Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’

Watching: Day Of The Doctor

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

It was Doctor Who day on Thursday (this was meant to go up on Friday but is a little late) but I was somewhat busy all day and had to put off the festivities until Friday evening. Well okay, “festivities” is overselling it and “watching something and then blogging” is far more appropriate. Day Of The Doctor was the story I chose, it was originally broadcast to mark the show’s fiftieth anniversary in 2013 and is a personal favourite to the point I can quote bits of it!

The plot deals with the Doctor’s actions during the Time War; this war to end all wars between the Time Lords and Daleks is something that’s often been alluded to since the show’s return in 2005 but never actually seen on screen. But there are two other stories starting alongside all of that doom and gloom revolving around the twelfth Doctor and Clara being literally picked up to aid UNIT to help with an issue and Queen Elizabeth the first having a romantic picnic with the eleventh. Some people complain about Moffat’s stories being caught up in their own cleverness – I’m paraphrasing various arguments seen online over the last few years – but personally I’ve always enjoyed how that tends to work, starting with those seemingly unconnected and watching them come together.

Quite early in the story there’s a scene where the sonic screwdrivers are used to carry out a complex calculation over the four hundred years between the War and twelfth Doctors and, because Clara bursts in during their bout of self congratulation, that sort of gets “forgotten” until later on where the same trick is used to both find another solution which doesn’t involve destroying Gallifrey and performing the calculations needed to actually carry that plan out.

A metric tonne of fan service is included throughout too with references buried in there to the show’s history; some were obvious like the photo wall or props around the Black Archive, whilst others are more subtle such as the activation code to Captain Jack’s vortex manipulator – 1716231163 for those who missed it, or 17:16 on the 23rd of November 1963 – but this is a multi-Doctor anniversary story and wouldn’t be the same without touches like those. And the scene where all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor rock up to save their home planet is wonderfully done considering it’s mostly existing footage and dialogue; it gets all of the previous incarnations into the story without having to worry about the age of the actors or indeed keeping all of those characters busy for the duration of the story.

Day Of The Doctor has comedic touches and a surprisingly light tone considering the Time War being a major part of the overall story and, although there are few things that I feel could’ve been done differently, its all little details like making all the TARDISes different in the shots where they’re milling around to match how the physical prop changed over the years. Of course that doesn’t stop it being great fun to watch and I still cheer when the “camera” zooms through the Dalek fleet to show first Doctor’s TARDIS arriving.

Unexpected reference

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Today has been a pretty lazy one; the morning was spent writing a post for another blog and watching the back end of The Dave Gorman Collection (having binge watched the first five yesterday) whilst the afternoon being reserved for several rounds of prodding at Facebook, watching assorted YouTube videos and occasionally pootling through some of my more regular online haunts. Which is sort of how I ended up doing a quiz over at Us Vs Th3m called “How Obsessed With Doctor Who Are You”. My final score was a mere 68 out of 81 – although that’s apparently 83% and the average score was more around the 56% mark – so not as obsessed as certain family members and friends would claim me to be.

But I digress somewhat, because this post was prompted by a specific question in the test:

Now, whilst I know what the Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade is, realising that someone else does by having it turn up as a reference in one of these online tests was something of a surprise! I used to be a fairly regular poster at rec.arts.drwho around the time the PMEB was formed and my then girlfriend (we first “met” in one of the Weekly Stats threads and subsequently ended up being written into one of the Bernice Summerfield books by Dave Stone) was one of the earliest members, which is how I ended up being an honorary member myself. Not in the sense that I lusted after the gentleman in question or anything, but more because I’d be taken along on PMEB outings to things like the play Sabina (performed in a teensy little place which was, basically, a large room above a pub with grand ideas!) where Paul was playing Carl Jung in order to hold coats and take photographs with an assortment of cameras.

The memory cheats as JN-T used to say, because mine is insisting that these events happened in 1997 despite all of the evidence to the contrary like the play only running in early 1998… so now I feel old and confused!

And I feel fine…?

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

The rapture was predicted for 6pm today, the 21st of May 2011 – at that time, Harold Camping of religious broadcasters Family Radio predicted that over two hundred million worthy believers would be taken up into the sky. I was browsing the internet and waiting for Doctor Who to start, so missed it entirely! This isn’t unusual for me, I missed the last rapture Camping prophesised in September 1994 and when Skynet became sentient and started World War 3 on the 24th of July 2004.

Even more annoyingly, those of us left behind are either damned to hell for all eternity or simply going to cease to exist, although that presumably it hasn’t happened yet because whoever is responsible for damnation for the UK wasn’t properly organised and is in the process of setting up a replacement bus service. I don’t entirely mind the idea of hell (to quote Richard Richard, “if it’s all going to be whipping and screaming and leather and restraints then obviously… I’m on!”) and ceasing to exist is, I’d assume, at least painless but I’m rather miffed about the timing since Doctor Who was the first half of a two parter!

Still, it could be worse… just imagine how idiotic the owners of this “judgement bus”…

…or indeed the Family Radio website (which is, surprisingly, paid up until 13th March 2012) would’ve have felt tomorrow morning had they not been raptured! Presumably these vehicles are freely available for ferrying damned souls to hell and/or oblivion?