The Siblinghood of Saint Augustine, Physicist

The Doctor Who comic book storyThe Doctor and the Nurse” features a group that the Doctor calls “religious fanatics.” They encounter them on their home planet of Hipponensis 3. The Doctor explains that the Siblinghood of Saint Augustine, Physicist “are presentists. They believe the past and future don’t exist – just the present – so they have a hard time with time travelers. They think we’re con men.”

In the story that precedes it in the collection, “The Hypothetical Gentleman,” there is also a religious focus. A woman named Emily, living in London in 1851, has a telepathic ability. She says “I’ve always had the gift, praise Jesus” (p.26). Once, when she had a “visitation,” she began speaking in tongues, and then wrote in an “angelic script” – blueprints for a quantum resonator. Later in the story, a being that emerges from the machine is said to be first an angel, then a demon. And towards the end of the story, the Doctor responds to Emily, who is confused since she had thought she was “heeding the call of angels,” by saying “You’ll find your own answers, Emily. Heaven isn’t out there – it’s inside of you. You have a good heart and a special gift. It’s what you do with it that matters.”

That sounds more like Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, than it does the Doctor. What do others think?

Both stories also have nice ties into ongoing questions on the televised show. In one, an agent of the Silence works to ensure that a fixed point in time occurs as it “must,” while in the other, the blueprints for the quantum resonator are written in high Gallifreyan, raising the question of who the being is that was trying to use the resonator to move from hypothetical to actual existence in our universe, and whether the Doctor is or is not the last of the time lords.

I don’t read Doctor Who comics that often. If the treatment of religious themes in this issue is typical, then I may need to do so more often.


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