selenak: (Thorin by Meathiel)
( Dec. 18th, 2014 06:53 pm)
Finished the Yuletide treat as well and sent it off to be beta'd. Phew. I wasn't sure whether I'd manage to finish the story in time this year, and I really wanted to because it's been churning in me for a good long while, and the recipient is a treasure.


Also, post Battle of the Five Armies hurt/comfort fics, because of course yours truly is in the market for them. Just to be on the very safe side, I shall employ a spoiler cut, decades old book or not.

Spoilery recs await )
Firstly: I'm unspoiled, other than having watched the trailers, and would very much like to remain so. I'm not even reading interviews for that reason. So please do not tell me anything.

With that in mind, let's see. In no particular order:

- obviously, Clint needs some fleshing out beyond his relationship with Natasha (which I enjoy!), due to spending most of the last film possessed. Bonus point if this includes at least one chat with Thor, not least because they're bound to have different takes on Loki, given events in Thor: The Dark World and yet Thor knows very well Clint is one of Loki's victims.

- continuation of Natasha's old and new friendships (Clint, Steve) and of the what-do-we-call-it relationship with Bruce; given that Natasha has just outed herself (and everyone else) to the world, which is a completely new state for her, I'm curious to learn how it affects her, and whether some of her own debts in that ledger have come to haunt her; scenes with Maria Hill and Wanda would be lovely.

- Tony exited Iron Man III in a very good state, as well adjusted as we've ever seen him. Since well adjusted Tony Stark does not provide drama (or snark), I don't expect it to last, but I hope whatever happens will come across as emotionally logical, and also that it won't negate the things he did learn over the course of four films.

- speaking of Tony, more Science Bros. That was a lovely and unexpected Whedonian invention in the last Avengers, and no matter whether it comes across as Bruce & Tony or Bruce/Tony, I want more of it. Incidentally, this can by all means include arguments on the ethics of inventions. [personal profile] lettered wrote some fantastic stories in which they have very different takes, which makes sense.

- Thor as of The Dark World has decided he never wants to be king, full stop, and has just started a new life on Midgard. Maybe he finds the every day reality not as easy a change from Asgard and being a prince as he thought? (Yes, he had a depowered taste of that in Thor I, but that was only a short while and very different circumstances.) Also, he doesn't really know any of the other Avengers yet, so I'd like some relationships to form.

- The twins: as we don't know yet what Joss' take on Wanda and Pietro will be like, beyond some educated guesses based on favourite Whedonian tropes, I can't wish for specifics there, or which Avengers they'll interact with most. I'm curious to find out, though!

- we need a logical explanation why Steve is interrupting his Quest For Bucky, but actually I don't think that will be too hard to come by; saving the world always comes first with him. As I mentioned with Natasha, I'd like more of their friendship. Also, a scene with Rhodey would be great, since movieverse Rhodey is among other things quite what Steve Rogers, born in another time and without the serum, would be like, and I don't think Tony is aware of the irony.

- please, please, please no dead Maria Hill; the trailer with the scene where she's hanging out with the Avengers was lovely until I remembered Coulson got fleshed out in The Avengers from cypher to person, and look what happened next.


Other than that, I got nothing. Except that I'm very much looking forward to this movie.

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
Disclaimer: I love Babylon 5. It's one of my two adored space station shows, it was my first non-Trek sci fi tv fandom, it contains some of my most beloved characters in any fandom of all time, and I think it still holds up as one of the most amazing things pulled off on tv. With all this in mind....

...yes, absolutely, of course it has weaknesses. Tiny ones and big ones. One of them is also one of its strengths: JMS deciding to write all the episodes from mid season 2 onwards. On the plus side, this makes for a consistent vision and even more consistent character voices. If you look at some of the s1 episodes, say, D.C. Fontana's, they're perfectly satifactorly sci fi tv by themselves, but they could take place in any 'verse, the aliens are, that one scene between Londo and Vir in the garden (which was inserted by JMS) aside, pretty generic. Whereas even a weak episode in later seasons couldn't take place anywhere else but B5. However, if you have solely one scriptwriter for three and a half full tv scenes, not only does this cause stuff like Grey 17 is missing, which he later admitted he doesn't even have clear memories of writing in sickness and exhaustion, but, more seriously (because every show, no many how writers are employed, has the occasional weak episode), it means that there are no other "voices", so to speak, to balance issues the main writer has which are not beneficial to the story he's trying to tell.

(Sidenote: it also means JMS' flair for metaphorical speechifying is given full reign, which also can be a virtue and a flaw at the same time. At its best, you get G'Kar. At its worst, you get Byron.)

In Babylon 5's case: JMS' fondness of the Great Man view of history. Which definitely isn't solely to be found in the season 4 finale, though it's spelled out most clearly and textually there. Now from a storytelling pov, I favour extraordinary individuals as well, and remember some history lessons made very dull indeed for teenagers with all the insistence on market forces. (Sorry, Marx.) But it's more than that in the JMS case, and the reason why this becomes increasingly a problem with the human and Minbari storylines is that he's simultanously trying to tell a modern story and a Tolkien-esque epic. If he'd gone for the purely Tolkien approach, it wouldn't be a problem. It would be a very conservative story, but that doesn't say anything about strength or weakness. When Aragon becomes King in Return of the King, the novel, this is not a problem for anyone (except Denethor, and Denethor is about to go mad anyway and certainly not representative of the people). There is never any question will be Aragon would be a good king, a mediocre king or a bad king, whether the people of Gondor would agree with his decisions - he's the heir of Isildur who has proven himself in hardship, exile and battle, he's restoring the realm, it's a happy ending for both Aragon and Gondor. Which fits the type of novel we're in. (For the film versions, Jackson, Boyens and Walsh changed this somewhat because their Aragon has an ongoing learning process about kingship, whether he wants it, whether he'll be worthy of it, what the long term consequences are as demonstrated by the rulers he meets like Theoden, etc, which is a reflection of a different narrative approach in a different time.) But Babylon 5 can't simply let Sheridan become king and Delenn queen. Not a story which in its first three seasons shows a democratic human society turning fascist and positions its heroes against this development, which is a story very much born out of the experience of the 20th century. Sheridan isn't anyone's heir. He's a military officer who at some point decides he can't in good conscience continue to serve an increasingly unjust regime, and also can't simply stay apart, but has to act actively against it. Which is a good story to tell. But unfortunately, it doesn't demand Sheridan-as-ruler-of-the-realm at the end of it. This is still where JMS wants to go, though, so Sheridan becomes President, only without the messy bother of campaigns, debates, compromises and elections that go with the democratic process; he becomes President with an offstage sleight of hand.

Then, because season 4 and season 5 have the problem of being written first with the fear there would not be a fifth season in the case of the former and then with the need to produce fillers to stretch out what was originally planend to fill only half a season in the case of the later, we actually get to see him being President. And he's not a good one, which would be less of a problem if the narrative didn't claim he was. Now, rebels are always easier to write as sympathetic than people in power, which probably is why Sheridan wasn't originally planned to get the presidential job until mid season 5. But leaving the s4/s5 network caused writing problem aside, he was always supposed to be President, and a good one; the closest thing to the fantasy ending of the hero becoming king and restoring the realm. Except any head of a democratic government has to put up with opposition, arguing and the need for compromises. And this is where JMS' fondness for the great man theory of history becomes problematic. Anyone criticial to Sheridan-as-President is written as just plain wrong, egotastic or unworthy, like the historians in The Deconstruction of Falling Stars. Why? Because "John Sheridan was a good man" and a great one, as an aged Delenn says. Yes, but what has that to do with him being a good President, or not? Sorry, but history is full of people with personal virtues who really sucked at governning. And the thing is, Sheridan doesn't come across as an effective politician at all during the year the show has where it has to show him in office. His decision to offer Byron's telepaths sanctuary backfires badly, and he's telling Lochley to fix it without offering any solutions himself. He's unable to keep the Alliance from going after the Centauri after the succesful Drakh framing. (He's also mysteriously unable what he learned from his trip into the future re: Londo and Centauri Prime, but that's a plot hole which has nothing to do with him as President.) The rueful observation he makes about war and peace in late s5 lampshades this a bit ("fight evil space dictators" simply is a far easier narrative to sell than "attempt to keep the peace"), but that doesn't help the basic problem of Sheridan being an uneffective leader while the narrative insists he's a great one, and has him being fanboyed in the worst tell not show way.

This, mind you, did not come out of nowhere. It's simply more glaringly obvious because Sheridan can no longer claim underdog/rebel status. The s2 episode where ISN (still the democratic ISN, not the Clark controlled one of later season 3) does a special on Babylon 5 is a case in point, because we're clearly meant to sympathize with Delenn crying and not with the reporter making her cry who dares to ask whether Delenn had considered that her turning half human could be perceived as an insult by a humanity who very nearly got wiped out in the Earth/Minbari war. Why? Because Delenn is a Great Woman Of History, the way Sheridan is a Great Man. We the audience know Delenn meant her physical alteration to act as a bridge between two enemies (and we later learn also about the atonment aspect there, given her culpability in the war), we know she keeps working for peace because we've seen her do it. But the reporter hasn't, and her question is absolutely valid. If you were a human and had lost people in the war, why would you perceive one of your former enemies becoming physically like you as something that "acts as a bridge"? Wouldn't it look rather patronizing at best? (As it implies becoming human is a sacrifice.) Insulting at worst? (As a perpetrator, claiming belonging to who you very nearly genocided is... leaving real life examples aside because I so do not want to go there, well, just imagine how G'Kar would have taken it with Londo for some reason had decided to dress up as a Narn.) And yet the reporter is positioned as ignorant and insulting here, while Delenn is the Wronged Heroine.

Now, there are several narrative alternatives I could think of to fix this, but they all involve ditching the idea of Sheridan as a peacetime leader altogether, and definitely ditching the idea of him and Delenn alternating as Presidents and leader of the Rangers in the twenty years following Objects at Rest and before Sleeping in Light. (This works in dressed up current day dictatorships, not democracies.) . The most radical would be to leave him dead after Z'ha'dum - as I've mentioned before, this is where his personal development stops anyway, and Delenn and Ivanova could have divided his narrative functions between them for the reminder of the show. But alternate suggestions isn't what the prompt is really about.

Because Babylon 5 is an ensemble story, a rich tapestry woven of several storylines, it doesn't stand or fall on the success of the Sheridan tale. (As mentioned many a time before, I'm a Centauri and Narn fangirl here, though I do like most of the other storylines as well.) But it is telling that while a part of B5 online fandom made Bush/President Clark comparisons during the Dubya years, JMS was stunned to learn that Bush himself was supposedly a Babylon 5 fan. Identifying himself with of course not with Clark, but with Sheridan. A great man's gotta do what a great man's gotta do, and if some idiots can't see it... Well.

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
This was a prompt by [personal profile] endeni; a comparison which wouldn't have occured to me. Though when I think about it, I can see some parallels. To start with some technical trivia: DS9's key writers - Ira Behr, Ron Moore, Hans Beimler - had all started out and graduated, so to speak, on TNG, but became far more influential in the spin-off. AtS similarly started out with several Buffy writers - David Greenwalt being the most important one for the first three seasons, after which he left, but also David Fury and later Steven DeKnight -, though it's important to note that the writer who in retrospect, taking all five seasons into account, had been the most crucial one, Tim Minear, had never worked on BTVS. (I'm open for a Greenwalt versus Minear debate, of course, as to who was more responsible for sharping AtS.) Both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Angel: The Series were spin-offs, and their "mother shows", so to speak (TNG as well as TOS here for DS9), were more widely watched and popular at the time, while the spin-offs were generally regarded as darker and more serialized.

Mind you: the cliché that TNG was the fluffy reset button show to DS9's serialized and serious storytelling is as wrong as claiming Angel was darker than Buffy in general. Point in question: AtS' third season ran in tandem to Buffy's sixth. If you watched both, you know what I'm getting at here. AtS at least until Wesley got his throat cut looked downright frivolous by comparison to season 6 of BtVS. And TNG started to ongoing relationships and actual consequences in a Trek show thing; they didn't do it as consequently as DS9 was to do later, but pioneers rarely do. Still, as with every cliché that in its exaggaration is wrong, there's also a part that's true.

DS9, even in its early seasons where there were far more one shot episodes than later, was by the very nature of its set up different and darker. The Enterprise could come and go and was elsewhere the next week. DS9 was a space station next to a planet which had been suffering through a brutal occupation for 60 years, which was a forming influence to one of the regulars - who'd turn out to be in many way the key regular of the show, Kira Nerys -, which meant an ongoing situation even before new problems showed up. Its leading character, Benjamin Sisko, started out as a grieving widower and as a father with his son. (Picard had had tragedies in his life pre show, like the loss of the Stargazer and Jack Crusher's death, but they weren't something as defining the character from the get go as Sisko's losses and his relationship to his son were.) Kira's struggle to reconcile her freedom fighter/terrorist (this pre 9/11 show used both terms) past with her present were as ongoing as her relationships with various Cardassians, her former mortal enemies. Dax was a centuries old symbiotic being. O'Brien's past with Cardassians influences him in the present, even Bashir, the archetypical young freshman type among the regulars, turns out to have had a past and a secret. Among the recurring characeters, there's notably Garak, and Garak's gradually revealed past, the reasons for his exile on DS9 and the ways in which he did and didn't try to end it - you could say DS9, from the outset, had among other themes the way its characters past formed, burdened and even partially broke them in varying degrees, and how this influenced their present.

Angel from the beginning wanted to be something other than BTVS, version II, and succeeded (in season 1 there is still a sense of the writers trying to find their feet, but from the get go, the show does have its own voice), and one of the ways in which it did this was by a similar past/present situation. Of course, it had at its main character a centuries old vampire with an extremely bloody past and not a teenager trying to have a future, but this thematic treatment was true not just for Angel himself. "The past, she doesn't let go, does she?"' asks the short lived Doyle in the first half of the first season, and no, it doesn't. Doyle has something to atone for and does so promptly since he's quickly written out for, forgive the pun, Doylist reasons. But so does his successor, Wesley, who becomes as key to what AtS became as Kira does on DS9. Wesley on BTVS had been primarily used as a comic relief character in season 3 where he was introduced, but what happened to him then - failing his first assignment as a Watcher, falling out with the Council - is what he carries with him into AtS where it has far more long term results. When Wesley first shows up mid s1 he's still prone to comic relief scenes. But before the season is over, he'll have been tortured by Faith and then offered the choice of handing her over and getting his Watcher status back, which he refuses. Which is still but a prologue given that the show overall has in store for Wesley. Even Cordelia, the youngest of the original regulars, has her past as a reigning and very skillfully cruel high school queen as something to make up for. Of the later regular additions, Gunn is forced to stake his sister who has been turned in to a vampire in his introduction, and Fred has spent years in an alternate dimension that caused her to go ever so slightly mad. Again, as with DS9, the very nature of the set up means that dealing with your past (or running away from it, but even then it usually shows up to haunt you) is something ingrained in the regulars.

Another shared trait: while the "mother shows" , TNG and BTVS, do keep their basic set up formula, the spin-offs don't as a shift happens. By which I mean: yes, Buffy & Co. leave high school after season 3, and, say, season 1 and season 6 are very, very different. But Buffy being the Slayer, needing the save the world, struggling to unite this with living in it as a teenager and then young woman, that stays. TNG at the end has put its regulars through some significant changes - Picard and his Borg experience, also Picard's changing relationship to his crew, Worf and fatherhood, plus he's in a new relationship with Deanna Troi as the show ends, the difference between Data in the pilot and Data at the end is highlighted by the three eras nature of the show finale - but the "Enterprise encounters problem, solves problem, moves on" set up did not change. Meanwhile, DS9's last three seasons are about the building and then erupting Dominion War (while there had been wars in the backstory of TOS and TNG characters, present day war for longer than an episode, at the end of which it was successfully stopped, was unheard of and hugely controversial at the time because it touched on a core ST premise, that the Federation Utopia was strong enough to prevent things from escalating this far). As for the original stated goal, Sisko, who in the pilot was charged with bringing Bajor into the Federation, not only ended up outright rejecting this (for prophecy reasons) but ended the dilemma betwen being the Emissary and a Starfleet officer by ending to be the later and becoming a sort of divine entity. (This wasn't Sisko's idea, I hasten to add, there were plot reasons, I know. Still: miles away from what he started out to do.) With AtS, the "redemption through saving people" premise from the start gradually drew in the background; not that the character stopped helping people, but season 4, the most serialized of the AtS seasons where one episode was directly followed by the next, had at its core a father/son tragedy where saving ended up only possible through a massive deception/selling out, while season 5 had altered the original format so radically that the characters started by running the chief antagonist's business and ended up triggering another apocalypse.

Now, none of this means that the spin-offs were Frank Miller style grimdark. They had comedy epsiodes, they had their regulars fond of banter and bickering throughout. (AtS wasn't afraid to put something like The Girl in Question, which made relentless fun of two of its male regulars, Angel and Spike, and included an affectionate dig at one of the mother show's most famous tragic scenes beside, only three episodes before the apocalyptic finale and after one of the regulars had already died.) (Meanwhile, the less said about DS9's THe Emperor's New Cloak in season 7, the better. Love s7, but not that episode.) But there was certainly a general darker streak and pessimisim about happy endings at work than the mother shows, by and large, subscribed to. None of this makes one better than the other. That was just the glory of them: that they could coexist in their fictional verses, offering the viewers not an either/or, but a both/and to watch.


December Talking Meme: The Other Days
In which the show comes through with the pay-off for a long term build up, and then some.

Pay off indeed! )
(B)eside him on the settee was a brand which he had brought up in the shape of a slim, flame-like young woman with a pale, intense face, youthful, and yet so worn with sin and sorrow that one read the terrible years which had left their leprous mark upon her.

This is Arthur Conan Doyle's Kitty Winter, from the story The Adventure of the Illustrious Client. Kitty Winter in Elementary retains some of these elements - the intensity, her backstory containing the traumatic abuse by a man -, but since she's not living in Victorian times (or in our times surrounded by jerks), she's not regarded as "ruined" because of this. And so far, the way she deals with her backstory does not include vigilantism. Instead, she's channeling her anger and energy by being a detective in training.

Spoilers for the third season so far beneath the cut )

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
You know, sometimes there are works of fiction (books, films, tv shows) which you know are flawed, where there's totally valid criticism to be had, where you even can understand someone dismissing them entirely, but you love them anyway and feel ridiculously protective? This is me with the Hobbit film trilogy, which is why I'm not up for reading other reviews yet after this last installment. I saw it last night and came back full of love and grief and what not, so what follows isn't a critical review. Oh, and it also contains some bits about the Extended Edition of The Desolation of Smaug, which I finished watching with all the extras on dvd a few days ago.

I'm very fond of you, Mr. Baggins )
In a show with a premise that's essentially a fanfiction multicrossover and gleeful celebration of tropes and archetypes, both Victorian and current day, (Sir) Malcolm Murray (the show never says, but I'm assuming he got knighted for his explorations, as opposed to being born a baronet) owes his existence to several sources. For starters, he's Mina Murray's of Dracula fame OC father - I think both of Mina's parents are mentioned as dead in the novel, but it's been a while since I've read it so could be wrong. In any event, they don't show up. Like the most frowned upon OCs, Malcolm partially ursurps a canon character's role (gathering the vampire-fighting gang together is canonically Van Helsing's job), but for all that his family connection is with Dracula, the character himself is actually far more connected to another type of late Victorian sensational novel and reality. Think Allan Quatermain and Henry Rider Haggard. Malcolm is, among other things, a deconstruction/variation of the White Explorer, hero in Victorian times and mostly cast as villain in current day eyes.

it gets spoilery from this point onwards )

December Talking Meme: The Other Days
selenak: (Lucy Liu by Venusinthenight)
( Dec. 13th, 2014 02:07 pm)
In which we learn what happens to cleaners who don't get hired by Gus in Albuquerque, because this Breaking Bad joke is unavoidable.

Read more... )
This list will be by necessity influenced by the problems I had with season 2 and thus go under a spoiler cut.

Spoilers want season three to be fabulous )
I first consciously noticed this one during The Miller's Daughter in season 2, but it's impossible to talk about without spoilers, and thus I shall employ the protective cut post haste.

Spoilers, spoilers on the wall )
Or, as [personal profile] lonelywalker put it, "what media/fandom things are you looking forward to in 2015"? Let's see which ones I know about....

Penny Dreadful, season 2: yes, please! More Gothic crossover with interestingly messed up people and Victorian costumes. Bring on the Helen McCrory season, I say.

Related through the main writer, John Logan: the next Bond movie, Spectre. Yes, I'm going to miss Dench!M dreadfully, but I do look forward to more Craig!Bond, more Eve, am curious about how the relationship of both to Mallory will be, Lea Seydoux is always good to see and she'll be in it, and I'm sure Christoph Waltz is going to have fun as the main villain. (Given the title of the movie and which organisation it means in Bondlore, will he be Blofeld?) I'd also like to have Felix Leiter back, Mr. Logan, sir.

The Americans, season 3: talking about spies, I just saw the first proper trailer, and yes, so much looking forward to this.

Agent Carter, the miniseries: bring on Peggy in the late 40s and early 50s! Now I suspect canon, while including some moral ambiguities, will avoid the heart of darkness that is the MCU equivalent to the rl Operation Paperclip and we won't get an episode where Peggy rationalizes herself into hiring Armin Zola for SHIELD, but that's what fanfiction is there fore, and mainly I just hope for some female centric spy shenanigans and celebration of the fact that life goes on and no, losing someone you loved doesn't mean angsting for the rest of your life is the only viable option.

Aka Jessica Jones: see earlier entry on Sunday, though I'm not sure they'll have the show ready by 2015, that wasn't mentioned. But hooray for Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones!

Avengers: Age of Ultron: bring on the bickering superheroes, now with not-allowed-to-be-called-mutant dysfunctional and intensely close twins! And may I manage to remain unspoiled until I watch it, which is increasingly difficult.

BBC filmed version of Wolf Hall and Bringing Up The Bodies: I had some nitpicks about the books, but by and large, I found them impressive, and the casting is great, so chances are I'm going to enjoy the miniseries. Also, I'm curious whether the difference in media and thus the fact we're not solely confined to the point of view of him, Cromwell, will make for subtle or not so subtle differences in characterisation. (Doesn't mean I don't think he, Cromwell, makes for a fascinating pov to explore, and that's part of the book's allure because in the gazillion former Tudor fictions, he's never been the pov character before, but I do think Hilary Mantel is a bit too much in love with him, Cromwell, at times.) (And now I'll stop making fun of one of the novel's notorious mannerisms.)

Speaking of Hilary Mantel: I haven't heard whether or not she'll have the third part of the Cromwell saga finished and published in 2015, so I'm not sure whether I can list it, but if it does get published in 2015, I am very much looking forward to it. In a somewhat masochistic way, since she'll have to bring Mr. Supersecretary into that frame of mind who writes "most gracious prince, I cry for mercy, mercy, mercy" from the Tower despite having better reason than most to know Henry won't listen.

Doctor Who season 9: definitely. As mentioned before, season 8 was my favourite Moffat season so far, and I look forward to more Twelth Doctor.


Things I might enjoy or might not, so am cautious but hopeful about:

- Better Call Saul. I didn't feel the need for a Breaking Bad spin off, and while Saul was a fun character I'm not burning with curiosity as to his backstory, but Vince Gilligan & creative staff have earned a lot of advance trust from me by now, so who knows?

- Orphan Black, season 3: I thought s2 had some sophomore season problems, but then so did s2 of Elementary. I do love the characters and the concept and the amazing actors, so I'm hoping for a great season 3, but at the same time, a bit concerned it might decline in quality.





December Talking Meme: The Other Days
...American or otherwise. I'm aware the US never agreed to the International Criminal Court, even before 9/11, but it did sign to uphold the Geneva Convention (I remember this being brought up back when the Abu Ghraib news exploded) , and even if you postulate this "only" counts for prisoners of war, this article mentions that Reagan signed and the US ratified the United Nations convention against torture, which covers every human being, pow or not. So, in theory, shouldn't it be possible to sue Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al for authorizing and encouraging torture? Even within the US itself? I mean, I'm aware it would never come to any convictions. I'm not that naive. But it could maybe make it more difficult for a while longer for these guys to rewrite the past.

Also, there's some legal precedent. In 2003, Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric who had been granted asylum in Italy, was kidnapped in Milan. The CIA then secretly transported him to Egypt. In November 2009, an Italian court convicted 22 CIA agents, one US military official and two Italian intelligence operatives to at least five years imprisonment for their role in the kidnapping. The CIA agents were convicted in absentia and never extradited, but they were convicted, and presumably can't work in Europe anymore for a while. Would it be too much to at least limit Rumsfeld etc.'s ability to travel in the same way?
selenak: (Triad by Etherealnetwork)
( Dec. 9th, 2014 01:12 pm)
Go figure.

Read more... )
I'm fond of most of the Old and New Who Companions, in varying degrees. But yes, I do have my favourites. And as far as New Who is concerned, Donna Noble is my absolute favourite, still. Which doesn't mean I don't like/love the others as well, or that I'm going for a "best of" title, because I think that's ridiculous. But she was and is the New Who Companion who resonated most with me.

This started during her first appearance, in the Christmas special The Runaway Bride. Now back then, reaction was mixed. Some, like me, liked Donna. Others complained she was too shrill, too shouty. (A commenter once told me this was entirely due to the first ten minutes of the special, one long slap stick and action sequence - during which, yes, both Donna and the Doctor shout. Which is followed by the wonderful quiet rooftop sequence, btw.) In any event, she was only a one time guest star, or so it seemed, until after the end of season 3 world got around Donna would be back. Given how popular she was by the time season 4 ended, and how great the outcry about the manner of her departure, it's worth remembering this was by no means greated by universal cheer (though I certainly cheered). The British SFX even called her "the most controversial companion since Bonnie Langford" (this was not a compliment), which mostly seemed to be biased on Catherine Tate's comedienne persona, and, once again, the idea of Donna in The Runaway Bride as "shrill. In retrospect, I suspect RTD might have anticipated this, because the first two episodes of s4 are showcases of Catherine Tate's range, from the superb comic timing in the season opener (the silent mimic scene between her and the Doctor being but one case in point, and who cares if RTD cribbed from himself in Casanova, where there's also a silent mimic scene between a David Tennant character and the female lead?) to the dramatic chops in Fires of Pompeii where she has to go to a place where she shares the responsibility for thousands of deaths with the Doctor? Mind you, the entire season 4 is a showcase for Catherine Tate's range, and the naysayers quickly grew silent. Today, sharing the Donna love is definitely a majority thing.

And it remains irresistable to me. Donna was the first New Who Companion neither a girl nor a young woman in her 20s, but at least in her 30s, and one with a figure unlike the slender models to come, which she was utterly comfortable with. (Her insecurities were about other things.) She was loud and brash, yes, and tended to voice what she felt immediately, whether it was joy or fear, compassion or dislike. She loved talking. Which didn't mean she wasn't also a good listener (ask Agatha Christie). She could be oblivious, and she could be insightful. While she had never had a steady job - something which definitely did belong in the insecurities department and contributed to the stressful relationship with her mother - , she was really creative in putting all those years as a temp to creative use everywhere in the galaxy.

And she made a wonderful friend. Part of it was the Tate 'n Tennant chemistry and timing with each other - these were definitely actors who just clicked in a best buddies way - but part was also the way the Doctor and Donna relationship was written from their first outing onwards. She wasn't interested in him romantically, or vice versa, which was a welcome first in New Who; whether arguments or hugs, she gave as good as she got. They were mates exploring the univese together, and I wished it would never end while constantly aware that Catherine Tate had only signed on for one season. The manner in wich it did end is its own controversy, which I have absolutely no desire to revive in a post meant to celebrate Donna. So I will only say this: after having watched Donna Noble be her wonderful self through 13 episodes and a special, I had no doubt she would continue to be extraordinary even with missing memories and on earth. I still don't. Because Donna? Is too vivacious, brave, compassionate, funny and too much plain alive to be anything else.


December Talking Meme: The Other Days
No, the other one. A few years back, it was briefly announced there's be a tv series about Jessica Jones, based on the Alias comics but in order not to be confused with the tv show Alias called "Aka Jessica Jones" instead. Then nothing happened, and word was the idea was given up.

But now not only is the tv show back on, but Krysten Ritter will play Jessica Jones. As I know her from Breaking Bad, where she played Jane in season 2 (and was awesome as the character), this makes me very happy indeed. Mind you, it will inevitably joss my Jessica Jones in the X-Men movieverse story, but hey - such is fannish life.

Oh, and the internet also told me that the actor who currently plays Lemond Bishop in The Good Wife is considered for Luke Cage. Which would make the tv prospects even better!
Disclaimer: I haven't had the chance to watch the latest OuaT episode yet, so please don't spoil me for it in the comments. Also, it's been years since I read the Potter saga, so any inaccuracy is due to memory failure, and I apologize in advance.

This said, I love this prompt. It's not an obvious comparison, but if you think about it, the two do have their parallels. (And contrasts, obviously.)

Which are spoilery for all of the Harry Potter novels and seasons 1- 4.10 of Once Upon a Time )




December Talking Meme: The Other Days
Naturally, the reply contains lots of spoilers for The Americans seasons 1 and 2. But none for season 3. I am unspoiled and would lilke to remain so, so if you know anything, don't tell me.

Spies like them )



December Talking Meme: The Other Days
selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
( Dec. 7th, 2014 09:32 am)
My, err, usual way of watching Elementary is no more, alas, it seems, but an old alternative still exists. Which is good because I continue to be entranced by this season.

The one with the shell and the frown or Clyde? )
.

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