Doctor Who : The Christmas Invasion. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks


The alien is pretty creepy looking in this one. He looks as if his head were inside out. His skull sort of rests on muscle, or something. Have a look.

Spoiler. Highlight this section to read the content advisory. From here * The Sycorax chops off the Doctor’s hand during the climactic sword fight. This is no worse than when Luke gets his hand cut off. But it is surprising here, which upset young kids. * To here.

It’s pretty clean otherwise. I think they might tidy up the Christmas specials, anticipating a family audience.

Conversation starters:

Christmas is a super-easy time to introduce kids to Bible-y stuff. If they’re already watching Doctor Who, watching one or two of the Christmas specials with them could lead to some very fruitful discussions.

Why is so exciting when the Doctor wakes up at the end? (Something about the fact that all seemed lost until the Doctor woke up.)

Was there ever a time when it seemed like God, the True Hero, was not present? Either a time in history or in your own life?

After the Doctor woke up, he freed the people that the Sycorax were mind-controlling. How did he do that?

(He revealed that they were under a spell and could only be set free through him.) How is this similar to something Christ has done?


Doctor Who : School Reunion

“Hello, Sarah Jane…”

Here is the Guide for Parental Units of Geeks for this episode!

School Reunion

It’s so sweet. Just so so so sweet.

I didn’t watch a ton of Doctor Who when I was a kid. The PBS station at home showed it when I was really little, but not when I was old enough to understand it. So I have a few vague images floating around, along with a few vague recollections of characters’ names and some basics about how the world worked. I was just too little to really get it.

One thing I was certain of was the importance of Sarah Jane Smith.

What would Doctor Who be without her? He’d had cute companions before. And intelligent ones. And even a couple special ones. What the Doctor did not have yet was the companion. None of them were Sarah-Jane-y enough.

She has a quality that cannot be simplified into a list of characteristics.

By my count, Sarah Jane is the twenty-third companion. And she’s the one that just really got it right.

(Rose was the 34th. Or 31st if you count Romana I and II and K-9 1 and II as one companion each, and if you remove Grace [never-travelled-in-the-TARDIS] Holloway.)

So having her revisit the TV show was just a fan’s delight.

“I thought I was special!”

Maybe you’ve seen this floating around:

Who wants to live forever?

The Doctor drops people off when they get a little mortal-y. He left Sarah Jane while he was in his fourth life. He was called back to Gallifrey on some business. And that was that.

We learn here that he never retrieved her again because he just couldn’t bear to watch her grow old and die. After all, he’ll live for a very very long time. And, as a human, Sarah Jane, will not.

He’s acting like the Highlander, isn’t he? He doesn’t want to fall in love, or experience any other major life-changing relationship with a person he will massively outlive. Friendship and love are huge investments. If the relationship will only last for a fraction (maybe 1/15th or so) of our life, it’s a little hard to really dig in and commit to it.

I invest a massive amount time in my wife. I spend most evenings, and most weekends with her. The time expended on her does not end when she is absent. I think about her and about ways to help her or please her or make he r happy. The point is, I am a great husband.

Wait. No. The point is that we invest in relationships we expect will last. You’re more likely to share your deep stuff with a spouse, sibling, or close friend than you are with the guy that sat next to you on the bus this morning. You may share stuff with that guy on the bus, but it’s not for relationship-building. If you share your deep feelings about life with him, that is entirely for your benefit. You want to practice expressing something, so you say it at someone who will not judge you. Now, he won’t skip judging you because he loves you. He won’t judge you because he doesn’t care about you.

So there are some people with whom you may share a lot of yourself in terms of data. You’ll tell a stranger some deep things exactly because there will be no repercussions. Typically though, you’ll be sharing the data and the time with someone you expect to have in your life for a long time.

Besides many other obvious reasons, this is one other reason we don’t tend to marry very far outside of our age range. We’ll invest our deepest stuff and expect to be invested in a similar way, only to have the union snapped when one of us has a lot more years left.

That’s why it is so stinking sad – devastating – when a young married person dies. The widowed is left with all this investment. The investment of time already spent, the investment of time planned ahead, the emotional investment, the scheduled emotional investment of the next several decades.

Now imagine that there is a person who looks just like us and is able to marry or have deep friendships just like us. The big difference is that he will live to be thousands of years old.

Who can he be with?

It is wrong for him to invest in Sarah Jane or Rose. And it is wrong for him to expect an investment from them.

Offering the chance to see the universe and have a few adventures is really the most he should be offering. Otherwise, he’s toying with hearts (even the hearts of friends), encouraging a relationship to a certain depth that the two parties could never really satisfy in each other.

The Doctor’s abandonment of Sarah Jane may have been jerky because it came without warning. But it was the right thing to do.

This is how Christ is different: He lives forever and when you become His friend, you live forever too.

See how many problems that solves!

Jesus doesn’t have to say goodbye. Jesus doesn’t have to grow old apart from His friends. Jesus invites people to go on amazing adventures with Him and He can keep them around.

Doctor Who : School Reunion. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks


Nothing really sexy here.

There is a bit of creepy violence, as the bad guy alien has a dragon-type form that eats children (off-screen). That might be unpleasant for younger kids.


Why did the Doctor leave Sarah Jane on Earth all those years ago?

Do you think the Doctor was right to leave Sarah Jane?

How could he have explained himself to her so she would understand?

How is the Doctor different from Jesus regarding the amount of time each gives to their friends?

Doctor Who : The Christmas Invasion

Here is the Guide for Parents!!

The Podcast

Christmas Invasion

You’d think he’d wanna be awake for his first show.

Tennant’s Doctor really just sleeps it off. For the whole show.

I guess regenerating hit the Doctor really hard this time around. After all, this is the first regeneration for the new generation of fans that was generated by the regeneration of the show. Generation.

The Tenth Doctor just needed to visit the Zero Room. Not sure where it went to…

So they had to do something big to mark the occasion. In the moment after Eccleston’s Doctor died, David Tennant appeared, and seemed to suffer no ill effects.But as this show begins, he’s overcome by a severe bout of post-regeneration blues. No doubt, the concept of the Doctor needing recovery from regeneration and being absent for most of the adventure is drawn from Peter Davison’s first story as the Fifth Doctor, Castrovalva.

Rose, Mickey, and Jackie are the only three people who have any idea about what to do when earth is invaded by aliens. Wake up the Doctor. He’s just so darn sleepy! Since he’s unwakeupable, they cart his body around and even try to scare off the Sycorax themselves.

Imagine the despair. Aliens are attacking and you know there is someone who can help, but he might be busy dying. What’s left to do? It’d be one thing if the Sycorax just attacked earth. Rose would be scared, probably say her prayers, and resign herself to being destroyed along with the other seven billion. But Rose knows things. She knows someone. You know why people say, ‘Ignorance is bliss’? Because if you don’t know that you have a reason to hope, it’s much easier to accept defeat.

Rose has hope. And, as we learned from this past summer’s big movie, “There cannot be true despair without hope.” Earth is dying and its only possible hero is lying in her mom’s apartment, throwing up fairy dust.

Jesus died. The Romans hated him. The Jews hated him. His followers thought they were coming into the city to institute Jesus’ Kingdom. Instead, he dies and they’re left to wait for the hammer to fall on them. The despair at being crucified by the Romans was probably tremendous.

Imagine the despair at the threat of being crucified when you were convinced your recently murdered friend was the guy who would kick the Romans and their stinking crosses out of town.

Your hero was just killed. And now you have to face his enemies.

That cannot be easy. Especially after having your hope of freedom raised so high, just a few hours before.

Hope only makes the failure more painful. Rags-to-riches stories have been oppressing the poor for centuries. If it wasn’t for those stories, poor people could just be content with what they have. Instead, they’re (we’re) always thinking that their ship is coming in, with a castle and millions of dollars from some distant cousin in Europe.

I’m joking a little, but it’s true. A story like Cinderella can give hope to a person in a real situation that doesn’t have that much reason for hope.

All that to say, Bane was right. Real despair needs hope.

In this Doctor Who show, Rose has hope and so her despair is more acute. The followers of Jesus had real despair because they had hope.

We know how both stories end. The Doctor wakes up. Jesus comes back to life. In both cases, it seemed (at least to the characters) to be infinitesimally unlikely that their hero would rise. And it’s at that instant that the Doctor takes up his sword and saves the day and that Jesus proves he is the hero that can save, even from death.

Power in the Blood

The Sycorax had a ton of humans under some kind of mind-control. They had the people standing on a building’s edge, ready to jump. The Doctor wakes up and reveals that the Sycorax mind-control is actually a suggestion device that works through the humans’ bloodstreams. Seeing a big button that the Sycorax claim will cause the humans to jump, the Doctor lunges for it. Is he still manic? Or maybe he has a plan?

Turns out the hypno-blood treatment the Sycorax had been giving those people cannot make them do something they wouldn’t do themselves. That is, it can suggest they do something terrible, it just can’t make them do it. Knowing the limitations of the hypno-blood and guessing that the humans would be self-preserving, the Doctor hit the button. This broke them out of their thrall. When their tormentors became obvious in their wicked suggestions, the humans could see that they were under a spell. The Doctor revealed the truth to them and it set them free.