I’ll admit: I’m a closet Doctor Who fan. I have been for a couple of decades now. Mind you, I stopped somewhere shy of walking around with a ridiculously long scarf and handing out jelly babies to everyone I met. For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television series in the world (listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as such). The show featured effects so cheesy they made Star Trek: The Original Series look like The Matrix.

The mysterious Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels about in his space/time craft, the Tardis, to distant planets as well as back and forth throughout pivotal points in Earth’s history. He often enlists assistants in his crusading battle against alien menaces, encountering all manner of lifeforms, from Daleks to Cybermen. Though I hadn’t been as tied to the show as I was when Tom Baker portrayed the good doctor, I was still sad to hear about the shows cancellation.

And just like the Doctor’s ability to regenerate into a new body, I was just as elated to hear that the show was back on the air.

Let me say from the outset, I like the new Doctor Who a lot (hearing the opening electronic strains of the theme song was like being welcomed back by an old friend you didn’t realize you missed). Christopher Eccleston iteration of the Doctor reminded me of Tom Baker’s run. In one short season he sucked the audience into his role, taking us along for the ride, and transcended the role. The show is a kind of re-boot, aware of its long history, but not necessarily being bogged down by it in order to make it accessible to new viewers.

His newest assistant, Rose Tyler (ex-pop star, Billie Piper) shares an unmistakable chemistry with the Doctor, leaving the viewer not quite sure what their relationship will be. Granted, their opening adventure was against an alien threat that could animate mannequins, however, the series quickly picks up. Although, the adventure pretty much sets the tone for the series: move at a brisk pace, with a sense of humor about itself. All as they go about the Doctor’s mission, as he always keeps his eye on the bigger picture.

“It’s now. That fight is happening right now.” –Rose

The Doctor constantly alludes to a Great War that most are unaware of – a time war, one that left his people destroyed. The idea of a cosmological battle few are aware of isn’t a new one, however the idea of there being an alien, or spiritual, aspect to our reality (much less the impact of this spiritual world on our physical one) is rarely discussed. Probably for fear of sounding ignorant against the backdrop of our modern age. Forces of evil operate within all of the human elements, from arrogant political powers to the deception of self. Yet, deeper, darker forces can also operate at a suprapersonal level.

These alien powers and principalities are spiritual, free moral agents, also make choices and have actions which have consequences in our world. Much of what we see as evil, from humanity’s veiled perspective, is the collateral damage of humanity and creation being caught in a cosmological battle of these alien forces. Much like the survivors of the living plastic shop dummies or the Cybermen factory, we wonder about like people choosing to be unaware of what is truly going on around us. Not realizing that the battle is already joined at a personal level, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

“An ordinary man. That’s the most important thing in creation.” –The Doctor

The Doctor, “a lowly god”, chooses to be a one man Army in this war. He takes the burdens, and consequences, onto himself. He makes the tough decisions, often causing those around him to note (or worse, experience) that he has one constant companion, Death.

The Doctor, like Christ, was willing to die, only to be resurrected. His way of cheating death was regeneration as resurrection, however, he knew that it meant that he was going to change. Also like Christ, it is through his life that evil can be conquered. Jesus took on the burden of evil, took on its full force and exhausted it, with the resurrection was the sign of evil and Death being defeated.

“What do I do? Get up, catch the bus, go to work, come back home, eat chips, and go to bed. Is that it?” –Rose

Just as Christ let the forces of evil and darkness do their worst to him and breaking their power over Him and humanity, encountering the Doctor led to transforming not only the lives of those that choose to follow him, but their way of life. Rose Tyler was an ordinary woman going about her ordinary life when she crossed paths with the Doctor. Like a fisher of men, he called her into a new life. The Doctor introduced her to a better way of living her life. Suddenly, she was engaged with her world and culture as she joined in his mission. She joined the battle to do was right as well as being called to love and serve the world.

We could all use an encounter with a Doctor.

Of course, where does this leave us? With David Tennant’s version of the Doctor, who is slowly growing on me through Season Two. Though we’ve seen a lot of familiar faces–Daleks, Cybermen, K-9–I’m awaiting the return of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis, the Master.

Fantastic!