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More Trouble

There's a play called Sir Thomas More.  It is never performed, despite having bits in it written by Shakespeare.  Every Shakespeare play is performed.  Even the rubbish ones.  Except Sir Thomas MoreSir Thomas More is never performed, ever.  Not any more.


Actually, in academia and the theatre world, it is well known how the play spread like an infectious disease, from city to city, from continent to continent, barred out here, confiscated there, denounced by Press and pulpit, censured even by the most advanced of literary anarchists. No definite principles had been violated in its wicked pages, no doctrine promulgated, no convictions outraged. It could not be judged by any known standard, yet, although it was acknowledged that the supreme note of art had been struck in Sir Thomas More, all felt that human nature could not bear the strain, nor thrive on words in which the essence of purest poison lurked. The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.

Basically, anyone who has ever seen Sir Thomas More performed has gone insane.  (I'm not sure how ...

Reviewing Doctor Who Episodes Without Having Watched Them: 'Listen'

This is, of course, another episode that all the usual Moffatistas praise to the skies.  Well, that's fair enough.  All the Moffaty things they love are here.  Again.  And what on earth could possibly be wrong with wanting to watch exactly the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again?  I mean, Moffat makes lots of money writing the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, so obviously repetition is good, right?  Stands to reason. 

Also, such is the religious devotion that certain people have to this man that nothing thrills them more than yet another episode where Moffat sticks his hand up Doctor Who's arse and rearranges its guts to his liking... or (perhaps a better metaphor) meticulously works his way through a library of classics, scribbling 'Steven Moffat is cleverer than the person who wrote this' over every page.  And he is, obviously, because he gets big viewing figures and makes lots of money from being a Whovian capitalist.  The definition of artistic success, clearly. 

Reviewing Doctor Who Episodes Without Having Watched Them: 'Robots of Sherwood'

I saw 'Deep Breath' and 'Into the Dalek'.  Then I stopped watching Series 8.  Welcome to the first in a new series of posts in which I will be revewing the rest of Series 8 without having watched it.

Mark Gatiss, that arch-trickster of modern Doctor Who, has done it again.  In 'Robots of Sherwood' he has managed to dupe everyone into thinking he is doing nothing more than simply paying homage to the classic series, while actually flying something far more profound under the fan radar.  Yes, he has armies of robotic Merry Men stalking around Sherwood Forest, their eyes glowing red, holding out their hands and saying "Kill the humans" in calm voices, but that's where the similarities to 'Robots of Death' end.  For a start, these robotic outlaws are the good guys, cleansing the greenwood of the forces of law and order.

The triumvirate of villains in this episode - the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy de Gisbourne and King John - represent the power of the Norman state, and Robin Hood is a symbol of Saxon resistance.  It's fitting that they should use a CGI Patrick Troughton to play Robin ...

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