Q&A

(8 comments)

Sometimes I get random questions through certain means. Here are several of them, and answers. (Sorry for the late post - Blogger error.)

What are your most valuable Doctor Who related possessions in terms of (a) monetary value, and (b) sentimental value?

No idea on A. I know at one point it was a copy of So Vile a Sin, but I’ve not checked the secondary market on that in ages, and I don’t collect for monetary value anyway, so it’s not even something I’d know off-hand.

Sentimentally, my sister gave me a framed picture of herself beside the Earl’s Court Police Box with an inscription reading “come along, Pond.”

Woody Allen?

I think the opening of Dylan Farrow’s piece, in which she asks “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?” before transitioning into her story, is a piece of brilliant, brutal writing that makes me have no desire to answer the question.

As always, I believe the victim. And while there are moments of sublime genius in his career, there’s nothing in it that makes me the slightest bit troubled in just believing the victim and deciding I have no interest in him.

Have you read the Sirens of Titan? After reading it I'd say it was a huge influence on both Steven Moffat and Douglas Adams.

For like three years I picked up Sirens of Titan at any book sale I went to. Because I kept forgetting I owned it - I would just scoop up Vonnegut books (many of which I never finished, but oh well), and kept forgetting that was one I already owned, until I had like five copies. Which was ridiculous, and I promptly proceeded to find excuses to give the book to people, usually by telling exactly this story.

And then I overshot and gave away my fifth copy, and haven’t owned it since, and so have never actually read it.

When you write a Pop Between Realities entry on a television series, how much of said series do you typically watch to prepare?

It depends, really. The sort of standard approach is first episode or two and 1-3 later episodes, plus considerable use of secondary sources to make sure there’s no big changes I’m missing. For The Thick of It it was, I think, the first three episodes plus one from each subsequent season.

How do you feel about the truism that every good story has the main character go through some kind of change?

I think that almost any sentence beginning “every good story” is false. Waiting for Godot, for obvious reasons, strikes me as an obvious example of falsehood. Though even there, there’s a clear character arc, even if the movement is consciously infinitesimal in size.

Which is to say, as good a piece of universalizing advice as exists.

What would a potential narrative collapse in football look like?

Oh, thank you. I’ve been waiting for an excuse to link this.

Dresden Codak? (This is not so much a question as an assignment. Aaron Diaz deserves a spot by J. H. Williams III on your list of best comic artists.) (Feeling overworked? Delegate this stuff to your followers.)

Eh. I mean, it looks good and appears well-written from the bits I just spent twenty minutes trawling, though it’s not something I have the time to archive dive through. Diaz is indeed a phenomenal artist - certainly better than most of those working for the big four.

But Williams challenges the basic notions of comics storytelling to a big and compelling extent. The notion of what a page is and what movement across the page signifies simply doesn’t mean the same thing under Williams’s pen as it does in other people. Add to that his chameleon style that can seemingly effortlessly quote and reflect any number of other styles while blending them into his own breathtakingly intricate work.

Which is to say that when I put Williams on my list of best comic artists, I’m not putting him in amidst the other great artists working now. I am saying that he goes on a list with Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Chris Ware, and Winsor McCay. He is a once in a generation talent.

If you could have done Day Of The Doctor during The Wilderness Years section of TARDIS Eruditorum after The Gallifrey Chronicles and other Eighth Doctor stuff but before Rose, would you have?

Nope. It’s an Eleventh Doctor story. The only reason I have done out of order stories on that basic principle is to highlight the differences between what is remembered nostalgically and the original - so The Two Doctors and Time Crash. Without a Hurt era to contrast with, Day of the Doctor isn’t really about that. It’s about the Eleventh Doctor era, and takes pains not to alter how we have to read much of anything that’s gone before.

I’d totally have done Night of the Doctor though.

Do you think geeks and fanboys have way too much influence over the pop culture? I know I asked something similar before, but I can't get rid of this feeling.

In many ways I think geeks and fanboys have less actual influence. The idea that fans were actually the normal, paying audience died over the course of the 90s when people realized you couldn’t actually make money on things like Babylon 5. These days geeks and fanboys are part of the plan, but only part of it - essentially a promotional stage. You court them to get buzz, and break up with them when you need to actually hit it big.

Comments

Anton B 3 years, 4 months ago

You forgot 'where do you get your ideas from?'

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Josiah Rowe 3 years, 4 months ago

Here's one I don't recall having been discussed here (and if it has, please feel free to ignore and/or point me towards the previous discussion): do you believe in the Omnirumour, in any form? Do you think that there are more officially missing episodes of Doctor Who in the vaults of TIEA, or anywhere else? And what does the undying nature of the Omnirumour say about Doctor Who fandom?

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Eric Rosenfield 3 years, 4 months ago

Will you do Night of the Doctor for the book release of the Wilderness Years?

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Dan 3 years, 4 months ago

In the Woody Allen case it's quite simple: either Woody or Mia are lying. Whichever of them is lying is truly beyond the moral pale, if in different ways and degrees. . Dylan Farrow can be telling the truth as far as she sees it in either case. Saying "I believe the *victim*" appears to give the impression that we know whether Allen is guilty or not. (Have you read Allen's op-ed piece in the NYT? I know nothing and have researched nothing beyond the open letter and the op-ed piece, and wish I knew the truth of the matter.)

And the amount of people on Twitter saying "if you say 'innocent until proven guilty' you are a bad person and I'm blocking you" and words to that effect is surprising. Sure they're not bound by the legal process in the "innocent until proven guilty" sense (only in a libel law sense), and they're coming from the point that powerless abuse victims have long been ignored or not taken seriously , but, from those two things I have read, and certainly without calling DF a liar, WA hasn't remotely been proven guilty.

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Spacewarp 3 years, 4 months ago

I'd guess next time you're in the UK you'll be looking up the Earls Court Police Box. Well if you've got time you could also go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxtiv7T5gXM

(That's me filming and talking by the way)

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Spacewarp 3 years, 4 months ago

The recent verdicts for Michael La Vell and William Roache spring to mind, and I am watching the cases of Dave Lee Travis and Rolf Harris very closely. The ghost of Jimmy Savile has a lot to answer for.

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David Ainsworth 3 years, 4 months ago

Babylon 5 is a really strange example, given that fan input had no real effect on the show and that Warner Brother have made lots of money selling DVDs. Why not Sliders, or Firefly/Serenity, or even Doctor Who in the 90's? And if you're looking at today, compare The Big Bang Theory to, say, Community to see how much influence geeks have on pop culture.

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Froborr 3 years, 4 months ago

I think the point is that Babylon 5 was made for and actively courted a geek audience. It remains a pure cult work, with a small but dedicated audience; reasonably profitable, but not particularly influential. (Indeed, the genre of which it was part is basically dead.)

Contrast something like Buffy, which had (and has) a sizeable geek following but did not actively court that audience and was not made for them. (Indeed, geeks are pretty consistently depicted extremely negatively in the show, most obviously with the Trio, but note also that most of Willow's character development consists of maturing away from initial geekiness.) Buffy was not only commercial successful, but also extremely influential, including serving as the template for the Davies era.

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