Episode 26 — “Doctor Who”

Episode 26 is “a very special episode” of Strangers and Aliens, featuring two special guests!

The topic: Doctor Who.

The hosts: Ben and Steve, along with Christa, Steve’s wife and long time Who Fan, and Tom Holste, S&A listener and frequent contributor to the S&A mailbag and big time Doctor Who fan! Bu what about Dr. Jayce? He’s in there, too, just in a different roll than usual!

With “season” seven of the modern Doctor Who series in full swing, the Strangers and Aliens talk about all things Who: favorite Doctors, why they like the show, how and/or why it resonates with them on a spiritual level, where they think it falls in the pantheon of science fiction series.

If you have never watched Doctor Who before, this episode is for you. Dr. Jayce, who has never watched it before, prerecorded some questions for Ben & Steve and guests, asking why they like the show and why they think he might like it.

If you are a Who fanatic, this episode is for you. Ben & Steve and guests explore the things that they love about the show and along the way reveal some new ideas to each other.

And River Song need not worry . . . there’s no spoilers!

But why did Steve get BLEEPed?

Also, we open up the mailbag with some of your comments and responses to past episodes!

Special thanks to Christa and to Tom, for joining us! We hope to do it again sometime soon!

Did we miss something? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know about it! E-mail us at podcast@strangersandaliens.com OR record a message using the handy recording tab on the right of our webpage OR send an MP3 of you and your comment OR contact us through Facebook or Twitter! We want to hear from you! (And we’d love to hear from you by actually, you know, HEARING your voice!)

Here is the link to Audible that we mentioned: http://audibletrial.com/strangers (Remember, signing up for a free one month trial, which gets you a free audio book that you can keep forever, ALSO helps Strangers and Aliens!)




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6 responses to “Episode 26 — “Doctor Who””

  1. Dr. Jayce Avatar

    I already have comments on this episode and I’m only in the first 20 minutes.

    1. Ben Avatar

      We’ll have to figure out a way to get your comments on the show in a timely manner — between the episode we’ve already recorded and the interviews I’ve recorded, we’ve got a lot of material to get out there!

  2. Mike Poteet Avatar
    Mike Poteet

    Nice episode, guys. I have to say, because I started watching WHO with “The Eleventh Hour,” Matt Smith will likely always be “my” Doctor (and Amy and Rory always “my” Companions), but I have been gaining an appreciation for everything that has gone before.

    I thought the analogy of the Doctor as a tour guide was a great one! On occasion, though, the Doctor without the Companion is very much worth watching – “Midnight,” for example, of “The Waters of Mars.” But on the whole, yes, I agree: the Companion is our “entre” into a wider universe of wonder.

    I liked the biblical tie-in to the idea of a secret name (although, in Revelation, isn’t it that Christ will give to victorious believers a name no one else knows, not that he himself has a secret name? That would be theologically problematic, since it is at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess… We need to know that God has no identity “behind” the person we encounter in Jesus of Nazareth. “If you have seen the Father, you have seen me.” But I digress…) It may well be that the Doctor’s real name is unpronounceable. Did you know that Mr. Spock is the same way? In the TOS episode “This Side of Paradise,” Leila Kalomi, a woman from his past (yeah, even Spock had those!), says, “You never told me your name” – presumably his first name (or family name?) He says, “You couldn’t pronounce it.” 🙂

    Regarding “the point” of Doctor Who – I liked Christa’s response about justice. Ben, I think you also started to hit on something but didn’t follow up on your own insight: he sees something in humans. Much of the rest of the universe – the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Atraxi, you name it – see humanity as a threat or a rival or a nuisance or an infestation. But the Doctor sees something of value in us, even when we don’t see it in ourselves (Eccleston’s episode “The End of the World” is a key example of this). I think there is a theological point to be made here, though perhaps not too strongly – but still: even though we are a fallen race, even though we are depraved, we are still created in the image of God, and God, like the Doctor, doesn’t give up on us. God, of course, goes far better than the Doctor and actually becomes one of us in Jesus to save us – but that common thread of holding out hope for humanity is there.

    Again, great discussion, all of you – thanks!

    PS. You have heard about the 50th anniversary docudrama in the works, right? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-an-adventure-in-space-and-time_n_1760358.html. Like you, the BBC is saying, “The story of Doctor Who is the story of television”!

    PPS to Christa – Not *every* “Twilight Zone” episode is a downer (e.g., “Night of the Meek,” “Nothing in the Dark,” “One for the Angels,” “Walking Distance”…. many many more) – and even of the ones that have a “wicked twist” at the end, that twist is often in the service of justice – someone finally getting what they deserve!

    1. Ben Avatar

      Yes, where the Doctor’s view of the value of humanity is a humanistic philosophy brought on by budget restraints (“it costs less to be on earth more, but we really need to have a reason . . .”), there is some truth to the humanistic ideal of our humanity. Humanism — to me — takes the truth of our value, but forgets the cause. As creations of God we have value. Two of the worst devices to sabotage our relationship with God is to deny one of those two things: 1. You have no value, or 2. You have value, but not because of God.

      So the theological point, Mike, is one that SHOULD be made strongly, but the way Doctor Who (and other classic sci-fi, like Star Trek: The Next Generation) filters it weakens it, unfortunately.

      Oh, and agreed re: Twlight Zone. Some of those endings are horrible for the characters caught in them, some of the endings are melancholy and/or bittersweet, and some are uplifting. What makes the show work for me is that more often than not, the endings are satisfying. (I’ll admit, there are some clunkers that have characters and plot that only serve the punchline. But usually, even when it’s all about the punchline, the characters are relatable enough to make the journey to the punchline worth it.)

  3. Bud Rogers Avatar

    Okay – I’m going to have to give Eccleston another chance next time his episodes rotate around on BBCAmerica.
    I’ve been keeping up with the new season and have loved it.
    I’ve also enjoyed the Tennant episodes I’ve seen (I have Gridlock on the DVR, just waiting for a free hour to watch it).

    1. Ben Avatar

      Gridlock is exciting and touching and funny and absurd. The best Doctor Who elements, done in the best way.

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