sir_guinglain: (Default)
2017-09-25 02:29 pm

Literary condescension

"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.)
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-08-03 11:55 pm

Doctor Who - A Chat for Heroes!

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.
sir_guinglain: (Spock_annual1975)
2017-07-31 02:06 am

Khaaaan!

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.
sir_guinglain: (Pertwee_TVAction)
2017-07-17 01:12 am

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.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-07-11 02:29 am

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

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...
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-07-01 08:00 pm

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.12: The Doctor Falls

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.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-06-29 02:00 am

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

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...
sir_guinglain: (UKPolitics)
2017-05-17 01:43 pm
Entry tags:

Adventures in public transport

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.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-05-07 08:23 pm

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.3 - Thin Ice

I'm running a week behind with my reviews, I know - here is Thin Ice.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2016-12-27 12:35 am

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The Return of Doctor Mysterio

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.
sir_guinglain: (RadioTimesRichardDimbleby)
2016-12-08 04:00 pm

Missing Believed Wiped Central, 12 November 2016

[livejournal.com profile] gervase_fen reports on our expedition to Birmingham of last month, in search of recently-recovered archive television.
sir_guinglain: (Troughton)
2016-11-17 01:41 am

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

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.
sir_guinglain: (Torchwood)
2016-10-30 04:17 am
Entry tags:

Class 1.3: Nightvisiting

A review over at The Event Library (and as someone older than the target audience yes, my identification figure probably is Miss Quill).
sir_guinglain: (Torchwood)
2016-10-22 09:47 pm

Class series one, episodes one and two

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.
sir_guinglain: (Sylvester)
2016-09-21 09:33 pm

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

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.
sir_guinglain: (DavisonClock)
2016-09-13 01:40 am

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.