Yoo Hoo, New Who

January 4, 2009

Never heard of him. AND he’s younger than me. And he’s a fop. And… And…

And he’ll be excellent.

Look at those hand gestures! He’s clearly born and bred to play The Doctor in some secret BBC experiment (what are they doing with Porton Down these days anyway?). I suggest he was raised in a vat and that his secret birth date is (in fact) not coincidentally the same time they cancelled the series.

I haven’t seen this year’s Christmas special episode yet, but I’m delighted (DELIGHTED) to report that it includes someone who thinks he’s a future Doctor, come back to help out an old incarnation. Delighted because it proves to me that the writers do understand time travel and because I’d written about just this myself in a previous blog post. Ha!

Clearly I should be hired at once, flown to Cardiff to join the writing team. I can be contacted quite easily should anyone wish to send me a plane ticket.

Also, Tennant rightly points out the obvious: there’s no closed door when it comes to his Doctor.

All told, it’s a win-win.

EDIT: And having watched some of the footage of the interviews, I find the headline I came up with (independently and, I have to admit, somewhat obviously) was used by some red top newspaper in the UK when Tennant took over the role. Clearly a career in newspapers is writ large in my future as well.

crap crap crap

October 30, 2008

crap.

just crap.

EDIT: And this is why it’s so crap.

The proper duty

August 31, 2008

I’ve been watching season four of the new Doctor Who and I must say I haven’t really been terribly impressed.

Yes, the banter is good. Donna Noble is fine as far as assistants go, but really I thought the writers were pandering to her actor’s comedy roots (that’s Catherine Tate). I did like the “Oh, no … we’re not … together” lines in the first six or so episodes, and I am liking that she’s finally proving to be an able foil to The Doctor, bringing a new kind of humanity to the Tardis, questioning his motives and intentions. And the running. I am enjoying the running. Oh, and I’m intrigued by Jenny.

But something was missing.

I figured out what it was – Stephen Moffat. In each series so far he’s pulled out a stunningly good episode. Blink is my all time favourite Who but I have to say Season Four, Episode Eight “Silence in the Library” is close on its heels.

Moffat’s just been named as the new show runner for Doctor Who following Russell T. Davies’ departure. His acceptance lines were great.

“My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven.

“Anyway, I’m glad the BBC has finally seen the light, and it’s a huge honour to be following Russell into the best – and the toughest – job in television.”

It’s annoying. I had toyed with a Doctor Who idea or two myself. I always wondered why whenever the current doctor was In Danger to such a degree he had to call on previous Doctors to help.. I had visions of an episode where The Doctor calls on future Doctors and we see a female Doctor, one with three heads, future Tardises and so on.

I had visions of the assistant du jour running through a jungle crying out for the Doc only to find the Tardis not where she left it. She rips open the door and… the interior is different and a strange old man stumbles out and says “who the hell are you?” I might ask you the same question, she replies. Well, I am The Doctor, he says, cue title music, out on assistant looking gobsmacked.

Now of course that future looking episode doesn’t fly because Moffat’s produced someone from the future, from The Doctor’s future, and done it in such a beautiful way that it restores my faith. Not that I’d lost it entirely, just that I was getting a bit bored with Glib and Glib Run Amok.

The good news is he’s saved not only this series of Doctor Who with this episode but (in true Time Lord fashion) all future, past and parallel alternatives as well. That mediocre episode or three that you saw as a kid (probably starring the vet guy if you ask me)… well it’s now brilliant because it’s fed into Moffat’s brain and lead to the development of this episode.

And he’s turned down the chance to work with Spielberg and Peter J on the new Tintin films to be the showrunner for Doctor Who. And why wouldn’t you?

It is “the proper duty of every British subject to come to the aid of the TARDIS”.

Usually

August 10, 2008

Usually I don’t mind not living in London. I mean, I never have, so why miss it?

But then I read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, or Un Lun Dun by China Mieville or I hear that David Tennant is playing Hamlet against Patrick Stewart’s Claudius and I really REALLY want to go and see it.

And then I read this kind of thing (a review of the top 10 performances of Hamlet by the Guardian’s critic) and start to look at jobs advertised online … More on it here.

Gillian took me on a journalist’s tour of London in 48 hours that started with Fleet Street, long after the media had departed.

We visited a traditional journalist’s pub where, she said, ink ran in the beer, there were old chaps who’d stood their ground against Murdoch’s men and who hadn’t worked since and where I could get a real English pint without any of the fuss.

However, it was Waitangi Day in New Zealand and all the ex-pat Kiwis on their big OE were charging round on the tube wearing t-shirts with the map of the Underground but with the place names crossed out and places like Johnsonville, Geraldine, Te Awamutu, Cambridge etched on instead.

The pub was showing Classic All Blacks’ matches and serving Steinlager and was full youths in black shirts “talking loud in a Kiwi accent” including, but not limited to, a couple of guys I’m sure I remember from Waikato.

It was quite surreal and perhaps the best way to visit London.

But I would like to see Tennant’s Hamlet. I very much would.

Hat tip: Neil Gaiman for his very funny take on the photos.

Every Friday morning, Wammo and I have a good chat about technology. Somehow I always manage to get Doctor Who in there and generally we talk turkey on things like field programmable gate arrays and wave division multiplexing. Well, as much as you can on commercial radio (which is quite a lot!).

Today we talked about knitting. Yes, knitting. What’s it to you? Come over here and say that!

And so, to the link fest… There sure are a lot of homespun crafty types out there on the tubes and they all have blogs and sites and forums (fora?) galore. No editorial endorsements or anything like that, just a load o’ links. (OK, maybe just a touch of editorialising. I can’t help myself)

Craftzine has forums, projects, plans, a link to a magazine, you name it.

The Black Apple wins points for its slightly macabre site. Think Suicide Girls for the crochet set.

Something’s Hiding in Here wins for the best name.

Kitty Genius loses points for reinforcing the “people who stay in and crochet love cats” meme, but wins points for having a bloke with a beard on the front page.

Poppy Talk has stuff my daughters would probably like.

Design Sponge looks eerily like Poppy Talk (both Blogspot themes perhaps).

Felt is quite cool and I like its catchy tag line: “Felt, like something different”. Nice.

Pink Paper Pinafore has a nice tiki.

Etsy is the Trade Me of the craft world by the look of it (and has stuff for Father’s Day which I would browse should I have the time).

Toggle has bags made out of old billboards… Do me one that can take a laptop and I’m there, I’m so there. And isn’t ‘toggle’ just a lovely word.

South Seas Knitting could tell a woolly yarn or two I warrant. Swab that swarthy sea dog, you … swarthy … sea dog.

And finally, Slip Slip Knit does a good line in yarn-related puns, but also shows how to fix a wool break in pictures, which is nice.

The doctor is in

May 24, 2008

Just as the actor playing The Doctor changes periodically, so too do the staff behind the scenes.

Rarely, though, has anyone behind the scenes had as much of an impact on Doctor Who as Russell T Davies who quit as exec producer this week.

He’s moving on to other things, as is to be expected, following the most astonishing comeback in TV history. Forget wossname (hah) waking up and finding her dead husband in the shower on Dallas. Forget Magnum waking up after walking off into the clouds. Nobody in their right minds expected a Welsh writer to revive TV’s oldest SF show and make it into a drama for grown-ups as much as a homage to the children’s TV show it once was.

That Davies is moving on is sad news, but not a surprise. He had a career before The Doctor and he’ll have one after.

The great news is that the man shoulder tapped to take over is Steven Moffat, the writer behind such episodes as Blink and who clearly loves the show as much as Davies and as much as the fans.

From the BBC story:

Moffat, … said the whole of his career was ‘a secret plan to get this job’,” which is just lovely.

Even Neil Gaiman weighed in with a post on it, although I prefer his ode to David Tennant playing Hamlet as The Doctor. Scroll down a bit.

Who would have thought it?

December 20, 2007

Yay, good news. David Tennant says he’s not leaving Doctor Who after all.

From the Beeb:

“I’m doing four more specials and beyond that no one’s asked me to make any decisions and I’m quite happy to be enigmatic for as long as possible,” he said.

Love it.

Also, he gets to snog Kylie… Clearly he’s the kissing Doctor. Well, he did say he was going to be lucky after his hand grew back in the first episode.

But the best news is that Bernard Cribbins is going to be in the Christmas special. Bernard was the assistant to Peter Cushing’s Doctor in one of the original TV movies “Daleks’ invasion Earth: 2150 AD” although I don’t remember it by that name.

One of the scariest Who’s of them all.