Post-poned

Feb
09

Due to the unfortunate encroachment of Real Life, Confession #5 will need to be postponed until next week.  With yesterday's release of The Movie and The Mutants, there should be some new reviews in the next week or two, as well.

My apologies if I've disappointed anyone (with my vast, single digit readership, I'm sure there's somebody...).  I'll get back on track as soon as possible, once these pesky RL issues are resolved.

 

 

Nu-View #1: SJS, Sontarans, and Gallifrey - Oh My!

Feb
09

The Time Warrior (Story #70, 1973-74)
Viewed 02 Feb 2011

Doctor/Companion:   Three, Sarah Jane Smith
Stars:  Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen
Preceding StoryThe Green Death (Three, Jo Grant)
Succeeding StoryInvasion of the Dinosaurs (Three, Sarah Jane)
Notable Aspects:

  • First appearance of Sarah Jane Smith
  • First appearance of the Sontarans
  • First mention of Doctor's home planet (Gallifrey) by name

Our viewing of this first episode of Three's last season was dominated by two things:  his hair, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  After the rather dizzying "new" opening credits (general consensus: thumbs down), it was a bare two scenes into Episode 1 that the Grail references began.  When the amusingly-named Irongron finally managed to get his underlings to ride out to look for the "fallen star," the clopping coconuts made their appearance on the sofa.  Linx, the first-ever Sontaran on Doctor Who, garnered not only an "oh, dear" but also a "none shall pass!"

Once the stage had been set in the Middle Ages, the story turned back to the modern day, to a site heavily guarded by UNIT in an effort to prevent further mysterious disappearances of visiting scientists, and Three walked through the door.  Did we cheer the Doctor's first appearance, or wonder when we'd first see Sarah Jane?  Nope.  "Wow!  Is that what his hair looked like before?!"

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Confession #4: I Hate the "Standard" Regenerations

Feb
02
Warning:
This site (specifically, this post) contains profanity.  If you can't handle that, turn back now.

When Nine regenerated into Ten, Rose looked on in consternation as all the energy of the Time Vortex streamed back out of him as a bright, shining light pouring from his arms and head.  It was dramatic, it was beautifully done, and it was appropriate.  So what the hell was going on when the same effect turned the Jacobi-Master into the Simms-Master?  He'd just been shot, for shit's sake - why would he get all glowy?

Former Head Writer/Executive Producer Russell T. Davies (commonly known as RTD) would have us believe that there needed to be a sense of continuity about the regeneration process, or new viewers wouldn't understand that it was the way all Timelords change their bodies whenever they near death.  Give me a fucking break.  Are we really so stupid we can't figure out that a body change is still a body change?  How does it make sense to have all regenerations the same, no matter the cause?  If a Timelord dies of a paper cut, should his regeneration cause him to stand up from where he's collapsed and shoot golden light out of every orifice?  Hardly.  That's clearly something else coming out of one of RTD's orifices, if you ask me.

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Confession #3: I Might Like Matt Smith Better Than David Tennant

Jan
26

Blasphemy!  Heresy!  Buuuuuurn heeeeeer!

OK, that's probably overstating the reaction a bit, but I may well be ostracized at my own get-together after this one.  The Ladies of WhoFest are firm Tennantites, so admitting my Smithian leanings is sure to engender some antagonism, or at the very least disdain. I can't deny it any more, though.  I think Eleven has surpassed Ten for me in terms of watchability.

Don't get me wrong - Ten is my Doctor.  I fell in love with him (yeah, I mean it that way - how Mary Sue of me; and yes, I wept like a pregnant lady during The End of Time...), and through him learned to love all the Doctors, each in their own way.  But there's something a bit off-putting about The Lonely God after a while.  While I loved the Saddest Doctor when he was in a manic phase - oh, that smile... - I got tired of him getting screwed (metaphorically, and - depending on how you interpret a few things - literally) all the time.  The guy couldn't catch a break.  Given how RTD chose to write his story arc, I have to say it was probably time for Ten to regenerate; I mean, how much lower could he go?

Perhaps it will come as no surprise, then, when I say that what I've come to love most about Eleven is the return of his joie de vivre.  Sure, the pain is still lurking there in his eyes when someone forcibly reminds him of it, but for the most part, he can put it out of his mind the way anyone who's lost a loved one learns to do(or, as Two put it in Tomb of the Cybermen, "I have to really want to - to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they... they sleep in my mind, and I forget.").  But overall, Eleven gives off a kid-in-a-candy-store vibe, like he hardly knows where to begin because it's all so fabulous - sort of like Ten's breathy "that's beautiful!" upon first seeing the werewolf in Tooth and Claw, except all the time.  New regeneration, new companion(s), new outlook; in a sense everything that Ten was really did die.  And while part of me misses him, another larger part just doesn't have the time, because watching Eleven is too damn much fun.

This certainly wasn't a quick or simple transition.  I went through a real grieving process for My Doctor (details are irrelevant, and vaguely embarrassing).  How many times before had fans gone through this?  "This Doctor was so good; how can the next bloke possibly measure up?"  Over and over again, though, it worked (with a possible exception of the Five to Six transition, which really wasn't Colin Baker's fault so much as his writers').  Knowing that, I resolved to remain Cautiously Optimistic.

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Confession #2: I Haven't Seen Them All

Jan
19

Now I may damage my cred with certain parts of The Community by this admission (perhaps especially those Neo-Whovian friends who regard me as a font of knowledge about Classic Who), but the sad truth of the matter is, I haven't seen all the Doctor Who stories out there. Shocking, I know.

This lapse in my own Doctor Who education is the product of one of my general character flaws (or "quirks," depending on who you ask): I'm not only a completist but also very particular about what I choose to collect. When I began my search for Classic stories, I didn't want anything on VHS, dinosaur technology that it is, so I started looking for what was out on DVD. Rather to my surprise, not everything had yet been released. (What had the BBC been doing all these years that I didn't care about Doctor Who? They were supposed to be getting everything ready for me, for when I discovered a new obsession!) Not only that, but each story (often misleadingly labeled as an "episode") was its own DVD, worth anywhere from $10 to $35 ("on up" for boxed sets of related stories) at list price. Yikes!

Much to my chagrin, my local library system failed me. Not only were there no DVDs in the system to check out, there were precious few VHS tapes, either. Fumbling around in the dark on my own, not having found any real link to The Community yet, I didn't even know whether or not to waste my time with what the library had. There had to be a better way...

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