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Questions of Decorum in the Writing of Sermons

January 1, 2022

I’m not observantly religious myself (though I play someone who is in my medieval society) so since the few times I attended Sunday services as a teenager (Methodists first and then Anglicans) I haven’t had much experience of sermons.

More and more experience of eulogies as time goes by. If I’m hovering around at my own funeral I’ll probably be critiquing the delivery and possibly the word choice as well.

But I have heard and do believe that you have to fit the length of your sermons to your audience and to the length of time you have to fill before their buttocks become numb or their bladders full.

And I’ve also heard that brievity is the soul of wit.

I think that both those sentiments should be pointed out to Chris Chibnal.

I liked most of EVE OF THE DALEKS until the sermon the Doctor got handed two iterations before the end of this time loop adventure. The Daleks could have had a few more variant lines from their usual racial and personal superiority complex though I liked their new weapons which were definitely worth the investment. There was a good structure and I didn’t have a single fridge logic moment (though your Aunt Betty who hasn’t ever watched anything other than Coronation Street in fifty years might have some difficulty). There was plenty of comedy though speaking of Coronation Street I could have done with less slagging of the noble city of my birth, not that I’d want to spend New Years Eve in Central Manchester either. (Mind you, note to self, avoid the Rye Park in High Wycombe next New Years: it’s popular with drunken idiots with very loud fireworks.)

Anyway the problem with this one is that Chris Chibnall gave the Doctor a ‘rally the troops’ speech which was also a sermon about how people survive and go on and learn and grow. Most people don’t get a redo after dying several times though. I assume, anyway.

But he left this until the point where more than a couple of sentences wouldn’t have made sense because they were being tracked down by a growng number of Daleks and had a limited time to solve the puzzle, kill the Daleks and escape the doomed building. (They managed it: I don’t think that’s a spoiler.)

Chris needs to express his sometimes ponderous though worthy thoughts with wit, brevity and if at all possible some sign of poetry. He has two more specials to go. Let’s hope for the best.

When Yaz finally admitted her feelings about the Doctor (only to Dan but it’s something) I could hear the sound of the fists of a thousand fanfic ‘shippers’ punching the air and a mass ‘squee’ sound from somewhere. The Doctor is either in denial or afraid of her fast oncoming mortality or a bit of both.

That revelation does complicate the casting decisions of the new showrunner. Having another female Doctor (which strikes me as the wiser thing to do) or chosing to have a male doctor… Oh, my. What a complicated political mess. Probably the best thing (since a large bunch of Internet know-it-alls will hate you no matter what you do) is find the most talented actor you can and go with them.

From → DOCTOR WHO, SF Fandom

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