Thursday, April 18, 2013

Doctor Who - new season so far

Only three episodes into the new season (not counting the Christmas episode which re-introduced Clara) and I'm enjoying it for the most part. While I like Jenna-Louise Coleman in the role of Clara (Oswin) Oswald, I don't feel the immediate affection for her that I did for Amy Pond after only her initial appearance.  Maybe it was because Amy's first meeting with the Doctor as a child, and you just knew they were fated to finally be together (not in the way that the previous incarnation & Rose were, of course). It may be because the back story for Clara is not being completely revealed at this point.  After all, The Doctor has already met her twice and in both instances things went badly. (Didn't want to toss in a spoiler, just in case.)

While the first episode, involving the Internet and wireless technology was very good, I found the second (involving a soul-devouring creature) not as strong as it might have been.  As I believe I've said before, the opening and end sequences were solid, but it seemed as if the story was padded and the show is only about 40+ minutes, plus commercials.  It was like, "We've introduced the little girl and we know DW & Clara will rescue her, but what do we do for the next half-hour?"  A bit too much Star Wars bar scene, if you know what I mean.

The most recent episode, as of 4/13, was a really great story and brought back the classic Ice Warriors as the villain.  Taking place almost completely in the rather claustrophobic interior of a Cold-War era Russian
submarine.  Adding to the natural tension of stopping the menace and possible nuclear war, was the great David Warner in the role of a Russian scientist who had discovered the warrior encased in ice. A nice touch is the off-handed manner in which Clara discovers another wonderful thing about the TARDIS and why the Doctor seems able to communicate wherever he goes.  I don't know about other folks, but this sort of episode reminded me of older DW episodes where the Doctor and his companion are discovered in a place were they should not be. The Tom Baker Doctor always seemed to be popping up in the wrong place at awkward times and I was half-waiting for the Doctor to ask the Russian captain if he wanted a jelly baby.

Well, the up-coming episode HIDE, looks like a good old-fashion scary one and the folks who do the show certainly have proven they can do scary pretty darn well. I'm looking forward to it.

By the way, anyone else enjoying the DOCTOR WHO: REVISITED episodes on BBCAmerica?  Love seeing the interviews with past Doctors, companions and other cast & crew who watched the show and later became involved with it.  It's also the first time I've complete stories that the first three Doctors appeared in.  You really can see both the character and the show evolve over time (pardon the expression).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I think I have mentioned before, and even did a video, talking about dropping out of comics collecting.  I still love comics, but financially and interest-wise I just wasn't finding them worth it.  I would hit the shop every couple of weeks for my subscriptions and immediately catalog them when I brought them home.  Then, except for a couple of titles I would find that the rest would be unread for a couple of months.  If I wasn't that interested, what was the point.

I'm currently using the Comixology  and Dark Horse apps to keep up with what is coming out and grabbing some freebies along the way.

Marvel doesn't seem to be putting out as many previews as DC, which has a regular weekly one.  I'm finding that there really doesn't seem to be much in the new and continuing titles that catches my interest.  Nothing that would get me back into the shops anyway.  If I have a chance I may check out a shop on or near "Free Comic Book Day" to not only pick up any goodies, but maybe check out some of the other titles on the shelf to see if they still interest me.

I haven't seen my current schedule for that weekend, but if things hold true I will probably be working.  For some odd reason known only to the Library Gods, I have been scheduled to work on FCBD for each of the past five years.  Not really worth using a vacation day (which I am doing to attend San Diego on Friday, with my one-day pass this year), but it is annoying that I can't seem to get my hands on some of those great goodies.  Of course, I notice that some of the publishers will distribute either copies of the FCBD books or limited-edition 'convention' copies that reprint the same material with a new cover.

Sorry for the 'feeling sorry for myself' sound of this post.  I do miss comics and going to the shop, but thanks to those apps, rereading some of my collection and our Library's graphic novel/manga collection I haven't had to go completely cold turkey.  See you in the funny papers!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


The nice thing about having Monday morning off is that I can catch up on some shows I've taped, that Donna doesn't care about. Those are pretty much any fantasy/horror related stuff.

I'll try not to give away any spoilers here, but I expect at this point anyone who watches the shows has probably already seen them.  By the way, Rosebud was Kane's childhood sled, so you can skip that old B&W movie.

THE WALKING DEAD ended a pretty decent season with the death of several characters.  Personally, I doubt many folks will mourn the death of one of them, as she had to be the most annoying b**** on the show.  Of course she only got that spotlight after an even bigger annoying b**** died off earlier.  If fans had been expecting the battle at the prison we got to see in the comic, well they were certainly disappointed.  The folks behind the show decided they needed to give the b**** a goodbye scene, so that dragged things out for minutes longer than necessary.  Also, if everyone thought AMC was doing us a favor by making the season finale longer I'm sure they were delighted that it was extended so the network could plug MAD MEN every ten minutes.  Maybe I'm in the minority, but I have never had any interest in that show, maybe because I grew up in that era and the folks in the program sure as hell don't act like anyone I knew.  The promos for the show always made it look like an extended MAD Magazine spoof of Madison Avenue, drained of humor.  Call me shallow.

All that aside I actually enjoyed the episode, as it did have some surprises and set up some tensions going into the next season.  Great walker stomping and if anyone still had doubts about The Governor, this proved that the guy is completely bonkers.  Also, there is an incident involving Carl which brings the character more in line with the kid as portrayed in the comic.  His confrontation with his father brings home the fact that he is no longer the whiny "Carl stay in the house!" kid from the first season.  Now we just have to wait until October to see how these things come together.

The DOCTOR WHO season premiere was a great beginning for a season that will celebrate the Doctor's fifty years as an icon.  Most American's probably didn't get introduced to the Time Lord until the '70s with the Third Doctor (portrayed by Jon Pertwee), unless they had caught the two DW films made earlier featuring Peter Cushing in the role.  While the Doctor in those films does have a time traveling machine he is a human scientist.  The current Doctor (the 11th) is portrayed again by Matt Smith, who initially seemed too young for the role when I first saw him but quickly won me over in the initial episode in which he appeared.  We have seen this incarnation of the Doctor die and comeback, spend time with his once & future wife and see his companions choose a fate that drove him to travel back in time and stay away from playing the hero.  The first episode of this season picks up in a way from the Christmas special which introduced (re-introduced?) his newest companion, Clara "Oswin" Oswald.  Clara is 'the girl who died twice' and at this time (pardon the expression) is still very much a mystery to both The Doctor and to us.

The first show involves the Internet and specifically Wi-Fi, which is being used by someone/something to capture the 'souls' of people all over the world.  For the modern day Clara this is her first meeting with the Time Lord and his wonderful 'bigger on the inside' machine the TARDIS. (Oh, look it up!)  It appears, from trailers, that this season will have the thread of discovering more about Clara and why she seems to come back into the Doctor's life on different planets and different times.  Hints are also being dropped online about some of the things and characters returning for this special celebration.  Will the Doctor meet himself?  Well, he has done so in the past, so why not?

That wraps it up for me for the time (hee hee) being.  Peace out!