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doctor who


Doctor Who 08.04 “Listen” reaction post

Half a week late, but this is what you get when you’re me and trying to pull the rest of a novel together behind deadline!

Picoreview for this one: I’ve seen some very positive reaction about this one, and I’ve seen some outright disgusted reaction too. (The Doctor Who Podcast, which I listen to, had dramatically different opinions on it!) For me, it was one of the better episodes I’ve seen in a while–but shaky on the final dismount.

Don’t turn around and look at the spoilers!

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Doctor Who 08.03 “Robot of Sherwood” reaction post

After a bit of a shaky start to this new season of Doctor Who, it was a bit of a relief to have an episode that I actively enjoyed pretty much all the way through. It was certainly silly, but really, I was okay with that. And now I’m actually starting to like Capaldi’s Doctor as well. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve already found him compelling. But in this episode, I actually liked him too.

Spoilers are in the magic box!

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Doctor Who 08.02 “Into the Dalek” reaction post

This was in our household’s consensus opinion pretty much not a good followup to the season opener. Which is a shame, because we like Capaldi, and we’re now hoping he’s not going to be wasted on inferior scripts.

My main beef with it? I’ve been hearing rumblings going around about how this season is supposed to be darker, and how this Doctor is supposed to be more morally ambiguous–except the questions raised in this episode are all questions we’ve seen raised before in far better episodes. And not to mention that we’ve seen the whole “shrinking down to go inside something” plot before. Hell, this thing even namechecked Fantastic Voyage!

Spoilers behind the fold!

(ETA: And oh hey, Dara’s got her own reaction post up. That she has chosen to illustrate her points with screencaps from Lost in Space pretty much sums up what you can expect in her reaction!)

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Doctor Who 08.01 “Deep Breath” reaction post

We just finished watching the Doctor Who premiere (and in Paul’s case, watching it for a second time, since he watched it last night when Dara and I weren’t home). Picoreview: Capaldi is definitely an interesting new take on the Doctor. It’s nice to see Clara showing some active character development, and I generally always like Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.

However, the sexism in the episode did not elude me, and I found quite a few moments heavyhanded even for Moffat.


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Great Big Sea

One more musing about Great Big Sea and Sean McCann

Overall my household found “The Time of the Doctor” to be a bit of a mess–but Dara, Paul, and I were all in agreement that Matt Smith’s regeneration speech was the shining gem of the episode.

This part:

The Doctor: It all just disappears, doesn’t it? Everything you are, gone in a moment, like breath on a mirror. Any moment now… He’s a-comin’.
Clara: Who’s coming?
The Doctor: The Doctor.
Clara: You. You are the Doctor.
The Doctor: Yep, and I always will be. But times change, and so must I.

And this part:

The Doctor: We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.

All of which I mention because the recent regeneration has been on my mind, what with the ongoing emotional reactions of Great Big Sea fandom to the departure of Séan McCann from the band. Many fans have been heartbroken by this news. Some have sadly expressed how this will impact their ability to enjoy Great Big Sea concerts moving forward, and that they’re not sure they’ll want to try. A few have been actively, alarmingly resentful on the matter.

In Doctor Who fandom, many fans speak of “their” Doctor–often the actor who was playing the role when they first imprinted on the show, either as a child or as an adult, but sometimes not. For me, although Christopher Eccleston was the Doctor who made me start paying attention, David Tennant is “my” Doctor since he’s the one with whom I’ve developed the emotional connection.

Great Big Sea feels the same for me. The band’s already been through a few changes–the departure of Darrell Power back in 2003, the addition of Kris MacFarlane on the drums, the replacement of Darrell by Murray Foster. All of these have been changes that caused their share of brouhaha among the fandom, and all of them bring to mind Matt Smith’s speech up above.

Because like Time Lords, bands change. But when you’re a devotee of a band, it can be almost like being one of the Doctor’s Companions. Your Doctor is the one you travelled with in the TARDIS–even if you meet the Doctor again many years later and he’s gone through half a dozen regenerations since you saw him last, as we saw happen to Sarah Jane in “School Reunion”. Likewise, your version of a beloved band is going to be the one whose combination of vocal and performance chemistry is the one you fell in love with–the one that got you to eagerly seize every new album the day it’s released, and to snap up concert tickets the instant they go on presale.

My Great Big Sea was the original four–Alan, Séan, Bob, and Darrell. I’ve very much enjoyed the Great Big Sea made up of Alan, Séan, Bob, Kris, and Murray, mind you, much as I’ve happily enjoyed other Doctors besides David Tennant. This second version of Great Big Sea, for example, gave me The Hard and the Easy, which remains one of my all time favorite albums of the group’s.

But that said, I made the transition between these versions of the band much as I made the transition from Eccleston to Tennant. Losing Séan, though, is harder. It’s like losing Tennant as the Doctor–I’ve found things to like about Matt Smith, make no mistake, but he just never grabbed me on the same level that Tennant did for the most part.

Still, though, I haven’t stopped watching Doctor Who. Neither will I stop listening to Great Big Sea. It may be that when the group regenerates again (aheh), I’ll find new things to love about what they’ll provide to us fans. And as I periodically keep an eye on what Tennant’s doing now that he’s no longer the Doctor, I’ll be keeping an eye and an ear on what Séan does with his music.

But I’ll always remember when Great Big Sea had Séan McCann.

Shantyman, good night.


The Time of the Doctor reaction post!

Dara and I just finished watching “The Time of the Doctor”, a bit behind the rest of the world, but not so late that I can’t get a reaction post up tonight!

Non-spoilery picoreview: I liked this pretty well, but mostly for the sake of getting a lot of pending questions answered. For sheer emotional impact, I think I actually liked the 50th Anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” QUITE a bit better.

Spoilers behind the crack in the universe!

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Fun with French and German newspapers

So this past Thanksgiving, the most awesome userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear came to stay with us for most of the weekend. Many lovely conversations were had, and much discussion of the forthcoming Plans for Le Vent du Nord, to come this next March. But THAT is a topic for another post. Because this post is about how userinfomaellenkleth, knowing my language geekery, showed up with a couple of German-language newspapers and a French-language one for me to play with.

Now me, I’m old enough that I grew up when newspapers in America, actual physical printed newspapers, still meant more than they do now. (And I’m saying this as someone who worked for a newspaper for a few years.) But I’m also young enough that I took hard to the Internet, which to this day remains my primary source of news. So if somebody hands me a newspaper, I tend to make a o.O face at it.

Which is what I initially did at the French and German ones userinfomaellenkleth brought–but then I actually opened them up and started discovering things that I could read, which made it significantly more fun!

I already know from my ongoing Trilingual Hobbit Reread that German for the most part remains fairly impenetrable to me, just because I have a lot less active vocabulary in that language than I do in French right now. I haven’t been working on active study of German for as long, and I also don’t have the musical connection like the one Quebecois trad gives me to French. But that said, going through the German papers (Frankfurter Allgemeine and Süddeustche Zeitung), I did at least spot a couple of things I could sort of understand.

Like the word “Zeitung”, for example–which is, of course, newspaper. I also recognized “Wirtschaft” (economy) as a vocabulary word I’ve had pop up in SuperMemo. And it intrigued me considerably to recognize the word “Feuilleton”, because I’ve had that word in SuperMemo as well–but in French. I’ve already noticed a few of my SuperMemo German vocab words looking a lot like French words, and there’s apparently a reason for that. German has apparently slurped quite a few words over from French.

Once I figured out that “Feuilleton” was the cultural/entertainment section of the two German papers, it was easier to find stuff I could actually make sense of. Like this bit here about Monty Python!

Monty Python auf Deutsch

Monty Python auf Deutsch

I went looking on the online site for this paper and found this article, which seems to be a longer version of the article in the print copy. I also recognized that a small snippet of an article was about C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia. And I was really rather impressed that another article covered the recent story of a kid getting to be “Bat-kid” in San Francisco, covered here in the online edition.

Meanwhile, the bigger kicks were to be found with Le Devoir, and specifically, the November 22nd edition thereof. Since I’ve been following various Quebecois bands for a while now, I of course have heard of Le Devoir. And since I have in fact been following Quebecois bands for a while now, it was particularly gigglesome to spot this!

This Looks Familiar

This Looks Familiar

Because, y’know, I have this album, and I quite liked it! Le Devoir’s online article about it, dated the same date as the print edition, is here.

Giggles as well for spotting this, which was the print edition’s version of what was covered online here:

This Looks Pretty Familiar Too

This Looks Pretty Familiar Too

Car oui, moi, je suis une maniaque de science-fiction. Et du Docteur. 😉

So yeah. Fun! Merci beaucoup, und auch Vielen Dank, to userinfomaellenkleth for providing me the linguistic amusement!