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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Is Doctor Who a religion?

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(TARDIS image by Sceptre, CC BY-SA 2.5; Boomerang Nebula image by ESA/NASA, public domain)

Doctor Who has made some pretty blatant parallels to Christ in the more recent seasons. The US' Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) Mike Rugnetta asked the question: is Whovianism a religion?

Rugnetta, who hosts PBS's weekly Idea Channel, makes a pretty solid case for the notion: the series of instantly recognisable symbols for the Doctor Who universe; the Doctor as a force for "capital G good" who loves humanity; he could be anywhere or any "when"; he can be called upon in times of need; he knows the beginning and the end of the universe, and much more in between; he is resurrected, over and over; and finally (or most importantly), Doctor Who has a massive, often blindly loyal, fan-base.

We think he's just speculating for the sake of speculation (because it's fun), but there are many counter-arguments that can be made. The first that springs to mind is that Doctor Who's fans know that Doctor Who is a work of fiction — and the show makes no claims about the afterlife at all.

Watch the episode below and lay it on us here: why do you think Doctor Who isn't a religion?


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dougaussie posted a comment   

i think its more of a case of there is so much junk on tv, soap operas, news shows, sports, documentarys. You need something that is 'out there', different.


EesK posted a comment   

"BULLDADASH!!!!" as Brigadier Leff-Bridge Stewart would say ;)


grumpi posted a comment   

People love Doctor Who because it is escapism with a bit of added style and fun!
The show is just the ticket to take your mind off a stressful day and clear your head.
Example of fun: Google "Dalek Relaxation Tape" - hilarious!
The cameo by British physicist Professor Brian Cox in last week's episode was a nice touch.


HameedG posted a comment   

The term 'Religion' as it's used here is quite dangerous. Belief is a much better term. People who associate with a Religion of a Book (such as me) tend to see the term when used in cases like this (ie. someone 'inventing' a religion with a handful of cult followers, either extremely local or very scattered) as being tossed around as a loosely based concept of a core belief. You can take any idea, set it as a logical base of thinking, and call it a belief system, but I don't think it can be classified as Religion unless... well... it was not 'created' by any one person or pre-existing concept. Religions of the Book came about at a time when the models of humanity needed guidance; to turn back to a common belief. The debates and counter-arguments on the validity of claiming divine intervention are endless, for we believe that when there is no doubt against Religion, there is nothing else to improve. Then what would humanity do?

---- TL;DR ----
Doctor Who isn't a Religion, it's a belief that hope in dire situations is never lost, not everyone wins (or lives if you want to get blunt), and you can always be/do better than you are now.

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