With Chiltern having withdrawn open return with network railcard, my preferred ticket, I'm experimenting on this week's London journey with Oxford Parkway to Oxford and then Oxford to Paddington, as GWR are still offering the network railcard discount on their servicee, and seeing if my expenditure on Oyster today balances out or whether Day Travelcard plus advance ticket for the return is the way to go.

I can report that the electric wires are up west of Didcot at least. Otherwise outside work it's politics and the UK's detached election campaign, where one is either for Mrs May or against her and issues are being pushed aside.
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.
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.
A review over at The Event Library (and as someone older than the target audience yes, my identification figure probably is Miss Quill).
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
sir_guinglain: (PitWheelWoodhorn)
( Aug. 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
Memories of the first few months of Doctor Who Magazine, when it was Doctor Who Weekly, at The Event Library.
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I visited the Cartoon Museum in London today with [livejournal.com profile] gervase_fen to see the Target Doctor Who covers exhibition, which [livejournal.com profile] 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.
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.
Thoughts on two James Bond films seen in the last week:

Spectre )

Goldeneye )
Now available for download from The Terrible Zodin website, issue 18 of the said The Terrible Zodin includes within its ninety-eight pages a look at the career of Valentine Dyall, reviews of series nine (where I get to review a story a second time), a look back at the Missing Adventures series published in the 1990s by Virgin, fiction, artwork, and other Whoish items.
On Tuesday night I was discussing broadcasting history with someone and mention was made of Asa Briggs. Within an hour his death was announced. A few hours later, I learned of Sylvia Anderson's death; and now, Cliff Michelmore, a broadcaster who was moving into a retirement phase in my childhood but who still loomed large. The sense of twentieth-century Britain tidying up after itself through the death of people who seemed to epitomise aspects of the mid-late century spirit which animated last year is even stronger this. Some links:

The BBC Archive Cliff Michelmore page

Cliff Michelmore switches off Lime Grove studios, The Late Show, 1991

Cliff Michelmore interviews David Jones (the future David Bowie), Tonight, 1964

The Shadows: 'Lady Penelope' from Thunderbirds are Go - shared by [twitter.com profile] outonbluesix as a tribute to her alter ego, Sylvia Anderson

Sylvia Anderson interviewed for the third or fourth generation of fans of Lady Penelope and Thunderbirds, Blue Peter, 1995

I've not watched this, but here's Asa Briggs in discussion early last year at the University of Sussex

An episode of The Seven Ages of Radio with Asa Briggs, starting with part of one of my favourite broadcasting quotations from David Dunhill, with added Tony Blackburn, though the structure of the series seems somewhat pessimistic.

While I'm making a link post, here's a Kickstarter worth exploring: Duel for Citizenship by Holly Matthies
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