Implicit Religion, Vol 18, No 4 (2015)

Afterword: The Hope of the Doctor

Matt Hills
Issued Date: 22 Dec 2015


This Afterword considers whether Doctor Who’s religious meanings are “polysemic” (different for different audiences) or “neutrosemic” (mirroring the religious commitments of those reading the programme). I argue that implicit religion is a useful concept not just in relation to the show’s plurality of meaning, but also its unpredictable cultural life, inspiring generations of viewers (and fans who would become its producers) to pay attention to the Doctor’s unusual heroism. Doctor Who promises moral and educative possibilities; it conveys a deep hope in transformative agency, even if these meanings cannot be guaranteed to arrive for audiences.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v18i4.29095


Amy-Chinn, Dee. 2010. “Davies, Dawkins and Deus ex TARDIS: Who finds God in the Doctor?” In Ruminations, Peregrinations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Doctor Who, edited by Christopher J. Hansen, 22–34. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Crome, Andrew. 2013. “Introduction.” In Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who, edited by Andrew Crome and James McGrath, xi–xxiv. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.

McKee, Alan. 2004. “Is Doctor Who Political?” European Journal of Cultural Studies 7(2): 201–217.

Sandvoss, Cornel. 2005. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption. Cambridge: Polity.


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