Doctor Who and Jesus – 4 – New New New New Earth

07/03/09 | Posted by Andrew Wooding

The upcoming Doctor Who Easter special - (what is it with Doctor Who always coming back at Easter?) - promises to be a fun romp, with a London double decker bus plonked in the middle of a desert, a guest turn from comedian Lee Evans, former Eastender and Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan as the Doctor’s one-off companion, plus the involvement of UNIT, the Doctor’s soldier colleagues that go all the way back to his time as Doctor number two. The special is called Planet of the Dead … but which planet, and who’s dead? No idea! But while we’re waiting for this Easter extravaganza, maybe we could revisit another story where David Tennant’s Doctor landed on a planet of the dead.

 Watch out for a bus like this in Doctor Who

The planet in question was New Earth, the location (and title) of David Tennant’s first regular episode as the 10th Doctor, after his bumpy regeneration in The Christmas Invasion special. If your memory needs jogging, it’s the one with the cat nuns and Cassandra, a pale sheet of skin stretched out in an upright metal frame.

The Doctor was visiting an old friend in hospital on New Earth, but discovered some shady goings-on in the bowels of the building. Thousands of bodies were being bred with the world’s worst diseases, and the nurses didn’t even view them as human. The Doctor lost his rag with the head cat nun, claiming: ‘I’m the Doctor, and if you don’t like it, if you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn’t one. It stops with me.’ Really? So, who exactly is this Doctor, then?

Later, he sets out to heal the diseased people, treating them as individuals with rights and dignity, rather than giving up on them. He heals some with a concoction of chemicals, then encourages them to lay hands on each other to spread the healing. They began like a colony of lepers, but emerged fully whole and healed, all thanks to the Doctor.

I know another man who made grand claims about himself, and it got him into a bit of trouble around Easter time. Can you think who it might be? He made it his mission to bring wholeness and healing, not just to lepers but all who were diseased – both physically, mentally and spiritually - and he frequently lost his rag with those who sought to keep people down; who treated others as less than human. Imagine how you would feel if the Doctor – or Jesus - lost his rag with someone on your behalf, sticking up for you.

So, I ask again: is the Doctor the same as Jesus? Something to ponder while we wait for his return at Easter…

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