One Faith, Many Paths: Christian Jaeschke

For this edition of One Faith, Many Paths, I have chosen a Facebook friend all the way from the Land Down Under. We’ve known each other for years, thanks to being members of Christian Anime Alliance.  Here’s what he had to say:

1. What proof would you give for God’s Existence?

The beauty, creativity and variety found in nature. The weirdness and unity of fauna and flora. Nature’s not chaotic bur harmonious (as far as can be had living in a fallen world). It’s not survival of the fittest because some of the weakest species thrive. Some creatures seem to serve no purpose or look weird but they exist. The fact that there are so many variables in life that had to be designed to allow life on planet Earth. Also, how the human body has to be a certain temperature to survive. This isn’t some cosmic accident, it all points to a divine creator.  Finally, I believe are need to look for answers outside ourselves, points to there being a divine designer. There’s a desire for identity, purpose and hope, outside ourselves. That something else is the Triune God (Father God, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit).

2. What was your childhood like?
I was raised in a Christian household. I can’t think of any particular moment in my life that I chose to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour but I know that I grew quite a bit in my faith in Year 9 at a youth group camp and then later, after I left high school and had a ‘wilderness’ moment in my life.

3. What is your current job?
 I’m a primary (elementary) school teacher.

4. What is your favorite Biblical passage and why?

My favourite Bible passage changes from time to time, but I’ve always enjoyed Ephesians 6:10-17. It’s all about the armour of God. I love the battle imagery and the practical use of God’s Word. It just speaks to me and reminds me that while the physical world often seems to be all there is, there’s a spiritual realm that’s all the more real.

5. Is the Christian religion doing well in Austrailia?

 Yes and no. Church numbers are plummeting and there is generally less interest from young people, once they’ve left high school but there also seems to be a rise in more authentic Christianity. Australia is definitely losing it’s Judeo-Christian heritage though.

6. Who is your favorite Biblical figure besides Jesus?

 Job. He’s a great man of faith that is so seriously tested by Satan and still clings to God. He’s very open and honest and raw with his questions. The book illustrates the mysteries of God as well as his sovereignty. In the end, Job is rewarded for his faith in God. It’s good to read about Job when you feel the world is against you, so you can put human suffering into perspective and be reminded that God has an ultimate plan, however mysterious it may be.

7. Is there anyone in your life who inspires you to be a better person?

I can’t think of any specific individual but Christian friends and family are helpful. They support and challenge me where needed.

50 Years of Doctor Who: The Colin Baker Era

“In all my travelling throughout the universe, I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilization: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen – they’re still in the nursery compared to us. Ten million years of absolute power. That’s what it takes to be really corrupt.”

dw6
dw6l

During the filming of “The Five Doctors”, Patrick Troughton advised Peter Davison not the play the Doctor for more than four years to avoid being typecast.  Davison took his advice and left before the end of his final season (he is the second Doctor to do so).  Colin Baker stepped in and was initially ecstatic.  If he only knew what was in store.

About Colin Baker

Colin Baker was a huge fan of Doctor Who practically from the beginning and grew up with the show. In fact, like David Tennant, it was the sole reason he became an actor.  He starred in  an episode of Blake’s Seven, a cult BBC sci-fi program created by Terry Nation, who also created the Daleks for Doctor Who.  He is the only Doctor so far to have previously acted on the show. (this has  happened with companions. For instance, both Nicholas Courtney and Karen Gillan had small roles in stories before landing their most famous roles as the Brigadier and Amy Pond, respectfully) Ironically, Colin had wanted to beat Tom Baker’s seven-year span as the Doctor.  After Doctor Who, Colin spent most of his career in stage productions, such as HMS Pinafore and Woman in White.  He returned to his role as the Sixth Doctor for many Big Finish productions, and I’ve heard his audio plays are better than his TV version. He also appeared as the character in an episode of the BBC racing program Top Gear. Since 1995, he has written a weekly column for the Bucks Free Press. He is the current president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

Changes:

  • Colin Baker is the first Doctor to have a line after the previous Doctor’s regeneration. This did not happen again until the modern version of the show.
  • The show had two openings during Colin’s era. The first is similar to Peter Davison’s, but with a new logo (which is actually similar to the previous logo, just colored purple and slightly bent in the middle). For Colin Baker’s final season, a new theme and opening was created, but the logo remained.
  • Beginning with this era, only fourteen episodes were produced for each season. For part of Colin Baker’s first season, some episodes were actually 45 minutes long, just like the modern version of the show. (but still done in a serial format) However, for the final season of the era, the episodes were returned to their original 25-minute length.

Conclusion

I really feel sorry for Colin.  His era was plagued by terrible writing and backstage politics.  There was actually an 18-month hiatus between his first full season and his last season. The reason? Michael Grade, the head of the BBC at the time, hated science fiction, especially Doctor Who. He felt the show was too violent and a drain on the company budget. During the hiatus, the cast of Doctor Who formed an organization called Who Cares and began a campaign to bring the show back sooner.  Part of the campaign was a song called “Doctor in Distress.” (It was the 80’s. This was done a lot. Surely you’ve heard of “We Are the World”, “Sun City”, and “Do They Know It’s Christmas”?) There’s a big reason this was a bad idea. Unlike the songs I mentioned, none of the people behind “Doctor in Distress” could either sing or write a song. Want to hear just how bad it was? Click the link below.

As for Colin’s performance, I don’t think it was bad.  He was a great smug Doctor and in my opinion, he wasn’t annoyingly so.  Oh, and for the record, I like the outfit.

The Companions:

Peri Brown

Peri goes back and forth between decent and bad as a companion, depending on the episode’s overall strength.  She’s not the worst companion, but she’s not the best either, in my opinion. I hear she’s slightly better in the audio plays.

Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford)

First Appearance: “Trial of a Timelord part 9 (aka “Terror of the Vervoids” part 1)

Last Appearance: “Dragonfire” (with 7th)

I’d rather wait til next time to discuss this companion, as I feel she is better associated with the 7th Doctor.  She only has two stories with the Sixth Doctor.

Best Stories

“Vengeance on Varos” (2 episodes)

This story introduces Sil, who earns the award for Most Disgusting Doctor Who Villain.  Just listen to that laugh. What I think makes him even creepier is that you know this is an actual person in the outfit. This is something I think is lost today, not just in Doctor Who. CGI has replaced the days of Ray Harryhausen. I’m not saying we should go back to mechanical monsters, but sometimes they seem better than the CGI ones we have today.

“Mark of the Rani” (2 episodes)

This story introduces the Rani, a rogue Time Lady who appears in two more stories; “Time and The Rani” and the awful “Dimensions in Time” special. Kate O’Mara is excellent as this character.  It’s a shame she only had one good story.

“Trial of a Time Lord” (14 episodes)

“Trial of a Time Lord” is a unique story. It’s really four stories linked together: “The Mysterious Planet” (parts 1-4), “Mindwarp” (parts 5-8), “Terror of the Vervoids” (parts 9-12) and “The Ultimate Foe” (parts 13 and 14). The story uses the unreliable narrator formula, most famously used in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”.  It’s not the most celebrated Doctor Who story, but it deserves a look.  I’m really hoping Stephen Moffat refers to it when the 12th Doctor Who era commences, because there’s a prediction in the plot.

Worst Stories

“The Twin Dilemma” (4 episodes)

“The Twin Dilemma” is almost universally considered the worst Doctor Who story ever.  The biggest complaint comes from the scene where the Doctor actually strangles Peri. It also has a terrible plot and pacing.

“Revelation of the Daleks” (2 episodes)

This is in my opinion the worst Dalek story of the Classic period.  It seems like an incoherent mess that is paced haphazardly.  The interaction between the Doctor and Peri isn’t at its best, as it is in “Attack of the Cybermen” or “Vengeance on Varos”. Davros doesn’t seem as menacing as he should be, either.

 

 

Harry Potter and the Christian Muggle: The Order of the Phoenix

hp5

 

Order of the Phoenix is one of the longest books in the series. We get introduced to the loveably strange Luna Lovegood (played very well by Evanna Lynch in the movie. She really deserves more roles), and we’re also introduced to the universally loathed Delores Umbridge (I really have to hand it to Imelda Staunton, who played the movie version as if she was born to play her.)

Delores Umbridge is one of the best villains ever.  What I like most about her is how tyrannical she is. She’s fully convinced that she knows what’s best. She deliberately abandons actually teaching defense against black magic, mostly because she’s looking to stop “Dumbledore’s army.”  She’s downright creepy, especially in the scene where she makes Harry write lines for misbehaving, and it literally burns itself into his arm.  Even Hermione, who’s always a stickler for the rules, rightly decides that this is one time breaking the rules is warranted. One of the complaints I’ve heard against Harry Potter is that there are many instances where Harry Potter and his friends break the rules. I feel that this should not be a complaint because there are certainly times where breaking rules is warranted. There are many unjust laws that must be challenged, and that was the point of Jesus turning over the tables when he saw the money changers.

Luna Lovegood is another great character I can talk about from a spiritual point of view. She has the ability to see thestrals, despite the fact that you cannot see them under normal circumstances. One of my favorite lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet is “There are more things in heaven than dreamt of in your philosophy.”  I like to use this quote as evidence for a Creator. In her way, Luna illustrates this because she can see things others usually cannot. She shows us that we must perceive things not only with our senses, but our hearts.

The government in the Harry Potter has now turned against him. This is because Cornelius Fudge believes Dumbledore is creating an army to oppose him (he actually is creating an army, but against Voldemort).  They also wish to sweep Voldemort under the rug and pretend he’s still dead.  They’re content to just stick their heads in the sand.  This is a dangerous notion because it puts everyone in more danger. Harry quickly realizes he is now on his own.  

This is another good book in the series and I like the lessons it teaches. They are certainly worth passing on.