Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekend Roundup and Some Theorizing (Doctor Who SPOILERS!)

This past weekend was Pioneer Day here in Utah, so I was sort of off the grid for a while there.  For those that don't know, July 24th is a state holiday commemorating the day the first group of pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley and began settling most of the present-day western United States. There's a huge parade in Salt Lake City and everybody gets to shoot off fireworks and there are barbecues and picnics and all the local government people have the day off.  It's like we get a sequel to the 4th of July ^_^  Also, my youngest sister had her birthday on the 25th, so I went to visit the family and go boating with my aunt and uncle.  I'm a little sunburned, but not as bad as usually happens (SPF 50, folks. SPF 50).

Anyway, it has been a particularly full week and it's only Wednesday.  Prepare for a list, folks -

- I started working for real last week - HOORAY!  It wasn't too bad, just busy (which was why I was not online so much).  Around last Thursday, I did a super-duper early shift and it totally drained me and it made me a little sick.  Not horribly bed-ridden sick, just enough to make me crash for a three hour nap after I got home.  It was the weirdest thing - I only meant to be down for twenty minutes or so, but there went my entire day.  Eh, what d'you do?  This week's been tougher because the tech guys did a BIG upgrade to the system and it's shut down everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  Patrons are having to fill out paper applications for library cards and nobody can renew things or places holds.  The clerks can get into the system a little bit, but it takes a long time and backs everything up out to the Pony Express.  All the while kids are crying, old people are asking why things aren't working and I'm just getting continually frustrated.  Once it's all back online, it'll be fine and dandy, I'm sure.  But for now it's a pain in the butt and I want to slap the person who decided this would be a good idea.

- Taught the lesson in Relief Society in church on Sunday.  Normally, I love my RS teaching gig, but this week the assigned topic was Eternal Marriage from the General Conference talks this past April. That is one of the most annoying gospel topics to teach in a singles ward, especially the young single women.  I didn't want any of the ladies I teach to come away feeling like less of a person as is wont to happen in these settings (I'm LDS and have been for a long time, but I've long felt that married life as a Mormon is just weird.  Not as it pertains to Church doctrine or anything - just how it's executed in day-to-day living. That's an essay in and of itself).  But I did okay - we ended up having a good conversation about how it's not something to stress over if you're not married and it's a good thing to go get an education and start a career and not focus so much on finding a man and starting a family.  The class seemed to respond well and I don't think I hurt anyone's feelings, so victory for me!  All I can say is that I'm grateful that times have changed since my aunt got married (that's another story, but probably not for this setting).

- Enough with the whiny personal anecdotes - IT'S DOCTOR WHO TIME!!! (well, it will be in a month - YAY FOR AUGUST 27th!!)

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension
(Bless the person who made this gif. It is magnificent.)

   It would follow that BIG Doctor Who news would fall over a holiday weekend and I would be unable to devote full attention to it.  But I'm going to do so now.  SPOILER ALERT!! (well, more like THEORY ALERT!! but I suppose some people like to avoid those as well).  Now that I've watched the trailer a few times, I have at least one thought that goes beyond OMG - DOCTOR IN TAILS! OMG - RORY PUNCHES HITLER!! OMG - OLD!AMY!!!  This relates to the OMG - EYE-PATCH!RIVER!! clip.

  Full disclosure -  Part of this theory was triggered by a discussion of a short story Shaun from Traveling the Vortex wrote that uses this trope.  I think the guys from Radio Free Skaro touched on it a little bit in passing, but Shaun's story really got my brain going on this after I read it a second time, so credit to him for lighting the spark.

  I think that Series 6.2 is going to deal with some heavy-duty rewriting time and what the effects are of doing that.  I wonder if the Doctor, Amy and Rory are going to end up in an alternate timeline that was caused by some meddling in history (like, say, saving Hitler's life for example).  Eye-Patch!River clued me in on this - I think the River in that trailer is River in a future where baby Melody Pond was never rescued from Patchy (her real name is hard to spell, so she's Patchy).  Patchy then raised Melody to be Patchy's successor and now adult!Melody is the leader of... whatever Patchy is the leader of (I don't think she's the leader of the clerics, thought I could be wrong).  Somewhere along this alternate timeline, Amy and Rory left the Doctor, but fell in with some sort of rebel group.  Rory was killed (which is perhaps why we don't see an Old!Rory in the trailer), but Amy became this awesomely-awesome pseudo-samurai person (as a counterpart to Rory the Roman, perhaps?) and fights the baddies that her daughter is effectively leading.  Adult!Melody never meets the Doctor or her parents and is the enemy in this alternate timeline (she may even believe Patchy is her real mother).  So, somewhere, the Doctor has to make like Marty McFly and go back and fix this back to the way it should be... which, I'm still working out what that solution would be.

Maybe the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio (which is really Lake Powell - there is no Lake Silencio in Utah.  Not to my knowledge and I've lived here my whole life. /pedantry) in "The Impossible Astronaut" triggered the alternate timeline in the first place but the Doctor thought he was fixing something else when he let the astronaut shoot him, but that set the screwed-up timeline in motion because River, Amy and Rory convinced not-dead!Doctor to take them the 1969 and they fought the Silents, which turns out to be a bad thing.

Oh - wait!  I've never mentioned that!  Since "A Good Man Goes to War," I've wondered why the Silents kidnapped Amy in "Day of the Moon."  At first I thought it was to switch her out with the Ganger, but it had said that she'd been a Ganger even before then.  They even tried to get Amy to tell the Doctor she was pregnant, which obviously Patchy and Co. don't want him to know.  So... why?  Are the Silents in opposition to Patchy and the Clerics?  Did we read these guys wrong?  Are they actually the good guys?  Did the Doctor effectively murder potential allies?

Okay, I have no reason to think that the Silents are actually on the Doctor's side other than they kidnapped Ganger!Amy and maybe were trying to get a warning to the Doctor that she was pregnant.  Sort of flimsy, but then I think about all the people who insisted that River was Amy and Rory's daughter and that seemed like an off-the-wall theory at one time.  So I'm more willing to entertain some of these odd theories at this point.

That was a long bullet to end the list, but if I'm right it'll be worth it.  And if I'm wrong - well, it was fun to postulate anyway.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Haven't You Figured That One Out Yet?

The trailer for the second half of series 6 is out! Thanks to Radio Free Skaro for the video!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anything But Ordinary

Note: This was going to be feedback to Traveling the Vortex for their review of "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood" in their most recent podcast.  However, a mix of real life being terribly busy and the fact that this review got away from me, it made more sense to rewrite it as a blog post and put it here.

First, my video tribute to "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood" -

This two-parter is my hands-down favorite of Series 3. I know "Blink" usually gets the "HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWESOME!!!" nod, but for story and character development, this Paul Cornell-penned piece does it for me.

The very first time I saw it, I hated this story. And I mean HATED it. In television, there are certain things you just do NOT do - you do NOT tell Jack Bauer to leave a terrorist situation in the hands of ineffectual bureaucrats, you do NOT call the lawyers out on Gil Grissom, you do NOT take Sheldon Cooper's spot on the couch and you do NOT turn the Doctor into this sniveling little weepy-mess of a pencil-necked teacher who just wants to get married and have 2.5 children with a dog and white picket fence. He's the blankety-blanking DOCTOR, for crying out loud! He's awesome - he travels in time and space, he saves planets and fights monsters and has the most amazing adventures and the best freaking life in the UNIVERSE! Why in the name of Rassilon would he want to give that up for the 9-5 life? (and any minute now, that TARDIS is going to land on my doorstep and that marvelous Time Lord is going to ask me to travel with him and I'm going to jump at the chance. No, seriously, I have my bags packed and ready to go).

Initially, that was my rant at this story. Because, even at that early stage of my entrance into Who-dom, the Doctor was my hero. And you don't want your heroes to be fallible. Because if your heroes are fallible, what hope is there for the rest of us?

(Wasn't I precious back then?)

Soon after I watched this, I was on a road trip somewhere, but this conundrum was boiling in my brain. All the while, my iPod was on shuffle and "Ordinary" by Train popped up (I love Train, in case you didn't know). And the lyrics hit the boiling pot of fledgling Whovian thoughts and it all made sense to me - the Doctor knows that he is not a normal person (even by Gallifreyan standards). He does some pretty amazing things and the universe is better for it. But deep down, there is a part of him that is John Smith that wants to have the normal peaceful life and get away from all the space fights and stuff.

But would he be happy there?

Back in high school, we read The Odyssey - that's the one with Odysseus spending ten years to get home after being away to war for ten years.  To make a long story short (and to completely spoil it for you all), Odysseus gets home to his wife and son and all seems well.  However, in my 9th grade English class someone wrote a poem that dealt with the aftermath of all of Odysseus' travels and showed him settling down to normal life.  The idea of this poem was that Odysseus longed for the travels and the danger and the adventures - he wasn't happy being back in Ithaca with the wife and kids.

I wonder if that's how the Doctor is - he can't ever be a normal person, even within his own society because he is always going to be remarkable.  It's the way he is - whether by choice or fate or whatever you want to call it - he is the Doctor.

Don't misunderstand me - I certainly don't see this as a negative thing.  Far from it, actually.  I've always seen the Doctor as a very hopeful figure.  Somebody that we all could aspire to be like.  Someone who doesn't get pulled down by the drudgery of regular life and just makes life wonderful.  Sure, he's caught some flack for being the violent type (see the ending of "A Good Man Goes to War," for example), but for every enemy he's defeated and for every army that's turned tail at the mention of his name - there is a companion or a friend that he believes is the most important person in the universe.  Throughout the Doctor's travels, there's always someone to care about.  And he finds those people by fighting evil and standing up for the good side.

Call me mushy and sentimental, but that's someone to admire.  Sure, the Doctor's probably missed out on some seemingly-vital life experiences, but what he got instead was probably worth more to him in the long run than any normal family life.  He's found his niche and this is what he does and it's wonderful.  Not just to him, but to everyone around him.

That's what I ended up taking away from this two-parter.  This conclusion, coupled with the Doctor's beautiful line at the end of "Vincent and the Doctor," makes Doctor Who more than a silly little sci-fi show.  Maybe I'm reading a lot into this stuff (and maybe no one else gets what I'm trying to say through all this rambling), but this is what works and it means so much to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ending of Childhood, blah, blah, blah

It's funny - I was on Tumblr and there were a few people lamenting the end of their childhood with the release of Deathly Hallows part 2 tonight. Now, this is just me and my own feelings, but my childhood "ended" 4 years ago when Deathly Hallows was released in book form.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the Harry Potter movies. But they aren't the books. I'm just not emotionally invested this go around. And it's not like the franchise is ending forever (hello Pottermore!)

Still, it is the end of an era and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge it in some way. Harry Potter was my introduction to the ideas of fandom and - truly my first real obsession. It was the first fantasy I read while realizing that I enjoyed the fantasy genre and it was my gateway to British culture in general (which led to other things as well). I also credit (or blame, depending on how you look at it) Harry Potter for the fact I majored in English and wanted to become a writer. I admire JK Rowling for everything she's accomplished and the good things she's done with her fame and money. And, for a while, the fandom was a great place to be (even though it got a pretty exclusive there toward the end.  Sorry, but the HP fandom is just not something I want to spend my time in anymore).

So - in honor of the occasion and for your entertainment, here's a light-hearted recap of all the movies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm an Aunt!

I had some of this on Twitter and Facebook last night, but now that my sister has made everything official, I can start spreading my excitement as well :)

Introducing - Jaylee Elizabeth!

She was born on July 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm, weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was 21 inches long. And she's about the cutest thing in the world right now (and I got to hold her last night and today - today I held her longer than anyone other than her mommy.  Well, while me, my mom and my siblings were visiting anyway ^_^)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

I'm going to be traveling the next couple of days, so I wanted to get this up before I left - in celebration of the 4th of July, a video of two of my favorite movies about the American Revolution (okay, one's actually an HBO miniseries, but it's awesome and I don't care) -

I love the score for "John Adams," by the way.

Also from "John Adams" - Congress approving the Declaration of Independence and reading it out for the world in epic fashion -

Happy Independence Day, folks!