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Osiris, Jesus, Doctor Who, Alistair Cook

December 20, 2013


What does it portend when Doctor Who regenerates on a Christmas Day like he did in 2013?  Does this event mark some final communal breach with Christianity, an agreement that the baby in a manger is less important than the man in the blue box?

Or does it represent kind of re-inscription of a more ancient logic of regeneration that goes back to Ancient Egypt and the Cult of Osiris.  The importance of someone dying and then being reassembled and living again seems to go back a long way, part of the generative grammar of necessary human story telling.

So two Christmases ago, Matt Smith died, in a way that seemed real and grievable, in a way that was supposed to provide  the viewers with a death scene of some significance and poignancy.  And then Peter Capaldi was born – an older generation succeeding to a younger.  All of this occurred during a festival devoted to new birth.

Inevitably,  the Eleventh Doctor passed in what might be described as sacrificial circumstances.

Whether this sort of playing with religious associations for sci fi purposes represents a debasement of religion is not clear to me.  In some ways it may indicate that certain themes are inescapable.

Of course, the only thing we know for certain about December 25th is that it was chosen as a Christian festival in an attempt to overwhelm Pagan Saturnalian festivals that were prevalent about the same time.  Nobody knows when Christ was born.  We do know that December 25th was when England cricket captain Alistair Cook was born.  And before him Marcus Trescothick.  Should the day be renamed “Test Opener” day in the name of greater exactitude?

A year ago, Alistair Cook would have welcomed the chance of regeneration.  Emerging from the Ashes of despair, a newborn new forged symbol of hope was forged – and in 2015 he became again, the top test run getter in the world.  On Boxing Day, he will re-emerge – but in what “form”?


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One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on conradbrunstrom and commented:

    Remembering last year’s sacred birth…

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