Confessions

Confession #73: I Think Callbacks Are Good

Jan
21

One of the delights of Doctor Who (or irritations, depending on how you feel about a particular one) is recurring characters. The tradition began decades ago, primarily out of necessity when the production team decided to take the show in a new direction and strand the Doctor on Earth. The team of humans at UNIT with whom he worked for the next several years became honorary TARDIS crew, even though most of them rarely (if ever) set foot inside the TARDIS.

To this day, Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (usually simply called "the Brigadier") is remembered fondly—so much so that his daughter Kate Stewart has followed in her father's footsteps and become a quasi-regular on the show in her own right. If Nicholas Courtney were still alive, it's a sure bet they'd be trying to find a way to get him a guest spot.

Since the show's return in 2005, others have wormed their way into fandom's collective hearts. Regardless of how you might personally feel about either of them, it's hard to deny that Capt. Jack Harkness and River Song each have a large following. River has appeared in a whole series' worth of episodes (thirteen of them) over the years, and though Jack only appeared in eleven episodes of Who, he also got three (or four, depending on how you count) series of his own show.

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Confession #72: I Don't Know What's Next

Jan
14

I recently saw a link to an article by someone in an online Who community of which I'm a member discussing his hopes for the upcoming Series Nine (which I understand began filming last week). Although I like to support other Whovians in their creative outlets, as many have supported me by reading what I write here, I will admit that I didn't click through. Why not? Well, because right now I don't have the emotional energy to spend.

I don't know whether online spaces have become more combative in recent years, or I was just blissfully naïve when I began blogging (though my money's on the latter), but it has begun to feel like expressing an opinion online is tantamount to taking one's life in one's hands. Heaven forfend that a blogger or podcaster say something that the larger community (or even a particular, vocal subset of that community) disagrees with—the torches and pitchforks won't be far behind.

Now this works both ways on any given opinion, depending on the space in question. For example, you can easily find vehement opposition to either side of the "Moffat's a misogynist / Moffat writes totally awesome strong women" debate. Similarly any of a gazillion other questions: there should be a female Doctor / the Doctor should never be a woman; Danny Pink was awesome / terrible; Nu-Who is nowhere near as good as the good ol' days / Classic Who is unwatchable; etc.

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Confession #71: I'm in Crossover Heaven

Dec
17

As an American growing up in the 70s and 80s, my exposure to Doctor Who was, to say the least, limited. Although my home state has been broadcasting the show on public television since 1974, it never even made a blip on my mental radar until I got to college—and then it was more as an indicator of which weirdos to avoid.

Star Trek, on the other hand, was regular fare.

I still remember afternoons after school parked in front of our little TV watching Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura (not to mention numerous redshirts) in action. My first specific memory is of captain and science officer in a jail with iron bars, and—I'm fairly certain—a comment about Spock's green blood (probably from the episode "Patterns of Force").

Later, when Star Trek: The Next Generation came on the scene, it was an easy sell. And just like the Whovian weirdos who met periodically in one of the dorm lounges to watch their show together (though I certainly didn't recognize the parallel at the time), my dorm floormates and I lugged one guy's TV into the floor lounge each week to watch the latest episode of ST: TNG together. The floor T-shirt that year was even based on that practice (including oft-used comments from the peanut gallery like "nice angle" and "Worf should kill them all").

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Confession #70: I Want to See Others' "Christmases"

Dec
10

We have plenty of evidence of the Doctor's familiarity with British culture and customs, including its religious ones. He's also at least aware of many other human practices and can identify them as readily as he does members of Species X from Planet Y (e.g., recognizing that Rita was Muslim in The God Complex). So I can't help but wonder what sort of winter festivals he could show us, were we to travel with him to the far reaches of the Galaxy.

Usually when we get a look in on the Doctor, he's put his foot in it, and things are about to go all wahooney shaped. But it's only when he's on Earth that we ever seem to see his adventures intersect with an annual religious/cultural festival. The closest thing I can think of off the top of my head is the Festival of Offerings in The Rings of Akhaten, but that was a rarity, rather than yearly event. Why don't we get to see other people celebrating their "most wonderful times of the year"?

Granted, certain species aren't likely to have any such thing. Given that the Daleks don't (normally) have a concept of blasphemy (see: The Parting of the Ways), they wouldn't have a sense of the sacred, either. No Dalek Christmas, then. Similarly, I find it unlikely that the "emotionless" (~cough~) Cybermen would have any such thing. Not exactly a celebratory lot.

But what about other alien cultures we've seen repeatedly? Sontarans? Ice Warriors? Those species aren't exactly good candidates for having high holy days, but perhaps they'd have a regular commemoration of an important military victory. There's got to be something these people get excited for besides the next battle.

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Confession #69: I'm Dreaming of a Blue Christmas

Dec
03

December gets super busy for most folks I know. Several of us are coming down off of NaNoWriMo and attending to tasks we'd let slide during November (like paying bills, or bathing). Some are gearing up for the heavy gifting season (whether that be Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holiday of choice). Others are just waiting to see what the Christmas special has in store for us.

But what the upcoming holiday season means to me—aside from a couple of weeks during which I lose those eight hours a day when I don't have to keep track of my kids—is a prime opportunity to catch up on my Whoniversal pastimes. Life kind of hit me upside the head this year, and I'm feeling really behind on almost everything (for someone who used to get all her Christmas shopping done by the end of August, that's an unsettling place to be). I mean, I didn't even get my plane ticket for Gallifrey One (affectionately known as "Gally"; coming up in February) until just this past Monday!

So although I find myself alternating between the flappy hands of glee at the prospect of more Capaldi on Christmas and the eyerolls of cynicism when I remember he'll be accompanied by Kris Kringle himself, there's no waffling when it comes to my anticipation of the pending break. Not only do I have plans for concocting our family's "usual suspects" list of holiday goodies, but there's so much Who-related stuff for me to do, I'm practically dreaming in TARDIS blue.

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