June 30th, 2014

You might have thought that the Internet Movie Database had cornered the market in film-related data. You'd be wrong. Sometimes the Trivia section of the IMDB just isn't up to the job, and there's nothing for it but to consult the Internet Movie Cars Database. Seriously, this exists and seems to be ridiculously thorough.

For sentimental reasons I asked it for appearances in film and TV by the Vauxhall Chevette and it brought up two pages of results, with screencaps, confirming that between the mid-1970s and the 1980s you couldn't walk up a streets anywhere in the United Kingdom without seeing a Chevette parked. It even had a starring role in an episode of The Likely Lads and a bit part in Christopher Eccleston's season on Doctor Who.1

Seriously, I know most of us don't need to use a resource like the Internet Movie Cars Database on a daily basis, but it's good to know that it's out there, being maintained by people who care about making this sort of information freely available to the rest of us.

[Via Matt Patches, talking in the Fighting In The War Room podcast at the 15:36 mark while reviewing David Michod's The Rover. (Not talking about the Vauxhall Chevette specifically, mind, just about the existence of the IMCDb itself.)]

  1. It was in Father's Day. Holy crap! Was that the car that ran Pete Tyler over?

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Time Can Be Rewritten, but is it?

March 6th, 2014

Philip Sandifer's meditation on what The Day of the Doctor tells us about the differing ways Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat see the Doctor is quite fascinating:

As with many fan debates on Tumblr, the immediate fallout of The Day of the Doctor had no shortage of straw men, with people angrily reacting against points that never actually got made. (See also the "legions" of fans who aren't going to watch Peter Capaldi because he's old and unattractive.) Still, there's an interesting fault line that opens up in the question of just how much of a retcon The Day of the Doctor is – one that is revealing in terms of the sorts of details that each argument prioritizes.

Once I've caught up on the comments on his post, I'm going to have to rewatch TDOTD at least one more time and have a think about all this. Good stuff.

[Via The Great Escapism]

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I'm a girl! No, no! I'm not a girl. I'm still not ginger. There's something else, there's something important. I'm, I'm, I'm…

December 20th, 2013

Something else…

[Via More Words, Deeper Hole]

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A Baywheux Tapestry

November 15th, 2013

An image of a Doctor Who-inspired take on the Bayeaux Tapestry. Marvelous.

The Paternoster Gang

A bigger1 version of the whole thing can be found here.2

[Via MeFi user homunculus, posting here]

  1. Yet still not big enough!
  2. Just to be clear, this isn't an actual tapestry: it's an image of how a tapestry depicting the Doctor's adventures might look.

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Definitely not the one you were expecting.

November 14th, 2013

Here's the thing. I'd call myself a Doctor Who fan, but I'm really just a lightweight. I watched the show growing up, starting with the tail end of the Patrick Troughton era and then watching right through the Pertwee and Tom Baker years and then bailing out when Tristan Farnon took on the role. I barely saw any of Six and Seven's episodes and didn't feel the loss. I watched the TV movie and disliked almost everything about it: the Doctor being half-human, the Master being nothing whatsoever like Roger Delgado, you name it.

I was intrigued at the prospect of the show returning, and deeply relieved that Christopher Eccleston was terrific and the show was confidently moving forward, even if some of the modern trappings irk me a bit.1 I've been happy to follow the show since: when it's good, it's very good indeed, and as the poor stories are mostly just a single episode long I'm willing to let the odd duff one go because I know a better one will be along shortly and in the meantime there'll be a nice character bit from Matt Smith or Rory will step up and do something remarkable or Donna will turn out to be the most important person in the entire universe.

Outside of the TV episodes, I've never been inclined to follow the tie-ins, beyond having read a few of the early novelisations back during that first spell watching the show, and I've never been tempted to look back into the seasons and Doctors I missed out on. As I say, a bit of a lightweight fan.

I say all this to explain why I shouldn't really be all that excited at The Night of the Doctor: A Mini Episode.

And yet, I am. Not as excited as Stu, for whom Eight is "his" Doctor, but still weirdly thrilled. Realising what I was watching immediately planted a huge grin on my face that still hasn't quite faded.

Seeing the producers pull something like this out of the bag makes me think that Moffat and co. might just blow all our socks off with the 50th anniversary story.2

  1. The whole idea that the default Companion is a young, attractive female who might well end up snogging the Doctor. The notion that the Doctor is famous. The sonic screwdriver being so much more capable, and being wielded like it's a magic wand. John Simm playing The Master when they should have kept Derek Jacobi around to be a properly scary contrast to David Tennant's Doctor. The need to tie every season into an arc story. Not show-stoppers, by any means.
  2. I know this almost certainly won't come to pass given the actor's misgivings about returning to the role, but wouldn't it be great if the appearance of the War Doctor in the special ended with his regenerating and Nine getting up just in time to go off to London and meet up with Rose.

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Soon to require an update…

October 26th, 2013

Nice work:

Keep Calm

Part of me can't help but think that there are another eight to go on there, but let that pass for now…

[Via fuck yeah, science fiction!]

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His other time machine…

October 24th, 2013

His other time machine...

If only his TARDIS had a working chameleon circuit, his other time machine could be a DeLorean too…

[Via fuck yeah, science fiction!]

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June 2nd, 2013

My favourite comment from the MetaFilter thread about Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who:

Tilda Swinton cannot be the next Doctor. I think there's a rule against casting an actual citizen of Gallifrey.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:38 AM on June 2

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American Doctors

May 29th, 2013

Doctor Who: An Alternative History of 11 American Female Doctors is rather good…

Second Doctor: Virginia Mayo (1966 – 1969)

It started as a sort of sexist joke in a production meeting about how often women change their clothes, but the concept of regenerating a new body when the old one was damaged was to become a core concept in the Doctor Who mythos. When Eve Arden stepped out of the Tardis for the last time, former vaudeville turned screen star Virginia Mayo sauntered in.

You could not possibly have two more different women. Arden relied on a quirky poise, while the vivacious Mayo tended to use her undeniable physical beauty combined with a slightly off-putting style of humor to manipulate her surroundings. She had a tendency to cater to ditzy dame stereotypes, but used her appearance as a somewhat helpless damsel to secretly save the day out from under threats.

She's most fondly remembered from an incredible performance in "The Silver Pyramid," where she took on Eric Kleig (Richard Attenborough) as he snidely accused her gender as incapable of logic while he sought to resurrect the Cybermen from their frozen tombs. The line, "Logic, Mr. Kleig, is just another kind of madness in the hands of a fool," is widely considered one of the best lines ever spoken on the show.

Jef With One F, the author of that post, did a similar recasting exercise featuring male Doctors earlier this year. That article included the single best casting idea of them all.1 How great would Alan Alda have been in the role?

Fun as they are, there's one very important point that neither piece covers. If the Doctor was an American (so to speak), what familiar-but-outdated shape would the TARDIS have got stuck in so it could prompt all those 'bigger on the inside' reactions? Did early-mid 20th century America even have police phone boxes?

[Via feeling listless]

  1. Yes, even better than Steve Martin and Robert Downey Jr. Though I must confess that part of my objection to the latter casting is based on the notion that it's just not fair to let one man be Tony Stark, Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor.

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April 26th, 2013

Is there any science fictional vessel on TV that can possibly match the TARDIS?

Surely not.

[Via The Great Escapism]

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