Eruditorum Presscast: Empress of Mars
Another week, another podcast. This time we’ve got Ian McDuffie, writer and artist of Feels and the force behind Violet Mice. And a Gatiss episode. One of those is worth getting excited about. The other is… fine. Find out which is which here.
June 15, 2017 @ 3:55 pm
I know you don’t care but the sound quality makes these podcasts a really difficult listen, particularly on headphones. There where long stretches where it sounded like you two were scratching your fingernails across the mic while simultaneously shaking a plastic cup of M&Ms.
Apart from that, a really good discussion of what makes Gattis tick. I always weigh the benefit of the doubt about his writing because of League of Gentlemen against the self indulgent horror that is Sherlock. I liked your observation that he normalises the weird.
June 15, 2017 @ 4:17 pm
Nah, I do care, and I know this one’s got some problems. I don’t care enough to make Herculean efforts for marginal gains, but it’s something I work on. I’ve got my side of the conversation pretty well sorted with a decent microphone and a pair of headphones for my computer audio, but my guests don’t always have podcasting rigs and are sometimes dependent on laptop speakers and built-in mics, and there’s not a ton I can do about that without making it a lot more work for people who are already donating their time and effort.
June 15, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
That’s cool. I understand that and thanks for the reply. Maybe just a bit of a mic etiquette reminder for your guests before you start would help. Anyway wanna reiterate I really enjoy all the pods. BTW can you remind me what the music is at the start? It’s turned into a bit of an earworm for me.
June 16, 2017 @ 6:04 pm
Jill’s supposition that Alpha Centauri was a front for the Daleks or suchlike seems even more reasonable when you consider that the previous penis-monsters to appear in the new series were the one in the Long Game, which was a front for the Daleks, and Dalek Sec, most of whom had been a front for the Daleks before his extreme makeover.
June 18, 2017 @ 1:43 pm
I wonder if Gatiss’ scripts are also influenced by his acting. He writes very performative scripts — everyone in “Empress,” down to Jackdaw, is a little bigger than life or chewing the scenery. No one is ‘real’.
I was in a college production of “Importance of Being Earnest” where the director just didn’t get that the performances had to be racheted up a notch, given more lightness and play, in order for the whole artifice to work. I think Gatiss’ love of classic Grand Guignol horror is right in line with that: splashy, melodramatic, juicier than life, but kind of ridiculous when filmed with the straight-on realistic perspective enforced by television.
That said, I think “Crimson Horror” is probably the best example of his work for DW and it also shows he can write melodramatic female characters too.