Lockdown Links #8

New on the streaming services.

The Veronica Mars film has appeared on Amazon's Starz channel ahead of the fourth season turning up there shortly.

BBC Scotland are repeating Your Cheatin' Heart, John Byrne's 1990 follow up to Tutti Frutti starring Tilda Swinton and John Gordon Sinclair which means it's on the iPlayer here, which Tilda would have shot in the midst of her time otherwise working with Derek Jarmon.

Some Shakespeare.

The National Theatre have announced that during the lockdown they're going to run some of their NT Live recordings on YouTube which includes the 2017 production of Twelfth Night starring Tamsin Grieg as Malvolio starting on Thursday 23rd April until the 30th, which sounds like a great way to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday (which Billington gave four stars).


Spine-tingling moment Liverpool erupts in applause for NHS workers battling coronavirus:
"One nurse said "it means the world to me and all my colleagues""

For Drive-In Theaters, an Unexpected Revival:
"A retro tradition get a (temporary) boost from social-distancing edicts.."

Elizabeth Parker - BBC Radiophonic Workshop:
"Elizabeth Parker of the Radiophonic Workshop explains how she created the score for David Attenborough's The Living Planet."

Doctor Who and the Time War (BBC Website).

Prose  Read this first (assuming you haven't already).  Surprise. With everyone in the world embracing the lifestyle I've cultivated over so, so many years, Emily Cook from the parish circular's been organising mass rewatches of well loved Doctor Who stories and given that today is the fifteenth anniversary of the first broadcast of Rose, that's what everyone'll be pressing play on tonight at seven o'clock.  What started as a fun thing for a few fans on Twitter has gone global and prestigious enough that Moffat and now RTD have become involved, on this occasion with the final moments of the Eighth Doctor before he regenerated into Lots of Planets Have A North.

As you will have read from his introduction on the website, this was originally prepared for the 50th anniversary issue of DWM until Cardiff nixed it for obvious reasons and so is "out of continuity" (whatever in the fuck that means post The Timeless Children). But it does resurrect the little moments (ahem) in The End of Time when Rassilon and the gang would refer to the Doctor having the "moment" and my little Byronic heart would sing because it meant the Eighth Doctor had made some kind of an impact on the revived series even if it was only by implication off camera.  Little did we know what was coming and so it appears, neither did Russell T Davies.

Some of the language in here is sheer poetry.  The descriptions of the aftermath of battle are of a piece with the stories set in the Time War which have spun off from the "real" regeneration, Night of the Doctor, especially Natural Regression, the sense of reality turning in on itself like a Hieronymus Bosch painting.  It's also much like Davies's "Meet the Doctor" essay in the 2006 annual with back references to random mythology (Deathsmiths of Goth!) (Squee!) and images which are almost impossible to comprehend.  Few people can write this kind of brilliant, lyrical nonsense.  Yarvelling’s Church indeed.

Of course, this is just the final few pages of an imagined TARGET novelisation of television story which never existed (and would have cost the BBC's entire annual programme budget to finance, The Goodies presumably sodding off to ITV again) so you can't read that much into it.  But considering what a chronological mess the Time War was, perhaps there is a version of the timeline in which Eighth didn't die on Karn, fought in the wars and became the Ninth Doctor at the end, with the events of The Day of the Doctor featuring all four incarnations, the McGann incarnation having to contend with someone who looks like Billie Piper.

Placement: Since it was written by (a) a showrunner and (b) published on the BBC website, it's at least canonical enough to go in the "Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Eighth Doctor" section on the placement list.

Lockdown Links #7

Sorry if you missed me last night. As most of you will have experienced, supermarket delivery spots are at a premium and it took all night to find somewhere that would send us even the most basic of groceries. But goddess willing we'll be receiving some cheese, milk and bread tomorrow.

I was able to watch the restlessly edited but still utterly brilliant documentary about the first film director Alice Guy-Blaché, Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché a figure who even Geena Davis apparently didn't know about, so obscure has her legacy become.  Find one of her earliest films above.

New on the streaming services.

Yesterday was of course launch day for Disney+ and one of those rare occasions when a Roku app has been available on launch day. It's a bit buggy, the menus juddering during navigation, but turning off animations and trailers in the settings seemed to fix this for the most part.

It really is an amazing selection of films.  Pretty much all of Disney Animated Pictures and Pixar and Star Wars and the MCU and the X-Men films featuring the original cast (which isn't apparently included in the US selection).  Within twenty minutes of firing up the app and signing in, I was watching new The Clone Wars.

There are some understandable oddities.  The TV edit of Adventures in Babysitting is featured which removes a rape joke and some of the bluer swearing.  Make Mine Music is also missing, with its nudity and bummer of a final segment about whale hunting.

Chalet Girl was uploaded to Amazon Prime yesterday, the stonking skiing film starring Felicity Jones, one of my favourite movies of the past decade.  There's just something remarkable about how it subverts expectations about its characters and sneaks in some class commentary at the margins.

Elsewhere, Mark Hartley, the director of the superb ELECTRIC BOOGALOO - the wild, untold story of Cannon Films has made the film available to watch for free on his Vimeo channel as well has NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD - the wild, untold story of Ozploitation!, about the Australian New Wave of 1970s and '80s low-budget cinema.

Daily Dose of Doctor Who

Bless her heart for doing this. It's also available on the BBC website, in case you want to show it to your kids without introducing them to Twitter.

But that wasn't the only surprise today.  Also on the website is a new short story by Chris Chibnall, which he says is the first of a series of treats which'll be posted there once or twice a week for the duration.  It's rather lovely, very Douglas Adams as so much of Doctor Who often is.


Military Wives Is The Latest Film To Head Online Early:
"With cinemas all but closed down (and those brand new social distancing regulations now in places) more and more movies are heading to our homes. Universal, Warner Bros., Disney and Sony have been proactive in moving films that have recently arrived on the big screen to video on demand and Lionsgate is following them with Military Wives."

Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online:
"As the coronavirus causes venues to close their doors, an increase of live-streamed theatre is expected. Here are some of the shows online now or coming soon."

An Exceptionally Important Piece of Analysis About Blackadder Goes Forth:
"For a sitcom, Blackadder Goes Forth has inspired a great deal of scholarly debate over the years. In particular, the series’ portrayal of Field Marshal Haig as a callous murderer has become massively controversial. Is this simply devastatingly effective and truthful satire, or a fundamental misrepresentation of history which everyone has taken as fact?"

'You don’t want people judging your decor': hosting TV news at home:
"Presenters aware viewers will be scrutinising their bookshelves and wallpaper as well as their coverage."

Patrick Troughton at 100: A Television Actor:
"Patrick Troughton is perhaps best remembered for a role he played originally for just three years – Doctor Who. However, he had a successful career that lasted over four decades, encompassing radio, TV and film."

BBC entertains the nation in time of need:
"Announcing a range of programmes that will bring the nation together and provide great British entertainment during these difficult times." (folks, they're repeating Party Animals)

Some Shakespeare:

The BBC have also announced plans for their lockdown arts coverage which includes a shed load of theatre on BBC Four including RSC Shakespeare: "six recent titles from the Royal Shakespeare Company: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and Othello." If these are the most recent productions, that would include Christopher Eccleston's Macbeth. Mind blown.

Today's Album:

Lockdown Links #6

New on streaming services.

With a heavy heart I paused my Cinema Paradiso subscription last night having decided to stay at home, so the streaming services as well as my own collection are going to be a vital way of keeping me sane over the coming months. Sadly there's nothing especially good that's new on the subscription services today. The iPlayer's added Made in Degenham, Mindhorn and The Lady Vanishes (which was preceded on transmission by this Hitch themed episode of Talking Pictures).

Don't forget that Starz Play on Amazon currently has an offer of 99p a month for three months at the mo.  Ends at the end of the month.

Daily Dose of Doctor Who.


Self-Isolation Culture Special: Free Film, Music, Art, Essays, Books and More:
(Brilliant list from The Double Negative) "Stating the blindingly obvious, this isn’t doing much for anybody’s mental health. In fact, it’s serving to heighten anxiety and, in some cases, hysteria. We know this because we recognise it in ourselves. As such, we thought we’d pull together our favourite online entertainment, stories and stuff with which to occupy our minds, eyes and ears over the coming days, weeks and – who knows? – months."

After the Fire, a Chinatown Museum Sifts Through What Survived:
"Families are celebrating hundreds of boxes of heirlooms that were unloaded from the scorched interior of 70 Mulberry Street."

10 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours:

"The originals are out of reach for now, but you can still see world-class art – without the queues or ticket prices – with an online tour of these famous museums."

Radio 4 programming to inform, educate and entertain during the coming weeks:
"Radio 4 will broadcast new programming to inform listeners and analyse what is happening in the UK and around the globe, as well as feature highlights from the archive during this unprecedented time."

Some Shakespeare.

Shakespeare or bust:
"Busts of the Bard are big business. This Panorama footage of moulder Daniele Landi and his son is hypnotic - like a Pete and Dud sketch directed by Ingmar Bergman. They discuss the popularity of various ornamental busts of famous figures such as Shakespeare."

Today's Album.

Lockdown Links #5

New on the streaming services:

The BBC have ramped up their film broadcasts which means loads of new additions to the iPlayer, some available for a week, some for a month. In the past couple of days they've added the John Grisham adaptation A Time To Kill, World War II dramas A Town Like Alice and In Which We Serve, Olivier Assayas's spooky Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart, Junfeng Boo's exploration of the Singaporean prison system Apprentice and for fans of trying to work out which bits were shot where, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool.

Daily Dose of Doctor Who:

Some Shakespeare.


'Think about the best-case scenario': how to manage coronavirus anxiety:
"We are not wired to tolerate uncertainty – and these are the most uncertain of times. But while increased anxiety is only natural, we can all adopt strategies to control it."

Netflix Scoops Up Paramount’s ‘The Lovebirds’ After Canceled Theatrical Release:
"Beleaguered by current events, Paramount Pictures' rom-com starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani will skip theaters and head straight to streaming."

(The Open Eye Gallery presents their most recent exhibition as an in browser VR experience which allows you to walk through the whole building and see all of the buildings)

Step-by-step guide: How to video call your family:
"If you are self-isolating at home, video-chatting can help you stay in touch with your friends and family."

'Fresh Air' Celebrates Broadway Legend Stephen Sondheim:
"Sondheim, who turns 90 on March 22, composed the music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Company and other shows. He spoke about his career in musical theater in this 2010 interview."

Hamlyns Porridge Oats: Scotland's for me:
"Usually, I buy generic own-brand sacks of porridge, but now oats seem to have become a must-have (that presumably people intend to eat dry with their bare hands when the end times come and milk deliveries have long ceased)."

Today's Album: