As I recently mentioned, I have now completed my endeavor to blog my way through every episode of classic Doctor Who. I have also blogged extensively about the more recent series and will work on collecting those links and seeing whether there are any episodes that I failed to blog about over the years, with a view to rectifying such oversights. The links below each takes you to a list of blog posts organized by the titles of episodes listed in the order they aired. I have also interspersed a few other related links about each of the Doctors/eras among them as you will see. The typical post will reflect on religion even if only as something implicit or significant by its absence, but I also try to say some things about broader themes, especially those that intersect with the study of religion, e.g. as relate to ethics, philosophy, science, etc.
Eighth Doctor (TV Movie)
See also the book I co-edited, Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who for more on the topic of religion in Doctor Who. You can see the table of contents of that book here:
In my epilogue to that 2013 book, I mention the blogging project. Here’s what I wrote then:
Back in 2011, I began blogging through the classic Doctor Who series from the beginning on my blog Exploring Our Matrix, highlighting the themes of religious interest in each episode. Now it is 2013, and I am still not finished. Someone has calculated that it would take around 370 hours to watch every episode from “An Unearthly Child” through “The Name of the Doctor.” While that is a mere 16 days without any significant breaks to sleep or do other necessary activities, it is more than a year if one watches an hour a day. If one were to include all of the audiobooks, novels, TV specials, documentaries, supplements and spin-offs, one might not manage to partake of them all in a single human lifespan. And so the most a volume of this size can hope to accomplish is to celebrate this cultural phenomenon, study it, and hope to generate continued discussion. One can readily discuss very serious topics related to religion using Doctor Who as a jumping off point, and one can also find thought-provoking treatments of such topics in its episodes themselves. This book illustrates that amply. But it does not exhaust the discussion. And that is as it should be. The show is, after all, about the extent of space and time. As the Doctor put it in the episode “The Power of Three,” the universe is full of so many ephemeral things that are worth seeing, and he is “running to them before they flare and fade forever.” The fictional universe of Doctor Who teems in a similar way with an incredible richness of material to watch, read, listen to, and discuss.
The Doctor’s eloquent words about the beauty and extent of the cosmos, about the value of human life, about the need to be true to our chosen identity, illustrate the reason the show is so important to so many fans, and of natural interest for those who study religion. Doctor Who does not merely explore topics like religion in some sort of historical or polemical manner. It contextualizes its explorations within the producers’ and writers’ visions of the broader framework of human existence, which in turn is placed within the broader context of our ever-changing universe. When we explore our place in the universe as human beings, we tell stories, creatively weaving older stories into the fabric of new ones. Doctor Who does that with classic historical, mythological, and spiritual motifs. This book has sought to do something along the same lines with religious traditions and the stories of the Doctor Who universe. What will come next, we do not know. But we look forward to it, and hope you will join us in taking the Doctor’s hand, running to see and explore, and reflecting on what we find!
Let me also remind you about other items of interest. Here’s the blurb I wrote for More Doctor Who and Philosophy: Regeneration Time:
Time lords and philosophers confront the same issues on a daily basis. It isn’t just abstractions like “how many weeping angels can fit on the head of a pin?” Serious questions like “Is my future self the same person I am?” “Can the past be changed?” and “Is it immoral for an alien to eat a human?” keep philosophers up at night, and fans of Doctor Who watching from behind the couch. If you already love Doctor Who and philosophy, this volume will remind you why. If you only know one or the other, this volume will open the door for you to enter a universe that is bigger (on the inside) than you ever realized before, as some of the most fascinating questions of all time – ones that have puzzled thinkers and viewers alike – are explored.
See too the series I contributed to on Religion Dispatches some time back.
Thank you for exploring Doctor Who together with me over the years. I hope that you find exploring the completed collection of blog posts about the classic show interesting, and look forward to your comments!