The Bells of Saint John

The Bells of Saint John March 17, 2013

The end of this month Doctor Who will return and the title of that first new episode will be “The Bells of Saint John.” Regular readers will know that this is a blog which regularly focuses on religion and Doctor Who. But it is also a blog where Johns who might be prefixed by “Saint” also get a particularly large amount of attention (whether the supposed author of the Gospel of John, or the author of Revelation, or John the Baptist in Jewish, Christian, or Mandaean sources).

And so it seems like a natural place for the question to be asked: Why do you think this episode is called “The Bells of Saint John”? And is it significant that it isn't written, as one might expect, with the common abbreviation as “The Bells of St. John”?

 

 

 

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  • Erp

    Well there is the old nursery rhyme, Oranges and Lemons. One version has

    Pokers and tongs,
    Say the bells of St. John’s.

    and according to one site refers to the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist in the Tower of London; the oldest church in London (I’m not sure of accuracy because I’m not sure it has bells).

    • Thanks! Unless Pokers and Tongs are alien races, I’m not sure this clarifies things… 🙂

      • Erp

        If it is referring to the Tower chapel, this was also a place where prisoners were kept and sometimes tortured (i.e., the pokers and tongs).