The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘doctor who’

Thanksgiving

Posted by BigWords on November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving. Yeah, that’s another brilliant idea I’m going to steal for Blighty. We don’t often look on the positive side of things over this side of the pond, rather tending – with equal parts dismay and dry humor – to paint a picture of a less than brilliant existence. We like moaning about the weather, telling horror stories about medical care, complaining about queues, and… Stuff. Needless to say, there comes a time when we should look, for once, to things which aren’t going to drive us to despair. It’s an opportunity to say “Hey, Britain isn’t as shit as we thought it was.” And we have a lot to be thankful for – medical advances, computer achievements on a par with anything coming out of Japan, a stellar literary community… Doctor Who as well, I guess. Or at least Amy Pond.

Okay, so this calls for a list. I may as well go all out here.

I am thankful for:

…the fact that Brannon Braga isn’t writing the new Star Trek film.
…the existence of Blair Atholl malt.
…the existence of the internet, and high speed connections which makes downloading all the important things so fast and easy.
…the cancellation of Enterprise. And Bionic Woman. And… Have they nixed Knight Rider yet?
99 Red Balloons. The perfect song to listen to as North Korea stirs up shit. Again.
…all of The Three Stooges shorts available online.
…British libraries. And book shops. Also the amazing staff who never throw me out.

Damn. I suck at this. I’m not sure this is going to take off in the UK.

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The Novelty Is Wearing Thin…

Posted by BigWords on October 30, 2009

Doctor Who‘s return to television screens a while back was exciting, and the stories – despite not breaking new ground, were well told for the most part. It didn’t cannibalize from itself as much as other shows which have returned to the small screen (such as Knight Rider‘s stupidity remaining intact from the original series) and the pairing of Eccleston and Pyper was eccentric enough to feel new. That should make my following grumble a little less provocative to fans of the series – The Sarah Jane Adventures is not worth watching if the writers can’t come up with something even remotely original.

A wedding, a time anomaly and a mysterious ‘otherworldly presense’ messing with time… Gee, that kinda sounds a lot like the first season episode Father’s Day. Which it should, because the parallels are obvious. There is even a disappearance at the wedding (riffing off Donna Noble’s introduction), The Doctor saying “I’m very, very sorry” to someone who is about to die, and the ending of the episode had too much sap. The way that The Doctor says goodbye is probably the bluntest example of lampshading I have seen in the last couple of months, and is just as obvious as the hokey “You’re song is coming to an end” dialogue from a while back.

I get the tongue-in-cheek referencing, really I do, but so many people seem content to cut and paste scenes together to fill time. I’m beginning to have some concerns about the reboot / revamp of the series unless the new production team can fully exorcise the ghost of R2D2 from their methods of storytelling. The final episodes of Doctor Who had better be fucking amazing or I’m gonna be really disappointed…

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In a related vein, I’ve finally succumbed to pressure from friends to read 52 (which is a dumb name for a comic), and I’m noticing call-backs to previous cross-overs such as Eclipso, the aftermath of Doomsday and a bunch of other old DC epics. When I finally get around to reading all of it I’ll give my final verdict, but after the first couple of issues I’m feeling a sense of déjà vu… It’ll probably be after November when I get around to reading all of it though, as NaNo is gonna be taking up quite a bit of my spare time.

damn crossoversRalph Dibny takes the news that DC is having a crossover event rather badly…

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Another Chance To See Doctor Who… On A Kids Show?

Posted by BigWords on October 28, 2009

Okay, so th’ Doc may have always been a kids show, and in many ways it still is, but after enjoying the slightly more mature (no, not mature… adult is a better word) Torchwood, the news that one of the final appearances David Tennant will make as The Doctor is gonna be in a for-sure kids show is… disappointing. No way will I miss it, it’s just a bit of a let-down after some really fun episodes. The biggest disappointment during R2D2’s reign as the mastermind behind the show (and it’s spin-offs) has been the lack of grit.

I’m going to put this in context, for those of you who believe there have been ‘dark’ moments in the shows so far. Nothing in the world of The Doctor is gritty. Not even Torchwood‘s faux ‘mature viewers’ angle. Gritty is more than sex and violence, and extends beyond cinematography. Go watch Se7en or take a look through a few dozen episodes of The Wire for the kind of ‘mature’ I was looking for. Characters return from the dead, the world is saved, a new Doctor takes over from the last. Ho-hum.

I want the Time Wars examined at some point. There’s a whole bunch of potential there which has been solidly ignored. Why the hell hasn’t any of the massive interior of the TARDIS been examined either? There’s a swimming pool in there somewhere (which had a thing living in it at one point), as well as a whole array of other interesting locations. That’s a budget issue, ain’t it? C’mon Mr. Davies, I know you’re penny-pinching for Auntie, but take us out of Tennant’s tenure with a fucking bang. Make it must-see television. Pleeease.

I’m getting rather worried that my lasting impression of his portrayal is one cameo in a kid’s show, and that would be a horrible dénouement to the series proper. The possibility that the new kid (whatsisname) might suck is still unresolved despite a lot of support in magazines and newspapers, and he’s starting to feel like Peter Davidson being foisted on kids who liked Tom Baker. Fuck it, Tom Baker IS The Doctor for some people. I had a hard enough time getting to like Chris Ecclestone in the role.

The Sarah Jane Adventures appeared while I wasn’t looking, and I missed a whole bunch of episodes, but from what I’ve seen it isn’t the kind of show I would normally go nuts over. And it has kids in it. For SF this is always a bad sign. I hated the Crusher kid in ST:TNG, thought that the rugrat in War Of The Worlds was gonna pierce my eardrums with her screeching, and absolutely detested Invasion (or whatever the hell the aliens-under-the-sea show was called). There are so few grown up shows around that I’m actually missing The X-Files.

I’m reminded of a spiel I used to deliver to Star Trek: Voyager fans when it was running:

How bad a captain is Janeway? Hmm? First she gets her crew lost thousands of light years from their home – in what must be the definitive example of women drivers, right? Then she takes a guy on board who she’s met for, what, five minutes?

“Want to stay?”
“Sure.”
“Do you have any talents?”

Psst. Cap, you might not want to hit on the lice-ridden stranger you just picked up in a strange part of space, and – for all you know – might think that stealing all your shiny new technology would make good black-market ware. Think with your head, not your crotch.

“I can cook.”
“Welcome aboard.”

Goddamn. The guy is not only allowed to remain on the ship, he’s preparing their food. Great job, Janeway. It’ll serve you right if he poisons you. But wait, this isn’t the best part. Oh no. Janeway is waaay more stupid than she looks, and that is just the appetizer for her moment of utter brain-free decision-making. Cue the drumroll…

She lets his underage lover aboard, and makes no attempt to question the situation. Kes is five years old for fuck sake. FIVE YEARS OLD. I know that randy old bastard Kirk would have re-written the Starfleet regulations regarding sexual conduct aboard a spaceship, but Janeway doesn’t even blink an eyelash.

She doesn’t even consider the moral implications of the alien with a mohawn shacking down with a five year old.

Sorry. It’s been a while since I delivered that particular speech, and it’ll probably be a while before I get to perform it again for the benefit of a Star Trek crowd. Always a fun experience. Not always a safe experience, but always a fun one.

Here’s hoping that Davies has a solid plan for the end of the current Doctor’s reign, or I might have to take the piss out of Doctor Who the next time I get to a convention. Consider this a warning, R2D2.

(There’s about half an hour’s worth of the Voyager jokes, that’s the best bit)

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Brightening Up The Blog

Posted by BigWords on July 23, 2009

Added some nice pics here. Go look.

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The Joy Of Series

Posted by BigWords on July 9, 2009

Have you taken a look at the number of novel series which have been published? Jeez, it’s too many… Way too many. I’ve been searching for information to add to a little something something which I’m working on, and it appears that every time I get close to nailing the “collection complete” phase, another title pops up. Is it too much to ask for a little pause between the publication of the books? I’m gonna go broke at this rate. The worst offenders are the TV tie-in books, especially those for younger readers, which seem to come off a conveyor belt somewhere.

I’ve managed to track down information on individual books, though the lists I come across are either outdated or plainly incorrect. It’s a pain when you just need a ISBN number or date of publication checked, especially when the book in question isn’t a rarity. I am, of course, skirting the issue of why I am hunting down information on books. Yeah, it’s a secret. You’ll get a kick out of the idea when I tell you, but for now I’m keeping the geeky list-listed listy kind of list under wraps. It is a difficult sell, simply reeling off a bunch of stats and information, so I’m trying to keep it from being too dry.

Whenever I decide to do one of my lists, which is more regularly than anyone should think about, I get around to the time / cost matters. How much is it gonna cost to buy all the books, and how long can I read the series before fatigue sets in. I didn’t do very well with Doctor Who, and I’ve only read a dozen or so Star Trek books. Star Wars? Maybe eight or nine books. I had the determination and the necessary funds to track down all of the X-Files tie-ins, both official and unofficial, but even those weren’t all read immediately. I’m currently sifting through a pile of completely unrelated novel series, and I think this is the way to go. Mix ‘n’ match.

I’m going to bypass the late seventies ultra-macho crap completely, and I hate the annoyingly twee Mary Kate & Ashley with a vengeance, so you can breathe easy if you thought that I was gonna be covering those. Uh-uh, not a chance. This is looking to be a much more interesting endeavour, and one which should turn out slightly better than my attempt at creating a dictionary of places, characters and terms used in the Judge Dredd strips.

Fingers crossed, this should be done by the end of the week…

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