Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dr Who regenerates

The third season of the new Dr Who has ended. Those of us who watched Dr Who from behind the sofa in our childhood wondered what the reincarnation would be like. I am pleased to say that it has surpassed the old. Gone are the cardboard sets and the hammy acting. Now we have CGI.

In the last three episodes we have seen the reappearance of the Master, the Doctor's old nemesis. He is the only other Time Lord left in the Universe, and his powers are as great as the Doctor's but his are unrestrained by a wish to do good. The Master was played by first Derek Jacoby and then by John Simm (from Life on Mars).

The Master has used satellite broadcasts to hypnotise the British people to elect him Prime Minister. From that position of power he seeks to dominate the whole world. After the Master has captured the Doctor and aged him 900 years so he is powerless, he has opened a rift in time to allow mysterious aliens into Earth of the 21st century to kill and enslave the humans. The only hope is Martha, the Doctor's companion. We see her landing on a South Coast beach apparently seeking the fourth chemical that will power the gun that will be powerful enough to kill a Time Lord. She has travelled the world in the last year apparently seeking the other three components. Enlisting the help of an old professor she discovers that the mysterious aliens are in fact humans from the end of time when the Universe is dying. They have been brought to the present by the Master and enabled to kill their ancestors because the Master has converted the Doctor's TARDIS (his time traveling device) into a Paradox machine. But she is betrayed by the professor and captured by the Master's guards. The Master destroys her Time Lord killing gun, but she reveals that the gun was only a ruse to get herself captured, it would not work. Her real mission was to tell the enslaved peoples the truth about the Master and the Doctor and to reprogram the satellite system by reversing the polarity (nice touch of the Star Treks) so that a single thought of the whole people would arrive powerfully at the Master's lair.

The Master's response is classic, "Prayer? You thought to defeat me with prayer?"

Yet that is what happens. The whole world thinks, "Doctor!" and the Doctor's ageing is reversed and he is restore to his full power and defeats the Master who cringes before him, begging for death. The Doctor has something worse than that for him. He has known the Master since they were children together on Galifrey. I have something for you more powerful than all the weapons that you have sought to dominate with. He puts his arms around the Master, "I forgive you," he said.

A parable? Certainly. Love is stronger than hate. The Doctor is a Christ-like figure, apparently defeated by the evil one, yet restored to life with supernatural power. The powerful God invoked by prayer. Forgiveness conquers all.

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