Doctor Who: Frontios

The episode “Frontios” from the classic Doctor Who series is in many ways a forerunner of the episode “Utopia” in the David Tennant era. The Doctor and his companions end up in humanity’s far future. The Doctor shows concern for the policy of the time lords to not intervene – and of course, it doesn’t stop him from helping, but he does say more than once that he’d prefer that the time lords not hear about it.

It also features something that became a major component of a season in the Matt Smith era: the destruction of the TARDIS. This time, however, it is indeed destroyed – but of course, not so completely that an implausible plot device cannot reassemble it.

Any attempt to imagine the distant future can be related to religion. Humanity inheriting and inhabiting “new skies” and “new earths” is a theme in the Bible. In Frontios, humanity’s survival depends on ingenuity, luck, and the Doctor’s assistance. The two visions are very different, and for that very reason it is instructive to compare them.

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