Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ye Olde Post Of Random Linkage

Doctor Who stand-up comedy: A half-hour podcast of Whovian stand-up. Some of the comedians are funnier than others, but if you laugh at any point whatsoever, congratulations, you're a Who geek.

Dig a Hole: Ever wonder where you'd end up if you were to dig a hole straight through the Earth? Now you can know! Hint: it's probably not China.

Special Projects Idea Generator: It, um, generates ideas for special projects. The results tend to be weirdly appealing. I want to go and invent a battery-operated holographic house right now.

Harry Potter Book Disguises: Afraid to be seen reading Harry Potter in public because it'll ruin your image as a manly man or an intellectual? These handy book disguises provide the solution!

Doctor Who clips on YouTube: Short clips from the classic series, posted on YouTube by the BBC. If your exposure to the show has mostly been via the new series and you'd like a glimpse of what you've missed over the last 44 years, here's your chance! Ah, rubber monsters, how nostalgic you make me...


  1. I have watched one complete serial on YouTube, "Genesis of the Daleks". I liked it and understood how the ninth Doctor episode "Dalek" refers to this serial.
    Been meaning to see what other serials were posted up. So far I have seen, on VHS and DVD, The Silurians, The Green Death, Talons of Wing Shiang, City of Death, Robots of Death, An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction and The Invasion.
    Not sure where to go from here, though I do intend to pick up Series One at some point.

    BTW Betty, have you seen Life on Mars yet?

  2. "Genesis" is an all-time classic, and, looking back from the standpoint of the new series, it's easy to see it as marking the start of the Time War, which I think gives an interesting new perspective on the show as a whole.

    Sounds like you're making a good start on the classic series! If you want more recommendations, let me know... I might suggest watching some Fifth Doctor episodes, since he's noticeably absent from that list.

    And, yes, I've seen Life on Mars and definitely enjoyed it. I hear they're coming out with an American version, an idea that makes me feel simultaneously interested and nervous.

  3. You might try some Seventh Doctor, also notably absent from the list. Be warned, though, that some of his early stories were pretty dire. They greatly improved, though, especially once Ace replaced Mel as his companion. All four stories in the final season before the interregnum are excellent IMO: "Battlefield", "Ghost Light", "The Curse of Fenric" and "Survival".

    From the Tom Baker era, "The Pirate Planet".

  4. One of the things that set me dead against Doctor Who in my teen years was catching McCoy's Doctor on television. I also saw a bit of Colin Baker's doctor and wasn't impressed.
    It was the casting of Eccleston as the Doctor that really opened me up to the franchise, seeing as how he is one of my favouite actors.

  5. Sylvester McCoy is a bit of a love-him-or-hate-him Doctor among fans. I adore him, personally, but John is quite right, some of his earlier stories were baaaaaad. And Colin Baker is, IMHO, a fine actor, but most of his stories were also baaaaad, and I really did not like the direction his version of the Doctor took.

    I'll e-mail you back with some suggestions in a little while.

  6. Just saw the conclusion of Life on Mars. I know people who like the US version of The Office better than the UK original. I'm not a fan of uncomfortable humour, so it makes no difference to me.
    But one of the things that UK televison, certain Canadian shows and the first season of BSG have demonstrated to me is that limited runs/limited episodes per season make for better television. Life on Mars lasted as long as it had to and concluded, I would be worried that a US vesion would run with the story long after it had lost its legs.
    BSG would have been better off on a certain story arc at 13 episodes a season. As much as I want more Doctor Who than I get, I think the 13 episode limit makes for better viewing - quality over quantity.

  7. I found the UK version of The Office much more uncomfortable than the US version, personally, which makes the US version a little easier to laugh at. But I've only seen a couple of episodes of it, versus one season of the UK one, so I might now really have enough of a basis on which to compare.

    I think a US interpretation of Life on Mars might actually succeed better than most US remakes of Bristish shows, only because LoM contained a lot of cultural references that went right over even my anglophile head... Understandably, because in part it's about the culture-clash between 1970's Britain and modern Britain. It might be interesting to do a US-based take on that, and I think the result would have to be something significantly different, rather than just a lame copy. Also, I hear Colm Meany is supposed to be playing the Gene Hunt character, which seems like a good casting choice to me.

    But I do agree with you completely about story length... I wish more US shows would follow the UK's lead on that score. I'd rather have 13 solid episodes that are well-produced, worth watching, and advance the overall story line, rather than 22 episodes that require a lot of story filler and the stretching of production resources too thin. And there's really something to be said for telling a complete story and then stopping when you're done. LoM might have stretched to three seasons and been OK, but I respect their decision to stop at two, and I think four would have been one too many.