Sunday, December 30, 2007

o all right then: the fangirl post.

By request.

So yeah, as noted and obvious in the vids post below, I have turned my affections upon the new Dr. Who and Torchwood.

Or, well, so far I've just been sticking to the new stuff, only referring to the Wiki summaries of older shit when I need a reference.

I started by watching Torchwood, which is a bit grimmer and -slightly- less with the silly (well, the finale was pretty naff);

and then the first DW episode I watched was the "Empty Child" one, the one with the gas masks? which was genuinely creepy and seemed at least somewhat plausible, SF-wise (as these things go). So I was thinking it was all gonna be like that. Also, dunno if this was as true in the old series, but: Russell Davies is, besides being camp as knickers, a rather grim little petunia under it all. You see it more in TW, the whole "there's nothing after death, (except for the scary thing moving in the dark, which disappointingly turns out to be a rather risible CGI monster); "life is all;" it's the inevitable flip side to the firm belief in humanism that carries DW. I mean, that's true in a lot of SF, but this one...seems to go to the existentialist dilemma quite a bit, actually. And whenever it delves into WWII stuff especially, or the whole "British Empire" riff, you really start to see it, although it's symbolically there in even the cheesier Alien Menaces. How -do- you maintain hope in either a benign God or your fellow humyn when there are bombs dropping on your head? How do you defend against the authoritarian menace from outside without becoming Daleks or Cyberpeople yourself? What's actually worse: accepting that dying (personally or collectively) may really be just... the end of everything? Or the price one pays for artifically extending existence just for the sake of existence: shutting oneself off, turning oneself into a machine, or simply the pain of knowing that one is alone within one's own skin/shell, alone in the universe? What's the point of it all, anyway?

and then I go back and start from the beginning of S1, and it's like: giant farting prosthetic aliens! pissy flying salt shakers that shoot blocklike laserbeams at people and scream "exterminate" for long moments before actually y'know doing it, thus enabling people to run away! "K-9!" "the Weakest Link" is still on 200,000 years in the future! with chunky androids! scary savage futurekind 100 trillion years in the future (the universe lasts this long?!) have evolved fangs for eatin' people but apparently still visit their barbershop regularly (perhaps they use the fangs for grooming? nice to know that neither hair nor styles have changed much in 100 trillion years)...and...

and after some initial sputtering, i realized i was basically doing the equivalent of,

"Velvet paintings are -camp- and thus delightful, but flamingos on the lawn? Now that's just -tacky.-"

so said "fuck it" and accepted that this was 1) part of its charm 2) the price one pays for getting to watch both Billie Piper and David Tennant possessed by Zoe Wanamaker.

"Voyage of the Damned" was crap, though. Not campy, just crappy. Not sure how that happened, since it was apparently Davies who wrote that as well and as I've said, I thought the S3 finale was fucking ace. ho well.

"It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

how deeply true that is.


Rootietoot said...

You think so much it gives me a headache.

I am also enamored of Dr Who and Torchwood, probably because whathisname Cap'n Jack looks like someone I had an impossible crush on when I was 14. All i see is an entertaining story. I particularly like the Dr Who where people's faces are sucked off. I do not analyze it further than that. It's Just Fiction.

Tom Nolan said...

Well, Rootie, he's gay and married - so it's an even more impossible crush now. Not to mention that he lives on another continent.

I've have much better chances with Billie Piper.

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, wossname, the "Wire"/tv face-sucker, was brilliant. they do get a lot of awesome guest stars.

Tom Nolan said...

I think that that was Maureen Lipman, doing her best 50's "Children's Hour" nanny-voice.

SnowdropExplodes said...

The original series (that is, the one that ran from 1963 - 1989) was much the same mix of awesomeness and rather camp/dodgy-looking monsters and suchlike.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances I think was easily the best story so far in the new version, so maybe starting with that one was going to lead to a sense of disillusionment with some of the rest.

FWIW I loved the farting aliens, I like things that are gloriously and deliberately silly like that.

The Wire was played by Maureen Lipman.

belledame222 said...

yeah, yeah, Maureen Lipman! she was the bomb.

yeah, the Empty Child/Doctor Dances were def. among the best episodes. I also like Human Nature/Family of Blood a -lot-. David Tennant is a terrific actor, and really gets to strut all his stuff in there. and, well, again: war, period piece: it tends to work really really well.

and the "family" was -creepy-. I love it when they do slightly "off" but relatively simple shit like that, no prosthetics, no massive CGI, no really elaborate explanations as to who or what these creatures are exactly, just...body snatchers and their army of animate scarecrows (!). and did I mention -really creepy-? especially the one who plays the son. brah.

R. Mildred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

heh. well apparently next series we'll be getting Captain Jack with James Marsters (Spike). we can but hope for some ass included.

Sage said...

Hey, happy new year lady. Thanks for all your insights, the entertainment and enlightenment over the last year!

belledame222 said...

Happy New Year, sage!

Chris said...

I was a big fan of the original series, but I have to admit that in some ways, it doesn't hold up as well as it could, especially if you're using it to introduce newcomers to the Doctor.

But old or new, I fucking love the Daleks. Yes, they're absurd; and yes, they don't even have claws, never mind opposable thumbs; and yes, for the first twenty years or so of their existence, you had to imagine that the response of invaded planets was "The Daleks are coming! Quick! Build stairs!" But nevertheless, they have an undeniable power over me. My spine goes cold at that shrill, manic voice crying out "EXTERMINATE!" and even more so when they show whole armies of them chanting. There's something undeniably primal about the Daleks for me, something that defies all logic.

belledame222 said...

The Cybermen are actually really creepy. Or, well, the process is.

(with increasing horror) "I did my duty, for Queen and Country. I did my duty. Oh, god...I did my duty!..." (follow screams as she's pushed into the conversion chamber). brah.

Chris said...

The Cybermen's origin and nature was quite different in the original series. The most significant point is that they used to have a vulnerability to gold. Also, the Cybermen weren't originally from Earth, but another Earth-like planet where the inhabitants gradually "improved" themselves with mechanical parts. I dig the originals, but there's something deeply scary about the new ones. Also, on the old show, for some reason, they never had the Daleks and the Cybermen go up against each other. Now THAT was fucking cool, especially the exchange between the Supreme Dalek and the Cyber Leader:

"You are superior in only one way."

"And what is that?"

"You are better at dying."

As a grown-up, I have much better ability to appreciate gray areas of morality and intent, but I will never lose that part of me that loves watching good go up against the baddies.

dorknation said...

I just didn't like Torchwood as much as I wanted to.

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