Screenwriters as Theologians: Doctor Who’s Scope for Theological Exploration

  • Author(s): Caroline Symcox
  • When: 2015-12
  • Where: Implicit Religion
  • Although Doctor Who in its earliest incarnations did little to include or question religious belief in its stories, over time there has been a growing tendency for the show to engage with religious themes. In this article I look at examples of this shift in narrative stance, and ask what might be behind the change. I suggest that writers and showrunners, given the post-modern acceptability of interrogating religions and spiritual themes, are allowed new opportunities to ask questions of ultimate meaning and purpose. This, in conjunction with Doctor Who’s access to all of time and space as a canvas, gives writers unparalleled scope to explore such questions. I conclude that the resultant work should properly be considered a means of doing theology through narrative, and that in understanding culture as richly engaged with theology, we are given theological insights that might otherwise be missed.

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