Good Timing, Geek Timing

The timing is right, at least.

Doctor Who has ended its run in time for … Star Wars.

In case you hadn’t heard, they’re making a new Star Wars movie. You’d think that would have made the news, right? Well, they are. And it’s coming out next week or something. Here’s the trailer. Sort of.


[The YouTube: Honest Trailers]

I’m still not sure if I’m going to go to a theater and see it. Especially since it leaked that Kylo Ren is really Jar Jar underneath the getup. So, I’m still wavering on going.

Anyway, what to do until next Thursday? I could re-watch this season’s Doctor Who, I suppose. Yeah. That’ll work. I’m watching Doctor Who again. I know I won’t be disappointed with that.

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Happy Doctor Who Day

Geek alert.

It’s Doctor Who‘s birthday. The TV show. You know how all you comic book fans with your Batman and your Deadpool and your Richie Rich…

Well, Doctor Who fans are just as bad. This is the anniversary of the first episode of the show, which aired November 23, 1963 in the UK. And most Doctor Who fans, particularly those in the US, didn’t watch it. But we don’t care. We’re fans. So, we want to wish The Doctor and Doctor Who a happy birthday.


[BBC]

A happy day. And it seems like only yesterday that we were mourning the loss of Clara.

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Doctor Who fans, you knew I’d mention this…

DoctorBasilOkay, Doctor Who fans, you knew I’d mention this. The accompanying image is where The Doctor told Osgood, “Basil.”

Now, if you’re not a fan of the show, you won’t care. If you’re a fan, but haven’t seen the episode that aired this past weekend, well, *SPOILERS*

Kinda.

If you saw the episode, you saw that The Doctor told Osgood that his first name was “Basil.”

(Oh, and shameless plug for Larynn’s review of the episode over at Doctor Who LaB.)

Now, who among you were actually surprised when The Doctor said his name was Basil? Did you really think he would say “Frank” or “Harvey” or “Sarah” or “Mr. Right” or “Spacemonkey” or “Lactose the Intolerant” or “Keln.” Not that those aren’t good names. They’re perfectly fine names. But, for The Doctor, does any name fit more than Basil? Okay, maybe Spacemonkey. But, really, when you think Doctor Who don’t you really think “Basil?”

Of course you do. And so does Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi and everyone else who works on the show or watches the show.

I’m unsure whether to say “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” Either will do.

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The Force Awakens or Batman v Superman

So, which are you most excited about? The Force Awakens or Batman v Superman? Well, why not both?

Here’s the trailer for Batman v Superman with the audio for The Force Awakens


[The YouTube]

Me? I don’t know. Might see them both. Might see neither one. Might wait for them to come to home video and just watch them on the big screen color TV. For now, I’m going to keep watching stuff on the small screen like Doctor Who.

Which reminds me. Check out the Doctor Who LaB podcast at http://DoctorWhoLaB.com where romance author Larynn Ford and I review both new and classic episodes. You can subscribe to it on iTunes and listen to it while waiting in line to watch The Force Awakens. Or Batman v Superman. Or both.

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Relax!!!

You’ve nearly made it through the work week. Perhaps this will help you finish the week. Perhaps not.


[The YouTube]

If you’re in the mood for more Doctor Who, there’s the Doctor Who LaB podcast that I keep nagging you about. Larynn and I have a new episode up. We talk about a really really old serial from the early days of the show: An Unearthly Child (conclusion, episodes 2, 3, & 4). Find out why the TARDIS looks like it does, and learn how time travel can be like playing with fire.

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Geek alert: Doctor Who LaB

DoctorWhoLaB-CoverArt1I’m going to briefly hijack the Website to promote a little project I’m currently involved with. Or, with which I’m currently involved. Whichever is gooder English.

It’s a podcast called “Doctor Who LaB” and, yes, that capitalization is correct. (Maybe you’ll figure out why by the time you’re done reading this post.)

As you may know, I spent some time watching Doctor Who from the beginning. As in, from 1963 to the present. Sure, you remember.

Anyway, after that, I introduced Larynn Ford (an author in my local area) to Doctor Who. She was intrigued enough with the show after meeting Colin Baker last year at DragonCon that she decided she wanted to watch it. But, she started with Christopher Eccleston, and watched all the shows up to the new season. (She still hasn’t seen any Colin Baker episodes.) She liked the show a lot, so we decided to start a podcast. Which is just what the world needs: another Doctor Who podcast.

What do we have to offer that’s different? Well, we plan to watch all the episodes and talk about them. All the episodes. All 800+ episodes. Every last one of ’em.

But, about us, well, there’s a classic Who fan (me) and a New Who fan (her). She’s a romance author, and I’m a computer geek. She likes Country and I like Classic Rock. I’m from Georgia and she’s from Alabama. Okay, that last one isn’t much of a contrast. (Unless you are actually from either Georgia or Alabama, then it’s like night and day.)

Anyway, we have two different perspectives looking at the same thing. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. If you want to hear this train wreck, you can find them at LarynnFord.com. It’s also on iTunes (links are at LarynnFord.com).

Now, back to teh funneh.

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Dreams do come true

A few months ago, I was speaking with local (to the Columbus area) author Larynn Ford, and mentioned that I was seriously looking at going to DragonCon. She certainly knows me well enough to generate that “What? You?” look.

Same look I got when people who knew me a long time saw me using a Mac. Same look I got when someone saw me eating a salad. Same look I always get when I do something that makes people wonder if I was replaced with a Pod Person. Because I’m not the DragonCon type.

Anyway, I mentioned that Colin Baker — the Sixth Doctor for those that need that explained to them — would be there. She was one that needed that explained. She’s never seen an episode of Doctor Who, whether the new series of the old series. She knew it existed, and wasn’t really surprised that I would like the show, since it’s one of those “really weird British shows.”

Though the explanation of who Colin Baker was helped her understand why I would consider going to DragonCon, she still wasn’t convinced I was in my right mind. Until she suddenly changed the subject.

“Oh, did I tell you about this weird dream I had?”

“No,” I said. Then I thought better. “Maybe.” That way, if she started telling me about it, and I really didn’t want to hear about it, I could say, “Oh, yeah, you told me.” Then maybe she’d stop.

“Well,” she said, “I dreamed I was asleep…”

“Are you sure that was a dream? Maybe you were really asleep,” I offered.

“Shut up. I was dreaming that I was asleep. Then I hear a strange noise, so I got up. It was coming from down there.” She pointed down the hall toward her daughters’ old bedrooms. “There was this strange woman there.”

“That makes two that were in the house,” I thought. I knew better than to say that out loud. Aloud, I said, “What do you mean, ‘strange’?” I figured this would be the inspiration for another one of the characters in one of her books.

“She had curly blond hair and a really odd dress. It was made up of a bunch of different colors. Red, green, blue, all kinds of patterns and checks. Really odd looking dress.”

I thought for a second. “Hang on.” I reached for my iPad and typed something in the search box, and found the result I wanted. “Was this her?”

TheDocctor6

“THAT’S HER? Wait. That’s a guy. Who is that?”

“Colin Baker. That’s the outfit he wore as The Doctor.”

We bought DragonCon tickets that night.

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Doctor Who – Epilogue

TheDoctor13sAs I watched all the episodes of the Classic Doctor Who show, I wrote my thoughts down. Then, when I was done, I mulled over going ahead and watching the newer stuff. That meant watching The Movie, and Paul McGann’s Doctor. So, I did. Had to buy it, sight unseen.

Eh. McGann himself was okay, but I didn’t like The Doctor being involved with a companion. Sure, there’s no question that The Doctor and Ramona had a thing going on, but that was off-screen. The show wasn’t about that, it was about Adventures In Time And Space. I loved that Sylvester McCoy opened the movie as The Doctor. He never explained how he had destroyed Skaros but then was able to travel to Skaros and get The Master’s body.

And, they should have had Anthony Ainley reprise the role of The Master for the opening. Or at least used his image from clips and paid him for that. Nothing wrong with Eric Roberts’ portrayal.

And, after watching The Movie, I watched the other episodes (the newer ones, from 2005 on) and specials. And Webisodes.

Yeah, it’s okay. But, there are things I didn’t like. And, me being me, I’m gonna tell you what I didn’t like. I’ll assume you have seen the newer episodes, and specials, and webisodes, up to and including Peter Capaldi’s Doctor asking Clara if she knew how to fly the TARDIS.

The Doctor and companions being more than simple companions? Don’t like it. Maybe that’s why I really like the dynamic with The Doctor and Donna. She is truly a friend of The Doctor. The relationship was more like The Doctor (2.0) and Jamie. That worked well. And The Doctor and Donna worked well.

Rose? Not a fan. Even her surprise appearances don’t thrill me. The Brigadier’s occasional returns were treats. Rose’s? Not so much. Rose should’ve ended up with Mickey. Not the early Mickey, but the later Mickey.

Martha? Good companion, but the whole “feelings” thing was what ruined that. Her ending up with Mickey was good, for both of them. I’d like to see them return.

Donna? Love her. She’s up there with Sarah Jane Smith and Jamie McCrimmon in the whole hierarchy of companions.

Amy and Rory? Yeah, they’re good. But the best thing to come out of their time with The Doctor was *SPOILERS* River Song.

River Song? Yeah. More River Song. Somehow. That relationship with The Doctor worked. That’s wasn’t a young, silly girl having a crush on the Time Lord (Rose, Martha, etc), it was a real relationship that stood the test of Time And Space.

Clara? She’s alright. Let’s see how they wrap all that up. But so far, they’ve done okay with here.

Ah, but the show isn’t called The Companions. It’s Doctor Who. And, The Doctor is the star, or stars, of the show.

Paul McGann, I though was just okay. Least favorite Doctor for some time. His later surprise appearance in The Night of the Doctor brought him up in my eyes a bit. I want to see more of that Doctor.

Christopher Eccleston was okay. About the time I got used to him, he bailed on he show. Shoulda stuck around for three years, at least.

David Tennant? Yeah, he was alright. Probably coulda played The Doctor for a lot longer. Overall, liked him. Not Peter Davison or Patrick Troughton liked him. But, he was fine.

Matt Smith? His biggest problem was the scripts. The whole “Oh, I know what to do because myself from the future suddenly appeared and told me what to do” got a little old. It’s called the TARDIS, not the Deus Ex Machina.

Oh, and John Hurt? Yeah. He was alright. Particularly when he was keeping Matt Smith’s and David Tennant’s Doctors in line, he reminded me of William Hartnell keeping Jon Pertwee’s and Patrick Troughton’s Doctors in line.

Oh, yeah. The villains. Some of the classic villains returned, and it was hit and miss.

The Autons? They did those right. Those were truly the Autons chasing Rose and The Doctor around when the new series launched. With better makeup and effects. That gave me hope for the new series.

The Sontarans? I like what they did with them. Nothing. They are true to form. Better makeup, just as with the Autons. The Sontarans are definitely the same villains as in the old show. And that’s a good thing.

The Cybermen? Nope. Well, not the ones from the alternate universe. They did have the ones from Mondas, the real ones, appear later. I think. They looked kinda like the original Cybermen. So, I’ll just tell myself those are the real Cybermen and be happy.

Daleks? Nope. Daleks can’t fly. That ruined everything. It was a shock when they could elevate up stairs when taking on The Doctor (7.0). Now, they can suddenly fly? Nope. That’s wrong.

The Master? He’s been okay. Season Eight featured too much of The Master. When they scaled it back, it was wonderful to see him appear. Roger Delgado was fantastic, as was Anthony Ainley. I would like to have seen more of Derek Jacobi as The Master, but John Simm was good in the role. I want to see more of The Master. Once a season. Maybe twice, to throw us off.

New villains? Well, the Weeping Angels were kinda neat. But those fart aliens? Americans, I suppose. None of the other ones stand out, all these weeks after finishing the new series.

But, overall? Yeah, the new series is okay. Maybe Peter Capaldi’s Doctor will be a return to the Classic series. More actual story and less generic blowing stuff up.

I’m looking forward to the 8th season of the new series when it returns in August. So, maybe I do like the new series after all.

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There Be Dragons!

DragonConLogoHave any of you been to DragonCon?

You know. That thing in Atlanta every year with all the weird people running around.

No, not Freaknik. The other one.

No, not the SEC Championship. The other one.

No, not the World Series. That never happens. No, I’m talking about that science fiction fantasy weird sh*t happening that they do every year. Yeah. That one. Have you been?

I’ve been in Atlanta when it was going on. Didn’t realize it until I saw a bunch of Klingons walking down the street. I was at a Sons of the American Revolution thing, and somehow wound up near the Klingons. Didn’t have my musket with me, which was probably a good thing.

Anyway, I’ve never been. One of my sisters has been. Maybe two. Maybe all three, I don’t know. It’s not the kind of thing I’d want to bring up. Not normally, at least.

Anyway, I’ve know about the existence of DragonCon for some time, but have never been. Never wanted to go. But, I’m going this year.

I’m going for one reason, and one reason only. The Doctor will be there. If you have to ask “which one?” then you can’t go and see him. It doesn’t matter. But, it is one of the classic Doctors. I wouldn’t go just to see David Tennant, Matt Smith, Christopher Eccleston, Paul McGann, or Peter Capaldi. But, one of the classic Doctors? Yes. Only four of those first seven are still alive. And, though I’m a latecomer to the world of Doctor Who, I’m enough of a fan to want to go see one of the original Doctors at a sci-fi convention.

So, I’m going this year. First time. And, yeah, there are some other people that might be interesting. But, I’m going to see The Doctor. And I’m not sure what it’s going to be like. So, if any of you have been before, let me know what to expect.

I’m thinking a bunch of weird people running around all dressed up like some Nerd Nightmare. I suspect the Klingons will be drunk on their asses each night. Or, maybe just the chicks that go to the Klingon Keg parties. Yeah, that.

So, like I was saying, tell me what to expect. And, if you’ll be there, maybe we’ll run into each other. No, I won’t be dressed up like Princess Leia or anything.

Harvey might, though.

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Classic Doctor Who – The End

L-R: The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor

L-R: The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor, The Doctor

In December, I mentioned that I was thinking of watching all of the episodes of the classic Doctor Who series. I wrote:

…I’ve been hearing how great Doctor Who is. So, maybe I’ll watch that, I thought.

Just kidding. I had no desire to watch Doctor Who.

I remember Doctor Who from way back. Used to catch an occasional episode starring Tom Baker on PBS many years ago. I thought the whole thing was silly. Not Monty Python silly. Just silly.

But, I kept hearing about how great Doctor Who (the current version) was. So, I looked into it. And, I found out it wasn’t really a reboot, but a revival. They kept the original timeline in place, and began the 2005 series with the Ninth Doctor.

Mmmkay. Maybe this won’t be the JJ Adams-ing of Doctor Who. Maybe I would watch it.

Well, watch it I did. You see, I’m the kind of person that won’t pick something up in the middle. I want to go back to the beginning and get the full effect. So, I watched all the episodes.

That was hard to do. You see, many episodes from the first six seasons no longer exist. Since, with very rare exception, all the stories are multiple episodes (I’m calling those serials) there are some serials with one or more missing episodes. Additionally, ten of the first 49 serials are completely missing, with another 16 serials missing one or more episodes, but not all. In all, 97 episodes are missing from those first six seasons.

BBC animated eleven episodes, and used the still-existing soundtrack combined with stills and surviving video clips to reconstruct five others. Fans have still images, clips, and home movies to reconstruct the other 81 missing episodes. BBC has also done reconstructions of two entire serials as single episodes, but those are heavily edited.

So, with all that, plus with the episodes that exist on DVD, iTunes, or Amazon, I have now seen every episode of the classic Doctor Who.

I liked it.

The Doctor

The Doctor (William Hartnell)

William Hartnell is my favorite. He created the role. Or, the role was created for him. And, with him in the role, The Doctor was mysterious and definitely in charge. Plus, I’m the same age Hartnell was when the first episode was broadcast.

Patrick Troughton was a treat. He always livened up the screen. He reprised the role more times than any other actor who played The Doctor. Come to think of it, he might actually be my favorite.

Jon Pertwee was a joy. I didn’t remember him as The Doctor until I saw him as The Doctor. I don’t know, prior to this viewing, that I ever saw any of his episodes (and I suspect I did not) but I did recognize him as The Doctor. Somehow.

Tom Baker was everyone’s favorite. But not mine. Of course, he was the first actor I remember seeing in the role, but I didn’t always enjoy the show. That’s when the show got a little preachy.

Peter Davison, I liked. I didn’t remember much from his stint, but I did like many of his serials. He may be my second-favorite Doctor. Toss him, Troughton, and Hartnell into a hat (they all wore hats, get it?) and whichever name you pull out is my favorite.

Colin Baker was around the least of any of the actors that played The Doctor. He was in only 31 episodes over two full seasons, and one serial in another.

Sylvester McCoy was the one I knew the least, though he was in more episodes than Colin Baker. McCoy appeared in 42 episodes over three full (but short) seasons.

My Phone

Yes, I have a TARDIS case for my iPhone. Shut up.

Each one, during his time, was The Doctor. The companions were ever-changing, and despite the seven actors (eight, actually) that played the first seven incarnations of The Doctor, the lead character was the constant.

Oh, about the companions. My favorite? Well, Sarah Jane Smith. But, I also likes the group of Susan, Barbara, and Ian. Jamie wasn’t my favorite, but I didn’t dislike him at all, plus I can’t imagine The Doctor (2.0) without him. So, maybe Jamie is my second-favorite companion.

And Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, though he wasn’t actually a companion, was a regular on the show for some time. I liked him. A lot. Took some getting used to, but he’s definitely someone who was a joy to see return after his regular run ended. The others? Yeah, they were okay. I like the cute chicks the best. There were very few I didn’t like.

Who didn’t I like? Kamelion. K-9. I suppose I’m robotist. And, while a lot of people hated Mel, I didn’t. She was okay. Product of her times.

So…

Was it a worthwhile experience? Yep. For me it was. I now understand the Doctor Who universe.

Should you watch them all? I don’t know. If you have Hulu Plus, you’ll find that as the largest online repository for streaming existing episodes. And, if you subscribe to Hulu Plus and want to check some out, like the early stuff, that’s a great place to do that. But, should you?

Well, if you have to ask, the answer is “no.” I’m not saying don’t watch them. What I’m saying is unless you want to watch them — really want to watch them — don’t.

But, if you do want to watch them, go ahead. You’ll enjoy it.

I’m glad I did this.

Addendum: Actually, I did more. I kept watching. And, even though this was The End, there is an Epilogue. Next week.

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