torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
I've always found stories where the TARDIS gets hurt rather disturbing. The Doctor handles mental and physical injury all the time, and accepts that it's a hazard of the profession. But the TARDIS, like a faithful dog or horse, often doesn't really understand what's happening. It just suffers. I have trouble coping with that as well as I do with other plot points.

The same goes for when my subconscious pulls up a story like that. Last night was particularly dark. I don't know why; it's been a while since I last listened to something like "Her Final Flight".

This is going to color my whole day.
torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
She's gone.

It floored me to hear it; I hadn't realized she'd been ill. It hit me harder being so soon after Nick Courtney.

My thoughts, of course, immediately turned to Tom Baker, who's no spring chicken -- but (as far as I can tell, he's quite private) he seems to be hale and hearty, and having a good time recording new Doctor Who stories with Big Finish. The fact that those rumors turned out to be quite true has buoyed me a little.

I'm just glad Lis Sladen hung around long enough to make the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Death of the Doctor"; I thought that was the best story I had seen in quite a while, a cross between SJA and DW proper. It seems to offer a bit of closure, for me at least.


I didn't start crying until I selected the icon for this post.
torquill: Coveralls with the patches "Henry's Garage" and "Forensics" (henry)
I did quite a bit today, and I'm sort of winding down before going to sleep. So here's my quiet yatta:

Busy, busy )

Still feeling quite good, and looking forward to tomorrow; I need to put plastic down against the rain, put up blankets against the frost/snow, and hone the scythe blade. I'm told the handles will unscrew, they're just reverse-threaded, so I'll set my dad loose on that. Once I remove the blade, of course. :)

Tom Baker wrote a nice eulogy for Nicholas Courtney.
torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
Nicholas Courtney, 'Doctor Who' actor, dies at 81

Brigadier Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was the longest-running character outside of the Doctor himself, I believe, and met the most incarnations of the Doctor; it wasn't his role to start with, but he gave it life. The Brigadier met every classic Doctor but the Sixth on screen, and in canon he met every one of them through the Eighth.

Nicholas Courtney also wrote three memoirs, "Five Rounds Rapid", "A Soldier In Time", and "Still Getting Away With It". I guess it's time I picked up at least one. He was quite a character himself.

I had a feeling for the last couple of months this was coming, but it still came as a bit of a jolt. I don't know anyone who didn't like the Brigadier.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (grin)
"So, Ace, the work you and the Doctor do... is it always this cloak-and-dagger stuff?"

"Not so much cloak-and-dagger... it's been anorak-and-baseball-bat a few times; panama-hat-and-jelly-baby; usually it's your basic shambling horror in nasty polars."

"I'm not sure I get you."

"Just promise me: if it gets all eyestalks-and-sink-plungers, warn me and run like hell."


-- From "The Harvest", Big Finish Productions

(The whole audio play is damned good, for that matter.)
torquill: A close-up of the Fifth Doctor's coat, with celery (doctor)
Keeping it all in the "family".

With my favorite two Doctors mixed up in this, it couldn't be anything but awesome.

I'd utterly forgotten that Peter Davison had a relationship some time back with Sandra Dickinson, aka Trillian. What a crossover. ;)
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (dork)
No, not the one next to my handle.

I'm using that one because I just spent about an hour making this one:



(because I so needed yet another userpic.)


Take it if you want it, just note where it came from, please.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (heroes)
While I have nothing of substance to complain about (other than a lack of employment), the holidays just aren't being particularly joyful this year. Not bad, just not... yay.

I'm unhappy about the weather -- this 7-10 days of rain has stymied me on several fronts, most notably throwing my schedule for the Buckeye totally to hell. It's affected my mood somewhat as well, making me moody; I apologize to those who have had to cope with that. I did my best to carpe diem yesterday, using paintable silicone caulk to seal up the drafty old windows in my bedroom and the bathroom, along with replacing a couple of cracked panes. The difference in chill is dramatic, much more than I expected. Once the active rain has passed, I can paint the exposed wood and make them weathertight again. That's something off my list that had been there for years.

Meanwhile, though, I'm stuck twiddling my thumbs. If it clears just a little, I could spread mulch out there, but it needs to be dry for a few days for me to either paint or work on Greg's front yard. I have a deadline for the 31st for finishing the bike, and at this rate it looks like I'll blow right past it. Bugger.

I've compensated by doing things that make me happy. I've ventured into making candy truffles: lime, lemon, orange, a few chocolate ones, and I have some pomegranate juice for an experiment. I'm debating trying a few ginger or pineapple ones. I'm learning how to dip things in chocolate neatly (well, as neatly as possible). And while doing that, and fixing the windows (and prepping the Buckeye), I've been taking in classic Doctor Who in great gulps. I listened to audios of three Doctors yesterday, one written brilliantly, and I've watched through a half a season of Peter Davison TV episodes last night and today. I hadn't watched them in years, and damn, it's amazingly comforting (and comfortable) to see him in action. I know the stories, but I'd forgotten the details, so it's fun to see them again. I find I can smile, rather than cringe, at the occasional silliness/camp now. It is what it is, and it's part of a great warm fluffy blanket I can wrap around me and call home. That's kind of what I need this holiday.

Weather notwithstanding, I guess life is pretty good.
torquill: Coveralls with the patches "Henry's Garage" and "Forensics" (henry)
More on the Buckeye )

Some observations on the Doctor Who audio dramas, and a re-evaluation of a classic Doctor )

One of the actors who gave an interview after an audio drama mentioned he was a fan, but couldn't hold a candle to "those die-hard Doctor Who fans". I thought idly, Ah, I'm one of those. I may not know the really fine points of trivia anymore -- it's been a while -- but I could still probably name every companion from Liz Shaw on up, with a scattering of the earlier ones. Yay geekdom.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
The awesome [livejournal.com profile] britgeekgrrl found the time before departure to hand me a huge double stack of Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays. Wooo! Mostly 5th, 6th, and 7th, with a few 8th for dessert. I had always meant to start collecting them, and here's a bunch at once. Thank you!

I ripped one ("Valhalla") to mp3 so I could listen to it while sanding the gold bike today... It's quite decent, as most of the ones I've heard are. I had rather forgotten how imperious and even misanthropic the seventh Doctor could be, though. "The monsters are coming and we're stranded! What do we do, Doctor?" "You humans are endlessly resourceful, always coming up with all sorts of ways to do things... you're on your own. I have other things to attend to." Look to your own survival, kids, I've got more important things to do.

I occasionally think of the Doctor Who D&D Alignment Chart... yeah, Lawful Evil seems like a good fit for him sometimes. I can't really quibble with any of the assignments on the chart, actually, even the tenth -- just keep in mind what he's like when he doesn't have a companion. Or even when he does ("Family of Blood"). :)
torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
I love Steven Moffat. Even when I hate him.

Maybe especially then.




Not caught up yet, but nothing else in the season is likely to top "Silence In the Library".
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
but he was my Doctor, too.

I'm not sure Moffat wrote that last piece of dialogue there... it sounded a lot like Tennant himself. Either way, I almost cheered.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (omg)
"Utopia". I could kiss Russell T. Davies right now.

My throat still hurts a little... I wasn't quite loud enough to disturb the neighbors. I think.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
That was so. much. better. than "Father's Day".

Paul Cornell wrote both that and the more recent "Human Nature/The Family of Blood". The latter was apparenty adapted from a novel that he wrote. I wasn't incredibly impressed by "Father's Day" -- it had an okay gimmick, but it just didn't grab me... this was different. Oh, it was beautiful. Right up there with Steven Moffat's stories (his "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" won a Hugo award, rightfully so).

"Human Nature" had a delightful hook, and it didn't slow down for an instant. Neither do the spoilers. )


Time to move on.

I can see that Steven Moffat's latest is coming up. He'll be hard pressed to top this, but if anyone can, it's him.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (weirdness)
Am I the only one who listens to "The Statue Got Me High" and thinks of the Melkur?

(Talk about geek confluence... not sure how many people out there would even get both references.)

Edit: Apparently no, I'm not the only one.
torquill: Tea cures all ills (tea)
Well, I had been warned that the finale of the first David Tennant season was more painful than the one at the end of Eccleston. I didn't think so, though... it had a good bit of humor and "Look at that!" moments, and a face-off that I'm sure old Whovians have been speculating about for decades. It was fun.

There was a lot of Torchwood in this one. I still have no idea how on earth Captain Jack is supposed to end up in 21st century London Cardiff again -- maybe hijack another time-travel ship and crash there -- but I'm really looking forward to the series in the fall. They could do some interesting stuff with that institute, and Jack (despite the fact that he's an American calling canned goods "tins") is quite charismatic enough to hang a series on.

The hook for the Christmas Special was odd.

Anyway... quite happy with the result, A+ and two thumbs up, all of that.
torquill: Tea cures all ills (tea)
Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] brynndragon, who owns the original -- after rewatching "The Christmas Invasion", I just had to make a slightly altered version. Jackie Tyler and her thermos, and all that.
torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
I just watched "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" for the second time. Caught a couple more bits. The only issue I have with it -- if I have an issue -- is that the Doctor goes a little overboard with the "humans are fantastic" thing. Otherwise, the writing is brilliant. The pace never flags, and it's a beautiful example of modern shrinking horror in the first half, suspense/action in the second.

I don't do real spoilers -- it takes away all the fun of seeing people as they watch it unfold -- but I want to make comments. I know I'm more sensitive about spoilers than most, so I'll cut it as I would like it to be cut, and those with more lenient sensibilities can just read on. )

It's interesting that after 900 years, the Doctor is still put in situations where he has to search his soul, and find out what he believes in. He's still looking for answers to the questions people unwittingly ask him, not knowing that his answers are rather deeper than most humans'. He's always been a coward, though, as his predecessor admitted -- afraid of what he is deep down, and what he is capable of doing, perhaps more than he fears any external thing.

David Tennant is a very passionate Doctor, in a different sense than Eccleston was -- the 9th was bottled up, frustration and grief and anger. The 10th has come to some sort of terms with who he is now, and is more free to feel joy, enthusiasm, and passion, as well as fury and grief. He's a good balance between the genius and the poet, and I like him a great deal.

So, that's our episode of Analysis of a Fictional Character for today. In a way, I grew up with the Doctor, and I feel like I know him as well as anyone does; he's as real to me as the characters in my head, and I've known him about as long. It makes for a deep sort of attachment... and it's good to see him out there and doing well.
torquill: Sarah Jane Smith walking away from the TARDIS, forlorn (Sarah Jane)
That was one of the most beautiful stories I've seen -- or read -- in a very long time.

A metaphor of his life, in short form.





Oh, Doctor.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
Saw "School Reunion".

...

wow.

Now that's fan service.

He does pick strong women, indeed, and two strong women circling each other and trying to figure out their positions was interesting... it was inevitable that they would eventually figure out how much they had in common, but good heavens, if he had to deal with both of them at once all the time he'd end up getting torn into little bits. In the best way possible.

As a viewer: it was a pretty good episode, about on par with the rest of the recent ones.
As a longtime fan: it was one of the best episodes I've ever seen.

So much that had been left unspoken, unsaid, finally brought into the light of day. A sense of full-circle and closure that both of them needed. And seeing old friends that no one who didn't grow up always on the verge of hearing that sound could ever know so well.

I was worried about this one when I heard about it. I was mildly let down by the two other episodes of the season. All reservations have been wiped away -- I'm ready to take off again on that wild, wild ride. :)

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