Casting news (in one case older news for most people, I'm sure) that made me realise my priorities and double standards:

a) Bradley James is in the fourth season of Homeland. Sorry, Bradley James, I loved your Arthur Pendragon in Merlin, but there were a lot of reasons why I quit watching Homeland in early s3, among them loss of quality and questionable ideology, and I'm not going back.

b) Lucy Lawless is the the second season of Agents of SHIELD. Now this is a show I haven't watched so far; my flist/circle had about two third naysays, one third (all the more enthusiastic) yaysayers about it, there were so many other interesting shows to watch, and also I'm so fond of the MCU I didn't want to risk dampening the emotion by disgruntlement should I dislike AoS. However, Lucy Lawless in the Marvelverse? Must have! (Unless she's only in one episode, I should acertain that first.) (If you recognize where the quote titling this post comes from, you might feel similarly.)

Meanwhile, further news both on the Lewis & Tolkien and the solo Tolkien biopics in planning demonstrate someone's (be the publicity people, the reporters, or, heaven forfend, the scriptwriters) lack of actual knowledge re: Tolkien and Lewis, as is entertainingly pointed out here.

Penny Dreadful:

We have a Penny Dreadful vid! And a good one, covering the ensemble and the relationships between same - with one unfortunate exception. Which, sadly for me though not for the vidder and the vid, happens to be the relationship I'm most interested in. There is a complete lack of Malcolm in the vid (and hence also no Vanessa and Malcolm). Which reminds me that last week when someone at last posted Penny Dreadful icons, I was delighted...until I saw there were no Malcolm and no Vanessa and Malcolm icons. Alas. Anyway, back to the original point, which was: a shiny vid about a lovely twisted Victorian Gothic show:


A Shot for the Pain (11 words) by Franzeska
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: Fanvids, ConStrict 2014


X-Men: Days of Future Past:

Missing scene type of fanfic covering how old Erik and old Charles reunited, which is just what I need when the angst elsewhere gets too much:

Rescue Me (2492 words) by Unforgotten
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Characters: Erik Lehnsherr, Charles Xavier
Additional Tags: Pre-Movie(s), jailbreak, Reunions
Summary:

Against all hope, Charles and Erik reunite at the beginning of the Sentinel War.




And lastly, not completely unrelated to the beginning of this post, something only funny if a) you know German, b) have a vague idea about what the Bavarian dialect sounds like, and c) are familiar with a certain 1990s fantasy show made in New Zealand: Xena auf Bayrisch.
I was travelling for nine hours today, and thus it was great to have a lengthy tale to read, to wit, this awesome fusion/crossover which manages to put the First Class X-Men into the Harry-Potter-verse, shortly after WWII, which means they are all teenagers. The story captures the atmosphere of the Potter books (and the joy of the early ones) and the HP characters who were at Hogwarts at that point - from Dumbledore to Moaning Myrtle, just recently dead and ghostified -, while doing full justice to the younger version of the mutants (and yes, that includes Erik's concentration camp backstory). (No spoilers for Days of Future Past. ) In conclusion, it's brilliant.

The Getting of Magic (64165 words) by lilacsigil
Chapters: 8/8
Fandom: X-Men: First Class (2011), Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, Albus Dumbledore, Moira MacTaggert, Raven | Mystique, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Azazel (X-Men), Angel Salvadore, Filius Flitwick, Arcturus Black, Sean Cassidy, Armando Muñoz, Janos Quested, Alex Summers, Karl Lykos
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions
Summary:

It's September 1947 and Hogwarts is finally getting back to normal after the disruptions of the war against Grindelwald and the Muggle World War. Transfiguration teacher Albus Dumbledore has been searching for students who have missed out on starting at Hogwarts, such as Charles Xavier and his sister Raven who have been hiding in the US, and refugee Erik Lehnsherr. Grindelwald's supporters are still strong, though, and it's going to be a turbulent first year for Charles, Raven, Erik and their friends.

selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
( May. 21st, 2014 05:08 pm)
First, have an excellent new Sanctuary fanfic:


Thylacine (21169 words) by st_aurafina
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: Sanctuary (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Helen Magnus, James Watson, Nikola Tesla, Imogen Worth, Declan MacRae, Henry Foss
Additional Tags: The Five, Victorian, Australia, Cryptozoology
Summary:

Helen Magnus was resigned to taking the slow road back to the twenty-first century alone without changing history. Then Imogen Worth was found alive under the rubble. Now, with an unexpected ward and paradox at her side, the road to the future has taken a startling turn.





In other news, vaguely connected to Sanctuary and the Five by thoughts of Victorian team-ups of horror archetypes, I'm tentatively watching Penny Deadful. Now, some shows and some books have the type of twist that suddenly gives everything you've watched so far re: a character or storyline a completely new context - and not just "ah, so this also happened" but "hang on, that means something completely different!" - , but they usually take a tad longer to get there. Penny Deadful did it in the second episode, and I'm really glad I wasn't in any way spoiled, so I shan't spoil anyone, either. But it makes for a really clever play on two characters' original story.
selenak: (Shadows - Saava)
( Apr. 21st, 2014 08:39 am)
Easter holidays with the family have been lovely so far, lots of sunshine except for Friday, hence also lots of hiking through the Franconian scenery. However, the APs are having computer troubles, which means my only internet connection is via my trusty Ipad, which means certain tv will have to wait until I'm back in Munich (which I will be tonight). (Except for Orphan Black, which is now up at Itunes and hence accessible to yours truly. Will be reporting anon.)

This also means I don't dare to go on twitter or facebook for their horrible spoileriness and only very carefully on lj. Once upon a Time especially is something I want to watch sans spoiler. However, there is always fanfic from closed canons, like this wonderful Londo (& G'Kar, Vir, Delenn, Timov) Babylon 5 story. Among many other things, it illustrates why I'm glad B5 didn't end with s4 plus Sleeping in Light, not despite but because Londo is my favourite character. Yes, Londo is in an apparantly good place at the end of s4. But it's one of denial. He hasn't confronted what he did yet, not really. This story bridges the time between Rising Star and The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari in s5, and builds up to the confrontation of his past and responsibility that starts there.

My Graceless Heart (5775 words) by Amatara
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Londo Mollari, G'Kar, Vir Cotto, Timov, Delenn
Additional Tags: Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Heart Attacks, Guilt, Destiny
Summary:

Five conversations Londo had in the days before his heart attack, without seeing the warning signs.

selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
( Feb. 24th, 2014 06:32 pm)
I'm with the APs which means no chance yet to watch Musketeers or Midwives, but en route in the Train I had the pleasure of reading the final part of a now completed Star Wars story I've been following for a while. Time travel stories in which either characters from the original trilogy travel back to the prequel era or the prequel characters travel forward in time are their own subgenre, but rarely have I seen the concept executed so well. Superb Obi-Wan (in two eras!), great Anakin, and ditto for Luke (still reeling from the Empire Strikes Back News) and Leia (blissfully unaware about being related to anyone). Also, this tale follows the multiple timelines concept of time travel, which I admit is my prefered one (rather than the one where the characters' original past/future is obliterated):

Wake the Storm (75475 words) by bedlamsbard
Chapters: 10/10
Fandom: Star Wars - All Media Types, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars Original Trilogy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Palpatine | Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Padmé Amidala
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Crossover, Alternate Universe, Parallel Universes
Summary:

Considering that he had picked up what was probably a Sith artifact, promptly passed out in the middle of a war zone, and apparently woken up twenty years in the future with Obi-Wan having taken up residence in his head, Anakin thought he was entitled to have a few questions.</>

So, I've stopped watching Downton Abbey two seasons ago. But as soon as I saw this crossovery, I knew I'd read it, and did with ever greater joy, for verily, idea and execution are golden.

Tony Stark Meets an Extremely Unimpressed Time Traveler, or, Thomas Barrow Makes a Surprisingly Good 21st Century Butler (87671 words) by Alex51324
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Downton Abbey, The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Thomas Barrow/Tony Stark
Characters: Thomas Barrow, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Butlers, Crossover
Summary:

In which Tony Stark ditches a boring party, makes an addition to the household staff, throws a much better party, and tries not to sexually harass his new butler.

Or,In which Thomas Barrow has a little trouble getting home from the pub, is generally unimpressed with many aspects of the 21st century, never thought of himself as a conservative dresser before, and may or may not be falling in lust with his new employer.

tl:dr: Thanks to time travel, Thomas Barrow becomes the Avengers' butler.



The one thing you have to handwave is that Downton Abbey is actually referenced in Iron Man III, complete with clips (Tony's chauffeur/bodyguard Happy Hogan is a fan), but otherwise, this is perfect. Not least because it uses the ensemble well, not just the two main characters, and has everyone in character. It's funny and touching in turns and the dialogue is golden.
When does Elementary start again? I miss my favourite Holmes & Watson!

In other news, a few links:

The Good Wife:

An interview with Archie Panjabi about playing Kalinda

Disney movies:

An interesting bucking-the-trend reading of Frozen's Anna and The Little Mermaid's Ariel respectively

Once Upon A Time:

Simon Says (1601 words) by deemn
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Henry Mills & Emma Swan, Evil Queen | Regina Mills & Henry Mills
Characters: Henry Mills (Once Upon a Time), Evil Queen | Regina Mills, Emma Swan
Additional Tags: Character Study
Summary:

Henry's perspective of pre-canon, Season 1 and part of Season 2, told in drabbles.



Stories that focus on Henry's shifting perspectives on his two mothers are still rare, given these are two key relationships of the show which arguably motivate more actions on said show than most others. I love this one, though I wish the author had continued it beyond the first third of s2.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
( Jan. 15th, 2014 08:38 pm)
I had an extremely busy day, and thus, only a few links for this post. On Monday, Breaking Bad won at the Golden Globe for best drama and best actor, which it so deserved, and that consoled me a bit over the fact Tatiana Maslany did not win for best actress despite her amazing turn in Orphan Black. Maybe it'll take four more seasons for her, too? Anyway, because Bryan Cranston is an acting genius, have a gander at ten cases in point from the last season of Breaking Bad, here.

Not going to win any awards any time soon but still a show I'm deeply fond of: the Once Upon A Time rewatch continues!

And lastly, because OuaT has such a huge ensemble, there are sometimes character interactions which never happen and which one would love to see. So I was glad that [personal profile] astrogirl took on the challenge and wrote a very atmospheric and finely drawn winter story about Belle and Baelfire, set after the mid-season break.
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.
I'd stopped reading much, if any Merlin fanfiction even before the show ended, not least because of my "Where is the Gwen of it?" problem. I.e. if the stories in question are Merlin/Arthur, which most of them are, Gwen is either conveniently handed over to Lancelot and shows up for two lines or so otherwise, or doesn't show up at all; if, otoh, the story actually is Gwen centric, then chances are the guys are treated as the enemy while Morgana's deeds are handwaved and Gwen ends up paired with her, which, after all Morgana put Gwen through, no. In either case, one of my favourite things about the show, the friendship between Gwen and Merlin, is roundly ignored. Luckily, all of this is relatively easy to spot by the summaries, so I know what to stay away from. In this year's Paperlegends, I spotted a tale where the summary tentatively gave me hope, started to read the story, and was very glad I did. For starters, not only is it Gwen centric, it's a Gwen centric adventure story in which she's the heroine. Secondly, the central relationship in it is in fact the friendship between Gwen and Merlin. Ignore the shipping tags, or rather, don't, because they're accurate in as much as to who has sex with whom, but this is a story where friendship and family relationships are treated as key in terms of screen, err, page time, not the romances. Thirdly, this is a story that uses two favourite fandom concepts - reincarnation/immortality and time travel - in ways I hadn't seen before, which comes with the Gwen centric territory. It's set in two eras - the present, where the long term repercussions of Morgana tearing the veil between living and dead in the s4 opener cause the zombie apocalypse and reincarnated Gwen, Gwaine and Elena run into still-around-because-he's-immortal Merlin, and the past, where present-day reincarnated Gwen, courtesy of Merlin and magical time travel, tries to stop Morgana before said veil tearing can occur.

(Also: because Gwen in her present day incarnation doesn't meet Arthur until relatively late in the story and knows Merlin is in love with him before she ever meets him in either time line, I have no problem with her not being in love with him. It feels fair, whereas before I stopped reading fanfic, often the way the canonical Arthur/Gwen relationship was just handwaved away, or the feelings on either part declared to be false felt like the typical fannish get-that-woman-out-of-the-way-of-my-slash irritation I resent with increasing fervour. But seriously, who ends up with whom is so not what this story is about. Everyone is trying to save the world, as they should.)

So, if you, like me, are on the lookout for a Gwen centric adventure which is also a good ensemble story (Merlin, Gwaine, Elena and Elyan are all very well drawn, and though he makes only short appearances in either timeline, so is Arthur), you'll enjoy this:

Waking Up to Ash & Dust (45060 words) by oflittleuse
Chapters: 12/12
Fandom: Merlin (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death
Relationships: Merlin/Arthur Pendragon (Merlin), Elena/Gwaine (Merlin)
Characters: Gwen (Merlin), Gaius (Merlin)
Additional Tags: Zombie Apocalypse, Time Travel, Alternate Universe - Modern Setting
Summary:

There is only one way to stop a zombie apocalypse - you need one reincarnated Queen, a living dead King and an immortal sorcerer. Mix in some terminator-style time-travel and the darkest of magic. Of course, before stopping the apocalypse you need to survive it first.

selenak: (Tony Stark by Runenklinge)
( Aug. 13th, 2013 06:38 pm)
You know, for me, there are only a very few authors - all the more admirable for it - who can pull off the genre known as curtain fic. I.e. the main characters busy doing domestic things, like, well, buying curtains, and not much else of an exterior plot happening. And it's great character and relationship exploration. [personal profile] penknife is one of those few. She has done it for Xavier and Magneto in the past, and now she's given us a look at young movieverse Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes:

Housekeeping: Four and a half times Tony did housework (or, five times Rhodey wasn't sure Tony Stark was cut out to survive in the real world.)

In which Tony and Rhodey meet at MIT and start their friendship. Also, there is washing. Seriously, though, this makes for a great backstory, and a lovely exploration of the Tony and Rhodey dynamic which is shamefully neglected in fanfiction when the movies made it clear how important it is to both their lives.
selenak: (Timov - Muffinmonster)
( Aug. 10th, 2013 04:43 pm)
A compelling new story about my all time favourite one episode only (why? oh why?) character from Babylon 5, Timov:

Et Amo (2745 words) by Amatara
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Londo Mollari/Timov
Characters: Londo Mollari, Timov, Vir Cotto
Additional Tags: Missing Scene, Angst, Snark
Summary:

With Cartagia dead and the Shadows and Vorlons gone, Londo and Vir visit Timov just before their return to Babylon 5. Missing scene for the season 4 episode Into the Fire.

selenak: (Dragon by Roxicons)
( Jun. 12th, 2013 08:10 am)
Shakespeare:


There are many reviews of the Joss Whedon directed Much Ado About Nothing out by now - which we in Germany won't get to see for a while, hmph - but this is by far the most original and hilarious. In blank verse.


Hobbit:

We have a first trailer for the Desolation of Smaug. Comes with a lot of elves (Lee Pace has lines this time) and partial Smaug (but not voice of same). As I am not a Tolkien purist and enjoyed the first Hobbit film muchly, I am delighted.

Once Upon A Time:


Now has a rewatch community, starting their rewatch this weekend. Alas I will go abroad at the end of next week, for three weeks, no less, but I'll be able to discuss the pilot at least and then rejoin in a month.


That Sixties band I'm fond of:


Listen to John Lennon doing a hilarious Bob Dylan parody. (Bob did a Lennon parody, too, so you don't have to feel bad for him.:)


Orphan Black:

Naturally, I checked out the AO3 for fanfic. In additon to canonical Cosima/Delphine there's fanonical Alison/Beth; these seem to be the main pairings. As with every fandom, little gen. Here are the two vignettes I liked best so far:

Nameless : short but dense moment between Helena, Sarah and Mrs. S. Breaks one's heart for Helena all over again.


of lending existence to nothing : Alison portrait. Very bleak, but well written.
You know what I gave my Aged Parents for Christmas? Tickets for tonight's Bruce Springsteen concert in Munich. On the reasonable assumption at a concert at the end of May would have, if not nice weather, than somewhat warm weather.

It's rainining cats and dogs, and 5° Centigrade. The APs and self shall try to brave the Olympiastadion nonetheless for Mr. Springsteen, but if it turns out our part of the seats doesn't fall among the ones that are covered, we're out of there.

Meanwhile, links:

Once upon a time:

Twenty-Eight Years: the one repeating day for Cora and Killian Jones, aka Hook. Beautifully written and intense.

Babylon 5:

At a convention, JMS doesn't only share some hilarious Londo and G'Kar related anecdotes (of course the rest of the cast and himself arranged to be around when their intense scenes were filmed!) but also the deeply moving story of why Michael O'Hare really left, necessitating Sinclair being written out. It's not anything that was speculated before and makes me respect the actor all the more.
I've been waiting to find a story which takes advantage of the casting of David Anders in both Once upon a time and Alias. This one does so, but manages to do far more which is spoilery for the second season of OUAT ) In conclusion: go and read!


the lion and the unicorn (12267 words) by aurilly
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Alias, Once Upon a Time (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Julian Sark & Snow White|Mary Margaret Blanchard, Sydney Bristow/Julian Sark
Characters: Julian Sark, Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard, Sydney Bristow, Cora (Once Upon a Time), Captain Hook | Killian Jones, Mulan (Once Upon a Time), Aurora (Once Upon A Time), Emma Swan
Additional Tags: Crossover, Male-Female Friendship
Summary:

Sark isn’t sure which is more intolerable: being swallowed by a hat, or being forced to listen to Snow White blather on about ‘true love’. (Blech.) A story about spies, princesses, and the magic of unlikely friendships.



Also, I watched 2.03 of Call The Midwife. A few thoughts. )
selenak: (M and Bond)
( Jan. 17th, 2013 03:09 pm)
[personal profile] naraht, this one is for you, if you haven't seen it already: As the Benjamin Britten centenary approaches, tenor Ian Bostridge picks his 10 favourite works – including one he has vowed never to perform again:

Ten Favourite Brittens

(He very usefully for the rest of us included YouTube renditions, including the one with Peter Pears singing Michelangelo's sonnets. The homoerotic content of which, Bostridge muses, might have gone over the original audience's head, due to the lyrics being in Italian. I heard Jonas Kaufmann sing them two years ago in a Salzburg matinee, and he made a short Michelangelo-Britten-homerotic-love-in-the-arts introduction remark. Whereupon people in the audience evidently forgot to switch off their mobile phones, because those rang no less than five times, and I really wanted to strangle people (I wasnt the only one; Jonas Kaufmann, however, was a patient saint; I'd have walked off stage).


***

Early in December, I recced an excellent Skyfall AU about M and Bond that departs from canon during the Westminster Inquiry. Now the author has written a sequel, making yours truly, always on the look out for M and M & Bond (or M/Bond, I take either!) very happy indeed:


The Rabbit Hunters (24844 words) by Telanu
Chapters: 2/2
Fandom: James Bond (Movies), James Bond (Craig movies), James Bond - All Media Types, Skyfall (2012)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James Bond/M
Characters: James Bond, Female M (James Bond), M (James Bond), Raoul Silva | Tiago Rodriguez
Series: Part 2 of Sharing the Road
Summary:

Part Two of the Sharing the Road series: a sequel to "The Room and the Road." Raoul Silva doesn't kill so easily, and 007 and M have only one more chance to take him down. There's only one problem: he's not 007 anymore. And she's not M. Who are they now, and what will they become together?

selenak: (Family Matters by Marciaelena)
( Jan. 8th, 2013 07:32 am)
You know, many an actor doesn't, independent on how good or bad they are in their chosen craft, provide very interesting interviews. They do them because it's their duty when promoting the latest film/tv show/theatre project they're involved in, but the result often reads no more interesting than the latest PR release from whatever production company is responsible for the film/tv show/theatre project in question. And I have sympathy for that, because providing interesting conversation with total strangers isn't easy, and that's assuming the interviewers aren't the obnoxious type who poke for intimate details. But still: I'm extra thrilled when coming across genuinenly interesting interviews. Which quite often happens when Patrick Stewart is involved.

Here is a recent great example, by the LA Times and apropos the latest TNG anniversary. What's expecially endearing to me is his geeking out about Hollywood history and identifying the Paramount office where specific Sunset Boulevard scenes were shot at as still in use when they were shooting Next Gen at Paramount. (And his making off with the office letters.) But really, it's just an all around enjoyable interview to read. Also, his joke about the next X-Men film being just Magneto and Xavier talking cracks me up, not least because I know a couple of fans including yours truly who'd so be there for that. :)

***

My latest wave of Jossverse nostalgia trigged by meta and fanfiction alike, to wit:

BTVS:

Buffy and Faith in Bad Girls/Consequences. Meta which manages to be fair to both girls. (Much rarer than you'd think. I remember reading, at the time, a certain BNF's pronouncement that Buffy was behaving "like Stalin", which meant I could never take anything she wrote seriously again.)

AtS:

as one mourneth for an only son: fantastic Connor fanfiction, covering all his stages from Steven to Connor to new memories!Connor Reilly to Rembering!Connor. Connor and Darla: still my favourites. And it's much rarer to find someone writing the former well than the later.
selenak: (First Class by Hidden Colours)
( Jan. 6th, 2013 03:17 pm)
Ever since X-Men: First Class was released, there have been several stories in which either Charles or Erik, by virtue of time travel, were replaced or warned by their older, Stewart and McKellen selves and thus were motivated to change the past. For some reason or the other, I've never been really content with these until yesterday coming across this fine story:


Sponge Away the Writing (40771 words) by Tam_Cranver
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Major Character Death
Relationships: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Characters: Charles Xavier, Alex Summers, Hank McCoy, Sean Cassidy, Moira MacTaggert, Erik Lehnsherr, Raven Darkholme, Armando Muñoz
Summary:

In which Charles finds himself haunted by a dead future version of himself, together they experiment with changing the course of history, and there is much hand-holding.




A few reasons why I liked this one so much: it was what I always look for in a post XMFC written fanfic, Charles and Raven sibling interaction - indeed, learning from his older self that both Erik and Raven will be his enemies impacts him, as it should, equally on both counts. (Hooray for fanfic acknowledging the importance non-romantic relationships as well as romantic ones!) Speaking of non-romantic relationships, Moira plays an important role in the story, and the mindwipe is squarely addressed. Instead of older Charles mentally replacing younger Charles, or the older version giving point blank guide lines, the interaction between the two versions of Charles Xavier is more along the snarky lines that remind me of two regenerations of the Doctor meeting in Doctor Who, and while older Charles does provide younger Charles with some important information, he is by no means certain it can make any difference. It's younger Charles who has to make the crucial decisions and has to figure things out. Another tried and true fannish button for me to press in the good sense is when fanfic remembers what drives the character other than romance, and this story is also very much about Charles Xavier starting his school , why that is so important, and trying to figure out how to start a civil rights movement and a revolution. Lastly, nothing is simply resolved by a hug or a kiss, least of all Charles' relationships with Raven and Erik. It's just a great story all around which does everyone justice, and I admire it a lot.
My actual Yuletide assignment being written, beta'd, edited and posted, I feel ready to move on to the next stage of Yuletide angst. You know, the one where the glow of satisfaction that the story is accomplished is quickly followed up with "but will anyone read it... oh damm, it's an entire month more until I find out!" Since I wrote a treat before the actual assignment, I can now fret for two stories instead of one, but on the bright side, the week before Christmas won't have any panicked "but I haven't posted my story yet and when the hell should I find the time?" cramps.

Uploading the story, I idly checked my statistics at the AO3 and was surprised. For years the most read stories had remained constant (the most often read was Spinning Fate, as it happens a Yuletide 2009 story), but this year the Arachne-Strikes-Back tale got toppled by a new story. A hastily written Remix Madness tale from this year, which when it was first posted hadn't been reviewed by anyone before the name reveal. And now has double as much hits as any other story of mine at the AO3, so colour me stunned, because Messenger (The Earl Grey Remix) is hardly the best thing I ever wrote. I can only conclude that it a) got that many hits because the original is a story by [personal profile] penknife, and/or b) Jean-Luc Picard character introspection complete with Spock's Dad And Spock is popular. Merci, mon capitaine. Anyway, neither Picard nor any Vulcans are in either of my two Yuletide tales, and both fandom I picked are relatively obscure (but then that is the point of Yuletide), so I don't expect the statistic to change again any time soon.

Rather counter productive to my plan of Yuletide angsting is the fact I came across this lovely, incredibly relaxing and fond smile inducing Avengers tale:


Tea, Chocolate, Coffee: In which Bruce, Pepper and Tony live their lives as a threesome, and this is so my fanon until the inevitable day when canon angst will return to the Marvel Movie Universe with the release of a new film.

On another note, I was thrilled to read that there will be a radio production of Neverwhere (by Neil Gaiman, aka the one he first wrote as a tv miniseries and then as a novel), with a dream cast that includes James McAvoy as Richard, Natalie Dormer as Door, David Harewood as the Marquis, Sophie Okonedo as Hunter, Benedict Cumberbatch as Islington and Anthony Head as Croup. And Christopher Lee as the Earl, which makes Neil Gaiman adorably fanboyish in his post. (Who can blame him?) I was also thrilled to discover Jack Harkness' daughter Alice, aka Lucy Cohu, in a minor role (she's Lamia). A radio series won't have the problem that troubled N.G. about the tv series (let's just say the BBC budget for the great Beast was, errr....), and the actors are fantastic. I'm so looking forward to this. Also it reminds me there was a reason why I kept using the term "London Below" when writing my Bond meta, and that someone should write a crossover AU where M and Bond go on the run there, instead of Scotland, pursued by Silva, of course. Because M has been been there before as a young agent, though not since then; she has made arrangements that mean no interference from either side. But after Silva does that thing he does with the London Tube, certain dignitaries in London Below see this as an outrageous violation of the treaty and her responsibility (she created Silva), so M and Bond have those pissed off entities after them as well as Silva, who is mad enough to find the way all on his own. Whom will the Marquis sell to whom? Will Bond avoid hitting on Lamia and get himself (nearly?) killed again? Will M manage to keep outright war breaking out between Below and Above? Etc. Come on. It would be glorious.
selenak: (Werewolf by khall_stuff)
( Nov. 18th, 2012 09:00 am)
As far as horror tropes go, zombie stories aren't really for me. (They're depressing, you can't really negotiate with zombies, and then there's the unfortunate possible subtext which Joss Whedon lampooned when making his Mitt Romney spot.) But [personal profile] londonkds made the case for a novel earlier to me, and several people on my flist are watching The Walking Dead. Then I found out The Walking Dead is what Bear McCreary is composing for these days after BSG and The Sarah Connor Chronicles are no more, and that Fank Darabont was involved, and there was this dvd, so I thought, what the hell, try it.

Result of marathoning s1: wait, that was the end of the season already? Isn't that more like a miniseries? Too short! Must find out what happens next!

Result of marathoning s2: okay, they should have stuck with the miniseries format, the first half of this draggggggggged. However, the second half didn't.

Overall: it feels a lot like a Stephen King novel - I can see why Darabont (a frequent King chum ever since The Shawshank Redemption) felt drawn to it. (Note: have a look at the comics this is based on.) Though in a Stephen King novel, the group of survivors would also contain a) a teacher (with or without an alcohol problem, though more likely with one), and b) a religious fanatic who cracks under end-of-the-world stress and starts killing group members. (I say this with much affection for the writings of Mr. King; it's just that he has his patterns.) I do like the "how to retain our humanity in vicious surroundings" theme going through both seasons, and that there are no easy answers to it, and something that's inevitable when you do a zombie story - what happens when a member of the group transforms - is treated with the emotional weight it deseves in both seasons. On the downside, it's glaringly obvious that the one character who doesn't get fleshed out, form narratively important relationships to other group members, and who has hardly any lines is the black one, T-Dog, which unfortunately makes me suspect he's only around because setting a story in the American South without any black character (other than some of the zombies, or as they are called here, walkers) would stretch the suspension of belief to breaking point. (Say what you will about Lost, but its first season gave us a clear idea of who Michael was, his past, his goals, etc. After two seasons, I still couldn't tell you anything about T-Dog.) Also, despite my fondness for the survival-of-the-fittest-versus-ethics theme, I wish they hadn't made Dale the primary voice of the later, because it's either the actor or the writing or both, but mannerisms and voice and attitude are grating (to me).

Genuinenly intriguing storytelling choice: usually the main character - who in this ensemble would be Rick Grimes - gets the flashbacks, but in this show, all the flashbacks belong to Shane. (In the first two seasons anyway.) Now partly this is because Our Hero spent a lot of the time available for flashbacks in a coma, but still, it contributes to the impression that Shane is the most carefully developed character in the first two seasons.

It's anything but news, but really: even after the zombie apocalypse, female survivors will be thin (and not for lack of food) and have carefully shampooned hair. I am starting to despair of the existence of any normal-weight actresses left on American tv who are allowed to look situation-appropriate unglamorous. (Carol with her short hair is something of an exception at least in the coiffure department.) Am depressingly reminded of an article [personal profile] legionseagle linked a while ago where Romola Garai has withering things to say about the Hollywood weight terror for actresses.

Speaking of looks: the Breaking Badfan in me wants to know when the "man shaves his hair to signal moral ambiguity quickly going to the darker sides of grey" trend started.

At a guess, Daryl looks primed to be a fandom favourite. As a cross between Firefly's Jayne and Rome's Titus Pullo, with a dash of Lost's Sawyer, he would be. A quick look at the fanfic section tells me he gets paired with Glenn a lot, which I find baffling - did they ever share a scene (in the sense of speaking to each other? Maybe that happens in s3? - until remembering such mundane things like interactions and actual relationships aren't necessary anymore for fanfic to thrive.

Lastly: the show has set itself the same type of problem early Lost and Heroes did by including child characters, to wit: your show takes place within a couple of days, weeks at most, per season, but your child actors are obviously growing up. This is not a problem when a season equates a year (as it did on DS9, where Jake Sisko became the tallest member of the ensemble literary before our eyes), but it is when a season, as mentioned, equates only a few weeks.

****

James Bond:

I've been driven to checking out tumblr more in my quest for new M fic, and lo and behold, there was a short but delightful one, which also caters to a theory I have expressed about Eve and her goals in my Skyfall review:


M is for...

Also, yet another adorable backstage picture from the shooting of Skyfall (am utterly unsurprised that Daniel Craig off camera wore something warmer than a suit, it must have been freezing cold in London Below):


http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdlkywDwFd1qefw2co1_r1_500.jpg
.

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