Awesome Catholic Science Fiction Nerdery

Awesome Catholic Science Fiction Nerdery June 7, 2012

A letter to Doctor Who from his parish priest.


May I take this moment to say, by the way, that Doctor Who is, perhaps, the single most consistently ingenious, creative, clever, and fun science fiction show on planet earth? Love it, love it, love it.

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  • Esther

    Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. This is the best thing in the universe apart from Jesus.

  • joannemcportland

    Amen. Alleluia!

  • Posts like this one (and others) make me an avid rear of Mark’s blog and gives me hope in my Catholic Faith that we can partake of non-relgious aspects of society and still find a way to baptize it with the Gospel and get a good look at Jesus out of it. Bravo from 1 Mark to another.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    My family and I love the show too. It’s one of the few shows on TV (or movies for that matter) that I find completely unpredictable. It is the pinnacle of creative storytelling.

  • Matthew

    Anyone know if the priest in question has read Eifelheim?? Aliens meet 13th Century Thomism!!

  • Ted Seeber

    All of my favorite science fiction stories take either Catholicism or Buddhism as serious social movements that will continue into the future. Anthony Boucher’s short story _The Quest for Saint Aquin_ changed my whole view of sin as a child towards God and the Church (as well as giving me a great paraphrase quote for people who are too scrupulous about conflating cursing and swearing, my version is “Shit ain’t my God and I’m very sorry for you if Shit is your god”). And of course, Walter Miller’s classic _A Canticle for Lebowitz_ proved to me the power of tradition over mere materialism, as well as introducing me to the enduring archtype myth of the Wandering Jew (or is he the Wandering Roman? Two versions of the origin story, and the character in Lebowitz could be either).

  • James Isabella

    As a brief aside, I noticed that the priest also holds a PhD in Astrophysics. I was recently at a young adult meeting with about thirty 20-somethings, and I ran into a computer science major (who ran the meeting), three Chemistry majors, and a woman with a PhD in Astrophysics (who is now teaching religion).

    And those were only the people I spoke with. It’d probably blow the minds of some atheists that there are so many scientists who are also believers…runs against the perceived stereotype.

    • Ted Seeber

      Huge numbers of scientific advancements have come from priests, monks, and nuns in the past. Likely because, by choosing to contemplate God and his handiwork instead of raising children, they have more time.

  • I just discovered Doctor Who and I’m now addicted to it in all its quirkiness.

    • Ted Seeber

      If you think that’s good, many of the 4th Doctor’s adventures are on Youtube and Hulu and of course BBC’s website now. To me, Tom Baker will *always* be the pinacle of the character (I also own a really awesome scarf my wife knitted for me from my admittedly bad description from memories of the TV show and some rainbow colored yarn- my stripes are much narrower, but it is 12 feet long; I think Tom Baker’s was 20).

      • KML

        Ted, that’s the one I remember from my childhood and it *terrified* me. We had a neighbor kid that was always watching it when I went over to play with his sister, and just hearing the title sequence gave me the cold shivers. It took me years to get over that memory and actually give the new ones a try, and I’m so glad I did.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        Baker’s scarf was probably the most expensive prop on that set. 😉

  • KML

    Yes! Dr. Who is SUCH a Catholic show! The Doctor’s love and hope for humanity in spite of all its failures is one of the things I find so consistently moving about it.

  • Mark R

    Well, Tom Baker is Catholic.

    • JaneC

      Tom Baker is a Catholic who has rejected the Church. There is an interview with him on YouTube from 2010 in which he says that going near a priest fills him with revulsion.