redfiona99: (Default)
Apollo 23 is an Eleventh Doctor and Amy adventure.

I really enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of an Old School Who episode, sinister goings on at an isolated base, with the Doctor blundering in.

The book has lots of really neat touches, like the Doctor's child-like glee at getting to ride in an Apollo spacecraft, and something which feels like the author using descriptive flannel turns out to be a vitally important detail.

It catches the Doctor just right, I particularly like the line about "I've got a different ridiculous plan to defeat you". Amy is also nicely done, as are the rest of the characters. The creepy bits are suitably creepy, and the atmosphere (or lack thereof on the moon) is well rendered.

Definitely worth reading.

LibraryThing Suggester )

Good suggestions, especially as I've already read two of them :)
redfiona99: (11)
I thought I'd end the meme with a thank you letter to Russell T Davies.

Now there might have been many things wrong with his tenure, and I might have many objections to various episodes, but he brought the show back and turned it into a success again.

Because, pre-revival, mostly Doctor Who was the punchline to jokes, the naff sci-fi show with the wobbly sets, the dodgy acting and the dweeby fans. In the great fan hierarchy where sci-fi fans were already on the bottom of the heap, Who fans were the bottom of that barrel. (Non-UKers who have seen the original Queer As Folk, notice how Vince's Doctor Who thing gets treated. [Also notice why I identify so, so much with Vince and squeak when Stuart can name all the Doctors.])

And he turned the show into a cool thing that everyone watches.

For that alone, I want to say,


Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Hold on, 12's only just got here.

Actually, given the speed at which I answer these things, I suspect that this was asked when 10 was leaving.

I'm very easy going about this, I don't mind. I'd just like them to be able to do clever and/or alien.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
None. So I shall use this as an excuse to talk about what I think makes a good episode.

1 - The non-Doctor and Companion characters have to be interesting and developed. I don't mind them if they're quickly sketched but I want to believe that they had lives before the Doctor appeared and will continue to have lives afterwards. It's one of the reasons why I like both Genesis of the Daleks and the Pirate Planet. It's one of the advantages that the old serials had. They had more time to be able to develop the characters.

2 - The Doctor has to be sneaky rather than violent. Or sciencey rather than violent. I don't mind a little Venusian aikido or swordfights, but I'd rather those than guns or space laser guns.

3 - The non-Doctor and Companion characters have to play some part in the solution of the episode's problem. I don't like episodes where the Doctor does everything.

4 - not a requirement, but if there's more human aliens and less human aliens, I like it when the less human ones aren't more evil than the human ones.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I'm aware that some of the early Doctor Who episodes have issues, and that the 'Talons of Weng Chiang' has issues above and beyond "just ignore the rat." I had my little rant about 'The Impossible Planet' two-parter over here (, so I shall rant about 'Tooth And Claw' instead.

There were good things about 'Tooth And Claw', the werewolf was better than anything that Warner Brothers came up with in Harry Potter. And the actor playing the owner of the house does a bang up job, as does Pauline Collins as Queen Vicky. The opening bit with the werewolf host is suitably eerie. Other than that ... not so much.

The plot doesn't make any sense. The history is off in oh so many ways (guess who got tasked with making a timeline about Queen Victoria when she was 11). The logic behind the werewolves is iffy.

This is all stuff I can happily and easily forgive.

What I can't forgive is how callous Rose and the Doctor seem. Now Who has done silly before, it's done silly and people dying before, but those deaths aren't treated with levity (examples would be Karensky's death in 'City of Death' or Lamia's death in 'The Androids of Tara'), here everything seems to be geared to getting the "I am not amused" punchline and it grates. I'm fine with the Doctor being unsympathetic (hello, 3 is my Doctor) but there's a different between unsympathetic and having a callous disregard for the people around him. And Rose, Rose who is supposed to be the audience proxy/surrogate, Rose who is supposed to be nice (because that's quite often what the companion's job is, to stand as a contrast to the alien doctor, which is one of the many reasons why the Ponds are interesting [as is Turlough. I don't think Turlough would have worked with the more alien Doctors but he works with 5.]), Rose is doing the same thing.

I can't entirely blame Queen Victoria for how she is at the end, and I think it's less a sign of having been bitten by a werewolf than basic human decency.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (11)
I'm not even going to try to answer these. There's a reason for the jokes about everyone in Equity having been on Who at some point.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (11)
As I said, I'm here for the aliens and the Ood are my favourite of the Nu-Who aliens.

There's just something about them.

I think it's partly the dichotomy between their appearance, which is pretty much straight out of sci-fi horror central - hairless, weird tentacly mouths, boiler suits - and their generally placid nature. This is best exemplified by their first appearance where they were crowding in on the Doctor and Rose going "we must feed, we must feed, we must feed ... you" which was then blamed on a translator globe malfunction at the time.

Then you've got their greatest vulnerability, their brains and their telepathy. The second, exposed, brain renders them so vulnerable, and people, particularly humans, keep taking advantage of them. The telepathy makes them vulnerable to things like the Beast, and I suspect that it was why Nephew swung so much between violent and docile in 'The Doctor's Wife', seeing as how House could do terrifying things to the Ponds's minds. I'm also intrigued because I can see also sorts of evolutionary disadvantages to exposed brains but I can see how and why it makes the Ood quite so community-centric. It must be very hard to kick someone if you can feel them going "ow".

The other interesting thing is that they don't seem to hold a grudge. For instance, the executive in "Planet of the Ood" who they turned into an Ood, you know he'll be safe with them despite all the terrible things he's done to other Ood.

"Planet of the Ood" in an interesting episode because it's so clearly a response to the justified criticism of the Doctor's behaviour in the Impossible Planet two-parter (no, I will never forgive 10 for turning a blind eye to slavery in those episodes. This is not my Doctor.) and in many ways it harkens back to older Doctor Who, where the Doctor blunders in to someone else's story and just tries to aid the forces of good (and keep his companions alive).

But yes, mostly they intrigue me.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I couldn't think of a better one than this:

Other Days )
redfiona99: (11)
Not a fansite as such, but my first port of call when I want to check out something Who-related is the BBC's Classic Who site -

I'm also quite fond of the TARDIS wikia -

If you're after fanfic, there's A Teaspoon and an Open Mind -

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Doctor Who is not a 'shippy show for me. I'm here for the aliens. That being said Amy x Rory 4 eva.

Because they always choose each other. Always. Even if they have rows and days when they can't stand each other.

At the start, it looked like it was going to be a retread of Rose and Mickey, where thoroughly decent boy loves girl who loves alien spaceboy. Only it wasn't. Because yes, girl love alien, but girl also loves boy. And that's okay :)

I mean, I love Rory, Roranicus Pond who shrugs off things like being plastic and standing guard for 2000 years*. But I love Amy and her general spitfireness and her fight to change realities she cannot accept to ones she can even more.

My favourite Amy x Rory scene (bearing in mind that there are episodes of these that I still haven't seen) doesn't have Rory in. It's the bit in Amy's Choice after Rory's been disintegrated and the Doctor asks Amy to make a choice about which world is real, because he can't, and she chooses the frozen TARDIS reality because "Because if this is real I don't want it. I don't want it."

The whole scene just makes me all stars and hearts.

* people tell me this is creepy and obsessive. These people are wrong.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (11)
There's actually remarkably few female biologists in Doctor Who, certainly few that aren't evil mad scientists, and I am not evil. This is even more clear with the companions/assistants, where I've got a choice between Liz Shaw, Nyssa and Martha. And on the topic of the last two ladies, like all biologists, I am most definitely not a medic (never have I been so upset about a character's actual occupation as when it turned out that Owen the Slappable in Torchwood was actually a medic). Which leaves me with Liz. Which isn't too bad, even if she's mostly a physicist, and I am barely a biophysicist.

It's actually an interesting point, because I understand why people get annoyed that a lot of the companions are not brainiacs, that they tend to be the heart of the team, but, for writing/story-telling purposes, it's a lot easier when you have it structured as the person doing the telling and the person being told (see also, Holmes and Watson, Poirot and Hastings), and while it's undoubtedly possible to split these roles, it's difficult. That, to me, was one of the advantages of the shorter but more of them nature of the Old Who Serials, because you could split the Doctor and his companion(s) up, and then give everyone something to do.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Many years ago I promised to write a post about why the use of Abide With Me at the end of Gridlock was cheating. This is that post.

Now it's not that old skool Who didn't make me make sad sometimes, like Jo leaving, and the look that Sarah Jane had on her face when she turns back round and the TARDIS is gone. And new Who got me a fair few times, normally involving Bernard Cribbins.

But the end of Gridlock, even before the possible revelation of the Face of Boe's identity, gets me every time. I think it's because it's such a hopeful ending but the happy ending comes at a cost, and I like that in stories.

The characters singing "Abide With Me" at the end is what tends to set me off.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Or why 'Abide With Me' is cheating

Abide With Me is a lovely hymn. I adore the music.

But I also come from a particular background, which is to say, Northern and rugby league loving. And not particularly church going. So there's only two occasions where you hear 'Abide With Me', the Challenge Cup Final and funerals. League is one of those sports that's passed on from parent to child down the generations, and despite everything, is a very family-friendly sport. It's always interesting watching the Challenge Cup Final with someone not from that background because you get questions about why there's a 25 stone tattooed bloke crying his eyes out on national TV. And you end up having to explain that it's because the last time he heard the song was at his father's funeral. (Example here - chosen due to the following comment on the video - "Wire to win back to back. Me and Tony at 1 min 27 secs (bottom right) - cried all the way through. God Bless Dad RIP. Come on Wire!")

So I come pre-primed to cry at this.

Hence why it's utterly cheating.

And after all that, have various versions of the song:

Emile Sande -

The Fron Choir -

Bryn Terfel & London Voices -

Other Days )
redfiona99: (11)
Now I am less fond of the demented pepper-pots than most people. I don't know why, possibly because they don't scare me, but I've never seen them as being *the* villain, and I'm certainly less fond of them than the producers of NuWho. I wonder if it's because, when Davros isn't about, there isn't one central focus point for the Doctor's interactions with the Daleks.

That being said, one of my favourite Who-related memories is spending an entire day arguing with A and N about which was the best Dalek episode. I was, of course, pulling for Genesis of the Daleks, which hits my narrative preferences because it's got a lot of world building and shades of grey (and I don't just mean the endless corridors). A was campaigning for Destiny of the Daleks, because he thought it was cool (hovering Daleks etc) and he really liked the Movellans. N's choice was Remembrance of the Daleks because of the general air of sinisterness and explosions and again, a certain tendency towards shades of grey.

There we were, three 15 year olds, spending out precious break time on a school day arguing about which of the three episodes was the best.

A wouldn't listen to reason, when we both pointed out that that wasn't how robots worked. And I refused to acknowledge that there were far too many long, lingering shots of grey corridors in Genesis and it was a bit slow-paced. I can't remember exactly what our objection was to Remembrance. Probably "why would the Daleks need to do the thing that did?"

So yes, if nothing else, I enjoy remembering talking about Daleks.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Not sure if it's my favourite ever, but it's definitely one I like a lot:

Boots (2010 words) by JaneTurenne
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who & Related Fandoms, Doctor Who (2005), Doctor Who (1963)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: implied Doctor/Master
Characters: The Master (Simm), Jo Grant
Additional Tags: Jo's Boots, Women Being Awesome
Summary: In the earliest days of the Year That Never Was, Jo Grant pays a visit to the Valiant.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I'm very fond of the 'I Like Doctor Who' Project - because they cover a wide range of Whovian topics.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I want one thing known. I am not scared of Daleks.

No one has bothered to tell my subconscious this though so I have a recurring nightmare where Daleks and the Aliens (from Aliens) team up to subjugate and destroy humanity. Yeah, I don't understand it either.

The Gas-Mask child from "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" scared the pants off me, like proper could-not-sleep-terror but he wasn't a villain.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
A lot of my favourite villains aren't particularly villainous. I like my villains dippy rather than dangerous, as it were. And if they're going to be dangerous, I prefer competent.

I also have a deep-seated fondness for the Sea Devils, the Silurians and the Raging Potatoes.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
As can be heard here -

Words cannot properly express how much this meant to me when the Doctor said it. My home town, insofar as Britain is concerned, is a small town about half-way between Liverpool and Manchester. People who talk like me do not appear often on TV, and when they do, in a show not set in the region, people who talk like me tend to be the bad guys. I shouldn't complain too much, there's a least one person on my f-list whose home region gets it even worse than mine, but it does grate after a while.

And suddenly, here was the revamped version of one of the big British good guys, and he talks like me.

I suspect that a lot of the praise for this ought to go to Russell T Davies, a man who's never been afraid of setting his shows in somewhere that is not London. I certainly suspect that I wouldn't have loved Queer As Folk half as much if it hadn't been set in Manchester, and more than that, a Manchester I recognised.

Now Christopher Eccleston wasn't the first Doctor from round these parts, both Tom Baker and Paul McGann are of the North West, but he was the first to be allowed to sound like himself. It was wonderful. And I thought, hey, maybe the BBC has realised that the regions are there for more than just local colour.*

Then came the 10th Doctor.

And, I have my issues with the 10th Doctor as a character and so on, but one of my earlier issues was the terrible mockney he put on. I'm not blaming the actor, but it's a terrible choice for an accent, because it suggests that the person is not from London, but is from Greater London or the Home Counties and is trying to hide that fact. They are, to pinch a phrase, trying to sound street. However, and most annoyingly, it's become the modern day version of RP, where it's become the "neutral" dialect. Which is annoying because it sounds ghastly**.

This is particularly annoying in the case of David Tennant because his "real" voice is lovely. And the mockney-ness of it stands out when they then cast an actor whose "real" voice and accent is from those parts, and sounds lovely with it, as the 11th Doctor.

So yes, I am pleased to hear reports that 12 is sticking with his accent :)

* And despite the rest of this post, I do actually think they're getting better.
** Your actual South 'n' East London accent, which is the basis of mockney, doesn't.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Unlikely I know, but does anyone have this clip to hand?


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