Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fabulous Fanfictiony Fragments

Now as you all know, I hold no torch for the majority of fan fiction* though I do tend to like any Iris Wildthyme stuff.

However I have to point anyone with a taste for well written fiction of any stripe to a story by Amy Wolf, called "Sunny and the Magic Box". It's probably worth browsing the entire lostluggage site upon which Ms Wolf's tale can be found, as the stories are hand-chosen by Kelly Hale, author of 'Erasing Sherlock' amongst others and she says that she has great taste.

Whilst you're on the site take a second to check out the image at the top of the page: a Doctor Who version of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks by Mags L Halliday, the resident lostluggage code monkey. How cool is that?

* For the benefit of Scott - now a proper published author in his own right - I should point out that fan fiction ('fanfic') is fiction set in a particular fictional universe, written by amateurs mainly and about the various main characters implausibly shagging, mainly
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Worse than The Witch

Replacing Survivors 'The Witch' as the single worst episode of television in an otherwise reasonable series, may I present 'The Darkness of Light' from season 2 of the Robson Green/Hermione Norris vehicle, Wire in the Blood.

Season 1 of this sub-Cracker police profiler drama was competently written and enlivened by both the plausible degree of sexual tension between the two leads and the interplay between Green and one of his patients, a convicted serial killer of children.

Season 2 starts in much the same vein, with an excellent first episode culminating in the death of the child killer patient and a ramping up of the attraction felt by Green and Norris for one another.

The second episode, 'The Darkness of Light', however, jumps off the deep end in an entirely unexpected manner. Where up until now the most unlikely thing in the series was the plethora of serial killers in such a small industrial town, now priests cause fires by the power of Exorcist-like mutterings and the glittering sword of Joan of Arc descends from the roof of a church into the hands of her nominated heretic-killing successor.

It's hand-waved away at the end as the imaginings of an insane woman, but the entire episode is shot in such a way that that reading simply isn't possible. At one point two supernatural occurrences - a priest murmuring in Latin to start a fire and the fire itself starting without human intervention - take place in two separate geographical locations, at least one of which couldn't have taken place inside the insane woman's head, for instance. It's an attempt to have a bit of the laughably bad afterlife cake and eat it too, which backfires badly and leaves all concerned looking foolish.

What makes things even worse for the viewer is that all of this supernatural malarkey serves to highlight the basically random nature of each investigation led by Norris' DI Jordan and Green's Doctor Tony Hill. Progress in each case is primarily due to Hill writing words like 'BLOOD' and 'DEATH' on a white board then staring at it for half an episode, prior to leaping up with some implausible but terrifyingly accurate conclusion. It's all totally arbitrary but until this is cast into the harsh light of a truly ridiculous piece of writing like 'The Darkness of Light' it's easily ignored as the breakneck pace carries the viewer along.

We'll probably stick with Wire in the Blood for the next episode in the hope that 'The Darkness of Light' was an aberration, but much more of this kind of nonsense and it'll be getting dumped alongside virtually every other ITV drama since...well, Cracker I suppose.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Timey Wimey Crashy Stuff

Ach, I don't care if the 'You were MY Doctor' line shot the carefully constructed canonisation of Time Crash out of the water: it was lovely. Genuinely funny jokes, David Tennant obviously over-joyed to be acting alongside the Fifth Doctor and Peter Davison acting as though he never left (weight issues aside obviously*). Steven Moffat really is very, very good at this kind of thing.

In other TV news from this weekend, I thought the latest Robin Hood was excellent. There's a definite feeling of character development in Hood, with Robin now willing to kill both individually (the death of the crooked Canon) and en masse (the slaughter by Hood's gang of the entirety of Guy's entourage was very unexpected) which reflects the change in the gang engendered by Alan's treachery. I also liked the fact that Guy (or 'Gis' as Alan amusingly calls him) remains a more subtle character than anyone else in current genre TV and the way that the deliberately anachronistic costuming outdid itself this week with all the Hoodies in dusty cowboy gear.

* Davison, I am informed, was wearing Colin Baker's trousers from the end of Caves of Androzani, fact fans
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Something Small and Hairy is attacking that poor man

M'Learned friend Ian Mond (aka the nicest man in fandom) is growing an absolutely majestic moustache for November, as part of some strange antipodean ritual designed to raise money for cancer research*

I meant to mention this a while back but now you can see a picture of him two weeks in (here) which makes the endeavour seem more real, somehow. I think we can all agree that the mo is but a couple of hairs from those more generally seen in Victorian melodrama being twirled by oriental gentlemen with first names like Fu.

After viewing you can toddle along to http://www.movember.com/au/donate, enter his registration number which is 97300 and your credit card details and sponsor him for a few quid (it's Aussie dollars which are worth about as much as used toilet paper so you won't even notice $10).

* Specifically prostate cancer, so any guy with an arse, or woman in a relationship with a man with an arse, has an interest in this.
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