That was classic Moffat.

Fear is... )
selenak: (Not from Nottingham by Calapine)
( Sep. 7th, 2014 12:15 pm)
As Mark Gatiss episodes go, this was lightweight fun. I enjoyed myself.

Have you BEEN to Nottingham? )
In which there are good character stuff and gigantic plot holes.

Where is a continuity scriptgirl if the Moff needs one? )
You know the Companion of ages past Clara should now urgently meet? Peri, in her early days with the Sixth Doctor.

Read more... )
selenak: (Science Buddies by Mayoroftardtown)
( Aug. 22nd, 2014 11:05 am)
I won't be able to watch Peter Capaldi's first Doctor Who episode in real time, after all, and not for a considerable time after (read: Monday), but it's for a good rl cause. Meanwhile, there's multifandom fanfiction:

Marvelverse: Howard Stark usually shows up in one of two ways in MCU fanfiction - either as part of Tony's daddy issues, or, more rarely, in Captain America WWII era fanfiction in pretty much the same capacity as he did in the movie - flirting with Peggy (and/or Steve), but nothing series. This story, by contrast, takes the canon info of Howard having worked on the Manhattan Project and runs with it in this taut exploration of science and responsibility, dealing with history in a way very few Marvel stories do which usually go for window dressing. Short, but every sentence carries a punch. Like this one: He would ask Arnim Zola about it, once. About Poland. Once, and never again. Says it all about post WWII transfer of German scientists (though Zola, as he points out to Steve in the movies, is Swiss) to the US, and all the handwaving that entailed. Here's the story:


A particle, a wave (1068 words) by kvikindi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Howard Stark
Additional Tags: Manhattan Project, References to Injury of a Child
Summary:

"My father helped defeat Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project."




Highlander: Even shorter - a drabble - but a great character piece about Rebecca and Amanda, and how to survive as an immortal:

those who shine brightest (100 words) by storiesfortravellers
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Highlander: The Series
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Amanda Darieux/Rebecca Horne
Characters: Rebecca Horne, Amanda Darieux
Additional Tags: Pre-Series, Training, Swordfighting, thieves, Mentor/Protégé, Drabble
Summary:

Amanda and Rebecca are practicing their fighting skills when Amanda finds out that Rebecca knows some of her secrets.

Because fannish life sometimes loves me, I've just found out that Bryan Cranston's stage performance as LBJ will be filmed for tv. Exceeeeeellent news for us overseas fans.

Due to the Big Finish offerings this last week, I've sampled a lot more audios. Among the most memorable ones:

Spare Parts (Fifth Doctor & Nyssa): one of the most famous ones, by Marc Platt; an origin tale for the Cybermen (original Mondas version) in the mode of Genesis of the Daleks (i.e. Doctor experiences critical point of development of already established antagonist, becomes involved with local population who have no idea of their fate). Most Five adventures I've listened to until now tended to be more optimistic than their tv counterparts, but this one has the Fifth Doctor in very familiar tv horrified-by-ghastly-goings-on-without-being-able-to-stop-them mode. Though on tv the Mondasians would have been less or not likeable at all, whereas here they are, which makes what happens to them extra tragic.

Protect and Survive (Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex): part of the lead up to the events from Gods and Monsters and Afterlife, but also a self-contained story that really went under my skin. It was produced while Sylvester McCoy was busy filming The Hobbit, so it has minimal Doctor participation (though what there is of him is crucial, and it wouldn't work without that part), making a virtue of necessity. Ace and Hex are - due to circumstances that get gradually revealed to them and the audience - trapped in the most ghastly time loop possible. Because, like Ace, I was a teenager in the 1980s, the scenario in question, i.e. a nuclear war does happen and the survivors slowly die of radiation sickness, is intimately familiar. I don't think anyone who grew up after 1989 can understand how very real that possibility was and how it was part of your subconscious and your dreams/nightmares. Including the official info material of what to do just in case (and knowing that actually, these tips are pointless), which is used to great effect here. Mind you: this is not a "big" war story but a very intimate one - just four people (Ace, Hex, and two guest characters) plus the Doctor in absentia (he's missing at the start of the story, and only present in flashback in the third part, though that flashback not only explains what's been going on but packs the biggest emotional wallop re: the Doctor's terrifying side when dealing with enemies since I first saw what happened to the Family (of Blood) at the end of the episode of that name. It's one of the sharpest examinations of the ethics of such actions in Doctor Who, and yet also shows exactly why they happened. The acting by Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier is top notch and makes you empathize with Ace and Hex to the nth degree.

Flip Flop (Seventh Doctor and Mel): this one is on one level very clever experimental storytelling - there are four "episodes" like on the usual Big Finish audio adventure, but they form two stories which can be listened to in any order because they're both self contained and completely interlocked, taking place at the same time on two parallel time streams. I have mixed feelings about it, though, not because the production doesn't pull it off - it does, and Bonnie Langford as Mel proves again that with a decent script she can be as good a companion as any -, but because the scenario in one of the two timelines is something that strikes me as an almost perfect fundamentalist right wing dream/nightmare scenario, and as such very ill fitting with Doctor Who (especially not with the Seventh Doctor era). The two different timelines hinge on the arrival of a slug-like species called the Slithegee at a human colony planet, where they occupy one of the moons and ask it should be given to them, since they're refugees. In one scenario, the President grants them the moon; in the other, spoilery stuff happens and an all out war with the Slithegee is the result. The paranoid right wing fantasy scenario is the first one, as the Slithegee proceed to take over the system, accusing any humans resisting the gradual take over of hate speech (that expression gets flung about a lot) and discrimination, and thirty years after their arrival own nine tenths of the planet while the humans live in ghettos, and Christmas is renamed Slimetide in the name of religious toleration etc. In short, it's the dystopia as prophecied by current right wing fanatic complaining of "political correctness gone mad", and the Slithegee are presented as uniformly revolting without any positive quality whatsoever, insisting on being the victims all the time while in actuality outnumbering and oppressing the humans. Just about the only thing which saves it from being anti-immigration propaganda is that the other timeline, where there was war with the Slithegee instead, is an equally dark dystopia, because there the Slithegee were defeated, but the planet became poisoned by the warfare, and the surviving humans have become a fascist dicatorship prone to commit massacres on each other.

Incidentally, while both scenarios are incredibly dark, the tone of the episodes isn't grimdark at all but more Blackadder like; lots of mistaken identity gambits and ridiculing of self important bureaucracies (both of the fascist humans and the Slithegee, depending on the timeline). It makes for a clash of tone and content that's sometimes effective and sometimes just plain weird. But really, the most disturbing thing is the feel of the Slithegee-Takeover-Timeline scenario. So: points of experimenting with the format and exploring the possibilities of time travel/fallout from altering history tropes in a very creative way, but I don't think I could bring myself to listen to it again.
selenak: (Triad by Etherealnetwork)
( Aug. 3rd, 2014 11:06 am)
I will get to watch the first Capaldi Doctor Who episode live after all, courtesy of [personal profile] trobadora. And since this puts me into a good mood to start my Sunday with, have some adorable Once upon a Time fluff (because all angst, all the time can be as boring as the reverse, and this is delightful and in character for everyone concerned - oh, and it's post s3, if you haven't watched it yet and want to remain absolutely spoiler free):

Tight-knit (2892 words) by kattahj
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Captain Hook | Killian Jones/Emma Swan, Prince "Charming" James | David Nolan/Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard
Characters: Emma Swan, Prince "Charming" James | David Nolan, Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard, Captain Hook | Killian Jones, Henry Mills (Once Upon a Time)
Additional Tags: Knitting, Fluff, Family
Summary:

With the help of her family, Emma learns to knit. Or tries to...

selenak: (Cora by Uponyourshore)
( Jul. 27th, 2014 07:08 pm)
Still in haste and briefly:

Doctor Who:

Due to all the interest (and their server crashing), Big Finish is changing their 15 Days to 15 Offers, which each offer available for several days.

Make Mine Marvel:

Steve Rogers meta. Only connect, as Forster put it. And speaking of Steve, as you you can see in this bit from the Comic Con panel where the Avengers actors show up, Chris Evans got the most applause, which no one would have predicted a few years back. Methinks it was Cap 2 which made the difference.

Once Upon A Time:

Another SDCC goodie for those of us far, far away: The REAL reason why the writers decided to do that storyline in s4 which the s3 tag scene revealed. Read: a hilarious sketch in which the OuaT writing staff pokes fun at themselves. Complete with Jane Espenson's pizza fandom (known to the world since the audio commentary for Conversations with Dead People from BTVS was on dvd) and a cameo from a Dharma telephone from Lost. (The fact that some Lost alumni ended up in OuaT, others in Bates Motel and yet others in New Zealand doing Tolkien-Jackson stuff tells you all about what kind of a show Lost was. :)
selenak: (Ace by Kathyh)
( Jul. 26th, 2014 05:53 pm)
Darth Real Life is after me again, keeping me busy. I hear the first episode of Capaldi!Doctor is going to be shown in cinemas the way the big anniversary episode was, and while Munich is bound to be among the cinemas in question, I shan't be there on the 28th of August; I'll be in Bamberg with the Aged Parents and thus confined to the small screen experience, alas.

Listing to all the Seventh Doctor audios recently put me in the mood for the Doctor and Ace again, and so I'm glad a commenter pointed me towards a fantastic story in which the Eleventh Doctor and Ace have an adventure together: Dragons of the Mind. It's based on tv canon only, uses the bit we hear about Ace and the other former Companions in a certain Sarah Jane Adventures episode and presents a plausible version of an older Ace, who is more mature but still very much herself.

Moving over to X-Men: The Consequence of Faith is a lovely exploration of just what may have motivated Mystique to perform a Logan-related action near the end of the movie, and touches on her relationship with Charles, always one of my favourite things about the prequels.

And lastly, not a fanfic, but it might as well be: The email Tom Hiddleston wrote to Joss Whedon upon first reading the Avengers script. Damm it, Hiddleston. You will not draw me into your cult, no matter how adorable and enthusiastic you are. It. will. not. work. I shall resist by thinking of how you are to blame for the Loki woobification. But damm, you're making it haaaaaard!
...or if you've ever thought of trying out said audio plays but aren't exactly cash fluent, this may be of interest: Big Finish is celebrating their 15th anniversary, and every day for 15 days, they're putting different audio plays up to be downloaded (for 24 hours, then it changes) for just one pound. On day 1, there were even some free audio equivalent of short stories as well. Day 2, which should be soon over, includes some of the best Sixth Doctor audios (Jubilee by Rob Shearman later became, heavily altered because of the different Doctor and Companion, the episode Dalek on New Who; The Holy Terror is both a spoof of fantasy melodrama and an examination of real emotional horror once it sinks in what's actually going on - also, that's the one where the Companion looks like a Penguin).

Like I said: if you've been thinking about checking out the audios, this week and the next should be a great occasion to get several of them cheaply.
Much to do in the last few days, and despite not being a football (soccer for you Americans) fan per se, I wasn't immune to all the excitement, and yes, did watch us getting the World Cup. (You couldn't sleep that night anyway, being in Munich. The celebratory noise level was incredible.) However, I also went on a Seventh Doctor audio binge, which means some thoughts accumulated. Before I get to those, a completely unrelated link: Can we say Vergil wrote fanfiction?, smart meta involving fanfiction as a genre, Vergil and the Brothers Grimm.

Now, on to Doctor Who, audio department thoughts. Big Finish does both standalone adventures and story arcs, and I listened into two of the later plus a standalone for the Seventh Doctor. Now, for some years you had the tv team of the Doctor and Ace with the audio additon of Hex, aka Thomas Hector Schofield, nurse from Liverpool, as a Team TARDIS with a dynamic in their own right; then, at the climax of the audio Gods and Monsters, something shattering happened.

Which is spoilery, and thus behind a cut. )

One of the very early Big Finish adventures, Coldlitz, had the Doctor and Ace ending up in guess where; I still haven't listened to it because I tend to shy away from the idea of Doctor Who actually tackling the Third Reich in an unmetaphorical way (there are plenty of Space Nazis in the long history of the show, just like in most fantasy and sci fi shows). The dangers of tackiness, caricature or softening a real life horror just seemed to great. However, fannish osmosis told me that one of the villains in Coldlitz, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, who hails from a timeline where the Nazis did win WW II, ended up stranded in the "real" timeline at the end of the audio and was brought back more recently, years later, to serve as the least likely Companion ever. (Unless you count Shalka!Master, I suppose.) This made me curious enough to handwave another of my aversions, to wit: my problem with "Germany wins WWII and the Third Reich continues to rule the world" - just can't see it happen, not with Hitler on top - one reason why Stalin died in bed after decades of tyranny, undefeated, was that he knew to keep the killing within his own sphere of influence and didn't want to be seen as a world conqueror, but Hitler? never would have been satisfied with that even if you suppose technological MacGuffin X forces the Allies to go for a truce - , and not with all the infighting between his upper level paladins if you remove him from the equation. And the corruption within the party. And - anyway. Can't see it happening.

This handwaved, I was curious about Dr. Klein, how Big Finish would develop her, and what type of dynamic she would have with the Seventh Doctor. So off I went and acquired the Klein trilogy - "A Beating of Tiny Wings", "Survival of the Fittest" and "The Architects of History. This turned out to be a great decision. Nitpicks first, so I can get to why and how and praise: perfect, these stories aren't. Beating of Tiny Wings takes place during the Mau Mau Rising in Kenya, but is essentially a version of The Thing (of horror movie fame) put in its opposite surrounding, climate wise, and the Mau Mau Rising context is mostly there so there's a reason why various (white) women are trapped on a farm and can't know whether any new arrival is there to help them or kill them. At some point, it must have occured to someone in the storyediting department that if you set a story in Africa, there should maybe also be a black character. So there is one, but a) he's mostly there to make the point the British ladies (and British society in the 1950s) are racist, he gets no characterisation beyond that, minimal text and an unceremonious death. My other nitpick concerns The Architects of History: I just don't get why German characters other then Klein speak in one of those typical fake German accents when they're supposed to speak German (we're just hearing it as English because this is an English audio.) In fact, it was a HUUUUGE plot point in Survival of the Fittest that the TARDIS telepathic circuits translate whatever everyone speaks into whatever everyone else speaks for everyone. (Which is why at one point Klein mentions to the Doctor he has a stuffy Prussian accent; it cracks me up to no end that this is what the TARDIS found to equal the Scottish accent, let me tell you.) I mean, Doctor Who is just following the custom of the majority of film and tv there, and I wrote an entire entry years ago why I think fake accents (be they French, German, Spanish or whatever) when we're assuming the characters are in fact using their own language are ridiculous. I still think so, let's leave it at that.

Those were the nitpicks. Now for the good stuff. Elizabeth Klein turns out to be a great character. One of the things I was most curious about was whether or not the audios would go for a redemption story, especially since she wasn't a member of a fictional fascist organization with fictional victims, like, say, Aeryn Sun on Farscape; having real life victims still among us makes for a different emotional resonance. Speaking of real life, what happened in Germany post WWII was often referred to as "re-education", was aided by the Marshall Plan, and it wasn't until the 1960s - when the children of the WWII generation had grown up - that actual confrontation with the past happened not from outside but from inside on a massive scale. This, clearly, isn't something you can carry out in a series of audio adventures with one character.

Elizabeth Klein as the Doctor runs into her again in Kenya isn't repentant or in any way convinced she (and the ideology she was raised in) was wrong; moreover, as far she's concerned, her timeline was the right one, the current one is a travesty, and it's the Doctor's fault that she lost everyone who ever meant anything to her when her timeline blinked out of existence. However, she's also smart and wants to survive, so teaming up with the Doctor in the Thing-like situation in Kenya makes sense. That she's also a scientist who can talk to the Doctor on that level made me wonder whether the idea for Klein wasn't inspired by the Third Doctor tv story Inferno, where the Doctor temporarily experiences an alternate universe where Britain is fascist, his then companion Dr. Elizabeth Shaw is Section Leader Shaw, and the Brig is equally fascist. The start of the next audio, when we get Elizabeth Klein's backstory wherein she got recruited by the guy heading an alien artificats investigating organzation in a victorious Germany also argues for that. Anyway, one key difference to Inferno is that Three has no backstory with Section Leader Shaw and tries to win her over because he knows her alter ego. Whereas Seven and Klein have, in both senses of the word, history, which makes for mutual (deserved) distrust. This makes for great dialogue because Klein is far from stupid and thus not a ranting cliché, which means she and the Doctor keep their verbal digs at each other while working together on an equally successful rate instead of him effortlessly beating her in the verbal sparring. Also, Tracey Childs is fantastic in the role. (And thankfully not forced to fake a German accent.) When the Doctor at the end offers her a lift, it's an incredible gamble (because she still wants her original timeline back), but you can see the variety of motives on why he does it: not least continuing distrust and control issues (she's a lose element with a destructive ideology and superior technological knowledge in the 1950s), but also being intrigued by the challenge of her (she's clever and ruthless; what could she be if she does change?). And, as it turns out, a sense of responsibility, because it's due to him she's stranded in this timeline in more ways than one. He didn't just restore the original timeline in Coldlitz, no, as turns out at the start of Survival of the Fittest, where we get her backstory, he manipulated her into coming to Coldlitz to begin with, setting her up to give him the means to wipe out "her" universe.

This he did due to the series of events which created the victorious!Germany timeline to begin with; among other things, the Seventh Doctor regenerated into the Eighth not in San Francisco in a bad American movie but in Alt!Germany, though still after getting shot. Poor Eight. Or not so poor Eight, because as Johann Schmidt (hooray for a Paul McGann cameo), he then cons Elizabeth Klein who is trying to figure out how to operate the TARDIS into bringing it to 1944 to his previous self. One reason why the Doctor and Klein combination works is that this way, the dynamic isn't just "the hero and the Nazi". She does have a genuine non-petty reason to hate him because he used her to basically uncreate her entire world; at the same time, her timeline is bad news for so many people that of course one can't wish it restored. Survival of the Fittest sees the Doctor and Klein on a planet where the native population are basically intelligent giant bees called Vriil, who are in danger of getting wiped out by some greedy humans. I thought I knew where this was going: Klein would learn empathy by sympathizing with the endangered Vriil and see the error of her fascist ways. Perhaps this is what in story the Doctor expects to happen, too. But the writers go for something more complicated - and realistic - because while Klein does sympathize with the Vriil and shows compassion for them (aided by her disgust for the sloppy and creating-even-more-damage-than-intended-by-bumbling humans), this does not change her basic goals, chief among them the need to restore the to her real timeline, or her resentment of the Doctor. Which is why Survival of the Fittest ends with a breathtaking cliffhanger, and why Elizabeth Klein fulfills both the Companion and the Main Antagonist role in this trilogy, which I don't think is a dynamic we've ever seen before.

The Architects of History, in which basically every character doublecrosses everyone else at least once, sets itself the additional challenge to make the audience care about yet another alt!world and -characters in addition to the Klein-and-the-Doctor double act, and succeeds. It has Leonora Crichlow (Annie in Being Human; she also guest starred on New Who in Gridlock) as a Companion-who-never-was, and what happens with her in the course of the narrative contributes to the emotional punch. It's both a siege story and a "be careful what you wish for" story, and at no point does the narrative either excuse Klein or make her into a one dimensional villain whom the Doctor can easily (for both himself and the audience) dispose of; to avoid both extremes is truly an art, and this trilogy, including its climactic finale, pulls it off. And speaking of avoidance: Klein falling in love with the Doctor, let alone he with her, is also one easy way out that I don't think the current tv show could have resisted, and it never happens here. Go, Big Finish!

In conclusion: yes, I saw the latest trailer, and I'm looking forward to the show, but to be honest, the audios right now are what I'm truly fannish about as far as Doctor Who is concerned. They have my heart and mind.
Tags:
Five Times Jesse Pinkman Met A Companion (The Breaking Who Remix) (11021 words) by Selena
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Breaking Bad, Doctor Who & Related Fandoms, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jesse Pinkman & Walter White, Third Doctor & Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Tenth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith, Lance Bennett & Donna Noble, Jesse Pinkman & Martha Jones, Jesse Pinkman & Donna Noble, Jesse Pinkman & Jack Harkness, Jesse Pinkman & Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Jesse Pinkman & Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith & Sarah Jane Smith, Rani Chandra & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Jesse Pinkman, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Jack Harkness, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Sarah Jane Smith, Walter White, Gwen Cooper, Rex Matheson, Esther Drummond, Third Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Luke Smith, Rani Chandra, Gita Chandra, Jilly Kitzinger, Skyler White
Additional Tags: Crossover
Summary:

Jesse Pinkman keeps running into past and future time travellers. Or they keep running into him. Sometimes they even bring the Doctor along.



Well, newish; this was my contribution to this year's and last month's remix ficathon, and one of my most ambitious crossovers.

The original story I picked to remix was a short piece in which Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, a few years post show, moves into Sarah Jane Smith's (of Doctor Who and her own spin-off fame) neighbourhood. I liked the idea of Jesse Pinkman in the Whoverse, and of him encountering one of the Doctor Who Companions, precisely because at first glance the shows seem to be so utterly alien (no pun intended) to each other. (Though Jesse, as a canonical sci fi fan, might not think so.) However, the Jesse and Sarah Jane encounter, featuring a Jesse recovered from his ordeals and responsible for Brock and Lydia's daughter Kiira, could only be the conclusion, the happy ending, so to speak, and it had to be earned. What would get me there, though?

Which was when the idea of a "Five times" format and Jesse meeting not one, but five Companions hit me. A few months earlier, I had idly speculated about Companions from other fandoms and Jesse ending up with the Third Doctor (both because he's conditioned to respond to authoritative middle-aged men with a chip on their shoulder taking an interest, and because of the Brig's expression when meeting Jesse), so I knew one of the candidates had to be the Brigadier. I also wanted to avoid the fallacy of blaming all of Jesse's miseries on Walt; Jesse was into drugs (both taking and selling) before ever becoming Walt's partner, and he made decisions at various key points that contributed to damaging others and weren't due to Walt's manipulations. Therefore, one of the Companions, I decided, was going to be Donna Noble, meeting early s3 nihilistic I'-m-evil-so-there Jesse. Few people are as good for cutting-through-crap as Donna, and on her end, it gave me the chance to explore her dealing with her Lance issues.

To balance Donna, and to do justice to the inspiration-to-do-better aspect of the Whoverse, I decided to let one of the segments be about meeting Martha; given the Year-that-Wasn't where Martha walks the earth inspiring people is a canon AU, this was the ideal time frame. Speaking of time: the Whoverse with its timey-wimeyness practically asked for the encounters not to be told in chronological order. However, the darkest one was always going to be the middle. Now there is one season of Torchwood that's conveniently set in the US - the most unpopular one, Torchwood: Miracle Day -, and its basic premise allowed me to follow the Breaking Bad principle of wondering "what WORSE thing could happen to the characters now?" about the BB finale, Felina. The answer being: Felina takes place on Miracle Day, which means nobody who dies in said finale actually stays dead. Talk about adding injury to insult. The fallout of this means post Felina Jesse encounters Captain Jack Harkness, and this is also the segment where I got to explore both Jesse's feelings about Walt and Jack's continued dealings with Children of Earth somewhat.

I did wonder, once I'd finished it, whether there'd be many people interested in both Breaking Bad and Doctor Who who'd be likely to read the story. But I couldn't not write it. It practically wrote itself, once I got going, and I am immensely proud of it.

The rest of the days )
selenak: Made by <lj user="shadadukal"> (James Bond)
( Jun. 3rd, 2014 01:45 pm)
First, spotted while surfing around, a meme:

Who is your Doctor? Don't have a single one. It definitely isn't my first, because the first Doctor I ever saw was Tom Baker, whom younger me did not take to at all. Later, I became in varying degrees fond of most regenerations (still not keen on Four, though, but he has the majority of fandom to love him best, he doesn't need me). Which of them I prefer above the rest really depends on a) the mood I'm in and b) the medium (because, say, Six is so ill served on tv, and he certainly isn't a favourite there, but on audio Colin Baker rules, and so these days when I think of the Sixth Doctor I think of him in his audio incarnation).

Who is your Doctor's companion? Donna Noble. With close runner ups Ace and Jo for Old Who and Evelyn Smythe from the audios, but really, DONNA.

Who is your Batman? Michael Keaton. Though Christian Bale in "Batman Begins" is my Bruce Wayne. It's just that too much of the Nolan films ultimately ticks me off that has to do with the Batman worship.

Who is your Cat Woman? Anne Hathaway, wowing all naysayers and by far the best thing in the awful third Nolan movie.

Who is your Sherlock Holmes? Jeremy Brett, no question about it. If I'm limited to more recent incarnations, it's Johnny Lee Miller.

Who is your fictional female federal agent? (eg, Dana Scully, Audrey Parker, Olivia Dunham, etc) : Oh, how I loved Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Then Hannibal happened. While I like all the tv ladies named as examples, I have to change agencies to answer the question for ongoing love, because: Sydney Bristow. Who is one of those characters who aren't my favourites, nor are they the ones immediately winning me over, but they are firm secondary loves and my affection never waves. And much as I have issues with the fifth Alias season on behalf of my favourites, I thought it did well with Sydney herself and gave her a good send-off. Encapsulated in the moment when Irina says you can't be a mother and a good spy, and Sydney replies "watch me".

If we also include comics, and again, branch out in agencies, then it's Agent Abigail Brand of SWORD.

Who is your Robin Hood? The fox one from the Disney movie. I imprinted on him! Runner-up: Sean Connery in Robin and Marian for autumnal grace and wit. (Well,the script is by James "Lion in Winter" Goldman.)

Who is your Maid Marian/Marion? Audrey Hepburn in Robin and Marian, definitely. See above, re: autumnal grace and wit.

Who is your Bond? Daniel Craig from his first outing onwards. Judi Dench is, of course, my M. But not until Craig came along did she have a Bond worthy of her. *verily, my Brosnan dislike runs deep*

Who is your fictional female assassin? (eg, Natasha Romanov, various incarnations of Nikita, etc): Natasha. Especially in her MCU incarnation. Tied with Mystique (definitely her cinematic incarnation).

And speaking of the X-verse, have another rec:

Running for Cover (3094 words) by RemoCon
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men (Movies), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Characters: Peter Maximoff, Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, Hank McCoy, Alex Summers, Kurt Wagner, Raven | Mystique
Summary:

Peter wasn't really looking for more family.

Aaaand it's time for the remix reveal. I wrote:


Five Times Jesse Pinkman Met A Companion (The Breaking Who Remix) (11021 words) by Selena
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Breaking Bad, Doctor Who & Related Fandoms, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jesse Pinkman & Walter White, Third Doctor & Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Tenth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith, Lance Bennett & Donna Noble, Jesse Pinkman & Martha Jones, Jesse Pinkman & Donna Noble, Jesse Pinkman & Jack Harkness, Jesse Pinkman & Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Jesse Pinkman & Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith & Sarah Jane Smith, Rani Chandra & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Jesse Pinkman, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Jack Harkness, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Sarah Jane Smith, Walter White, Gwen Cooper, Rex Matheson, Esther Drummond, Third Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Luke Smith, Rani Chandra, Gita Chandra, Jilly Kitzinger, Skyler White
Additional Tags: Crossover
Summary:

Jesse Pinkman keeps running into past and future time travellers. Or they keep running into him. Sometimes they even bring the Doctor along.



Which brought together two of my favourite fictional universes in a mad love declaration for both.

And I also wrote a tiny little thing for Remix Madness:

First Woman of Rome (The Claudian Remix) (506 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Rome, Historical RPF, I Claudius, Ancient History RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Livia Drusilla & Atia of the Julii
Characters: Atia of the Julii, Livia Drusilla
Summary:

There is more than one way to win. Livia doesn't need to attack Atia in order to destroy her.

Because listening to the last bunch only heightened the craving by reminding me how great the Whoverse can be.

The Doomwood Curse: an Sixth Doctor and Charley adventure, written by Jacqueline Reyner (whom I've liked as a BF writer ever since The Marian Conspiracy). For their second go, this Doctor-and-Companion combination ends up in a fictionalized version of the 18th century, though not, as the Doctor theorizes earlier on, in the novel Rookwood itself. Said novel, btw, really does exist; it was a Victorian Gothic pot boiler, set a century earlier, and mainly responsible for turning the historical Dick Turpin (petty thug) into legendary Dick Turpin. Charley has just read it and is thrilled, but the Doctor's copy actually belongs to the library of Alexandria V (you can see what they did there) and he has to return it. This ends up landing him and Charley in a version of the 18th century which becomes increasingly fictionalized due to the plot MacGuffin, with the people, including Charley, changing character at the whim of a Gothic novel plot. The Doctor is immune at first, which won't last forever, and has to save the day before literature takes over reality altogether. (I must admit there was a moment where I thought "actually, would this be a bad thing..?" before remembeirng some 18th century novels and seeing the Doctor's point.) All the actors have great fun, especially India Fisher who can play different versions of Charley, from fainting Gothic Novel damsel to Highway Woman and Cutpurse "Gypsy Charlotte", while Rayner's script pokes fun at all the Gothic clichés with much affection for them. The only problem I had was when Charley (still herself) hears from Susan the maid about how Susan had a horrible encounter with the (real) Dick Turpin and responds with "how thrilling" (which, yes, is due to her having just read about fictional romantic Dick Turpin but is still a very callous thing to say), but I suppose I can handwave that by declaring Charley is in the early stages of getting turned into a literary character by the plot MacGuffin. For all the poking fun at Gothic novels, though, the plot also offers genuine moving scenes, as when one of the guest characters gets out of his fictionalized Gothic version - where he doesn't feel grief at the death of his father because the plot demands he's thinking about nothing but his romance - and into his normal version (where he suddenly realizes the full impact of what has happened and the grief is awful; he at first wants to be fictionalized again to escape that feeling and the Doctor's reaction shows the kindness blustery Six is also capable of when the occasion demands). And the climax demands that the Doctor surrender to fictionalization as well and trust that Charley, once de-fictionalized, will understand the situation and save the day, which as a gesture of faith is just the type of thing which makes the Doctor and Companion relationships so endearing.

The Raincloud Man: in which the (Sixth) Doctor and Charley return to Manchester to team up with fabulous Mancunian D.I. Patricia Menzies once more. D.I. Menzies is as sarcastic and great as in her first outing; now aware of aliens she's become the go-to copper for aliens in Manchester, and she and the Doctor are such great foils for each other that one regrets she doesn't join Team TARDIS at the end, but then again, it occurs to me she's turning in a successor for the Brig in the Big Finish world, someone who remains on Earth because that's where their job is and who drafts the Doctor instead of the Doctor drafting him. Also, the extras for this adventure tell me the actress who plays D.I. Menzies also played a very different character on tv (sans Mancunian accent), Novice Hame (the cat nurse from the episodes New Earth and Gridlock). Patricia Menzies also because of one of her alien sources finds out Charley's secret (i.e. that Charley is from the Doctor's future and hasn't told him), which allows for some interesting scenes between her and Charley. As for the actual case, among other things, it involves a casino travelling through time and space where the high stakes involve betting your past and future, and the Doctor coming to the aid of a race of beings who were solely created to fight another race and thus never were free to choose their own lives. And though nobody ever says anything, I strongly suspect the reason why Manchester has now joined Cardiff and London as a favourite visiting/attack/refuge-seeking spot for aliens is that this is where comatose coppers go when they want to time travel. (Or when they're dead. :)

Son of the Dragon: another historical for the Fifth Doctor, Perri and Erimem, which uses Erimem's different perspective due to her ancient Egyptian origins better than The Council of Nicea did in a story that deals with Vlad Tepes, the historical Dracula, no less (i.e. the warlord whose name Stoker used; he's definitely not a vampire here), and with his brother Radu the Handsome. Dracula gets played by James Purefoy (still best known for playing Antony in Rome, I think) who can't resist doing the accent (though the actor playing Radu doesn't follow suit) and lowering his voice. This is one of the darker Big Finish stories, opening as it does with the TARDIS arriving in a village burned to the ground by Dracula's troops and including one of Vlad's most famous atrocities later - which earned him the nickname "Impaler" which is what "Tepes" means - the impaling of 20.000 people and leaving them for the Turkish invasion troops to find (after which the Sultan decides he can't win against this man and leaves, though brother Radu does not). I'm pretty impessed by the amount of actual history that shows up in this script, including the fact both Radu and Vlad grew up as hostages in Constantinople - only Radu remained with the Turks and Vlad became a crusader in response - , and Dracula's divided reputation among his contemporaries as a horrible butcher on the one hand and heroic leader defeating the Turks and establishing regular law again in Romania on the other. Making this an adventure for this particular Team TARDIS was inspired because the story can use Peri to convey the audience horror and Erimem (to whom impaling people actually is not unheard of as a punishment and who when Dracula mentions why he killed the nobles (they betrayed his father and oldest brother to a horrible death) gruesomely admits she might have done the same to the people responsible for her family's deaths if not leaving her country with the Doctor. Mind you, Dracula is still the antagonist in this tale, but the story takes the trouble to show the listeners why he became the way he is (without excusing what he does).

The Crimes of Thomas Brewster: This one I listened to out of order - the character Thomas Brewster shows up in earlier audios I'm not famiar with yet - because it promised a) more Six and Evelyn and b) more D.I. Patricia Menzies. It's a blast of an adventure, opening with a James Bondian teaser where the Doctor and Evelyn are chased by a killer drone while trying to escape on a speedboat on the Thames, but with a very Whovian twist (the Doctor confuses the drone's aim with the garish multiple colours of his coat, which causes some great lines from Evelyn; btw, if you've ever seen the Sixth Doctor's outfit from tv, you know why this works *veg*). D.I. Menzies is in London instead of Manchester because someone calling themselves "the Doctor" has become a new East London gangleader of sorts, the real Doctor really hopes this isn't one of his future selves (spoiler: it isn't), and Evelyn thinks she's getting too old for this kind of craziness (she isn't). As for Thomas Brewster, who basically comes across as the Artful Dodger with some time travel experience, he's just trying to be helpful, honest. Also co-starring: alien hiveminds, symbiotic planets, original uses for the London Underground and people of both genders pretending to be the Doctor. Loved it all.
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The Doctor Who/Beatles play having reawakened my appetite for Big Finish audios, I went on a minor downloading spree, with the result of listening to various excellent and one well intended but not altogether successful Doctor Who stories. As I generally like to end on a high note, I'll start with the later first.
The Council of Nicea: this is a Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem adventure as well as a pure historical (aside from the Doctor himself, there are no aliens around) reminiscent of the Hartnell era. The obvious comparison would be to The Aztecs, since the key plot issue is one of the Companions decides to change history. On the plus side, there are lot of aspects to admire about this audio: scriptwriter Caroline Symox (a theologian herself) manages to really get across how deeply and violently the religious doctrine debates went across the populace in this era where Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and just what the so-called Arian heresy consisted of in a way that's understandable if you've never heard about the big Athanasius versus Arius clash before. And it's another very strong outing for audio companion Erimem, whose difference of perspective to both Peri and the Doctor due her historical origin - Erimem is a pharaoh who never was from ancient Egypt - was used well in such audio adventures I've listened to as The Church and the Crown and The Kingmaker. For Erimem, the Council of Nicea takes place in her future, not her past, and so her asking the question of Barbara and Donna as to why they can't change events (when the Doctor can and does on other occasions) gains additional emphasis. (BTW there isn't really a good Watsonian answer to this, since the reason is so obviously Doylist.) The inter audio continuity of Erimem making a great organizer and leader is excellent, and the script makes a valiant effort of making the Emperor Constantine (yes, the in hoc signo vince guy) a shades of grey character (pure villainy is reserved for Athanasisus, who is presented as a scheming plotter willing to go over dead bodies, while Arius is presented as an ideal Christian standing by compassionate and pacifist beliefs).

However, on the downside: Since Erimem is no Christian, the script which needs to give her a reason to become an Arius partisan makes her side with Arius because she deems him, after just one brief encounter, an honorable man, but what got Arius into hot water and what was debated on the Council were his teachings about the nature of Christ, which Erimem has zero interest in. Her accusing Constantine of not listening to his people and of being a tyrant are staggeringly anachronistic and unlikely from a character coming from a culture where the kings were regarded as living gods. (Incidentally, I can't remember which dynasty Erimem is supposed to be from, but if it's post Akhenaten she would be familiar with the concept of heresy and more likely than not having a negative attitude towards the whole idea of monotheism.) And those are only my Watsonian level problems. Stepping outside of the story: there is a scene early on in which the Doctor explains to Peri and Erimem just why the Council of Nicea was such a turning point and mentions that the church became a political power under Constantine. Erimem asks how this is a good thing and why shouldn't it be changed, which is anachronistic for Erimem as an ancient Egyptian, see above, because religion most certainly WAS politicis in her culture and very much tied to the rulers. But it's still not a bad question, and it never gets answered beyond "then the entire history would change". Well, yes, obviously. But you can just as well argue Christianity becoming a state religion resulted in all the corruption of its ideals and abuse thereafter, and the audio doesn't give you a reason NOT to want history to be changed in this regard. Lastly, this is a story in which the Doctor is almost incidental, not effective or interesting; he keeps having the same "just listen to me "/"No" - dialogue with both Erimem and Constantine, and it's not clear why Constantine botheres to after the first round, since the Doctor does nothing impressive or clever to awaken his interest. (The Empress Fausta deems him a fascinating man when talking to Peri, and he can be, but he's just not in this story, which makes it a bad case of tell, not show.) (By contrast, The Aztecs may be primarily Barbara's story, but you can't say the Doctor is dull or redundant in it.)

In conclusion: interesting but frustrating, and ultimately not satisfying to me; your mileage may differ.

The Condemned: This is the first Sixth Doctor and Charley Pollard story and also a murder mystery in Manchester featuring a fabulous tough female Mancunian D.I. named Patricia Menzies who temporarily teams up with the Doctor. Charley, who spent several years as the Eighth Doctor's audio companion, finally parted ways with him in the audio "The Girl Who Never Was" , which I had listened to some years ago, and which had a cliffhanger ending in that the TARDIS arrives, Charley thinks it's the Doctor...and it is, but the wrong Doctor. This turns out to make for a great new dynamic, since Charley is basically in the River Song position of knowing the Doctor's future self while he doesn't know her and is not a little irritated (though also intrigued) by the fact there are obviously secrets she keeps from him, and that she acts as if she knows him. Also, the romantic angst between Eight and Charley that was in their later stories is gone which is a relief. That said, the majority of interaction actually happens between the Doctor and D.I. Menzies on the one hand, and Charley & other guest characters on the other. I'm told D.I. Patricia Menzies will be back, which is great, because she and the sixth Doctor make a great detective team, complete with lots of verbal sparring, and you almost wish for the Doctor to be stuck in Manchester for a while longer so they can solve some more cases together. In conclusion, this audio is a joy to listen to, works even if you are not familiar with Charley before (then you're in the Doctor's rather than Charley's pov re: her), and has lots of neat details to boot, like the Doctor getting to show off the fondness for cats that is at its peak in this particular regeneration.

The Word Lord: is the audio equivalent of a short story from a larger collection, written by Steven Hall, but can be downloaded individually and should be before listening to the adventure reviewed below, as it introduces the later's main antagonist. It's a Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex (more about him in a moment if you don't already know him, he's an audio only character) adventure; at a secret station in Antarctica, they run into a being from another dimension, Nobody No One, the Word Lord from the title, who is a renegade from his people is obviously designed as the Doctor's opposite number, very powerful and not a little psychotic, thriving on word play. He gets his power via language and travels in the linguistic equivalent of a TARDIS (called CORDIS), and because his powers allow him to bend reality (if someone says "Nobody can do this and that", Nobody the Word Lord is instantly able to do this and that), he's damm near unstoppable. Which makes him an ideal opponent for the Seventh Doctor specifically, who has to both outthink and outtalk him. The Word Lord only takes 20 minutes or so but is a great mini adventure as well as a good introduction of a new nemesis. Can be heard without much previous knowledge, and also showcases the Ace and Hex interactions in a good way.

A Death in the Family: this, on the other hand, very much a tale which needs both tv show and audio canon knowledge do be properly appreciated. It's sublime. Again written by Steven Hall, it features Seven, Ace, Hex and Evelyn (formerly Smythe, now Rossiter) and Nobody No One the Word Lord as far as recurring characters are concerned. Hex and Evelyn are both audio companions, Hex of the seventh, Evelyn of the sixth Doctor, but their backstories are connected in one particular point which finally receives a pay off. To briefly sum up: Evelyn knew Hex' mother, Cassie, whom she met when travelling with the Doctor, and the Doctor's inability to save Cassie caused the first serious fallout between him and Evelyn. Years later, in the Doctor's seventh incarnation, he ran into Cassie's son (or rather Ace did), who ended up as a Companion, but the Doctor did not tell Hex (the name is short for Thomas Hector Schofield) about Cassie until it all came out messily in the audio Project: Destiny which immediately precedes A Death in the Family. And anyone who's been watching more than one adventure of the Doctor and Ace on tv is aware that they're very close but he also has a penchant for manipulativeness when it comes to her. A Death in the Family has fantastic character scenes for all three relationships - the Doctor's with Ace, Hex and Evelyn -, and, as far as I'm concerned, succeeds in something Stephen Moffat tried to in season 6 of New Who but didn't pull off satisfyingly: killing off the Doctor early on in the tale complete with establishing a puzzle, then using timey-wimeyness and the characters being themselves to come up with a solution that feels emotionally satisfying and earned as to why the Doctor (obviously, since a listener knows coming in that he doesn't die for good in his seventh body) makes it out of the story alive after all. (Another parallel to New Who's season six is that you get an older and a younger version of the Doctor around during some of the time for this that is part of both the riddle and the solution.) My favourite part of timey-wimeyness used is when the Doctor in a conversation with Ace references something Evelyn said to him which, however, Evelyn only says much later in the story, but what makes this emotionally effective as well as clever is that both conversations are ones he could only have with these specific women. Most Companions change while travelling with the Doctor, but with Ace he made a deliberate effort to achieve that (Doylist wise because part of the idea for Ace back in the 80s was that she'd end up as a human going Time Lord, which never happened because the show was cancelled), and there always was an ambiguity about that, so for the Doctor to be confronted with how much Ace has become like him (while still being herself) was fantastic to listen to. Meanwhile, Evelyn was the first Companion already in her 60s when introduced, and the age and experience that gave her contributed to making her such a good foil for the brash Sixth Doctor who became very deeply attached to her and listened to her in a way he didn't to most others. He'd met Evelyn once already in his seventh regeneration (in a short scene on the audio Thicker Than Blood, which is mainly a Sixth Doctor adventure but lets Seven visit Evelyn while Six is busy elsewhere to tell her about Cassie's son), but here he does so for a longer time, and Evelyn, very old now and with the perspective of having known him in a previous regeneration, is the ideal person to question him about one of the key differences between these two selves, tied to Seventh's penchant for withholding information and need to be in control. As for Hex, who hasn't been travelling with the Doctor as long as Ace but still finds himself changing, wondering about the choices he's made, the ones being made for him, and what he wants from his life makes for some awesome scenes with both Evelyn and the older version of the Doctor. Hex, a male nurse before Rory was ever invented, shines in his compassion and need to understand.

All of these character scenes are tied together with the second use of Nobody No One as a really scary villain, whose power through words make him an ideal oponent in a medium that tells its tale through sound, not visuals, and his various showdowns with Our Heroes keep you on your listening toes, so to speak, all the time. This is also a tale very much on a meta level, about people choosing their narratives versus being trapped in them, and while it wraps up the various plots very well, it does leave room for ambiguity where you really want no black and white because ambigutiy is part of the character point. In short, this was both moving and brilliant, and it never cheated. I loved it.
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Wherein the Doctor saves the Beatles, because of course he does. It's one in a series of Big Finish audio plays done specifically to honor the big 50 years anniversary by connecting them to the year 1963, aka Annus Mirabilis, between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles' first LP, to use the obvious Larkin quote...and of course the year in which Doctor Who started broadcasting. Doylist and Watsonian Doctor Who/Beatles connections have existed from the start - Beatles producer George Martin worked with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Paul McCartney knew Delia Derbyshire who created the Doctor Who theme, the Beatles themselves show up in a concert clip in a First Doctor adventure (in which, btw, the show accuractely speculates that there'll be a Beatles museum in Liverpool to go to years in the future - which the Doctor's Companion Vicky who is from 200 years into the future has visited, to the shock of Barbara who is from the 1960s), which, given that the Beatles were a current band at the time the episode in question was broadcast must have sounded ridiculous). So a Doctor Who 1963 Beatles themed adventure may have been logical, but the way scriptwriter Eddie Robson pulls it off is genius. It works on so many levels - for starters, both if you're deeply into DW and the Beatles and if you're not that familiar with either. But oh, all the inside gags had me in stitches.

The premise: the Doctor (Five, played by Peter Davison, who is having a blast here) takes Nyssa to see the Beatles in 1963 and to his utter shock finds that nobody has heard of them while the band everyone is starting to go crazy about is called The Common Man and consists of not four but three fellows named Mark, James and Corky. ("The Fab Three doesn't have quite the same ring to it.") Clearly, someone has changed history, and in the course of finding out why and put history back on track, Eddie Robson the scriptwriter checks off various important points of the Beatles saga - Hamburg, Royal Variety concert, Maharishi, split up; while Nyssa for plot reasons ends up in the Hamburg era, the Doctor dashes through the 60s in an effort to first find out what's going on and why and then to stop it. (He does try 1957 first - known to fans like yours truly as the year John met Paul - but it's timelocked by the story's villain, so he can't go there.) The three Common Man bandmembers are obviously modelled on the Beatles (Mark on John, James on Paul, and Corky is a George-and-Ringo amalgan), for which there is an in-story reason, but it also allows the script to use their characters without having to worry about law suits; after all, Mark, James and Corky are fictional. :) The actors, btw, to this German sound great with their Liverpudlian accents, and their music, specifically written for this audio tale, is a neat 60s Britpop pastiche without being on a Beatles level (as the Doctor points out which nearly gets him lynched by The Common Man fans), for which, again, there is an in-story reason. You can tell Eddie Robson really knows his Beatles stuff, btw; for part of the audio, Mark provides a narration which turns out to be his equivalent of the 1970 Lennon Remembers interview, only unlike John, Mark's interviewer calls him out on the inconsistencies (which happen because the Doctor and the villain keep changing the timeline and hence also Mark's memories). Mark and James have a condensed split up era John and Paul argument ("We were in the studio nine hours, take after take after take, and then you said we still hadn't got it right!" versus "Someone had to hold the band together and it sure as hell wasn't you! You couldn't even be bothered to show up when Corky was recording his songs!"); the villain of the tale turns out to be Allen Klein Lenny Krieger, evil American manager extraordinaire (with an American accent that's a bit over the top, but that's okay, he turns out to be not really American); two of the fans get to play larger roles, one of the potentially lethal fanatic variety (named Sadie) and one of the enjoys-is-inspired-but-keeps-her-head-and-own-goals variety (named Rita), and if you haven't noticed they're both called after Beatles songs I'm disappointed. Lastly, the way the show uses the Paul-is-dead nonsense that was cooked up by a bored discjockey in 1969 and became a suburban legend had me rolling on the floor, because it's so clever, both on a Doylist and Watsonian level. (Also it serves the rl extremely creepy PiD crowd right.)

As to what happened in this timeline to the real Beatles: the villain's sinister scheme started by postponing one key historical event, the point at which Britain ended national service, which meant John, Paul and George had to do their time in the army. (Ringo didn't, for health reasons, but he never joined the band, either.) Which, as the Beatles in rl often remarked, would have ended their career before it ever began. Via Rita, the Doctor does find out what became of them in 1963. (John is in a band consisting of "Pete, Chaz and another Pete" - if you're a Beatles fan you know who they are supposed to be, btw, but it's not important to the story - which never went anyhere. Paul gave in to his father's demands to get a proper job though he's writing songs of his own in his spare time - "but he missed his point in time", comments the Doctor. George became an electrician's apprentice. Ringo is drumming for the Hurricanes.) But they're off stage for the rest of the tale, until the very end, when the timeline is back to the original and the Doctor can finally take Nyssa to that promised Beatles concert, so the story ends with the first few chords of an immediately identifiable song. :)

Because the Doctor when dashing about in the 60s has most of his interaction with Mark and James, Nyssa in Hamburg has most of hers with Corky, who is smitten with her (btw, can see both Nyssa/Ringo and Nyssa/George). And here's why the script is really good from a DW point of view: it uses both the fact Nyssa is a scientist (she figures out just who The Common Man really are that way) and her backstory, which I thought the show itself handwaved after Logopolis. At one point, Corky asks Nyssa whether if she's with a time traveller she can't return to her destroyed home planet before said planet's destruction. Nyssa: "No, I couldn't." Corky: "But you said..." Nyssa: "Oh, it's possible. But I couldn't." And the way Sarah Sutton says this second "I couldn't" has so much weight and sadness in it. Speaking of DW continuity, the Doctor mentions Susan a couple of times, and there is an absolutely golden explanation as to just which song Susan was listening to in An Unearthly Child.

In conclusion: two of my fannish loves together in a very enjoyable mix. Get thee to to the Big Finish website and download, gentle reader! With an audio like that, you know you should be glad. Yeah, yeah, yeah. .:)
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
Summary:

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

Jackie Tyler talks about love, loss and learning.
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