Good things )

PS The ubiquitous John Barrowman is turning political commentator on This Week within the next few minutes. What next?
sir_guinglain: (Hartnell words)
( Oct. 19th, 2007 01:04 am)
One week since the crowded video room... and a little over half of them came back to watch The Time Meddler. There were a lot of people genuinely interested in seeing what 1965 Doctor Who was like, and a good few fans of experience as well as fans of new enthusiasm amongst them.

The Time Meddler sticks in the mind for its joy in experiment; it has a little of the summer variety show about it, and were it not for their involvement in the (implied) rape of Edith it would be difficult to imagine that the audience were meant to take the Vikings seriously; the Viking leader's headgear looks like a Monty Python prop. It courts the audience's awareness of Doctor Who's artificiality: we learn the TARDIS has a horizontal hold, a control familiar to lots of 1960s televiewers; Vicki chides newcomer Steven for not recognising the narrative conventions of adventure fiction when he doubts that there will be a secret passage leading out of the monastery; and the Doctor, in response to the Monk's enquiry about television, confirms (with a glance at the camera, and thus the viewer) that he is 'familiar with the medium'. Douglas Camfield likes camera angles which one member of the audience said were like CCTV, perhaps taking advantage of the viewer's foreknowledge about history, or perhaps just because this angle emphasises that the viewer isn't a silent participant in a conversation, but is looking on from a tree branch or some gantry on the TARDIS ceiling.
I have been distracted by work and by a job application in the last few days, and don't think I can manage a full review of the latest DocSoc offering...

...but it's been years since I saw any Sapphire and Steel, and was very impressed with how the fourth assignment stands up. Alyson Spiro's Liz has always been the most memorable human helped by our medium atomic weights, and watching the story again I understood a little more why she sticks in my mind. The suggestive background detail of her 'work' is just enough to evade accusations of immoral behaviour being alluded to before the watershed. Her response to the telepathic influence of Sapphire and that of Steel are different in ways which play to the established characteristics of the protagonists, as well as establishing them for newcomers, and also point to the standard modes through which Liz acts with men and women.

The Shape, antagonist in this story, is portrayed with eerie effectiveness. Both actors playing it seem to have worn a blank mask at some stage, an effect which would now probably be achieved through CGI, on the example of the similar blank faces in Doctor Who's The Idiot's Lantern last year. One wonders what damage the Shape could do if introduced to the internet, and how his properties might be changed by digital scanning.
sir_guinglain: (KingCharlesI)
( Nov. 15th, 2006 02:02 pm)
Readers who are following such things may notice that my updates are slightly biased towards the latter part of the week now. This is because my teaching takes over Monday evening and Tuesday morning and afternoon, and Tuesday evening is DSoc...

...speaking of which, by 9pm there were no students left in the video room. I am increasingly falling to the view that we veterans should withdraw and meet outside the university banner if we so wish, and that the students should reform and do their own thing, if it is possible to have a Doctor Who society in Oxford University in this age of downloads, new series, spin offs and endless repeats on BBCs Three and Four. Still, we'll keep going for the time being, as I've said on earlier occasions.
sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Oct. 11th, 2006 12:53 pm)
I had expected to be in Oxford by now, but after getting to bed at some point after 1 after the DSoc event, woke up at 5 (having dreamed about the Society - obsessed, moi?,) seemingly alert, had a breakfast of beans on toast, listened to the first half of Auld Mortality, napped, washed, dressed, faced storm with thunder and lightning, decided not to go out just yet, felt very tired and fell asleep over the new Doctor Who Magazine.

Now I think I'll move the freelancing to tomorrow and the weekend, as the Bodleian is open on Saturdays, and do some more flat-sorting today. The piles in the living room are lower now, and there is one box made up and marked with a nostalgic stylized 'A', the left diagonal formed by a shadow cast by a sword brandished as if from a pool...
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sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Nov. 8th, 2005 12:25 am)
It was fun, really! I didn't go to the pub at the end because I was feeling tired and I'm not one for large crowds, on the whole, and my participation in the quiz showed that my knowledge of general SF is low; if we had had an old TV round I think that DSoc would have won! With JG the classicist checking my questions for accessibility I sketched out a round of questions on 60s and 70s TV but I'd had my biography round and other people deserved a turn.
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sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2005 06:52 pm)
Tonight's DSoc event is the inter-society quiz, something initially envisaged by me as a way of getting to know the STSoc and their kin but later expanded to include everything that included under the somewhat constricting umbrella of 'geekdom', not a term I'm very comfortable with for reasons I might explain in an entry someday. The last one was greatly enjoyable and I hope that this one will be too. I haven't managed to write any questions but there's still just enough time...

EDIT 7.30om Managed a short round of five biographical (surprise!) questions...
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