Doctor Who

(WMB4X) Numbers. Oh My (Time) Lord

Numbers ruin things. If you can remember the amount of times you have done something you either haven’t done it enough or it was terrible when you did. Numbers are devoid of emotion and feeling, they cannot be used to convey anything other than hard facts. A constant in the world of grey areas. At times bringing un-needed order to the world.

One of the main fall outs from the wonderful “Day of the Doctor” and the less wonderful Doctor Who Live: The After Party, seems to be “Is Matt Smith the 12th Doctor now because of John Hurt?” Or varations upon that theme adorning many a fan forum or podcast. As arguements go it’s pretty stupid. Numbers again ruining it. You see and this is a point that even the most ardent fan will miss (or argue with me about).

There is only one Doctor.

In a similiar way that there is only one James Bond or Joey from Bread, Eric Draven from The Crow or Miss Marple. Only one. There have been multiple actors who played the part bringing with them different facets of the characters personality. When it comes down to it at a core character level there should be no differences between the Bond of Sean Connery or the Bond of Daniel Craig. The same should apply to the Doctor, he only changes based upon life experience in his relative time strand. Hartnell, Hurt, Smith and soon to be Capaldi all playing the same man at different points in that characters life.

The numbering then, Hartnell 1, Troughton 2 etc given that the Doctor is the same man, matters not a jot to the story. Yes there is a limit to the amount of times the Doctor can re-generate but that will be explained away in the clever writing of the Moff maybe in the upcoming Christmas episode (The only Christmas TV I want to see) It only matters when referring to the actors who have taken control of the TARDIS.

It seems strange to me that given that this show is about an alien with two hearts who can travel through space and time that such a mundane debate has emerged. I am aware of the irony of me writing this piece about it, adding to the debate. If you really must organise “timey wimey” may I suggest a better system. Names. In the same way no-one says the 3rd Bond when they are referring to Roger Moore’s James Bond, I suggest we adopt the same system. Matt Smith’s Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor etc. Doing away with the numbers and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Doctor Who Experience (8105543304)


Visit the Resident Weeble a number of times.

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(WMB4X) The Day of the Doctor

50 years of The Doctor. How the hell do you begin to write anything about that? For once I’m pleased I’m not Steven Moffat. Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and Billie Piper amongst others a stellar cast. I loved it, absolutely. I’m going to try not to spoil it for anyone who didn’t see it. (Like my blog will be the only place that mentions this) I will mention a few things though.

So many times do you wait for something that has a great fanfare beforehand only to find it doesn’t live up to it? This wasn’t one of those times. This was the TV event of the year if not the century. Surprises at every turn, humour and even rewards for the oldest fans of the show. Also the beauty of a time travel show means you can travel back and “put right what once went wrong” but enough about Quantum Leap.

One of the things I hated about Russell T Davies last ever episode with David Tennant is that Tennants Doctor says “I don’t want to go.” just before he regenerates. This is been a huge annoyance of mine because the Doctors regeneration is not him ‘going’ anywhere. Steven Moffat obviously was annoyed by this too. So he only bloody well went and fixed it. This alone would have made my night but wait there is plenty more.

Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) was criticised on her return to the show in 2010 after a two year absence as Rose’s voice had dramatically changed. Billie said that she had forgotten how Rose was supposed to sound. Cosmetic dental work aside of course. The vocal change did distract somewhat. So I have to admit I was worried about Rose Tylers return. Moffat brilliantly fixed this too.

I have spoken before about Matt Smith’s great ability to play a character much older and more world weary than himself. John Hurt managed to play a younger Doctor superbly, as you knew he would. Brilliantly acted, brilliantly casted.

I’d be a rubbish TV critic. This is a bit of non piece for which I make no apologies. I just didn’t think this would be quite so damn good.

So fifty years for the Doctor. 200 blog pieces for me. Not quite as impressive but a very fortuitous bit of timey wimey.

Dr Who (316350537)


Visit the Resident Weeble. He’s on his fifth regeneration.

(WMB4X) Tennants Pilsner

Doctor Who this month celebrates 50 years of existence. Which is very good for me as fan. My generation really missed out on the Doctor with the show being sent to the knackers yard by the BBC in 1989. I was 9. Had I been just a few years older I would have been able to appreciate the show. As it is I remember McCoy as MY doctor, and he was also voted the best doctor of all time when he was current resident of the TARDIS. He wasn’t of course.

In a recent Radio Times survey David Tennant has been voted the best Doctor with over 50% of the vote. I wouldn’t put Tennant at the top. In my view whilst there were some gems in his tenure as the Time Lord poor writing and shouty acting really put me off. Although it has to be said most of this dislike has come on in retrospect after being alerted to the Shouty, running Doctor by friends.

I get that Doctor Who is an action drama. Motion and movement are important, but largely lazy writing means that the solution to lot of problems is to run. If you don’t believe me play a drinking game where you have to drink every time Tennant says or is running. You’d have drunk the place dry by episode 3.

It’s difficult to vote on who is the best Doctor. It’s usually the person who is currently holding the sonice screwdriver who gets the nod. However Doctor Who in the Tennant years was much more a drama with Sci-fi elements. Since Steven Moffatt has been the show runner the program has moved a darker place with rewards for the regular viewer over those who dipped in on their way out to Yates.

Matt Smith has produced an excellent performance for such a young man playing a character over 900 years old. Maybe thats what it is with me when it comes to Tennant. Permit me to explain.

Sean Connery is my favourite Bond. In 1983 he made Never Say Never Again, which was not an official Bond film. In itself it’s quite enjoyable, with Rowan Atkinson making a pre- Johnny English big screen appearance. There is something about it however that doesn’t sit right as a Bond film. It appears to be Sean Connery, playing a younger Sean Connery who is playing Bond. This to me is what Tennants Who was like.

Tennant playing a Doctor, not THE Doctor. There were lots of inconsistencies Daleks could fly being the main one that springs to mind. Smith’s performance brought the show back to it’s roots playing the well travelled time lord with a wisdom and eccentricness whilst at the same time scaring the bejesus out of a new generation. Tennant could never quite pull that off.

Favourite doctor? High hopes for Peter Capaldi


Please visit the blog of the Resident Weeble who’s favourite Doctor may or may not be Doctor Dre

(WMB4X) Change Yes. Ideas Required.

The world in general, it’s been broken for a long time in one way or another. On a day on which we remember our fallen who died defending our country and way of life. Also our thoughts turn to those who continue to fight now in largely political wars over oil pipelines. It’s just not working.

I can agree it is broken. A fact which Russell Brand highlighted in a recent Newsnight interview. Which I have to admit passed me by when it aired. (Thanks to Piece of Pandemonium for drawing my full attention to it.) Here it is in case you missed it too.

So we acknowledge the problem. What Mr Brand fails to do is suggest any viable way of changing things, declaring a rather child like revolution. Then saying that he doesn’t have to come up with any concrete plans for the revolution because there are people more educated than him to do that. Let’s talk to some of them instead shall we?

This is not supposed to be an anti-Brand rant, but one final thing. He states the Occupy movement made a huge difference. It did not. A bunch of un-washed unemployed students and overly political comedians waiting for a gig, sat around outside not disrupting anything did not achieve any of the goals they set out for. Surprising for such a bunch of well organised folks!

Doug Stanhope, a comedian with more sense than most, offered some advice for the Occupiers at the time.

Brand makes the mistake that all the revolutionists of recent times make (those speaking from established democracies) they plead for change, expanding a futuristic vision how it will make the world better without a clue how to get there. Thats easy.. thus:

“I would like to live in a big house, with a beautiful girlfriend who will blow me on demand. Because there for I will be mellow all the time I will give millions of pounds to charity and solve world hunger.”

Sounds great. Meanwhile, I’m single, on the bones of my arse in rented accommodation contemplating getting a rib removed so I can reach. No idea how to get where I want. The goal is the easy thing, it’s having a clue how to begin to get there from where we are now that is the key and no-one can offer even a semblance of a workable plan.

Even worse than that is that when people start to ask questions of the revolutionary plans they get accused of being “brainwashed” in the case of The Venus Project. If we cannot question or criticise is the society really going to be better off?

People will always be greedy. Want more for themselves and their clans. That is how the human race has survived, we are programmed this way. There will always be people who have more, people who have less. Change will always be called for, because it is hypothetical it will always be better than the actual because it is easier to maximise the positives and dismiss huge negatives larger than the plot holes in Russell T Davies Dr Who stories.

Change yes. Ideas required.


Fancy a change the Resident Weeble has a plan

(28 DW) The Crying Game

I’m absolutely terrible. Amy Pond has just found out that Rory the Centurion has been protecting her for 2000 years. A wonderfully written and touching story, but can someone please explain to me why I am sat watching it with tears streaming down my face. It’s TV. Not only that it’s TV I’ve seen before. Alas it’s not only Doctor Who.

Martin Clunes (him off Men Behaving Badly) recently narrated a documentary for ITV called the Secret Life of Dogs. Now anyone who knows me or has read this here bit of cyber space for any considerable amount of time knows I love my dogs. I would suggest anyone give it a watch. (I can’t believe I am recommending anything on ITV) There are some really heart wrenching stories about how people relate to their dogs. This again caused me to well up.

At football. As a celebration of last seasons successes (we won the league!) the PA guys have put the below video together…

This, if I’m not careful, gets me too. I however have to keep my shit together cos I’m in public grr manly man.

Just what is wrong with me. When I was a teen I wasn’t tearful, OK I was quite whingey little bastard when I was small, but I was me. I had lots to be upset about! Am I releasing some kind of female hormone? That comment isn’t as sexist as it sounds. Am I less of a man because I have a compulsion to cry at things? I feel a bit of a fool, but it’s natural to me so who says I can’t show a bit of emotion.

I suppose I could suppress  it and in 20 years come back and murder my family… yeah cos thats better.


Please check out the work of my 28DW Comrades at The Resident Weeble and A Piece of Pandemonium 

It’s Beginning to feel it’s not like Christmas

I know I’m not 8 years old anymore, waiting for an old man to empty his sack nearby, but enough about my appearance on Jim’ll Fix It. Yes back in the day I awaited the arrival of old saint nick at Christmas time, just like any other child.

As I passed through to adulthood my interest in Christmas waned. But come the week of the big day I snuggled in, and felt the festive warmth. Albeit less warmth than most but some was there. This year I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Why? A number of reasons.

Due to financial stuff I have turned down every offer of a Christmas drink, with my real friends, not the people I mentioned in my previous post. The offers were thin on the ground too. Everyone has just that little bit less cash to go around. Even if I had been a “work friend” kinda guy the work Christmas party tickets were £20. Up from £2.50! Hardly festive.

It’s mild here.5 degrees C as I write this. Nothing could be deep and crisp and even in this balmy warmth. I don’t like snow, but the cold is something I associate with Christmas, warming drinks, warming food, cold weather. Thats why I think Australia would mess me up. Christmas barbecue. No thanks.

I am not religious in the slightest, nor am I seeking salvation. So I am not gonna toss on about the commercialisation of Christmas, because it has always been there. I do think it’s worse now than ever. People visiting the Coca-Cola truck as it tours the country as if it is some kind of pilgrimage, or visiting the John Lewis snowman. The marketing circle is complete.

By Stengaard (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Holidays… came..

I am not looking forward to the main event at all. But at least the hoopla will be over for at least another 9 months! I am however looking forward to the new episode of Doctor Who.

For what it’s worth. I hope all of you my dear valued readers have an excellent time, doing what you want to do over the festive period. Thanks for dropping by this year and supporting my rambling. That truly is time you will never get back, every page view or like means a lot to me. So a million thanks.

See you all in 2013.

(BDYBIS) Yowser, The End of Amelia Pond

The Angels have taken New York, and I’ll try to write another Doctor Who related piece without any spoilers for the millions who haven’t seen it yet (cos they ALL read my blog) But it is well documented that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were leaving life on the TARDIS behind to pursue other acting roles.

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I mean after all this is TV and I am macho man. But Mr Mofatt you did it again, blub mode was engaged. This episode features several bits where you will go “What? How did that..” but people if you think hard enough everything is explained. Most of it by the standard “timey-wimey spacey wacey” but explained none the less.

Amelia Pond, first companion of the Moffat era, child chef of fish fingers and custard. Adult Flame haired sex pot (ok my weakness for redheads instantly made me warm to her) she has been through the mill during her time with Doctor, aged, met her daughter as an adult before she met her as a baby, went blind, was a goo like generation of herself, married a centurion, put up with a man in a fez.

Amy and Rory. Much better than any TV romance in history, c’mon Rory waited two thousand years for her. Most guys complain whilst they are waiting for ‘er indoors to get her knickers untwisted. TWO THOUSAND years! How? Spacey…

In my previous piece on the Doctor I wrote that Oswin the new companion was already a interesting character. If she is half as interesting as Amy it’s gonna be a hell of a ride.

No spoliers sweetie… hmm just watch it already!

This episode teaches us, it’s dangerous to read books, cherubs aren’t always cute and the statue of liberty isn’t very pretty close up. People will complain about this conclusion, as to compare it to previous companion exits it’s not as “paint by numbers” as before. It would seem that people hate TV they have to think about. Unless it’s American, then it can be as confusing as you like!

Most genuine Whovians will love this, as it is a great end to two great characters. Tennant era fan boys will hate it. I don’t care. Bring on Christmas, for three things. Turkey, Roast Potatoes and the Doctor.

Bye Bye Pond.

(BDYBIS) Hello Souffle Girl: The Return of the Doctor

It had been a long day, I’d been at work and for a desk jockey like me Saturday working is a very strange experience but as it turns out I kinda liked it, 100% less cretins and office politics. Was tiring though not aided by the fact i’d woken up at 5 am. So at 7:25pm I was severely lacking in stamina.

Thanks to the magic of twitter, I had found out at my desk (all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy) that the Doctor was to make his return that very every evening. Event television, something broadcasters used to be good at. Now it’s “great show, how far can you dilute the storyline so it goes over 5 consecutive nights for the rest of eternity.” Doctor Who has always been, unplug the phone, duct tape the cat to the ceiling TV in my house. Saturdays episode was no exception.

By williamsdb [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Daleks. Perhaps the most over used enemy in whovian history. Were purposely given time off by Steven Moffat. Yet here they are again however they have been given a fresh twist (one that’s a damn slight better than them flying, Mr T Davies) they want the doctors help. As should be known by most of you the beautifully talented Karen Gillan is leaving the series at Christmas, to be replaced by Jenna Louise Coleman. I’m pleased, you see I’m a geek, women avoid me like they would chlamydia so I need attractive doctor companions, they cheer my very core. Anyway I digress. Previous companion changes have been somewhat clunky. Rose Tyler to Martha Jones springs to mind, a character so two dimensional I’m surprised the Doctor didn’t get a paper cut when he touched her.

Oswin, as we will call her for that is her name. The new companion we already know after one episode is a sassy sexy genius (and I’m trying very hard iPlayer viewers and overseas readers not to give you any spoilers) But she already has the kinda backstory that would put Twilight to shame.

It has been pointed out to me that this as series opener was considerably lighter in tone than previous series. No bad thing. Saturday work is great thing to make you look forward to excellently written and performed TV drama. Please let Mr Moffat write everything.. even the news. Bring on next week and the “Dinosaurs on a spaceship !”

In the UK catch the Doctor if you missed him here.
Elsewhere, wait your turn. Or find yourself a TARDIS and transport yourself to whenever it airs.

You Cannot be Siri-ous

Yesterday my beloved Apple Inc launched the latest iPhone. The iPhone 4S. A speed bump, with a new camera and air play capabilities and more besides. Well on the face of it it’s not bad, I won’t be getting one. Largely because I am tied into my contract with 3 and I’m not gonna sell my Grandma to get my hands on this.

On the 28th April 2010 Apple brought Siri, a company founded in 2007. One selling point of the iPhone 4S is Siri integration. The technology is amazing, Siri is a voice commanded digital personal assistant, a secretary without the short skirt and stockings… (shame) Siri recognises what you are saying and can schedule appointments, tell you the weather, read your messages and listen to you dictate replies and send them for you. As I say all amazing technology, I remember the early voice recognition stuff, you had to train it, even then it wouldn’t understand what you said, it often had to be used in environment which you shared with only deathly silence. Microsoft attempted to demo this and failed.

Fast forward a few years and Microsoft have succeeded, as anyone who has ever said “X Box Play DVD” will tell you. I even have a dictation app on my iPhone 4, it is very good, it is free and if I’m not drunk it understands me. I think it wishes I wasn’t drunk quite so often, so it had a fighting chance.

Going back in time once more, forgive me for more time travel than your average episode of Doctor Who in this piece… (hmmm maybe an excuse for a pic of Karen Gillan.) In the Late 70’s all the way through the 80’s. A conversation the world over:-

“Please leave your message after the beep.” said a metallic voice.

BEEP

“Oh no, not one of these, urm I hate talking to these things… pick up if your….”
BEEP

Then the tape would run out or catch fire. The hatred of the answer machine remains, even though we have progressed to voice mail, which has none of the tape issues. You still have to record a greeting, and even with advent of personalised greetings there is still the risk your potential new boss will here the personal message meant for your wife’s sister about your huge member….ship of the bridge club.. What!

Karen Gillan.. with some other bloke.. think he might play The Doctor. Kidding the wonderfully talented Matt Smith

So how does 1980’s tech relate to Karen Gillan and Siri. No matter how good Siri is and it is the best system I have ever seen of it’s type. It is still a machine, flesh and blood human beings such as Karen Gillan feel like a berk talking to a machine, and as much as those folks with the bluetooth headsets will say otherwise, if your out and about talking to Siri or even Karen Gillan, other people you encounter will think you are crazy fool talking to yourself.