The characters on my list were:

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

Now for whacky adventures caused by questions under the cut! With spoilers for the shows/films these characters are from )
Title: Damage

Disclaimer: Characters and situations owned by Fox the last time I checked.

Rating: PG 13

Characters: Charley Dixon, Sarah Connor, John Connor, James Ellison, Derek Reese.

Summary: Charley had always known Sarah had secrets. Charley Dixon contemplates Sarah Connor.

Author's note: For [personal profile] chaila, who gave me the prompt "Sarah Connor, Damage". This was meant to be a drabble but ended up as a vignette instead. It also ended up as a Charley character portrait, but such was what the muse dictated!

Read more... )
for research purposes, but damn. How so good, show? How so very very good?

Also, the news last month that they want to reboot the Terminator franchise with Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor makes me tear my hair out at the cancellation of T: SCC all over again. No offense to Ms. Clarke who seems to be a lovely young woman, but I don't want rebooted Terminator movies. I want more sublime Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Why Twitter is useful: someoene asked Vince Gilligan whose idea the fantastic Ozymandias promo for Breaking Bad had been, and he replied:


Shelley's "Ozymandias" came up a lot this season, as my writers and I are nerds who never see the sun... However, the idea of cutting the poem into a promo was the idea of the brilliant director Rian Johnson.


Thank you, Rian Johnson. In other Breaking Bad news, this article defending Skyler White is well-intentioned, but leaving entirely aside the obnoxious comments (seriously, don't read those, they make you despair of the human race, as comments about unpopular female characters sadly tend to do), this made me somewhat facepalm:

Article quote containing spoilers for the entire show )

Meanwhile, another article also made me rise my eyebrows: the sixteen worse things Walter White has done on Breaking Bad. Some of these are self evident, but how come the season 1 spoiler )makes the list and Walt's doing a season 5 spoilery thing ) do not? Also, if I read one more description of Gale as "the most innocent person of the show", I'll scream. The man was a spoilery thing for season 3 ) Being a clueless geek does not make one innocent. You know who is a good equivalent for Gale? Andrew Wells in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Andrew has that same geekness, crushing on a villain and believing himself to be in a comic book story. This does not, as the show makes very clear, negate his responsibility for theft, murder and attempted rape.

Lastly, and not related to Breaking Bad (since Walt didn't, as Jesse once wished he would, create robots): a very cool multifandom vid about A.I./Human interactions - If a machine. Lots of Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator footage, but also the Alien films and Prometheus as well as Battlestar Galactica.
It being Mother's Day, I spent it in Bamberg with my APs, hence did not have the chance to watch any Doctor Who yet. However, I just saw that a Sarah Connor Chronicles Vid Exchange went live, which to me as a viewer who could never make a vid but loves watching them, and misses Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles dearly, is fantastic news. Also very fitting for Mother's Day.

(And now I have a vision of Charlie, in that pre-show time Sarah and John spent in one place getting almost settled down, asking John in the first year whether he has a present for his mother for Mother's Day yet, and John of course has no idea, Mother's Day not being something the Connors do. Which just not wash with Charlie. Sarah better get her present. Awkwardness ensues, but eventually, due to Sarah's canonical fondness for The Wizard of Oz and the fact she did read the book to him, John finds out about Wicked! and presents his mother with both the novel and a CD with the songs from the musical. Sarah is not sure how she feels about either.)

There are of course lots of aspects to Sarah that aren't about her motherhood, but it is one of the defining elements in her life, and so some of the vids deal with it as well. I haven't had the chance to watch all yet, but, in honour of the day:

Safe as Houses: Sarah and John and their damaged, intense bond. Oh, Connors.


Strange Angels Heaven for Sarah is a world that doesn't need her. Also focuses on Sarah and her son, but in a different way, and incorporating footage from the movies, which considering the different cast is tricky to do, but the vidder pulls it off, making show and (first two) movies feel like the same world.

And the reverse pov:

Connection: "Catherine Weaver", Savannah, John Henry and Ellison as the "other" family in s2 mirroring Sarah, John, Cameron and Derek were infinitely compelling, too. This vid focuses on all the children in The Sarah Connor Chronicles who see too much, but most of all Savannah and John.
Found via network. It's been a whle since I did a thirty days meme, so here we go:

Day 01 - A show that should never have been canceled

Oh, several, but the one whose cancellation is still making me wail at the injustice of it all is The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Because it was smart and did inventive things with pop and older myths, was full of interesting characters both female and male, was gorgeously filmed and one of the few shows with a "the few trying to save the world" narrative at its center that never, ever lost sight of the "civilians" and kept them in sight, real and three dimensional instead of making them a bystanding crowd to either be saved or to hinder. This was a show where we spent an entire episode on the aftermath of the deaths of redshirts whereas when one of the regulars got killed, because of the lives they lead, not even the other regulars had time to do anything but run. IT WAS AWESOME.

Days 2 - 30 )
Name five favorite episodes of your five favorite series

Now that's ambigously phrased and could mean five episodes per show, couldn't it? :) Ah well. Five only, one per show, not the best or the only favourite in each case, but certainly a favourite. And of course, being the multifandom person which I am, I have far more than five favourite shows, so again: not the top five, but among my favourites.

1.) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Restless The dream episode to end all dream episodes. Weird, silly, deep, shallow, all and everything in turn. The imagery stays with you for good, and it's a great emotional summing up of where the four Scoobies are at this point. Also? I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.


2.) The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Samson and Delilah. Because Sarah and John are at their human most vulnerable (both physically and emotionally) and still survive, because Charley patches everyone up, because James Ellison is stunned by his survival and tries to find meaning in it, because it has one of the best uses (and with this show, it's saying something) of a song (sung by s2 star Shirley Manson who plays Catherine Weaver) in the opening sequence. And most of all because Cameron wants to survive (one of the primary signs of sentience, isn't it?) and because she tells John not only that she loves him (which Sarah can refute as a trick) but that he loves her (which she can't).

3.) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: House of Quark. Why not one of the show's acknowledged masterpieces ("In the Pale Moonlight", "Duet") or, say The Wire, aka the one that launched a million Garak/Bashir tales? I love those as well. But this particular Ferengi-Klingon culture clash is such a great showcase for my guy Quark, letting him win the day in his own unique way, starts the Rom characterisation of later seasons, and proves that while Mary Kay Adams wasn't as good a Na'Toth as Julie Caitlin Brown, she makes a fantastic Grilka.

4.) Babylon 5: Dust to Dust: see, The Coming of Shadows or Fall of Centauri Prime etc are awesome, but I can't watch them too often, because they hurt so good, so to speak. However, this one manages to have both a great Centauri-Narn storyline and a great Bester storyline, thus managing to unite two of my favourite aspects of the show, and they're woven seamlessly into each other. The Bester-Garibaldi double act is great and contains some of his best one liners. (It's also the first but thankfully not the last time the show broke from the previous "Bester comes to the station, causes trouble, is foiled, leaves" pattern.) Londo is at first at his most infuriating with the visiting Vir, and yet note Vir's expressed faith in Londo towards Lennier and Delenn in the same ep; then, because he's Londo, just when you want to shake him G'Kar does not only that but much more, and you flinch on Londo's behalf. And G'Kar, oh, G'Kar both hits rock bottom and has his big epiphany here. In conclusion: I love this episode.

5.) Merlin: The Moment of Truth: it's an ode to friendship, it has the four leading characters at their best, it contains both great Merlin and Arthur scenes and the very first great Arthur and Gwen scenes, and it has HUNITH as a guest star. Mirrorverse Bashir, err, Siddig as the villain of the week is just an added bonus. I love it!
selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
( Feb. 14th, 2012 08:36 pm)
First of all, thank you so much for the Valentine's hearts! That was lovely, and very welcome. Happy Valentine's and/or Galentine's day to you as well.

Secondly, apropos the day: A great list for the Top Ten Beatles Love Songs, with alternate choices discussed in the comments. (I myself would replace "When I'm 64" and "It's Only Love" with "And I love her" and "Don't Let Me Down" respectively, but otherwise we're good.) The songs in question are also linked, so you can enjoy listening again.

And thirdly, because it's always terrific to reminded of one of my favourite shows in such superb vid form: Dance Macabre, a new Sarah Connor Chronicles vid by [personal profile] chaila!
selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
( Dec. 17th, 2011 08:29 pm)
To my great relief, I finished my Yuletide story today. Now for the beta, and then it's done.  

Meanwhile, [personal profile] kernezelda reccommended a sublime Sarah Connor Chronicles story to me. It's about Catherine Weaver and like the show itself about storytelling, the power and creation of myths, and what we do with them. Absolutely fantastic:

Nets, Threads, Loops, Knots

Incidentally, and speaking of reccomendations, thanks everyone who told me about Eight Days of Luke. I've read it now, and it was delightful. Now that's a use of Loki (and the other gods) I can get behind! Also I appreciated the arc with Astrid.

Another fanfic rec, X-Men this time: A better story

In which Charles has an ethical dilemma which involves Erik, and makes a decision. It's very difficult to say more without spoiling the story; let me just state it's the kind of premise that is so easy to get wrong, to either use for bashing, over the top dark fic or pat solutions, and it is none of those things but a great character story, and one with the unsettling effect of leaving it open whether Charles is right or wrong despite or because of the tremendous consequences.

A very interesting interview with Gillian Anderson, despite or because of the reporter sometimes coming across as asinine with his questions. Just take the opening:

'You've changed," I tell Gillian Anderson. In 1996, she was chosen as the world's sexiest woman by FHM magazine's readers; this Christmas she will be bald and on fire as Miss Havisham in the BBC's adaptation of Great Expectations. So what made her take this role? Anderson bristles: "That's not really a serious question, is it? The real question is, 'How the fuck did I end up as the world's sexiest woman in 1996?' – not why would I do Great Expectations. Any actor would want to do Great Expectations. I never set out to be the world's sexiest woman."
As with the fathers, I'm going with mothers who actually raised their children. Mothers who died giving birth or very early on, sacrificing their lives, might be very praiseworthy indeed but unfair as it is, they never got to prove themselves much in the ways of day to day interaction and, to quote Alicia Florrick, in parent-teacher conferences.

1.) Alicia Florrick from The Good Wife. In addition to all the other stress in her life, she has two teenagers on her hands. Which she handles admirably, coping with manipulative girlfriends and religious streaks alilke. Also, she doesn't ridicule her children's enthusiasms, which makes her very cool indeed.

2.) Sandra Bennett from Heroes. I stopped watching around ep 10 or so of season 3, but when I left her, Sandra was fabulous. Overcoming obstacles such as regular mindwipes and being partronized by husband and daughter alike, she's loving, fiercely protective, and, once she's finally let in to the secrets, brave. (Also, she's a great proof for adoptive mothers being terrific.)

3.) Sarah Connor (Terminator/ T: The Sarah Connor Chronicles). In other circumstances, training her son as a soldier from toddlerdom onwards would count against her, but in her circumstances it's life saving. Also, talk about someone who gives their life for their child; Sarah does this not by dying heroically but by transforming herself into a warrior and trying to change history so there won't be a need for any messiah. She also fights the good fight because that's what she believes in, I don't want to put down her insight and heroism. But being a mother set her on this journey, and it is a quintessential part of her.

4.) Joyce Summers (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer). Joyce isn't perfect and for the first two seasons suffering from Denialitis Sunnydalonia. But even in this state, she's ready to defend her daughter with an axe (ask Spike). She copes with being divorced, living in a town with a high deathrate, one daughter who is the Slayer and during the last year of her life another who has a crazy hellgod after her and is an entity for whose sake Joyce's and everyone else's mind got altered. (She also copes with having dated a robot and her daughter's vampire boyfriends who may or may not go psycho at any moment.) (And with finding herself replaced as the supreme parental authority figure by a sexy British librarian.) In conclusion: Joyce rocks!

5.) Moya from Farscape. Moya is a Leviathan who spent years being imprisoned, traumatized and basically raped before gaining her freedom, and still manages to mother all her passengers (who are the most difficult lot this side of the Liberator crew) and her doomed offspring Talyn. All the other mothers mentioned here go through a lot, but I think Moya wins for sheer trauma anyway - and she still comes out kind, caring, and despite not being able to do anything to defend herself but run away a Leviathan to be reckoned with. And those she mothers love her forever. In conclusion: Moya wins!
selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
( Dec. 25th, 2010 07:21 pm)
Yuuuuuuuuletide! And what an abundance of treasure it brings.

The story I got was my Wuthering Heights prompt (an examination of the relationship between Heathcliff and Hareton): Fathers and Sons. It's a Heathcliff pov, and the author pulls it off well, which I've always imagined to be extremely tricky.

On to a measly selection of the abundance of great stories in other fandoms:


Rome:

Kohl: which is the Antony/Vorenus story I always hoped someone would write, set in Egypt, fantastic take on both characters, with terrific dialogue. Extra bonus for letting Antony use the Caesar-in-Bithynia anecdote.

Gens Julia in aeternum: Wonderful portrait of Atia in her complexity and strength, and also of her relationship with Antony.

History

This Yuletide is definitely the time of the Borgias. Five stories featuring the most famous - or infamous Spanish expats to make it big time in the Italian Renaissance. Two that especially impressed me:

Mine Eyes Dazzle: Lucrezia-centric, secondary emphasis on Cesare, doing justice to the convoluted relationships within and without the family. A gem of a historical novella.

De casibus vivorum illustrium: this one focuses on Machiavelli and Cesare. And the fickleness of fortune. Good stuff.


Doctor Who Audio /History

Whatever You Want To Call It: Not for nothing does The Kingmaker regularly end up on the "best Doctor Who audios of all time" list. Among its many virtues: it's absolutely hysterical if you're even vaguely familiar with all the Richard III related historians' debates. This story, a sequel to the audio (I'm trying to keep the summary as unspoilery as possible), does a similar great job with the Shakespeare authorship debates. Clearly the answer to "who wrote Shakespeare's works" questions. :) :) :)

Arthurian Mythology

Camelot to Camlann: shared povs between Gawain and Guinevere in a compelling, vivid take on the story of Guinevere, Arthur and Mordred.

Euripides - Bacchae

Bakcheios: this one so far is hands down the masterpiece of all the stories I've read so far. I really hope the author will publish it. Using not only Euripides' drama (which tells the story of Pentheus and his clash with Dionysos/Bacchos) but also the myths of Semele and Acteon, this is a poetic, incredibly disturbing (in just the right way) tale doing justice the cruelty and power of the myths. If you read no other Yuletide story this year, read this one.

Sarah Connor Chronicles:

My Father's House Has Many Rooms: James Ellison, Sarah, Savannah and John Henry. Ellison pov's are still rare; rarer still are stories that deal with what I thought were among the most fascinating scenes of season 2, his relationship with John Henry, complete with the struggle about the theological implications of John Henry's existence. Nor does this story forget the s2 finale leaves Ellison with the responsibility for Savannah, and lets Ellison respond to this. Loved it.

Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly:

Rescue: in which January's younger sister Dominique (aka Minou) is kidnapped, and it's January and Abisag Shaw to the rescue. Barbara Hambly's novels, which are set in a pre-Civil War New Orleans among the gens du coleur libre, as the non-enslaved black population was referred to, manage to create memorable characters and compelling relationships that feel true to the period, and come with a keen awareness of how everyone's status would inform every second of their lives. Same for this fanfic - January is the freed son of two slaves who was able to practice as a physician in Paris but not at home in New Orleans, while Minou is the daughter of their mother by one of her white lovers and basically trained to be a (rich) white man's mistress from birth, while Shaw is poor, but white and free in a very different sense than that of having to carry your papers all the time to prove you're no one's property. While the adventure plot unfolds, all those differences - and the affection that is there between the characters nonetheless - are done full justice.

Ladyhawke:

A woman's whole heart: set after the film. How do you adjust after having been a hawk, after having been a wolf? Treading a delicate balance between fantasy and history, this take on Isabeau (and Navarre) manages to be both romantic and challenging, and, incidentally, a proof that "established relationship" (and a woman in same) does not equal lack of tension or the end of personal goals. Beautiful to read, just the kind of sweeping, satisfying tale to end your day with.

Unconnected thoughts about fandoms I haven't read yet: yay, five DS9 stories, mmmm, lots of of Fringe stories, err, isn't "Social Network RPF" kind of a doubling of terms?
Assignments like Merlin/Dragon or Sylar/Cockroach would be too easy and are canon anyway. Speaking of:


1.) Benjamin Linus (Lost)/ Bunny. Practically canon as well. If you think bunnies are too harmless and not suitable for machiavellian types, read Watership Down.) (Which reminds me that Lost advertises that book as well.) Or ask Anya from BTVS.

2.) Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)/Turtle. She'll outlast them all. Also? Canon. (Yes, yes, so is the wolf thing, but that's way too obvious.)

3.) Gwen Cooper (Torchwood)/English Sheep Dog. Cute but fierce, protective and occasionally inspiring songs. Can sometimes run into things and mess up, but are tenacious and win the day.

4.) River Song (Doctor Who)/ Cat. Of several lives and not always certain loyalties, definitely knowing more than most people in a given room or good at bluffing that she does. Come on, it's perfect. Also, you know, several regenerations of a certain someone have a thing for cats.

5.) Walter Bishop (Fringe)/Walrus. Because if I am the Walrus is not Walter's theme song, it should be. Also there is a certain resemblance, pace John Noble.
Which 5 persons from any fandom would you place on a lonely island to get the most interesting reaction?

I'll automatically exclude characters who are canonically on a lonely island (i.e. anyone from Lost) or spend at least a memorable scene or three there (no Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow, sorry). Also, Lord of the Flies has been done, well and memorably, so I'll try to avoid character combinations that end up with a batshit dictatorship and metaphysical conversations with a pig skull. Otoh, "interesting" does not equal "best at survival", so these won't be my criteria, either. That leaves:

1) Londo Mollari (Babylon 5). Londo, being an immensely sociable creature (when not under certain circumstances), very fond of his creature comforts and definitely not fond of trips to the wilderness, would find being stranded on a lonely island with only a few people very frustrating. However he'd respond to this, it would bound to be witty and/or enraging and/or heartbreaking in turns.

2) River Song (Doctor Who). Because sooner or later, she'd find a way off the island if she really needs to, in some awesome and slightly crazy way that potentially involves a rescue by TARDIS, but in the meantime, she and Londo could snark, flirt, and exchange views on creative gambling.

3) Owen Harper (Torchwood). Because a doctor of the medical type is useful in lonely island situations, Owen has experience with alien physiology as well as human and is actually good at his job, and that just might persuade River not to kill him once she's been exposed to what a messed up collection of issues he is. It's probably touch and go, but an interesting touch and go.

4) Ellen Tigh (Battlestar Galactica). Because an Edward Albee-esque dame with a her loyalty limited to a very small circle (or to one person, depending on when in her life you'd catch Ellen) and otherwise willingness to cut shady deals for her advantage is just what is needed. Also, she could get into a drinking contest with Londo and the odds might be even. This will probably be the end of the booze on the island, causing Owen to curse them both and refuse to treat their hangovers, but it would be immensely entertaining. And she and River could exchange views on long term marriage, she says cryptically. Lastly, Ellen/any of the others is a genuine option.

5) Cameron Phillips (The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Because a terminator with developing free will is a loose gun in an interesting way, because Cameron deserves a break but will be unwilling to take one and will want to do anything to get off that island, because River Song, being a denizen of the Whoverse, is bound to deeply distrust sentient machines originally programmed to wipe out the human race but is too smart not to see the potential there as well, because depending on from when in her canon Ellen comes things could be very interesting and/or messed up when she and Cameron compare backstories, and because Londo could take the most breaktaking inconvenient choice of fulfilling his In the Beginning fantasy of strolling on a beach with a lovely young lady and because, you know, Londo actually has experience on having intimate relationships with your bodyguard/arch nemesis/killer-and/or-saviour and I'd love to hear his take on the Cameron and John situation. :)
selenak: (Buffy by Kathyh)
( Sep. 18th, 2010 07:34 am)
Name the five best "cold open"/teasers (the scene of a TV show before the opening credits)

Tricky to narrow it down to five, as nearly always. However, here are five teasers that definitely made an impression so strong that I can recall them at once when hearing the question:

1) A Tale of Two Cities, season 3 of Lost. Lost of course did good teasers galore, and far more shocking ones, but here's why this one sticks with me even more than the others: spoilery reasons ensue. )

2) Samson and Delilah, season 2 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger; the teaser starting season 2 resolves that cliffhanger as far as immediate circumstances are concerned but at the same time sets up, in only a few minutes and basically without dialogue, some of the big issues of season 2 (as well as the suspense situation for the season opener) - spoilers are still in awe and admiration about that. ) And all of this to the tune of Shirley Manson singing a gospel. It's magnificent.

3) Kobol's Last Gleaming I, season 1 of Battlestar Galactica. Speaking of great music, here Bear McCreary, as he will in the tag scene of part II, brings on his symphonic skills in a big way. The teaser of part I combines several season 1 themes - Boomer's struggle against her Cylon identity and increasing depression, Roslin's Chamalla-induced visions, the relationships between Kara and Lee as well as Kara and Gaius Baltar - in one wonderfully scored sequence. (Sidenote: as a Kara/Lee anti-shipper throughout the show who had really hoped they wouldn't go there I probably had an atypical reaction to a certain scene, but independent from that, I can't deny it was skilfully done.)

4) The Body, season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Of Joss Whedon's four most experimental episodes in this show, Hush, Restless, The Body and Once More, With Feeling, which I think are four of the best hours of tv ever, Restless is probably my overall favourite but The Body is the one which affects me most deeply. As a depiction of the immediate aftermath of death, I find it devastatingly accurate, and spoilery descriptions ensue. )

5) The Sam Tyler Jacket, Ashes to Ashes season 3, episode 5. I didn't want a "real" appearance by Sam on AtA - he had his own show, you know? - and thus was not disappointed we never got one, but this use of John Simm footage by way of Alex' brain was great and cracks me up to this day; competing with that for my favourite AtA teaser is the "Uptown Girl" sequence, also from season 3, which YouTube won't let me link. I ♥ Alex Drake and her dreams, I tell you.
I have the feeling I did this once before, but no time to check, plus what the hell, it's always fun to rave about the women. Qualification: I'm choosing to interpret as referring to females who can do the kicking of the aforementioned backside both literally and figuratively. So ladies who could rule the universe by force of personality, cleverness and manipulative skills like Laura Roslin or Livia Drusilla won't show up; they're in a class of their own.

1) Abigail Brand (originally Astonishing X-Men, now Marvelverse at large). See icon. Green-haired, tough, abrasive, willing to put her life on the line along with everyone else's, with a gift for sarcasm and (so far) great taste in men. Has even mastered the art of admitting of having been wrong and drawing consequences, which is rare in ruthless types. I love her quite a lot.

2) River Song (Doctor Who). Was interesting in her first outing which due to timey-wimeyness was also her end, and became downright fascinating in the last season when we got to know her better; can wear space suits, uniform and evening wardrobe with the same aplomb and is played by the vibrant Alex Kingston. "Hello, Sweetie" will never sound the same again. :)

3.) Sarah Connor (The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the first two Terminator films). Transforming herself from hunted teenage waitress to warrior woman, Sarah picked up a lot of intimacy issues on the way, not to mention poetic if disturbing dreams. I love that she loves stories, which is rare in an action heroine, that she bonds with strangers but has difficulties with her nearest and dearest, and that she tries not just to win a fight but to do so without losing sight of what she fights for. Oh, Sarah.

4.) Ellen Ripley (Alien and subsequent sequels). Like Sarah, Ripley didn't start out as a warrior. She was the space equivalent of a trucker, and one of several reasons why I'm in the minority who prefers Alien over Aliens is that the crew of the Nostromo strikes me as much more real - they aren't marines who banter in movie speak, they are people doing their jobs who have been together far too long. (Also, more British actors.) And it's far from obvious or signaled that Ripley will be the one to survive. But survive she does, and while her life becomes one out of time nightmare in which she keeps being reborn, she never loses her humanity. I ♥ Ripley.

5.) Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess). Actually, most of the women of that show, but Xena is in a class of her own. Cheerfully anachronistic as her show was, she did the dark-haired brooding former villain seeking redemption stick before Angel and various imitations of same, and she did it (more often than not) better. Lucy Lawless gave her a fierce joy in fighting that ex-villains not often get to display, a deadpan sense of humour and a confident sexuality.
This week's fannish5 wants to know about five characters who are too good for their canon, who are the only thing to make an otherwise dreadful canon (book, film, tv) palpable. And that is one of my anti-concepts, anti-kinks, whatever you want to call it. It's not that I don't have canons where I love one character more than any other. Or shows, or book series, where I fell out of love and stopped watching/reading - but one of the steps towards realising "I don't like/love this anymore" was the realisation that I only liked one character, or one aspect, and disliked everything else. To me, watching or reading for one character alone while actively resenting everything else - the other characters, the fictional universe itself - is a guaranteed recipe for misery, and not the inspiring kind (being disturbed or grieved by fiction can be a powerful experience if the fiction is good). It's the kind of thing that causes people to go on and on and on how much they loathe canon x, everything in canon x, except character y, how unworthy canon x of character y. Considering there are usually people around who are fond of canon y, and not just because it contains x, this means they're making other people miserable in addition to themselves, and come off as condescending to boot.

If I like only one character in a fictional universe, I stop watching/reading. For me to really experience fiction, I need to be able to love more than one character. So, instead I decided to list five canons where I don't have a clear favourite but love too many characters/stories/whatevers about it it to single out just one. I find this far more fun.

1.) Farscape. I sometimes joke Rygel is my favourite and not entirely joke about being the only John/Rygel 'shipper and prefering this to John/Aeryn, but all jokes aside: I like the entire ensemble. And the recurring characters (hello, Braca!). And the ships (Moya! Talyn! Poor half eaten Leviathan in season 3!!!!!). There might be some characters who work less for me than others (and there are definitely disliked episodes and storylines), but that doesn't change the overall fondness. Farscape was wild. And I really couldn't tell you whom I love best.

2.) Merlin. Aw, newest fannish love, let me hug you. I adore three of the six main characters and like the other three (well, some of them in a "wouldn't want to meet" fashion but that's true for many a fictional character I'm fond of), there are some great guest stars, and with all the flaws and cheesiness and whatnot, I'm just ridiculously fond of the show and its charming mixture of fun and melodrama. I even hum the theme tune when the credits roll.

3.) Firefly. I was never a Browncoat in the sense that I campaigned or burst into tears when it was cancelled, though I certainly quoted Wash on the subject ("curse your sudden and inevitable betrayal, Fox"), but again, flaws and all, I really liked the show, and its characters. As opposed to other Whedonian ouevres where I definitely have characters I love far more than others, I never had a Firefly favourite. (Though I can hum the theme tune there as well.)

4.) Doctor Who, overall canon (i.e. Old and New Who together). Sure, I have some companions and regenerations I like better than others. But in the vast, vast DW canon, there are so many of them that I really can't say about a single companion "THIS ONE CHARACTER IS MY FAVOURITE". Ditto about one single regeneration. Or even one single guest character. Thankfully, in 31 seasons and counting, there were too many of those. The universe is. just. that. rich.

5.) The Sarah Connor Chronicles. See above, re: Wash quote, re: Fox. But for the two splendid seasons it lasted, I never had a favourite character. Even the one I felt least warmly towards (Derek), I wouldn't have wanted to miss for anything. I liked the ensemble, I liked the way the show never downtalked to its audience but went for complicated narration and character exploration, I loved the stunning use of imagery and music. I loved that universe.
Which five canons would you not want to live in, and why?


Great Maker, as Londo Mollari would say, only five? I wouldn't want to live in most canons of the films and shows I love. And even more not in shows I have only mild or no positive feelings for. But okay then, some of the worst cases of DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE. (Except as a reader/viewer.)


1.) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Look, it's percentages. Maaaaaaybe I'd be one of the people to survive the robocalypse, but even then, it's a terrible post apocalyptic life, and that's assuming I'd end up free and with the resistance.

2.) Battlestar Galactica. New BSG, actually, though I wouldn't want to live in the canon of the old one, either. My survival chances wouldn't be much better, and even if I did survive for all of the show, I'd have to listen to Adama's inspiring speeches and clap my hands before ending up in that spoilery place under those spoilery conditions. Thanks, but no thanks.

3.) Watchmen (either book or film version). Have you read/seen Watchmen? Next question. Although: visiting the Watchmenverse where Rorschach is on the run form all the violet-eyed soulmates who really understand him, call him Walter, save him and/or explain why he needs to get back together with Daniel would be kind of entertaining. In a gruesome way.

4.) Blake's 7. I'm neither a supercomputer built by Ensor or an evil overlady. (Shush, you.) Thus, the chances I'd be able to exist without either being a drugged citizen or a short-lived resistence fighter are partically zero. Thanks, but no, thanks.

5.) Lord of the Rings. (Again, both book and film version.) Look, I love the Shire. I'd still be out of there way faster than Bilbo if I had to live there for the rest of my life. Ditto for Rohan and Gondor. Visits, yes, living, no. And as for the Elves and the last homely home, which is at least writer-friendly... methinks I'd be tempted to start a revolution and argue for a more equal distribution of wealth between elves and the younger races and end up being cast out anyway.

...and speaking of canons I'd rather not live in, a meta rec:


Sherlock: an excellent meta post which articulates, among many other things, why I just can't join the love train for the show and the character far better than I did.
The femgenficathon is a shiny, shiny present to fandom, and next year with hopefully more time I must participate. This year, I just enjoy reading the stories, especially these:

Harry Potter:

Family Ties: Andromeda Black, mother of Tonks and sister to Narcissa and Bellatrix, is one of those characters in the background of the Potter saga whom I always wish we'd seen more of (she seems to have pulled off Sirius' rebellion before he did, only without the melodrama, for starters), and I love it when fanfiction provides, especially as well written as this one. Whether it's her relationship with her sisters, Narcissa especially, or her reaction to the fate of her daughter, it's magnificently rendered.

West Wing:

Life Less Ordinary: in which Amy Gardner suggests CJ should campaign for president. This story has basically every female character of the show working together, and I love how well it renders their voices, CJ's potential Vice President candidate, CJ in general, and the casual Donna/Amy because, yes. Excellent Danny as well.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Mold a figure of me: Felicia Burnett (from The Good Wound) is one of those one-shot characters the show does so well, and here we get more of her, what happened to her after Sarah left, and how she figures out (partially) the puzzle Sarah left her. I loved reading this.

Lastly, because I'm still in the mood: have a short clip from a mid-60s press conference illustrating why the Beatles were always good for quotes and turning interviews into verbal ping pong:

selenak: (Gwen by Cheesygirl)
( Jul. 16th, 2010 04:05 pm)
Lost:

Tales from the Tail Section: starting with s2, Lost came up with creative ways of adding and substracting to its ensemble in considerable ways despite the apparant drawback of an deserted island scenario (i.e. characters couldn't just leave or arrive at leisure). This was controversial: some of the newbies each season were embraced, others resented. S2 started by introducing us to the survivors from the tail section (nicknamed "tailies" by the fandom), and this collection of drabbles captures each of their personalities wonderfully well.


Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Carve me in marble, cast me in gold: Terissa Dyson, widow of Miles D. from Terminator II, was despite her few appearances on the show one of the most intriguing characters. This story shows you why.

Torchwood/Doctor Who:

Journey. The Jack/Alonso story I've been waiting for since that scene in End of Time. There is grief, but there is also connection (along with the sex), and best of all, there's a relationship that's neither OMG True Love or Sex Without Any Meaning Because My True Love Is Dead And Oh Was There Something About My Family Too?. Also, Alonso is a dear, but that's a given.
You know, yesterday I caved and went from smiling benignly to exclaiming "YES!" re: world cup results. It was hard not to, walking through celebrations in Munich.

This was a week of cheer for me on a personal level as well, because seeing old stories of mine from different fandoms reccommended leaves this nice glow of "aww, this one is still read... and this one as well".

I shall now rec some new works myself:

Battlestar Galactica/ Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:

Satellite. This crossover was written for this year's Multiverse and provides an encounter between BSG's Laura Roslin and DS9's Kai Winn. I always thought that Winn and Roslin were very similar characters, if not the same one, only one written as the villain and one as the heroine of the story, and this story plays on that magnificently. Spoilers for the entire canon of both shows.

Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Raise it up: a great vid about the are-they-still?-children in SCC, all but Savannah soldiers in a war whether they want to be or not: Riley, Lauren, the Martin Bedells, Allison, Savannah and John himself. Stunning. Also reminds me that now that the film festival is over I need to finish my SCC rewatch.

****

On a note of "things don't take place in a vaccuum": I'm not in SPN fandom, and I don't read the fanfiction, but it was impossible to miss what's been going on during the last months. I do, however, read Time Magazine on occasion, and Joel Stein recently published an article called My own private India which is, shall we say, a proof you don't have to be a fanfiction writer to behave in a spectacularly clueless and entitled way. He got got called on it by Kal Penn (who played Kutner in House) in a magnificent fashion.

****

Back to more fun things. When Lennon Naked was broadcast, some of the reviews went through previous screen incarnations of any aspects of Beatles tales, and that's how I found out that Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Juliet on Lost, has played Linda McCartney in a tv version of her life. (Gary Bakewall, aka Richard Mayhew from Neverwhere, was Paul. He has played him as well in Backbeat, which makes me wonder whether there is such a thing as (ex)Beatles type casting, seeing that Ian Hart played John Lennon twice as well.) This made for a fleeting moment of imagining a really bizarre Lost crossover.

Something Lennon Naked by necessity of its focus could not cover was the origin story of one of my favourite songs, Hey Jude, but as the film covers the exact period I was reminded of it again. It's also a good example of how any work of art, or, if you prefer a less fancy term, any creative effort can be interpreted completely independent from authorial intention the moment it's done, which in the case of the interpretation I'm thinking of has a bittersweet irony. To recapitulate via quotes from the various horses' mouths:

Paul McCartney: "Hey Jude was a song which I originally thought of whilst driving my car out to visit Cynthia and Julian Lennon after John's divorce from them. We'd been very good friends for millions of yers and I thought it was a bit much for them suddenly to be personae non gratae and out of my life, so I decided to play them a visit and say, 'How are you doing? What's happening?' I was very used to writing songs oon my way out to Kenwood because I was usually going there to collaborate with John. This time I started with the idea 'Hey Jules', which was Julian, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces. The adults may be fine but the kids... I always relate to their little brain spinning round in confusion, going, 'Did I do this? Was it me?' Guilt is such a terrible thing and I know it affects a lot of people and I think that aws the reason I went out. And I got this idea for a long, 'Hey Jude', and made up a few little things so I had the basic by the time I got there. I changed it to 'Jude' because I thought that sounded a bit better."

(This sympathy for Julian thing wasn't a one time only gesture. Quoth Julian Lennon: " "Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit—more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad." Case in point. They still seem to get along well. )

Of course, by the time Hey Jude entered the recording stage, the text had changed quite a bit; as with the majority of McCartney songs, romantic love had entered the picture with the line "you were made to/go out and get her". This led to none other than John Lennon - who was savagely critical about most of Paul's later stuff, but not of this song, which he always praised - to come up with the following interpretation (from the Playboy interviews shortly before his death):

"I always heard it as a song to me. If you think about it... Yoko's just come into the picture. He's saying, 'Hey Jude" - "Hey John". I know I'm sounding like one of those fans who reads things into it, but you can hear it as a song to me. The words 'go out and get her' - subconsciously he was saying, 'Go ahead, leave me.' On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, 'Bless you'. The devil in him didn't like it at all because he didn't want to lose his partner."

And now for the actual song. Lots of people singing Hey Jude under the cut )
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