Ladeeeees and gentlemen! The Freethinker once again brings you, at enoooormous expense,Â a traditional entertainmentÂ in which girls dress as boys, an evil villain gets his comeuppance, the hero marries the heroine (and occasionally another hero these days)Â and everybody lives happily ever after.
Yes, it’sÂ pantomime season again.Â This Christmas time, sit back and enjoy the show you’ve all been waiting for,Â Doctor Who and the Christian Pillock from Hell, whichÂ is being shown in a universe near you. Now.
Oh no it isn’t!
Oh yesÂ it is!
Meet the heroine: a ship’s maid called Astrid (played by Who newcomer Miss Kyleeeee Minoooooogue, ladies and gentlemen).
Woo hoo! (Cheers, applause.)
And the hero is – John Smith, also known as the Doctor. Give him a big round of applause.
Hooray! Woo hoo. (Cheers, applause, wild shrieks of joy.)
And the dame – that traditionally overacted, camped-up favourite of all pantomime – is this year none other than Widow Wanky, played byÂ that well-known master of the ridiculousÂ .Â .Â . Mister Stephen Greeeeen, ladies and gentlemen, crying over nothing, as usual.
(Small ripple of hesitant applause. Audience looks troubled.)
Ah, yes, you do well to be suspicious, because in our story, in an extraordinary twist,Â the lovable Widow Wanky reveals herself to be none other than the villain of the piece,Â the Christian Pillock from Hell, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, off come the petticoats, the corsets, theÂ camiknickers, the foam boobs and theÂ outrageous orangeÂ wigÂ to revealÂ our very own amusing, rib-tickling, ludicrous, nonsensical, unbelievable bearded lady,Â Stephen Green, from a shady underworld organisation calling itself Christian Voice.
And what is the master of evil up to now? Well, he’s decided that the Doctor Who Christmas special on BBC1 is not right for a Christmas Day show on television and that it sets up the main character as some sort of messiah.
Or, as The Times has it, “Christian groups” – although it cites only the one – think it’s “inappropriate for a BBC One Christmas evening show”. Indeed, typical of lazy journalism is a story whose writer, Adam Sherwin, says the BBC has “provoked controversy” over the show, but then quotes just one pillock from one insignificant organisation that even has other Christian groupsÂ criticising it.
And just what has raised the ire of our pantomime buffoon? Well, what follows is a spoiler, so don’t read the paragraph afterÂ the warning we give after theÂ next two paragraphs – which provide a somewhat happy ending to this tale of woe – if you don’t want to know anything about the Christmas episode, The Voyage of the Damned (BBC1,Â 6.50 p.m., Christmas Day; put it in your diary now or you will be exterminated).
And that happy ending is that not all Christian groups agree with Mr Stephen (Widow Wanky) Green, for the Times story concludes:
But Malcolm Brown, director of mission and public affairs for the Church of England, said: “Science fiction at its best helps to illuminate eternal themes, and that’s something the Church can happily work with.”
So just what is theÂ unholy row about? This is where those who don’t wish to know anything about the story should skip a paragraph.
The Doctor (played by David Tennant) ascends through the decks of the doomed Titanic at one point, with the help of robotic angels. So he must be a messiah figure, concludes our villain, Widow Wanky, alias the Christian Pillock from Hell. He’s ascending, right? And, before he achieves this feat (with the aid of science, note, not the supernatural skills of a divine Son of God), he “convinces [sic] the despairing survivors to believe in his powers”, says The Times with little regard forÂ grammar (must be those office parties).
Wanky Green is quoted as saying, “The Doctor would have to do a lot more than the usual prancing around to be a messiah. He has to save people from their sins.”
Prancing around? Doctor Who fans everywhere are at this moment up in arms at such a comment. What a calumny! An insult to their hero. Blasphemy! Profane lies! May Green roast in turkey foil.
If it weren’t pantomime season, you just wouldn’t believe it, would you?
But let’s leave the last word to the man behind the scenes, the writer of the episode, and the man largely responsible for bringing Doctor Who back to our screens, the atheist (woo hoo! yay! hooray!), Mister Russell T Davies, ladies and gentlemen:
“The series lends itself to religious iconography because the Doctor is a proper saviour. He saves the world through the power of his mind and his passion.”
Note the adjective “proper” there.
(The Voyage of the Damned, Christmas Day,Â 6.50-8.00 p.m., BBC1, with a Doctor Who Confidential (a behind-the-scenes look at the show) on BBC3 at 8.30 p.m.)