Blog Author Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson has been a fan of the cult TV series Doctor Who since primary school days. A friend at school said, “have you seen Doctor Who?” This was in the final days when the actor Patrick Troughton played the role of the second Doctor. Philip saw stories like The Space Pirates, The Seeds of Death and The War Games, and enjoyed the holiday luxury of seeing re-runs of Patrick Troughton stories broadcast in the early afternoon followed later in the day by the new series starring Jon Pertwee as the third Doctor.

In 1973 at high school he and four other friends co-wrote a Doctor Who story set in Antarctica and featuring aliens from Andromeda galaxy and naturally the Doctor’s friends from U.N.I.T. Yes we managed to place the Doctor in Antarctica years before the 1976 Tom Baker story The Seeds of Doom!

Depending on your point-of-view in time-and-space our school-boy story was chronologically both “before” and yet also “behind” William Hartnell’s last appearance as the Doctor in The Tenth Planet where he first encountered the Cybermen. The Tenth Planet witnessed the Tardis landing at the South Pole Tracking Station in 1986. As our story was written in 1973 we were in one sense “before” the Doctor landed in Antarctica. Yet, in another sense, we were “behind” because The Tenth Planet was broadcast in October 1966.  Of course this little riddle is reminiscent of the final words spoken by the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith in episode six of The Seeds of Doom, “have we been here before … or are we yet to come?”

Our school-boy story was part of an English-class exercise in creative writing. Alas, the manuscript for that story has vanished into the time vortex!

Philip has followed the show ever since the late 1960s, and while he feels some nostalgia for the “classic series” (from William Hartnell to Sylvester McCoy), he doesn’t mind too much the new format (from Chris Eccleston onwards). This also includes appreciation for the spin-off series Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. Philip has commented on the motifs of resurrection in Doctor Who and Torchwood in his co-written book The Cross Is Not Enough (Baker 2012).

Philip is an Australian theologian and has been a guest lecturer at Morling College for many years and is known for his co-written books in apologetics, theology, missions and new religious movements: The Cross is not Enough, Riding the Rollercoaster, Jesus and the gods of the New Age, Beyond Prediction, Beyond the Burning Times and Religious and Non-Religious Spirituality in the Western World (“New Age”). He has also contributed chapters to several books including Encountering New Religious Movements, Tough-Minded Christianity, Baker Dictionary of Cults, Australian Stories for the Soul, and Australian Stories for the Heart. He is a founding co-editor of the e-journal Sacred Tribes Journal. He holds the BA and BD from the University of Sydney, and an MTh from the Australian College of Theology.

Philip also writes on other blogs:

* The Cross Is Not Enough

* Animals Matter to God

Other aspects of his work can be followed at http://independent.academia.edu/JohnsonPhilip

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