The great spectacle of the London Olympics came and went in such a flash. But courtesy of our time-travelling Doctor you can enjoy some more of the action (albeit a slightly different version of events) in the Series 2 episode entitled “Fear Her” (2/11). Unlike the actual event, where Mr Bean stole the show with his awesome rendition of Chariots of Fire, here we have Tennant’s Doctor running the torch into the stadium and lighting the Olympic flame! (Priceless!)
If you haven’t seen this episode then you have missed a treat! Look it up. Rose and #10 have arrived in suburban London 2012, on the day of the Olympic opening ceremony. Several “missing child” posters on the lamp posts tell them that children have been mysteriously disappearing from the streets. One girl, Chloe Webber, has some extraordinary and secret powers which enable her to make people disappear by drawing them – the live person is sucked into the drawing and the drawing comes to life. As they investigate the disappearances Rose is attacked by a scribble monster, which proves to be a giant ball of graphite. And as you would imagine, yes, Chloe Webber does end up drawing the Doctor, the Tardis, the crowd at the Olympic stadium and (almost) the whole world. Why, you may ask? Well she is possessed by a lonely alien, an Isolus, who really could do with some company!
Since you may have missed the story I won’t give it all away, but in reading up about it I found some very interesting production trivia. The episode was brought in as a low-budget replacement for a script Stephen Fry that had been pushed back. It is filmed almost exclusively on a fictitious cul-de-sac in Cardiff, named after the British athlete Kelly Holmes. Matthew Graham was asked to write an episode primarily for children which would soften the much darker finale that would be broadcast after. The episode was watched by 7.14 million viewers in the UK. Though Graham received letters from children who enjoyed the episode, it did not generate a positive response from adult fans and critics.
Well I find this strange! My children did not enjoy the drawing of an evil departed dad in Chloe’s cupboard, or the concept of being possessed by an alien. But the adults in our house certainly didn’t mind the Doctor becoming part of most popular international sporting celebration!
Whichever way you decide, a “storm” is eminent at the end of the episode. Rose remarks that no matter how hard the forces in the universe try, she is determined that nothing will ever split the two of them up. Yet only two episodes later she is hurled through time and space to a parallel universe, from which she can never return (unless it is convenient to the plot by the time season 4 comes around!)
I can’t help thinking that despite all this fearful evil, impending doom and sorrow which the Doctor faces, we who know Christ have a greater and certain confidence. Although we don’t know what evil we will encounter, or what sorrow or loss we may have to face tomorrow, or even today by dinner time, we have a certain faith in a great and loving God. In our fallen world everyone suffers. And Christ became part of our suffering world, suffering in His flesh for us, so that our confidence can be in Him, the victorious Risen King and creator of this universe who saves! This is where our hope lies, in Christ.
Now getting back to the Olympic theme, let’s look at Hebrews 12:1-2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
My favourite part of this passage is in verse 2, which points to “the joy” for which Jesus endured everything! We are that joy – by His death we attain the status of forgiven, redeemed children of God. He did it all so we could be saved, so we could be His, the ones the Father has given Him, held securely in His hands. We will never be snatched away. We are His joy!
We have come a long way now from the Olympics and “Fear Her”, but I hope this will be an encouragement to you as you think more on these things.