We have two book fairs in Germany, one in autumn in Frankfurt and one in spring in Leipzig; I'm currently at the second one, which is why it'll take me a while to catch up with fannish tv etc. However, I spotted the TARDIS herself as well as Kili and Fili at the book fair, not to mention I heard world famous cinematographer Michael Ballhaus dish about Scorsese, Fassbinder, Jack Nicholson and Joe Pesci. More, with pictorial proof and illustration, under the cut to protect your innocent eyes.

Leipzig Book Fair in Sci Fi Technicolour )
selenak: (Elizabeth - shadows in shadows by Poison)
( Jan. 27th, 2014 08:02 am)
Festivids went live, and there is much to watch. Now, I don't rate The Tudors much as a show, but it did have the occasional good performance, and of course it provides good visual. (Other than Jonathan Rhys Meyer as an ever thin Henry, which, well, enough said.) Vids, however, can do amazing things with flawed sources, and this year there are two good ones using The Tudors. One of them takes the wives and makes the point Abigail Nussbaum eloquently made in her review of Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels:

One of the reasons that the story of Henry VIII is retold so often is how versatile it is. It encompasses family, politics and religion, and has so many interesting movers and shakers, that you could tell it from almost any perspective and in almost any way--tragedy, romance, soap opera, political intrigue, farce--and end up with a good story. But to me, the story is, at its heart, about women. It would be hard to come up with a better illustration of how patriarchy screws women over, of the zero-sum game they're made to play with other women, of the chutes and ladders a woman must traverse when she sets out to parlay her biology into power, of the inescapable trap that is the virgin-whore dichotomy, than the six wives of Henry VIII. You can play by Catherine's rules, tolerating disrespect and infidelity so long as you get to keep the titles of wife and queen, only to be told that you have to relinquish them, discovering that the protection you thought they offered you has disappeared. You can play by Anne's rules (or rather The Rules), playing the harlot but refusing to give up the goods except for a ring and a crown, but these won't make you any safer than your predecessor, and the power you amassed when your demands for respect were enticing and sexy will melt away as soon as these become grating. If you're unfaithful, you die; if you're faithful, you still die. If you can't bear a male heir, you die; if you do bear a male heir, you still die. And best of all, at no point during this decades-long process will anyone around you stop to consider that maybe the problem here isn't with the women, but with the man who, directly or indirectly, caused the deaths of four out of his six wives. (Actually, the real best part is the surprise twist ending, the fact that all that desperate, bloody scrambling after a male heir results only in the brief, inconsequential reign of Edward VI, while the seemingly unimportant daughter of the ignominiously dispatched Anne Boleyn becomes one of England's most famous monarchs, but most of the characters in Mantel's books will never have the historical perspective necessary to get that joke.)

This vid tells exactly this story

Call the Midwife has an ensemble of endearing characters; I was delighted to find this year's Festivids presents one of them, Shelagh/Sister Bernadette. This vid is a beautiful character portrait of her arc.

And lastly, a Doctor Who fanfic rec, with an awesome Jackie Tyler voice:

Demeter Walks (2395 words) by kaffyrutsky
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jackie Tyler/Pete Tyler, Jackie Tyler & Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler & the Doctor
Characters: Jackie Tyler
Additional Tags: Missing Scene, Character Study, POV First Person

I walk a lot these days. And I owe it to Rose and himself.

Jackie Tyler talks about love, loss and learning.
The characters on my list were:

1. Alex Millar (Being Human UK)
2. Hank Schrader (Breaking Bad)
3. Jamie Moriarty (Elementary)
4. Cora Mills (Once upon a Time)
5. Felix Dawkins (Orphan Black)
6. Lix Storm (The Hour)
9. Guinevere "Gwen" (Merlin)
7. Bruce Banner (MCU)
8. Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow)
10. Lucas Buck (American Gothic)
11. Jo Grant (Doctor Who)
12. Ray Carling (Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars)
13. Andrew Wells (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
14. Cameron (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
15. Jack Harkness (Torchwood, Doctor Who)

Now for whacky adventures caused by questions under the cut! With spoilers for the shows/films these characters are from )
At last, I managed to watch the Christmas Specials of two shows I'm following. One of them was lovely, encapsulating all the particular show's strengths and managing to create sympathy for the guest stars in peril despite the inevitable short screen time they could have. The other, while not as bad as some ominous above cut rumblings let me to believe, unfortunately, much like that show's last season, neither particularly good or particularly bad, just mediocre, though entertaining, with a few outstanding moments, which is all the more frustrating because very recently we've seen the show do better.

Three guesses which was which, and the first two don't count.

Doctor Who Christmas Special )

Call The Midwife Christmas Special )
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
( Jan. 1st, 2014 04:03 pm)
How better to begin the new year than with a look back at the last? :)

1. Your main fandom of the year?

I'm a fandom polygamist, always was, always will be. However, I think the fandoms that occupied me a bit more than the others this year were Breaking Bad and Once upon a Time.

2. Your favourite film watched this year?

Wadjda, my review of same linked, which was absolutely amazing and would have been even if it wasn't a) the first Saudi Arabian big screen movie, b) the first Saudi Arabian film directed by a woman, and c) all about a girl.

Runner-up: Iron Man III, which broke the curse of the third movie in a popular franchise being weaker than the previous ones, was highly entertaining and provided a good wrap up to the Iron Man films while leaving Tony and friends available for Avengers shenanigans.

3. Your favourite book read this year?

It's a tie between Steel Blues, which is just the kind of ensemble adventure with great character stuff I love, and the first volume of Mark Lewisohn's monumental Beatles biography.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

It was a very good year for tv, both new (how so awesome, Orphan Black?), and recurring/finishing, but this, too, is a tie of the two named in 1). Though if you push me: Breaking Bad. Because it is complete now and thus one can say it really remained and ended as one of the most amazing accomplishments on tv.

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

I loved the disussion of The Charioteer which [personal profile] naraht was hosting on her journal, but as far as communities go: 2ceuponatime, which will resume its s1 rewatch now that the show proper is on hiatus. It makes think of b5_revisited a few years ago.

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Considering I didn't discover BB this year but did start to marathon Once upon a Time after Christmas last year, it's the fairy tale show, together with Orphan Black which I marathoned in the summer, and Bates Motel (ditto). Of these three, Orphan Black wins in sheer quality, but Once upon a Time in terms of my emotional investment.

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Homeland. Alas.

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

Tricky. I don't really have one in the sense the meme means, I suppose, and in terms of my male tv loves of years past (and forever - Londo Mollari, I will never quit you *g*). Not that I didn't like various male characters, sometimes a lot, but never in the sense of crushing on them. Although, you know, if I had to pick one to have an affair with, well, err, I'd probably go for Rodrigo Borgia, him being Pope not withstanding, in the hope I'd get a graceful exit like Giulia and not a bloody demise courtesy of general scheming in Rome.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Norma Bates. As she's ever so doomed by narrative, I'm trying to steel myself for the inevitable. But Norma is such a vivid, rich character, impulsive, loving, controlling, repressive, resourceful, mamma bearish, hopelessly damaged, helplessly damaging.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

The Day of the Doctor was everything I'd hoped the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special would be. Also, in April I saw Helen Mirren and Judi Dench both on stage in London. Don't make me choose.

(The amazing last bunch of Breaking Bad episodes, particularly Ozymandias, certainly left me breathless, emotionally wrung through and pulse racing, but squee is the wrong term for what I felt.)

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

You know, I always go periodically back to my old fandoms like Star Trek or Babylon 5 or Highlander, so I can't say I miss them. Writing a Torchwoodstory for this year's DW remix made me rewatch a lot more TW than was needed for the story and made me miss the show, but most certainly not the fandom, the majority which I always remained at a cautious distance from due to my utter lack of Jack/Ianto shipping.

12. The fandom you haven’t tried yet, but want to?

Other than Slings and Arrows, which the "this year I really will do it!" show to marathon, I'm now tentatively eyeing Sleepy Hollow and The Americans.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

Orphan Black, season 2: will it keep up the quality or have a second year downfall? Also, seeing MCU Natasha Romanov again in Captain America II, and watching the third part of The Hobbit.
selenak: (City - KathyH)
( Dec. 23rd, 2013 12:07 pm)
No topics for the busiest of holidays and the day before that, thank God, which allows me to read what everyone else has written, and thus you get links today. :)

Poetic meta on Jackie Tyler, the Ninth Doctor and Rose as Demeter, Hades and Persephone.

The Inner Light as a TNG highlight. TNG and Picard love are always lovely to read.

It's been literally decades since I've read the Silmarillion, but I still found this hysterical and want [personal profile] penknife to write the Southern Gothic versions of Lord of the Rings as well:

Leaving Bliss, aka Galadriel's backstory from the Silmarillion, the Southern way. :)

But if you want to know the beginning of it, you have to go back to my grandparents. Grandpa Finny (and if you're confusing him already with Uncle Fenny and his brothers Fin and Little Finny, you aren't from Bliss yourself) was always keen on having sons.
Talking about Clara Oswin Oswald is near impossible without employing spoiler cuts, which may be part of the problem - or the advantage, depending on your point of view. Recently, I stumbled across a clever observation of [personal profile] elisi's, to the effect that back in 2005, when RTD had to relaunch and reintroduce Doctor Who to a new audience, the Doctor was (to many) the unknown, the mystery, whereas the Companion, while also a new character, was the familiar (living in easily recognizable and identifiable circumstances). By the time Moffat took over as showrunner, the Doctor was more than familiar to the audience; and thus, Moffat made the Companions the mystery. Or rather, mysteries.

This of course is one of the chief issues of the yay and nay sayers of the entire Moffat era. Personally, I think it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. It mostly works with Amy in her first season; I still have a problem with the way the whole crack mystery is handled (i.e. ultra important when it's an arc episode, not a problem when we get a standalone), but Amy herself, personality-wise, comes across clearly from the moment little Amelia Pond prays to Santa. (I didn't "get" Amy emotionally until about mid season, but that wasn't for lack of a sense of personality; retrospectively, I wondered whether it might have been, but now the international iPlayer has put up the fifth New Who season online, and rewatching early Amy episodes confirms she's there from the start.) The mystery as to what the crack in time has to do with Amy is solved by the end of her first season, but that's not the key to her personality, and Amy remains interesting beyond its solving.

"Who is River Song?" is a mystery set up already in the RTD era via the Moff's Library episodes and key to the first two Moffat seasons; while I have considerable problems with the ultimate answer, River in season 5 is an incredibly compelling, interesting character, and her appearances are not dependent on providing an answer to the question for their appeal. It was, perhaps, only to be expected that when Moffat introduced his next regular Companion, she, too, would be a mystery, and she, too, would meet the Doctor out of sequence; Moffat really does love the timey-wimey, and he is, love him or resent him for it, undoubtedly the DW writer who does the most with the possibilities and paradoxes of time travel.

The problem, to me, with how the Companion-as-mystery gambit was executed the third time around isn't that the introduction wasn't good, or the question not interesting. It's that the introduction(s) was/were maybe too good, and the follow-up paled because the very set up of the question made it impossible not to.

And now I really must employ the spoiler cut )
Bonus, the requester said, if I specify the regeneration. Well, let's see.

Historical people:

Lucrecia Borgia & the Seventh Doctor: which is an idea I couldn't get out of my head since this bit of silliness. Seriously, though. She's clever, enterprising, witty, charming and despite pop culture reputation actually not into killing people, though undoubtedly capable of doing so if she deems it necessary. He's the most Machiavellian of Doctors behind a deceptively harmless facade, very good at outhinking the opposition, also into mind games and co-dependent relationships with young women. They're made for each other.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff & the Sixth Doctor: Annette oder die Droste as German professors also refer to her was one of our most important nineteenth century poets and had a horribly constricted life coupled with a longing to escape and travel, which is why a few years with the Doctor would be ideal. Seriously, when you read a biography or just some poems of the woman and consider how she's been treated by a lot of people in her life you just want her to run away. Also I want to read the poems space travel would inspire in her. Why Six? Because of his audio canon, which proves that travelling with an argumentative intelligent middle-aged woman with health problems but very firm convictions is good for him, and he for her.

James Hemings & the Second Doctor. True, Two already has a Jamie around, Jamie McCrimmon, but they could handle the name confusion, and the two are even contemporaries, which could be helpful for some initial adjustment. James Hemings was hot-tempered, brave, intelligent, loved travelling (once he was free to do so; there is a reference in Jefferson's letters to James maybe visiting the moon next), and getting away from his era (and his entire family's situation with Jefferson) might have saved his life. (Then again, if he travelled with Two, the Time Lords would do to him what they did to Jamie and Zoe, so maybe not.) (But still: James Hemings for Companion! And he'd be just the Second Doctor's type.)

Fictional people:

Well, Yahtzee has already convinced me that Scarlett O'Hara should have an adventure with the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones, and Rheanna that the Third Doctor and Sydney Bristow are made for each other. Some additional suggestions:

Chiana from Farscape & the First Doctor: Because a Doctor who is bound to treat her as a replacement granddaughter is better for Chiana than one she'd try to have sex with, which is all the others. (Depending on wen she'd join One, she would, of course, have a fling with Steven, a threesome with Barbara and Ian and at least flirt with Ben and Polly.) She could handle One in grumpy mode and have him eat out of the palm of her hands in no time, while he would draw the line at changing history for her, which sooner or later she'd try (at least to ensure certain spoilery tragedies in her life don't occur).

Jesse Pinkman fromBreaking Bad the Third Doctor(after Three regains his ability to travel through time and space, of course): Jesse is prone to be mentored by older men with a huge ego and a chip on their shoulder who can get into lecturing mode quite easily. Sadly, the three guys who do that in his own fictional universe are all criminals, so who knows what would happen if someone into world saving takes his turn? Moreover, you just know that Jesse would want to learn Venusian Karate and while making a crack about Three's opera cloak secretly it's cool and ever so super-hero-ish. As for the Third Doctor: he's probably react to Jesse not dissimarly to how he responds to Jo Grant at first (not least because Jesse is bound to make his entrance ruining a lab experiment as well) , and as with Jo, the combination of bravery, loyalty and innate charm would make up with the clumsiness and surface ditziness soon, winning him over. What the Brig would make of the Doctor adopting a former drug dealer, though, is anyone's guess...

....and then there are Sarah Jane's kids from The Sarah Jane Adventures, all of whom would make great Companions, but I'm rooting most for Clyde and Rani going on a few adventures with either the Tenth or Eleventh Doctor. They've met both, he likes them a lot in both regenerations, and he knows Sarah Jane would kill him if he doesn't bring them home for supper so the TARDIS would actually be punctual for once when it comes to returning them. And Clyde and Rani have such a great rapport that it would be a shame to split them up.
With Doctor Who everywhere for the anniversary, literally on a global level, it's perhaps easy to lose sight of the fact that in 2005, when the show was relaunched, it was by no means guaranteed it would find a new audience. Especially considering the previous attempt to bring back Doctor Who - the movie of doom - had failed miserably. And the treatment the BBC had given the show during the 80s before cancelling it had been extremely shoddy. Now fandom and critics alike credit a lot of factors for the fact that the Russell T. Davies launched revival took off the way it did - the casting of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, the way the scripts were careful to be accessible both to people who never ever heard of Doctor Who and old time fans alike, Bilie Piper as Rose - but RTD's eventuall successor at the helm seems to be firmly convinced that one key factor that made New Who into the success it became was the fact new Companion Rose did not come on her lonesome into Doctor Who, but with her mother, and with her relationship with her mother treated as an important part of the narrative. Quoth Steven Moffat:

"Russell, with his incredible knowledge of all modern television - because as far as I can see he does nothing except watch television! - he knows exactly how to fit this show in. The creation of the Tyler family, and positioning the Doctor as the 'troublesome relative' - which is what he is, he's the worrying uncle or family friend who turns up after a long while and takes the daughter away - that is so brilliant, it's a brilliant bit of writing. (...) Russell's writing is at such a high level... there's a line in the first episode which you could lecture on, it's so brilliant. It's in a conversation between Rose and Jackie - Rose says something about getting a job at a butcher's, and Jackie says 'It will be good for you. That shop was giving you airs and graces'. And in that one line, I submit, there isn't anything you don't know about these two people, or about that life, or about that world. You know everything about limited ambition, about the relationship between the two of them, about the envy and the crushing absence of horizons. It's a phenomenal bit of writing."

(There is a passage later in the same interview that's both funny in the light of recent developments and illuminating, particularly given fandom's tendency to play out Moffat versus Davies - something the two of them never did, because as far as anyone can tell, they seem to be in a mutual admiration society, stubbornly refusing to do their respective fans the favour of feuding; Moffat gets asked how he would have handled the relaunch, if he'd been in charge of New Who from the start. Whereupon he replies: "I'd have done a certain number of things exactly the same. I would definitely have got rid of the Time Lords, that was an overdue lopping-off; I would have got rid of the posh Doctor, all that stuff. The thing that I can't put my hand on my heart and say 'I'd have done that' about was the whole Tyler family thing, which is what makes it brilliant.")

Davies himself, in the collection of emails amd memos that became the book The Writer's Tale, says after discussing an autobiographical scene from Queer as Folk (the overdose in the kitchen): "But I have to write like that. Funny, sad, all at once. That's how life is. You can have a pratfall at a funeral. You can laugh so much that you choke to death. (...) Jackie Tyler makes us laugh, but I knew that I'd uncover something sad at the heart of her. Her sadness over her absent daughter is there as early as Aliens of London, but you don't really get to see it properly until Love & Monsters. Idiots will say, 'Ah, that character is developing now' - what, like you were going to play it all in the first 30 seconds? - but that capacity was always there. It had to be. Even in Rose, when Jackie is ostensibly 'funny', telling her daughter to get a job at the butcher's, Jackie is one of the things that's holding Rose back - and that's quite dark, at it heart. 'Funny' is hiding a lot of other stuff."

Fannish sympathy for Jackie and Rose switched places, as I recall. During their first season, there were a lot of comments on Jackie being annoying. During the second season, when Rose lost a lot of sympathies, she was called an ungrateful daughter in addition to everything else, which sometimes came with the added complaint of "Rose Tyler: Class Traitor". Now back then I thought it was time for Rose to leave the show and I liked Jackie, but I never thought their relationship could be divided into black and white, one party eternally the giving and the other the taking, or in the right and in the wrong respectively. And yes, the mother-daughter relationship and the way it was used in the show was interesting to me. To stay on the Doylist level for a bit longer before getting into Watsonian arguments, have another Moff-on-Rusty/Rusty-on-Moff quote:

"Russell reckons it’s all about parenthood with me. It’s his view that every writer has one story that they go on re-telling and that being a father is mine."

(In The Writer's Tale, there is a great exchange of emails between Davies and Moffat when they realised Moffat's two Library episodes and Davies' Turn Left would be aired directly after another - this was later changed so Midnight came in between - which meant Donna would be stuck in two alternate realities in a row. So they had to make sure the two alternate lives for Donna didn't resemble each other, which was why Davies, who had originally given her a marriage and children in Turn Left, altered his script to write them out, telling Moffat who'd offered to do the same: "Ooh, no, that's brilliant. You have the kids. You've got kids! You do better kids!" )

I can see what he means, of sorts. Which got me thinking, because Davies' writing includes a lot of family relationships as well, including three key mother-daughter relationships - but one big difference is that it's not children in the sense of infants who interest him in this. Rather, it's parent-child relationships (and sibling relationships) after the children have already grown up. How adults relate to their parents (more often or not their mothers) and vice versa. This can happen in an extremely dysfunctional way (Donna and Sylvia) or in a mostly harmonious way (Martha and Francine); Rose and Jackie are solidly in between. (Not by coincidence, the moment Davies starts to write for Torchwood again - which he didn't after writing the pilot, he left the day to day helming to Chris Chibnall for the first two seasons - you get family relationships between adults suddenly front and center of the emotional narrative in Children of Earth: Jack and his daughter Alice, Ianto and his sister Rhiannon (and his brother-in-law). Scenes like Rhiannon bringing the laptop to her on the run brother and her support of him intermingled with a terse exchange about their childhood and father are very clearly from the same brain that wrote the Rose-Jackie-Mickey scene in Parting of the Ways. ) The way family can get under your skin for good or ill, the intermingling of the need to escape and the need to be close, the emotional power a family member can have to compell you to do things even though you're both adults, those are aspects that Davies' writing keeps coming back to, and he certainly put it front and center with Jackie and Rose. They love each other deeply; they're also capable of hurting each other, not deliberately, but they do. Rose with her absences and her tendency to take Jackie for granted; Jackie with the fear that the airs and graces comment betrays, the idea that Rose having a better job could mean Rose moving out of her life, so if keeping Rose means seeing Rose lose chances, so be it. There is a self centredness in them both. And yet they're also capable of so much more. Jackie ends up participating in saving the world business (and putting up with the Doctor) with great courage, and when the chips, no pun with Rose's favourite food intended, come down she helps her daughter even if that could mean losing her. For Rose, not returning to her mother through her adventures is not an option. She doesn't idealize Jackie the way she does the dead father she didn't know (until time travel strikes), but Jackie is the one she always comes back to. Her horror when eventually encountering an Alternate Universe version of Jackie who doesn't know her and hence has no love for her and disdains her is palpable. And while I have some quibbles with the way Rose's storyline ended (and then kept on not ending), what I most definitely approve of is having Jackie with her daughter in the Zeppelin world. Never mind the Doctor, I can't imagine Jackie and Rose being separated forever by alternate dimensions.

Jackie and Rose weren't the first mother and daughter relationship on Doctor Who involving a Companion to matter narratively; I think that honour belongs to Ace, who has really huge Mommy issues and then gets confronted with a baby version of her mother in Curse of Fenris. But other than in baby form, we never meet Ace's mother. She never gets a life and opinions on her own. Whereas Jackie Tyler, no matter whether you love her or find her irritating, absolutely blazes with life and very much has her own point of view on just about everything. (And starts the proud New Who tradition of mothers slapping the Doctor.) I can't imagine the Whoverse without her.
selenak: (The Doctor by Principiah Oh)
( Dec. 1st, 2013 08:19 am)
You know, ever since The Day of the Doctor was broadcast, I am checking the usual suspects in the hope someone will make John Hurt icons, especially since his character was so well received but no luck so far. However, what I did find was Matt Smith and David Tennant fanboying John Hurt (and proving they have great timing and chemistry out of character as well):

Aw. They're right re: Hurt, of course, but what cracked me up was the "I think he prefers you" "Why do you think that?" exchange.
selenak: (BC & DT by Kathyh)
( Nov. 24th, 2013 08:13 am)
...before I get back to drearly Real Life again.

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is a hilarious half an hour RPF special written and directed by Peter "The Fifth Doctor" Davison. Starring just about every surviving Doctor and Companion actor and their relations plus certain show runners and Dalek voices. It's glorious fun, in which everyone is utterly unafraid to take the piss out of themselves - spoilery highlights ) - and even funnier when watched after the Anniversary Special and the preceding minisodes (because of spoilerly things ). Peter Davison, you clearly have another calling as a scriptwriter - get on that!

And when I've just stopped laughing, I find that I'll have to watch the American remake of Broadchurch after all. At first I thought, come on, guys, why, the original was perfectly understandable everywhere in the world so really doesn't need an American translation, and while I'm all for David Tennant getting employed, why have him play the same role twice? But just now I found out that the American remake will also star Anna 'Skyler White' Gunn playing Olivia Coleman's role. Which means there will be a show in which I get to watch Anna Gunn next to David Tennant. Curse you, f iendishly clever American producers, now I will have to watch the American Broadchurch after all! British TV, take note of then and hire Bryan Cranston for something starring Olivia Coleman immediately.
Watching this in the (sold out) cinema with a fannish audience was glorious. A lot of people wore costumes (this despite the fact yesterday night was a rainy November evening, there were several Daleks ad TARDIS-es!) or T-Shirts/Sweaters) , everyone was in a great mood, and during watching, the collective intake of breaths, laughter and cheers at various places was something to be behold. Incidentally, when you watched this at the cinema, you go first Strax the Sontaran giving us a hilarious speech about not texting, phoning or recording during performance and then Doctors Smith and Tennant making fun o the 3 D and each other as well before the proper episode started.

Onwards! Allons-y! Geronimo! )
selenak: (River Song by Famira)
( Nov. 23rd, 2013 07:34 pm)
I had a day long conference thing and am thoroughly worn out, but walking home through the cold air brought some spirits back, and now I'm off to the local Doctor Who showing cinema. Which is why this feels most appropriate:):

I'm so behind replying and commenting, it's not even funny. Note to self: one great fanfiction has just put up its final installment, you WILL comment, no matter what Darth Real Life says.

Also I watched Die Frau ohne Schatten last night, which is an incredibly creepy opera by Richard Strauss, libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and once I'd watched and listened I knew why it gets rarely performend. I mean, opera isn't famous for its social equality promoting plots anyway, but this one not only pushes the hunting/sex metaphor to the nth degree, with one of the two couples having met while he was hunting and she was weregazelle, but he sings lyrically about how she'll always be his favourite prey and he wishes he could hunt her down again and again, no, it has also in other couple a woman vilified for not wanting to have children, and a chorus of "Unborn Children" singing to her throughout the opera, about how hard-hearted she is and needs to open her body to them. Hugo von Hofmannsthal, I know it was WWI when you were writing this stuff, but it creeps me out regardless, and I shall never listen to this opera again.

In other news: An Adventure in Time and Spaces was delightful, with a few nitpicks. Which may even be only my nitpicks! Because it was supposed to be not about a single person but about the start of Doctor Who, and it was; it's just that yours truly found the shift from Verity Lambert as central character for two thirds of the special to William Hartnell in the last third (after V. L. was no longer producing Doctor Who and had moved on to her next project) a bit jarring. I mean, I can see why, because as mentioned it tells the story of the show itself which Verity L. at this point leaves, but I still when watching thought "what? But - where is she going? How is she doing?".

My other nitpick would be that Gatiss couldn't resist using the First Doctor's justly famous goodbye speech to Susan twice, once as reenacted by David Bradley and once in the Hartnell orginal. Yes, it's a perfect Tempest/Prospero type of meta level goodbye speech to use, but doing so twice felt a bit sledgehammery; once would have sufficed.

But these are my only complaints. As a movie, it was a charming love declaration, brought out what glass ceiling breakers Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein were (casual 1963 sexism and racism alert), David Bradley was great as William Hartnell, and the story was approachable imo even if you aren't a DW fan. As opposed to his period Big Finish and DW tv stuff, Gatiss resists namechecking every contemporary event of 1963 and only includes them when it makes sense. (The Kennedy assassination had to be there because the first Doctor Who broadcast had the bad luck to coincide with it; the other, today far less famous event he includes, which was lovely to see, was the first woman in space, whom Verity Lambert and friends are watching on tv.) The main relationships focused on were Verity Lambert & Sydney Newman, Verity Lambert & Waris Husseein and Verity Lambert & William Hartnell, and without knowing whether or not they corresponded to the real life equivalents, within this particular work of historical fiction they worked for me.

Cameo by spoilery guest: was touching and appropriate. Aw.

And now: next rl appointment awaits, must dash.
selenak: (BC & DT by Kathyh)
( Nov. 20th, 2013 12:04 pm)

Every now and then, someone writes meta so impressive that it leads you to reevaluate a story and a character both. This is what happened to me when reading [personal profile] local_max ' essay about Willow at the end of season 6. A really thought provoking analysis.

On a light hearted note and of interest to several fandoms: Richard Wilson (he of many character roles through the decades, but most recently Gaius in Merlin) got a life time achievement award at the Scottish BAFTAS, with the laudatory award speech given by David Tennant. Now I knew DT sports long hair in and for his current role as Richard II. for the RSC, but I had assumed that was a wig. I was wrong. He really must have grown it to this impressive length (as someone with long hair herself, my first thought was, but that takes at least two years!), though for the award ceremony it's in a braid, not Plantagenet-style open. This being a Scottish ceremony, he also wears a kilt. Together with his natural accent, this makes for David Tennant in Scots Mode Squared, and also he does his usual thing being endearingly enthusiastic about someone else's work. Check it out:

Watch British Academy Scotland Awards (David Tennant 2013) in Unterhaltung | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

In other news, the Stephen King reading made for a splendid evening yesterday, and if I weren't a fan already, I would be one now. Also, Darth Real Life dodges my steps again, but that won't stop me from watching Catching Fire tonight...
Before I go to do my daily conferencing (not the fun kind today, but the necessary kind), we have another trailer, this one of the special about the birth of Doctor Who, so to speak:

An Adventure in Time and Space

In which Jenny from Call The Midwife is Verity Lambert, first DW producer ever, and David Bradley gets his William Hartnell on. It looks like they're the two main characters of the story, which makes me suspect Mark Gattiss, who wrote the script, is going for something of a A Star is Born structure, only without romance, i.e. male character's professional career peaks, then declines while female character's rises. As long as Gattiss doesn't do what The Artist did (and that's one of several reasons why I couldn't join in the Artist squee a few years back), i.e.make the female character feel guilty about her success and has everyone throw a pity party for the male character, I'm good with that. And going by the trailer, he doesn't.

Also: Verity Lambert pitching the Doctor as "C.S. Lewis meets H.G. Wells meets Father Christmas" evoked a double reaction from me: on the one hand, given that's not how he comes across in An Unearthly Child where the heroes are Barbara and Ian, I can't imagine this pitch having happened, otoh, I have to admit I don't care because the description cracks me up, and I now shall ascribe all the Doctor's interpersonal relationship troubles to the fact he was modelled after C. S. Lewis and H.G. Wells.

(Yes, yes, in all likelihood Film!Verity is referring to Lewis and Wells as writers, with the TARDIS doubling as wardrobe that leads into Narnia, but that's not as much fun as wondering whether, if the Doctor is C.S. Lewis, that makes either Warnie Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien the Master.) (Joy Gresham is clearly Romana.)
selenak: (The Doctor by Principiah Oh)
( Nov. 14th, 2013 03:48 pm)
Just the thing to find after three days in trains (one more to go):

The Night of the Doctor

Aka the Minisode prequel for The Day of The Doctor. Starring... well, I wouldn't spoil it for the world.

But I will say things below a cut. )

Nine more days!
selenak: (Team Bessie by Kathyh)
( Nov. 13th, 2013 11:03 am)
Alas I'm on the road again, which means no internationally broadcast Richard II for me tonight. It also means a lot of time in trains, which is why you get fanfic recs from the recent DW_Remix ficathon.

Bright Shadows (The Don't Be Alone Remix): gives us Madame Vastra and her reaction when the Doctor shows up sans Companions in that interval before The Snowmen. It's a lovely fleshing out of Vastra and her relationship with the Doctor.

News from Santiago (The Keeping Up With the Jones' Remix): this delightful story takes Jo's grandson Santiago, who showed up with Jo (that would be Jo Grant that was, aka one of my favourite Companions) in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode Death of the Doctor, and lets him report the SJA events to various family members. Which makes it sound like a recap, but the story is anything but: you get a portrait of the various familiy members, of the family dynamics, and of course of the SJA characters. It's just a joy to read all around.

Howthe Doctor Cooks (The Eleventh Time Lucky Remix): uses the MacGuffin of the Doctor trying to cook (err, none too successfully most of the time) to give us incredibly enjoyable portraits of eleven Doctor-and-Companion(s) combinations. It's a love declaration to the entire show, basically.

Consanguinitas (The Immortal Perspective) is a remix of my own story, Consanguinitas, which was about Alice Carter's relationship with her father, Jack Harkness, from her point of view. My remixer gave us Jack's point of view, and I was especially thrilled by the way she handled a spoilery for both stories thing. ) Considering Alice and Jack's relationship with her has a deep impact on my own remix, I was doubly pleased my remixer chose to write this particular tale.
The Doctor Who Remix Archive went live, and non-anonymously, too. Here's what I wrote:

Purgatorio (The Paint-It-Black Remix) (8180 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Torchwood, Doctor Who
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alice Carter & Jack Harkness, Jack Harkness & The Master, Jack Harkness & Martha Jones, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones, Alonso Frame/Jack Harkness
Characters: Jack Harkness, The Master (Doctor Who), Martha Jones, Alice Carter, Agent Johnson, Steven Carter, Alonso Frame
Additional Tags: Grief/Mourning, Character Study, Children of Earth Compliant

In the wake of the 4-5-6, Jack Harkness starts to dream. Of the Master, and of the gift of resurrection. But are the dead truly coming back, or is there another answer to his loss and guilt? Enlisting the help of Martha Jones, he's determined to find out...

Now, off to read everyone else's stories!


selenak: (Default)


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