The Curse of the Black Spot

In 6: 3 the Doctor, Amy and Rory answer a distress signal from a Pirate ship, becalmed and beset by a ‘Siren’ or as the Doctor suggests when it appears she is attracted by the blood of wounded sailors, ‘Just like a shark; in a dress, and singing, and green; a green, singing shark in an evening gown.’

Captain Avery and his crew believe their ship may be cursed but again the Doctor differs; he says, ‘Yeah, right; cursed. (That’s) big with humans. It means bad things are happening but you can’t be bothered to find an explanation. It’s not a curse. Curse means game over. Curse means we’re helpless. We are not helpless!’

But he is forced to reconsider his opinion time and again.‘Ignore all my previous theories!’ he says, as the Siren’s behaviour continues to defy his best logic.‘Yeah, well we stopped paying attention a while back,’ says Amy.

Faced with mounting evidence he admits at least that, ‘Folklore springs from truth.’

In this case the ‘truth’ is that the ‘Siren’ is a virtual Doctor, the last remaining active member of a spaceship trapped in a temporal rift and parallel parked with Captain Avery’s own vessel. She is not killing but rather caring for the sick and wounded including Rory whose life is saved in the end by Amy’s best effort at CPR.

But what was the ‘Black Spot’ that appeared on the hand of each wounded man and of Captain Avery’s stowaway son, Toby, who has Typhoid fever? It turns out to be a sort of biopsy performed by the ‘Siren’ to diagnose each new patient; so, not a curse at all, really.

In the Book of Genesis (2:17) Adam in Eden is warned by God that if he eats the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will ‘surely die’; the first curse in scripture and the one that only God himself could eventually overcome.

‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,’ wrote Paul to the Christians in Rome (Romans 6:23) and that is a gift we receive only by faith. ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast,’ (Ephes. 2:8, 9)

There is a wonderful picture in the Book of Revelation of the time when the curse of death will be removed forever and the ‘black spot’ of sin, the ‘sting’ of death (1 Cor. 15:56), will be replaced with the name of God for everyone who has eternal life through faith in Christ.

It is in Revelation 22:1-5. ‘Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.’

2 comments on “The Curse of the Black Spot

  1. Glad to see my favourite verse got a mention again.

  2. All roads lead to Romans; with the occasional inevitable detour to Ephesus it seems.

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