Dear Spambots

There is nothing I love seeing more than ridiculous spam messages in my moderation queue on here. When I woke up this afternoon, this gem was waiting for me:

“Our wedding day is 10-10-10 and will take place outside Nashville, TN at an historic home. If I had to describe our theme, it would be “classic, Southern soiree with a modern twist.” The men will be in classic one-button tuxedos, the bridesmaids in beige and black. We are having an outdoor wedding/indoor reception. Our colors are black, ivory, shades of cream and white, accented with dark reds, crystals, pearls and metallics. The home is bricked and so is the reception hall. I have purchased tons of antique Anchor Hocking cut glass bud vases, votive candles, lights to string and crystals to scatter. I want everything to twinkle!”

 

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Comic: “Well….This is Awkward…”

Because You’re Worth It!

Comic: “The Little Guy”

No, I haven’t turned my blog into a webcomic, I just haven’t had too much to write about lately and felt these comics would be fun! with luck I should review something soon 😛

Comic: Why We Won’t Ever Find Out The Doctor’s Name…

Comic: Third Time’s a Charm

 

Reaction: Doctor Who – Four to Doomsday

With the latest season of the current Doctor Who over with, I figured it was just about time to dive into some classic episodes that I haven’t had a chance to watch yet. Up this week I decided to bust out Four to Doomsday, a serial starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, and his standard crew of Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric. The episode opens with one of the many attempts that the Doctor tries to take Tegan home, only to find them on board an alien vessel traveling to Earth. On board, things seem to be a bit “funny” as they find Chinese, Mayan, Greek and Aboriginal crew members being led around by a race of aliens called the Urbankans. The Urbankan leader, Monarch, invites the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric to continue the trip to Earth as his guests.

To be honest I’m not really a fan of this popular companion group as a whole. Of all the controversial views on Doctor Who out there, this is probably the main one that I subscribe to. I have always felt the later crew that had Turlough, and even Peri, were better suited to the fifth Doctor than these guys together. While I enjoy Nyssa, I find Tegan’s constant gripes at the Doctor tiresome, and equally find Adric’s “I know everything, check out my math metal!” attitude to be quite annoying. I guess I’m just not a fan of episodes where everyone bickers with the Doctor, as it generally makes him look foolish in many ways, when he should be the smartest guy there. This episode open woefully with something like five minutes of pure bickering, so much that ou wonder if they all got into some off-camera fight before this story or something. Every time I watch an episode with Adric, I always trick myself into giving him the benefit of the doubt: “yeah he’s a stubborn kid, and he’s not that bad.” Then he does something like launching into a random misogynistic rant like he does in this episode, and I want him to disappear.

Many compare this crew to the original “first Doctor” set of companions staring Ian, Barbara, and Susan; this is something I find confusing. Yes, the three were intelligent, but they didn’t continuously try to pull rank on the Doctor, nor did they stop having that sense of Jules Verne inspired wonder that I love in British sci-fi. Had Hartnell’s Doctor been with this crew, I think he would have “accidentally” left two of them behind. For this episode to fall so early on in this particular Doctor’s lifecycle, it’s almost as if some of the companions see Davison’s Doctor as too “nice”, and try to walk all over him.

The special effects in this serial are a mixed bag. While I like most of the model shots, some of the costumes are a bit wonky. Right from the beginning we see this with the Doctor’s space helmet, a device that looks to be in league with an old episode of Buck Rogers in the cheese factor. Now that I think of it, all the headpieces in the episode are pretty bad, especially Nyssa’s helmet that has “googley eyes”! The rest of the sets were actually pretty well done, if not a bit minimalist in nature. The walls are basically just a ton of random switches and dials placed everywhere. This definitely does the job at making it look like they are standing on a spaceship, or the house of a computer hoarder. To be honest, the special effects, makeup, and set design are the only shining beacon in a somewhat bland episode.

The overall plot has to be the most insane thing I have ever seen outside of the earlier Douglas Adams episodes. Not insane in an incoherent way, but insane in that the plot makes such little sense it’s almost funny. The main villain, Monarch, basically wants to invade earth so that he can strip-mine the planet for silicon. he plans to turn this into computer chips he needs to travel back in time to meet himself as God….yikes! Rather than settling on one trope (alien invasion, androids, dancing?, religion vs. science) it’s as if the production crew took a page from the creators of Family Guy and grabbed a bunch of concepts from a big hat and compiled them into a nearly competent episode.

I think the main problem lies in the utterly bad manner in which science is used in this episode. For an episode that relies on said science such as this one, it’s just inexcusable. There are many examples of this including Monarch’s bizarre time travel plan that makes no sense, except for the fact that he yells “E=MC squared”. I would have settled for some technobabble here, but using an actual scientific theory incorrectly is bad. Another quibble is when Adric claims to not know what photosynthesis is, keep in mind that he lived on a jungle planet, and is supposed to be insanely smart.

While not the worst episode of Doctor Who, Four to Doomsday is most definitely not a favorite of mine. Luckily the episodes of this season are not all of this quality, thus keeping me away from the “Davison Hater” category that many toss out there.

Reaction – Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song

Tick tock goes the clock
And what now shall we play?
Tick tock goes the clock
Now summer’s gone away?

Tick tock goes the clock
And what then shall we see?
Tick tock until the day
That thou shalt marry me

Tick tock goes the clock
And all the years they fly
Tick tock and all too soon
You and I must die

Tick tock goes the clock
He cradled her and he rocked her
Tick tock goes the clock
Even for the Doctor..

Tick tock goes the clock
He cradled her and he rocked her
Tick tock goes the clock
Till River kills the Doctor..

Now that’s more like it! After a few episodes that honestly felt like filler episodes in the grand scheme of things, we have a really well done Moffat episode. I know the fanbase will be largely split with Moffat fans rejoicing to the hills and his detractors slamming it, as this was a VERY Moffat episode. Structured in a similar vein to The Impossible Astronaut and even The Pandorica Opens, we see more of the old “timey wimey” going on. We know how the Doctor escapes death, why River is in prison, and whether or not River is married to the Doctor (sort of…lol).

Not every question was answered, but we got through a good chunk of it. I guess we can chalk most of my previous ramblings about who broke into Amy’s house, and the destruction of the Tardis to be the master plan of the Silence to kill the Doctor at any means necessary. This largely points to these first two seasons being merely a stepping stone in a much larger ongoing storyline. This is both good and bad, as I hoped we would finally know everything that has happened at this point, but I’m glad all the answers weren’t rushed in one solitary episode. I was truly worried that we were going to have seen sixty minutes of random flashbacks and such.

The Wedding of River Song was a very important episode, not as much for the actual content, but as a casual reboot of the series. What many may not notice is that with the perceived “death” of the Doctor as seen by many, we have seen the end of the “super Jesus, Earth savior” Doctor, and the birth of a hopefully more reclusive Doctor that spends less time on Earth. What I hope we see is more “monster of the week” episodes where we might see a sense of the Silence “being onto him” or some such, but just in the background. We all know this will lead to the eventual reveal of the final battle between the Doctor and the Silence, most likely for the 50th Anniversary. I still cling to the possibility that we haven’t seen the person in charge of the Silence as of yet, and it would be amazing to find out who it is in a few years. All I know is that once he starts going to a place called “The Fields of Trensalore” we’re in for it.

Another fun tidbit is that the emphasis on the mystery behind the Doctor’s name adds new relevance to the title of the show. Many casual fans, or folks that may skim an episode here and there may wonder why the show is even called Doctor Who, some might even think that it’s his name. It’s a nice capstone for nearly 50 years of continuity and makes us wonder why he’s so secretive of his name. Does his name link him to something terrible?

My ongoing theory is that there is some big bad guy out there that needs to know the Doctor’s name for some reason. I’m wondering if the Doctor didn’t use it as the password for the “time lock” he used to trap the Time Lords and Daleks within Gallifrey, once it is uttered, this lock will be broken and cause havoc. Suddenly you’d have The Master set free, and all sorts of other pissed off Timelords. This would fit in with the alien coalition trying to stop the Doctor at all costs with the Pandorica, and even explain the Silence claiming that they have witnessed a dark future caused by the Doctor. Of course we won’t hear the name as viewers, as finding out that the Doctor’s name is “Barry” would probably ruin the show.

On a side note, I loved the little “fan-wanky” bits in this episode. For starters, when we find that all of time has been compressed to a solitary moment, we see anomalies such as Charles Dickens talking about his upcoming BBC Christmas special. Once he gets rolling you realize that he is talking about A Christmas Carol. Dickens was once again played by the returning Simon Callow, a man that many will remember from An Unquiet Dead way back in season 1. Other nice nods included the reappearance of Winston Churchill, who has apparently started riding a mammoth to work. With a less “in your face” cameo, we find that fan favorite companion “The Brigadier” has finally been laid to rest within the show. This follows the real life death of Nicholas Courtney. I would have liked a similar send-off to the one Elisabeth Sladen received, but the nod was nice to see.

So yeah, good episode, and a good savior for a somewhat mellow second half of a season. I can’t wait to see where this goes.