Saturday, 22 December 2007

Not the Messiah

Stephen Green is at it again. Fresh from his drubbing at the hands of the High Court, who threw out his challenge to the BBC's broadcast of Jerry Springer the Opera in such uncertain terms that the law of blasphemy was effectively killed off for good, the publicity-seeking evangelical (who likes to go by the name of Christian Voice) has now set his sights on the Christmas Day edition of Doctor Who.

The much anticipated extravaganza, featuring Kylie Minogue as a waitress on board a star-faring Titanic, apparently makes use of robot angels, who assist the good doctor at a critical moment. And this, it seems, is too much for Mr Green, undermining as it does the centrality and uniqueness of Christ. After all, does it not say in the gospel that angels attended the birth of Jesus? And that, after fending off the temptations of Satan, "angels came and ministered unto him" (Matt 4,11).

Russell T. Davies, the show's presiding genius (who does, it is true, tend to make somewhat overblown claims for the importance of his TV shows) cheekily plays up the religious parallels. "The series lends itself to religious iconography because the Doctor is a proper saviour," he said. "He saves the world through the power of his mind and passion."

Finding religious messages in Doctor Who is not necessarily anathema to Christians. A few months ago, as the Heresiarch noticed, an Anglican church in Cardiff put on a Who-themed service, hoping to draw in young people with the remarkable similarities between the time lord and the son of God. As Fr Dean Atkins, the service organiser, put it at the time,


We are using the figure of Doctor Who as a parable of Christ. The language used in the series lends itself to exploring the Christian faith. Christ is a kind of cosmic figure as well if you like, somebody who does not travel through time but all eternity is found in him.


Green is having none of it. Perhaps he was invited to react by an enterprising journalist. If so he certainly rose to the bait. "The Doctor would have to do a lot more than the usual prancing around to be a messiah," he declared

"He has to save people from their sins."

People like Russell T. Davies, presumably. The openly gay writer and producer must have done much to earn God's eternal wrath with his sinful and un-Biblical proclivities.

Stop Press: Tony Blair now eligible for sainthood. He still has to die first, though, so it might be an exchange worth making.