Doctor Who: Bad Wolf / The Parting of Ways II

Here is the Guide for Parents!!


I know I’ve already reviewed this story. I have more to say. Two more things to say. Thing one: about the Holy Spirit. Thing two: about the persistence of a very particular narrative.

Fully blossomed

Rose joined the Doctor on his quest to spread justice, joy, and peace through all the parts of this universe that he touches. I’ve written about how his invitation to and inclusion of Rose makes for a pretty good illustration for the way Christians are called into the great adventure that life with Christ can be.


Rose does something truly ridiculous in this story. She manages to pry open the TARDIS and reveal its heart or core or whatever. Staring into the raw energy within will do things to a person. You might be inspired. You could go mad. Or you might run away.

Rose turned all glowy and had magic powers to travel to any point ever in the universe and to restore life to dead people and to even grant immortality.

So what part of the Christian life does this illustrate?

Rose’s gift of the TARDIS Spirit is the gift of the Holy Spirit – the Doctor’s ultimate inclusion. He’s already brought Rose into his “inner circle” by showing her the universe. Now she’s joining him in his exposure to/relationship with the heart of the TARDIS.

The power that puts the Doctor where he needs to be. The power that raises him from the dead. The power that Rose now has, glowing and twinkling all around her.

Rose isn’t exactly a Time Lord. But she’s … I seriously cannot even describe what’s going on with her without using Christian-y type language. She’s in the image of the Time Lord! She’s born again as something set apart. She’s in a glorified state!

Rose heals. Rose isn’t bound to time and space like she was in her old life.

This is Gallifreyan Pentecost.

Let me tell you a story.

Back in the days of old, before there was a Christian Church, there were people who followed Jesus of Nazareth. Many people today may describe themselves as “Christ-followers” rather than “Christians” but in those days, Jesus really was walking around a lot and people followed him.

Well if you remember the story, He died at one point. His followers sort of wandered around. They hung out with each other a little. Some left town, see what’s shaking in Emmaus.

After physically following someone around for maybe three years, they can be forgiven for being aimless for a weekend. As for the folks who stayed in town, well they were probably planning on a pretty lazy Sunday. They’d probably talk some more about what happened. Maybe try and find something to eat. “After everything that happened Friday, I just realized I forgot to eat yesterday.”

What they didn’t expect was a group of women crashing into their hangout at the crack of dawn, shouting about the man they believed in, the man who was murdered the night before last, is out there somewhere alive. Those guys that left town, they met Him.

As the reports of these stories tightened and it became obvious that it wasn’t just one or two isolated cases of wish fulfillment. And the man himself started coming around, eating and chatting with His followers. After forty days of demonstrating His living-ness and the fact of His resurrection, He said, “I need to get things ready for you. I’m going away for a while. But don’t miss me! My Spirit will be with you.”

And ten days later-well, this happened:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound likea mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…

Acts 2:1-4a

And they carried on healing and performing miracles in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the same Spirit which raised Him from the dead; the Spirit which would raise them from the dead too.

Apostle to a Time Lord

After encountering the Time Vortex inside the TARDIS, Rose healed and performed miracles in the name of the Doctor and by the power of the same Spirit which raises him from the dead.

It’s just a silly TV story. But it’s a story. And it’s being told well. And if a story is told well, it’s telling the truth. Even if the setting is a thousand years in the future with a super-alien that can travel through time and who never dies and a box that’s bigger on the inside. It’s the truth.

There’s a little ‘t’ truth and a big ‘T’ Truth. The little ‘t’ – there is a consistency within the boundaries of this universe. They don’t break the rules of how a universe with the Doctor and time travel might work. And the characters are consistent and growing, as they would.

The big ‘T’ Truth. The Truth that this part of the story reflects is the power granted to the Church at Pentecost. But, as I hope I’ve shown, each and every story, whether it was designed to or not, is about a hero entering the hopelessness and rescuing somebody or everybody. Every story is about someone trying as hard as they can and still failing, because the way to win is to surrender and let the real hero take over.

God has put eternity in our hearts, as Solomon wrote. We tell the story of Jesus Christ saving the world over and over. It’s told intentionally, unintentionally. It’s told explicitly, stating the facts of the matter, using the real names. And other times it’s told (by people who don’t even believe) in metaphor. Sometimes the story seems too good to be true and too wonderful to ever believe. And, other tellings, the story is just about a Time Lord who loves saving earth.

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