Thursday, June 30, 2011

This is Seven Kinds of Awesome

Monday night I went in to do my internship at the library. Now, I'd had a pretty crappy day on Monday and I toyed with the idea of calling my supervisor and telling her I wouldn't be able to come in (they're pretty flexible with me since I'm not actually acting in an employee capacity). But I figured the sooner I got my 120 hours in, the better.

I went to the reference desk and my supervisor gave me a project to do which required my full attention, but it was a bit tedious. I was actually happy to have the task because I was ready for something slightly mindless, but that needed to be done. While I was doing that, a seven-year-old girl came up to the desk and asked me if the library had any books about "rare creatures."

After getting through a few specifics (which is what they trained us to do in library school), I figured out that she wanted books on endangered species. I started searching through the database and found some nice children's non-fiction picture books that I thought would work for her. But before I could show her what I found, she told me she wanted "big thick books with lots of words" and she didn't want anything with very many pictures because that was kids' stuff.

Hand-over-heart, that's exactly what she told me.

So, I scrapped my last search and started looking for adult non-fiction books on endangered species. I found a few titles and I took her to the animals section of adult non-fiction. I found one title - and it was this huge biography-looking thing. Even after our reference interview, I was still a little nervous about giving her something too advanced for her. But she took the book from me and cuddled it like it was her favorite teddy bear. She even said that her parents didn't let her read that stuff because they thought it was too old for her, but she would sneak her dad's books out and read them.

On the one hand, I didn't want any parents upset at me. On the other hand, it's library policy to give patrons whatever they want - regardless of how old they are (unless they're kids with restricted cards - and even then the only thing we can restrict is R-rated movies).

We found some other titles she said looked good. She said she wanted to look around on her own for a bit and I went back to the desk. About 45 minutes later, I was helping another patron when she came back and ended up talking to another librarian at the desk. In addition to the books I had found for her, she had about three more books and was asking for more.

It just made my heart all warm and fuzzy to see a kid that age asking for books like that. And being dead serious about it too. The best way I can describe her attitude was "Don't patronize me with that childish BS." Kids like that give me hope for the future.

I love my job :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So.... I'm a Mormon

Wow. This is new (sort of).  I promise to go back to blogging about silly fandom things, but I'm going to be serious for a minute.

I debated for a while whether or not to post this here.  Mostly because the internet circles I run in aren't very kind to religious folks and I'm a little shy about posting things pertaining to my religion on places outside of Facebook (where I block certain things from being viewed publicly).  But I was impressed by this video and I wanted to comment on it.  Besides, if I can outline why I don't like Torchwood, I can certainly write about my personal beliefs on my own blog.

Now, this post is NOT going to be about trying to convert people or "proving" my religion is better than anyone else's because I just don't roll that way.  I try to respect others' beliefs as long as they are respectful of mine (now, if you start making ignorant comments, that's a different story).  If people are genuinely curious and have honest and thoughtful questions, I'm willing to answer them the best I know how.  And if you are interesting in joining the Church - hooray for you.  If not, that's cool too.  BUT - I do not tolerate cheap shots or efforts to engage in "Bible-bashing" or what-have-you.  So just don't do it.

(And before anyone asks - no, just because two Mormons are running for president doesn't mean I'm going to vote for them.  Actually, I haven't even decided who I'm voting for and I figure that it's too early to even decide that.  But voting for someone just because they're associated with a particular group is kind of dumb).

(Wow, I'm breaking two of my cardinal rules with this post - don't discuss religion and don't discuss politics. I'm really taking my life in my own hands with this one).

Anyway - enjoy this video from CNN -

I'm actually very impressed with the tone of the content.  They got the historical facts and the beliefs correct (which suggests to me that they actually asked someone who is a member of the Church and not just relying on outsiders to tell the story).  The only thing I would care to correct them on is the idea that the Church is aiming to convert the proverbial "people of color" in order to appear more diverse or to "fix" whatever image is supposed to be broken.  Honestly, outside of just being respectful of others or trying to follow God's commandments, the Church really doesn't give a flying leap what the rest of the country thinks about them.  We do make an effort to correct misconceptions that are causing problems, but on the whole, we really can't control how people choose to see us.

Here's an example - I served an LDS mission in Florida a few years ago and, admittedly, a lot of the people we taught and who joined the Church were African-American and Hispanic, so that is true that the so-called "minorities" are becoming members.  However, when I was a missionary, the focus was not on "Oh, we need to convert more of these people so we can appear more inclusive and diverse."  It was more about "Wow, you mean you're NOT going to run us out of the neighborhood?  You're actually going to listen to us before you shoot us down?"  It just turned out that those were the people who would let us share our message and many of them decided to join the Church. When you're a missionary, you live for the moments when people don't threaten to call the cops or scream F-word-laced diatribes at you (I actually had both of those happen to me).

Anyway, I was glad to see this video (and there's another one where a news anchor is interviewing a professor of religious studies that's also very good) because I get a little nervous whenever there's a member of the LDS Church making headlines (whether as a politician or a bestselling author or some other kind of celebrity) because that almost makes it okay for people to bash the Church and I really hate that.  It's just not fun to see something you hold sacred and special being mocked and if you try to defend yourself, you get branded as a bigot or racist or whatever the "in vogue" insult is these days.  At the same time, yes there are Latter-day Saints - or, at least people who claim to be - who do things that I don't agree with, whether on a personal level or over a religious topic (and I've had essay ideas about some of these issues which I will save for another time).  But I defy anyone to select any racial, religious, ethnic, political or even fandom group and tell me with a straight face that every single one of those people are perfect.  And there will be people within the group that don't want to be associated with each other (please, please, PLEASE for the love of all that is good and decent do not lump me in the same category with Stephenie Meyer.  I'm partial to Shannon Hale, personally.  And if you have no idea who Shannon Hale is, you are missing out).

So, I guess my main point in posting this is to ask that people use their heads when they "hear things" about the LDS Church.  The best source of information is, the Church's official website for people curious about our beliefs.  And I'm also betting most of you have friends, neighbors or co-workers who are LDS, so that would be a good place to go as well.  Just don't be ignorant and make stupid comments.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Are We Watching for Friday Night Who?

The votes are in! And after considering reader input, availability and my own selfish personal preference, the winner for this week's Friday Night Who is... (drumroll....)

The Mind Robber!

Yes folks, the mind-bendy and twisty-turny story featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor with companions Jamie and Zoe. Set you DVDs, Netflix or whatever to start Friday Night at 11:00 pm MDT on the dot (which is the same as midnight CDT - just like we've done with the Vortex Boys). Follow my Twitter @wildcat_media and look for the #FridayNightWho hashtags!

Tweet you then!

Monday, June 20, 2011

AN ANNOUNCEMENT - Friday Night Who Sans the Vortex Boys

Due to previous commitments, the the guys from Traveling the Vortex are taking a break from Friday Night Who this week.  This is understandable - people have lives.  However, I thought (well, they actually suggested it on the podcast) that a bunch of us could organize a FNW for ourselves.  I'm cool with that if there are enough takers.  If enough people show an interest (which, "enough people" could be three or four),  I have a few ideas of what we could watch.  Here are my ideas (all from Classic Who since I'm sure the Vortex Boys have their own schedule for New Who) -

- Meglos (4th Doctor)
- Mark of the Rani (6th Doctor)
- Frontios (5th Doctor)
- The Mind Robber (2nd Doctor)
- The Ark in Space (4th Doctor)

Please vote for one that you would like to see (or if you have another one to suggest, I'm open to that as well).  Whichever one has the most votes is the one we'll watch and I'll post the winner on Thursday (and we'll keep the rest of the list in case the Boys have to take a break some other time).

This will take place Friday, June 24th at 11 pm MDT (midnight CDT) on Twitter - same as usual.  My Twitter handle is @wildcat_media - follow me and look for the hashtags #FridayNightWho

ETA: In my haste to compile a list to choose from, I forgot that some people only have access to episodes on Netflix (that's what I get for only consulting my DVD shelf).  If that's the case, The Mind Robber and The Ark in Space are available on Netflix Instant (but it's not like I would be opposed to watching The Mind Robber again! ^_^)  But if you have something else you'd like considered, I'm all ears!  Leave your suggestions either in the comments or on Twitter.

Happy 25th Episode Traveling the Vortex!

Now that Traveling the Vortex has released their 25th episode, I can post this:

Feedback: Mark II from Wildcat Media on Vimeo.

(Note to Shaun - Nope. They're still just shirts.)

Is It Reasonable to Suppose Anybody Would Be Inside a Cupboard Like That?

I love it when people put New Who music with Old Who.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Awesome Birthday Time Again!

It's Arthur Darvill's birthday today! Also known as Rory Williams (aka Rory Pond aka Rory the Roman aka My Next Christmas Present)

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Happy Birthday, Arthur!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fear Not, My Children

I told you I would be back with this stuff.

Evidently Twitter exploded earlier today with the news that Series 7 would NOT be entirely broadcast during 2012.  Some people are taking this in stride, some are freaking out and declaring THE END IS NEAR AND WE ARE GOING TO DIIIIIIIEEEE!!! while curled up in the fetal position and cuddling our security scarves and fezzes.

First of all - the panic mode response is understandable.  Whovians know well that Doctor Who can be taken away just as much as it can be brought back.  Even those of us who didn't experience the Wilderness Years feel it - if there's even so much as a sniff that Doctor Who is not doing well for the BBC, we automatically assume the worst.  And through the use of Twitter and Facebook and what-have-you, bad news travels like wildfire - even news that might not have been reported or understood accurately in the early moments of its breaking.  Consequently, panic gets compounded and everyone goes nuts.

However - after careful thought and consideration - this is not a bad thing.  Take a deep breath, everyone - NOTHING BAD IS HAPPENING HERE.

To illustrate: here's a list of facts (all are from reputable sources, even if I don't have those sources handy):

1. Doctor Who is consistently rated among the highest programs on BBC.  Series 6 also garnered record numbers for BBC America and the Canadian Space Channel (and it was one of the most well-advertised shows - you couldn't walk anywhere without tripping over a Doctor Who on BBCA advertisement.  If a station spends that much money on something, they have an interest in seeing it succeed).

2. The BBC has commissioned 14 episodes for next season.  They may not all be aired in 2012 - in fact Lizo Mzimba from the BBC tweeted that some episodes will be aired in 2012 and some will be aired in 2013.  My guess is that it'll be over Fall/Winter 2012-13 with a break over Christmas or something.

3. Both Steven Moffat and Matt Smith have signed on at least through 2013.  Emphasis on at least.

4. London has the 2012 Olympics.  Now, you may not know this, but the Olympics are a Big Freaking Deal.  I was in high school during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics and that sucker was EVERYWHERE.  For two weeks no one cared about the Utah Jazz or college sports or anything else that is usually on the minds of Utahns in February - everything was constantly Olympics, Olympics, Olympics.  All the local sports teams had to be on the road during the Olympics because the sporting venues were needed for Olympic events.  Even before the Olympics - after Nagano and Sydney - there was so much hype and lead-up going in that you couldn't turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper or go to a school assembly without seeing something Olympic-related.  And these were just the Winter Olympics, which are typically smaller than the Summer Olympics.  I imagine that the BBC is going to have to rearrange a few things for London 2012 - and seeing as how Doctor Who has been airing in the late spring-early summer, that may have to change.

5. After listening to Radio Free Skaro's latest episode with the guys from Tachyon TV, I am personally convinced that it would be better to air Doctor Who in the fall/winter.  Personally, I have more time to sit down and watch TV in the fall and winter just because the weather's colder and it's a calmer time of year. There are less things going on in the fall, life has become more routine and settled and it's just a good time to unwind from all the crazy party-type stuff that's gone on through the summer (I am convinced that summer is the most stressful time of year - even more than school or finals or even Christmas.  At least you have a reasonable limit on how long Christmas is going to last).  Not that I wouldn't watch Doctor Who in the summer (are you kidding me? I just came off of  seven straight weeks of Series 6!), but I would love to be able to look forward to Doctor Who in the fall.
     5a. Which is exactly what we're getting this September - Series 6, part 2 in the fall.

6. Four Words: Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary.  November 23, 2013 marks 50 years since Doctor Who first aired and EVERYBODY is going to be doing something for that.  I'm certain there will be a special aired on that date, but I think it would be even cooler to have an actual season of Doctor Who in full swing for the 50th anniversary.  Proving that this little show that started out as a kids' educational program can weather all kinds of cast changes, production woes, executive meddling and criticism and come back as strong as ever with as many fans that love it - whether they're fans who grew up with it in the 70s and 80s or if they're newbies that just started with the new series.

So do not despair, my friends.  For once, Auntie Beeb knows what she's doing

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

But Fire is Really the Best!

What's this? A non-Doctor Who post? From me? *runs outside to make sure the universe is still intact*

'kay, so I've been posting about Doctor Who a lot lately and that's not about to change much (I don't have any major plans in the works for the summer break other than the odd review of a Classic Who story here and there, but things may develop within fandom or elsewhere that I'll want to address. We'll see). HOWEVER - I've been following along with Mark Watches "Avatar: The Last Airbender," which is something I've meant to see for a long time and I just never had the time (previous to this, I had seen the very beginning and the very end - but nothing in the middle).  And I have been enjoying myself immensely with it.  One of the comment threads at Mark Watches had this video posted and it was cute and I found myself giggling, so I will now share it with my loyal readership:

Oh, Sokka - your cuteness is only rivaled by tiny!Zuko XD

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Life of a Companion - One Year In

Today (June 8) is a rather special day - and I only know this because a year ago I updated my Facebook status to this effect (and I was geeky enough to search back far enough to find that update).  One year ago today, I sat down and watched "Doctor Who" for the very first time.  I had heard a lot about this show from friends online and people had referenced it.  The most I knew was that the actor who'd played Barty Crouch Jr. in the fourth Harry Potter movie was in it.

Last summer was pretty boring - "24" and "Heroes" had been canceled and "CSI" was going down the tubes (I'm surprised it's still on) and I wanted to find something new to watch.  Plus, I was looking for a job and that was a fruitless endeavor - I honestly just needed something to lift my spirits and get my mind off how miserable my life was at that point.  I arbitrarily chose "Doctor Who" based on the internet chatter I'd seen, thinking that it wouldn't hurt to see one episode - I was by no means obligated to continue if I didn't like it (this was even before I knew all the many decades of history the show had).

I found out what the first episode of the new series was and looked it up online.  I had a number of initial thoughts - not the least of which was "This isn't David Tennant - who the heck is this guy?" (no, I did not recognize Christopher Eccleston from his one part in "Heroes" and I'm pretty sure that was by design).  But the premise intrigued me and I could tell that the writers were making an effort to interest new viewers.

"Rose" ended and I thought "Well, that was cool" just as the "Next Time" trailer came up.  And the Doctor has this line:

"Welcome to the end of the world."

I don't remember much beyond that except "HOLY CRAP - THE END OF THE WORLD?? HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK??" (oh, how naive was I?)

From there on out, I pounced on this show like a housecat on a wounded mouse.  I zipped through the new series, DVR'd everything "Doctor Who" on BBC America, ate up all the Classic Who I could get my hands on, started into Big Finish, joined online groups, sought out podcasts, made crafts and costumes and music videos and heaven knows what else -

So today, I have a treat - mostly for myself, but others may enjoy it as well.  I love all kinds of music and since last year, I've found a number of songs that I associate with Doctor Who.  I've put them together in a playlist along with some quotes from the new series showing the Doctor through the eyes of his companions (more or less) because I've felt like one of the Doctor's companions on this wild ride I've been on in the past year.

For your listening pleasure, I present:

The Life of a Companion: One Year In
(A Fanmix)

(Each song title is a link to a video with that song)

The Doctor: I'm the Doctor, by the way, what's your name?
Rose: Rose.
The Doctor: Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!
 - from "Rose"

I wonder what it's like to be a super hero
I wonder where I'd go if I could fly around downtown
From some other planet, I get this funky high from a yellow sun
Boy I bet my friends will all be...stunned, they're stunned

Martha: What, people call you "the Doctor"?
The Doctor: Yeah.
Martha: Well, I'm not. As far as I'm concerned, you've got to earn that title.
The Doctor: Well, I'd better make a start, then.
  - from "Smith and Jones"

With all his Wizard wisdom
By my looks, he won't be blinded
D'you think the Wizard is dumb
Or, like Munchkins, so small-minded
He'll say to me "I see who you truly are
A girl on whom I can rely"
And that's how we'll begin
The Wizard and I
Oh, what a pair we'll be -
The Wizard and I!

Donna: I packed ages ago, just in case. 'Cause I thought, hot weather, cold weather, no weather... he goes anywhere, I've gotta be prepared! (puts a hatbox on top of the pile of luggage in the Doctor's arms.)
The Doctor: You've got a... a... hatbox.
Donna: Planet of the Hats, I'm ready!
 - from "Partners of Crime"

You get your Ph.D
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy's
And are honored with employee of the month

I think never is enough (yeah never is enough)
I never want to do that stuff
I think never is enough (yeah never is enough)
You never have to do that stuff

The Doctor: What do you think? You could stay here and fill your life with work and food and sleep, or you could go, uh... anywhere.
 - from "Rose"

We'll live happily forever
So the story goes...
We’ll try best we can
To carry on!
A gathering of angels
Appeared above my head
And sang to me their song of hope
And this is what they said -
Come sail away!
We climbed aboard their starship
And headed for the skies!

Ten: You know... I loved being you. Back when I first started, at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young. And then I was you. And it was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted -- I still do that! The voice thing, I got that from you. Oh! (puts his foot on the console) And the trainers. And... (puts on his glasses) ... snap. 'Cause you know what, Doctor? You were *my* Doctor.
Five: (tips his hat) To days to come.
Ten: All my love to long ago.
 - from "Time Crash"

(Link is one of my favorite DW fanvids - JSYK)

Never, never try to gauge temperature
When you travel at such speed
It's our velocity
Is it cold where you are this time of year?
Are you willing to resist the people you've never met?
The devil's wheel revolves
But it needs to be reset

Reinette: But you and I both know, don't we, Rose? The Doctor is worth the monsters.
 - from "The Girl in the Fireplace"

Martha: (re the Doctor) ...'Cause you've got no idea of what he's like. I've only just met him. It wasn't even that long ago, but he is everything... he's just everything to me and he doesn't even look at me, but I don't care... 'cause I love him to bits.
 - from "The Family of Blood"

(Link is a DW fanvid that was a contributing factor in me starting to watch the show - yes, I knew was happened in Series 2 before I even watched it - SPOILERS!)

My life
You electrify my life
Let's conspire to ignite
All the souls that would die just to feel alive.

Jenny: So what do you do?
The Doctor: I travel. Through time and space.
Donna: He saves planets, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures. And runs a lot. Seriously, there is an outrageous amount of running involved.
 - from "The Doctor's Daughter"

Tonight I'll dream while I'm in bed
When silly thoughts go through my head
About the bugs and alphabet
And when I wake tomorrow I'll bet
That you and I will walk together again
'Cause I can tell that we're gonna be friends

Donna:  I could think of ideas that you two couldn't dream of in a million years! Ah, the universe has been waiting for me! Now... let's send that trip-stitch all over the ship. Did I ever tell you... (gestures to herself) Best temp in Chiswick? (wiggles her fingers in typing motion) A hundred words per minute!
 - from "Journey's End"

Oh, love don't let me go
Won't you take me where the streetlights glow?
I could hear it comin'
Like a seranade of sound
Now my feet won't touch the ground
Gravity release me
And don't ever hold me down
Now my feet won't touch the ground

Donna: He's amazing, Gramps. He's just... dazzling. And never tell him I said that.
Wilf: No.
Donna: But I'd trust him with my life.
 - from "The Sontaran Stratagem"

Now I got friends that ride into the storm
And ride out of the storm with nothing
They rode into the storm with

When you're up between the new sky line
The city lights and the warm sunshine
It's a long way down
When you can count on one hand what you love
And can count on who you love to help you on your long way down

The Doctor: I'm a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords. They're all gone. I'm the only survivor. I'm left travelling on my own because there's no one else.
Rose: There's me.
The Doctor: You've seen how dangerous it is. Do you want to go home?
Rose: I don't know. I want... (Suddenly she sniffs the air.) Oh! Can you smell chips?
The Doctor: (laughs, caught off-guard) Yeah. Yeah!
 - from "The End of the World"

Look out new world here we come
Brave, intrepid and then some
Pioneers of maximum
Audacity whose resumes
Show that we are just the team
To live where others merely dream
Building up a head of steam
On the trail we blaze

Changing legend into fact
We shall ride into history
Turning myth into truth
We shall surely gaze
On the sweet unfolding
Of an antique mystery
All will be revealed
On the trail we blaze

The Doctor: You don't need to own the universe. Just see it. To have the privilege of seeing all of time and space... that's ownership enough.
 - from "The End of Time, Part 2"

(Link is a Donna fanvid I made soon after I finished Series 4)

Anyone perfect must be lying
Anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely
Anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction?
What if I lost my sense of time?
What if I nurse this infection?
Maybe the worst is behind.

Rose: Is it always this dangerous?
The Doctor: (nods) Yeah.
 - from "Rose"

(Link is to a Fifth Doctor fanvid - so Classic Who gets some love here too ^_^)
You know that I was hoping,
That I could leave this star-crossed world behind
But when they cut me open,
I guess I changed my mind.

And you know I might
Have just flown too far from the floor this time
Cause they're calling me by my name
And the zipping white light beams
Disregard the bombs and satellites
The star maker says, "It ain't so bad"
The dream maker's gonna make you mad
The spaceman says, "Everybody look down
It's all in your mind"

Well now I'm back at home, and
I'm looking forward to this life I live
You know its gonna haunt me
So hesitation to this life I give.
You think you might cross over,
You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
You better look it over,
Before you make that leap

Martha: Oh, no, no. (looking at the exterior in amazement) But it's just a box. But it's huge. How does it do that? It's wood. (She knocks on it, then goes back inside.) It's like a box with that room just rammed in. It's bigger on the inside!
The Doctor: (after mouthing the last sentence with her) Is it? I hadn't noticed.
 - from "Smith and Jones"

One day I'll construct a satellite
and I'll name it after you
'Cause you were the greatest friend of all
except for when you split my lip in two
To see the look upon your face
as I launch you into space

There's a lot I will never do
Some fantastic, I know it's true
But none as much as my want to be with you

The Doctor: Rose... before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were fantastic. (He smiles at her.) Absolutely fantastic. And d'you know what? ...So was I!
  - from "The Parting of the Ways"

(Link to another video I made - this one a tribute to "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances")
Do you think I'm special?
Do you think I'm nice?
Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?
Between the noise you hear, and the sounds you like
Are we just sinking the ocean of faces?
It can't be possible... the rain can fall
Only when it's over our heads.
The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away.
Over the world that's dead.

The Doctor: I only take the best.
 - from "The Long Game"

Have you ever danced in the rain
Or thanked the sun
Just for shining- just for shining
Or the sea?
Oh no- take it all in
The world's a show
And yeah, you look much better,
Look much better when you glow

Rose: But it was... it was a better life. And I -- I don't mean all the travelling and... seeing aliens and spaceships and things -- that don't matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know, he showed you too. That you don't just give up. You don't just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what's right when everyone else just runs away.
 - from "The Parting of the Ways"

Martha: (She tosses her mobile to him) Keep that. 'Cause I'm not having you disappear. If that rings, *when* that rings, you better come running. Got it?
The Doctor: Got it.
Martha: (smiles) I'll see you again, mister. (She leaves.)
 - from "The Last of the Time Lords

Donna: I don't suppose you've seen a little blue box?
Wilfred: Is that slang for something?
Donna: No, I mean it. If you ever see a little blue box flying up there in the sky, you shout for me, Gramps. Oh, you just shout.
 - from "Partners in Crime"

The Doctor: Swear to me. Swear to me on something that matters.
Amy: (long pause) Fish fingers and custard.
The Doctor: ...My life in your hands, Amelia Pond.
  - from "The Impossible Astronaut

And in the burst of light that blinded every angel
As if the sky had blown the heavens into stars
You felt the gravity of temper grace falling into empty space
No one there to catch you in their arms

Donna: You can't just leave them!
The Doctor: Don't you think I've done enough? History's back in place and everyone dies.
Donna: You've got to go back! Doctor, I am telling you, take this thing back! (The Doctor pulls the handbrake and the TARDIS takes off. Donna is crying.) It's not fair.
The Doctor: (quietly) No, it's not.
 - from "The Fires of Pompeii"

Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

Vincent: Hold my hand, Doctor. (they all link hands) Try to see what I see. We're so lucky we're still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there! Lighter blue. (the starscape slowly transforms into The Starry Night) And blowing through the blueness and the blackness, the winds swirling through the air. And there, shining, burning, bursting through, the stars! Can you see how they roll their light? Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
The Doctor: I’ve seen many things, my friend, but you’re right. Nothing quite as wonderful as the things you see.
 - from "Vincent and the Doctor"

I still love what I know
I love to ride alone and sing a song and listen to the radio
You can ride along and if you change your mind, well
That's just fine, but there's somethin' that you got to know

Young Kazran: Aren't you gonna tell me it's dangerous?
The Doctor: Dangerous? C'mon, we're boys! And you know what boys say in the face of danger.
Young Kazran: What?
The Doctor: Mummy.
 - from "A Christmas Carol"

There's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
Fifteen, I'm all right with you
Fifteen, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

The Doctor: And if you want to remember me, then you can do one thing. That's all. One thing. Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.
 - from "The Parting of the Ways"

There’s a place I go
When I’m alone
Do anything I want
Be anyone I wanna be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I’m fallin'
That’s where I’m goin'
Where are you goin'
Hold it close won’t let this go
Dream catch me,
Dream catch me when I fall
Or else I won’t come back at all

River: When I first met the Doctor, a long, long time ago... he knew all about me. Think about that. Impressionable young girl, and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky, he's clever and mad and wonderful and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.
 - from "The Impossible Astronaut"

On this half lit day
With your crown beneath your wing
Every word just echoes
And the empty world sings

Where have you gone my feather light heart?
I never imagined I could leave.

In the glistening
Of the lost and open sky
Tiny piece of you sits
Simple wish waits for reply

Where have you gone my feather light heart?
You mustn't forget what love can see.

The Doctor: Nobody important? Blimey, that's amazing. D'you know, in nine hundred years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasn't important before.
 - from "A Christmas Carol"

The Doctor: So. Coming?
Amy: No.
The Doctor: You wanted to come fourteen years ago.
Amy: I grew up.
The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll soon fix that.
  - from "The Eleventh Hour"

People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars

The Doctor: You know, since we're talking with mouths, not really an opportunity that comes along very often, I just wanna say, you know, *you* have never been very reliable!
Idris: And you have?
The Doctor: You didn't always take me where I wanted to go.
Idris: No, but I always took you where you needed to go.
  - from "The Doctor's Wife"

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

River: (v.o.) When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end. But however hard you try, you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies, and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it… Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call... everybody lives.
 - from "The Forest of the Dead"

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend…
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

Amy: There's someone missing. Someone important, someone so, *so* important.
Rory: Amy, what's wrong?
Amy: Sorry. (clears throat) Sorry, everyone. (pause) When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend.
Amy: The Raggedy Doctor. My Raggedy Doctor. But he wasn't imaginary. He was real.
Amy: I remember you. I REMEMBER! I brought the others back, I can bring you home too! Raggedy Man, I remember you, and YOU ARE LATE FOR MY WEDDING! (A pause. Various objects in the room start to tremble.) I found you. I found you with words, like you knew I would. That's why you told me the story, the brand new, ancient blue box. Oh, clever, very clever! (The trembling gets stronger, a wind starts to blow, and the guests look around and exclaim in fear.)
Rory: Amy? What is it?
Amy: Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. (The TARDIS materialisation sound is heard.) Something blue. (The TARDIS appears and solidifies.)
 - from "The Big Bang"

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

Donna: Am I ever gonna see you again?
The Doctor: If I'm lucky.
- from "The Runaway Bride"

River: The Doctor... in the TARDIS... next stop, everywhere.
- from "The Forest of the Dead"

(I am indebted to Sue_Denimme from LiveJournal for all the quotes.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Only Water in the Forest is the River

Spoilers for "A Good Man Goes to War."

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Let me start off by saying this was an exceptional episode. And Steven Moffat is either -

1. Really good at leaving hints for die-hard fans to pick up and piece together
2. Worn out his twisty-turny-plot-twist stuff so that now everyone knows how his brain works and everything's painfully obvious and it's stupid that it's so easy to guess what he's up to.

Personally, I'm going with #1 in this case. I only listed the second one because there is going to be some group of fans somewhere pissed off that the "River is Amy and Rory's baby" theory turned out to be true because it was too simple.

Sorry folks. But sometimes Snape loves Lily so much that he'll kill Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders in order to save Lily Potter's son (as yours truly learned the hard way). Sometimes the simple answer is the right answer.

Last night, I sat down to compose my own theories - as cracked-out as I thought they were. This was a total stream-of-consciousness thing and is not edited at all, but I'm sharing them anyway because I want to (results are in parenthesis):

1. Amy and Rory die in the war, leaving the baby to be raised by River and the Doctor. (Wrong. At least, for this episode).

2. Thanks to an unscrupulous commenter at Mark Watches (the one place I thought I was assured of avoiding spoilers), I have learned that the baby's name is Melody Pond. Let's see - MELODY Pond. River SONG. The Doctor and River have to care for the baby - who is actually River. The Doctor changes Melody's name in order to save her because the villains want to use the baby as some kind of weapon. (Mostly wrong - apart from Baby=River)

3. Because Amy has 1) Traveled in the TARDIS, 2) Been to another universe (in "The Doctor's Wife"), 3) Grew up with a crack in time in her bedroom wall and 4) Brought the Doctor back after he was taken behind the cracks in "The Big Bang" - that has all had an effect on her body and her pregnancy. Even if a woman isn't pregnant, things she does when she's young can have an effect on her children years later (I think. At least, that's what I've been taught in school and stuff). All those things combined to make - maybe not a true Time Lord child, but produce a child that is capable of some early form of regeneration. I think that regeneration isn't so much part of a Time Lord's biology, but more of a technological/medical advance. It was a skill monitored by Time Lords (hence, the rule about 12 regenerations - I maintain that it was a rule and now that the Time Lords are gone, there's no one to police the use of it). So, maybe all of Amy's adventures with the Doctor produced a rudimentary version of regeneration in her child. (Holy crap, I got really close on this one!)

4. Oh - this was supposed to be about River - well, River is Amy and Rory's child. I've gone over that. Also, according to Moffat, something from "the very beginning" has to come into play here. I'm thinking either from "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" or from "Blink." My initial thought was Melody becomes part of the family who started The Library. Why not? (Still no idea. Actually, I don't think this will come into play anymore, so forget it).

So, my theories - some right, some wrong. But I was so floored about the time vortex affecting the pregnancy AND the fact that the Time Lords themselves were changed because of all their time travels and such!  Mostly I was floored by the fact that I even thought of it in the first place.

Enough of theories - time to review the episode!

Remember how I said "The Almost People" didn't work? That's because it was trying to surprise and confuse the audience waaaaay too much. Some surprise is good to keep the audience paying attention - but it's not good to treat them like idiots just out for cheap thrills. For all my screaming obscenities at Steven Moffat over these crazy twists-and-turns, I trust him as a writer to tell a decent story that keeps me interested and holds up under scrutiny. And he did not disappoint here

For instance - people who see the Doctor as a threat and a menace. It is mystifying to me to think there is a place where the word "Doctor" means something negative. Usually we think of the Daleks and Cybermen and other baddies when we think of the Doctor's enemies, but rarely do we think of armies massing like they did at Demon's Run - training to fight the Doctor, learning how to see through psychic paper and things like that. Because they are genuinely afraid of him. And they aren't bad people, per se - hell, we've seen these guys before in "Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone." And now I'm wondering why these cleric/soldier people are against the Doctor where, in the Angels two-parter, they were on the Doctor's side (more questions that need answering, I suppose. Maybe. Actually, I don't care).

A word must be said about the Doctor and anger. I got chills when the Doctor got real, properly angry and I give Matt Smith all the credit in the world for this (oh sweet Gallifrey, can we heap enough praise on this guy? Simple answer - no we cannot). I love his Doctor as the sweet, goofy, childlike Doctor, but get his Doctor angry? Eleven gets angry so rarely - when you have pissed him off, you have truly accomplished something. The soul that tempts Eleven to his limits has no chance and no prayer whatsoever. He's like Five in that regard (the only time I want to see Fivey good and mad is when he's good and mad on my behalf). Beware the Nice Ones, indeed.

Coming in on the heels of the Doctor is the one, the only, the Lone Centurion himself - Rory Williams. The whole beginning of him going to the Cybermen to solicit help - or whatever he was doing - was brilliant (and it turns out those promo images from the BBC of Cybermen weren't spoilery at all! The Cybermen never showed up at Demons Run - did they?) I so loved Rory kicking ass and taking names. And the moment he walked in with the baby to see Amy - keeping in mind Rory spent most of the season with Ganger!Amy in the TARDIS and only recently found out about the switch - was a beautiful moment. Plus, the fact that he was trying to stay cool and keep his emotions in check, but then he fails horribly…

"Dear Santa,
For Christmas, I want a Rory Williams of my very own.
Sincerely, me."

I really loved this episode. Even though I wasn't at the end going OMG OMG HOLY CRAP FREAK OUT SLKHDF I;AHUH AWH AWRH GAA HUWEHFAJKHG *keysmash!* - really, this was a satisfying conclusion to this first half of the season. What we expected to happen did happen. And a few things we didn't quite expect didn't totally take us by surprise. This was clean, tight, concise, and simple storytelling - it works on all kinds of levels. There was enough of a shift in plot that kept the "game changer" promise, but it's not so much of a shift that we're too far away from the original story. There are still plenty of questions (Exploding TARDIS? Person in astronaut suit killing the Doctor?) but I'm okay with those still being left open because what we did get was good enough for now.

I don't often point this out because everyone knows that Murray Gold is the King of Awesome - but I loved, loved, LOVED the music in this episode. I just felt the need to point that out.

A few other things I liked:
- Amelia Pond - get your coat!
- The Silurian. A Silurian "Sherlock-Holmesing" it in Victorian England at all. I'm surprised the BBC managed to keep that secret.
- "I'm breaking in, not out." - River Song (and I hang my head in shame that there ever was a time that I didn't like her).
- And the Sontaran.  A nurse Sontaran. *snicker*
- The Doctor working out how a Time Lord baby was even possible - "They don't hang a balloon out, do they?"
- The Doctor speaks Baby. Of course he does XD
- How "Melody Pond" became "River Song" - the Gamma Forest people don't have a word for Pond! Linguistics FTW! (and will we ever meet the Gamma Forest folk?)
- There are going to be so many people punching the air over the Baby!River reveal - but I love the way in which it was done. For a moment, I thought it would have been the Doctor who found out, but nobody else would - but leaving us hanging to the very end was gorgeous.
- The title of the next episode is allegorical. Calling it now.

Bottom Line: This episode made me feel good.  Sure, the bad guys won in spectacular "Empire Strikes Back" fashion, but I feel good about what's going to happen.  When I discovered this show a year ago, I was ready for something to make me feel good.  I didn't want anything sugar-coated by any means.  "A Good Man Goes to War" is probably a good example of what "Doctor Who" is all about - sure, there are bad things happening, but you've still got hope.  Eye-Patch Lady (and yes, she did get a name, but I didn't catch it on the first viewing - sorry) may have made off with Baby Melody/River - but things will turn out just fine.  I'm confident of that.

I am SO READY for September.

(But until then... what am I going to blog about?)