I’m late to the Doctor Who game.
While I remember watching older series of Doctor Who when I was growing up, I didn’t start watching the newer Doctor Who until earlier this year. I mainly watch Doctor Who on my iPad when I’m on the elliptical and have only made it to the third series.
I like the show a lot but last week I was nearly moved to tears while watching the episode “Gridlock”. I felt a little silly tearing up on the elliptical while watching an episode of Doctor Who.
In “Gridlock”, the Doctor and Martha visit New New York. They discover that most of the city’s population is trapped below the surface in cars, perpetually in traffic. Unbeknownst to those trapped in the traffic jam, everyone above the surface died 23 years prior due to a deadly virus. Those above trapped those below in order to save them from the virus. Spoiler alert, an old friend of the Doctor sacrifices himself to release those below to begin a new life in the virus-free world above.
I couldn’t help but think about Christ sacrificing himself to offer us freedom. I don’t know if other people think about redemption while watching Doctor Who, but I couldn’t help myself. The allegory was so clear. A group of people were trapped in darkness, going around and around in the same deadly cycle, with no hope of escape. Then, a more powerful being sacrificed himself in order to release those below and offer them the opportunity at a new life.
The story of Jesus saving the universe is powerful. It’s so powerful that we can’t help but see it all around us. We see it in natural rhythms like winter giving way to new life in spring. We can also see it in books, movies and television shows like Doctor Who. The story of Jesus redeeming the universe is woven into everything that we are and everything that we see. We should never be surprised to see it pop up here and there because it’s a part of who were are and the world around us.
So whenever we see the story of our redemption, even in an unlikely place, we should acknowledge it and thank God for what he’s done. I don’t think Doctor Who moved me to tears, but it helped me remember how Jesus saved me from my own entrapment in sin and darkness.
And remembering that should always move us, sometimes even to tears.
In what other media have you seen the story of redemption?