That Sad Skeleton (Mummy on the Orient Express)

Oh no! The Doctor no longer has time to listen to all of "Minimum Wage" before he dies!

It’s October 11th, 2014. Meghan Trainor is at number one with her body positivity anthem “All About That Bass.” Lower in the charts are Magician, Sigma, and, yet again, Taylor Swift, who has been in with “Shake it Off” consistently since “Into the Dalek” aired. In news, Douglas Carswell wins reelection as a MP, this time as a UKIP member, while the US Supreme Court declines to hear a variety of appeals on same-sex marriage cases, making it legal in all but twenty states.

On television, meanwhile, the consensus best story of Series 8, and, for some tranches of fandom, the Capaldi era. This presents something of a problem. There’s a longstanding tendency in TARDIS Eruditorum where well-liked stories come in for a bit of a kicking. Although heavily informed by my taste, TARDIS Eruditorum is not a series of reviews; it’s a cultural history of Britain that uses Doctor Who as its lens and subject. (As my pitch goes these days, “you can tell a lot about what Britain is afraid of at any given moment by looking at ...

Hyrule Haeresis 10

In mythic times, when magick coursed free and unbound through the veins of the land, our ancestors walked as goddesses and gods across the becoming-moment. The myth-landcape was formed from their migrations and universes were born from their footsteps. Forests and flower fields grew from among the life-streams and had voice and spirit, and the sea and the sky were together as one.

Such goes the Legend of the Golden Age, the departed plane of eternity when Light spoke with the ecstasy of shared emanation in the All Moment and when all Immortal Stories lived here on Earth. In the telling, the Past becomes a distant country from whence we are separated by Time and Tide. Your ancestors are There, because They cannot be Here. There is cast a great insurmountable chasm between Heaven and Earth, and only in Heaven do we allow ourselves to be happy with the fulfillment of our calling.

But this mythic landscape bears the laugh-lines and contours of a magickal birth. There are worlds around us for the initiate who has learned to See to behold and enjoy. In truth, the Golden Age never ended and the Immortals never departed. The Otherworld is always there ...

When The Writing Comes First (Kill the Moon)

You can't make an omelet without killing a few moons.

It’s October 4th, 2014. Jessie J, Arianna Grande, and Nicki Minaj are at number one with “Bang Bang.” Iggy Azalea, Calvin Harris, Lilly Wood also chart. In news, protests in Hong Kong rapidly amp up as tens of thousands of people take to the streets in opposition to the proposed “electoral reforms” that would dramatically increase the Chinese Communist Party’s control over Hong Kong. And the US has its first domestically diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas.

While on television, magic. I can still vividly remember the first time I watched Kill the Moon. There’s a rare experience occasionally generated by art, best described as a high or altered state. It comes on as a buzzing thrum, a torrent of associations and realizations and vibrant, ecstatic sense of things coming together. This does not always correspond with greatness; one need only look to my moment of vivid and absolute certainty that Journey to the Center of the TARDIS was about to become an origin story for the Silence. But when it does come together and the work of art actually manages to pay off that thrilling crescendo of ...

Some Eggstremely Good Audio (Geddit??? It's a pun!!)

 

Here's a commentary that El and I recorded on 'Kill the Moon'

Watch out for her forthcoming TARDIS Eruditorum entry on this episode.

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Also, here are some reposts of older commentaries that we recorded on the 60s classic 'The Mind Robber'.

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

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More commentaries, new and old, will arrive in due time.

Happy listening.

 

The Politics of Your Piffling Little Planet (The Caretaker)

Its gender really is basically attack helicopter

It’s September 27th, 2014. Sigma and Paloma Faith are at number one with “Changing,” while Professor Green, Script, George Ezra, and Taylor Swift also chart. In news, the United States began intervening in the Syrian Civil War, coming in emphatically on the side of dropping bombs on a country that was already blowing itself up, while Mark Reckless, a Tory MP, times his defection to UKIP to coincide with the start of the Conservative Party’s annual conference in a fairly spectacular moment of utter dickishness.

Speaking of utter dickishness, The Caretaker. Actually, let’s pause for a moment. Because I should probably stress up front that I’ve known what I’m going to say in this entry for a while. I’ve been actively thinking about it since September. I’ve literally made major life decisions based in part on the timing of this essay. And though events in the last couple of weeks have shifted the approach slightly, it’s a matter of degree. All the main points are ones I decided on a while ago. I don’t know whether this fact matters, or if it should; nevertheless, it is a fact.

Anyway. The Caretaker ...

A Birthday Crawl

This post will be somewhat disjointed.  This is partly because I am not well at the moment.  It’s also partly because I didn’t start on it early enough and never quite worked out what I wanted it to be.  To be honest, I forgot the anniversary. I am notorious for my bad memory and often forget dates. It’s only Twitter – with its automatic mechanisms for pricking the unpaid contributor to fill it with content, even to the point of scavenging almanacs – which has made me as date-conscious as I am now.

Marx liked his drunken London pub crawls.  Think of this as a semi-lucid crawl around the inns (and outs) of my brain on 5th May 2018.

 

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Today is Marx’s 200th birthday.  A piece of information to which many would respond “So what?”  And I’m actually sympathetic to this view.

Someone recently asked me when I was going to go and see the Marx exhibition currently at the British Library.  They just assumed I would go. But I’m interested in Marx for the ideas.

It’s not that his life is of no interest.  Nor is it that you can divide his ideas and work from ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else: Marcelo Camargo

In early July 2014 it emerged that a server at a BBC Worldwide had been improperly secured and had been hacked, resulting in the leak of scripts for the first five episodes of Season Eight. A few days later it became clear that the leak was worse than it had initially appeared as a workprint of Deep Breath also appeared on torrent sites, followed, over the course of the next month and a half, by workprints of the other five episodes. The files had been prepared for a Brazil-based subtitling company called Drei Marc, and specifically for a gentleman named Marcelo Camargo who, despite having absolutely nothing to do with the leak itself, became the name most associated with it.

These thing, of course, happen, and generally speaking it’s a sign that a show is popular enough to be worth hacking. And it’s generally not actually a problem for the show. For all the talk of the leak being “embarrassing” for both Doctor Who and the BBC, there were no meaningful negative consequences. All five leaked episodes performed just fine, both critically and in the ratings; indeed they’re among the best-performing episodes of the Capaldi era. Likewise, leak of Rose ...

Frozen Sunshine

In just a few short weeks, every game I bought a Nintendo WiiU for will have been made available for the Nintendo Switch, and in each and every case the experience has proven to be a dramatic improvement. This occasion has given me a lot to reflect on and think about and there's a lot I could say about it, but there's a particular set of emotions I want to focus on today. I've always believed that different sensations can remind us of memories and feelings connected to where and when we were when we first experienced them, and that this can be just as true for our media as it is for anything else. This is why we have to be cautious listening to a certain song when we are feeling a particular way (especially if we're feeling sad) lest the two end up associated together in our minds forever. On the other hand, it's also been my experience that, with care, those feelings can grow and evolve with us as we revisit them over the course of our lives.

I got my WiiU at the end of 2014, two years after it had ...

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