selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)

The BBC is currently broadcasting a radio version of Night Watch, available on iplayer for us non-British folks, and I'm listening, enthralled, to the first episode.

Blake's 7:

If you're a B7 fan, chances are you've already read this, but if you have not: a great new essay, on B7, Blake, Gareth Thomas and Chris Boucher. It's passionate and highly enjoyable to read. (Minus a few unneccessary swipes at non-B7 topics such as John Crichton, Clara Oswald and David Tennant's performance as Richard II. But it would be a boring internet life if we agreed on everything with the people we agree on some things. :)

Stephen King:

Handy and amusing flowchart showing how all the novels and characters are connected.


The Lingering Reminders: hands down one of the best, most even handed post-Civil War stories, in which Tony Stark runs across one of Peggy Carter's old mates. No, not that one. The author's take on old Jack Thompson feels extremely plausible, and there's a hilarious inside gag if you're familiar with the Spider-man mythology. (If you're not, you'll still be amused.) Great mixture of humor and angst all around.


Sons of York: Great take on Shakespeare's version of the York family, specifically the two Richards, father and son.
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
What sad news to to wake up to: Gareth Thomas is dead.

It's not "just" the "Blake from Blake's 7" part. I remember [personal profile] watervole taking me to watch him in Barrie's Dear Brutus, and then later to the pub to meet him. He had such a warm rl presence. (A very big contrast, btw, to the last on screen character I saw him play a few years later, the old serial killer in Torchwood's first season.) I'm usually highly inhibited and embarassed when I meet actors, preferring to watch them from a distance as they do their jobs, but he was really good at putting all of us at ease.

Speaking of jobs: he was great as Blake, and I think the later two seasons of B7 proved that something many fans claim they want, ditching the hero and putting the fan favorite in the center of the show, results in a lesser, not a better story. (Not least for the fan favorite, btw.) But for me the best performance of his that I've watched was in the mini Morgan's Boy, which [personal profile] watervole gave to me on video, and where he was heartbreaking as the taciturn Welsh farmer.

2016 continues to take away.
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
Day 26 - Lots of Star Trek Parodies out there. Which do you dig?

The sinister Federation in Blake's 7 just happens to have the same insignia as the one in Star Trek, turned sideways, and in the s3 episode Deathwatch there's even a direct parody of the "space...the final frontier..." speech. More than one B7 fan has speculated that Star Trek is simply government propaganda produced by the Blake's 7 Federation. As amusing as this is, it makes it only just that my (and probably most people's) favourite Star Trek parody makes fun of B7 as well. By Graphtar's Hammer, what a parody!

Yes, of course I dig Galaxy Quest most. Both because it's hilarious and because it's made with such obvious love for the subject. It laughs with, not about the fans. Which is why it rules.

The other days )
selenak: (Puppet Angel - Kathyh)
I just saw that I have not one but two as yet mysterious and veiled stories in my gift box, so someone wrote a treat for me. This makes me very happy and even more gleeful at the prospect of Yuletide, which is good, since reading the news this morning is more inclined to make one hoping for satire or filled with rage. Or both. Reality is such a tv show, it's not even a little bit funny, except that you have to laugh sometimes or wish to strangle someone. Or at the very least slap them with a fish, thank you, internet, for teaching me this non lethal alternative.

In more pleasant news, this week we had the 200th anniversary of the publication of a certain collection assembled and rewritten by two German professors. I've already written a post about why the Brothers Grimm were cool a while ago, so I'll simply relink it. Also, yesterday was Gauda Prime day, the coincidence of which makes me think hat the Grimms would have appreciated Blake's 7, though Jacob, being a member of the revolutionary parliament of 1848, would probably have hoped for another ending. Still, being fans of the then newly rediscovered Nibelungenlied, the Grimms would have gone with Gauda Prime and wouldn't have written fix its, as much as they'd have collected tales of what Blake was up to during s3 and s4. :)

I sometimes joke that the Grimms would be ideal for modern fandom if anything resembling their actual lives were written or filmed - they make both the Winchesters and Petrellis look distant and restrained in sheer sibling co dependency terms, they were Genius Abrasive Sarcastic Guy and Mild Mannered Social But Sometimes Passive Aggressive Guy long before Holmes and Watson ever were invented, and Wilhelm's wife Dorothea even joked about her two husbands, so they offer something for friends of threesomes as well - but maybe we're lucky a Grimm fandom doesn't exist, for with it would come shipper wars. Recently I checked out fail_fandom, which I sometimes do, and lo and behold, there were embittered Alexander/Hephaistion fans accusing Mary Renault of inflicting Bagoas, that Mary Sue, on their pairing. Which, as [profile] amenirdis once put it, has to be one of the oldest shipping wars ever, seeing as Alexander himself inflicted Bagoas on himself. (Also, seriously, if you think Renault is anti-Hephaistion, you haven't read Fire in Heaven. There is a difference between what the narrator thinks and what the author thinks, by all Olympians, to stay in the period. Oh, and also, if Renault is writing any character as too good to be true, it's neither Bagoas nor Hephaistion, both of whom are very human and real, it's Alexander himself.) (I'm rooting for Bagoas/Lydias anyway, thanks, [profile] jo_graham, for giving me this alternative.) I shudder to think what would happen if fandom really had a go at the Grimms. Poor Dortchen would be accused of Coming Between Them (never mind that she didn't), and there would be complaints about a woman sullying the slash. Also, the arrival of Savigny in the lives of the brothers would give an out to those fans who really aren't into incest - what with him rescuing Jacob from librarian hell - and then the shipping wars would really commence....

Nah. They're better off without a fandom. I think?
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
I meant to do this before going to Italy, but didn't find the time:

5 instances of theories getting Jossed (fanon or common fanfiction tropes being invalidated by new canon), Kripked (fanon or common fanfiction tropes being confirmed by new canon), or some combination of the two.

1.) Jossed: Snape Manor (Harry Potter). Which I use as a shorthand for the kind of background fanon gifted Severus Snape with pre-Half Blood Prince. Actually, the Jossing already started, if you like, with Order of the Phoenix, because the kind of House of Usher background Sirius Black has there - Gothic rotting mansion, crazy mother, near crazy servant, sibling with mysterious fate - is exactly the type of thing Snape had been given in fanfic a lot, and after this book, it was unlikely Snape would have the exact same thing in canon. Still, Snape Manor, home of Severus, persisted in showing up (not least so, say, Hermione/Harry/Draco/Whichever-student-the-author-ships-with-Snape in War-with-Voldemort fics could find refuge in it)... until it became canon that good old Severus' father had been a Muggle, that there was no manor, and he lived instead in an entirely normal looking house in an industrial northern town. I still get a kick out of this, I must admit.

2.) Jossed: Angelus as Spike's sire/Darla's status in Angelus' life. (BTVS and Angel.) Literally Jossed, what with both being Joss Whedon shows. I once wrote an entire post about why I loved the Fanged Four dynamics as established by AtS and the later BTVS seasons much more than the fanon that had been written before, so check it out. Hooray for vampire matriarchs!

3.) Kripked: Time Lords can change gender and skin colour when regenerating (Doctor Who and spin-offs). Our former Welsh overlord confirmed the later in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode where Eleven shows up and gets quizzed by Clyde on the subject, and our current Scottish overlord allowed Neil Gaiman to confirm the former in my favourite s6 of New Who episode, The Doctor's Wife, when Eleven reminisces about the Corsair.

4.) Jossed: Avon may display a lot of cynicism, but he wouldn't really save his life at the expense of his friends. (Blake's 7.) Of course I came to the show many years later, but fanzines were still sold, and thus I read a great many stories, all written pre-Orbit, in which Avon is in an emergency situation with Vila or Blake and could save his life at their expense, but comes through for them. Well, nothing happened in canon to jettison the Blake assumption, but alas, poor Vila. I must admit my perverse fondness for Orbit results not a little from an overdose of cynics-with-a-heart-of-gold/noble-jerk type of characters who while being interestingly ambiguous in canon were promptly whitewashed into never ever displaying a negative trait in fanon, being meanly judged and misunderstood and what not, etc. And Orbit certainly is a slap in the face in that regard. (Mind you, I've still read a lot of Orbit denial/apology fic in which Avon absolutely knew where Vila was hiding and didn't really mean to space him, but that's fandom for you.)

5.) Kripked/Jossed: Morgana is Uther's daughter and Arthur's half-sister. (Merlin). On a Doylist level, it's somewhat obvious that in the earliest episodes the show's makers hadn't yet intended to have Morgana as Arthur's sister, which she is in most versions of the myth, but in the later s1 episodes, we've arrived at a siblingesque dynamic between Arthur and Morgana anyway, and while there was Morgana/Uther shipping due to their chemistry, as of s2 there was also speculation as to whether or not there was a biological connection. [personal profile] zahrawithaz, for example, argued repeatedly for Morgana as Uther's biological daughter, while I was holding out for Morgause as Ygraine's secret love child with Gorlois. S3 then settled the bastardy question, which retrospectively brings back a bit of an incestious slant on very early s1 where originally none had been intended, but which is, err, sort of traditional. Anyway. I'm not sure whether to call it Kripked or Jossed, but whatever it was, it happened and works for me.
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
Blake's 7:


Five games Avon and Servalan played with each other (and mostly lost). I always have had a soft spot for the twisted Avon/Servalan relationship, and find them both deliciously in character here.


How Luther laughed at the devil

Not a slash pairing, but a crossover of plays! And ten times more entertaining than when Gerhard Hauptmann sort of did it in his prequel play Hamlet in Wittenberg. (No, you didn't miss anything.) Official summary of this delight: "When a Wittenberg mathematics professor is possessed by a demon, there's only one man to whom Prince Hamlet can turn: the demonologist Doktor Faustus."

The Good Wife

Something to talk about

A Dana pov story that explores her while at the same time having a go at Cary and the way he relates to different women - Kalinda, Diane, Alicia, Wendy Scott-Carr, and of course Dana herself.

Greek and Roman Myths

The Dioskouroi

A story that uses the Castor and Pollux myth (brothers to Helen and Clytaimnestra, if you're not so up on your Greek mythology) to create a sci fi story with some wonderful world building. It's absolutely awesome, a treat both if you're familiar with the various Greek myths and if you've never heard of them. (For example, if you know who Jason is in Greek myths - he of the Argonauts, Medea's no good Greek husband - you'll get a kick out of the characterisation, but solely within the context of this story he works just as well.) If you're squicked by incest, I should warn you that this story has the twins, Castor and Pollux, as lovers, but that's handled very subtly, and left to hints; unless your squick is also a trigger, I would really advise you to read the story regardless, because it's just that good.

The death and resurrection of Persephone, in stages

A feminist rewrite of the myth of Persephone, and what's most impressive about it is that the actual actions were not changed from (many of) the myths - but the motivation and agenda, oh, that's such a very different story now. Brilliant.

Fairy Tales

Lovely, dark and deep

This one tackles Hänsel and Gretel, with Gretel as the pov character and center, focusing on her relationship with the witch. Who turns out to have another fairy tale identity as well. Really well written, disturbingly good.


Let it be

Despite having a song title by the Beatles, this one is not by me. :) It's Antony and Caesar talking shortly before the Ides of March. Considering how much the relationship with Caesar shaped Antony both in history and on the show, it's amazing how little it gets explored. Here we get a good glimpse.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Son of a Preacher Man

Jake and Nog through the years. Both get rarely tackled by fanfic, and I was delighted to find them and their relationship front and center here. Bonus for added Quark!

Tough Guide to Fantasy Land

A special limited time offer

A marvellously funny spoof of dark, gritty fantasy. Just the thing to read after watching Game of Thrones and/or reading G.R.R. Martin, among others. :)

Winnetou - Karl May

Okay. Karl May's Winnetou novels were the very, very first books I ever read, as soon as I could read, because my grandfather used to tell me stories from them when taking me along for walks, and so something in me shall remain eternally six years old, tackling books and being enthralled and thus not capable of sensible criticism when it comes to these novels by a nineteenth century German novelist who basically proved fantasy to be stronger than reality for a long time until reality caught up with him in a brutal fashion. And the first fictional character I ever cried for is the woman who gets explored by these two stories, one in English, one in German. Two character explorations of Nscho-Tschi:

Beautiful Dawn (the one in English)

Poetry in Motion (the one in German)
selenak: (Tardis - Hellopinkie)
Five favorite ships - sailing ships, spaceships, etc., not relationships.

1.) The Liberator (Blake's 7). While the B7 budget was tiny to nonexistant, the Liberator was a splendid ship anyway (and for a glimpse of how it would have looked like with GCI, see the Excalibur from Crusade, with the ship not being the only thing in the B5 spin off - or B5 itself - used in homage to B7). It was the first but not the last "living ship" I fell in fannish love with (see below) and Terminal is as sad an episode as Orbit or Blake for me for that reason.

2.) Moya (Farscape). Moya the leviathan, a living ship in which the majority of the show's action takes place never says a single word on the show, but the series manages to convey her personality distinctly nonetheless, and she's as much a cast member as the ones played by human actors. Spoilers for Farscape and Doctor Who's sixth season ensue. ) Visually, the brown and golden organic colouring and all the curves instead of sharp angles really sell you on Moya as grown instead of built, and it's part of the unique Farscape world.

3.) The TARDIS (Doctor Who). One of many reasons why shipping wars in this fandom are so very superfluos is that the true OTP was always and without question Doctor (any regeneration)/TARDIS over forty years, and thank you, Neil Gaiman, for devoting an entire episode to this fact. :) (Well, there was that fling he had with Bessie the car , but other than that...) Seriously now, the idea of a blue police box being really the closet to Narnia a ship to traval through time and space with encapsulates the "wonderful nonsense" (lovely quote from The Next Doctor in one of the best verbal reactions to the TARDIS ever, uttered by David Morrissey) that is Doctor Who, and they who do not care for the TARDIS probably can't care for the show, either. Also?

4.) The Enterprise D (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Yes, I'm thoroughly fond of the original Enterprise, and get misty eyed when it explodes in ST III. But I still love the D best, with its bar Ten-Forward, its holodeck, its beige colours, Data's cat Spot and the ready room with Picard's goldfish Livingstone. It had a cosiness and home-iness the other versions lacked, which is of course why it later was disdained by certain fannish quarters. Maybe it's a sign of me getting old, but I like cosy. Space is cold enough anyway.

5.) Serenity (Firefly). Also a ship that feels like a home, despite coming from the other franchise tradition (aka it was obviously and acknowledgedly inspired by the Millennium Falcon). The show in its short life not only gave us one episode which showcased how Mal came to find her (Out of Gas) and why he's as in love as any other captain, but also a River-centric one where Serenity is both an invaded home and one that fights successfully back against the invasion (Objects on Space), and where she's paralleled to River, while the Big Damn Movie in its opening sequence manages to reintroduce the entire cast via a long uncut trip through the ship, thus reintroducing it as well, and ends with a direct Serenity/Zoe equation, and this last one is the one that struck me as most apt. If Moya, the Liberator and the Enterprise are more the motherly types of spaceships and the TARDIS is the Doctor's fellow traveller (or rather he is hers), Serenity is the war veteran of ships, battered, but still flying, and splendidly so.
selenak: (DuncanAmanda - Kathyh)
Blake's 7:

Yesterday was Gauda Prime day; here are two of my favourite PGP classics, by [personal profile] watervole, one as dark as the final episode, one while having its share of darkness also full of hope:

The Third Option The Third Option: in which Servalan makes a fatal miscalculation.

Morgan: in which Avon comes across a man resembling Blake physically but not in character, and two damaged people help each other.


Yesterday was also solstice, which is Duncan McCleod's birthday. Again, I have two old favourites to reccommend, by the same author, Parda, one light and one dark.

Once More, With Horseman is a hysterical filking of the episodes Comes a Horseman/Revelations 2:6 to the tunes of the Buffy episodes Once More, With Feeling. Choice samples include:


You took the dagger out!


I took the dagger out!

to the tune of the mustard, obviously, and Cassandra singing This is a man/ that I can happily strangle,/ He's total slime./His claim to fame /was to maim and to mangle,/ Now vengeance is mine! to Anya's duet with Xander. Read and giggle (especially if you're familiar with both fandoms, but even HL-only fans should have a laugh).

Changed Utterly, by contrast, is a great character story, set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.
selenak: (Watchmen by Groaty)
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.
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
Name your five favorite evil characters.

Now often one person's evil character is another misunderstood one's, so it's a given this choice is subjective. My personal criteria for favourite evil character, as opposed to favourite villain (different thing, really) is that this character does not have a redemption arc and/or sacrificial death. (This excludes types like my beloved Darla. If you argue that killing yourself for your offspring does not redeem four hundred years of gleeful mass murder, I hear you, but still, both her acceptance of her mortal death at the end of Trial just before Dru came in and her final death for Connor in Lullabye push her out of this category for me.) Also, I'm excepting characters like Al Bester (Babylon 5) or Scorpius (Farscape), or even Kai Winn (DS9), who definitely do evil things but not only believe they're doing this for the greater good (many a villain does that) but are capable of putting their own lives on the line for the goal and/or other people. No, my people below are resolutely "me first" minded.

1.) Servalan (Blake's 7). My favourite evil overlady. Let me put it this way: I'd rather face Aeryn Sun armed with a gun than Servalan in high heels and seemingly unarmed. With Aeryn, I'd have a chance to argue why I shouldn't die. Servalan even if she'd spare me for the moment because I'm useful would screw me over sooner or later. Also? Servalan survives anything. Ask Avon.

2.) Lucas Buck (American Gothic). He might or might not be the devil (personally, I'm voting for minor demonic entity, that's more interesting), he's charming, he's witty, smart, and yes, some of the time there are worse alternatives for top dog in Trinity around, plus his usual modus operandi is giving other people enough rope to hang themselves instead of offing them himself, but still: evil. (Ask Merlyn and her mother.) And hence qualified for this top five, as I'm really fond of him.

3.) Shakespeare's version of Richard III. (As a Ricardian and Yorkist, I have to specify, because I like the very different historical version as well.) Nobody does family murders and crown usurpation as stylishly and with as much glee. Still one of the dream roles for actors, and the scene where he seduces Anne over the body of her dead father-in-law and husband was a thousand times imitated and never bettered.

4.) Livia (as interpreted in I, Claudius). I almost left her out because Livia believes she does it all for Rome as well, if her monologue to her dying husband is anything to go by, but then we never see her really sacrifice something, let alone her life, for either Rome or anyone else, so she is in, and I'm glad, because she's truly a magnificent character, smart, ruthless, witty, and so masterly manipulative that when she's dying, she manages to make both the audience and one of her victims who know exactly what she did still feel sorry for her, root for her, and give her the immortality she craves. For that, Livia wins over the other near-best evil person of I, Claudius, Caligula.

5.) The Master (Doctor Who). I have my preferences among his various regenerations, Delgado!Master heading the lot, but if you try to tell me he wasn't "really" evil back then, you must have missed the part where in reply to the Doctor's question why he'd want the Sea Devils to wipe out humanity if he can't rule them anyway, he says "because you like them so very, very much". (Also, the plastic daffs in Autons might might have looked gloriously ridiculous but they did the killing job quite efficiently.) So yes, he always regarded genocide as a satisfying means to work out his issues with his ex boyfriend. Definitely evil, but in the right episodes ever so entertaining and part of one of the few DW pairings I actively 'ship. (Meaning that I'm not just okay with the on screen canon but seek out fanfic and vids, which is my personal qualifier for 'shipping .)
selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
1.) The Multiverse ficathon (aka [community profile] multiverse5000; this year's run has just started). Ever since [personal profile] andraste and [profile] iamsab came up with the idea in 2004, it had resulted in great crossovers between my favourite sci-fi shows for me to read, and as a writer, it has challenged me and has resulted in some of the stories I'm proudest of.

2.) Yuletide. On a similar note, this ficathon which for years I'd been too chicken to participate in until I finally took the proverbial plunge last year provides not only great stories at the end of each year but, even more importantly, stories in fandoms that aren't popular (at least not on the internet), which means otherwise it's really hard to find something written in them. If you've ever fallen in love with a movie/show/book and were frustrated not many other people seemed to, or at least not enough to get creative about it, you know what a blessing the Yuletide ficathon is.

3.) All the new blood in Star Trek fandom following ST XI last year. Yes, some of the new kids on the block do that annoying thing where they scorn the rest of the Trekverse, and don't get me started on media stupidity like SFX' ravings about how finally some manliness was back in Star Trek, but still. A lot of newbies got and get inspired to discover Star Trek in its many incarnations Even those who stick to strictly TOS/new movie territory bring their own ideas and creativity to the fandom, and instead of new stories being written every six or seven months or only once a year, we have daily newsletters again. (And if one of the new fans is James Franco, he even slashes Kirk/Spock to general media applause. What's next, Zachary Quinto publishing his Peter/Harry stories?) To quote never-my-captain James. T. Kirk at the end of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan: "I feel young."

4.) Watching Greg Doran's production of Hamlet live on stage with [personal profile] bimo on July 31st in 2008. This managed to make me happy in three different fandoms at the same time, since it starred both David Tennant and Patrick Stewart and was superb Shakespeare. Also, as opposed to media reports, there was no ill behaviour by fans (i.e. everyone in the audience reacted to stage events, there were no shoutings to the actors or something like that, let alone interruptions of performances, which made me happy as a fan as well. (Btw, I also was able to attend the play Catherine Tate was in at the same time in London that year, and wouldn't you know it, the media wrote that when David Tennant and Georgia Moffet attended, the audience interrupted hte performances so they had to leave during the break, which would have been quite an effort considering that it was a one-act play without a break - I really don't know where the media obsession to paint sci fi fans as rude nutters comes from!) It will always remain one of my fondest theatre memories.

5.) The Blake's 7/Babylon 5 Redemption convention I attended years ago where the cunning [personal profile] watervole, filker extraordinaire, was so inspiring that I didn't just join the chorus of people singing the Andromedan battle hymn but filked the Ode to Joy for B7, and I met several fellow fen whom I still "see" online on a regular basis. Also, the "was Blake right or wrong about Star One?" debate was fun as always, Gareth Thomas was very nice to everyone, and I first discovered the phenomenon that American fans take the elevator whereas European fans take the stairs if there are two panels shortly after another on two different floors. Lastly, Londo Mollari won the ruler of the universe competition; in short, it was the perfect con.
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
It occurs to me I haven't said anything re: World Cup yet. I'm not a football fan, but other people's fannishness is often endearing, especially if it's all over the world. Also, a few years ago I my surprise I found myself utterly charmed by a film in which football plays a crucial role, Das Wunder von Bern ("The Miracle of Bern"), which with its strong acting and excellent storytelling was utterly approachable for a football lay person such as myself. (For a review of why you should watch this film on dvd if you missed it in the cinema, see this post.) Since the film's background is the 1954 World Cup, a rewatching would be very timely indeed.

Meanwhile, yesterday in the train I browsed through the Summer2010 SFX, and found myself rolling my eyes and sniggering at the article about Blake's 7 a lot. Why? Spoilers for B7 aren't stupid and aren't going. )

The same issue of SFX has an interview with Ron Moore about what he's fannish about, and demonstrates again why despite certain aspects of BSG which infuriated me, I can't stay angry with the man. I mean, other than enduring affection for most of his TNG and DS9 episodes and the part of BSG I really love. You'll recall that for years the media, ESPECIALLY SFX, have been billing BSG as "the anti-Trek" and kept harping on Star Trek by comparison (conveniently ignoring much of ST, I might add), but RDM never played that game or renounced his Trekkish past, on the contrary. When it was 40th anniversary time, he wrote a glowing article for the New York Times, and now in the current Q & A about inspirations, he replies thusly: "(As a child) I sort of graduated from Lost in Space to Star Trek and Star Trek was very, very different. It took the genre seriously, it was what seemed like a real universe, everything fitted together and made sense, and it tackled interesting moral dilemmas every weekk. On top of that it had these fascinating characters at its core, so it was really unlike anything else I saw in television. I grew up fantasizing being on the Starship Enterprise, and then one day I got to walk on the Starship Enterprise, write the stories and sit in the captain's chair and do all sort of things that were childhood fantasies."

(Sidenote: has anyone ever done a study of the "fan-in-charge" phenomenon, because by now there are plenty of compare/contrast possibilities, between old Trekkers like RDM crucially shaping the later Trek shows like TNG and DS9, old Whovians like RTD and the Moff in charge of Doctor Who, and, for good measure, old X-Men fans like Joss Whedon writing Astonishing X-Men?)

He's equally fannish about space per se: "I got into science fiction because I was interested in the American space programme. I watched the Moon landings when I was very young and I was fascinated by space ships and space (...) For a long time as a child I wanted to be an astronaut. My fondest wish was to become a pilot and join the space programme. I was fascinated with all the trappings of NASA in the early '70s, watching the moon landings and the Moon rover, and the news coverage and the magazine articles. I remember writing letters to NASA and drawing pictures of spaceships and sending it to them, and they would send back full colour pictures of spacecraft and shots of the Moon. It was an amazing thing."

See, imagining young Ron drawing pictures of the moon and slightly older Ron, after joining the TNG writing team, using the first opportunity he gets to sit in the captain's chair reminds me of how much the current crop of showrunners are themselves the product of fandoms and "one of us" in both the good and the bad sense. No one is prone to get argumentative about fandom and into "I am right and you are wrong" mode more than another fan. And then there is the tendency to drawn-out WIPs where the plot isn't really mapped out... Still. Nobody said that when there geeks are in charge, this would result in fannish paradise.
selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
From [personal profile] penknife:

Go to your icons page in Livejournal and look at the first two icons (the one on the right and the one on the left). Pair up the characters in the two icons. Go to the next two and do the same until you have a list of ships. Then...well, write 'em.

It's been a while since I've done this one, and I have new icons and new fandoms, so I gave it another go. Filtering out combinations which remained the same since the last time, as well as real people not dead since centuries and the same characters twice, here are the remaining 'ships of crackiness and sometimes amazing fitness:

Say who now? )
selenak: (Tardis - Hellopinkie)
1.) The Liberator. (Blake's 7). "I - have - failed - you" is all I'm saying, and B7 fans know whereof I speak and sob with me in our virtual hankerchiefs. If you want to know what the Liberator would look like with decent GCI, Crusade's Excalibur is basically a more modern version. I like the Excalibur as well, but not Top 4-ish.

2.) The TARDIS. (Doctor Who) Duh. Maybe the Doctor and I cheat on her with Bessie once in a while, but really, the TARDIS is the most wonderful ship through time and space ever. To quote Jackson Lake, "what marvellous nonsense". When I was in Edinburgh two or three years ago and spotted my first real life blue police box, I squeed in an unbecoming manner, and my Aged Parent whom I had dragged through Britain with me was much bewildered at the sight.

3.) Serenity (Firefly). "She's still flying." Out of Gas is one of my favourite Tim Minear episodes in any Jossverse show, because of the way crew and ship come together in the flashbacks. And am I ever glad the ship wasn't one of the casualities in the Big Damm Movie...

4.) Moya (Farscape). Moya, the leviathan, and her offspring Talyn were as real characters as any of the actor-performed ones in that show, and could break your heart and make you love them in just the same way. Awww, Moya.

5.) The Enterprise-D. (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Yes, yes, I know, it should be the first Enterprise, but you can't control your emotions, and I just love that Galaxy Class cruiser that decisive Top Five bit more, with its Ten Forward bar and its Holodeck and its comfy command chairs. And Picard's gold fish Livingstone in the Ready Room. Never mind Kirk, the D crashing in Generations was the big loss. (Nothing against the E, but it just wasn't the same.)
selenak: (Guinevere by Reroutedreams)
Complaining will get you somewhere: SyFy has rewritten, or rather, edited, the offending character description for Gwen. (I.e. they took out the paragraph about her looks and the "most notorious adulteress in history" nominer). Meanwhile, this and the rest of the cast character descriptions still seem to be from another show ("If the world only knew what Merlin could do he'd be popular, rich....and dead. So he has to watch Arthur get the credit and the girls"), so much so that they scream for parody. I'm really tempted to write a character breakdown for, say, Blake's7 a la SyFy. Which would go something like this:

Avon: Avon is played by Paul Darrow. Wrecked with insecurity and shyness due to his unassuming looks, Avon is a man of few words who hides his formidable intellect and never gets the credit he deserves. Will he ever find friends or true love on the Liberator?

Jenna: Jenna is played by Sally Knyvette. A kind, gentle soul, uninterested in worldly gain, she has consistently managed to dissuade the harsh Blake from his more dire plans of action. She pretends not to get along with Avon, but in reality everyone can see these two are made for each other. Will they at last open their eyes?

...but eventually I'd get to Dayna and I can't bring myself to write dumb racist descriptions, even as a parody, so that is that.

Meanwhile, the Disney Company, who last year actually did good with the charming Princess and Frog - Tiana is my favourite Disney heroine in a long time - has decided that boys think films with girls' names on it are icky, icky, icky, so they'll rename their next effort from Rapunzel to Tangled and make the prince into a dashing bandit named Flynn Rider who is really the main character. You know, considering Rapunzel is actually a salad's name (which is a plot point in the story), you'd think if there was any renaming to be done, they'd call him Cucumber, which even has the manly association they're obviously going for, but hey.

I can't really get riled up about this, though, because my inner geek kicks in and reminds me of the tangled, no pun intended, history of this particular fairy tale. You can trace the whole princess-in-a-tower thing back to the Greek myths (Danae), but the first version resembling the one eventually destined to become definite was crafted by Charlotte Rose de Caumont de la Force in 1698 for her book Cabinet des Fees, and it was called Persinette (aka Little Parsley - the salad thing really is crucial). The Grimms, Jakob and Wilhelm, later heard the story via one of their acquaintaces among the French Huguenot circles who had ended up in the German states after the edict of Nantes was lifted, and made it into Rapunzel. Wilhelm Grimm had to rewrite it after the first edition of Grimm's Fairytales, however, because reviewers complained "Which decent mother or guardian would be able to tell the tale of Rapunzel to their innocent daughters without blushing?"

Why? Because in both the French and the first Grimm version, the way the sorceress finds out Rapunzel has been seeing someone behind her back is because the girl gets pregnant. So there was a rewrite in which Rapunzel gives herself away in another way. If you want to compare and contrast both versions, they're here. You'll notice the prince is pretty useless in either one; the escape plan in the second one is Rapunzel's. But at least the prince isn't a cad, which he was in Persinette, where the whole pregnancy thing went down thusly: "The prince was happy, and Persinette loved him more and more; they met each day, and soon she discovered she was pregnant. This new state disturbed her, as she did not know anything about it; the prince did know what happened but did not explain it to her, as he was afraid to cause her distress."

....Aaanyway. Rapunzel, as Grimm tales go, goes pretty dark (the prince gets blinded), notably doesn't kill off the sorceress, not to mention that it starts out with parents trading off their unborn offspring because the wife has pregnancy cravings for a salad, so why Disney decided to make it in the first place, I don't know - not their stort of story. Stephen Sondheim, on the other hand, used it rather well in Into the Woods, honing in to the fact the crucial relationship in the story isn't between Rapunzel and the prince, but rather between Rapunzel and the sorceress who "adopted" her. So I'll end with links to two songs from Into the Woods, sung by Bernadette Peters, who was one of the most popular Witches in this musical: No one is alone and Children will listen.
selenak: (Alex Drake by Renestarko)
Choose ten characters. What fandoms would they participate in, and in what ways?

1.) I already did a post on clearly both movieverse Magneto and Xavier being Doctor Who fans, complete with highly scientific poll as to which Doctors and which Companions they like best. Expanding on that, I'd say Erik Lehnsherr to this day argues Genesis of the Daleks with Charles online and and has dispatched Mystique to Simbabe to investigate those rumours that there are copies of the lost Second Doctor episodes there. He could only sell her on this by telling her she might as well kill Mugabe while she was in the country, but by all means had to retrieve the tapes.

2.) Severus Snape, growing up with a Muggle father as he did, had off course access to 70s and early 80s tv. You know what this means, don't you? Young Severus was a Blake's 7 fan. Only Lily knew, of course, because he'd never have confessed it to his Slytherin friends; he just used Avon's one liners to great effect without them recognizing the origin. He used to write Avon/Cally fanfic under a pseudonym for fanzines and then broke it off. During his time as a Death Eater, he was severely tempted to go after Chris Boucher for Gauda Prime, but the thought of Voldemort figuring out the reason held him back. Later, at Hogwarts, he came around to regarding Blake as a great finale. At least Avon didn't have to teach kids as a punishment.

3.) Arvin Sloane's secret vice, as opposed to the more obvious ones, are Andrew Llyod Webber musicals, especially The Phantom of the Opera. He has all kinds of recordings, went to see it every time he was in London for an Alliance meeting and when really depressed finds reading Erik/Christine OTP fanfic complete with Raoul bashing cheers him up to no end. He'd never write it, though. On the other hand, he nearly got into a flame war on the subject why older manipulative mentor types with a killing record might not be the ideal partner for young talented ingenues. The other person just couldn't see Erik did it all for Christine's own good and that she'd never become such a stellar soprano without him; and why should the occasional posing as her father be a bad thing?

4.) Darla was really into Wilkie Collins novels back in the 19th century and had a bet running with Angelus as to what the nature of Sir Percy's secret was, though her favourite of his novels wasn't The Woman in White, it was Armadale. In the 20th century, she discovered the film Theatre of Blood and thought it was a marvellous idea, very inspirational. Only instead of killing off critics by staging Shakespearean deaths, she celebrated her ongoing Collins fannishness by killing off critics who insisted that he just wrote cheap potboilers by staging Collins murders. Also prevented murders which really should have been allowed to succeed for everyone's good, like the death of blond Alan in Armadale, oh yes. Wilkie Collins' reputation with literature professors improved; his critics literally died away. Clearly, fandom is not powerless.

5.) Alex Drake was a big Professionals fan as a girl, read Bodie/Doyle slashfic though she didn't write it, and made character and relationship soundmixes. She also catches Martin Shaw on stage when she can. Well, she did when she was living in the present, that is. Since her trip to the past, she found she couldn't stand watching The Professionals on screen anymore, for some reason, and instead distracts herself by watching Dallas, annoying her teammates by predicting plot twists and reconciling them by inventing drinking games.

6.) Toshiko Sato was a big Battlestar Galactica (new) fan, creating some of the best vids in fandom and writing lengthy, thoughtful meta. She was secretly a Kara/Leoben shipper (secretely because she knew how screwed up that was, and so used another handle when talking about that ship), but her vids were either Roslin-centric or ensemble. She was tempted to ask Jack about the Final Five and how it all ended but in the end didn't, and died not knowing.

7.) Abigail Brand is familiar enough with Star Wars to get Hank's references and respond accordingly, but she's really a fan of the Alien franchise. Ripley was and is her idol. She has all editions of all four movies on dvd and Sigourney Weaver's autograph, though she claimed her geeky boyfriend wanted it. In her non-existant spare time, she writes furious posts in online forums as to why there shouldn't be a fifth one.

8.) John Connor actually tries to stay away from sci fi, but one day caught a BSG episode, and, well, it all ended with him arguing in Television Without Pity why Cylons were completely implausible but Boomer was screwed over as a character anyway and should have gotten a redemption arc. He'd never tell his mother but has a feeling Cameron knows.

9.) Martha Jones stays away from medical shows except House; she and Tom regularly mock the medicine during episodes, but they never miss one, and though Hugh Laurie's American accent still occasionally weirds her out - after all, she watched Blackadder as a girl - she has a huge crush on him. Sometimes she checks the internet for Shakespeare fanfic and never knows whether she's dissapointed or relieved that there don't appear any Shakespeare/Dark Lady stories available.

10.) Vince Matsuka is a big Star Trek fan, which isn't a secret, and mods a Kira/Odo shipping community, which is, since he always tells everyone he's just in it for the chance to get naked photos of the female actors. He also gets into regular flame wars with Kira/Dukat shippers and with someone with a goverment computer IP who wants the discussion to get back to whether the Enterprise could beat the Death Star, with the online handle of LemonLymon.


selenak: (Default)

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