Season 7 begins: Doctor Who on the Dalek planet Skaro, along with Rory and Amy, a few thousand Daleks plus some new innovative Dalek/human hybrids.
The Doctor: Well come on then. You’ve got me. What are you waiting for? At long last! It’s Christmas! Here I am!
A Dalek: Save us. You will save us.
The Doctor: I’ll what?
A Dalek: You will save the Daleks.
Dalek Parliament (in chorus): Save the Daleks! Save the Daleks!
The Doctor: Well, this is new.
Sure is new. New season, new companion (perhaps?). The planet contains an asylum for Daleks who are broken and insane. It is in the heart of this asylum that a young girl is trapped:
Oswin Oswald (voiceover): Day 363. The terror continues. Also, made another soufflé. Very nearly. Check defenses. They came again last night. Still always at night. Maybe they’re vampires. Oh! And it’s my mum’s birthday. Happy Birthday, mum. I did make you a soufflé but it was too beautiful to live. (Chucks it in the bin)
Daleks (outside the door): You will let us enter! We will enter!
(Spoiler alert! Go watch the episode before you read on.)
Turns out that Oswin is in fact a Dalek. She has been fully transformed, she is living inside a dalek body, but she doesn’t realise it, until she comes face to face with the Doctor who is trying to rescue her.
Despite her outer casing of metal (are they really eggs on the outside, Rory?) she has managed to hold on to her humanity. This is why she chooses in the end to defeat the Daleks and save the Doctor, erasing their memory of him as their enemy. What a huge turn in the unravelling story of the Doctor. His arch enemies have forgotten him!
There are so many themes woven in this episode, like the importance of family, the Doctor’s care for humans and their happiness, the sacrifice of one for many. My daughter Emily Rose (you can check out some of her photos over at her blog) suggested that I should write about people who think they are one thing, but are in fact completely different on the inside, like poor Oswin. I suppose there are those who think they are Christians, due to their outward appearance, their habits or behaviour. But if you could look through the Dalek eye stalk into their soul, you would find another king, not Christ, seated on the throne of their heart. Fair point Emily!
If we flip that concept around I think I have found what I really want to say from this story. Oswin’s hidden humanity reminds me of the hidden life of Christ IN US. We really are something amazing on the inside, something that defies and contradicts our outer casing, which is sometimes wrinkly and blemished and fading away. We are the children of God, citizens of heaven. Christ lives in us, and His life has the power to save!
Consider the following:
“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT)
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)
“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4 NLT)
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
Sometimes I forget that the spirit of Christ in us is not a spirit of fear – but of love, power and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). It is the supernatural powerful of the Creator of the universe, power which can (and has) defeated death (and insanity).