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Completely coincidentally, but I like to think in compensation for the fact that last year's randomly-chosen birthday gift from Andrew's wishlist was something horribly Monkees-related, his present this year included CDs of The Nest Cottage Chronicles, the first of which, Hornet's Nest, is a Doctor Who story that's loomed large in my mind for a few reasons.

First, it's a Fourth Doctor one, and there's a lot to love about those. I love listening to Tom Baker telling me stories (I've got a version of him reading "A Christmas Carol" that I listen to every year, even though it always makes me cry and I hate crying). He's joined here by the marvelous Susan Jameson, whose Mrs. Wibbsey is a perfect foil to the whimsical, adventurous Doctor.

Next, it was something Andrew bought as mp3s ages ago, but some of the mp3s got lost in the computer at some point, including the first story of Hornet's Nest which left me less inclined to listen to the ones we did still have. Seeing the "Hornet's Nest" folder on my computer every time I look at the Doctor Who audios -- which is often! -- always left me with a little twinge of annoyed sadness, so it's lovely to have the complete set of something I've been missing s much.

And third, it's written by Paul Magrs. At the time I first heard it I don't think this meant anything to me, but it was probably one reason Andrew included him in a trio of Doctor Who writers I liked without knowing it. He's been subscribing to Big Finish for years, and I gradually got more keen on being in the room when he was listening to the stories, but my interest never went any further than that so I never knew who wrote what. But it seemed there were patterns in what I told him I liked, some writers kept turning up, so he was able to say, "You like Jac Rayner, Paul Magrs and Nev Fountain."

Only much later than that did I learn Paul Magrs lived in Manchester, and later than that that he lived in Levenshulme. Andrew said he saw him at Levy train station one day, but didn't want to go say hello in the fannish way.

But since Andrew's bizarre means of introducing himself when he was telling at what turned out to be their polling station -- Paul and his partner asked who Andrew was after he asked if he could see their polling cards and Andrew said "I'm a writer with Obverse Books," the publisher of his Doctor Who spinoff spinoff novel, also one that Paul's worked with and is friends with the people in charge. And then we met Paul for coffee to get him to sign one of his books as a present for Alex and Richard's wedding, and we've been out with him and sometimes his partner to the pub a few times since. So now I have to remind myself that the smiley interesting person I know is the same one who's written books I've read since, which I find surprisingly difficult! I'm not used to this, I guess.

I do really like his writing style, even if it has to be in an entirely different part of my brain from the part that really likes him. He's got a knack for descriptions that seem very vivid and evocative, his characters are easy to empathize with even when they appear to be the baddies. I had bizarrely (for me) vivid memories of some of the moments in Hornet's Nest -- the frenzied dancing on a dark stormy seaside pier, miniaturized in the dollhouse, and the eerie taxidermied animals -- long after the vagaries of computer storage meant I couldn't listen to them any more.

Best of all, though, was a line that actually made me laugh out loud and comment upon I when I first heard it. Dealing with one of the aforementioned creepy taxidermied animals, the Doctor says "I cut open the badger's brain with very tiny brain-scissors." Such a Doctor-y thing, scissors for all occasions and eventualities! And of course Tom Baker delivers the line in his matter-of-fact way that ensures any question of how silly or surreal it might be evaporates in the throat before it can be uttered. It's stuck with me as an epitome of what I expect from the Doctor.

I've listened to the first story again tonight -- the one with the brain-scissors, and it's as least as delightful as I remembered: it's a story that acknowledges that time has passed for its companion (no-longer-Captain Yates) but takes for granted that the Doctor is the same despite having been elsewhere for a long time -- Yates says he's heard that the Doctor "had changed, and then changed again" but here he is, without explanation, just as he was when Yates was a much younger man. My subject line here is something Yates says to the Doctor, almost accusingly, as he's trying to come to terms with this. I really like that; it's easy to understand why Doctor Who doesn't make as much as I wish it would of the implications of its time-travelling hero: only one actor is going to play the Doctor on the television at a time, but this is one of the constraints audio stories (and, even more so, books) need not have. But even then, most of the audios feature stories as if they were in continuous fashion, not with the long break here that sets this story off in a slightly disconcerting way that works really well for the eerie, grim story that we're about to be told.

The story's set near Christmas -- it actually starts on my birthday -- and there's something claustrophobic about these shortest days of the year, something unsettling about this time of year when life is outside its normal boundaries -- liminal, my academic friends would say, where the usual rules don't apply and things that are usually not allowed may even be encouraged.

No spoilers, because I hope you all go listen to the story now.
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Or maybe it's spelled "#myass" or something, I dunno.

One reason I'm glad I'm not having kids is that I wouldn't want to have to explain, to their derisive giggles and rolled eyes, the stupid culture I grew up in.

(A things I liked in that Doctor Who episode about the Moon I saw yesterday was the astronaut saying, "Tumblr! Aw, my granny used to post stuff on Tumblr.")
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The actor who played my favorite Doctor Who companion has died.

And you've probably never even heard of her. Even many Doctor Who fans of my acquaintance have not, because she's only in the audio stories.

(Still, there are enough people who Get It that I was woken by a text that just said "NOOOO! MAGGIE STABLES HAS DIED :(", I could reassure [personal profile] miss_s_b that she wasn't the only one who'd shed tears for Evelyn, and when Andrew said "aww!" in a particular sad-but-gentle tone of voice after settling down with his laptop this morning, I knew exactly what he'd just read and could quietly answer "Yeah," without anything more needing to be said.)

Here's how Andrew once described her:
Evelyn is great. She's a doctor of history who dumped her husband because he didn't like her spending so much time on her career, she manages to solve most problems with chocolate cake and sympathy, and rather than the tiny miniskirt outfits the current TV companions wear she has a selection of comfortable cardigans. She's about the Doctor's intellectual equal in intelligence, if not knowledge, and far more emotionally mature than he is.
Her introductory story, The Marian Conspiracy, is one of my favorites: she's such a richly-drawn character from the beginning, and spars so deliciously with the Doctor (and Colin's perfect for her), that by the end of that I really felt like Evelyn was a friend of mine. It and another of my favorites, Doctor Who and the Pirates (the funniest musical with a trigger warning for suicidality ever), both feature Evelyn, and I can't recommend them enough to anyone who likes good stories, whether they think much of Doctor Who or not.
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(This is mostly for [livejournal.com profile] strange_complex, who told me today that she'd have liked to go see this too but had to work yesterday. She's much, much better at film reviews than I am, but I thought I'd try a [livejournal.com profile] strange_complex-style review of it for her.)

The very first film I saw at the media museum -- and, I'm pretty sure, the first time I was there at all -- was in Cinerama, and I've been enchanted ever since.

How the West Was Won is much more my parents' kind of movie than one to my tastes (IMDb calls it "A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads"), so I think it says a lot that something I wouldn't have tolerated for half an hour on TV I was happy to sit through all 164 minutes of in the Pictureville Cinema.



There's something about Cinerama that I find really endearing, possibly how difficult it was to make and how lucky we are to be able to see it at all now. These days there are only three places that can do Cinerama: one's in L.A., one in Seattle, and then Bradford.

And the logistical issues if one of the films should break down were clearly recognized enough even at the time that a little "breakdown film" was made to keep the audience happy while frantic fixes were attempted, and indeed I saw this film I think all three times I'd seen anything in Cinerama until yesterday.

Even when it's working, it's not like watching other kinds of movies. The screen is so curved that things can look distorted, especially if you have to sit at one of the sides of the cinema. To a greater or lesser extent, the joins between the three projected film strips are usually noticeable.

It has for me the joy that analogue things do: it's difficult to do well in ways that are readily apparent and understandable to me, meaning I appreciate the skill and craft of the process much more than I can with something like, to use another cinematic example, CGI, which I intellectually know takes lots of people and lots of computers lots of hours, but which can't mean anything to me beyond that so I have no sense of what's impressive or what's new or whatever.



The kinds of films made in Cinerama are to some extent dictated by the format. It was meant to overwhelm, to dazzle, as a medium and so its subject matter will be chosen for the same reason. Plus there are limitations to Cinerama too: it's impossible to do close-ups with the special three-camera setup needed to make the early Cinerama films like the one I saw, and it's not easy to show people on the screen looking at each other when they're having a conversation or something; the curve of the screen makes it appear they're looking past each other. So you don't go to see Cinerama to see a murder mystery or a period drama: you go to see spectacle.



For me the biggest drawback of Cinerama isn't any of its technical limitations, but the fact that it was made in America in the 50s and 60s. Which brings us to yesterday's movie, called Seven Wonders of the World.

Like the other early Cinerama movies, this one is just showing off what the format can do, trying to lure people out of their homes and away from the exciting new television. The first of these, This is Cinerama (which the media museum show but which I still haven't seen), includes scenes on a roller coaster, then the temple dance from Aida, views of Niagara Falls, a performance by the Vienna Boys' Choir, the canals of Venice, a military tattoo in Edinburgh, a bullfight, more from Aida, a sound demonstration in stereo, a water skiing show...you get the idea. The variety and diversity make great advertisements for Cinerama, even if they do make a jarring hour or two of cinema. Seven Wonders of the World is similar, with the conceit of "updating" the seven wonders of the ancient world by flying around the globe and filming, seemingly, whatever took Lowell Thomas's fancy.



Lowell Thomas was an American broadcaster and travel writer, who made Lawrence of Arabia famous. Apparently, a quarter-century later Thomas was still raving about Cinerama in his memoirs and wondering why someone wasn't trying to revive it. The expense and difficulty of it, evident to many others, never seemed to break through the enthusiasm that, while no doubt colored by the money he wanted to make from it, does shine through in the Cinerama films he presented: the breakdown film is him talking about how amazing Cinerama is, and at the beginning of Seven Wonders he shows photos and speaks fondly of places like Nepal, saying "I wish we'd had Cinerama with us then," sounding like a father who'd like to spoil his children more than he's allowed to. He really does seem to believe that Cinerama is somewhere between a gift and a service to the public.



And in 1955, there must have been some element of truth to that. Flying and Cinerama are the real wonders this film is about, and quite right too, as how else could American movie audiences expect to see into the top of a volcano, the biggest waterfalls in the world, a runaway train on the Darjeeling Railway, baby elephants being caught and tamed, a papal blessing with all the pomp and circumstance?



It is, unfortunately, a very fifties American sensibility driving the script, both in places chosen ("here's Mount Sinai, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments" and lots of other Old-Testament and life-of-Jesus stuff presented as blandly factual as anything else) and in descriptions (literally the first reaction you hear when Japan is mentioned is "Geisha girls!"; Benares is "a city of strange religion"; even the poor Amazon can't escape unfair description as we're told it's "the green hell").

Seeing posters advertising Seven Wonders of the World in other countries makes me hope that the non-English subs or dubs were kinder to some of the places mentioned that are suddenly local!



This travelogue seems random and often very superficial, without much explanation or context given. A few shots of the Amazon and a clear fondness for Rio de Janeiro represent all of South America. Almost no one speaks but Thomas. Hardly anyone in the film gets a name -- leading to the strangest cast list I've seen: "Lowell Thomas, with appearances by His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Butera, Sherif Hussein"; Butera's one of a group of Watusi dancing for the camera, named as being the best dancer in Africa; Sherif Hussein is a leader Thomas greets with "This is like something out of the Arabian Nights!" to which Hussein says something in his own language and neither of the two seem to show much interest in understanding what the other has said. The papal blessing is clearly a big deal -- Thomas also says something about how he's always wanted to film this in Cinerama and he expects everyone to be as impressed with it as he is (but it goes on for ages and does nothing but reinforce my childhood impression that Catholicism is pompous and boring -- all the more so when it's in a language I don't understand!).

There are some stunning shots in it, the newly restored version I saw is perfect, with no visible seams and no worry that the fim would break. It is really impressive visually, but it's the kind of thing that reminds me why we had to invent political correctness, it would probably be more palatable if you wore earplugs...and let's just say I could make suggestions for RunPee times, some extending long enough that you wouldn't need to run; a leisurely stroll would be recommended.
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I enjoyed the hell out of Paul Magrs' Never the Bride.

From reading his blog (Andrew kept sharing entries from his blog that I liked, and it turns out he's one of three Big Finish writers whose stuff I consistently like despite never paying any attention to who writes what, and he lives round the corner and his partner apparently helped organize the most recent in what will surely be an infinite number of campaigns to save Levenshulme's swimming baths and library, all of which on aggregate I figured was enough to start reading his blog) I know he has a lot more interest in fluffy chick-lit kinda stuff than I do. So I read descriptions of the seaside and afternoon tea and interior design a bit as if they were in a foreign language, but found myself really enjoying them. When nothing in my life feels beautiful or simple, it's nice to read stories that are.

Of course they aren't really simple, for Brenda the eccentric B&B owner has to keep her past and her real identity hidden from her guests and her new friends. She can't tell them anything about her life before she settled in Whitby.

And then, strange things start happening in the town... Scary and awful and grim goings-on, and Brenda soon learns she's not the only person with a strange past she's trying to hide.

Magrs seems to have such a talent for describing horror's stereotypical monsters in very human terms, without it ending up like a "Gothic lit meets chick lit" gimmick such a thing could so easily have been reduced to. His clear affection for all the kinds of fiction -- sci-fi, horror, and what Andrew calls "feelings in the kitchen" -- that he's mixing together here seem to help him meld plot-driven genre fiction and character-driven "mainstream" fiction in a really satisfying way.

The only complaint I have with the book is that it ended so abruptly -- I wondered at first if there was something wrong with my ebook copy and the end of it was missing (which, like "there's a glare on the page" and "I can't read because the battery's dead," is not a problem I used to have with books!). But I figured this meant there had to be sequels, and sure enough, I think there are six stories in the series now. I'm looking forward to reading the next one!

So there

Jun. 2nd, 2014 09:23 pm
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Having made a point of introducing himself in a bizarre and unnecessary way to Paul Magrs (a writer of, among other things, some of my favorite Doctor Who stories) on polling day, Andrew is now Facebook friends with him and his partner.

Andrew's just e-mailed me a screenshot, subject line "Reminds me of us" so naturally I was wary, but it took me a while to figure out why. It was Paul Magrs and his partner having on Facebook exactly the same argument Andrew and I had the other day.

And I'm sure Andrew's delighted by this because he'd like to have anything in common with Paul Magrs.

Which is why I feel the need to point that Paul was on my side of the argument.
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My boss tagged Andrew and I in a facebook post sharing that silly infographic about sexism in Doctor Who. After his girlfriend said that Moffat was less sexist because "at least he'd brought in a male companion," he teased Andrew and I about how we were sure to offer a gender analysis of all the companions there'd ever been.

Ha. We did a lot better than that. After a short digression about how a bit of Malcolm Tucker could be good for Capaldi's Doctor, Andrew and I managed to interest a few people in the stories of my very favorite companion ever, despite the fact that she only exists in the audio dramas.
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Yesterday afternoon was good because I was shown all kinds of televisual entertainment new to me.

I wasn't feeling great for a lot of reasons and was relieved and surprised that I actually managed to sit still (mostly) and enjoy myself rather than thinking about things I should be doing or things that are wrong with me or the other tediously common thoughts I'm susceptible to.

I'd asked for something simplistic to watch; I wasn't up to anything I had to pay a lot of attention to or that was likely to make me feel any worse. "Simplistic-funny? Simplistic-violent?" [personal profile] magister asked. We ended up with both, but that's about all our set of choices had in common.

First Jason and the Argonauts, with most of the latter pleasingly tubby and even balding, looking much more like normal guys than the shiny bodybuilders you'd get in such a movie nowadays. And ace monsters by Ray Harryhausen. Give me models over CGI any day.

Then a couple of Wallace and Gromits, which made me giggle a lot and were just the thing for the am-I-getting-a-migraine I'm-very-tired-and-prone-to-tears mood I was in.

Then an episode of the most recent series of Sherlock, which I adored. And that's after detesting the second series enough I didn't watch any of this one when it was on. Apparently a lot of people didn't like this wedding-speech episode -- [personal profile] magister told me it'd been deemed "plotless" and "rambly" -- but I thought it was wonderful, with some lovely intricate storytelling and a much better characterization of Sherlock particularly than that which had put me off the second series (though that "high-functioning sociopath" line can still fuck off). I'll never be the world's biggest Cummerbund Bandersnatch fan, but he had a lot to carry in this episode and I thought he did it very well.

We went for takeaway pizza after this so had lots of time to chat about how nice it was. Part of the fun is having someone to talk to about what you're watching.

And I'm told the intricate storytelling carries on to the next episode of Sherlock too, but we didn't watch that one because by this point James wanted to show me The Avengers. So we had an episode of that before bedtime, and went to sleep chatting about how nothing like it could be made today.
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Despite Andrew getting fed up with the mosh pit, and us getting separated when I failed to follow him away from it on account of having insufficient mass to overcome the momentum imparted on me by selfish men all around me, it was almost worth being right at the front for the beginning of the Hold Steady gig.

Craig Finn comes onstage with his arms outstretched like a magnanimous messiah who really does love us all. There's such intensity in the frenzied way he thrusts his arms, hands, fingers at us as he delivers his lines with the speed and power of a machine gun. His eye contact seems genuine no matter how quickly it moves from one area of the crowd to another. It wasn't long before his gaze fell upon me, with a renewed smile and a thumbs-up for the Twins jersey I was wearing.

Finn doesn't sing as much as he tells stories, and for a while those stories were loosely connected by a small group of characters, one of whom is called Holly (short for Hallelujah). A lot of the stories center on Minneapolis, "my hometown" Finn always explains in the live gigs in the middle of "Your Little Hoodrat Friend." So much as I admire him, and as much joy as his work has brought to me, I've no desire to meet him; having to introduce myself as Holly from Minnesota would hardly be believed, especially so far from home.

Yet you don't have to have my name and my provenance, or even my Twins paraphernalia, to feel special. If you stand within Craig Finn's sphere of attention at a Hold Steady gig, you won't go home without feeling you matter, and you are important, and you belong somewhere or at least you can if you want to.
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Given the hopelessness of me even determining my Favorite Fictional Character (this year's BiCon ball theme), and the exponentially greater unlikelihood that if I do they'll be someone short and fat who I can dress up as without much trouble, I've already determined that if I go to the ball, I'll say I'm a Doctor Who from the future.
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I don't know if we could've had a weekend more perfectly suited to [livejournal.com profile] strange_complex -- with Hammer movies and (nearly) getting to Touch the Teeth of Dracula and all. And [personal profile] magister had so much to say after The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula that I imagine no one noticed he hadn't watched the films with the rest of the group.

Since I seemed to be the only person in the "Saturday school" who hadn't seen them all loads of times (I hadn't ever seen the first two, in fact, and the third only a fortnight ago in very similar circumstances, but don't tell my friends, okay? I was also made to watch Horror Express on Saturday night because I hadn't seen that before, and halfway to Leeds James turned to me just to say "You really have to see Quatermass and the Pit" before going back to his conversation), there's not much for me to say about it.*

But I want to mention the extraordinary venue that M.R. James performance was in, called the Holbeck Underground Ballroom in Leeds. It's the only gig I've ever been to where I got to sit on a sofa with all my friends, all the drinks cost a pound, the wine's served in mugs just like the coffee is, and they handed out hot water bottles (which you need, because there's no heat, but even on such a chilly night the hot water bottle kep me warm and cozy enough to nod off during the last few minutes of "A Warning to the Curious" -- which, don't get me wrong, was ace but I'd had a week of poor sleep and long days). At the end you pay whatever you decide the show was worth, and honestly it was worth more than I had (though this was because I'd lent James money to buy the DVDs). Go there and see stuff if you get the chance.

And go see Robert Lloyd Parry telling M.R. James stories; it's bloody amazing. Andrew and James and I and probably some other people are already planning to see him at the Lowry in April. And apparently he does The Time Machine too.


* Though -- and perhaps especially among all the beginner's-mindiness of the weekend for me -- I felt especially pleased when on a random tour of the Large Objects Store of the National Media Museum, the conservator pointed out a mellotron, a wickedly cool thing that I'd noticed myself but which was so much better when she was allowed to turn it on and play a few "notes" (it was set up for train sounds and boat sounds). She said she was only showing us this because the first half of our group, which had the tour while we were having the post-films talk before we swapped, pointed it out and said it was played on the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper." Ah, I said, not "Sgt. Pepper." "Strawberry Fields Forever."

A greying man whose hair looked like it was cut with hedge trimmers, just the sort you'd expect to argue with the quizmaster in a pub on some point that no one else understands or cares about, piped up to say this at the same time I did, and I think felt he had to stick his oar in when the nice conservator seemed interested in what I'd said, so he added, "The Beach Boys used it, too!" I couldn't think of any Beach Boys songs that had mellotron on them, but most of my brain was taken up with wishing that Andrew had been there. I came home and told him this story, demanding praise and adulation for knowing what a mellotron was and what Beatles song it was used on, and got it, but then I told him about the Cranky Old Man(tm) had said about the Beach Boys and he scoffed. Of course the Beach Boys never used a mellotron. American bands didn't do that; British bands did. Take that, cranky old man!
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I think there has to be something pretty cool about someone who, first thing in the morning, after 20 minutes or so of silence (after the "hope you slept well"/"do you want coffee?" pleasantries, anyway), can react so quickly to a question like, "So, if Daleks can't see the color red, how can there be red Daleks?"

[personal profile] magister replied immediately: "Stealth Daleks."

I laughed in surprise and delight. That would have been, I thought, a good answer anyway, but so long before breakfast it was a thing of beauty and joy.

I hadn't known Daleks couldn't see the color red until Saturday, and then I'd forgotten about it again until I was reminded by [livejournal.com profile] strange_complex's entry that was partly about the brilliant day we had last Saturday (I'd forgotten about the Cyberman onesies too! I still want a Cyberman onesie, and I'm otherwise very anti-onesie). But only today did I put this together with the fact that there are red Daleks.

Over my first cup of coffee, then, James and I debated whether the non-Dalek slaves who had to build the red Daleks would be quickly killed off each time, or living highly-restricted existences because the need to not want to or be able to train up new people each time would override the need for stealthiness.

Myandrew

Jan. 18th, 2014 10:30 pm
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I go to make coffee and two minutes later I come back to find Andrew and James talking about what year BBC2 started color transmission.

I'm so glad they have each other.

Later we're talking about Stephen Fry being Mycroft Holmes in the Guy Ritchie movies. Andrew, who's not seen them, is happy to hear this. "I always imagined Stephen Fry as Mycroft anyway," he said.

"I always imagine you as Mycroft!" I said.

"Me?!" Andrew seems genuinely shocked. I'm only surprised that he'd be surprised. It's so obvious!

"You don't go out, you don't like people, you're really intelligent but can't be bothered actually doing anything..."

James asked me who I see as Sherlock, then.

"Jeremy Brett?" I said. They both laughed. "I don't think everybody in the story is someone I know!" I said. "Just that Andrew is Mycroft."

"I don't see anything in that comparison to argue with," James said, which made me happy: if there had been discrepancies there, I expect he'd have found them for me. And it just proves how silly Andrew is to be surprised.
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My dad keeps watching this show about people looking for Bigfoot. It's hilariously awful, just my kind of thing.

And it's not like he just happened upon it while he was channel surfing. He's been telling me stuff like "They were up in northern Minnesota once, somewhere near Ely I think" and "That one's from South Dakota, she's the skeptic."

I guess I can see where I get my fondness for stuff like this!
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Argh, if today doesn't pick up really soon, I'm going to have to watch The Five(ish) Doctors again just to keep from setting people on fire.
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[personal profile] magister mentioned at lunch that he hopes Big Finish get John Hurt, and I've been so excited by this idea ever since that I've hardly been able to think of anything else. It's so perfect. I'll be sad now if it doesn't happen.

I'm really looking forward to Peter Capaldi (as James also keeps mentioning, who else could be so striking and meaningful just from a shot of their eyebrows?) but I also really want John Hurt's stories. Lots of them. (I'd also be completely fine if we got a bunch more Doctors between him and Eccleston.) Two new Doctors to get excited about, at the same time!

I have never before actually gotten to feel really excited by new Who -- the announcement of Capaldi as the new Doctor was the first time that's happened to me, and though I wasn't excited at all about the 50th anniversary episode, I turned out to be absolutely enchanted by it in a way that feels like retroactive excitement.

Most of what I liked was its willingness to make fun of itself (do you think Moffat possibly didn't care for the way Tennant's Doctor was characterized? and good on Tennant for going along with so much stuff that was just taking the piss out of him), including some things that had always made me particularly curmudgeonly: the threadbare references to fezzes (I saw way too many fezzes at Thought Bubble yesterday, and I wanted to shout at everyone wearing one "fezzes are not cool!"), the youth and apparent flimsiness of the last two Doctors, and the bloody sonic screwdrivers. "What are you doing to do, assemble a cabinet at them?" may be my favorite line of the whole thing.

Not just because I want to be right about how it's a tool and not a weapon, but because it, like so much of the episode, implies that things don't need to stay the way that post-2005 has presented them up to this point. The Doctor won't always be a skinny young white dude, brandishing a screwdriver like a lightsaber, spouting catchphrases and snogging women, and moping about the Time War. The show won't always be Russell Davies's, or Moffat's.

Indeed my little Doctor-Who-is-mostly-an-audio-phenomenon-for-me-now heart soared when Doctors 4-7, when asked in the idiotic afterparty what it had been like being the Doctor, all said "I still am the Doctor! In the Big Finish audios." Damn right they are. And though I've had some disappointing conversations lately with people who think Paul McGann hasn't been the Doctor in seventeen years until a little youtube video appeared last week, I know they're wrong: he's a mainstay of Big Finish, my second-favorite of the five Doctors there, and says he loves doing it. So there. Another good thing is that I think this stuff has prompted a couple of people I know to say they should start buying Big Finish stuff. And you should! They are sometimes brilliant, and almost always pretty listenable. But most of my favorite Doctor Who stories are audios, and it'd be nice if I had anyone other than Andrew and Jennie to talk about them with!

Thus I know very well that Doctor Who is already bigger than the TV incarnation -- of course it always has been -- and while I knew this TV special couldn't totally mess it up for me, it's delightful to find that it has instead added to my enjoyment, and indeed my excitement for the future. Which I think is all I can ask of the Doctor.
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Ah, what better to cheer up a miserable, exhausting afternoon of going to all the wrong bits of West Yorkshire than my favorite Doctor Who cliffhanger?

It is a single line of dialogue directed at the Doctor:

"Oh no! You are going to sing!"
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Yay, meeting over, time for the long-awaited 50th anniversary Doctor Who story!

No I don't have a time machine. It's just the Who I've been waiting so impatiently for isn't the one on the telly, it's the Big Finish special.

Finding out this afternoon that it's available a month early has made my day. (And that's no small feat -- it's been a crappy day!)

Glycon

Oct. 8th, 2013 12:45 pm
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"I'm kind of freaked out that anything to do with me is on Alan Moore's to-do list for today, though," I told Andrew.

"Just be glad you're not on his naughty list," he replied. "Or Glycon would be coming to get you."

I don't really know what it takes for Alan Moore to think someone's naughty, but even if I am that, I've had worse things sicced on me than a sock-puppet god.

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Holly

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