Outside the Government: The Empty Hearse

TARDIS Eruditorum will return on March 19th. But as a prelude, we're rerunning lightly edited versions of some old essays from the earliest days of the Patreon, now reskinned as the Outside the Government essays for Series 3 of Sherlock. I would also be remiss if I did not note that we are in the final 48 hours of the TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 7 Kickstarter, and it's a nailbiter whether we'll make all the stretch goals.
 
It's January 1st, 2014. Pharrell Williams's "Happy" has unseated Sam Bailey at number one, while Eminem and Rihanna, Lily Allen, Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, and One Direction also chart. In the news, since Matt Smith got old and died it's been exceedingly quiet. Obama signed a budget deal, marijuana was legalized in Colorado, incandescent light bulbs became illegal to sell in the United States, and Latvia adopted the Euro. While on television, Sherlock informed the audience that it was going to lie to them, and then went on to do just that. It had, in the tradition of fair lies, given ample warning. "It's a trick. Just a magic trick." And so, of course, it was. Indeed ...

Your Favourite Audio

I'm delighted to share the most exciting news of February. The eagerly awaited return of, and the link to, the new episode of Pex Lives.Kevin and I talk - for free, I'll remind you, we're just giving this stuff away - about the Peter Davison serial Kinda. Classic stuff to keep you company as you tidy that filthy hovel you call a home or commute to that job you can tolerate, or during the job itself, or however you listen to podcasts. i don't know, you can do as you please. But it is lovely to be able to continue to sit down with Kevin and still be chatting nonsense at eachother about our favourite show after all these years. In this episode, Kevin binds me to a promise to write erotic Tegan focused Dr Who fanfiction when I get 50 patreon supporters. So, that'll be a thing I spend my time doing.

http://pexlives.libsyn.com/44-kinda-or-the-not-we-must-know

Lee Russell is one of my best damn friends in the world and our Amicus podcast is excellent. Late last night, while recording an upcoming Wrong With Authority, my tongue slipped and I embarrassingly called him Lee Daniel ...

Shabcast 36 - Jack Gets Shipped With Seven

Yes, it's the long-awaited (by a tiny number of people) return of the Shabcast. 

And for my big relaunch I'm joined by a mystery returning guest who has a kickstarter going for a new book about the McCoy-era and Wilderness Years of Doctor Who, complete with some chat about the Virgin New Adventures, the new series, and sundry other inevitable digressions.  Because it's us. 

Bet you can't guess who my guest is.

That's a Kickstarter you should totally contribute to, by the way.  In fact I'd almost say you were morally obliged at this point. Here's the link.

And here's the new Shabcast.

And here's my Patreon.

Happy listening and pledging-of-money-to-Kickstarters-for-new-books-about-the-McCoy-era-and-possibly-also-to-my-Patreon.

(Plus, you can still buy our mystery guest's last book, to which I made a modest contribution.  It too was made possible because people funded a Kickstarter.)

 

 

Thoughts on Dynasty Warriors 9: The Blue Dragon

In order to understand what Dynasty Warriors is really trying to tell us, let's first get back to basics. Why is a video game series adapting the history of the Three Kingdoms, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms in particular, called musō (“unrivaled”) in the first place, and why would this be the game to pioneer “1 vs. 1000” combat mechanic it is so (in)famous for?
 
The mascot character for Dynasty Warriors has always been Zhao Yun, and I do not believe this is either accidental or arbitrary. Zhao Yun is known as one of the Five Tiger Generals, who were famed as the most loyal and revered generals of Shu. It is Shu's emperor, Liu Bei, who is generally considered to be the actual protagonist of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (if you had to pick one) at it's his exploits and deeds that are depicted in the most positive and sympathetic light. However while Liu Bei is certainly not a supporting character in Dynasty Warriors (especially if you choose to play as him), it's Zhao Yun who appears on the box art of all the mainline entries and who is oftentimes used ...

The Proverbs of Hell 37/39: And the Beast from the Sea

AND THE BEAST FROM THE SEA: The one painting in the series not to have a direct representation or invocation in the series. The tense sexuality that exists between the Dragon and the Sun-Clothed Woman is replaced here by a raw homoeroticism—a theme that is not entirely uncommon in Blake. (c.f. Object 47 of Milton a Poem) The Beast from the Sea appears in Revelation 13, one verse after the Dragon, and is said to be given his power by the Dragon, creating a sense of heritage or supplanting. In Blake, the Beast rises below the Dragon, but has clear dominion over him. Of course, that’s always how supplantation begins. 

ALANA BLOOM: Maybe he's trying to stop.

JACK CRAWFORD: You think there's any way to push him to be self-destructive?

ALANA BLOOM: Push him toward suicide?

JACK CRAWFORD: Suicide suits me just fine.

WILL GRAHAM: If he's really trying to stop, he's not going to kill himself. How could he be sure his death would affect whatever's inside him?

Will’s casual apprehension of the absurd logic of Dolarhyde’s difficulties in confronting the beast within is grimly funny. A crucial question, of course, is ...

The Memes of Production

Okay, so this popped up on my Twitter feed:

 

Now, it's tempting, isn't it?  A really desirable little chunk of cheese, just sitting there, saying "eat me!", conveniently arranged on a nice wooden platform, framed by a kind of metal wire sculpture of some kind...

I mean, there are so many possible responses.  The person who I saw sharing this on Twitter responded with the admirably direct "because they're stupid as shit".  I myself contemplated several possibilities.  There was "So near and yet so far" and "Because they don't know about Ockham's Razor", and a more serious one, which was "Of course they discriminate!  You have to when giving out grades!"  And so on.  It was gonna be great.  I was going to flip the right-wing narrative, revealing them to be - yet again - projecting their own sense of entitlement onto the people they hate.  I was going to point to their own desire for special treatment, their own snowflakehood, their own yearning for victimhood as a great big excuse, their own spoiled sense of grievance, which leads them to assume that they're right because ...

New Kickstarter Flash Goal, Podcast Appearance

So this just got announced. Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovich writing a 7th Doctor comic for Titan. This is, on the face of it, absolutely landmark. Comics were a huge influence on Cartmel, who drew a lot of his style from 2000 AD while freely plundering Alan Moore's catalog. So having him do one of his periodic returns to the McCoy era in comics is immediately interesting. It's a shoo-in for the McCoy book. Except I'm really out of stretch goal slots. So instead I'm doing a flash goal. If we can hit $10k by the end of the weekend, I'll cover this miniseries in the book. Here's the Kickstarter link. This would be an excellent time either to back it or to link it. We're at $9192 right now, so $10k by the end of Sunday is ambitious, but it's doable.

The fact that we're closing in on $10k also means that the next stretch goal is an interview with Kate Orman. The last two books have both had interviews with prominent creators who are openly fans of the era being covered—Gareth Roberts talked about the Graham Williams years, while Rob ...

Podcasting Blade Runner & Gangs of New York

How do you do fellow kids?

This week I have no less than two new podcast episodes for you from Wrong With Authority.

Daniel and I just released a new episode of Consider the Reagan, the thread in which two or more of us watch and comment on a film released during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.  This time it's Daniel and myself talking about original Blade Runner (1982), followed by some chat about the recent sequel.

Download here.

(By the way, if you're interested in my thoughts about Blade Runner, watch this space, because at some point I will start properly writing my vast project about the Alien series, and this will involve a fair bit of stuff about Blade Runner, because... well, wait and see.)

And the entire Wrong With Authority gang - James, Kit, Daniel, and myself - also just released a new episode covering Martin Scorsese's 2002 historical crime epic Gangs of New York, in which Daniel Day Lewis gives one of the most memorable screen performances of the early noughts, and also Leonardo DiCaprio stands in front of the camera and pulls faces.

Download here.

We plan to have more such episodes for ...

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