Friday, February 26, 2010

Cheer

Great cheer makes me a little suspicious; usually great cheer is followed by bruises and grumpy days. On the other hand, one should enjoy these things while they last. So here’s my fool’s gold – I have tickets for Jukebox the Ghost – a bargain too. They Might Be Giants will return to town so I may get to make up for my much-lamented missed show. And Whil Wheaton kind of made my day. I’d momentarily become distracted from him by David Tennant (sorry Whil, you never stood a chance) but then I was listening to Radio Free Burrito, Whil’s charming podcast (hey, I’m not that fickle), and it ended with a soundclip* that ran thusly “The angels are coming for you but listen: your life could depend on this. Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.”

It is a great quote all in its own right, but makes little sense unless you know the context, the context being a Doctor Who episode called “Blink”, one of the more outstandingly wonderful Tenth Doctor episodes.

There is only one thing more wonderful than indulging a geek obsession: two geek obsessions meeting and shaking hands. You know, like when David Tennant kissed John Barrowman at Comic Con last year. Well, technically they are part of the same obsession, but it was worth mentioning anyway, just for gratuitous effect.

Anyway, point being, I love Whil Wheaton. And David Tennant. And I have a small British package of happiness waiting for me at home that has David Tennant and Patrick Stewart**.

*I had to go back to the podcast to check that it was really there. I had a moment of dread that I was going insane from overdose, and had started to hallucinate.

**Lord, who knew that it was possible to describe any version of Hamlet as a small package of happiness?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best. parody. every.

For ye watchers of Doctor Who and/or Torchwood



and also this.



That makes me very happy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Someday I will run out of Doctor Who stuff to talk about

When I watch the new Doctor Who trailer, something in my head responds, when Matt Smith says “I’m the Doctor” – “No you’re not”

And I want to think he’s the Doctor, really, I do, and I trust and like Steven Moffat. Yet at this juncture in the narrative I think we may tentatively assume that for me, the tenth Doctor will always be the Doctor.

The fact that I spent most of this weekend watching series two and three of Torchwood puts things in perspective – after a very patchy first season and an ok second season, season three is incredibly well done, good writing, lots of heartbreak and suffering, you know, the Russell F Davies we all know and love to hate. And yet. I look at it and it is missing something, and after a while I realised what it was. You see, John Barrowman is (Scottish? Really? Damn, he fooled me) a fine actor in an interesting role; and he looks great in tight pants; but he ain’t no Mal. I look at him in Children of Earth and I see him portraying grief all right; but it seems to only come in one setting. I miss the nuance, I miss the conviction that he is truly broken. I feel like either the actor needed a very slightly more forgiving part, something with more room to express feelings, like Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds; or alternatively the part needed a better actor. God, I kind of hate myself for saying that, because Barrowman is Harkness, and I grudgingly love the bastard. But I look at Tennant and I see another league altogether.*

***TORCHWOOD spoilers***

Ah, I’m going to miss Ten, though we can do with a lighter Doctor. Also, Russell F, can I just point out that while I am all ok with your killing off, well, EVERYONE in Torchwood, you know, I can respect that on some level, I was a little peeved at your giving Ianto the perfect lovely death. I love Ianto, so I was glad** that he got to die painlessly in Jack’s arms, but yes, I did think – what, he gets to die like a romantic hero but you couldn’t show Ten a little more love? Eh, you suck.

*Please note that I am not suggesting that Tennant would be well-cast as Harkness – please no – I only mean to say that his nuance and talent are rare. I don’t even really mean to criticize Barrowman, but it’s like high notes he doesn’t quite hit.

**Yes, I did spoiler myself about the fact of his death. There’s only so much trauma I can handle

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Long may I be a sentimental fool

Ah, time for a list I say, and some reader input, if you don’t mind. The list is the list of fictional character crushes, not to be confused with actor crushes. To illustrate: I love Mal Reynolds, the fictional captain of Serenity in Firefly, and while Nathan Fillion is welcome to darken my doorstep any time he pleases, I don’t actually fancy him. Not as much as I fancy Mal anyway.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Mal Reynolds: as mentioned. For being a magnificent, funny and pragmatic update to the Tightly Wound Man. And for looking great in tight pants.

Severus Snape: do I really need to explain? Even in spite of Alan Rickman (sorry, Alan) and his brilliant attempts to ruin the character.

The Wizard Howl: from when I first saw him in the movie version of Howl’s Moving Castle to the last page of the book, he is enchanting, funny, pompous, vain, cowardly and utterly charming.

The Doctor: Specifically the 9th and 10th incarnations. They are most welcome to take me anywhere. Non-Doctor Christopher Eccleston isn’t nearly as sexy, and David Tennant just sounds funny. Sorry. For once the Scottish accent does not enhance the sexy.

Actually, scratch that “in no particular order”. The Doctor – and much as I love Nine, and in spite of the fact that he was my first Doctor, that means Ten – is the winner here. There is a reason why I am distraught over his demise. Just now, I was listening to a Doctor Who audiobook*. All of it was read by David Tennant, who’s a lovely voice actor. I was listening along, meandering through the story, when the story does its thing, wheels around and shines its light on the Doctor. Tennant picks up the Doctor’s voice, and like a hotpad on a sore back, it makes me smile. There’s my Doctor. Screw David Tennant (well, actually…), it’s the Doctor who has my heart (oh you boys with glasses...). Not exactly in safe keeping by the way, and thank you for nothing, Russell T Davies. Speaking of RTD, I will now refer to him only as Russell F Davies. “F” here stands for “Fucking”, both as an expression of my anger, and also to acknowledge that, boy, does he ever love to write about sex.

Anyhoo. Congrats, dear Ten, you shall be my one and only Doctor, though I will watch Eccleston and Smith and the lot of them gladly and fondly, I’m sure. You are the winningest, even dead.

We have suffered such a loss**.

*I had to find something to stem the bleeding. The blood was getting everywhere, and my socks were wet. Kudos to http://www.doctorwhoblog.com/ for referring me to Alpha Mummy; and thanks to Alpha Mummy for making me laugh and for the audiobook idea. I now have two more hours of David Tennant and the 10th Doctor. W00t. And I don’t feel quite so alone in the universe.

** Hah! Gratuitous reference to In the Bleak Midwinter. Also watching Torchwood; which I think counts as masochism.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sweet sorrow

Spoilers, of sorts.

The BBC Doctor Who site says "sweet sorrow", referring to the demise of the 10th Doctor. It is more than a little peculiar. I have found it only bitter sorrow, with not a trace of sweetness. The reference is to Romeo and Juliet, of course, and a famous reference it is too. Yet it seems barbaric to quote Romeo's words about so lonely, so forlorn a death. Forgive my little bit of drama; you should know by know that I take my character deaths most personally.

Perhaps it is good writing; I really could not tell you. At present I am too overwhelmed and too angry to assess it. All I know is that it makes me wish for a fork. Why a fork? So I can stab that bastard Russell T Davies with it. I feel that truly he has deserved more than a beating with hard pillows. Truly he has earned that fork.

Yup, still not over it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh my poor Doctor

Spoilers, clearly.

Oh, my. Can I just run over to Russell T Davies and stab him with a fork?
What did the 10th Doctor ever do to him?

You know I feel quite as distraught as I did when JK Rowling killed Snape, only worse because I never saw it coming. I mean, clearly I saw the regeneration coming, but I never thought it would be so hard. I never though it would be so cold and lonely. My poor beloved 10th Doctor. I want to run over and give him a hug. I'd give David Tennant a hug, but I think he's actually pretty happy, and not so much in need of hugs.

But wait, I could just hug him gratuitously. Yes, I'll take it.

Someday I will be less emotional and more coherent but oh, my poor heart.

So here is something to cheer me, and perhaps you, up.


So yes, all caught up now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Drama

Yes, you say, this is your second blizzard this week and only now do you find the time to blog? Really? And well you may, because verily, we have been snowed in. And yes, my darlings, it has been time well spent. Mostly spent, actually, catching up on season 3 of Dr. Who. And while I am wretchedly upset about the storm in many ways, this, at least has been good: we have power, we have internet, therefore we have a near infinite supply of the Doctor.

I have to say, that after a long period of relative indifference, this has been the year (well year and a bit) where I discover that contrary to what I had thought, TV is in fact a glorious medium. The beauty of watching a BBC series rather than, say, a Fox series, is not the quality, which certainly has brilliant moments either way, but the trust. Like the sentimental fool I am, I trust the Beeb, and so far, it has done well by me. None of this killing series halfway through, none of this "we hate it but it makes us money" nonsense. It saves one a little heartbreak.

My friends and I used to talk about ways we could get ourselves locked into the BBC's wardrobe department overnight.

So here is my favourite scene from season three, which makes me wonder if they Pet Shop Boys still do some music for the BBC; I believe they used to. Anyway, here goes:


Such perfect casting, such good timing, and such good music. *Puts on Scissor Sisters' I can't decide, turns it up, and dances off merrily*

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Grand myths and beautiful romance

Maybe all of you can live out there in the real world, but I am a delicate, precious flower. Earlier today Whil annoyed me. In fact, he annoyed me twice. Before that, when I was watching Serenity last week, the very end sort of annoyed me. That’s it, no more Firefly OR Whil for the TDEC.

(Yes, I can hear you laughing back there; yes, I am well aware that I am out of Firefly whether I like it or not)

There are not many romances* which survive the initial disappointment, and my statement above, while somewhat farcical (don’t worry Whil, and Mal’s pants -yes, I did just google Captain Tightpants!-, I still love you) is also somewhat true. The disappointment is genuine. I genuinely think slightly less of Whil and, if not Mal’s pants, then of Joss Whedon. This concerns me. Culture teaches us that we must love the whole thing, warts and all. We must love Whil when he makes entirely unnecessary disparaging comments. We must love Joss when he implicitly sets up future plotlines (even if they never did happen) of which we disapprove. We must, because we ourselves are flawed, we ourselves have annoying habits, and if we cannot forgive those of others, how could we hope to be loved? Here’s the rub though. One may well love some of other people’s perceived shortcomings. One may well find one’s Spouse tendency to quantify things exactly (17 minutes and 13 seconds!) endearing; one may well love Stephen Fry’s tendency to abuse adjectives. Without these, we might not recognise our Spouse or our Stephen. It is harder, though, to love one’s way past Stephen’s tendency to write mediocre books when he can do better. Hard to love one’s way past unkindess and neglect**. So what then? Do I pretend that it never happened? Do I try to get past my initial revulsion and try to understand?

Yes, I hear you laughing. “After all,” you say “it’s only Nathan Fillion’s Ass/Stephen Fry***” Reader dearest, you are wrong****. The miniscule***** is practice for the all-encompassing, and as Tanis Macdonald (it was her, I think, beloved obscure Canadian poet) suggests, we should try to love congealed toast before we attempt people. You can tell that I have progressed far in my practice, given that I have come so far as to love Mal’s pants, and even a Spouse, but I cannot let myself get out of practice in the ever-challenging occupation of loving the crunchy with the smooth******. I cannot lose sight of the deflation of my affection whenever disappointment strikes. Disappointment can be mended, after, like a leaky tire. Some time, some effort and some glue will do the trick; but the mending must be done, or some day very soon you may find yourself face down on the pavement.

It may well be that the love is in the mending. And I do love falling in love with shiny new things*******.

Good night, sweet ladies.

*Romance in the broad sense of “intense enthusiasm for, somewhat akin to obsession, but not actually involving stalking”

**Not by the Spouse! Not by the Spouse! I just reread that and realised how you could read that. The Spouse truly is the kindest and most attentive Spouse one could reasonably ask for, and then some. With a little extra thrown in just for good luck.

***I hope Stephen is not offended by being preceded by Nathan Fillion’s Ass. It is a very fine Ass, and I wanted to avoid any suggestion that I was talking about Stephen Fry’s bottom, which while I am sure it is fine, is not why I admire Stephen Fry

****Because I am right. I am always right.

*****Not that I am suggesting that ANY of the above are miniscule. God, you people are so literal.

******See obscure Billy Bragg song! Speaking of people I love.

*******Like that Firefly t-shirt that says “shiny”