With a falling teenage attendance in churches throughout the Church of England, clergyman are turning to the television for help.
Namely, the Doctor Who series.
The science fiction program tells the tale of a time traveler journeying through both space and time in a machine designed to look like an old police public call box. He helps people and sometimes attempts to alter history.
According to Church Army spokesman Andrew Wooding, "There are countless examples of Christian symbolism in Doctor Who, which we can use to get across ideas that can otherwise be difficult to explain."
In other words, the Tardis represents a church, the Doctor represents Jesus, Daleks represent demons, and the list goes on. Some of the storylines have even been compared to Biblical tales.
Rather interesting, considering the chief writer of the current series, Russell T. Davies, is an atheist. "I think religion is a very primal instinct within humans," he said, "a very good one, part of our imagination."
Unfortunately, the church fails to realize that storytelling hasn't changed in basic structure in over 2000 years. "The Hero's Journey", a common platform for legends, can be found not only in the Bible but in morality plays, Beowulf, The Wizard of Oz, The Matrix, folklore, and even religious stories from ancient Rome and Egypt. The plot predates the Bible and traces its origins to early man.
Were there intentional Christian undertones in Doctor Who? It's doubtful. But that doesn't mean it can't be exploited like everything else...