sir_guinglain: (Hartnell words)
( Apr. 20th, 2014 11:16 am)
Here I am, an agnostic and I suppose a functional atheist, humming 'Jesus Christ is risen today'... but here is a Doctor Who Easter Bunny, co-creator Cecil Edwin 'Bunny' Webber, profiled on BBC Two's (Happy Fiftieth Birthday, BBC Two!) website for An Adventure in Space and Time last year. ([ profile] danblythewriter's idea.)
Issue 37 of The Tides of Time, the Oxford (University) Doctor Who Society magazine, has now been uploaded to the internet. It was published in print form in November 2013 and marks the fiftieth anniversary of the programme. Contents include:

  • Crossword - Fifty Years of Villains
  • Return to Earth. Review of the Wii video game, by Adam Kendrick
  • The Eternity Clock. Review of the game for PC, PS3 and PSVita, by Graham Cooper
  • Rusling the Isis. The second part of a look at Russell T Davies's Oxford University media career in the 1980s, by Matthew Kilburn
  • Fifty Years, Fifty Moments. The scenes which encapsulate Doctor Who's Doctor Who-ness, compiled and written by Graham Cooper and Sara James, with Thomas Keyton, Matthew Kilburn, and Jonathan Martindale
  • Doctor Who and Philosophy. Jonathan Martindale reviews the 55th volume in the Open Court Press series 'Pop Culture and Philosophy', which turns its attention to Doctor Who.
  • Lost in Translation? Sara James reports on the status of Doctor Who in Germany with particular regard to pronouns!

The magazine itself can be downloaded from this link in pdf form.
I've not seen this play, but would like to. Directed by Douglas Camfield, starring Katy Manning as a lesbian threat to middle-class domesticity, produced by Joan Kemp-Welch (wife of Peter Moffatt), almost directed by Darrol Blake, and featuring Neville Barber probably looking more in his depth than in K-9 and Company (though looking out of place in a conventional sort of way was his stock in trade) it's tempting to view it as a sort of Doctor Who awayday, for lots of people who didn't actually work together on Doctor Who, though of course it isn't that at all. More at the Spaces of Television project blog.
Too often I post about the merely routine, and this post is much the same; but it is a great thing that one can read scans of rare historical source texts on one's phone. I'm not sure if it is great in the sense of really very useful, or great as a gimmick, or great as a symbol of the sharing of old knowledge on a table constructed with the new; or just great in the grand/cool sense; but it's great nonetheless.
In the same magazine as the article which I shared back in August - I'd managed not to notice it... More information here.
While I'm about it, for those curious to see what I thought of Steven Moffat's first Doctor Who Christmas special, my review from not long after broadcast is still online at This Way Up.
We are not always the people we think we are. The man who thinks he longs for the suburbs and regularity and structure instead longs for danger. The high-functioning sociopath is a man who has friends, loves them and can cope with that.
I'm about to fly south (on wheels) for the rest of the winter, but first, some links:

Where will we live?
James Meek surveys the background to the current British housing crisis and looks at the competing interests making a bad situation worse today, in the London Review of Books

2015: An Ugly Stramash
The post-independence vote scenarios which Westminster isn't thinking much about, but Scotland is. With thanks to [ profile] nwhyte

Doctor Who at the Lord Mayor's Show, 1981
A brief clip from the BBC coverage of the Lord Mayor (of London)'s Show, voiced by Eric Robson, is followed by some of Kevin Davies's own recording of Peter Davison's first public appearance in costume as the Doctor, accompanied by what we'd now call cosplaying fans, but didn't then.
The official 2012 video, it seems (corrected from my earlier impression that it was this year's):

Before the day is out here in the UK, I should also mention that it is the fortieth anniversary of my watching The Time Warrior part one, or at least part of it, on first broadcast, and thus forty years of Doctor Who-watching (though it's not until season 12 that I'm sure I watched something of every episode).

It's also forty years since Sarah Jane Smith made her first appearance in the programme. Would that Elisabeth Sladen was around for us to toast her performances.
I've been uploading an old Oxford Doctor Who Society fanzine again - this time issue 18 of Tides of Time, from June 1995. It's a domestic scan of something created on a mid-1990s inkjet (I think) and then duplicated by a photocopier which had I think seen better days. The PDF is a bit larger than one would be used to from a digital-native publication, but enjoy anyway. More details here and here.
Some months after seeing the 1939 Tower of London, I've this evening watched the 1962 version as directed by Roger Corman. It bears little relation to the 1939 version other than the setting, the name, and the presence of Vincent Price as Richard III, who played the duke of Clarence in the earlier film. The historical parallels with the contemporary political scene are gone. Instead, Shakespeare's histories and some of his tragedies have been fed into a blender; most of the nutrition has then been removed, and what is left is held together by actor-scholar Vincent Price, with some spirited performances from others such as Sandra Knight as Mistress Shore - not Edward IV's mistress here, but a loyal retainer to Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville who refuses to join Richard's cause. Little of the historical chronology remains; until the last third of the film, when an archbishop is needed to crown Richard, it appears that the established religion of late Plantagenet England is some form of paganism, represented by the good magician-physician Tyrus and his invocations to the forces of darkness. In the end, Napoleonically, Richard crowns himself, thus saving on extras. The battle scene depends on skilful cutting of stock footage, though Richard finds his horse before falling badly and being fatally wounded... but that almost gives away the twist. There's some imaginative photography and brazen use of anachronistic sets and costumes, however, and canny presentation to make tame torture scenes seem more horrific than they are.
I finally watched Solaris this afternoon, two decades after being put off it by the loudness of a red-bearded science fiction fan who discovered me in my college's graduate common room watching Doctor Who - specifically Terror of the Zygons - on UK Gold at midnight. As realised, it's a finely-engineered story of the limits of human knowledge of worlds within and without individual consciousness and conscience - there is some curious interchangeability of those words between the dubbed English soundtrack and the English subtitles which is consistent with the theme - the barriers of communication between genders and between practitioners of different disciplines, of the painful inevitability of interconnection (not for nothing is one of the scientists on Solaris station a cyberneticist) and of repeated patterns in life and whether or not humanity can act on new knowledge. There is some oddly discontinuous editing independent of Tarkovsky's disconcerting trickery with the camera to change narrative view, but he's not the only director of the period to demand that viewers exert themselvs to keep up.
From The St James's Chronicle or British Evening Post, 27 December 1764:

"We hear that there are Cabbage Roses now blown in the garden of Mr. Snelgrove, at Heytesbury, as beautiful as if it were the Month of June."
Brief reaction as I have to get up and cross London to the ExCel tomorrow for the 'Celebration'... but it was corny, with some overdone sentiment and dramatised the mythology and communal memory of Doctor Who as much as it did (very selectively) the facts and personalities - but it was still a tremendous achievement within eighty-five minutes, with lots of groans here as dialogue was transplanted or the in-references were made. Shoulder to Shoulder indeed. It annoyed me and tugged at my heartstrings in equal measure. There was some overacting from the principals when in character, particularly during the first recording of An Unearthly Child, but David Bradley was superb.
sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Nov. 20th, 2013 11:32 pm)
In advance of having lots more work to do, and realising that this article is long-promised, I've finally written up my notes for the second part of my St James's Evening Post blog on Danger UXB. Read and enjoy...


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