Saturday, April 29, 2017

Doctor Who and the Second Class


Hi there! Tonight’s the night for the 3rd new episode of Doctor Who’s 10th season. My family is expected to be out of the Fortress of Ineptitude and back in the environs of Geeksboro with our fellow Whovians. We missed going last week as my wife and I were watching my daughter in a live performance of Seussical.  (See yesterday’s post.) 


Before we get to that, I wanted to touch base on the Doctor Who spin-off, Class. There were several good individual bits in the 1st episode but it didn’t quite come together for me. The 2nd episode was a monster of the week kind of thing but it resonated with me more, maybe because we had a chance to focus on one of the ensemble, Ram.  




Ram Singh is dealing with a great deal of trauma: he watched his girlfriend murdered right in front of him by the Shadow Kin who also took off part of his leg. Yeah, the Doctor fixed his leg but come on: he’s got an artificial foot and it and his head are messing with his soccer game, a past time of great importance to Ram. While Ram is struggling, his coach is being a total dick to him. All he knows is Ram was once good at soccer, now he’s not. A bundle of warmth, this guy. Oh, and he has a dragon tattoo that has a bad habit of slithering off of him to become a real dragon and grab a bite to eat. For a dragon, “grab a bite to eat” means “eat a person”. Yuck! 


The rest of the gang rallies ‘round Ram to crack this mystery. Well, except Miss Quill who is obsessed with a silent, steely eyed inspector in her classroom. She’s sure he’s not human. And he isn’t. When the dragon tries to fry him up for dinner, we find out he’s a robot.


Dragons don’t find robots very tasty. 


Then a second dragon appears. Well, isn’t that wizard? Ram, standing up to the dragons and the dickweed coach saves the day. Ram decides he does need to open up, to these new found friends. And to his dad who belives and supports his son. (The alien artificial foot helps convince him.) 


I can’t say that I’m enamored enough with this show to hope it gets a 2nd season. Still, I hope the rest of Class’s 8 episodes are as engaging to me as this 2nd one was. 


Alas we must doff our cap and place our hand over our heart to say a fond farewell to Francis Armitage, the headteacher of Coal Hill Academy. Nigel Betts had appeared as Armitage as a minor character in the Doctor Who episodes "Into the Dalek", "The Caretaker", and "Dark Water". A minor character who makes a major sacrifice to save his students from a dragon. It was a terrible surprise; Francis always assumed he would die at Coal Hill in a robot attack. Dragon? Never saw that coming.


Back to Doctor Who, nothing new on the future. I have discovered some not quite positive reactions to the potential casting of Kris Marshall. Outside of the fact that he represents a “safe” choice (not a woman or a person of color), I’ve seen quite a few comments asserting that Kris just isn’t very good. Of course that’s a matter of subjective opinion and probably just negative trolls who gripe about anything. Still if it is Kris Marshall, 1) it’s the worst kept secret in the world and 2) he has a major uphill battle in front of him to be accepted as the Doctor. The idea of Kris Marshall as the Doctor is not a universally accepted idea. 


I really think the BBC wants to wait until series 10is over before announcing the next Doctor, creating some new Doctor Who headlines after the new  stories of Series 10 are done.  The only reason ther BBC would act sooner is if their hand is forced and they have to announce the new Doctor to get ahead of a major leak. 


But first: TONIGHT! Back in 1814, the Doctor and Bill are on the frozen river Thames confronting an elephant. From Sarah Dollard who gave us “Face the Raven” in Series 9, we find ourselves on “Thin Ice”.


See you ‘round the telly tonight and I’ll be back tomorrow with a write up on the episode.


Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Suessical!

Last Saturday, Andrea and I ventured out from the Fortress of Ineptitude to see our daughter Randie in her first live stage production, a performance by her high school of Seussical the Musical. 

Which shows we love our daughter very much because Saturday is Doctor Who night at Geeksboro.  

Seussical is a musical based on stories by Dr. Seuss, mainly "Horton Hears a Who!", "Horton Hatches the Egg" and "Miss Gertrude McFuzz" but many, many others are also in the mix. The show debuted on Broadway on November 30, 2000 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the same theater where In the Heights and Hamilton by my good buddy, Lin-Manual Miranda was staged.

Seussical did not enjoy such levels of success. Reviews were mostly "meh" and the Broadway production closed on May 20, 2001. But Seussical remains a favorite for schools, communities, and regional theater productions. and its easy to see why. It's a musical with lots of different opportunities for solos, duets and ensembles. The costumes are wild and colorful. The set is a surreal collection of brightly painted objects. There's stuff to do from young kids to adults and everyone in between.  

The principal driver of the "plot" such as it is Horton who...

  • Hears a Who. Well, several Whos.
  • Winds up sitting on a egg.
  • Ends up in Palm Beach, Florida. 

...

Yes, Palm Beach, Florida. And the rest of the cast winds up there, too. Somehow. I think. I'm not actually sure. 

But that's the kind of absurdist humor that dominates the play. One minute you're in the Jungle of Nool, then you're with Whos of Whoville and then of course you go to Palm Beach, Florida. 

Because that's what you do.

Randie was one of the Whos in Whoville and a bang up job she did of it too. It was not easy getting there. She complained the director paid no attention to the Whos unless they did something wrong. 

Hey, Randie. That's life in the chorus.  

Despite that, I hope Seussical is not her first and last play. She has a lot of talent and spirit.  

Seussical was a high school production but a lot of the individual performances elevated this show to a higher level. Andrea and I went into this mostly to support our daughter but we were very well entertained. 

Doctor Who rules the roost on this blog for Saturday and Sunday. Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

Below is a photo of the cast Andrea took after the show.


I'm sure Randie won't mind me posting this here.



Yeah, she's cool with it.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Doctor Who Is NEW! Smile

Yes, there was no post on Monday. I was too busy partying hard celebrating my birthday! 

OK, fine: yes, it was my birthday. But I've never partied... hard or otherwise... to celebrate it.  

Anyway...

Got see Saturday's new Doctor Who episode on Sunday. I missed the collective energy of the gang at Geeksboro but it was good to be in the Fortress of Ineptitude on a wet and dreary Sunday. 





Smile
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce


The Doctor whisks Bill Potts away to the distant future and an interstellar colony, despite Nardole’s admonishing the Doctor not to. Nardole reminds the Doctor he made an oath to stay on earth while he’s guarding the vault.

“What oath?!?!” 
“What’s in the vault?!?!”
“AUUUGHHH!!!!”

To borrow a line from Jim Kirk in Star Trek: The Search For Spock, “The answer was 'no'. We are therefore going anyway.”  The Doctor’s logic? He can travel back in time so he can get back to Earth before he left. So technically. he was never gone.  (?) 

The Doctor and Bill find a futuristic structure devoid of human life, just those cute little emoji-bots you’ve seen in the previews. OK, they’re cute as long as you’re happy. When you’re not happy, the emoji-bots strip you down to bone then grind up the bones for fertilizer. All right, that’s not cute at all.  So its very important to keep smiling. 

The emoji-bots are interfaces for the actual robots, micro-bots known as the Vardy that swarm about and build things for humans.


The Doctor theorizes that this whole operation is an advance mission for a colony ship to follow, colonists who are going to be reduced to bone fertilizer the moment someone frowns. The Doctor decides to stop that from happening by blowing everything up before the colonists get there. 


The Doctor and Bill find the advance ship that serves as the core of the central colony structure and sets the engine to go boom!


And then discovers the advance ship is also the colonists’ ship with colonists in suspended animation.  Well, what the Doctor tears asunder, he can fix right back up. Whew! That was nearly a really big screw up! Not just for the many, many human colonists on board but also, the Vardy are not malfunctioning robots but an evolved form of life that doesn’t understand what grief is. The Doctor reboots the Vardy to remove their  erroneous understanding of grief.  But the Vardy are now the indigenous life of this new world so the human colonists may owe the Vardy “rent”. 

Just as he did with “In the Forest of the Night” from Series 8, writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce once again has the Doctor completely and totally misread a situation.But it is a most unusual situation to deal with, a colony on another world, bereft of human life but occupied by robots that communicate via emoji. Weird!

But the real draw to this story is the relationship between the Doctor and Bill. Pearl Mackie as Bill continues to delight with a fresh perspective on the Doctor's activities. And Peter Capaldi still finds new layers to explore as the Doctor, sparked by his new role as a teacher and mentor to Bill. Bill's not just there to keep him company; she's there to learn.  

One of my favorite lines: "You don't steer the TARDIS; you negotiate with her." It's cool callback to "The Doctor's Wife", after the Doctor complained the TARDIS doesn't always go where he wants to go, Idris replied, "I always take you where you need to go."

The episode ends with an intriguing set up for next week's episode with the Doctor and Bill on the frozen river Thames. 

Facing an elephant? 

You have my attention. Next week's episode is entitled "Thin Ice" but with "The Pilot" and "Smile", Doctor Who Series 10 is on sure footing.  

By the way, watched the 2nd episode of Class and enjoyed it more than the 1st episode. More on that in Saturday's post.

Coming up between now and then, a post about my daughter and her performance in Seussical.  

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Not Doing Things

Hi there! It's a rainy Sunday afternoon here at the Fortress of Ineptitude which makes it a perfect day for NOT doing things. And one of my favorite things is NOT doing things.  

OK, I'm not completely an inert object: I just finished a hamburger and milk-shake from Sheetz and just watched another classic MST3K on You Tube. I still have last night's Doctor Who to watch and some NEW MST3K on NetFlix to watch but I think I'm not doing NOT doing things correctly. 

I'm gonna put on my Batman PJs and take a nap.

That's all for now. Remember to be good to one another and enjoy a restful NOT doing things day.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Doctor Who: Class (And the Doctor's Future)


Hi there, Doctor Who fans! Tonight is another new episode of Doctor Who as the Doctor and Bill go on their first proper adventure in the TARDIS. I will not have a write up tomorrow. As I write this, my plans for Saturday evening have me attending a play that my daughter is in. 

There is some stuff about the Doctor's future that came up earlier this week. but first, I wanted to look back at last Saturday and spin out a few words on the subject of Class, the new Doctor who spin off that finally got its American debut last week. 



I noted in Monday’s post that I did not enjoy it although I did qualify that statement by noting it wasn’t because it was a bad episode. Nope, the debut of Class was working against my own weariness. We had been at Geeksboro since 7;30 PM watching the rerun of Doctor Mysterio then the premier of Doctor Who Series 10. I was quite tired but it was a good kind of tired as 10:10 PM rolled around and Class started up. But other Whovians were sticking around, Geeksboro was letting the episode run and my wife and daughter made the case for staying.

By the time 11:20 PM rolled around, I was even more tired and it was NOT a good kind of tired. Sorry, the new gang from Class but I’m cranky when I’m sleepy. Sorry.

In terms of characters, Class has a motley crew of students in various states of messed up; in other words, like real teens. They are a certainly a diverse lot, this group of students whom chance or fate has thrust into facing a threat from another world with different gifts and different challenges. A lot of work has gone into making these young men and women people we should really care about.

So why don’t I? I think part of the problem is there’s no clear center to the group. I suppose it could be April, the wallflower charged with decorating for a prom she can’t get a date to.  She has more strength than her quiet demeanor would otherwise suggest. Or maybe Charlie, the odd out of place teen who really is from outer space? Or Miss Quill, the dragon lady teacher who is also from another world?  A good ensemble needs a solid core, something this group lacks. 


Props to series creator Patrick Ness for creating an original alien menace in the form of the Shadow Kin who are seriously creepy. But why is this a Doctor Who spin off other than the school location is Coal Hill where Susan Foreman & Clara Oswald once trod?   

Well, the Doctor shows for the final act and Peter Capaldi owns the proceedings as you might expect. But here’s the odd thing: the Doctor feels like an intruder. Class may be set in the Whoverse but its not part of the Doctor’s world.

Here's what my co-worker and fellow Whovian Chris had to say:

"As to Class, I had hoped it would feel like a slightly darker Buffy…maybe a watered down Torchwood with more focus, but something about it was missing. The characters are all over the place and flung together. It was hard to follow as an intro episode in a general sense." 

Chris observed that Class did not perform well in the UK (the whole series is finished there). Chris & I guess that if it does well on BBC America, it may get another shot. Overall, our consensus is that Class is all but canceled.
_______________________________________

Back to doctor Who itself as news... and rumors of news of it's future swirled about everywhere.

The big story was info about the 2017 Christmas special.  It seems that it will feature Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor in a team up with an earlier incarnation: the earliest incarnation actually.

The first Doctor.

OK then. David Bradley who played William Hartnell in Mark Gatiss' 50th anniversary movie about the origin of the Doctor Who TV program will portray Hartnell's 1st Doctor in the Christmas special this year. Presumably, it involves the 12th Doctor's quick appearance in the 50th anniversary special, Day of the Doctor.


This David Bradley portraying William Hartnell
performing as the Doctor.

And here's another twist. That zoom in on Capaldi's eyes is the moment before he regenerates. Yes, Capadli's first ever appearance as the Doctor could well be his last.

Mind. Blown.

Of course, how much any of this is a done deal is subject to speculation. But a number of news outlets have relayed the story of Bradley's appearance as the 1st Doctor as if it's a done deal.

What may not be a done deal is who will be the next Doctor? If it is going to bed Kris Marshall, (Psst! It's Kris Marshall.)  I think someone needs to just go ahead and make an announcement because if it's Kris, it's not a secret anymore.

If it isn't Kris, we seem to have a definitive answer from the BBC that it will not be a woman. An alleged fan reportedly made an impassioned and angry complaint to the BBC that the next Doctor should not be a woman. The BBC executive who responded to the complaint said that while no final decision had been made on casting the next Doctor, (Psst! It's Kris Marshall.) no women were being considered for the role. 


Which is a shame because both David Tennant and I agree: Olivia Colman would make a great Doctor.

In the more immediate future, the Doctor and Bill meet... EMOJI ROBOTS!!!! (Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!)
I may have a write up on the episode Monday or I may post it next Saturday.

I will let you know.

Tonight I'm off to the theater to watch my daughter trod the stage in a production of Seussical! Yes, I will post something about that later in the week.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

(Psst! It's Kris Marshall.) 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Follow the Money


Hi there! I'm fine! 

There's a horrible rumor that the reason I didn't post anything on Thursday was because I had been accused of sexually harrassing myself. 

No, I was just busy. 

Someone perhaps a little less busy in the days to come is newly unemployed pontificator Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly was a pompous full of himself windbag who positioned himself as the smartest person in the room when he was the only one in the room.  

With Trump in the White House, we are now reaping the harvest of pain from the whirlwind that Bill and his ilk over at Fox News have been sewing for years.   

But there's enough people talking about Bill. Boo friggin' hoo! The damage is done as Tucker Carlson, grown in a Fox News lab, takes Bill's time slot. And the crew from The Five might be coming along too. More about them at the end of today's post.  

I wanted to turn my attention to another ring wing ranting machine, Alex Jones. He's the host of a radio show called Info Wars where Jones goes on rants against Democrats and government in general. Jones' spins elaborate conspiracy theories that shatter the limits of reason and sanity.  

Theories such as:  

  • Hillary Clinton is a witch who is responsible for the Dallas shootings.
  • Orlando, and Sandy Hook, and Boston, and Brussels, etc. were ‘false flags.’
  • The government has a 'weather weapon' that 'can create and steer groups of tornadoes.'
  • The 9/11 attacks were an inside job. 
  • The American government is making us gay with chemicals so we'll have less children.  
I should point out that Donald Trump is (I mean IS as in present tense in the Oval Office with a nuclear button) a big fan. Some of Trump's wilder claims have been sourced back to Alex Jones and Info Wars.  

So here's why we're talking about this prattling dickweed today.

Jones got divorced in 2015. (So ladies! He's SINGLE!). But the fallout from that divorce continues with Alex Jones currently in a nasty and protracted custody battle.

His ex-wife’s claims that the InfoWars founder is “not a stable person". Just listen to Info Wars for crying out loud! So she asserts he should not have any custody of their children.  

But Jones has countered with this: his raving, ranting, conspiracy theory spinning role on Info wars is “performance art.”

  

Jones’ lawyer said, “He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.”

It's a performance that has an audience in the fucking white House and with millions of stupid... excuse, brain impaired morons who support Trump. I mean, they STILL support Trump although Trump's 1st 100 days in office have been riddled with one fucked up debacle after another. 

Alex Jones: performance artist? 

OK, sure. 

The thing is TV and radio and the internet is littered with a shitload of "performance artists". Nobody ever got rich having reasonable discussions about policy. No, you get rich by being LOUD and ANGRY which draws an audience and advertisers.  

Sarah Palin may have been a reasonable person at some point in her life. Then she discovered droppin' her "g's", yelling a lot & blaming Obama for everything was making her rich.  

I actually listened to Rush Limbaugh back in the 1990's. He was big blowhard who spoke loud and carried a big stick but he was genuinely interesting to listen to. Then Rush realized that if he spoke LOUDER and USED the big stick on everything on the left, he made more money. 

Maybe Sean Hannity once...

No, I can't go there. Sean has always been a dick.  

No one gets rich promoting liberal ideas. But standing and boldly defending God and family and wholesome conservative values, that's where the money is. 

Who else figured that out? Alex Jones: performance artist. 

Follow the money. 

Going back to Bill O'Reilly, Fox News didn't fire Bill for being an awful human-like entity. No, they fired him because they were losing advertisers. Losing money. 

Money was going out the door. So too exit Bill O'Reilly. 

Follow the money.  

Bill's departure is not going to make Fox News an instantly better place for women, not when shit like this is still happening. On TV. Where we can see it 


The Fox News panel, The Five, was discussing immigration laws; Bob Beckel went off the rails about his comments not being taken for facts.

To which Kim Guilfoyle said, “Waah, waah, crybaby. Call your camp counselor.”

“Call your dressmaker,” Beckel replied.

“And give him a raise,” Guilfoyle shot back, gesturing toward her outfit. “That’s what I’m saying. That’s what I’m saying.”

Gutfeld replied to Guilfoyle: “You are giving America a raise.”


“Oh my god,” Guilfoyle replied.

Here's a screen shot from that day's show. 













To quote the immortal wisdom of Z Z Top, "She's got legs; she knows how to use them."  

OK, that screen shot's not very clear. Here's some better samples of Kim Guilfoyle's earlier work. 














OK, I'll say it: "Damn!" 

But Kim Guilfoyle is an attorney and the subject was about immigration laws. Gutfeld, not winning the argument from his position on the issue, opted to make Kim's appearance an issue. In other words, "Shut up! You're only here to be a boner pill for angry racists!"  

Yes, Kim has got legs; she knows how to use them. And she's not dangling those legs on a CNN set. She's using them on Fox where the money is.

Follow the money.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Comics Need To Be More Disposable


This week, DC Comics released solicitations for their July releases. I immediately noticed that a number of titles had jumped from $2.99 to $3.99. I noticed the pattern was this seemed to only hit the monthly books. The titles DC releases every 2 weeks still have the $2.99 price point. Other than the inclusion of a code to redeem for a free digital copy of the book, there is no other indication there are any additional story pages for the extra dollar.

 

Comics are too expensive.

 

I’m old enough to remember that for $3.99, I could buy up to 20 different comic books. 400 pages of story and art. $3.99 for a mere 20?

 

I’ll say it again: Comics are too expensive.

 

I’m not some old fogey in a cardigan puffing pensively on a pipe while muttering about how things used to be. Prices go up on things! That’s the way the economy works! I don’t expect to buy my comic books for a mere 20 cents an issue. Those days were gone by 1975!

 

But…

 

Comic books used to be a more disposable form of entertainment. Comics would get rolled up in back pockets to be read, maybe re-read, the discarded or passed on to a friend or kid brother. Jerry Seinfeld once said that TV Guide was the most tossed magazine in the country. Behind TV Guide were comics. That’s why old comics are so expensive, because the good ones in good condition are so rare.

 

Today, you’re not going to spend $3.99 on a comic and roll it up in your back pocket. 

 

Comics are not made to be disposable anymore. Printed on slick paper with sleek production values, comic books are made to be collected, not read. And therein lies the problem. Comics are pricing themselves out of their own future.

 

A few yerars ago, DC put out an excellent limited series called Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In the 8th Grade. My daughter loved these comics. She read them and read them again until they were in liquid form. I paid good money for those comics and she wore them out. But I wasn’t bothered. She was enjoying the hell out of those books. She could care less about variant covers and digital coloring.

 
We need more books like that, comics that kids can wear out. In order for comic books to last, we need more of them to be disposable

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mystery Science Theater 3000


I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I saw the debut episode of the newly relaunched Mystery Science Theater 3000. All episodes of the new show dropped on Netflix on Friday. We have Netflix at the fortress of Ineptitude. Yet I found myself standing in line at 10:30 PM….yes, 10:30 at NIGHT with my wife and daughter waiting to get in to Geeksboro to see this show. Andrea thought it would be fun to see this at Geeksboro and so did Randie. Meanwhile, I objected on the grounds that I am opposed to fun and we have Netflix at home. (We also have BBC America at home and there we are at Geeksboro on Saturday nights to watch Doctor Who. This is the extent of our social life: leaving the house to watch TV that we can watch at the house. And I’m so glad my suffering amuses you.) 


Whatever the venue, I was eager to see what the new MST3K would be like. The original series was a vital part of my young adulthood. Dare I say, it may have saved my life.




Lets go back about 2 decades to an apartment where a pale, lanky guy is sprawled out on a sofa. That guy was me and I was depressed. I mean, broken heart levels of depressed. The back story to why I was this deep down in sucgh a dark pit of despair will remain untold today. Suffice to say, I was in a complete and total funk. I idly picked up the TV remote and began absent-mindedly flipping channels. It was the usual mess of news, sports and infomercials. Then something caught my attention.


It was a movie. A black & white science fiction movie. Really cheesy looking. No one ran old movies like this.


It took me a while to register that someone was talking other than the characters in the movie. I was really out of it but then I saw… the shadows.


Running along the bottom of the screen was what looked like a row of theater seats. And in the right hand corner were silhouettes that were commenting on the movie.


OK, odd little black & white science fiction movie, you have my attention. 


Within moments, I had rolled off the sofa, I was laughing so hard. I am literally rolling on the floor laughing. I had gone from not caring if I lived or died to experiencing the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life.

So did Mystery Science Theater 3000 really save my life? The way I felt lying on that couch in the mere moments before I landed on that channel? Compared to the sheer joy I was experiencing a few moments later? I would say it did. 

So that's a lot for the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 to live up to: to be funny AND life affirming? No, I would not put an undue burden on this new show. But yeah, it had to be funny.

And it was! 

The new elements are good with Jonah Ray holding court with the bots in the grand tradition of the dry humor of Joel and Mike. The bots have new voices but they seem familar enough. And I love the new Mads: Felicia Day (All hail Queen Felicia!!!!) as the latest Forrester to torture hapless victimes with bad movies in the name of science and her put upon sidekick portrayed by the affable Patton Oswalt. 




The effects still have that low cost home grown vibe but the show still has a bright hi-def sheen that befits its return in the 21st century.  

The choice of the first filn to be riffed on was an inspired choice: Reptillicus, a giant monster on the loose film from... Denmark. Yes, the monster is silly even as the story lumbers along with the serious weight of its ever so important story: the threat of giant reptiles to the good people of Copenhagen. It's a classic target for MST3K.  

So welcome back, MST3K. I hope after this set of episodes, there are more to come in the not too distant future.  



Monday, April 17, 2017

A Friggin' Post For the Friggin' Blog On a Frggin' Monday

Spring has sprung,  circumstance to which I’ve been alerted by warming temperatures, growing grass, blooming flowers and the DefCon 4 sneezes my nose produces. Spring should be beautiful, uplifting us with light and life and the sheer friggin’ joy of being friggin’ alive but NO!!  Spring is filled with friggin’ amounts of friggin’ pollen!!!



Friggin’. 


And adding to my bad mood…

 

Taxes!!

 

Friggin’ taxes!

 

Pollen and income taxes strike at the same time? Yes, there is a God! And He’s out to get ME!

 

Friggin’.

 

On the plus side…

  1. My solo on Thursday went… OK. And that’s all I’m going to say: OK. And even at that I’m pushing my luck.
  2. Got to see the debut of the new season of Doctor Who… which I posted about yesterday.
  3. I also saw the debut episode of the newly relaunched Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which I haven’t posted about yet. That will be later this week. SPOILER: I had fun! Which is unfortunate as I am the enemy of fun!
  4. I also saw the 1st episode of the Doctor Who spin off, Class. I will post about that later this week as well.  SPOILER: I did not have fun. No, I’m not saying the episode was bad. OK, more on that later this week.
  5. Trump did not bomb North Korea, setting off World  War III and the end of all life on Earth. OK, that should be a positive but I’m dealing with friggin’ pollen and friggin’ income taxes so maybe not so friggin’ positive. 

 

OK, that’s a wrap for today. Until next time, remember to be good to one another, especially those struggling with friggin’ pollen and friggin’ income taxes. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Doctor Who Is NEW!: The Pilot

Hi there! Last night, my family and I ventured forth from the Fortress of Ineptitude to see the new season premier of Doctor Who at Geeksboro. What follows are my thoughts on that. 

Be warned: there be spoilers ahead!

The Pilot
by Steven Moffatt 






At this point, I might summarize the basic plot of the episode: Person A discovers Thing B which leads to Alien Problem C which the Doctor resolves by doing a Thing. But The Pilot defies such easy analysis. 

But I will give it a go. 

The Alien Problem is a puddle.

A puddle.

...

Yes, Steven Moffat is looking to make us scared of a puddle.

...

Moffat is evil. There! I said it!

Anyway...

The puddle is sentient spaceship oil that eats people. It has eaten Bill's friend Heather and now is after Bill.  

The Doctor attempts to save Bill by running away from the puddle. It doesn't work. 

The Doctor tries to destroy the puddle by luring it into the crossfire of a Dalek war. It doesn't work.  

Bill tells the puddle to go away. That works! The end. Roll credits. 



Except...

The Pilot is so much more than just a Doctor Who alien threat of the week.  

The operative word to best describe this most unique episode of Doctor Who is... "quiet".  

It begins with Bill Potts answering a summons to the Doctor's university office. Yes, the Doctor has gotten himself ensconced at a university where's he's been for 50 years (or more!), lecturing on... whatever. Quantum physics, poetry... it's all the same stuff to the Doctor. 

The Doctor has taken an interest in Bill who attends his lectures even though she's not a student; she works at school canteen. It seems that when Bill doesn't understand something, she doesn't frown; she smiles. Intrigued, the Doctor decides to make himself Bill's mentor and oversee her education.   

Bill is a smart, insightful young woman but the circumstances of life have kept her gifts from being fully realized. We spend a lot of time with Bill has she slowly peels away at the layers of mystery around her mentor as well as Heather who she's attracted to and the puddle that obsesses the two women.  

Yes, Bill is gay but it's not presented as a big deal. It's just a fact of her life. The Doctor certainly doesn't remark on it. 

While the title of the episode "The Pilot" refers to the alien puddle, it also serves as a meta-reference that this episode serves as the pilot of a brand new show, even for long time fans. 


Why is the Doctor teaching at this university? What is that strange vault that the Doctor & Nardole are keeping watch over?  

The Pilot is a bit odd, lacking the over the top opening punch that Moffat likes to deliver at the start of a new series. It's a quiet welcome for new companion Bill Potts and this strange Doctor who has entered her life. 

It's odd and quiet. And a most enjoyable start to Doctor Who Series 10.  
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I also saw the opening episode of the Doctor Who spin off last night. I'll have a write up about that, probably on Saturday. And next Sunday's post will be on Doctor Who's 2nd episode of Series 10. 

Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

Jerry Lewis, Comic Book Character

This weekend, Jerry Lewis passed away at the age of 91. In his latter years, Jerry became known more for being cantankerous and ill tempered...