TV Since this is the first week without Doctor Who in three months, here's my response to the meme which has been floating around:

1. Marco Polo
2. The War Games
3. Invasion of the Dinosaurs
4. City of Death
5. Caves of Androzani
6. Terror of the Vervoids
7. Ghost Light
8. Storm Warning (audio)
WAR The Day of the Doctor
9. Dalek
10.1 Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead
10.2 Planet of the Dead
11 Touched by an Angel (novel)
12 Heaven Sent

Nothing too controversial ...

"Oh, it’s a joke, ha ha."

Film Actress Zoe Kazan features in a pretty intense interview in The Guardian which covers everything from her eating disorder to her grandfather and the blacklist and her treatment on film sets. This, for example, is horrible:
“No. I mean. Hmmm.” There is a long pause. “Like, I had a producer ask me on set once if I spat or swallowed. At work. He’d say, ‘Oh, it’s a joke, ha ha.’ But he was also paying my cheque and then watching me from the monitor as I made out with another actor – so when he tells me I look good, it feels different. I was in my mid-20s at the time. I was not powerful, I did not feel I could say anything.” There is another long pause. “That has got better as I’ve got older, partially, I think, because I’m better at knowing how to shut that down. But it makes you feel guilty, and bad, as if it’s somehow your fault – that you’re somehow giving that person the signal that it’s OK to treat you that way. And none of that is stuff that Paul has to deal with.”
Paul Dano in case you were wondering. They've been together for ten years. I had no idea even after seeing Ruby Sparks.  My gossip filter is incredibly strong.

Short Snips.

Film Disney/Lucasfilm are producing a series of short animations highlighting female characters from the Star Wars franchise and in amongst Leia, Jyn and Rey they've also blessed us with this three minute piece about Asoka featuring the original voice casting from The Clone Wars.  Matt Lanter's Anakin sounds a bit gruffer than of old, which lends it am element of Peter Davison's Doctor at Big Finish, but for three minutes a series which I have huge affection for returns after it was so cruelly cancelled in mid-production.

Given that there are whole voice recording sessions for episodes of The Clone Wars which didn't break out of the pre-visual stage, why not utilise this animation technique to complete them, a style not unlike the original Tartakovsky series?  Admittedly, there'd be a lot more involved in generating another couple of hours of animation and for all I know it'd be just as intensive as producing them in the original full painterly glory.  But this will always feel like unfinished business, despite the story having been continued in Rebels.

"I'll have a P please, Kevin."

Film On the occasion of the release of the new Spider-Man film, The Shiznit collates an oral history of superhero actors complaining about going to the toilet:
"Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming: "I didn't go to the bathroom for like eleven hours or something because we didn't really figure out how to take the suit off quickly at that point. And that's an expensive suit. You do not want to wet yourself in that suit." Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming: "I didn't go to the bathroom for like eleven hours or something because we didn't really figure out how to take the suit off quickly at that point. And that's an expensive suit. You do not want to wet yourself in that suit."
Genre television and film has rarely been very good at explaining how this works. Even having binged Star Trek for ten months, I hadn't realised there was enough to say on the subject that there's a whole Memory Alpha entry on the subject. Not to mention the bathroom on the bridge of the 1701-D.  Here's the Doctor Who version.


Film Assuming the world doesn't implode in the meantime and none of this matters, here's something vaguely reassuring. Kevin Feige has confirmed that the MCU will continue after Avengers 4 (or whatever it is).

I know this was to be expected what with the apparent plan through to 2026 and further films in the current individual series, but that there wouldn't be the same element of building to an event.

  But embedded in this quote about Spider-man is an interesting number:
"“We are looking at a five-movie storyline — Civil War, Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, untitled Avengers, Homecoming 2 — or whatever we end up calling it — as an amazing five-story journey for Peter Parker,” Feige says. “In the way that the events of Civil War directly inform the opening of Homecoming and his state of mind as he goes back to high school, so too will the events of the next two Avengers movies as he continues with high school. This original 22-movie arc ends with the untitled Avengers in May of 2019 and then two months later it will be Peter and Spider-Man (on July 5, 2019) that usher us into the aftermath and how things proceed from there.”"
"This original 22-movie arc ends"  For ages when defending the MCU and the amount of continuity between the various films which some people don't seem to like, that it's easier if you look at it as a very expensive, cinematic piece of television, as episodes rather than films, it makes much better sense.

Now Feige points out that the first arc of the MCU is 22 movies long, which is the typical length of a US network television series.

With that in mind we can see how much the MCU does mirror many US network television series which typically have stand alone episodes mixed with those which are designed to progress the series long story arc.

This is Buffy.  And The X-Files.  And Fringe.  Except filmed and "broadcast" over an even lengthier period than most of the life of those shows.

So Avengers 4 is in effect a season finale with Spider-Man 2 as the first episode of a next series which will have its own plot threads and new "big bad" which then won't resolve until I'm in my 50s.  Good god.

"Fare thee well to the BBC Archive's old landing page ..."

History The BBC Archive has a new landing page. The URL is a bit ungainly (bbc.co.uk/archive still resolves to the old yellow pages). But the new approach shows promise, highlighting not just the material which is permanently on the website either at the iPlayer or on the BBC's radio pages but also newly repeated archive programmes which are only available for a limited time.  Now if more of the programmes from the yellow site could be transferred over to the iPlayer, that would be good too.

Barry Norman reviews Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me.

TV Back when people watched television, always on my viewing schedule was The Film Programme with Barry Norman. For over a decade until I was old enough to go the cinema by myself, this was the only access I had to most films, the clips and Barry's brief critiques (and then latterly Kim Newman on Channel 4 Daily's Box Office slot).

Now the he's gone which is a tragedy.  Because between Norman, Newman, Kermode, Cox and Cousins, I received my formative film education, with Barry as my first mentor.  Even when I didn't quite understand everything he was saying, I could tell by the tone of his voice if a film was supposed to be important or special.

I wonder what my young mind would have made of this astonishingly conservative review of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, in which he says some snide things about the television series and David Lynch in general.  Lynch is an important example of the canonical auteurs, but Barry's entirely baffled by the whole thing.  RIP.

Romola on Herself.

People Here's future Time Person Romola Garai in the New Statesman's Q&A slot. A few of her answers are especially Doctorish:
"What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?"

"If you’re about to get angry, ask yourself if there’s any way you could laugh instead. I try. Sometimes I end up just laughing in a crazy angry way. Either that or: “Anything you buy that needs ironing is like paying someone to shackle you to a radiator.”
Since I started staking sertraline for my anxiety disorder, I find anger difficult too. I can get angry, but it feels odd, like it's happening to someone else or how I imagine an sentient machine might experience it, as though this incomprehensible emotion is emanating from somewhere and they don't like it.  Most often it registers as a bland frustration.  I could try laughing in future instead.