Confession #88: I See History Happening

Jul
01

I don't know about you, but I usually enjoy those little moments when the Doctor talks about (what is to us) historical Earth and gives his own interpretation of the significance of the culture or event in question. Granted, the focus is usually weighted rather heavily toward Western history and cultures in centuries past and British history for more recent events, but it's still fun to try to put oneself in the place of a member of an alien species, and imagine how he might interpret it all differently.

What do you suppose the Doctor thinks about the current era?

I know he never says much about American history, but it's been a remarkably newsworthy couple of weeks here in the States. With both advances and setbacks, I've had a familiar feeling recently; the same feeling I had on the morning of 11 Sep 2011—the one that says, "we're watching history in the making."

For those who haven't seen the same news reports I have, here's what I'm talking about. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down some key rulings last week. Whether or not you agree with the Court's position, I don't t think anyone can successfully argue that these decisions are not important to the future direction of the country.

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Confession #87: I Hate Best/Worst Polls

Jun
24

How many times have we seen it: "All the Doctors, Ranked Best to Worst" (or "Worst to Best")? Every fan will have their own preferences, and that's as it should be; different strokes for different folks, and all that. But to try to codify any one viewpoint by publishing it for the world to see makes no sense to me at all.

I mean, what can one possibly hope to accomplish? Unless your goal is to get people arguing with you on the Internet (and I'll grant that for some, there appears to be no greater pleasure), you can't win. No matter who the article writer's personal #1 turns out to be, somebody's gonna come away pissed. "They call that idiot 'best'?" "How could you rank my fave at #5?" At best, you find the one or two other fans who are in complete agreement with your opinions of every Doctor; at worst, you get death (or other) threats.

Instead of trying to do something so controversial (and, frankly, impossible—not only do my opinions change from day to day, but it's kind of like choosing your favorite child/pet/other loved one), I thus thought I'd spend a little space sharing my thoughts on why each Doctor is awesome in his own way. Though I'm sorry—if you want to see either Peter Cushing's version or "the War Doctor" discussed, you'll have to peruse a different blog (although that could be a different post; stay tuned).

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Favorable Mutation

Jun
17

Review of The Mutant Phase (#15)
Big Finish Release Date: December 2000
Doctor/Companion: Five and Nyssa
Stars: Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton
Preceding Story: The Holy Terror (Six, Frobisher)
Succeeding Story: Storm Warning (Eight, Charley)

You know that feeling you get when one of your friends is really excited about a story—be it a book or a show or a film—and you've got no problem with it, but it just doesn't excite you? That sense that you're either about to disappoint your friend or that an unpleasant conversation about your differing opinions is about to ensue? That's how I felt coming into The Mutant Phase.

You see, although I've always liked Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor, I've also found him slightly bland—nothing to get excited about (I know I have several friends who are about ready to dump me upon reading that...). So when I got a nudge from one such friend to try one of Five's Big Finish (BF) audios next, I agreed with a certain trepidation. My unease increased when I realized the first one on tap from the list of recommendations I have co-starred Sarah Sutton's Nyssa—another of those dichotomous "friend's favorite/just okay for me" characters.

Imagine my relief when I realized I was quite enjoying the adventure. With no need to come up with something nice to say simply to appease the Five and Nyssa fans, I could relax and take the story as it came.

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Confession #86: I Love "Children of Earth"

Jun
10

Over the past few months—between Gally in February and CONsole Room at the end of May—I've been re-watching Torchwood (TW). It had been a while, and I honestly can't remember whether I'd even watched any of them more than once before this. But the plethora of TW guests at Gally inspired me to re-familiarize myself with the show; as an added bonus, I got to meet an additional cast member at CONsole Room.

Knowing something of what I was getting into going in, I found the first series more enjoyable than I had remembered. My particular preferences hadn't really changed—there are still one or two specific episodes I think are stinkers, including one that everyone else seems to love—but it was fun getting to know the team again, watching how their relationships grew and evolved.

Clearly, there are plenty of examples in Series One of the writers trying a little too hard to separate TW from Doctor Who (DW), and demonstrate how "adult" it was compared to its parent show. There are distinct growing pains, as everyone struggled to find their footing and determine just what this show should (or could) be.

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Cosplay at CONsole Room

Jun
09

Thanks to staff photographer Larry Barthel, I can now share a few of the costumes from CONsole Room that didn't get illustrated in my recap post because my own images were so poor.

Entries in the Masquerade are along the bottom edge (including the Monoid; 12th Doctor not pictured).

There are too many other awesome individuals pictured here—those who simply cosplayed the con—for me to single out; I'd either list them all, or miss someone I thought was worth an extra note. Instead, I'll just ask for your input. Which ones are your favorites?

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