selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
( Nov. 25th, 2014 01:34 pm)
The assigned Yuletide story is posted, now to see whether I can manage the treat I want to write. Meanwhile, here are other people being creative:

Torchwood/Doctor Who:

The mind is its own place The on-going adventures of Toshiko Sato, because Missy never spotted the little things.

Tosh in the Nethersphere, poetically written, quietly saving the world. Absolutely canon compatible with both shows, and heartbreaking in the best way. Also the Owen cameo is perfect. (Err, spoilers for the most recent season of DW, of course.)

Breaking Bad/Frozen:

Do you want to build a meth lab? : one of the most hilarious vids ever, which I found via [personal profile] ffutures. I dare you to keep a straight face.
Yesterday was pretty exhausting for me as I was either hiking and admiring bears or following the 25th-anniversary-of-fall-of-wall celebrations, so by the time I was reunited with my tablet, I was too worn out to type a proper review. But en route to the place of bears and hikes, I did have the chance to watch the DW finale. Above cut: this may be my favourite Moffat season. Not without nitpicks, but no season (no matter the show runner) ever is, and I found enough to please me in this one that I'll get it on dvd when it's out in totem, whereas with the previous Moff seasons them being on the internatinal iplayer were enough for me because while I liked individual episodes, I never connected to a complete season. Of course, the downside with finally emotionally connecting that way is that you suddenly dread reading other reviews and their listings of wrongs, whereas previously you just shrugged.

Aaaaanyway. Onwards to the actual review.

Hugging is a way to hide your face )
Described by the mother as: A lovely message from Peter Capaldi to my 9 year old autistic son. This arrived just before Thomas' nanny's funeral and helped him to deal with his grief in a profound way.

Despite the title and the presence of a certain animal, I found this one much more C.S. Lewis in early Narnia mode than William Blake. A charming quiet fantasy interlude before the storm (since the season finale is approaching).

Can I take a picture of the lion? )
In case I haven't mentioned this before, I really like this season. Not without individual complaints, of course, but those always happen. In totem I haven't liked a Moffat season so much since s5. (There is a difference between liking individual episodes and liking an overal season.) I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but the dynamic between Clara and Twelve works for me, the Doctor's re-emphasized alienness works for me, and the way (present day) Clara suddenly came into her own constantly reminds me that in the utopian day when I have more time, I want to write an essay about Doctor-Companion combinations and why some Companions work with different Doctors (though in different aspects, like Sarah Jane), while others click with just one specific regeneration.

Now, on to Flatline, which definitely belongs into the "liked much, want to rewatch!" category of episodes for me.

To misquote Stephen Sondheim, exceptional is different from good )
selenak: (Equations by Such_Heights)
( Oct. 13th, 2014 11:19 am)
Running a fever doesn't stop you from watching tv, thankfully.

Read more... )
Still chewing on this one, but in a good way. The scriptwriter is new, isn't he? I don't recall reading his name before.

Read more... )
selenak: (Three and Jo by Calapine)
( Oct. 1st, 2014 08:13 am)
Fandom can be frustrating sometimes, but it is also excellent for distracting from a depressing rl experience. Therefore, something which worked on me this morning:

When Jo Grant met Twelve, aka, Katy Manning and Peter Capaldi are adorable and I love them. Also someone should create an icon from this picture.

Marvelverse fanfiction:

Tinker Tailor Super-Soldier Spy (13726 words) by littlerhymes
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Nick Fury/Alexander Pierce
Characters: Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, Peggy Carter, Alexander Pierce, James "Bucky" Barnes, Jim Morita
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Origin Story, Cold War, Spies & Secret Agents, Action/Adventure

Steve survives World War II. In 1972, he and Director Carter team up with a young Nick Fury to investigate a mission gone wrong.

Described by the author as writing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the scriptwriters of which sasid they were going for a 1970s thriller type of story, as an actual 1970s thriller. Therefore, Steve Rogers never ended up frozen. What I love about this retelling/AU, not confined to, but mainly: 1) It's Nick Fury centric (Nick Fury doesn't get enough love in this fandom), 2.) Director Peggy Carter in her 50s is awesome, 2.) While the backstory is that she and Steve split up some time as a couple some time after the war because she didn't want to be Mrs. Captain America and he wasn't comfortable with her Director-of-SHIELD ambiguity, they're still firm friends, which isn't just claimed but shown, and best of all, the split didn't happen just so the story can get Steve together with Bucky (who spends it, as he does the movie, in the not-conductive-to-romance brainwashed Winter Soldier state).
selenak: (Old School by Khalls_stuff)
( Sep. 29th, 2014 01:34 pm)
I just found out Maggie Stables died. . Peaceful and in her sleep, which is a good way to go, of course. But Evelyn Smythe, whom she played on the Big Finish audio adventures, was such a great character. As Colin Baker says, she was the definite Sixth Doctor Companion; she redefined him. And their audible chemistry was just delightful.

Perhaps because she was the first Companion who was introduced as an older person, Evelyn dealing with her mortality - not the chance she could be killed during an adventure, but the normal human fragility of her aging body - was a red thread through many of her adventures. A bit like Laura Roslin on BSG who gets introduced in the scene in which she gets her terminal diagnosis, and whose survival beyond the end of the show would have felt like cheating, Big Finish didn't just tease out this with Evelyn. And because the audio adventures don't have to happen in a linear fashion, we got Evelyn's goodbyes - to her Doctor, the sixth one, in Thicker than Water, and to the seventh one in A Death in the Family - without this meaning the end of Evelyn; there were adventures starring her made after this which simply preceded those goodbyes in chronological fashion. And Maggie Stables never sounded weary or routine-esque. I recently heard two adventures which paired her and the Doctor with Victorian trickster Thomas Brewster, and Evelyn sounded as vibrantly compelling as ever. Even when, in a spacesuit, she faced possible death (again) and still loved the wonder of the moment.

I'm so glad Big Finish cast Maggie Stables as this wonderful character. We could say goodbye to Evelyn, knowing it was au revoir really because of that non-linearity of adventures. Not anymore, and yet, those goodbyes feel a bit comforting now. I think I'll listen to them again.
selenak: (Brig by Kathyh)
( Sep. 29th, 2014 06:05 am)
Operation Catch Up With TV continues with a round of WHAT ABOUT THE BRIG?

Gareth Roberts usually gives good comedy, but this seriously distracted me )
Which was fun. You could tell Moffat and Thompson always wanted to write a heist movie. And the purpose-of-heist-twist made it very Whovian indeed.

Read more... )
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
( Sep. 21st, 2014 09:56 am)
Briefly: am in the gorgeous Southern Tyrolia alps with the APs, must use the finally arrived sunshine, off to hike now, hence will be able to watch the latest Doctor Who not earlier than this late afternoon. However, have two links to posts I loved reading:

Doctor Who:

LISTEN meta on last week's DW episode which puts it excellently in a larger Whovian context.

Scriptwriter and Director of Breaking Bad's OZYMANDIAS look back a year later.

(Which reminds me I was here in the Southern Tyrolian alps, too, when BB ended. Tempus fugit indeed. Also, the article mentions Rian Johnson is set to direct the Star Wars sequel after the next one, if I understand it correctly, which, um, does that mean I have to watch it? I am that oddity, more invested in the prequels than in the classic trilogy anyway and really not interested in what happened next. Then again: Rian Johnson did some fantastic work on Breaking Bad and I'm glad he'll get a cinematic break. Presumably he won't use lense flares, either. Hm.)
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

"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

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: (Default)


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