Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fancy That

Trying to lighten the mood after recent events is a passionate marriage betwixt Guesthouse Paradiso: The Bottom Movie and a mind-bogglingly accurate prediction of said movie's plot by angry pre-Spice-Girl duo Shampoo whose repertoire is far greater and more adult than their handful of Top of the Pop music vids suggest. Turns out they did other songs besides Trouble, too!

(Subtitles provided for those unable to decipher the squawking lyrics.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bye, Clara - Miss You

And so tonight we saw the end of Clara "Bubbly Personality Masking Control Freak And Severe Personality Dissorder" Oswald as she faced the raven with far more dignity, wit and good humor than Anna in The Beautiful Lie five minutes later on your ABC.

Having first appeared in 2012, statistics from more mathematically-inclined folk than myself state that Clara is the longest serving Doctor Who companion bar Jamie "Randy Scot Bastard" McCrimmon in terms of continued consecutive adventures. Yet, oddly, she still hasn't quite sunk into the public consciousness like the comparatively-blink-and-miss it Rose and Donna. Still, maybe next time.

In some ways I'm not sure I ever "got" Clara. Maybe it was getting three separate introductions to the character, or the fact that she was pretty badly defined in her first season (understandably overshadowed by other events in 2013). While we constantly got the impression Clara was an iceberg with hidden depths, it was hard to guess what they were with the huge misdirection that she might have been evil. Of course, this was remedied soon enough when it was decided to focus on the horrible psychological damage she endured aboard the TARDIS - unlike Amy Pond who's mental health records needed two folders, Clara's undoubtedly the companion who really needed to see a therapist. With her pathological lying, martyr complex and crippling guilt issues it'd have been interesting to see a Turn Left take on how Clara would have probably burned out without the Doctor's influence.

Of course, being the longest-running NuWho companion (she's got more screentime than half a dozen Doctors) she has suffered the usual Moffat twists of fake-departures and fake-deaths. She's been blown up, fallen down, mind-wiped, frazzled, erased, ripped apart, exterminated, duplicated just as many times as she's left the TARDIS on good terms, bad terms, popped out for a moment and vowed never to return. But ultimately she stands as the Companion Wot Died, rivalling only Adric in this regard. Yeah sure you can put up names like Oliver, Kamelion or Molly but the fact is only Clara and Adric were around long enough for it to hit home to the audience when they karked it, popularity or not. They also both fatally overestimated their abilities trying to solve the problem the exact same way as their best friend.

And yet, as fandom (currently in the "everything produced under the logo is precisely what we hate" phase that seems to alternate with Prime Ministers) seem so utterly sick of the sight of Ms Coleman and have apparently been begging for the character to go approximately five seconds before they knew it existed, I'll miss her. In her last season she's only really been in four stories, either sidelined or body-snatched or simply a ghost. Jenna's natural charisma, motor mouth and amazingly awesome Bambi eyes were at times the only comfort to be had in such miserable times as Trenzalore and 3W and various points in between.

I'll miss her, perhaps because for the first time since Charley Pollard there's been a companion around long enough for me to get attached. While I may not be a clever boy, and I'm certainly not a runner, with the aid of some band called Simple Shelter covering Enya, I've at least tried to remember the impossible girl...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Is There A Season 6b? (slight return)


It was a missing mini-adventure between The Ice Warriors and The Enemy of the World.

That was my official conclusion at the time and has been canonized by Big Finish.

What's that? Terrance Dicks' World Game is rendered even more worthless than already is?

Aw. Quelle domage, Davros *fires lasers from his eyes*

And in other news, some GB praise for my off-the-back-of-my-harddrive entry into the Land of Fiction Halloween special story competition. Came second, 6/14 people voted for it, and I probably would have won if I had properly found-and-replaced all the clues I was reprinting my old Enemy Within script.

DalekAddison says:

I liked this one it was really quite atmospheric and scary. It took me a sec to gauge it was Six. The “eight oh oh” let me hone in on the Doctor though. I thought it might be Seven at some points but then you started really cracking into the sixth Doctors voice and making some great lines that sounded just like him. It took me a while to work out who Peri was, I thought it might have been her but I didn’t know for definite until you said. Mind you, I don’t think there was any definite on the Doctor either. I liked it though I thought the good characterisation clearer it up later.

It brings up the interesting idea that the Doctor could land in the middle of something non-supernatural or alien yet sadistic like that. Which is quite scary.

And another hanging mystery! Very nice. I want to know what happens again.

Nic Ford says:

Now, this is interesting. I absolutely loved the fact that it was completely unclear who the Doctor and companion were, and the reader could impose their own pairing. I thought that was brilliantly done. Personally, I had Clara and 12 – although I quite successfully had Donna and 10 perform it in my head (well, it was a bit acerbic for 10 but it could be made to work) and I am pretty sure Amy and 11 could have done it too. Right up to page 7, where you say 'Peri'.

Personally, I'd suggest you remove that single word, and work on what is a very effective – and I honestly mean this as a compliment – generic Doctor style. It's actually quite hard to achieve – I've tried, and always end up being obviously one Doc or another.

With regard to the story: suitably scary and macabre for Hallowe'en. However, it felt a bit like it ended before it had finished, if you know what I mean – I'd like to understand the denoument the author meant for it, rather than my own interpretation of 'well, they were stranded and got hanged'.

Betawho says:

'It wasn't sort of all white and embryonic, was it?' Hah! That was great. Yes, pull in his past experiences and knowledge. I love that.

"if there are demons, monsters, goblins, ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, mad axe men, and all other sorts of ferocious phantasmagoria..." Great line. Just like the Doctor to make things worse before he makes it better. I can just hear Clara thinking "You had to bring that up."

Peri? I was thinking it was 12 and Clara. Actually 6 and Peri puts a whole different slant on things. I like it!

"Maybe your latent telepathic powers are picking something up?" YES! I always loved that aspect of Peri, that she was just a bit more than she seemed on the outside.

'As you say.' I could definitely hear that in 6's voice.

'That does it,' he says firmly. I've lost enough hearts' beats tonight and those are all I intend to lose!' YES! Indomitable 6. You've scared his Companion and you're pissing him off. He's not going to take that. Yes! I like 6. For all the guff he gets he's still fun. His love of language and absolute moral outrage. And how he's really just a big teddy bear underneath, even if he doesn't want you to know it. You've captured that very well.

Oh, you WOULD have to end it right there. Now I need a sofa to hide behind.

Well done. Wonderfully creepy story. But perhaps more Doctor Who for grown-ups than for kids. Sort of Doctor Who meets the Blaire Witch project.