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parrot_knight [userpic]

Literary condescension

September 25th, 2017 (02:29 pm)

"The vicissitudes of old books furnish a romantic chapter in the history of literature. About the end of the eighteenth century, the library of an old Lincolnshire house was overhauled by someone who weeded out a lot of what he no doubt considered rubbish. These were destroyed, except for a few which were begged by the gardener, who probably wanted them to use as stands for plant-pots, or to give a false air of literary distinction to his cottage."
--- J. Arthur Hill, 'Old Books and their Printers', The Imprint, 17 June 1913, p 407.

This periodical celebrated the beauty of good craft for its own sake as well as for the benefit of the businesses of its readers, but it seems the appreciation of good printing could not be expected from all. (in this case 'The Book of St Albans', which came into the possession of Thomas Grenville a few steps after the gardener, and is now in the British Library.)

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/09/25/literary-condescension.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who - A Chat for Heroes!

August 3rd, 2017 (11:55 pm)

Thoughts from the Oxford Doctor Who Society on the most recent series, condensed from several weeks of discussion on Facebook Messenger, are now available in one document downloadable from The Tides of Time blog.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/895501.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Khaaaan!

July 31st, 2017 (02:06 am)

It says something about our times that Nicholas Meyer is reportedly developing a new Star Trek series based around the adventures of Khan and his merry band of eugenics supporters following the events of Space Seed.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/07/31/khaaaan.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Planet of the Spiders revisited

Dialogue for the old and new fans...

From Planet of the Spiders part one, as it might be re-edited:

LUPTON: Not only a Doctor, but a woman Doctor. We do not want her here.
CHO-JE: We cannot shut out the world entirely, my brother.
LUPTON: Why not? You used to, in Tibet.
CHO-JE: All things pass away, as you will learn in your meditation. This world of samsara, the world of appearance, is the world of change.
LUPTON: Yes, but I came here to get away from the world. So did the others. We came here to find solitude.
CHO-JE: One day you will learn to walk in solitude amidst the traffic of the world.
LUPTON: It's still not too late to stop her coming.
CHO-JE: But it is. Mister Chibnall has already gone to the station to fetch her.

**

CHO-JE: We can but point a finger along the way. A man must go inside and face his fears and hopes, his hates and his loves, and watch them wither away. Then he will find his true self, which is no self. He will see his true mind, which is no mind.
SARAH: And that's what meditation's all about?
CHO-JE: Yes! The old man must die and the new woman will discover to her inexpressible joy that he has never existed.
SARAH: Well, good luck, mate.

From Chrissie's Transcripts Site, with alterations.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/07/17/planet-of-the-spiders-revisited.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.12: The Doctor Falls. Again.

July 11th, 2017 (02:29 am)

I found myself double-booked for The Doctor Falls, and so over a week after broadcast have returned with a follow-up review for Time Lines, John Connors's blog which continues the ancient traditions of his earlier fanzines Top, Faze, This Way Up, Antenna and others. As I write, it's not quite a review...

Steven Moffat at his best is very good at treating characters and events as symbols whose interaction as principles not only shapes but often overtakes conventional narrative. Looking back after over a week of rewatches and reviews, the success of The Doctor Falls lies largely in how this coded writing works, laying emphasis on specific aspects of character and setting which sometimes confound expectations which World Enough and Time might have encouraged. What follows isn’t quite another review but a set of reactions considering some of the opinions I’ve come across since The Doctor Falls was broadcast. In case anyone is in any doubt, I greatly enjoyed the episode; there was a tense fatalism throughout, leavened by statements of optimistic principle. I realised while watching it that kindness was probably the factor that kept me watching Doctor Who in the first place. The Doctor has not always been kind, but he tries to be kind to the greatest possible conceivable number of people, all the time. This is his virtue and periodically, in limited ways, his downfall.

Read more...

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/07/11/doctor-who-xxxvi1012-the-doctor-falls-again.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.12: The Doctor Falls

July 1st, 2017 (08:00 pm)

My review of The Doctor Falls is over here at the Doctor Who News Page; there's a lot I missed but that means I can write another review as promised to another site, but not immediately. Sadly.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/07/01/doctor-who-xxxvi-10-12-the-doctor-falls.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10 reviews: links to Empress of Mars and World Enough and Time

June 29th, 2017 (02:00 am)

I've not reviewed as regularly as I have done in previous years, but I might revisit the season later this year. In the meantime I've written two reviews for other sites:

Empress of Mars for the Doctor Who News Page
World Enough and Time for Timelines

The Doctor Falls to follow in the next few days - twice! Given the duplication of a certain character, this might be appropriate...

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/06/29/doctor-who-reviews-empress-of-mars-world-enough-and-time.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Tides of Time, issue 39 - the Oxford Doctor Who fanzine

June 5th, 2017 (08:42 pm)

Details of the new issue of Tides of Time, cut and pasted from a Wordpress blogCollapse )

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/06/05/tides-of-time-39-oxford-doctor-who-fanzine.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.3 - Thin Ice

May 7th, 2017 (08:23 pm)

I'm running a week behind with my reviews, I know - here is Thin Ice.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/883496.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.2 - Smile

April 22nd, 2017 (08:50 pm)

I've reviewed Smile for Doctor Who Reviews this week.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2017/04/22/doctor-who-smile.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.1 : The Pilot

April 16th, 2017 (10:06 pm)

Over here!

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/880245.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Vworp Vworp! issue 3

February 15th, 2017 (02:02 am)

Originally posted by parrot_knight at Vworp! Vworp! issue 3

There's a new issue of Doctor Who fanzine Vworp! Vworp! now ready to order, featuring an interview with Alan Moore, a look at the Dalek comic strips of the 1960s, a new cover-mounted 45rpm single story in the manner of the Century 21 Dalek story single released in 1965, Colin Baker and Gary Russell discuss Colin's own graphic novel, The Age of Chaos, and much more in 208 A4 pages. More details here.


Oh, and there's a piece on Gary Gillatt's editorship of DWM which I might recommend too.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The Return of Doctor Mysterio

December 27th, 2016 (12:35 am)

I've reviewed The Return of Doctor Mysterio as the additional reviewer for the Doctor Who News Page, and you can find the review here. Look at Matt Hills's lead review for the site too - it makes lots of excellent points, including recognising the breakthrough in Bill's line about using the toilet on the TARDIS.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/863829.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Missing Believed Wiped Central, 12 November 2016

December 8th, 2016 (04:00 pm)

gervase_fen reports on our expedition to Birmingham of last month, in search of recently-recovered archive television.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/12/08/missing-believed-wiped-central.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who IV.9-14: The Power of the Daleks - animated edition (b&w)

November 17th, 2016 (01:41 am)

I was asked last week to review The Power of the Daleks for Timelines, the Doctor Who blog of longstanding fan and prolific fanzine editor John Connors, which is worth checking out for its reviews and its material from John's rich archive of fan memories such as convention reviews and photographs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The review was published a few hours ago and can be found here.

However, when preparing the link from my own review blog, The Event Library, I realised I'd not mentioned Patrick Troughton specifically, which was something of an omission when covering Troughton's first story. So there can be found a couple of paragraphs on Troughton at that post.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/11/17/doctor-who-iv9-14-the-power-of-the-daleks-animated-edition-bw.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Class 1.3: Nightvisiting

November 1st, 2016 (12:29 am)
tired
Tags: ,

current mood: tired
current music: hum of energy-saving bulb arguing with current from dimmer switch

I posted this at Dreamwidth the other night but automatic sharing didn't work for some reason... so here is my review of this week's Class, over at The Event Library (and as someone older than the target audience yes, my identification figure probably is Miss Quill).

parrot_knight [userpic]

Class series one, episodes one and two

October 22nd, 2016 (09:47 pm)
Tags: ,

So, there is a new Doctor Who spin-off, Class... and my thoughts on the first two episodes, streamed in the UK on BBC Three today, are at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/10/22/class-series-one-episodes-one-and-two.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Don't Shoot - He's British! part four

September 21st, 2016 (09:33 pm)

Doctor Who survived its end of history moment. The last three years of its first run saw a refocusing on the postwar Britain of paternalist, class-led social democracy not as the present or near future, but as the past just gone. The pastiche of Paradise Towers is drawn from the 1970s with its acknowledgements of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise and Monty Python’s Flying Circus’s architect sketch, but collides with a design aesthetic which doesn’t know how to navigate the fashions of the 1980s let alone reconcile them with the script, and consequently any statement on society which Paradise Towers makes is stifled. The first story to explicitly explore this new hinterland of the newly-lost present with some success is Delta and the Bannermen.

For more in this vein read the fourth part of my look at Doctor Who and British national identity, over at John Connors's Time Lines blog.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/09/21/dont-shoot-hes-british-part-four.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Don't Shoot - He's British! parts two and three

More musings on Doctor Who and national identity from me have been published at John Connors's Time Lines blog. I've written an introduction with more ideas at The Event Library, and the posts themselves are available at part two and part three.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/09/13/dont-shoot-hes-british-parts-two-and-three.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Don't Shoot - He's British! part one

The first part of a series of musings on Doctor Who and British identity, at John Connors's Timelines blog, originally commissioned by John for the fanzine Plaything of Sutekh which he co-edited with Richard Farrell. A short introduction can be found at The Event Library, too.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/849575.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Tyneside humour

August 9th, 2016 (04:30 pm)

"Mind Dickie teks things varry literal. He's watchin' Ted Heath mekkin a speech at the Convarsative Conference when it was on the telly. "We must, we must" sez Ted "Wage war against poverty". So Dick gans strite oot and shoots a tramp."
---Dick Irwin and Scott Dobson, Geordie Laffs (Newcastle: Frank Graham, 1970) p. 9

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/08/09/tyneside-humour.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Star Trek Beyond

August 4th, 2016 (12:21 am)

Possible spoilersCollapse )

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/08/04/star-trek-beyond.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Comic Strips! Features! Pin-Ups!

May 31st, 2016 (12:50 pm)

Memories of the first few months of Doctor Who Magazine, when it was Doctor Who Weekly, at The Event Library.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/05/31/comic-strips-features-pin-ups.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Howard's End, or Achilleos's Heel: Doctor Who at the Cartoon Museum

May 6th, 2016 (10:17 pm)

I visited the Cartoon Museum in London today with gervase_fen to see the Target Doctor Who covers exhibition, which gervase_fen has written up here. I have little to add other than say that Chris Achilleos's new cover for Vengeance on Varos works better with a noose around Colin Baker's neck as originally intended, and that among the details cropped out of Roy Knipe's artwork is a well-turned button on the fourth Doctor's cuff for Doctor Who and the Invisible Enemy. So much detail on the work is lost during reproduction, and was further eroded by cheap reprint methods as the books migrated methods and printers during the 1980s. The ebb and flow of the ink on what appears as a solid purple border on Achilleos's Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars is visible, as is the technique of his inking of the cosmic objects on his first three covers, ...and the Daleks, ...and the Zarbi and ...and the Crusaders. More impenetrable are the smooth washes of his early multi-coloured Daleks (very much based on the work of the last of the TV 21 Dalek artists, Ron Turner) and the methods by which he painted the incredibly smooth features of Tom Baker on ...and the Genesis of the Daleks and ...and the Ark in Space.

The exhibition draws attention to the lost art of the book cover, but could have made more of the links between the book covers and comic strip art. Chris Achilleos's covers were initially intended as patterned after the style of Frank Bellamy, too expensive a comics artist for budget-conscious Universal-Tandem to avoid, and he drew not only on Turner but on Marvel's Jack Kirby. A notable absence from the exhibition was Peter Brookes, who drew four mould-breaking but mould-defining covers in 1975. At a time when the BBC Books reprint programme is associating the Target series exclusively with Chris Achilleos, it's a reminder that there were many other artists with the 'family friendly' image BBC Books have cited as their reason for using the Achilleos covers. I think a case exists for a Peter Brookes set of reprints, a Jeff Cummins set and a Roy Knipe set.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/05/06/howards-end-or-achilleoss-heel-doctor-who-at-the-cartoon-museum.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

The two faces of (my) fanhood

April 28th, 2016 (03:44 pm)

The public face: going into Blackwells, photographing the new reissues of some old Target Doctor Who books, and Tweeting it with the handles of BBC Books and Blackwells noted.

BBC Books notice this and retweet.

I then send BBC Books a private message correcting the indicia on six of the titles, which have listed the wrong original publisher. They have at least not unfollowed me yet.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2016/04/28/two-faces-of-my-fanhood.html.