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parrot_knight [userpic]

Another review (one of mine this time): You and Who Else

January 5th, 2016 (12:43 am)

I've started to make an inroad on a small backlog of promised book reviews, mainly for the Doctor Who News Page. Here, therefore, is my look at You and Who Else, the latest charity anthology of fan writing edited by J.R. Southall.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/815580.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

A review (not one of mine): The Abominable Snowmen

January 4th, 2016 (03:56 am)

I've been up finishing a Doctor Who book review which I'll link to when it's published... but I've not been paying enough attention to Alex and Richard and tbeir Doctor Who 52. So here, Richard says a lot of things about The Abominable Snowmen which change my perspective on the story.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/815279.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]


January 1st, 2016 (12:54 am)

Happy New Year everybody!

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/01/01/mmxvi.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2015: The Husbands of River Song

December 25th, 2015 (08:00 pm)

Doctor Who at Christmas is increasingly a difficult beast to shepherd into a pen. The two most recent series have felt more like
mainstream mid-evening BBC drama rather than the ‘drama for a light entertainment slot’ of 2005. Consequently the Christmas episodes feel increasingly like a drastic change in tone. Even the grading seems to be different, with the colour palette seeming brighter, returning to the blue with flashes of other primary colours of the Matt Smith era Christmas specials.

The highlight was the typically vigorous performances of both Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston, of course; but despite a good start I failed to be held by these alone in the way I hoped, despite some strong moments of repartee. There was too much emphasis on a denial of sparkle between the Doctor and River, rather than on its existence. Likewise the business with the robot and its switching heads seemed underplayed and undramatic and lacked sufficient sleight of hand to convince; nor were the decapitated characters depicted with sufficient sympathy to make me feel for their plight. There were so many still backgrounds or illustrations which I thought would have been animated a few years ago too.

Perhaps I’ll revisit it and find it more enjoyable another time. I don’t like being negative about the series, and am glad to see from some early reactions that that it did engage and entertain several others.

Also posted at The Event Library

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/25/husbands-of-river-song.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Christmas card

December 24th, 2015 (11:18 pm)

From the Morpeth Herald of 24 December 1915. (With regard to the advert on the left, I visited the Herald office, then still at 19 Bridge Street, in 1988, but few of the items listed were in sight, and certainly not the bibles and hymns or 'Children's Friend'.)

Merry Christmas to all!

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/812473.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

The first Christmas... Radio Times

December 24th, 2015 (01:43 am)

A gift in pdf from the BBC Genome team: the Christmas Radio Times of 1923. More is explained at the BBC Genome blog. This is the era of the BBC as monopoly private company rather than autonomous corporation and that's reflected in the business-led feature writing which opens the magazine; but there are contributions too from Ramsay Macdonald, a few weeks away from becoming first Labour prime minister, and Lilian Bayliss of the Old Vic, as well as various broadcasters including several of the uncles and aunts of the regional stations. The adverts are revealing of a vanished time; the listings show that a simultaneous broadcast of Shakespeare recitals by Sir Frank Benson was taken by most stations, intriguingly for me coming from 5NO in Newcastle; 5WA in Cardiff offers A Christmas Carol instead. Although not the modern Woman's Hour, which did not begin until the 1940s, there is a Women's Hour, but it only seems to last thirty minutes. Christmas Day itself is one of a Christmas party and religious messages, including one specifically aimed at children.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/24/the-first-christmas-radio-times.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Peter Harness and The War of the Worlds

December 16th, 2015 (09:45 pm)

Digital Fix report that Peter Harness will be adapting H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds for Mammoth Screen and ITV, with shooting not beginning until 2017. Promising; and further food for the speculators surrounding the Doctor Who succession.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/16/peter-harness-and-the-war-of-the-worlds.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.12: Hell Bent

December 5th, 2015 (09:43 pm)

This was another episode where I'd been asked to write a review based on a rough cut of the episode available through the BBC Previews web service. I had rather a lot of time on my hands this week and so it's even longer than usual. Doctor Who Reviews: Hell Bent

I added a few more thoughts at The Event Library, but really as accompaniment for the link. Meanwhile there is more squee than scorn online, and I expect a flurry of fanfics about a certain partnership within the next twenty-four hours.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/12/05/hell-bent.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.11: Heaven Sent

November 29th, 2015 (02:52 am)

My thoughts on Heaven Sent

ETA - additions and amendments added this morning. (11.56am, Sunday 29 November)

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/11/29/heaven-sent.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.10: Face the Raven

November 22nd, 2015 (05:29 pm)

Trust and power and agitational contemporaneity: Face the Raven, reviewed at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/11/22/face-the-raven.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.9: Sleep No More

November 14th, 2015 (10:51 pm)

"...without soiidarity and without the acknowledgement that we need time to distinguish our essential selves from our careers, our greed and desire for advantage, we might as well be no more than dead cells and mucus." More (not quite) like this (and slight spoilers for Face the Raven) from me at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/11/14/sleep-no-more.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.8: The Zygon Inversion

November 7th, 2015 (11:30 pm)

Reaction over at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/11/07/the-zygon-inversion.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.7: The Zygon Invasion

November 1st, 2015 (10:41 pm)

Back reacting on my own account... and posted at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/11/01/the-zygon-invasion.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Can't sleep? Blog about old television.

October 27th, 2015 (09:25 am)

An introduction to 165 Eaton Place revisited at The St James's Evening Post.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/27/cant-sleep-blog-about-old-television.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.6: The Woman Who Lived

October 24th, 2015 (09:26 pm)

This week sees the second week of my stint at reviews.doctorwhonews.net - enjoy...

ETA: A recap of interactions here.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/24/the-woman-who-lived.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.5: The Girl Who Died

October 18th, 2015 (12:00 am)

An lengthy and probably overlong commentary-review in another place.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/18/the-girl-who-died.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who and the Republication of the Targets

October 14th, 2015 (10:20 pm)

In another place.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/795682.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Revisited - Doctor Who XXXV/9.4: Before the Flood

October 11th, 2015 (09:40 pm)

I've been mulling over my response to last night's Doctor Who, and perceived negativity in my review and others, so here is a more positive take, posted at The Event Library only to save space on timelines.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/11/doctor-who-xxxv94-before-the-flood-revisited.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Dr Who in 'Woden's Warriors'!

October 11th, 2015 (01:23 am)

Whatever next week's Doctor Who is like, it won't resemble too closely this fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith adventure, published in the TV Comic Annual 1976...

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/11/dr-who-in-wodens-warriors.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.4: Before the Flood

October 11th, 2015 (12:42 am)

Underwhelmed?Collapse )

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/10/11/doctor-who-xxxv94-before-the-flood.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.3: Under the Lake

October 3rd, 2015 (09:59 pm)

For a change this week, I thought I'd make notes during the episode and then transcribe them with minimal tidying-up or comment below. It's not quite a liveblog:

Hidden listCollapse )

Also published at https://theeventlibrary.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/doctor-who-xxv9-3-under-the-lake/

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/792314.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.2: The Witch's Familiar

September 26th, 2015 (09:58 pm)

Comments behind the cutCollapse )

Also published at https://theeventlibrary.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/doctor-who-xxxv9-2-the-witchs-familiar/

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/790919.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXV/9.1 - The Magician's Apprentice

September 19th, 2015 (10:19 pm)

No essay from me this week, but negatives first. There aren't many of them, and are largely personal in that there's always an awkwardness to me in the Doctor revelling in pop culture or being a rock musician, and yet here I can see it was the right choice. I'm not sure where the Doctor's audience in 1138 went either...

Otherwise, superlatives. Steven Moffat and company projected their most coherent vision of the Doctor Who universe so far; though I did find myself wondering if the Shadow Architect's hairdresser (probably a Judoon, come to think of it) had been killed in action since The Stolen Earth. The Maldovarium is a sorrier place for the loss of Dorium. Clara's confidence as schoolteacher and UNIT's contact radiated and Jenna Coleman's authority in the part was more than a match for Michelle Gomez's calculating tricksiness. The traps within traps were sprung and the Daleks depicted as more detached from human or Gallifreyan values while justifying their fond parent's description of them as children. Barry Norman's comparison of fifty years ago, that they are devices through which children imagine killing grown-ups, was made plain here; as was the realisation most fans have had at some time, that the Daleks are tanks (and I'll link to John Wilson's article on the subject as soon as I've identified the relevant issue of Tides of Time - [ETA it's issue 23, but I can't manage the link at present - search for "Tides 23" at tidesoftime.wordpress.com for the pdf]). Taking up the convincingly-performed but sidestepped 'Do I have the right?' speech from Genesis of the Daleks is a dangerous exercise and we'll only find how well it works next week. Otherwise, a sense of the programme trying something new and Peter Capaldi's most moving and enthralling performance in the role.

Also posted at The Event Library

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/09/19/the-magicians-apprentice.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

If it's Monday it must be...

August 18th, 2015 (01:11 am)

...The Avengers and Doctor Who keeping me company while I work.

The Avengers: Man With Two Shadows
First shown 12 October 1963Collapse )

Doctor Who: The Last Adventure
Released 17 August 2015, so this review's content probably deserves a spoiler warningCollapse )

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/08/18/if-its-monday-it-must-be.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Changing the Face of Doctor Who

August 13th, 2015 (03:12 am)

I seem to be reviewing for the Doctor Who News Page again, despite having said I wouldn't until another piece was done for another publication - let alone the demands of work. Here is something on Colin Brockhurst's fan art work, Changing the Face of Doctor Who - an alternative look at Doctor Who history, from Geoffrey Bayldon to Rik Mayall.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/08/13/changing-the-face-of-doctor-who.html.