Viewing posts tagged eruditorum

Time Can Be Rewritten: Night of the Doctor

"Man, this is the second-worst episode of Doctor Who I've been in."
Because my Patrons are just so gosh-darned nice.

It was, of course, one of the highlights of the Fiftieth Anniversary. A tremendously sentimental and cool moment for fans, a fantastic way of officially revealing what the Hurt Doctor was, and a lovely gift to Paul McGann, who will pretty much never have the TV Movie be someone’s introduction to his Doctor again. And we have a full set of regenerations now, if you care about that sort of thing. Just about the only thing it isn’t, really, is a satisfying ending to the Eighth Doctor Era.

It tries, and that is a real part of its charm. I mean, one is pretty much sure Moffat included the litany of Big Finish companions as an acknowledgment of the Eighth Doctor Era - you know, that messy, historical thing that actually happened. The one with a giant bone thing in the sky, and he’s traveling with a fish, and there’s that girl from Jonathan Creek. Lego. They’re all made out of fucking Lego. Moffat probably even knew what would actually happen, which was that Big ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else: Marcelo Camargo

This post exists because my Patreon crossed the $310 mark. It's currently at $318.50, exactly $6.50 away from another bonus post like this on "Night of the Doctor," which will otherwise wait until the McGann/Eccleston book to be written. You can pledge to help make that happen here.

To recap, in early July 2014 it emerged that a server at a BBC Worldwide had been improperly secured, and that scripts for the first five episodes of Season Eight had leaked. 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 Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood, Listen, and Time Heist. 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.

The first thing to say is both obvious and controversial: it was fine. For all the talk of the leak being “embarrassing” for both Doctor ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea: Cucumber, Banana, Tofu

This is a bonus post, the topic of which was selected by my backers on Patreon. Voting is currently going on for next month's bonus post, with candidates including Orphan Black and China Mieville. Also Deadwood. Please, if you enjoy my blog and my work, consider chipping in a buck a week or so. Thanks.

Let's start with the title - mine, in this case, although Davies's is magnificent in its own right. I say this mostly as disclaimer - there's an awful lot to say about these three shows. They are very, very good. They deserve reams of analysis, and much of that really ought to come from within queer communities. They've gotten some, but not nearly enough. Nevertheless, I am me, and not the vast and polyvocal assemblage of queer communities, and I'm best known for writing a blog about Doctor Who, so the main angle here is going to be an auteur-centric take on the work of Russell T Davies. Much is left unsaid. Above anything else, I recommend watching them - if you're in the UK, I assume they exist via some sort of catch-up or video on demand service. If you ...

A Mild Curiosity in a Junkyard (Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead)


The end.
It’s June 7th, 2008. Rihanna is at number one with “Take a Bow,” having taken the slot the previous week. The Ting Tings, Coldplay, Usher, Madonna, and Justin Timberlake also chart. In news, Manchester United triumph in the first ever all-English European Cup final, defeating Chelsea on penalties. Construction begins in London on the Olympic Stadium, and Barack Obama finally puts the long fight for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination to rest when he defeats Hillary Clinton to, by that point, absolutely nobody’s surprise. 
On television, meanwhile, the Doctor is in a library, shouting at shadows. Seething, he tells them to look him up. They do so, and begin to read.

Like anything, it emerged from a number of influences, and its history can in one sense be traced back indefinitely. It does not have a clear and definitive moment of creation - a pristine and bespoke origin story. It is, however, generally agreed to have a creator: Sydney Newman. Newman was a Canadian television producer who caught the eye of Associated British Corporation, a weekend ITV franchise in the North and Midlands of England. Moving there in 1958, he quickly made ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else Final: The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who

There are several regards in which the IDW run of Doctor Who comics is an oddity. First and foremost, it is the only substantive body of Doctor Who material to receive no distribution in the UK. Panini, the Italian sticker company that bought Marvel UK’s operations in the mid-90s and, with it, Doctor Who Magazine, had the UK license for Doctor Who comics, and was disinclined to let an American upstart in. And so IDW ended up creating Doctor Who comics almost entirely for the American market.

Unrelatedly, IDW also ended up creating what was mostly a line of fairly crappy comics. They opened with a Tenth Doctor/Martha miniseries by longtime vanguard of mediocrity Gary Russell, continued with the damp and misguided squib of The Forgotten, and stopped off at their one UK-distributed series, and eventually did their Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover (distributed in the UK because they put Star Trek first in the title, meaning it was technically a Star Trek comic and thus not precluded by Panini’s license), skewered masterfully by Josh Marsfelder here, stopping off with various other mostly uninteresting comics along the way.

Of course, as we’ve seen over the years ...

Outside the Government Final: The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

Given that The Day of the Doctor was massively successful and immediately catapulted to the top of the “best Doctor Who stories ever” list, it is perhaps no small thing that it was not actually the most beloved piece of the fiftieth anniversary. That honor, of course, goes to the spectacle of Steven Moffat visibly wishing he was sitting in the chair from Terror of the Autons during the botched satellite link-up with One Direction during the BBC Three “afterparty.” But second to the single most sublime moment of television that Steven Moffat has ever provided the world was Peter Davison’s The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

It is worth stating, up front, that this is a genuinely sweet and delightful piece of television. It is routinely hilarious, from the brilliant use of the Shada clip to cover Tom Baker’s lack of involvement to the Peter Jackson/Ian McKellen cameo to Sylvester McCoy’s beautiful delivery of “I’d like to go home now” to Steven Moffat playing with action figures in his office to… I mean, this paragraph could go on for quite a bit, couldn’t it? This is a joyous thing chock full of charming ...

The Moment Has Been Prepared For (The Day of the Doctor)

Well, at least it's just the one who committed genocide and not the one in that
awful coat.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The hour, in this case, was actually about seventy-five minutes long, commencing at 7:50 PM on November 23rd, 2013. Martin Garrix was at number one with “Animals,” with Lily Allen, Lorde, One Direction, Lady Gaga, and Eminem also charting. In the six months since The Name of the Doctor had aired, Edward Snowden had created a major international stir when he leaked a significant trove of classified information about the extent of surveillance operations being routinely carried out by the US and UK governments, Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President of Egypt in a military coup, and Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines and Vietnam, killing more than six thousand people. The man, of course, was Steven Moffat. 

The Day of the Doctor did not quite win universal praise. It just won stellar ratings, an impressive 88% AI rating, the distinction of being only the second episode of Doctor Who ever to hit the number one slot in the weekly ratings, and Doctor Who Magazine’s 50th Anniversary poll for the greatest ...

Dear Santa: The Doctors Revisited (Matt Smith)

You can tell that we've reached the present day quite early on, not least because Matt Smith suddenly shows up to have opinions on the show, having not been interviewed about any of his predecessors. But the real giveaway is the choices of episodes in the first segment, when introducing the character of the Eleventh Doctor. Every previous episode displayed a strong bias towards the earliest episodes for a Doctor. Whereas this pulls almost entirely from Season 7B, unabashedly positioning this as the present day of Doctor Who.

Yes, we eventually look back a few years and do the Ponds, which is somewhat historicized, but there's no added insight to be had. These are the same talking points from Doctor Who Confidential and endless publicity interviews, dutifully trotted out again. Their context is only altered by the preceding ten episodes of this, which serve to make all of this look like the telos of Doctor Who itself.

With the historical perspective that a year allows us, this is not quite true. The focus on how Matt Smith, while the youngest actor ever to play the part, makes the Doctor seem old is a common talking point, and indeed ...

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