I was reminded of two quick passing references on Doctor Who that had completely slipped my mind: I wonder whether somehow missed the first time I saw these episodes, or if perhaps I made a mental note of them but had forgotten by the end of watching them.
This Christmas thing, what’s it all about?
Long story. I should know, I was there. I got the last room.
THE DOCTOR: Funny thing is, I don’t usually do Easter. I can never find it. Always at a different time. Although I remember the original. Between you and me, what really happened was… [interrupted by bleeping noise]
The suggestion that the Doctor was present for the birth of Jesus (a wise man who traveled from afar if ever there was one) and knows what “really happened” on the original Easter is presumably inserted simply to be humorous. Alas, if this is in the Doctor’s past, that means that we will almost certainly never actually get to see the Doctor travel to the time of Jesus.
As a New Testament scholar, I am struck that, on the one hand, the mention of Easter suggests that there is a “true story” different from the version that has come to be accepted, while the mention of Christmas reinforces the historicity of what is a dubious rendering of the Gospels’ information, which is itself of doubtful historicity even if rendered in a more culturally appropriate way. The reference to the Doctor getting the last room is of course supposed to result in there being “no room at the inn.”
If you imagined the Doctor traveling back to the original Christmas or Easter, which Doctor would it be, and how would the story unfold?