Eight

Confession #51: I'm Swayed by Actors' Charms

Feb
19

It would not have occurred to me, years ago, to think that my view of a character might change depending on what I learned of the personality of the actor or actress depicting said character. As a society, we tend to bombard ourselves with minutiae about celebrities, so much so that even someone like me—who doesn't particularly care about the private lives and lies of "the rich and famous"—can't help but learn a few things. But more often than not, neither the dirty little secrets nor the heartwarming anecdotes had much impact on me.

More recently, though, I've dipped rather thoroughly (at least for me) into the stream of pop culture via Twitter, and from there peripherally via tumblr. The pop culture I view is heavily skewed toward Doctor Who, as one might expect, so I hear a lot of things about—and from—folks who are involved with the program in one way or another. One of the things I learned, to my own surprise though perhaps no one else's, is that how these people interact with fans really sways how I view them.

To take a case in point on the negative end of the scale, a couple of years ago, one of my Twitter friends (a self-proclaimed feminist) objected to some tweets that Simon Pegg made from San Diego Comic-Con regarding women cosplayers. Specifically, she called him out for implicitly comparing a group of slave Leia cosplayers to food (with a Homer Simpson/doughnuts comment). I won't go through the entire exchange, but suffice to say, he reacted badly and didn't do anything to curb the abuse his fans subsequently heaped on her. Now I can barely watch scenes in The Long Game in which Pegg appears (though he's a baddie there, so that helps), and get pulled out of the narrative whenever Scotty is on screen in the new Star Trek films. So bummer.

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Confession #44: I Can Forgive Moffat Most Anything Now

Nov
20

I'm going to say right off the bat that this post is full of spoilers if you haven't seen "Night of the Doctor," so if you haven't watched it yet (and if not, why not?), go watch it right now. Or watch it again. Seriously. I'll wait.


~whistles~ ~twiddles thumbs~

Back now? Right. Off we go, then.

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Best "Night" of My Life

Nov
14

It may be an exaggeration, but saying that "Night of the Doctor" is the best thing Doctor Who has produced in years isn't far off the truth. This seven-minute minisode has the online world of Who fandom in a tizzy, and rightly so. Before I go on, just watch it yourself:
 


There was only one thing I really wanted out of the 50th anniversary episode, and while I now know I won't get it in the actual special, I've received it here. I couldn't be happier. Well, I could, but not bloody much! They even managed to work in an explanation for the awful new glow-y regeneration mechanism. Now that's good ret-con.

Thank you, Mr. Moffat!

Keeping the Flame Alive

Sep
11

Review of The Doctors Revisited - Eighth Doctor

In any rundown of all the Doctors, Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor always seems to get the short end of the stick. The same is true here, as the eighth installment of Revisited is about a two-thirds the length of any of the previous episodes. Further, McGann himself is conspicuous in his absence, the only surviving Doctor actor to date not to appear in his own retrospective.

Granted, since the series seems to be sticking tightly to televised stories—an oversight, in my opinion, since alternative media like audio adventures are where Eight really comes into his own—we can hardly have expected a long homage to a Doctor who only had 70 minutes on screen. Even bringing in Sylvester McCoy to discuss the regeneration barely padded things out.

However, Companion actors Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso (who appeared in interview snippets, along with Steven Moffat, Marcus Wilson, and Nicholas Briggs) make a valiant effort to express to the audience why McGann's Doctor, and The Movie as a whole, should be of interest to those (presumably primarily "new series" fans) who are as yet unfamiliar with them. Their fondness not only for McGann and the rest of the cast but also for the entirety of the story is clearly evident.

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Confession #25: I Love Alternative Media

Jul
25

It was after I first saw The Movie that started to dip my toe into "alternative media." I'd really enjoyed McGann as Eight, and wanted more of him. Of course, there was no more in the most-often-held-as-canon televised sector. Even then, though, I knew there are more versions of "canon" out there than there are fans, so I wasn't too worried about where these other media might take me, especially knowing that many Old School Fans (OSFs) grew up reading Target novelizations and such (though, come to think of it, I might not have known about those at the time). Suffice it to say, the lure of Eight was strong enough to overcome any minor misgivings I might have had.

I started with Shada. OSFs will know this as the Four story that never (quite) was. Filming began, but was never completed, due to a labor dispute not directly related to the Who team. Re-imagined as an Eight story - but still with Romana II - the webcast version gave me a chance to learn about both a famous yet unfamiliar story and a still unfamiliar Doctor. It was a nice way to get a first taste - but I wanted more.

Enter Big Finish. For ages, Big Finish (BF) has been creating audio dramas (and other good stuff, but I have been most familiar with their audio work) in various fandoms. Their original content for Doctor Who is top-notch. I was lucky enough to come across some of the first, second, and third series of The Eighth Doctor Adventures that had been (re?)broadcast on BBC Radio 7. (Thank you, Interwebs!) Game over. I was in love with BF, and even more with Eight.

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