Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 7/27/17 2:31 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.
I love this story. It's very good, and it's very funny. While I do enjoy the occasional "Doctor Who" comedy, for the most part, the best way to do comedy in "Doctor Who" is to put really good jokes in an otherwise straight story, and that's what this script does. "Bloody Tourists!" The Serendipitists. "Renaissance is futile." Great stuff.
Thematically, I think this story stands as an excellent illustration that religious pluralism is incompatible with fundamentalism. Pluralism only works if everyone agrees that religion is basically just a lifestyle choice, and that no one religion is The Truth. This is actually a serious problem for pluralism. Fundamentalism fills an important need than many people have by providing simple and all-encompassing answers to the big unanswerable questions of human existence. But it also promotes religious intolerance, which all too often takes the form of violent repression. Pluralism is clearly better than endless religious conflict, but to be compatible with pluralism, religion has to give up its claim to truth.
As Charley points out, the Multihaven makes a mockery of religion. It's convenient that this story falls into the Divergent Universe Arc, because if you tried to populate the Multihaven with real-world religions, it could easily be offensive to religious listeners. The Multihaven only works so long as everyone understands that all of their religions are equally arbitrary, and none has any greater claim on truth than any other. In other words, they're all equally nonsense. That's why Lucidianism is such a threat. It isn't nonsense. The church doctrine may be an elaborate lie to cover up what's really happening, but it's still "real" in a way that none of the other religions is.
Anyway, really good story, lovely script. The only thing that doesn't work for me is Director Garfolt, who seems weirdly sadistic for no discernible reason. I don't know what that's supposed to be about.