bookzombie: (chris)
Okay, so I've been having tremendous fun archive-binging on Philip Sandifer's TARDIS Eruditorum site (and by the way, thanks to [ profile] nwhyte for linking to this enormous time-sink!), of which more at a later date, but it has made me think about my own Doctor Who fannishness. I'm prone to talking about it as my first fandom (even though that's a term I've only started using recently) and it's the thing that starts me on the road to being an sf fan (The Tomorrow People was also a contributing factor), but looking at it it's amazing how little of the program I actual saw in 'real time' when it was first shown. I've been interrogating my memory, trying to work out a list, and it goes something like this:Doctor Who episodes I can remember seeing by season )
So in other words the only season in which I can be pretty certain that I saw every episode from the original broadcast is the very last one in 1989! Going into this I would have sworn I'd seen all of at least season 13, until I realised that I hadn't seen The Seeds of Doom all the way through.

Okay, some of this is understandable. There were no video recorders for much of this time so if you didn't catch it on the day you didn't see it at all. If it clashed with something my mum wanted to watch, or if either parent just didn't want you to put the television on at the appropriate time then you missed it. If there were family visits to or from the grandparents then you missed it.

But that doesn't explain periods of time when I didn't watch it at all. The middle period of Tom Baker's time I just wasn't much bothered with (partly because I always found K9 really silly and annoying - even though I was theoretically at exactly the target age group for him), I lost interest in Peter Davison half way through his tenancy, couldn't get on with Colin Baker's stuff and thought McCoy was far too silly until TV Zone magazine started coming out and convinced me that the program was starting to do some interesting things.

But also, I wonder if the way we watch television has changed in other ways? I don't recall that we ever really did 'appointment television.' There was nothing that anyone in the family always watched - not even mum with 'her' soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm - but if you happened to be free you sat down and watched whatever was on. Obviously there were some you made more effort for, but nothing that you sulked about if you missed.

So the question for people of my generation is whether that was a common model or just the way my family did things. Any thoughts?
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Yes, I know it's been nearly three weeks, but I've really been mulling this one over a lot!

I am given to understand that my views on this episode may border on being slightly controversial...;-)

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Something that came to mind after watching this weeks Doctor Who Confidential.
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A quick review of the last episode: 

I am not terribly kind to it...
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After an absence of a month or so (life seems to have got in the way!) a return to the review blog. This week, a review of the opening two episodes of the new season of Doctor Who. Spoilers abound, so be warned!
bookzombie: (minitardis)
I've just finished re-watching the 'E-Space Trilogy' on DVD, three later Tom Baker stories Full Circle, State of Decay and Warriors' Gate. I'd always remembered Full Circle (famous for being the first story written as a result of a fan submission) as having a good idea but being rather dull, State of Decay as a fun romp and Warriors' Gate as being clever and something rather special.

But on rewatching, what did I find?
  • State of Decay is just dull. Nothing very much happens; there is about enough material for a 45-minute New Who episode. The only thing I liked about it was the inside ship design was rather sumptuous. Other than that, completely forgettable.
  • Warriors' Gate makes even less sense than it did. There is the germ of a clever story in here but spends way too much time with people wandering around white voids with nothing really to do. It's never made clear why the ending is a good thing and Tom Baker looks exhausted throughout the whole thing. There's some nice stuff in the background about slavers becoming slaves but it's burried under something that probably seemed really cool at 3am in the morning after a bottle of wine but really doesn't look good in the harsh light of day. And Romana gets a very abrupt send-off.
  • Full Circle. This one seems to have stood the test of time best of the three, much to my surprise! It's still over-long (the four episode standard really doesn't do a lot of these stories any good: three episodes is perfectly adequate for most) but it has a good story to tell and tells it well. I really wasn't expecting to like this at all.
One thing I would say is that while Matthew Waterhouse as Adric is quite often pilloried for his bad acting (not unfairly it has to be said), it seems unfair to just pick on him. Most of the guest actors are poor; there is something about DW in that era that seemed to turn even good actors (e.g. Clifford Rose in Warriors' Gate) into bad actors. Maybe it was the choice of directors?
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Obviously we have a lot of Sky+ recordings to catch up with, but we started with the Doctor Who Christmas special.

Overall I liked it, especially compared with last year's. This is old news for most of you I'm sure so just a couple of negative comments along with the tremendous fun. Behind cut as I know it hasn't reached veryone yet.

Negative thoughts )

bookzombie: (minitardis)
So, no great surprise to anyone whose had their ear anywhere near the ground that David Tennant is leaving after next year's specials.

As much as I have, overall, enjoyed Tennant's performance this is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that any actor playing the Doctor tends to accumulate various verbal and kinetic ticks that characterises 'their' Doctor . But after a while it edges into a broader characture (see later Tom Baker performances in the role) and I can see signs that Tennant is heading that way in the last season.

So adieu to David Tennant and welcome...well whoever. I'm not sure I believe any of the rumours spreading around at the moment. I'd like it to be someone nobody has thought of as none of the suggestions I've heard who are remotely plausible, as opposed to those who seem to be fannish wish-fulfillment, fill me with a great deal of excitement.

One note: personally I would have no problem with a female Doctor.

Another note: the previous two Doctors have both been actors the show-runner has worked with before, so maybe there is something to be said for looking at the Moff's back-catalogue...

Also, in between Clarke Award reading, I've been working my way through Russell T. Davies & Benjamin Cook's The Writer's Tale. Interesting.

Some thoughts )

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Well, a very busy one! Two long rehearsals plus the monthly trip to Oxford, plus some long working days on top of that. It's also been another one of those weeks when I've been very tired by the time I got home and so having some extra naps!

The work reorganisation has now taken place and I have a new line manager. He is someone I have worked with a lot over the last few years and I will be interested in seeing how he performs as a line manager. Watch this space. I also had my annual appraisal, which went about as well as could be expected (good at the things I'm good at, need to work at the things that don't come so naturally to me - all fairly obvious really).

For those who were puzzled by my slightly enigmatic Facebook status updates this week, I was supposed to get my new company car on Tuesday, but alas it arrived at the dealers with scratched paint work which they had to get repaired. This is fair enough: the annoying part was that it took two hours of telephone calls and waiting to find out that this is why it hadn't turned up. Communication is a lovely thing...

Other than that: we've had some updates from Matt and [profile] ddothill in Tokyo and they seem to have been enjoying themselves a lot (yes, I am rather envious!). [profile] ddothill starts on his way home during the next day and Matt goes on to Australia.

Doctor Who last night was an enjoyable romp, perfectly entertaining without being anything terribly special. Overall I thought Donna was fine, but then I never got why everyone hated her in the Christmas special so much anyway (and, just to make my biases clear, I really dislike Catherine Tate's comedy show stuff). Torchwood was generally a much-improved show over last year (but I wish the show runners could get this messianic streak out of their systems).

But yesterday's real highlight was the final episode of Cranford on DVD. I understand why this programme got such plaudits: beautifully filmed and acted, sometimes bordering on sentimental but also quite brutal in its portrayal of the risks of living in such a time. I spent a fair part of the episode with a lump in my throat...

So a reasonably good but busy week. More of the same in the next week I suspect...

Icon love

Mar. 15th, 2008 03:14 pm
bookzombie: (minitardis)
Only the other day I was thinking that I needed some new icons, and then Paul Cornell's blog pointed towards:

I think I might be using a few of these...
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This one from [personal profile] phredd:

Which was your first Doctor?

I'm guessing you mean as in Doctor Who here, not my first physician!

I was born the year that Patrick Troughton took over, but the first Doctor I remember seeing was the third, Jon Pertwee.

In fact my earliest Doctor Who memory is, I'm pretty sure, something from Day of the Daleks, which makes it January 1972 and I would have been five years old.

Oddly we never seem to have been regular watchers of Doctor Who during that time. The next memory I have is of a small scene from The Sea Devils, two serials later and then nothing until The Three Doctors at the beginning of the following season, which is the first I am sure I saw in full. Then looking through the rest of the Jon Pertwee era, I remember seeing all of Carnival of Monsters, nothing of Frontier in Space, all of Planet of the Daleks, bits of The Green Death, all of the next season, apart from absolutely nothing of The Monster of Peladon.

Even when we get into the Tom Baker era, which was when I would have started to consider myself a fan, I think I only saw the first episode of Robot and one or two episodes of The Ark in Space. But then it was a complete run from The Sontaran Experiment through to The Face of Evil. I'm sure I didn't see all of The Robots of Death, but I did see all of The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Horror of Fang Rock. After that there seems to be a few holes again, though I probably watched most of the stories.

So there you go, probably a fuller answer than you really wanted!

DW News

Jul. 4th, 2007 08:14 am
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This morning's news )


Jul. 2nd, 2007 07:28 pm
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So, the last episode of this season of Doctor Who.
Cut for spoilers )
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Yes, it has, I kid you not.

There was a lay-in and breakfast in bed. There was a haircut. There was a very nice meal cooked by me from my brand spanking new Wagamama Cook Book. And there was Doctor Who. There was some great dialogue in this episode, my inner fanboy was made very happy (Time Lords in the proper Time Lord clothing, the Teletubbies riff on the Roger Delgado Master watching The Clangers). I'm not convinced about the plotting (though I have some theories about what is inside the spheres) and I'm sure about some of the direction. But this is Doctor Who; it's never going to be as perfect as my inner fanboy would like, but what is?

Oh yes, and as 'exercising television' I'm starting to watch Farscape from the first episode again. And am I enjoying that: so much fun! (Claudia Black, mmmm...)
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So that's another show finished. After two runs yesterday, My Fair Lady is done.

But we did have a wonderful surprise for the final performance. When we went on the trip to Egypt last November we ended up spending a lot of time with an older couple and two (what [ profile] pennski has described as) 'feisty divorcées'. This was just after the auditions and we talked about the show with them.

About half-way through last week we remembered that we were going to send them the details of the show and, frankly, we completely forgot.

So last night they turned up, having organised the whole thing without any help (or indeed reminders) from us! They came all the way down from Northampton and Birmingham just for the show and I cannot tell you how touched we were by this. One of the other couples from the trip would also have come if they didn't have a family wedding they had to go to. It really capped the week beautifully.

Anyway, after the final performance we helped clear the theatre and then spent a couple of hours having drinks and nibbles at a fellow cast-member's house, finally getting to bed about 2pm (which is very late for us!).

Today I'm feeling fairly tired and headache-y but fairly cheerful. We've just watched last night's Doctor Who, which despite the usual dodgy science was a great improvement on the frankly poor Dalek double-episode. Just planning to do some more pottering around today. Tomorrow's plan is to head out to the cinema for Spider Man 3.
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Despite only being a three-day working week, it still managed to be rather busy, and of course, stressful. You know, work would be so much better if just once in a while we had a day that wasn't completely frantic. I work in the IT department of a Yellow Pages company (in the UK of course, theYellow Pages company), for goodness sake; it's not like we are fighting fires or running the country or anything! Sigh.

On Thursday we had the first complete run through of My Fair Lady which went pretty well. Still a few rocky bits but nothing we can't sort in the next couple of weeks. I am cautiously optimistic.

The evening was slightly soured by passing a young lad in a hoodie who was standing in the middle of the road on the way back into Whitchurch. As we passed we noticed that he had blood running down his arm, so a quick telephone call to the police followed. We haven't heard anything since so I must assume he is okay. In retrospect we should have stopped, but my brain was really not engaged by that time.

Yesterday morning ended up being interesting. Just before I got to the A34/M4 roundabout I ran over a piece of metal debris in the road. A few seconds later my front left tyre was making interesting clunking noises. Luckily there is a service station right next to the roundabout so I was able to stick the spare tyre on and drive back home (the spare is one of those 'do not drive more than 80kph jobs). Tyre is now sorted!

And last night realised that Doctor Who has become truly mainstream when Mitch Benn sings a song on The Now Show about hoping Manchester United will win quickly tonight so that DW is not postponed until next week!

Inner geek

Apr. 30th, 2006 11:18 am
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My inner geek is very happy. Doctor Who:
The return of Sarah Jane Smith, my favourite companion.
An examination of what it feels like for the Doctor when all his friends grow old and he doesn't and what it means to his friends to be left behind.
Anthony Head in great form.
Laughter and tears.

The first great story in the new season (and proving once again that Russell T. Davis is not the best writer for the series).


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April 2017



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