Christology of Who: The Parting of Ways

A look at a few of the spiritual themes in Doctor Who, episode “The Parting of Ways” by Russell T. Davies.

SPOILER ALERT:  I will be giving away the end of the episode.

Episode bits pulled from Who Transcripts.

The story:

In the Time War, the entire species of Time Lords (save one) were exterminated, as were the entire species of Daleks – save one.

Emperor Dalek alone survived, and he spent hundreds of years abducting humans and transforming them into Daleks. And now he has thousands of these new Daleks, and plans to use them to conquer the earth.

The Doctor and Rose stumble upon the Daleks, and learn how the Emperor was able create his army, it causes Rose to marvel:

That makes them… half human.

(voice rising)
Those words are blasphemy!

Since when did the Daleks have a concept of blasphemy?

I reached into the dirt and made new life. I am the God of all Daleks!

Worship him! Worship him! Worship him!

To save the planet (and to save the Doctor), Rose – well, what Rose does and the consequences aren’t relevant to this posting, so I’ll leave that for later.

The Daleks on set for their call

There are three points brought out by the story that feed into our discussion. (Well, okay, a whole lot more than three, but I’m only going to focus on three for the moment.)

As I said earlier (here), Doctor Who finds humanity to be extremely special, and uses a long arc with the Daleks to explore what it means to be human.

Earlier, a Dalek is “infected” by Rose, absorbing some of her humanity.

And we learned the first thing about what it means to be human: humans feel.

Here we learn a second point: humans worship.

From the Westminster Catechsim:

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Humans are drawn to the notion of G-d or gods or creator; humans yearn past the science of creation, hoping for something more.

In that search, they often settle for something less – an idol with a high pitched voice in this case.

But the important piece for now is: they yearn for something more.

Just my thoughts,


Next up: The Parting of the Ways, Part Two


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