Friday, January 22, 2010

More on Doctor Who

I was surprised and delighted to get an email from a friend in Chicago who'd read my Doctor Who post; I thought the show had a strictly British/Commonwealth following. It's great that Americans know about it too. Though when is one able to view it? We have fancy HD cable, and the only time it comes on is at about 3:00AM on the BBC 'foreign service' channel. If that marathon hadn't come on, I wouldn't have seen it at all.

Anyway, I ambled by Andrew Rilstone's blog and was excited to see that he'd posted something on the 2009 Doctor Who finale I'd just watched. I've read his blog off and on for years, but I'm forever bookmarking it because of some zinger post, and then furiously deleting the bookmark a week later because of something outrageous - he's that kind of writer, very polarizing and contradictory. But the guy really knows his Doctor Who. Go and read his post on the episode itself, which goes on to discuss how the writer (Russell Davies) has mangled and garbled the Doctor Who universe by grasping after the shiny baubles of effect and sensation, sacrificing a coherent mythos in the process. Then follow the link at the bottom to the rest of his Doctor Who writing. (The topic had seemed to have gone dormant for about a year, which is why I was so pleased to see the new essay today.)

He's also just put out a book of collected blog essays, with the stimulating title, "Where Dawkins Went Wrong". Check out the preview section to get a sample of his writing on Dawkins - he's realy a very clear-headed critic. I'm sorry to see it doesn't contain his essays on Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' movies, which was where I first discovered him. But maybe that will appear in some future volume. Anyway, I've ordered the book, fully aware of the risk that I will react furiously to half of it, the way I do to his blog, but the brilliance of the good stuff is worth the risk.

9 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Rilstone said...

Thank you, sir, for nice words!

I am planning to do some more print-on-demand type collections: the next one will probably be all the Tolkien and C.S Lewis stuff (including the Jackson reviews) - but I figure I actually ought to spend some time writing some fresh stuff first.

2:45 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rilstone said...

Er...Thank you, ma'am, for the nice words.

:)

6:47 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Heheh - don't worry, I fool a lot of people with this moniker!

8:55 pm  
Blogger C. Andiron said...

I remember reading the series on a bizarre graphic novelist named Dave Sim several years ago. I hadn't actually read the graphic novels, but found the articles very entertaining nevertheless.

8:59 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I thought that was about online gaming - no wonder I couldn't follow the discussion! But the LOTR movie reviews were great; I'm so happy they'll be coming out later. I always remembered the line "You've gone to the trouble of recreating Helm's Deep in anorakish detail, but you can't figure out an interesting way of pointing a camera at a horse." ('Anorakish' - such an English word; a North American would think of igloos and parkas and wonder what the possible connection could be!)

9:06 pm  
Blogger C. Andiron said...

I've never been much of a Rings geek. Which reminds me of another great little essay of his:

http://www.rilstone.talktalk.net/tolk.htm

It absolved me of all the guilt I felt for not being a rings geek and from the sense of duty to force myself to read the Silmarillion. If Tolkien is lousy, why bother following the crowd?

;)

12:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time visiting, and commenting on your blog. :) Regarding Doctor Who in the States, it first started airing here during Tom Baker's days as the fourth Doctor, at least that is when it started broadcasting in the little town in Massachusetts where I grew up. It was amazing, all the other children in my neighborhood were hooked from the first viewing. I was a skeptic about the series being brought back, but have enjoyed it. I am glad that Davies is being replaced, though I became very fond of Tennant's portrayal and have high hopes for Steven Moffat... though I'm nervous about this new incarnation.

I watch it on BBC America, though at times it's been shown on the SciFi network as well as PBS.

3:39 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I honestly don't know what channel that Doctor Who marathon appeared on on New Year's. Maybe a PBS channel. In my eastern time zone, it comes on at 1:00AM on the BBC channel - maybe they figure most of their viewers are on the west coast, but it's an impossible time slot for me to catch.

9:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that the episodes of Doctor Who air on Space (now CBC have dropped them) a little after they air in the UK.

E.g., End of Time aired on 2nd Jan on Space I beleive.

Of course, obtaining a nifty VPN connection to the UK opens up the world of iPlayer, then you don't have to worry about the official Canadian airtimes etc :-)

Peter

8:22 pm  

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