‘I don’t think scare crows knock!’
The episodes ‘Human Nature’ and ‘The Family of Blood’ (3:8, 9) are my favourites. David Tennant won the Constellation Award for Best Male Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode for the two-part story and I won’t argue with that. Tempting as it is to retell the entire story (for my enjoyment more than yours, I am sure) I will suggest instead just a thought or two, in a Blue Box Parable sense.
In hiding from ‘the Family’ (aliens, not Martha’s Mum, though she scares the socks off me) the Doctor embeds his Time Lord consciousness in a pocket watch to become the ‘entirely human’ John Smith, a teacher at the Farringham School for boys in 1914.
Martha as his maid copes well, even with the Doctor’s incomplete instructions (‘you didn’t tell me what to do if you fell in love’) staying alert for the Family who soon sniff him out, threatening the world with destruction unless he gives himself up.
John Smith, the teacher, refusing to accept his true nature as the Doctor, must be convinced by Martha and School Nurse Joan Redfern (whom Smith has fallen in love with) when the Family begins attacking the village. Smith breaks but then uses the watch to share a vision with Joan of what their lives would be like together as humans; touching. Really!
Now, there are obvious comparisons to be made with Jesus, who ‘emptied himself, taking the form of a servant’ (Philippians 2:7) though as always the contrasts between the ‘Time Lord’ and the ‘Lord of Time’ are more telling than any comparison; to me at least.
I was affected more by John Smith’s struggle in deciding to fulfill his Time Lord nature and save our little planet from yet another alien threat. In this I did see a comparison with Jesus and his even more intense struggle in the garden of Gethsemane; whether to fulfill his purpose in ‘coming to Earth’ (to save us from the death our sin demanded and to reconcile us to his Father and ours).
‘Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”’ Matthew 26:36-39
John Smith chose, in the end, to give up his life (at least the life he might have had with Joan) to save us Earthlings. Jesus chose, from before the foundation of the world, to give up his life for us; not any imagined Earthly life, but the life he shared with his Father eternally, so that we might share it as well.
‘For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.’ Romans 5:10, 11