Tag Archives: The Satan Pit

Science Fiction and Religion – Doctor Who and The Doctor’s Wife

As it is Doctor Who Week (well, at least the 50th Anniversary week), I am going to keep going with my Doctor Who theme! The other day I wrote a post about personified evil, in the Doctor Who episode The Satan Pit. I wanted to once again use the thought of Science Fiction and Religion to consider another Doctor Who episode: The Doctor’s Wife.

This award-winning episode written by Neil Gaiman really is one of the finest episodes of Doctor Who there probably has been or will be. The reason I feel like I can say that is because it explores and discusses the very heart of what the show is, of what happens in it, of that most important and constant of the Doctor’s companions: the TARDIS. Or should I say, the Doctor is the most important and constant of the TARDIS’s companions?

And if you are going to personify an abstract concept, there’s probably not a better writer than Neil Gaiman for the job. Check out Neverwhere (which a guest blogger discussed here on Comparative Geeks before) or American Gods to see what I mean. So as Neil Gaiman is someone who has breathed life into gods, I think I am not out of line in approaching this episode from the stance of Science Fiction and Religion. So read on, for a discussion of this episode, and larger considerations! Spoilers of course!

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Science Fiction and Religion – Doctor Who, The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit

With this week being the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, it seemed a good time to do some Doctor Who posts! I’ll try not to cover the ground others do. So let’s look at the show through the lens of one of our recurring elements: Science Fiction and Religion.

Religion doesn’t frequently come up in Doctor Who, at least not in what I have seen. They are careful not to mock religion or just treat it like it has just been disproven, like you get in some science fiction. They visit different planets and races and cultures, after all, who have different beliefs and rituals. However, many go back to the same sort of underlying causes or reasons, like the fear of the dark being based on the Vashta Nerada.

I recently watched the episodes The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit, from series 2 of the recent Doctor Who. This two-parter delves into one aspect of religion, at least: into the heart of evil. These episodes are about the Beast. These episodes leave us without solid answers, certainly not any from the Doctor. And as far as religion and science fiction goes, I think this is just the right result. Read on for more thoughts from the episode, and spoilers aplenty!

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