x_losfic: (Best Enemies)
DOCTOR WHO FIC MASTER LIST )

...that is too much fic. Hope I didn't forget anything.
x_losfic: (Best Enemies)
DOCTOR WHO FIC MASTER LIST )

...that is too much fic. Hope I didn't forget anything.
x_losfic: (Five Death)
*blatantly stolen from elyssadc*

So I've realized that it's been just a few months shy of a year since I first watched a Who ep. Naturally I've seen New Who, but I've been slacking a bit on getting my classic on--or I'll start an arc and wander off, or rely on wiki to tell me what happens so I can move on to the more fun bits rather than finishing it off. What better than public shaming to make me get cracking on my old Who?

ONLY ARCS I'VE FINISHED IN FULL GET BOLDED. This will hopefully discourage my 'oooh, a shinny object! *flee*' ways.

Recs as to what in particular to watch are welcomed, naturally.



Classic Doctor Who Episodes )
x_losfic: (Five Death)
*blatantly stolen from elyssadc*

So I've realized that it's been just a few months shy of a year since I first watched a Who ep. Naturally I've seen New Who, but I've been slacking a bit on getting my classic on--or I'll start an arc and wander off, or rely on wiki to tell me what happens so I can move on to the more fun bits rather than finishing it off. What better than public shaming to make me get cracking on my old Who?

ONLY ARCS I'VE FINISHED IN FULL GET BOLDED. This will hopefully discourage my 'oooh, a shinny object! *flee*' ways.

Recs as to what in particular to watch are welcomed, naturally.



Classic Doctor Who Episodes )
x_losfic: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] obstinatrix at To UK Flisties
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] de_nugis at To UK Flisties
(Taken most recently from [livejournal.com profile] amber1960, slightly adapted.)

If you're from the UK and you believe in freedom of speech and an uncensored interenet, you really need to sign this petition. There are others floating about, but that particular one is the best way to ensure that your voice gets heard. It's hosted on the directgov website and addresses parliament directly. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, it becomes eligible for discussion in the House of Commons.

Everyone's been getting so worked up over SOPA -- and rightly so -- that ACTA seems to have slipped under the radar. This is hugely problematic, because ACTA is a similar bill, but it has the potential to be far more damaging than SOPA ever could be.

Some people seem to have this misconception that ACTA is the 'European SOPA', but that simply isn't true. It's a global treaty, and it's already been signed by eight countries, including the US, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore. Europe votes on Thursday. If they vote 'no', the bill will have to be taken back to the drawing board and reformulated, which should buy us some time at the very least.

If you think this doesn't affect you, you're wrong. If ACTA passes, it could well signal the end of the internet as we know it, and that isn't an exaggeration. It's not just about watching movies and television online. If ACTA passes, sites like YouTube, Livejournal, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and even Google and Wikipedia could become impossible to maintain. ACTA would allow ISPs to monitor your net activity and cut off internet access for your entire household if one person is suspected of breaching copyright. Think Big Brother is Watching. I don't think I need to emphasise just how damaging it can be to be without internet access in this day and age, when we rely so heavily on technology.

It's not only bloggers and fandom that would be affected, either. Small businesses, independent film-makers and unsigned musicians who have previously found their niche online would also suffer hugely, and would be at risk of being bullied into submission by Hollywood and multinational corporations under accusations of copyright infringement. All those artists who found fame by uploading covers of songs to YouTube would never have had the opportunity to do so under ACTA, as those cover versions would be prohibited.

I know the internet has its problems, but to my mind it's the single greatest invention to come out of modern times, and it would be an absolute travesty if we were to lose that now. From a personal point of view, I can't even put into words how important this is to me. I've met some of my closest friends through the internet and online fandom, people whom I would likely never have met without it, and it's given me this amazing social support system. I don't want that to end here, and I want to preserve it for future generations so that they can have the same experience and opportunities I've been given through my online interactions.

I know that opinions on the seriousness of copyright infringement and online piracy vary wildly, but that isn't really the point. Internet giants such as Google are opposed to this bill, and it's pretty safe to say that they're not in favour of copyright infringment, as anyone who's ever had a fanvid taken down from YouTube will be painfully aware. Whatever your stance on copyright, this isn't the way to go about dealing with it. This is dangerous legislation that impeaches on some of our most basic human rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of speech.

So if you're from the UK, please, please sign the petition. If you hail from elsewhere in the world, there may well be similar movements in your own country, but I think the most effective thing anybody can do right now is to keep talking about this. Talk about it on Livejournal, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Facebook, and anywhere else you can think of. Make sure this issue is never far from people's minds. The internet is an amazingly powerful tool: let's utilise it while we still have the chance.

Please repost and spread the word :)

SAY NO TO ACTA!

Please consider reposting this, especially if you have a large proportion of UK flisties. And please consider spreading the word via other platforms: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, your own personal network.


x_losfic: (Default)
I'm pretty concerned that the following [livejournal.com profile] aralias podfics:

Wonderwall (30.27)
A List of the Lost (19.34)
When We Were Six (10.23)
Insensible (5.09)
Complications in the Plot (2.16)
Society Offenders (8.25)
Waterloo (8.57)

Come to Utopia (17.29)
Sartorial Differences (12.10)
San Francisco Dues (7.36)
Herding Cats: audio (4.18)
Time Lords Made Us Do It: audio (5.40)
THANKS TU!

THANKS TO TU FOR TAKING OUT MANY OF THEM!

may be lost, as they were only featured on megaupload and fileshare, and the later expired, and the former, well. I'm pretty sure she didn't have storage space for backups. Apparently I have Wonderwall, but it looks like ONLY part 1, not the full 30 min file, which I presume includes the sequel, "Masterplan"? Please let me or her know and send them along or something, if you have them?

It just enrages me that there's no redress for anyone at all affected? For people who put up things in good faith, and have now lost them/maybe don't have alternate copies? Because maybe fanfic's in a shady place, but it's not for profit--and I am willing to bet that a TON of podfic got killed, and can't ever be re-accessed, b/c it's by people who didn't have room for the files on their computers, or who have left fandom and can't be reached.

Podfic!

Dec. 15th, 2011 02:44 am
x_losfic: (Seven)
[livejournal.com profile] aralias and I did a fun dual-voice podfic of my short Seven/Ainley!Master comedy-fic Failure Rate, which, if you are so inclined, you can check out here!
x_losfic: (My Sandwich!)
* Long fics in particular - Let No Man would be great, Crane Wife, Final Game,  
* humorous cheetah fic,
* stories that are a year or two old- ones they've got different perspectives on now - and/or fics they have a particular affection for. Though I suppose you could also go with one you dislike or just haven't looked at in a while, to see if it's better than you remember. IDK, pick one (or more!) you've got something to say about.
x_losfic: (Default)
JUST CROSS-POSTED FROM MY LJ BECAUSE I HAVE NOT UPDATED THIS ONE FOR SO LONG IT IS REDONK. HIIIIII. HI.

"Hm--I haven't given it a ton of thought. Which is weird given that I wrote that whole Eight fic set in a tea house...

I think Three bitches about UNIT canteen tea but actually doesn't mind, and drinks asian teas and finer, rich, possibly malty old-fashioned blacks for pleasure, potentially no objection to sugar and milk when he thinks the tea would benefit from it (I'd say similar things about One). Three could go for a chai.

Four drinks WEIRD SHIT like Tibetan yak butter tea (Two might be this sort of man as well, but also like a nice English or Irish breakfast, sweet and milky).

Five is a STAUNCH TRADITIONALIST who takes his Earl Grey without milk, it's not SUPPOSED to have milk, you know *glare*, and allows himself a respectable amount in say, Indian teas.

Six likes bubble tea and IS NOT ASHAMED. Sugar. SUUUUUGAR. His one snobbery is against 'Herbal *tea*--HERBAL TEA?!?! *spit* PERI! I know you're American, but how COULD you?!'

Seven goes for the bitter, milkless, smokey lapsangy ones that bespeak the mystery of the Cartmel Master Plan with every enigmatic sip *eyeroll*.

Eight WILL TRY ANYTHING O_O but is mostly a sugary milky blacks man.

Nine will go for plain PG Tips or Twinings Everyday, or a good builders, and Ten likewise.

Eleven's tea-leaves haven't been grown yet, and will be harvested by River, wearing a bee-keeper suit for no reason. 'Spoooooilers' she will whisper to the leaves. These do not care, because they are leaves, but the sound will carry across the paddies to a monk walking along the Indonesian road, and this monk will breed a plant which people will use in salads in the 27th century, and one day Rory will eat a salad with that in it and discover he is Mildly Allergic. "I won't be having that again," he'll say, once the swelling has finally subsided. It will be v. moving."

BYO TEA RELATED THEORIES AND THOUGHTS! Show related or just random.
x_losfic: (Default)
I HAD a lead quote for my thesis, and then Doctorow published a messy, ambivalent, very public piece saying The Exact Opposite Thing. Halp?

I need papers or news articles in which people are dismissive about fanfic--not in a 'you molested my character!babies' way, but the other typical bullshit. It's Not Art, Only Useful as a Training Exercise, It's Just Weird, Why Don't You File Off The Serial Numbers, Blah Blah stuff. I KNOW there was a GOLD article about this in the NYT aaaages ago, but I cannot for the *life* of me find it.
x_losfic: (Four De-Lurking)
DID YOU WANT A LONG RAMBLE ABOUT THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF CONS AND HOW I LIKE MUSTACHES?

...WELL.

Notes:

- Nadja, lovely girlfriend Katy and I went, and I felt slightly uncomfy--I started counting the people filing into the Podcast Recording, and stopped at 29. Of those, 5 were women (including us and one panelist's girlfriend). More people filed in at the back as the Podcast went on--all dudes. This was actually a far better ratio than the con at large. The Maybe 70 attendees included no more than like, ten ladies. And the Big Finish People were, save about three classic!actresses and All Purpose Lisa Bowerman, dudes dudes dudes. Also, Oh the Greying of Sci Fi Fandom--we were easily among of the youngest people there, barring a very few children who appeared to have come avec parents.

- Held in some random school gym. Cute school, but pretty inherently funny to be in a school gym with all these people.

- Katy had me believing there would be NO PANELS, NONE AT ALL, which is the only reason I was willing to arrive late. And late we were--halfway through the Benny panel (ONE OF MANY, KATY), which contained the EXCITING NEWS that Brax would be rejoining Benny/that she wasn't stuck in a Divergent Universe forever. Hasn't Eight shown us Divergent Universes are a bit naff? Something about the lack of regular characters/lasting and concrete consequences in what we think of as Our Universe (or at least the one in which we are invested as listeners). :/ But anyway. Lisa Bowerman looked a little tired today. I would not have thought her at all under the weather had I not seen her at Scifi London, looking very fresh and bright even though she was reading eviscerating genocide fiction. She's so clever and engaging, and made a very good point about keeping Brax as a through line for Benny. Miles Richardson made one as well, about the huge cast of the collection seeming to typecast characters--today Bev will rip someone off and Adrian will have a fight!!--just in order to make the writing flow around such a group. Gary Russell and Scott Handcock brought up the necessity of making sure Benny herself was the focus of the story.

I respect these points, and agree with them, but they don't seem to me to justify a reboot without the Collection cast. As Bowerman pointed out, the ensemble's popularity is significant. And what exactly is gained by dropping them? A less 'soapy' show, as I believe Handcock put it? Perhaps, but ensembles like Star Trek: Next Generation and Deep Space Nine managed fine with large casts, at points brilliantly. The word 'soapy' has a somewhat uncomfortable pejorative connotation here that seems to imply that the perceived femininity of such character and relationship-based storytelling is not only not desired here, but is not generally desirable. Over dinner at Leon afterwards (the Bankside? not amazing, Katy appreciated the architecture's loveless marriage to the decor but little), we talked about whether we sloughed characters in Benny to gratify a writerly urge to make Benny a traditional, male adventure hero, with little in the way of solid family relationships and friendships, freeing her up to travel and form fluid, temporary bonds in the service of a variety of stories. Nadja said something I've heard before, which remains very true, about Dead Parents Syndrome--the family killed off to kick-start the quest narrative, but also, without the text acknowledging it, to free the hero from such impediments.

I've always liked Benny a lot for the ways in which, like a well-written Doctor, she's a non-traditional hero. While the Doctor performs a subversion of traditional modes of heroism via his relationship to power, knowledge and violence, Benny's subversion, which is sometimes also about her relationship to knowledge and her career as a practicing academic, often hinges on her gender and her negotiation thereof. It's not that I love the time's Benny's whinging about getting back to Peter as though he's all that validates her existence--but I love that Benny /has/ a son, /has/ a maybe-husband with whom her relationship is still dynamic, has friends and professional commitments and political entanglements which are important to her and remain so. It's relatively rare to have a character so contextualized while Questing Around (rather than, at best, having a semi-mythologized home to return to at the end of things), and rarer still to have that character be a woman. In an effort to make the series 'more focused around Benny', the writers seem to me to be undercutting some of the key things which define her as a character and a hero.

Though how the HELL did Brax get where she is? Did he follow her? Like a big stalker? Whatever, I ship it.

Also, please see Katy's Blog for a depiction of the GLORIOUS mustachio he is sporting (http://aralias.livejournal.com/595368.html#cutid1). I tell you, it is truly a thing to see.

-- We all got to mock the Benny theme 'Adventure is my Name.' AS I HAVE ALWAYS YEARNED TO DO.

- Maybe, though, I am NOT a good judge of the direction Big Finish should pursue because I am not at all representative of this fanbase, judging by this con--older dudes, to a (inevitably) man. Very Outpost Gallifrey/More "To the Death", please.

- The Pod Cast with Nick Briggs, Paul Spragg, Jamie Robertson, David Richardson and Robert Shearman was interesting, and about when I discovered I ABSOLUTELY cannot speak to people. I've always hated MEETING actors, who I in theory don't care about because wanting to talk to them represents a strange conflation of them and their characters (I want, for example, to hang out with Six, not necessarily to speak to Colin Baker, nice though he may be, but who I do not know from Adam, really, and I certainly don't need anyone to write their name down for me), but turns out writers are almost as bad. Because despite telling myself that they're not the character and I don't care, I find I /cannot look Miles Richardson full in the face/, even if he's wearing a suit jacket and a handkerchief with white polka dots and the best mustache ever and I generally want to hug him.

It's the not knowing what to do. If they were mean, I could be dismissive of them, and that would feel all right, because I would not respect or care about the opinion of mean people. And it's wanting people to think well of you that makes them thinking well of you nearly impossible, because you're silent and half hiding behind your girlfriend and grinning strangely like you've the brain-worms. IRONIC, as Alannis Morissette would say. But everyone was nice to a fault! If I had a purpose there, like I was working with them in some capacity, that would be fine, because I'd have some legitimate excuse for being there in their presence. And what do you do, have a little talk with the writers, ask them an intelligent question? It seems not quite the right format because someone's queueing behind you with an accordion file of pre-removed CD covers for signing looking increasingly annoyed at the woeful incompletion of his collection with every passing moment, and while the writers are nice people it's not a very conversational set up, you won't be able to discuss something in depth or become friends? And did you cringe at 'become friends', because I did a little at the twee preciosity. And yet IRL proper or on the internet, based on such strong shared interests, that's pretty much what one does? But they can't be EVERYONE'S friends, they've lives and friends of their own, and so there's this awkward inherent falsity to this interaction that I feel could only be solved by someone handing me a pot of coffee and asking me to go 'round and check up on the shiny people's cups and/or working for Big Finish as an intern/writer/coffee-lady.

Is this the dilemma of the writer!con/con generally, or is it just me and my special brand of mad?

- Katy did VERY well in the Pod Cast, asking a question in a clear, articulate manner! Meanwhile I am mortally afraid of the teddy bear that is Rob Shearman. Siiigh.

- TRAGICALLY Katy got asked BY NEV FOUNTAIN if she liked Peri and the Piscine Paradox (comedic mispronunciation courtesy of next-seat!Shearman). You know, the one she hated, the ONLY one of his she hated, which the rest of the internet loves beyond anything. Poor Katy. She did buy his book though, which she'd wanted. I... bought nothing, because I am le po. Oh, grad school.

- Colin Baker seemed rather deflated today, which is striking because he can seem very bombastic and enthused and lovely in things like Podcasts. Another weird thing about cons: the expectation of performing your personality, of MORE than civility, of effusive (potentially false) friendliness. I mean I suppose many customer service professions want this, but here it seems so much more personal. Perhaps the man just has off days. Again, the perils of wanting to meet Six rather than some niceish man.

- Nick Briggs is a lovely man, so much so that I forgive him some naff writing. WHAT a Tom Baker impersonation. Satsumas, love it.

- Jason Hay Gellery is very nice, but quite ENTHUSED about you buying his CDs. Went strange and coy in his presence, felt awkward when he approached Nadja and I b/c felt quite singled out as one of the few chicks about? Not in a sexist way, just--we were hard to miss, there were about 3 of us, and he was SO ENTHUSED. Could have had a proper chat, but let Nadja fob him off on her love of Pertwee era. God why was I so rubbish today?

- Katy just now from the couch: "THERE ARE SO MANY WORDS IN THIS BOOK!!" re: The Inside Story. aha. It seems a v. nice book. She bought it today.

- What a GREAT little cafeteria, though it was called a 'tuck shop', and I had to have that term explained to me at embarrassing length. So cheap! So convenient! So perfectly-okay-tasting! Goodness that was nice and thoughtful of them to provide! A visually impaired guy was having a conversation with some people in there, and I was a bit surprised that the appeal of radio plays to the blind hadn't previously occurred to me.

- Shearman's so down on his own work, it's surprising. Apparently people think that Holy Terror and Chimes of Midnight are very similar stories, and so Shearman thinks he has like, one or two Who!ideas in him? Which I completely wouldn't say. I mean look at Jubilee, and its inherently different themes from those of Scherzo (a vastly under-rated classic, terrifying and brilliant) or the aforementioned Chimes. I could write whole essays on his Who work, and hell, maybe I will, so that Outpost Gallifrey doesn't stand as the popular consensus on this work. It just /sucks/ that these do not get accolades as lit, when they have with such amazing writing.

- He also said Frobisher didn't sell! Can you believe that?! I don't know. There are two major reasons I think that might not stand in the way of using Frobisher now:

a) I think that may have been long enough /ago/ that sales figures were just /generally/ lower for all of Big Finish compared to more recent offerings, after they'd built their fanbase, and also,

b) Big Finish and the audience relationship to it both have matured and grown more sophisticated since then. People are perhaps more willing, now, to accept Big Finish /created/ companions, let alone favorites lifted from the comics. Big Finish has established a relationship of trust with the audience, and on the strength of that capital they can do more, and venture further from a fixed basis in the show.

WE SHOULD START A 'BRING BACK FROBISHER' PETITION AND SEND IT TO BRIGGS. ALSO A 'PLEASE HAVE SHEARMAN WRITE IT' ADDENDUM.

- Sarah Sutton talk was interesting from a production standpoint, and somewhat interesting from an 'oh hello, Nyssa' standpoint, but the Big Finish Con seems to straddle an awkward divide between sci fi con 'BEHOLD: ACTORS!!' panels and a more academic conference model. I could have gone for more of the latter, I love a good talk and it produces the sort of unique content that justifies my presence there and purchase of a ticket, and the comfortable and dialogic format emboldens me to participate/feel involved/think/ask questions. We could, for example, have had a very good Gallifrey!panel with the writers in attendance and perhaps Richardson. There's a LOT to talk about there. Maybe a chair with some thought-through questions to prompt discussion?

- My GOD Miles Richardson is nice. Again, *uncomfortably* nice. SO NICE!! Watching the Benny Animation at the moment--his voice just came in and I nearly died of embarrassment. It was his first con apparently. He and Lisa Bowerman has a little bicker about who could sign Katy's CD most extravagantly, and competing over it. Their BFFship charms me entirely. Also he hates facial hair and only grows it for parts. SO WRONG.

-- Sophie Aldred has made an unwise hair decision, and a very wise 'sitting next to someone with much worse hair so I look comparatively fine' decision.

--Why was this in /Barking/? Just cheaper? Middle of nowhere, transport was relatively expensive and a bit annoying.

-- Had two questions I REALLY wanted to ask the Podcast people, but did not, because too cowardly.

* If it's not TOO technical, what's the BBC rights sittuation? Why, for example, can you have the Master or the Rani /sometimes/ but not all the time?

* Davies wrote India Fischer once and said that without Charley there could have been no Rose. Big Finish, by shepherding Who through a part of the Wilderness years and putting a lot of effort into its development, clearly made a huge impact on New Who. Similarly to Charley and Rose, there could never have been a River without there having been a Benny. How do you feel about this backwards borrowing of ideas, which presumably is not compensated, while you have to pay BBC licensing fees? Is this appropriative, flattering, some mix of both?--probably not a pleasant question to ask in that it might be awkward, given that they /know/ Moffat as a person and such.

--Big Finish is working on an animated!Reign of Terror! How cool is that!

--Robert Hardy apparently did a bit of some show some time ago in which he was essentially the Doctor without a TARDIS. Katy and I have always thought that would be casting made in heaven.

--very nice line from someone about how Who was here forever now, so we could be a bit relaxed about the seemingly vexing things because it's not THAT big of a deal--little can destroy Who

--3 stories organizing conceit quite interesting

--Jason Hay Gellery noted that Americans have sort of an intrinsic bias against audio, lacking the context of the radio play with which to understand it

--Apparently Moffat's putting the Daleks in mothballs for a bit because he doesn't much care for them. Ho hum.

--A pity Alan Barnes and Katy Manning could not make it, as they are great.

--We are watching Princess Bride atm. It is a thing of such gentle, warm joy. So well made, intelligent, charming and dear.
x_losfic: (Best Enemies)
I don't even care what RTC quite rightly says re: how it's all over the place and nonsensical and characterization-dropping, I enjoy quite a lot of Edge of Destruction. I wouldn't if I were watching it as part of a series, in real time. Real Time makes me invested in characters/the season as an arc, more analytical, and less able to casually shrug off a dropped ball. I'm insistent on quality and don't yet have the distance necessary to enjoy occasional loveable badness, as I do with classic!Who. Which is maybe as it should be--it's right to demand the show be consistently good and not lose what's best about it, and right to get over failures eventually, so long as there's no irreparable damage. Maybe in time I'll look at S6 of New Who with the casual 'meh' detachment, amusement, and appreciation-on-good-points I reserve for serials like Remembrance of the Daleks and Ghostlight. My only fear would be that S6's problems are carry-overs of Seven era's problems re: fetishizing power, not dealing well with questions of agency, not properly thinking through the way watchers interacted with it as a text, and prestiging gods over characters, and that as such I can't say the Cartmell Master Plan can be laughed off now as a folly of the past that did no lasting damage--maybe it /did/, maybe the problems with S6 are the result.

But with Edge I laugh off the legitimate issues regarding everyone seeming to come in with wildly different acting styles that preoccupy the RTC writers, either as a point of mockery or something almost to be celebrated for its gusto. I like the episode's dramatic visuals, which paired with truly odd line deliveries in spooky voices give the serial genuine creepiness. I like this completely random dark, paranoid, murderous Susan and her enthusiastic spacebed stabbing. I love a good psychological bottle episode, and while this isn't quite one, it's the forerunner to Ten's Midnight in many ways, preparing the ground for that episode's 'something wrong with the ship' claustrophobic distrust and gnawing antipathy between its characters. The very IDEA of the TARDIS being itself the enemy in a way, and of the ship becoming unheimlich, is truly threatening.

This being the first glimpse of the TARDIS's sentience is intriguing. One's reaction sort of implies that the Time Lord line on TARDIS sentience is, at the moment, a relatively restrained one, which doesn't surprise me as an intellectual position the Time Lords we see in early Who would take up. It does, however, serve to enrich my knowledge of their culture/relationship to the TARDISs: one of deliberate stodgy demystification that resists romanticization, and prides itself on its intellectual rigor for doing so. Time Lords are unwilling to ascribe sentient personalities to technology, even these crafts, with constitutionally have a significant psychic component. The Doctor's sometimes-noted preference for organic over mechanical life could be rooted in a larger TL worldview (which he'd hate to acknowledge, being pretty iconoclastic). 

I really like One's apologizing to Barbara at the end and giving her a little talk, and his dizzy monologue on the birth of stars. These are some of the best facets of One: his total absorption in the wonder of the universe and his occasional doddery but compassionate and intelligent empathy, grandfatherly in the best way. RTC notes that Barbara's puzzle-solving doesn't quite work, but it seems to read more as a literary analysis to me. Maybe Babs double-majored. And Barbara's yelling at the Doctor is of course as excellent as everyone says it is, though not, I think, a major turning point in One's character arc, which is a slow project of learning to trust (again), and of taking his enormous capacity for, again, wonder and passionate investment in the universe and directing it (either for the first time or once again) towards individuals and their situations. If we're going with a narrative of Barbara winning One back to values and convictions he once had but has since become bitter and jaded about, Aztecs might be really revealing, because it could hint at a Doctor who's *tried* to alter fixed events, as Barbara wishes to, and has come up against a bitter realization that there are terrible things it's impossible or inadvisable to change, and that his well-meant interference has only made the people he's tried to help worse off. He warns her with a kind of sympathetic voice of experience. 

I'd really love some good One bildungsroman. I've said it before, but the more I watch, the more I think it. 
x_losfic: (Four De-Lurking)
Um, idk if you want this in your life, but even hating new!sherlock as I do, I love this:

http://sherlockbbc-fic.livejournal.com/9100.html?thread=42033548#t42033548

Fanfic about characters writing fanfic--secret!kink? Between this and the similar long Merlin!fic, maybe. Anyone know any other examples? Also I thought I COULD USE THIS FOR MY THESIS SOMEHOW. O_O
x_losfic: (Best Enemies)
The first four episodes of the Daleks and the last three feel like very different serials, the first focusing on the Daleks and the second focusing on the Thals (though of course both species are present in both halves). The Men of RtC (not to be confused with the Men of the ROTC) don't have much time for the Thals, pointing out that they're a bit dull and vapid. I thought, when I initially saw Daleks, that they were compellingly alien, in their detached pacifism and seeming lack of emotional involvement--rather a precursor to Nyssa of Traken in that way, maybe, who's consistently remarkable for her stoicism in the face of the loss of her family and society. I once read a fic in which Nyssa had a quite vicious moment at the expense of Ainley!Master, who was getting some come-uppance for body!theft. Though I really enjoy that fic, I can't quite see Nyssa going there--she seems incapable of more than a sort of quiet, persistent melancholy and lack of affect, predisposed to bearing up both by culture and disposition. In some way is Traken functioning as an ideal England, in that respect? An empire held in place by its stiff upper lips, its embedded codes of reserve and civility, with Melcor groves indicating the poisonous underlying weirdness of that set-up and the way in which it stifles all dissent? 

What then do the Thals say in terms of that? The Men again allude to a post-WWII Nazis vs. Appeasers dynamic, but the way it plays that out with Ian and injunctions against pacifism/reclaiming of the Warrior Within is very uncomfortable. The discussion sounds too much like the dregs of the Masculinist movement, or general weird war-hawkishness. I'm convinced of the peril of the situation for the Thals AND for the TARDIS crew, but I'm not convinced of the necessity of returning Thal culture to the state of its mythic warrior past, or swayed by the weird debates about whether the Thals are now culturally or biologically incapable of violence. It has a determinist element, too clearly dividing the capacity for violence from normal behavior, which doesn't ring true. Possibilities for violent conflict resolution lurk at the periphery or condition and dominate cultures' public discourse, they don't occupy a discrete sphere. You'd have to do a LOT to sell me on biological incapacity for violence. Or just have Donna say something great, which then seems blazingly obvious, like 'they *carry their brains around*, probably they are not super violent.'

RTC has a lot of interesting commentary on the origin and development of the Daleks over the years/serials, but the Thals have a kind of odd course to travel as well. When Three runs into the Thals, presumably much much later, they're a technologically adept warrior race once again. Their long-standing mission is to eradicate the threat of the Daleks, who they seem to have assumed a sort of moral responsibility for on the basis of their shared common origins. When Four encounters the Thals much earlier in their timeline in Genesis, they're still biologically identical to the Kaleds, who will become the Daleks, and both peoples appear identical to humans (whereas these initial Thals have a sort of Aryan Super Race aesthetic going on). The Genesis!Thals are interesting in that small details of their writing indicate not just a society in the grip of a centuries-long war, but a sort of genuine alienness, a different morality rather than a variation of an immediately recognizable human system. I can't remember the detail that led me to conclude this at the moment--I'll come back to it if it comes to me, or catch it up when I review Genesis. It probably more properly belongs in that review anyway.

The QUEST!!narrative of the last three serials seems unnecessary--if One hadn't been crowing about how cool he was, he wouldn't have been captured, and thus Team Ian and Barbara need never have gone their sneaky and dangerous way at all? They might have walked up to the front door with just as much a chance of success. That said, crowing!One was adorable--I enjoy One's crisp, seemingly cruel, but actually just rather harshly utilitarian practicality in these early episodes, his sneaking camaraderie with Ian and Barbara both in distinct ways, his petulant component-swapping (which does read as more mischievous than bitchy), and his glee regarding matters of science--his eye-roll-provoking but somewhat dear delight in his own intelligence. I sort of want back-stories for One that take this person and tell me what's happened to form him as he is now: interesting, ambiguous, and seemingly full of internal contradictions, but I want those to be fanfic stories rather than canon or even paracanon, because on this point I think flexibility and ambiguity are necessary tools, allow the Doctor to remain a dynamic epic hero, and I don't want An Answer.  One's complex and a bit great. And Barbara and Ian are doing quite well. Susan's fine, but she's never had a TON of consistent personality, perhaps due to her youth and strangeness. I find it difficult to say much more than that I rather like her. 

I do feel very sorry for cowardly!Thal, and a bit charmed by Barbara's one-off light romantic arc (though I do primarily ship her with Ian--as, I believe, do all sensible people). My GOD the Ordeal was turgidly paced. 

Reading along in Running Through Corridors is, once again, rich in interesting series production information, though I begin to get the feeling that it was produced somewhat cheaply? I'm not a professional copy editor trained to pick up typographical errors (which friends in publishing give me to understand is *much* harder than it might seem, when one's confronted with huge manuscripts and expected to spot every miniscule thing wrong with them--so I'm not chortling over these errors, because I *get* that it's hard, so much as I'm just observing them), but I've noticed several, and I'm what, 20 pages in? My first thought was that, as often happens when people not familiar with a topic edit material, someone editing was a bit befuddled by the subject material, and so missed things he or she might otherwise have seen, say, in a book less technically concerned with the minutiae of a specialist subject. However the publisher, Mad Norwegian Press, out of Des Moines, Iowa, specializes in sci-fi paracanon books, and the editor is listed as Lars Pearson, the company owner/Editor-in-Chief himself. Whether he actually did this work or farmed it out to an underling is an open question, but given that his name's on it and that Des Moines is a stone's throw from the Iowa Writer's Workshop in Iowa City and the associated small presses and underemployed grad students within the program, there's really not much excuse for sloppiness on this front. The company could have commanded many capable proof-readers easily and cheaply, if it had bothered.

The text otherwise reads very well, but I suspect that's due to the two writers having quite smooth, sprightly, and coherent styles to begin with, rather than a credit to the content-editing. 

 
x_losfic: (Best Enemies)
A BLATANT PLUG FOR THE WATCHALONG:

So as you may know, best_enemies is watching Who from the very beginning, a serial a week (roughly, splitting long long serials up, fusing them onto short serials, etc.). Last week was Unearthly Child, this week's the first four episodes of the Daleks (see here: http://best-enemies.livejournal.com/482401.html for more details). You should join in, if you'd like to fill in your b&w who knowledge!


HADOKE, STAR TREK, AND AMERICAN-WHINGING:

I said I'd do reviews of each arc, and I'm following along with the aid of my birthday present, 'Running Through Corridors', by Toby Hadoke and Rob Shearman. Both are lovely men and engaging writers. I've seen Hadoke's 'Now I Know My BBC' in Edinburg, and his 'Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf' in London. I was particularly struck with Hadoke's point in Now I Know about avoiding comedy that simply mocks, because it's easy, cheap, and relatively cold. I think that's quite true, and an unusual break down of the mechanisms of comedy, the sort of feelings certain types of comedy create, their efficacy, and their worth. I sort of wish Hadoke would practice the preaching when it comes to Star Trek, which he mentions in Moths to comparatively shore up Who.

Now Who is my greater love, but I grew up on Star Trek, and I remain huggably close to it. The best things about the programs are occasionally very similar. Star Trek has an admirable ability to ask moral questions. It aims at inclusion, even if not always capable of perfectly realizing this. Such failures are as often due to the constraints of American television-making (see: the demotion of 'Nurse' Chapel, the changes from the pilot to the first episode of ToS) as to evolving thinking and writing on issues of social justice. Star Trek has an abiding faith in the potential of humanity not only to survive the advent of the sort of technoscience that haunts Ardent and Adorno's bleakest imaginings of human destiny, but to triumph over want, over their own cruelties and limitations, and to still find life challenging, thrilling, worth living on the other side of such advancement. Doesn't that sound like a sentiment the Doctor would endorse?

At Newsweek’s insistence that Trekkies are, in fact, “weird,” Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Picard in ST:TNG, said:

"How many do you know personally? You couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s the thing: if you say the fans are weird, that means there is something essentially weird about the show, and there is nothing weird about it. I’m very passionate when people like you snigger."

Why should Hadoke need to create a false binary to support Who, which is strong enough not to need such shoring up? In there, as people do with Star Trek, and as I remember, he got in a few 'ergh, Americans' comments.

That never gets old. It's never tired and unfunny. It's never a reductive misrepresentation of a complicated country rent with internal political and cultural divisions. It's never weird in such a way that if someone did it about another country, you'd feel it was inappropriate. It's certainly never sort of hurtful! It's never an awkward under-considered faux-Liberal 'fuck you' that seems an inappropriate expression of British collective amnesia regarding their own very recent, still affective, imperial legacy. It never carries awkward tinges of colonial snobbery, mixed in their with the Liberal sentiment, in a way otherwise decent people don't bother to parse because golly goodness, it's virtuous to mock the monolithic beast that is All Americans.

It's always. fucking. hilarious.

Jack Dee also did this in a taping of QI I attended about a week ago. As I said then: 'Not funny or correct enough to justify it. Blah blah, Americans not polite, whiiiinge, mooooooan, lazy not terribly apt observaaaaation.' Bored now.

Other than that, I really like Toby Hadoke.


'RUNNING THROUGH CORRIDORS':

'Running Through Corridors' is interesting in ways my analysis of Unearthly Child could never be, just in terms of what it picks up--the notes on lighting, staging, and theatrical pacing are all interesting (and these men REALLY know their television production), but I'd never have come to similar conclusions, just because television, for me, is largely the writing. I said something similar and probably stupid about Shakespeare plays once. I come from a somewhat rural, relatively Not Rich Southern American town, and the only Shakespeare we ever saw was free summer Shakespeare in the Park in larger or more politically important cities--drastically cut, performed by perplexed high schoolers (uni drama students if we were phenomenally lucky), and more often than not I didn't get to finish more than the first half because my father and sister would get bored and insist on heading home. To this day, I like to have read Shakespeare plays before I see them, to be sure of catching everything. Tennant's performance in Hamlet was kind of revelatory in this way, because it seemed shockingly like a person was just *thinking* these words, because they were what he wanted to say, rather than *lines*, rather than *Hamlet*. It was startlingly fresh, in a way I didn't know I'd been missing. But the point remains that for me, Shakespeare is something like a novelist, and even now, in London, I look on the plays as wonders, but somehow surplus to requirements. Similarly, I look at these old eps as their scripts, and tend to not catch the rest of the admittedly quite important work that goes into producing a serial and conditioning its reception.

So, I REALLY recommend RTC, if you're Watching Along through the b&w era. The writing's sprightly and insightful, and I'd like to encourage them to produce further installments (in their own good time, naturally).


UNEARTHLY CHILD:

Unearthly Child itself: I echo the menfolk in their conclusion that the first episode is shot experimentally, doing some things Who will never do again, and that it's an enormously successful first outing. Katy will watch this episode happily, even while mocking the Cave Times. Susan always looks so alien to me--wonderfully strange, her insectile gestures and huge, bright eyes giving her mere presence an uncanny aspect. She and Barbara can both, also, be incredibly beautiful at times--their glossy hair and statuesque faces seem particularly well-suited to black and white. One comes across as so bitter to me here--confusion as to whether he ran or was exiled aside, he seems deeply untrusting (even given what we later come to know about the sort of place Gallifrey can be). In terms of canon, I could believe that whatever One's liberal leanings in a Gallifreyan context (which we're later given to believe he had), he's relatively recently had all the fairness, broadmindedness and compassion knocked out of him by Disappointments Unknown.

Outside of the terms of canon, however: a few months ago I wrote a paper on Who as a dialogic British national epic (in case anyone at all, ever, is interested I'll probably correct a few citations I've noticed are dodgy and post this when I'm out of the hell that is the MA thesis conference x_x), in a bit of which I discussed the way the Doctor is rewritten as eras progress. The Doctor's is not a straightforward character evolution, wherein Barbara in particular 'humanizes' One (I think Shearman may have made some mention of the companions humanizing him?), so much as, for external-to-canon production reasons, a re-writing of the character. This re-writing doesn't develop off the earlier characterization so much as ret-con bits of it and pretend there's nothing to see here, more it along. One is not the older version of the little boy Five was, who wanted to be a train conductor as a child. One's 'red indian' crack in Unearthly, his caveman-head-bashing, and his later 'this place is full of arabs!' are things Train Conductor Five, half-human!Eight and I Love Humans!Ten have never done, not things they did in a foggy, long-ago past which they've evolved away from or forgotten.

This particular argument may benefit from the paper's elucidation, actually, so I'll let it drop for the moment. I don't have a huge problem with the Doctor's inconsistency from a Watsonian standpoint, because as a fan I BYO explanations and cherry-pick, from the conflicting mass of information, a narrative that fits the data well and appeals to me. I guess the character's evolution intrigues me from a Doylist perspective. Hadoke has suggested in 'Moths' that maybe every generation gets the Doctor it deserves. As the show grows and matures into a fluid national epic with the Doctor at its centre, every generation certainly gets a Doctor drawn from it, who speaks to it in some fashion. That's a really fascinating process.

I don't mind the last three episodes of this serial in the way Katy does. They're not my favorite things ever, but I do enjoy One's apologies for getting everyone into this, and his tricksy attempts to get them out of it. I believe it was Shearman who made an interesting point about Ian and Appeasement being as a post-war comment as the more obvious Daleks.

Re: Katy though, I did feel a bit sad for the menfolk, in that one of the Nerd!WAGs, probably a lovely woman in other capacities, vehemently did not want to watch All Of Who Ever with her HAB. I feel grateful for Katy's independent and equal interest in science fiction I love, because it must be rather lonely not to be able to share a major passion with the person you'd most like to enthuse to, or having your partner possibly not be that person. But then maybe that's not quite right, because everyone has SEVERAL major interests, and it's not like you need to share those all equally with your partner--I don't sing, for example, and Katy does, very well, in bloody operettas, and she doesn't, I don't think, sit around bemoaning my incapability and thus my failure as a partner for her.

It does get a bit slow in the last few eps, I must grant Katy, but the writing is pretty good (barring the repetitiveness of the FIRE, FIIIIIIIIIRE!!! debate, which perhaps could have been compressed without losing any good material or tension). I do like the way the cavemen speak, with its markers of difference, but then I like how Leela speaks, and that's a bit stereotypical, isn't it, so perhaps I'm not entirely to be trusted on this score.

Tomorrow: first four eps of Daleks!
x_losfic: (Four)
Tired of being treated like a child, an idiot, or a traitor for not liking Day of the Moon/S6/Moffat Who and feeling like The Only One/A Newb/A Bad Person? Tired of being patronized, told Moffat Era is 'classic-influenced' in a way you can't hope to grasp, that the Doctor has 'never been a pacifist' (as Moffat tweeted, annoyed at being questioned),* and that the Epic Poetry of Moffat Era is just beyond you, as if you're not an informed and competent reader of texts? Me. fucking. too.

YANA, guys. Have some excellent links on why recent developments in the Whoniverse are problematic:

Bagheera has a startlingly accurate and affecting post on why DotM is her least favorite New Who episode.

"Does this guy share a single moral principle with the Doctor? He seems callous and arrogant, with no respect for life except the people he chooses to associate with. And the effect he has on people around him is almost opposite to what the Doctor ought to do. The Doctor encourages people to question authority, to be better and more independent and confident than they were. He makes timid people braver, and violent people kinder. Eleven makes people dependent on him (River, Amy), tells them to shut up and do as he says, makes them fanatics (River's trust in him re: jumping off buildings is majorly SCARY), makes them doubt themselves (Rory) and tells them which aliens to shoot (and no: he wasn't bluffing. River shot dozens of them.) And we're not even shown how he does this (which would at least be entertaining in an evil way) but simply have to accept that somehow he does."

Full discussion here: http://bagheera-san.livejournal.com/183979.html#cutid1

Aralias's review is comprehensive and considered. It's a strong analytic juxtaposition of the demands of the writing and the demands of the classic series canon, and how this episode fails to meet them. http://aralias.livejournal.com/586233.html#cutid1

This guy is on lj as well as his own blog, and did a good 'What Was Wrong with the Christmas Special' review. His commentary is usually structural and articulate: http://ed-rex.com/reviews/television/day_of_the_impossible_moffat

Alex is the best thinker on Seven-era I know, and also the biggest fan of it. She's normally relatively quiet, but here she takes apart the 'but Seven committed genocide!' comparisons in detail, effectively pin-pointing exactly why attempts to justify Eleven's behavior on those grounds are unworkable and unsatisfying. http://alex-e-smith.livejournal.com/38957.html#cutid1

Oxidized-moron has an amusing, sharp critique of the Impossible Astronaut: http://oxydised-moron.livejournal.com/19205.html#cutid1

Who-anon, in its typical withering eloquence, linked to this post with something like 'OMG WHY SO MUCH BUTTHURT FORM THE SAD TEN FANS EUGH'. This is someone's personal lj, it's cogent, the commenters (all two pages of them) have some points and do not focus on comparisons against a rose-colored (aha), venerated RTD era. What sort of disagreement *would* Moffat Defenders find Appropriate?

"Was it really the only solution for Eleven like some out there are claiming? But trust some people in ~fandom~ to turn this around on Ten, because he was the one in the wrong even now dontchaknow?"--I feel like this commenter is right to suggest that people go 'oh but I didn't like when Ten was emo either' as a defense of Moffat era, or 'remember when Ten killed the Racnoss/Those Spider Things?!', which, again, wasn't treated (even by the relatively feeble, under-written TL! Victorious arc) as a Clever Joyful Good Thing? Why are we framing a discussion of how Eleven era works around the failings of Ten era? How is that helpful? None of these people fall back onto 'waaaah I just want Ten/Rose forererrrrrrrrrrr', which it the impression you'd get from the who_anon link.

Here's the full discussion: http://shinyopals.livejournal.com/383136.html

Tweedy on whether Eleven, for all his apparent and remarked-upon alien-ness, is now being written as Too Human in his actions: http://tweedymcgee.livejournal.com/18449.html?#cutid1

ALSO: Moffat is a sexist douche. It's documented up the wazoo. I'm linking this where I could *make a damn tumblr of stupid arrogant sexist shit he lets spill from his goddamn mouth like pearls of nutcaseness.* When we let that slide, we forget a fundamental issue with him as a thinker, and thus as a writer. Also we say it's 'not that big a deal', when it fucking is.

http://zesticola.tumblr.com/post/5008346745/theres-this-issue-youre-not-allowed-to-discuss Oh poor *baby*.

And lastly: I HERD U LEIKED NEIL GAIMAN.

I am not psyched about the Gaiman ep. Sorry, but I think you should read his frankly god-awful War Games essay (which I've talked about before, but it's been years, and it bears repeating) before you get your hopes up. I don't adore him normally, but the problems with his writing come to their worst expression in his thinking on this canon.

"In my head, William Hartnell was the Doctor, and so was Patrick Troughton. All the other Doctors were actors, although Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker were actors playing real Doctors. The rest of them, even Peter Cushing, were faking it.

In my head the Time Lords exist, and are unknowable - primal forces who cannot be named, only described: The Master, the Doctor, and so on. All depictions of the home of the Time Lords are, in my head, utterly non-canonical. The place in which they exist cannot be depicted because it is beyond imagining: a cold place that only exists in black and white.

It’s probably a good thing that I’ve never actually got my hands on the Doctor. I would have unhappened so much."

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/05/nature-of-infection.html

Neil, my friend, it probably. fucking. was. Unfortunately that's no longer the case. SEVEN-ERA 'MORE THAN A TIME LORD' ARCHETYPAL GODLIKE BEEEEEEEEEINGZ, GUYS!! Brb, voming forever.


* It's not simply the Doctor's willingness to use violence that causes 'the genocide problem' in Day of the Moon, and a list of Times The Doctor Has Killed People to support Day of the Moon could not be more beside the point or show a poorer understanding of the ways in which the writing is flawed. What's objectionable is that episode's poor development and lack of the nuances and context that have informed the Doctor's previous responses to violence.
x_losfic: (Default)
Re: your lj, there's a new opt-out feature they automatically turned on without telling us to prevent spam, but this is the associated text:

"Spam Protection: Comments containing a link to a non-whitelisted domain will be marked as spam and moved to a special section."

And I can't find the Special Section where comments go? I know it's spam-protection, but it's also creepy information control. What's a white-listed page? How does that work? Why doesn't lj even tell me it's screening comments, or where they go? Why can't I access, review and unscreen them? Why use 'white-list,' which implies black-listing? The lj company can't POSSIBLY catalogue all benign pages out there to white-list them, and this eats comments /from even your signed-in friends/ with unrecognized (non-corporate?) links in them. I've turned it off, you might want to as well, if you ever want anyone to be able to link you anywhere.

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