Paul Cornell has written a few very short stories to help you make it through the lockdowns and quarantines that you may be experiencing. The first is “The Shadow Passes” and is in text form. The second, “Shadow of a Doubt,” will immediately remind you of Christian discussions of repentance and the idea that “all you need to do is say sorry.” The third is called “The Shadow in the Mirror” and gives another perspective on the story. The discussion of topics like sin and mercy are profound and provocative. Perhaps most timely is the reference to how “family of mine” had become who they had in response to injustices they and their own people experienced. The potential for experience of injustice to turn into practice of injustice is one of the reasons revenge is so pernicious – and why forgiveness and breaking cycles of retribution is so crucial. Also interesting are the hints in the original ending of the television episode which are picked up here, to the effect that the judgment/vengeance on the youngest of the Family of Blood is most merciful and the Doctor checks in on her regularly. Whatever one’s view of efforts towards restorative justice, could most or all agree that it is appropriate at least in the case of younger offenders? But in this story, the offender does not appear sorry at all. Not in the slightest. Should they get a chance for restoration and a future of their own determination even so?
Cornell is a Christian, and his wife, Caroline Symcox, is a minister. Symcox wrote what is certainly my favorite Doctor Who audiobook, The Council of Nicaea.
See also another new Doctor Who story not on television that has biblical connections: All Flesh Is Grass. It is apparently about the attempt to cheat death.
Of the slightest tangential connection with this post, here’s music with a related theme: Time, Space and Change: Music by Ed Hughes