Evolution of the Daleks.

"Where am I?"
"Thanks. Thank you for coming."
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"You're inside the gimmick I'm using to plough through this week's episode review of Evolution of the Daleks. I needed someone to talk to and you're what occurred to me. I'm Stuart and you're…"
"Martha Jones."
"Or my poorly written version of her. Since you've not really had much of a chance to define who you are, I'm going to be winging it. So sorry if you find yourself saying something and it simply doesn't sound like something you'd usually say."
"Since I'm apparently a device to enable you to put into dialogue what you're too tired to put into paragraphs, it's not like I have much of a choice is it?"
"Nothing wrong in being polite though."
"True. Well, since I'm here, is this going to be a proper discussion or are you go just sit there and rant at me for ages like you did in those tedious Torchwood reviews?"
"Actually, I'm going to be a bit of an apologist."
"Yes. You see I think we need to take a break."
"But I've never met you before."
"No, not us. I mean me and the programme."
"So I'm representing the whole of Doctor Who?"
"I suppose you are."
"Crumbs. Hold on, I'd never say that."
"See what I mean. Anyway, I was being serious and heartfelt."
"There's nothing for you to be sorry for. As I said I just think we need to take a break."
"But - and for the moment let's pretend that I care - but why?"
"You see Martha, I just feel like I'm getting overloaded. There's just been so many ways of reading, hearing and watching Doctor Who lately that it's just all getting to be a bit stale."
"You don't have to read, hear or watch it all. Plus it's a formula."
"That's why. It's just all getting a bit too formulaic. I just don't remember it being quite so formulaic."
"Perhaps, it was. I wouldn't know I haven't been in it for that long. A couple of trips to the past and one to the far future. I've had fun."
"I know. Believe me, I've thought about this. But let me try and put into words…."
"Go on."
"Alright. It's not you, it's me."
"Oh how depressing! Is that the best you can come up with?"
"But it is me not you. I think that because I've seen so much Doctor Who and got so many ideas about what it could possibly be like that nothing the show does now could possibly either surprise or move me."
"That's a shame."
"It is."
"Can you give an example."
"Dalek Sec. You sort of knew he was going to die as soon as he appeared on the Radio Times cover but not before he'd befriended the Doctor and probably given his life for him. And not a lot in that episode suprised me."
"That's a shame. Can't you give me anything more exciting to say?"
"Nothing surprised you?"
"Well, the continued existence of Milo did and I thought the defense of Hooverville might have happened later in the episode, but other than that..."
"God. You're all out of love aren't you?"
"I've finally come to the conclusion that even though this is the most flexible of formats there aren't that many stories you can tell. And the problem is that in the new television series, that's been limited even further by the reluctance to do alien planets and what not and I'm getting a bit bored with it."
"Actually, that is depressing. So what do you expect us to do about it?"
"Stop it. Try something new, at least on the television. Look back into the history of the franchise and you'll see a whole vast range of wonderful, varied examples of storytelling."
"You've obviously thought about this a bit."
"Not a lot. If I'd thought about this, I'd have been able to writing a proper review instead of this thing."
"What about me. Did you like me?"
"Well, you're part of the problem."
"Oh ok."
"No, look it's nothing to do with you personally. You're a perfectly good, if underutilized character. I'm not sure I understand how after three trips in the Tardis you've gone gaga over the Doctor and there does seem to be an element of you sort of fitting the companion role in a far more traditional way that Ms. Tyler. But anyway - it just seems like such a shame that in picking another companion, for all your medical qualifications what they've ended up doing is creating a more forthright version of Rose but changed the dynamic so that the Doctor's not really valuing you the way he always seemed to artificially do with her. But I'm straying off the point."
"I think you've said enough!"
"No - no - no - I told you not take this personally. It's just that I wish they'd had the courage to drop in someone totally different to Rose. It needn't be a 'evil companion' or even someone from a different time zone to your one. But why not someone whose a bit of a geek chic, a bit bookish who reflects a proportion of the viewership generally underserved in heroic television."
"I see what you mean. Like Fred in Angel?"
"The geeks shall inherit the Tardis?"
"Yes! Funny how you should say that. Or someone even closer to Tennant's age. Someone bringing a different chemistry to the relationship. When she wasn't bawling, some of the scenes with Catherine Tate in The Runaway Bride really worked because they were so different because there was a maturity there from both sides."
"Too late though. Because I'm there and I'm staying. As far as I know."
"True. I was just illustrating a point."
"Right. But something must have prompted all this."
"Tonight's episode."
"Go on."
"It was a perfectly fine episode. The Daleks are always good value and the team had obviously decided to pay direct homage to the original series by substituting the word 'Genesis' for 'Evolution' in the title and referencing a famous conversation from that story in the dialogue, Dalek Sec having a different idea to Davros as to the natural development the race should be taking. There were some excellent set pieces such as the bombing of Hooverville and the climax in the theatre. And David Tennant looked like he was having particular fun in his proper first Dalek story with all the shouting and emotion."
"Sounds like you enjoyed it."
"I did on a superficial level. I just didn't love it. I didn't punch the air at the end. I love Doctor Who when it makes me want to punch the air at the end."
"It just didn't excite me. I felt like I'd seen it all before, everything from the Human/Dalek factor to the marching alien(ish) species. Oh and Tennant with his waving coat on the top of a tower."
"But these are part of the formula."
"Exactly. And I can't help feeling that actually if this story had turned up in season one perhaps instead of the farting aliens I would have been thrilled. Daleks! New York! Pig men! A dance number! The depression! It ticks so many of my boxes superficially in terms of what I might want in a story that it's just bizarre that I'm not just sitting here raving on about it."
"There must have been something else you liked."
"I mean did love the moment when the 'mayor' of Hooverville gave that long speech about how they and the Daleks were like, the same and could get along, y'know, very Star Trek and he was exterminated. That's exactly the kind of thing you could imagine Douglas Adams doing. And the Universal horror references throughout."
"Let me just try and decipher all that then - sorry what was your name? Steve - STUART! Let's if I can decipher that then, Stuart. What you're saying is that Evolution of the Daleks was probably a really good story and you could imagine loads of people, millions, enjoying it, but because it was, in a way, too much like a lot of the stories that have already been in the new television series you didn't like it."
"You've gone a bit past interpretation there but, yes."
"Right. So what are you expecting?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"It's Doctor Who! There are only going to be so many things in it. It is a formula. And besides you're the bloke who keeps watching Hamlet and that's the same bloody story every time."
"I know! It doesn't make any sense! Which is why I'm saying that we need to take a break. Absence makes the heart fonder and all that. Take a few months off from all this and then come back and see what I've missed."
"Like you can do that."
"Watch me."
"I'm watching."
"No more, books, novels, television series, certainly no Doctor Who Magazine. Or Adventures. Who needs another pen case or werewolf shaped eraser anyway?"
"I'm still watching."
"I'm still here."
"Erm. You are aren't you."
"Why do you think that is considering I'm a device and you're the one typing?"
"I can't work out how to end this?"
"Actually I think that's all a hollow threat. I think that somewhere in the back of your mind you think there might be something in the old dog yet. That you were conflicted about the cybermen -- whatever they are -- episodes from last year but on reflection you enjoyed those and that when you watch these again altogether with the rest of the series you'll like them more. I think that you'll be back for The Lazarus Experiment and the episodes beyond by your favourite writers, the likes of Paul Cornell and Stephen Moffat and you're pretty intrigued to see if Chris Chibnall can turn out a decent bit of drama for a change. I think there'd need to be a major incident for you not to be back in front of the telly at seven o'clock next week to see some more of my family. I also think, despite everything you said earlier that you secretly fancy me more than Rose Tyler which is why you picked me of all people to do this and you're dying to be there for the moment when I click into place as a character in the way that she did in Father's Day."
"You might be right."
"About what."
"All of it. Even the last bit. Plus it might be that it was just that this episode wasn't very good."
"Do you really believe that?"
"Well then."
"Aren't you getting bored with that top you're wearing? Must be ponging a bit."
"The Tardis has a laundry. The things you think about."
"I know."

Links for 2007-04-27 [del.icio.us] - Rmail

  • Hot 103 Live: Alanis is blonde
    How strange. Throwing this in with the 'My Humps' cover you really have to ask exactly what the project is this lady is working on.
  • BBC writersroom: Downloads Archive
    As well as some Doctor Who, also includes the opening episode of 'Life on Mars' as well as various soap operas and BBC Three sitcoms.
  • Paul Daniels' Ebay Transactions: April 15
    All about Paul's new venture -- selling episodes of 'Wizbit' through ebay. The last one sold for £5.50 and only had one ten minute episode on it. "Wizbit grew about three feet high."
  • myface

    Photography I hate having my photograph taken. Actually no, I don't hate having my photograph taken. I hate seeing the photographs of me after they've been taken. It's not a low self esteem issue, it's just that the camera puts at least a stone on me and in group photographs I always think everyone else seems like they're having a better time. Plus from the side? Big nose.

    Something I used to love doing was joining the group photographs of near total strangers at parties. The kinds of parties I tended to go to usually featured many people I hardly knew and I always imagined that when they got the pictures back, having had many drinks, they'd be looking at me gurning at the back or side and wondering who the hell I was. Or even years later they might imagine that I was someone really important.

    All of which sort of explains why there are so few pictures of me online. They're there if you want to go look for them, but none of them are terribly flattering, particularly the ones in my flickr account. But it has become apparent that actually, nowadays, if you can put a human face to yourself online it can be seen as a good thing, the idea being that its better to show what you've got than hide it and have people wondering exactly what it is that you've been hiding.

    So finally, I've decided upon a photograph to add to profiles if I need to. It's not a candid, some artsy shot of me looking out of a window with the rain slashing against it or me in the city at night only illuminated by a street light. It's the inevitable passport photo, which was taken in a Photo-Me booth at the Tesco Metro for my new staff ID card. It's still not perfect, but apparently it best captures who I am now ...

    ... whatever that means. I happen to think it looks like two different photos edited together in the middle, especially with the sort of half smile on one side and the grin on the other. At least I'm not winking. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I had shaved that morning. Which possibly means that I need to stop using disposables.

    Is it what you expected those of you who didn't know what I looked like? Comments? Ideas?

    "Will a tell us what this show meant?"

    Elsewhere The Hamlet Weblog reaches TEN with a wonderful performance, which if you're in Liverpool you have a last chance to see tomorrow night. Cracking stuff.

    10 Natalie Quatermass

    Hamlet played by Natalie Quatermass.
    Directed by Dan Meigh & Iona Farley.
    Fights by Eleanor Stephens.

    Twice in the past couple of days in relation to this weblog and well, I suppose you could call it 'the project', people have asked me, 'Why Hamlet?' In answering I repeated some of what I wrote in the introduction about the man who'd seen sixty-eight of them, remembering something about each of them and me wondering if I could beat that - which I still do even if with all the audio and video and film and television I could possibly be cheating.

    But I also said something new. That it was like listening to your favourite album. I love watching Hamlet. I love the language, the story, the fact that it has a range of facets that it's an investigation into what it is to be human and about what could potentially lead us to lose our sanity. Like the your favourite album I can quote whole sections of it, but never as well as the best performances. And I also don't want to listen or watch it so much that it eventually becomes a chore (which is why the posting rate here is fairly irregular).

    It's also as I mentioned in that introduction the most flexible of plays; with the acreage of text it can be cut and interpreted, as this blog has already demonstrated in a whole vast range of different ways, the directors and actors bringing to it quite rightly their own biases and interests in ways that I'm not sure you can with that many other of Shakespeare's plays. You can play it funny and serious for example, reduce it to being a chamber piece about family or project it out to a much wider military canvas.

    Last night I saw my first live Hamlet in years, at the Crypt Concert Hall at Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral. It was the work of 'Off The Ground', a youth theatre company celebrating its tenth season with this as its finale. Chatting to a family beforehand I discovered it was to be a female Hamlet, the group were really good and that I was in for a treat. And I was.

    The Crypt Concert Hall is an amazing space. It's built into a section of the structure constructed from the designs by the Cathedral's original architect Sir Edwin Lutyen (the story of whose grand design can be read here) and works almost as a worship space in and of itself with ceilings patterned out in red brick in concentric circles and tiny domes. Although man made it seems deceptively organic, a classic place for this piece to appear, a long chamber with a stage constructed at the end.

    After some first night hiccups with the lighting and background noise and when to begin the performance what developed was one of the most passionate and engrossing readings of the play I've seen in a while, thematically focused and wonderfully staged. If the sound of foot traffic on the stage and the acoustics of the hall sometimes got in the way of the verse (now and then voices would be lost in the back of those domes) the sheer belief in the text and the quality of the performances from the young cast more than made up for it.

    Natalie Quatermass's Hamlet was inspired, initially emphasised the bitterness of the character before (I think) feigning madness in order to throw her (his?) antagonists off the scent of his (her?) real intent. There was freshness and fearlessness to her, changing emotion on a dime, the stage almost darkening when she wasn't around. Still fitting perfectly into the ensemble, she was an electric presence and compulsive to watch.

    The intelligence of her choices could be enjoyed in the fishmonger scene when you could see the moment, just before she gave Ryan Radley-Lawley's prating Polonius his new job title, when she decided that rational discourse was simply not going to get her where she (he?) needed to be. The biggest belly laughs from the audience happened during this scene, the comic timing between the two of them absolutely catching the humour of the scene.

    Perhaps selecting Quatermass to play the Dane wasn't a stunt or to particularly bring new thematic tone within the play. It's simply that, like Frances De La Torre before her, she had the emotional range for the part so why let femininity be a barrier? Her costume was gender neutral - black shirt and trousers before the trip to England, khakis afterwards (half of the cast appeared in military uniform) contrasting perfectly against Ophelia's dresses.

    Which isn't to say that there weren't one or two moments which didn't resonated differently with a feminine energy from that part of the stage particularly in relation to the characters relationships with Ophelia and Gertrude. But in this reading she still manage to dominate both, noticeably with the latter. Frances Robinson portraying the character almost as a trophy wife, won by Claudius from Hamlet Snr upon his demise, lacking her usual forthrightness only finally rebelling against Claudius in her final moments, her independence drowned in the poisoned cup.

    That said, with the exception of an introductory dance routine and military costuming, Dan Meigh & Iona Farley offered a fairly traditional approach to the play with perhaps slightly more stress given to the plot. It was noticeable that despite presenting a cut text, that the material often left out of some presentations was left in here, with Fortinbras in particular being well served and The Mousetrap appearing in its entirety, the play within a play's language given the space to breath. I particularly loved the initial appearance of the players on stage, looking for all the world like the cast of Hair in their studenty fashions.

    Maria Welsh's Rosencrantz and Joseph Crawford's Gildenstern in particular were given so much stage time that they seemed like much more rounded characters in their own right, the eyes and ears of Bill Pasterfield's suitably villainous Claudius. Welsh and Crawford double teamed throughout, playing off one another in their reactions to the events surrounding them developing into very sympathetic figures right up to their demise, presented actually on stage during Hamlet's description of their termination to Jake Dodd's loyal Horatio enunciated by the crack of a gunshot.

    That same gunshot could be heard ringing out as Hamlet murdered Polonius. Something highlighted in this production was the swiftness of the murder of Ophelia's father after Hamlet is unable to do this same to his own father, almost as though the frustration of not being able to go through with the first act is carried over into the second. Quatermass's Hamlet showed genuine remorse but rightly left Polonius to rot as she (he?) underlined to Gertrude, his (her?) mother, a water drink of a woman exactly what her husband was capable of.

    Another striking moment was inevitably Ophelia's decent into madness, rendered here with an unseen cast providing a chorus. Really touching and effective and helped immeasurably by Sarah Banks's Ophelia finally given a chance to shine. Regular readers will know that one of my few criticisms of the play is that Ophelia material always seems slightly insubstantial. I always wish she had more to do, more stage time to give the actress (actor?) a fairer crack of the whip.

    Here that was partially solved by having Banks on stage during 'To Be Or Not To Be' reacting to the words and the ensuing remembrances scene underscored once more the real key to the production, the chemistry between the actors - despite everything, you could really believe these two have had such a relationship. See also the Polonius advice scene when she and James Marshall's Laertes reacted wittily to their father's advice.

    All of which reminded me why I love Hamlet and why I'm conducting this project. Partly it's an impossible search for the perfect production but it's also an opportunity to observe the fact that even after four hundred odd years it still has new mysteries to reveal and can still be presented in dozens of ways. It's also a thumping good revenge thriller, a ghost story and as this production also demonstrated a thematic exploration of fatherhood. The fact that I'm only fitting in that observation at the end of the review just underscores how rich this interpretation was.

    Inner Circle

    I spent the afternoon today in Manchester meeting Damon from Behind The Sofa. As a veteran of meeting online people offline I was of course not nervous at all (hmm, right) but it was really fun putting a face to the name and in this case a face to the voice (as heard in the Tachyon TV podcasts). We sat on the neutral ground of a table at Starbucks and I drank far too much coffee.

    Oddly enough it was the first time I'd met another real Doctor Who fan in the real world, which startled him somewhat. I also clocked a look of concern when I said I'd never been to a convention, but I compared it to when I began blogging in 2001 and the fact that I didn't know anyone who knew what they were, let alone who had one.

    It's not quite the same, but just as when I met Suw in Birmingham when I could suddenly talked in a relaxed way about things like flickr and whatnot and have it make sense, it was a change here to be able make references to the show which could be understood and to be talking about people within Who's inner circle (!) and have the person I was talking to know who they were.

    Like the internet, Who fandom has its 'A-List' I guess, famous within our own particular subculture.

    Links for 2007-04-25 [del.icio.us] - Rmail

  • TIME: Don't Read This Column!
    "If our opinions on a movie don't coincide, I don't care, and neither should you. I'm not telling you what to think. I'm just asking that you do think." A critic discovers why no one listens to him any more. Thanks Annette!
  • Links for 2007-04-24 [del.icio.us] - Rmail

  • County Bid To Shelve Term Librarian (from Basingstoke Gazette)
    In a bid to deprofessionalise librarianship, the council plan to make anyone who doesn't volunteer for redundancy apply for posts renamed "service development officers'. Utter nonsense.
  • The Standards Site: The Globe’s 2007 production of Much Ado About Nothing
    Free Shakespeare. You can imagine my rapture.
  • Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness: Primeval
    Mr Cornell will be writing the penultimate episode of the next series. Considering the wonders he did for 'Robin Hood' I can't wait.
  • filmlog: Jarhead (2005)
    Mendes effectively remakes 'Full Metal Jacket' within Desert Storm and somehow manages to turn a lack of fighting into a compelling narrative, helped enormously by some compelling photography by Roger Deakins of 'Kundun' fame.
  • filmlog: The Two Jakes (1990)
    Obviously not as good as 'Chinatown' but still a pretty compelling sequel even if the twists can be seen a mile off this time. Jack's well, JACK but I don't think I've seen a better performance from Madeleine Stowe. What's she up to lately anyway? TV?
  • filmlog: The Public Enemy (1931)
    Though initially creeky, quickly entertains because of the intensity of Cagney's mannered performance and spotting moments which have inspired later films -- the march through torrential rain is amazing. Ending's a hilarious flub though.

  • [Incidentally, I went to see a production of Hamlet tonight. Live. In a theatre. Expect a review soon!]

    Reading #2

    Despite its vintage (early 2001) doesn't feel dated and indeed in places reads somewhat like prophecy. Thematically suggests that in this information age, it's not the experts who are important, but the people who can access and filter that information, even if they are teenagers working in bedrooms.

    Links for 2007-04-23 [del.icio.us] - Rmail

  • To The End Of The Line: A tour of every London Underground station
    The busy Ian Jones plans to visit every underground station on the London network and write about it here. "It'll be far from objective, fairly presumptuous, and by no means earnest or exhausting."
  • Dave Gorman: In which weird and inexplicable things happen involving letters, trees, front doors and keys.
    In which Dave gets his locks changed and explains why. Scary stuff.
  • Polling

    Poll I noticed that Damon at Behind the Sofa is using something called Quimble to create a poll. I thought I'd try it out here too. Something easy to begin with ...

    Do you read this blog regularly?
    Yes, I do.
    No, I don’t.
    Powered by Quimble - Create and Share Polls

    "Seeking the bubble reputation"

    Shakespeare I'm always just slightly behind in reading weekend newspapers -- there's always many more words than can possibly be covered in those forty-eight hours even after skipping through articles about relationships, travel and property and everything else which is currently irrelevant. Now that I'm actually working at the weekend, that's going to become even more accute. I won't know what's happened in the world until at least Monday afternoon.

    Today, I was actually reading Saturday's Guardian from the 14th April (Grand National Day) and fittingly that meant this rather wonderful piece by Jonathan Bate which illuminates William Shakespeare's passage over the years into become a legend and being tagged with the description 'genius' taking in his veneration by actors and academics alike.

    If asked I will say that I'm a Shakespeare fan, in much the same way as I might describe myself as a Doctor Who fan or that I like films. A bit. I've as many different Shakespeare productions as anything else and like those other 'interests'. And like those other loves, I can't always quite put my finger on why I'm addicted. I do agree with the reasons usually trotted out by talking heads in television documentaries -- 'They're such great stories', 'The language is amazing' and 'He's a genius'.

    But along with those forty odd works, there's also four hundred years of history to enjoy. As Bate somewhat describes, you can understand British history through the changes in attitudes to the plays, how they've been performed and the audiences that saw them. Charles I's decree that women should be allowed to take up the acting profession demonstrates a change in society and frankly its amazing that it took so long for you to get the vote after that. As Shakespeare is oft to demonstrate, nearly all men are pigs, especially the ones who make laws about things.

    I think though that it's more to do with the fact that even though the words and the plot are the same, every production is different and more than any other writer its possible for a director and his actors to put their own personal stamp on them. I've seen dozens of Hamlets and each and every time, although the text is the same they're all different, they all resonate in different ways. It's simply fascinating intellectually to compare and contrast the interpretations to see who thought what was important.

    Plus, in the media age, as my Hamlet blog demonstrates, it attracts the collector in me. Even though I've eight complete works already, some bought, some presents, I'm gathering the Arden editions of the plays because of the notes and appendixes which often include the original texts such as the Ur-Hamlet that Shakespeare used as his sources. Then there are the collections of criticism, the biographies. On top of that there are the many hundred audio and visual recordings of the plays from the BBC Shakespeare (radio and television) through Argo to ArkAngel. Some people collect vinyl or music boxes or badges. I collect Shakespeare productions.

    You would expect on hearing all of this, that I'd seen or at least read all of the plays in the canon. Not a bit of it. I'm working my way through my BBC Shakespeare boxset (in production order minus the histories -- oh yes) and greeting many of them for the first time. Just as I've not seen or heard all of the television Doctor Who (let alone the spin-offs), I think I've only actually come in contacted with about half of the bard's work.

    Some of this is simply because the same twenty-odd plays tend to be in production at the expense of others. But also its through avoidance, because I can't imagine that the likes of As You Like It can be as good as the version I have in my head through years of reading about them. Of course they can -- they're by Shakespeare, but there's also the matter of seeing them for the first time in a decent production. Thankfully my first As You Like It, from the BBC, featured the sexy Helen Mirren in a silly hat and David Prowse whose performance was strangely moving for all the wrong reasons.

    There's a lovely moment at the end when Mirren delivers to camera the closing speech which features the line 'If I were, that is, a woman' and she pauses slightly highlighting the irony of a line that Shakespeare wrote that would originally have been played by a boy, being read now by, well, Helen Mirren. The viewer is sharing a joke with Mirren at text's expense. That's another reason I love Shakespeare, watching actors and directors cope with moments when attitudes have raced ahead of what's been written.

    So Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare, whether it was yesterday or today or whenever you were actually born. Thank you for over a decade of entertainment and intellectual stimulation and for inspiring one of the biggest laughs I had in an English class when the teacher decided to show us Roman Polanski's mad as cheese film version of Macbeth. For the amazingly intimate Measure for Measure I saw at the Edinburgh Festival in 1998 when I once again inapropriately fell in love with the actress playing Isabella for the umpteenth time (see also Kate Nelligan in the BBC Shakespeare). And for Hamlet. All four hours of it.

    Links for 2007-04-22 [del.icio.us] - Rmail

  • Amazon.co.uk: Carla Bruni: 'No Promises'
    Along with the disappointing All Saints album, this is something I never thought I'd see -- it's only taken five years. Carla puts a range of British poetry to music. The Observer loves it, which is why I've put it on my wishlist. Hint and indeed hint.
  • Amazon.co.uk: Carla Bruni: Quelqu'un m'a dit: Music
    The best album you've never heard, Bruni's debut towers over the likes of Melua and Stone and perhaps stands with Jones and Peyroux as my calm album of choice. Everyone I've spoken to in continental Europe seems to have a copy.
  • Digi-Cream Times: The Dimbleby Dozen
    Ian Jones surveys some classic moments from previous elections: 'In case you missed it, Labour won.'
  • CHUD.com: Spiderman The Musical
    Not an April Fool. To be directed by Julie Taymor and here's the casting sheet. In two minds as to whether I like the geek chorus idea. Done badly it could turn into a rerun of a hundred poor amateur productions of 'Rent' or 'Hair'.
  • imdb: As You Like It (2006)
    Branagh's latest Shakespeare adaptation has a release date. It's 21 September 2007. Which is somewhat in the future. But hey, dvd release in time for Christmas. Probably.
  • Observations on film art and FILM ART : But what kind of art?
    Actually I think that film could and should be listed as 'all of the above' including 'emotional art' which is why I love it so. As a side note, it really is a shame that the Bordwells don't allow comments on their blog. I'd love to see the discussions that would spring up by the growing readership. Like the online version of a film seminar.
  • New New Job

    Life My absense in the past couple of days short of a couple of reviews is because I began my new job this weekend. Actually, working the Grand National last week helped to get my brain back into the ethic so except for a bout of first day nerves, I was ok.

    I'm used to workplaces where anything you might do could have critical consequences. It's simply not like that here which means that whenever I'm doing anything, I'm always expecting it to be more complex or in other words that I'm missing something vital.

    Everybody is nice and understanding what with everything being shiny and new and although there'll obviously by some issues with continuity from weekend to weekend and simply remembering how to do everything, I'm really enjoying the basically relaxed atmosphere.

    "Are Ceri and Robbie still together?"

    TV Elisa of Watching Doctor Who notices this amusing Torchwoodian promo for the new series of Eve Myles other show, Belonging.

    Strange Transmissions

    Over the OG central for the latest ratings:

    Time ...... BBC1 ............... ITV ............ BBC2 ........... CH4 ..........CH5
    18:30 .. 5.1 (31.6%) .. 3.4 (21.1%) .. 0.6 (3.8%) .. 1.1 (6.6%) .. 0.5 (3.4%)
    18:45 .. 6.1 (34.5%) .. 3.9 (22.0%) .. 0.7 (3.9%) .. 1.2 (6.8%) .. 0.6 (3.2%)
    19:00 .. 6.7 (36.5%) .. 4.1 (22.3%) .. 0.9 (4.7%) .. 1.0 (5.7%) .. 0.6 (3.4%)
    19:15 .. 6.0 (32.2%) .. 4.0 (21.6%) .. 1.3 (6.8%) .. 1.3 (7.0%) .. 0.7 (3.9%)
    19:30 .. 4.8 (25.2%) .. 3.8 (20.2%) .. 1.7 (8.8%) .. 1.7 (8.9%) .. 0.8 (4.3%)

    Average: 6.3 (34.9%)

    The needlessly early start certainly hurt the numbers although the ratings were down across the night and across the networks and the show still maintained its supremacy as the top show for the even. Just. It's still a bit disappointing considering this is a Dalek story with all the prepublicity that entails. Perhaps the Radio Times cover put people off.

    Anyway, the interesting thing to note is that BBC One gained a million viewers as the show began then lost them again directly afterwards, BUT they didn't go to the other side. I wonder if next week will follow the general pattern of these things and we'll actually gain viewers for the second part.