Confessions

Confession #87: I Hate Best/Worst Polls

Jun
24

How many times have we seen it: "All the Doctors, Ranked Best to Worst" (or "Worst to Best")? Every fan will have their own preferences, and that's as it should be; different strokes for different folks, and all that. But to try to codify any one viewpoint by publishing it for the world to see makes no sense to me at all.

I mean, what can one possibly hope to accomplish? Unless your goal is to get people arguing with you on the Internet (and I'll grant that for some, there appears to be no greater pleasure), you can't win. No matter who the article writer's personal #1 turns out to be, somebody's gonna come away pissed. "They call that idiot 'best'?" "How could you rank my fave at #5?" At best, you find the one or two other fans who are in complete agreement with your opinions of every Doctor; at worst, you get death (or other) threats.

Instead of trying to do something so controversial (and, frankly, impossible—not only do my opinions change from day to day, but it's kind of like choosing your favorite child/pet/other loved one), I thus thought I'd spend a little space sharing my thoughts on why each Doctor is awesome in his own way. Though I'm sorry—if you want to see either Peter Cushing's version or "the War Doctor" discussed, you'll have to peruse a different blog (although that could be a different post; stay tuned).

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Confession #86: I Love "Children of Earth"

Jun
10

Over the past few months—between Gally in February and CONsole Room at the end of May—I've been re-watching Torchwood (TW). It had been a while, and I honestly can't remember whether I'd even watched any of them more than once before this. But the plethora of TW guests at Gally inspired me to re-familiarize myself with the show; as an added bonus, I got to meet an additional cast member at CONsole Room.

Knowing something of what I was getting into going in, I found the first series more enjoyable than I had remembered. My particular preferences hadn't really changed—there are still one or two specific episodes I think are stinkers, including one that everyone else seems to love—but it was fun getting to know the team again, watching how their relationships grew and evolved.

Clearly, there are plenty of examples in Series One of the writers trying a little too hard to separate TW from Doctor Who (DW), and demonstrate how "adult" it was compared to its parent show. There are distinct growing pains, as everyone struggled to find their footing and determine just what this show should (or could) be.

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Confession #85: I Need a Dimensionally Transcendental House

May
27

Having just spent the last week packing up a ridiculous amount of accumulated crap, signing bunches of paperwork, and then unpacking some but good-god-nowhere-near-all-of-it-why-oh-why-do-we-still-have-all-this stuff, I'm starting to see a real advantage to spending one's centuries in a TARDIS.

As we've moved house, we've stumbled across a whole lot of keepsakes that we've held on to for a vast stretch of years. They're the kinds of things that when originally packed had too much meaning to let go, but have remained in boxes for so long that meaning may or may not have since faded. Sorting will take a redonkulous amount of time and effort.

I suspect the TARDIS is littered with such shelves and boxes, a collection that the Doctor has never bothered to curate. Hints at that tendency abound. For example, at least a couple separate times we've seen a wardrobe area littered with clothing from bygone Regenerations (and I doubt the Doctor even knows what all is lurking in the rooms filled with clothing his Companions have—or could have—used). And when Clara was lost in the depths during Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, we saw an array of memorabilia (such as the pinwheel that was in young Amelia Pond's yard in The Eleventh Hour) suggestive of packrat tendencies I know all too well.

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Confession #84: I Like Unusual Colors

May
13

What if monsters came in a range of rainbow colors?

There's an old saw in Doctor Who circles, apparently going back to the thirtieth anniversary documentary "More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS" (and perhaps the originally broadcast version, which lacked the "More Than"), when long-time script editor Terrance Dicks famously pointed out a de facto trend in design on the show: "The colour for monsters is green."

It sounds a little odd, stated baldly that way, but upon reflection it's clearly true. There are the Silurians and Sea Devils, Alpha Centauri, the Draconians, the Krynoids, the Rutans, the Jagaroth... The list goes on and on. And if any of the aforementioned can be argued to be anything other than green, it's a muddy brown instead.

Occasionally we'll see something further into the red part of the spectrum—the Zygons, for example—but other hues are distinctly lacking. Where are the bright yellow critters, or the blue ones? I guess we've had the golden Axonites in The Claws of Axos and the occasional blue-faced humanoid (e.g., Dorium Maldovar), but in the grand scheme of things, the pre-Hiatus palette in particular definitely trends to green.

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Confession #83: I Kinda Like Torchwood

May
06

Everything's coming up Torchwood lately.

First there were a plethora of Torchwood guests at Gally. (By the way, I offer my condolences to all of you who suffered the same abject terror as I on Monday when their registration vendor choked mightily under the onslaught of desperate nerds trying to get 2016 tickets. I hope you are all able to get the tickets you intended.) Then I decided to start re-watching the show (well, the first three series anyway—"Miracle Day" is total retcon-bait in my book). And just this week, Big Finish has announced the return of Torchwood with all new stories on audio.

Torchwood is an odd beast. It took a while to find its stride, trying a bit too hard in those early episodes to establish itself as a post-watershed show distinct from its parent, with as much sex (both different- and same-gender) thrown in as it could manage. Eventually, though, it explored some interesting themes about memory, loyalty, and all kinds of love (romantic, familial, and friendly).

Of course, it's still probably most famous for the sex. How can it help but be so, when its star—both the actor and the character he plays—is so synonymous with playful sexuality? John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness is the heart and soul of the Torchwood team. The rest of the crew might (and does) change at the drop of a hat, but there's no Torchwood with out Jack.

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