only half-defeated to change a diaper.
Then again, the Doctor does just as much abandoning. In this episode, he ignores a crisis because he gave superpowers to a nine-year-old for Christmas, and then he ignores that for a couple decades, because River Flipping Song is waiting for him. He also leaves the evil aliens alone (twice!) so he can care for the baby that Supernanny is supposed to be watching.
So neither the Doctor nor knockoff-Superman are very good superheroes. They’re just people who can do some impressive things, not human enough to fit in with the world but too human to leave it alone and do nothing. They can have flaws but still be role models. You just need the wisdom to know what’s admirable and what’s not.
Therein lies the core of what we talk about here at the Correlation. Yes, there are parts of many fandoms that don’t align with a Christian worldview. But that’s called human imperfection. The only story that lines up with Christianity perfectly is the Bible. But it’s really unlikely for any Christian to live an enjoyable, fulfilled life without learning any stories that aren’t the Bible. With discernment, a Christian can enjoy the parts of those other stories that are admirable and tear the rest of it to shreds, like so many fans do with the Doctor Who Christmas special every year.
Coming next week: my own thoughts on Rogue One with unavoidable spoilers.