Viewing posts tagged guest post

Guest Post: Happy Slaves

Following Jack's exploration of the Tivolians yesterday I came upon Daniel Harper of the Oi! Spaceman podcast's take on some of the same issues. Daniel graciously agreed to let us repost it as a guest post, and it's my pleasure to bring it to you.

Wednesday I posted the Oi! Spaceman podcast episode dealing with our reaction to Under the Lake/Before the Flood, which was a fascinating recording for us because it really was a case of finding some of the meaning of the story as we discussed it. It might make for a slightly disorganized listen, but it was enlightening for myself and I think for my wife and co-host.

The primary way my own views on the story evolved was in the discussion of Prentiss, the Tivolian undertaker, a member of a race of happy slaves imagined as a mincing sexual submissive. I originally took the portrayal at face value, primarily there to provide exposition and provide some levity (ha ha look at the ridiculousness of masochism!), but Shana correctly pointed out that putting this character within the context of a story in which magic runes implant subconscious commands that influence the way you ...

Regeneration: A Personal History of Doctor Who

A planned guest post for today fell through at the last minute, and Anna Wiggins graciously stepped in to deliver her thoughts on Missy and trans issues, which is not really in chronological sequence, but again, the planned post fell through. And more to the point, it's brilliant, so really, who cares about chronology. This is a blog about time travel, dammit. 

Also! The fantastic folks at the Pex Lives podcast invited me on this month to talk about The Ribos Operation and Last Christmas. It was a hoot to record. I'm mostly just ranting and pontificating, but if you enjoy me spontaneously staking out excessively bold critical positions, you'll love this.

It is the summer of 1993. I am watching PBS, which is showing a weird old British sci-fi show that I enjoy watching whenever I catch it on. On screen, Romana (a character I like a lot) is trying on different bodies. It’s silly, and the Doctor is being kind of mean to her, (I don’t know to use the word sexist yet) but the idea of trying on a new body is amazing. In the most secret part of myself, I ...

Guest Post: The Impossible Girl

Caitlin Smith is, so far as I can tell, the world's leading expert on Clara Oswald. And yes, I'm counting Steven Moffat and Jenna Coleman. She's also, generally speaking, one of the most insightful and interesting Doctor Who bloggers I know, and I'm honored to have her do a guest post for me. She blogs regularly on Tumblr, and is pretty much always this clever.

Oh, and if you missed it Friday, I'm doing my annual post-Christmas sale on books.

When Phil asked me to write a guest post on the Impossible Girl arc, I was surprised and honoured ...and completely lost on where to begin. It's a relatively simple arc, after all. The Doctor is fascinated by who Clara is and how she can be twice dead and yet still alive, and he focuses on solving the problem of Clara, often forgetting the person behind the mystery. He gets called out on this several times over the course of the series - by Madame Vastra, by Emma Grayling and by Clara herself. And of course in the end it turns out that the Impossible Girl is just a construct by the Doctor, and Clara-the-ordinary-girl ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea 84 (Call the Midwife, Supernatural)


Jill Buratto is a nurse specializing in end of life issues, a general badass, and my wife.
In case you missed the boom, Call the Midwife is a BBC period drama about a group of midwives servicing London’s East End in the 1950s, originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. It is the newest big show to hit UK television with ratings roughly matching those of Sherlock and Downton Abbey and surpassing Doctor Who itself. Call the Midwife was also featured in 2013’s Comedy Relief sketch (partnering with Doctor Who in this endeavor) and has Paul McGann’s brother, Stephen McGann as a prominent character in their series. UK TV ends up being a bit incestuous. 


Medical shows are a hard sell to those who work in the medical field. Much in the same way those in the tech field often cannot help but point out the inconsistencies and illogical moments when tech appears in TV or cinema, those of us in the medical field see the problems others can safely ignore. Even “reality” medical shows fall afoul of this issue, I remember yelling at a Mystery Diagnosis episode that “there is dumbing the facts down ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else 33 (Assimilation²)

Josh Marsfelder of Vaka Rangi, a critical history of Star Trek (he's just started The Next Generation) and related topics (including an essay on Doctor Who), writes on the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic by IDW. Also, speaking of comics, no reviews this week I'm afraid - won't be around to pick up my books due to those Cleveland talks. 

Let me preface this by saying I am not a comics person. My first, and only, sojourn into the world of mainline United States sequential art was around the time there were several different Spider-Mans running around Marvel while at DC Supergirl was some kind of pink alien goo matrix or something. I took one look at that, promptly decided comics were fucked up and never looked back. I am, however, apparently something of an authority on Star Trek, which is why Phil has so graciously invited me to say a few words about the first, and to date only, time that other big polyauthored science fiction TV franchise crossed over with Doctor Who.

The one exception I made to my self-imposed rule of avoiding US comics at all costs came anytime there was a four-colour ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea 81 (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

Jed writes My Little Po-Mo, the TARDIS Eruditorum of ponies.


In this scene, Clara is cleverly disguised as a pony named Rose.
Consider a fandom. A curious beast, an amorphous, shifting mass of people wrapped around a core of fiction. Despite the variation in cores and size, fandoms all look basically the same. The swarm of flesh devours the core over and over again, yet the core is unharmed. The beast excretes its assumptions and predictions by consensus, layering it around the core like an invert pearl, fanon-grit encrusting a glittering center. Fanficcers and shippers and “expanded universe” authors build their own structures, grit and crystal in varying amounts, arcing off the core. Sometimes these extend all the way out of the beast, where they draw in their own squishy masses of fan; sometimes, rarely, they break off, forming the cores of new beasts, drawing their own paradoxical factions of fans. That is how the beast reproduces; mostly, though, it just grows, feeding on the source work, drawing new fans into itself with reviews and memes and recommendations by slightly pushy friends.

But then the beast gets old, and something strange happens: the core cracks. Grit gets inside the pearl ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else 31 (The Eternity Clock)

Frezno has done such a nice job continuing The Nintendo Project that I felt like I should let him play on this blog too.

1985 was a very eventful year, when one looks back on it from a broad perspective. Swap out your wide-angle lens and zero in towards two of the important moments of that year, for our purposes. In England, Doctor Who was supposedly struggling to entertain the masses. The Doctor, he of bright coat and bravado, faced off against deadly foes like the Bandrils and the tree mines. The final straw came just as Peri Brown was running away from a cannibal with bushy eyebrows. The program failed to get a passing Grade and was put on hiatus. As has been noted, this was the first major blow to Doctor Who in the 1980's. One could argue it was the blow that eventually killed it. It got better, though.

You know what else got better? Video games. 1983 saw video games in North America face their own Ragnarok at the hands of over-indulgent capitalists. Howard Scott Warshaw, unfairly maligned man that he is, did what he could. The world ended. It was up to a red ...

Miracle Day and Death

Jill Buratto is a nurse specializing in end of life issues. She's also my wife, and would be as happy as I would be if you backed my Patreon campaign for weekly episode reviews of Season Eight of Doctor Who. Then come back here and read her being righteously and beautifully angry. 

It’s November 28th, 2013. Martin Garrix’s “Animals” tops the charts only to be ousted by Lily Allen’s “Somewhere Only We Know” two days later. Elsewhere in the world, mass protests are occurring in Thailand as tensions between the opposition party and the prime minister’s family (read: his exiled brother) mount and, apparently, The New York Times has shown it’s first front-page nipple. So there’s that. 

On TV: in a world in which no one can die, a young woman who has suffered what would formerly have been a fatal blood clot in her lungs. She is pregnant when this happens and is currently connected to all manner of drains and tubes and medical equipment in order to allow this fetus to gestate in her essentially dead body. She and the fetus she is carrying were deprived of oxygen thanks to ...

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