‘Oh, Ambrose, you’re better than this. I’m asking nicely. Put them away,’ says the Doctor when he sees the weapons she has collected to defend against the aliens who have abducted her husband.
This is the first of several comments the Doctor makes about the necessity for Ambrose and her family (Mo and Elliot) along with geologists Nasreen and Tony, to be ‘the best of humanity’ in their confrontation with the Silurians, their reptilian predecessors as dominant species on planet Earth.
This double episode, ‘The Hungry Earth’ & ‘Cold Blood’; (5:8, 9) is set in Cwmtaff, South Wales, in 2020, that’s why the Doctor, Amy and Rory are a bit surprised when they exit the TARDIS; they were expecting, and Amy was dressed for, the beach in Rio.
The surprises keep coming for ‘Amory’ or ‘Ramy’ when the couple notice their own future selves waving from a distant meadow. ‘Reliving past glories,’ says the Doctor. ‘You mean we are still together in ten years?’ asks Amy.
Chin up, Rory!
Not to worry, there’s a good reason for this detour and it has something to do with that ‘big mining thing’ the Doctor has noticed in the valley below. ‘Oh, I love a big mining thing. See, way better than Rio! Rio doesn’t have a big mining thing.’
Now, I should disclose that among all the Doctor’s alien encounters the Silurians are my favourites (not just because of their appearance but because, like humankind, they exhibit good traits as well as bad).
Anyway, as ‘Who’ points out, ‘They’re not aliens! They’re Earth…liens! Once known as the Silurian race, or, some would argue, Eocenes, or Homo reptilia. Not monsters, not evil. Well, only as evil as you are. The previous owners of the planet, that’s all. Look, from their point of view, you’re the invaders.’
Well, Amy is swallowed up by the ‘hungry earth’, along with Mo and Elliot, and they become hostages of the Silurians. In turn, Alaya, a Silurian warrior, has been captured and held in the old church where the apes (humans) take refuge.
When the Doctor sets off to rescue the hostages he says to Rory, Ambrose, Nasreen and Tony,’ While I’m gone, you four people, in this church, in this corner of planet Earth, you have to be the best of humanity.’
And there it is again; ‘the best of humanity’.
Is the Doctor’s optimism justified? Plenty of room for discussion there, I know.
So, moving quickly along, I was interested to compare the Doctor’s optimism in delegating the role of peacemaker to those four and later to Amy and Nasreen, with Jesus’ commission to us, his Church, as ‘ambassadors’ of peace between God and men, as Paul wrote about it;
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.’ 2 Corinthians5:17-20.
‘One Doctor, Two hearts’ posted July 30th, 2012, by ‘sevennotesofgrace‘ foreshadows this ‘new creation’ in mentioning Ezekiel’s prophecy that God would give his people new hearts when he sends his Spirit to them.
Paul says that to be ambassadors of peace with God we must first be made new and receive that peace for ourselves as a gift, ‘from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’
I was so impressed by the Doctor’s words,’ While I’m gone, you four people, in this church, in this corner of planet Earth, you have to be the best of humanity,’ and their similarity with Jesus’ words to his disciples in his ‘sermon on the mount’; ‘You are the light of the world…. let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:14, 16. (In verse 13, he called them ‘the salt of the earth’ too.)
Unfortunately for human/Silurian relations, the worst (as well as something of the best) of both species ensures that peaceful coexistence remains a distant (by at least 1000 years) hope.
Rory is killed by Restac, the Silurian military commander and Amy is devastated when the Doctor insists that they must leave him behind so that they can escape from the light of the continuum shining through the ever following crack in space and time.
But the Doctor must save Amy and he has something else on his mind; the piece of ‘shrapnel’ that he recovered from the light of the continuum has turned out to be a part of the TARDIS itself!
I am so reassured that our peace with God is not built on such shaky ground nor does it depend on a man, albeit one with two hearts. Rather, our peace with God (and with one another too, as Paul points out) is found in Christ;
‘But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.’