Showing posts with label Doctor Who Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doctor Who Related. Show all posts

26 July 2013

The Return Of The Daleks


The TV Series Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963 which was the year of my birth and so I literally grew up with the programme. As a child I was fascinated by the concepts of time travel and aliens and so Doctor Who was a must-watch every weekend. I enjoyed the plots and the characters and was largely untroubled by any of the protagonists with one notable exception – The Daleks. Like millions of other people across the globe these extraterrestrial beings were, for me, the scariest things on the small screen and fifty years on I still find them incredibly sinister!

2 June 2013

Matt Smith Quits BBC's Doctor Who


Matt Smith quits BBC's Doctor Who (via AFP)
The BBC is on the hunt for a new Time Lord after British actor Matt Smith announced on Saturday that he is quitting as the star of cult sci-fi drama Doctor Who. Smith, who has played the eccentric, time-travelling Doctor since 2010, said he would bow out in a special Christmas episode of the 50-year…

31 May 2013

The Most High Tech Heroes On Our Screens


In recent times, geek chic has taken the world somewhat by storm. It's no longer something to be ashamed of if you're handy with a computer and wear specs, it's something to be proud of and to show off. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the silver screen, or on the smaller screen in our living rooms, where geeks are regularly saving the day using their brains and technology rather than pure brawn.

Recently a number of high profile high tech heroes have risen to the forefront of pop culture. Here we will look at a few of the best, and what they say about the modern nerd...

5 March 2013

QUILTBAG Protagonists in SF/F YA Literature

QUILTBAG Protagonists in SF/F YA Literature
QUILTBAG Protagonists in SF/F YA Literature
By: Suzanne van Rooyen

Firstly, that’s a lot of acronyms for a title. Let’s unpack that.

QUILTBAG = queer, unisex, intersex, lesbian, trans, bi, asexual, gay - a convenient acronym, which pretty much covers the complete spectrum of human sexuality.

SF/F = science fiction and fantasy - self-explanatory really, this acronym refers to all the various subgenres contained within these two broader genres.

YA = young adult - a market in literature aimed at 12-18 year olds.

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, what’s the issue?

Science fiction and fantasy, as both a literary and movie/TV genre, has been dominated by straight white males for decades. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his roles from Terminator to Total Recall. Consider Christian Bale and Tom Cruise in their leading manly-man roles in science fiction films like Equilibrium, Minority Report, Batman and soon to be released Oblivion. Given that a good number of these films are based on the works by literary greats like Philip K Dick, Asimov and others, this straight white male syndrome seems prevalent in the genre, and is sadly true for YA fiction as well.

Let’s look at recent YA smashhits: Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. J.K Rowling’s series featured a straight white male protagonist, Stephenie Meyer’s series featured a straight white leading couple (I’ll get to Jacob in a minute) and Suzanne Collins’s dystopian series featured a straight white love triangle.

Only after the success of Harry Potter, both as a novel series and as a movie franchise, did it surface that Rowling had always thought of Dumbledore as gay, not that this was ever made apparent in either the novels or the movies. Why not?

There are numerous articles about Twilight and possible racism floating around the net. Regardless of how you interpret the fact that Native Americans were the ‘animals’ in the story, what surprised me even more than a centuries old vampire willingly repeating high school, was the lack of sexual fluidity so apparent in vampire characters from the works of progenitors like Anne Rice. Even the True Blood vampires explored same sex partnerships. But Twilight didn’t feature a single gay main character. And neither does another super popular vampire series: The Vampire Diaries. Meet Damon and Stefan Salvatore - white and straight despite being centuries old vampires who confound just about every social more. Meet Elena Gilbert and her brother - straight and white. Meet the sidekicks Caroline, Matt, and Tyler - straight and white. Bonnie is the only smudge of colour on the cast and she’s a witch (why is no one screaming racial stereotypes?). There is one gay character but his appearance is fleeting and has little bearing on the mostly white, all straight main cast.

And now The Hunger Games. There was an uproar at the time of casting for the movie adaptation of the book when they cast Amandla Stenberg as Rue. Why is Rue black - fans protested. Why not? Is every character in a YA book white and straight until proven otherwise? Another character in The Hunger Games, played by Lenny Kravitz in the film, is referred to as ‘the gay guy.’ Kravitz is quoted to having said he didn’t want to play Cinna ‘too gay.’ In the novel, his sexuality is never expressly stated. He’s simply a stylist and designer, so once again stereotyping runs rampant.

YA protagonists are only gay, lesbian, bi or transgender when it’s a contemporary issue book like The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring the fabulous Patrick. I can’t name a single best-selling SF/F YA title featuring a gay, lesbian or bi - never mind transgendered - protagonist. Can you?

There is a huge gap, not only in the market, but in the mindset. Why can’t QUILTBAG individuals be the heroes? They can - just look at pansexual Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood fame, played by the openly gay and awesome John Barrowman. This is the type of heroic character I want to see in YA SF/F. While getting this sort of book out to the public through self-publishing may be the easiest route, publishing this sort of book by traditional means is proving trickier.

My own book Obscura Burning - a hybrid contemporary issue (my character’s sexuality is the least of his issues!) come science fiction novel - features a white bisexual male protagonist who has relationships with a Native American girl and a Latino guy. When I submitted this novel to agents they liked it but were nervous about the content. Thankfully, an indie press wasn’t afraid of taking on my novel and all its ‘questionable’ content. This is the beauty of the indie industry: they’re not afraid to take on books that might be controversial.

There is a conspicuous lack of QUILTBAG main characters in science fiction and fantasy literature especially in YA, just as there is a conspicuous lack of racially diverse characters in this genre. I can’t believe this is still an issue in 2013. But here’s to hoping things will change thanks to the efforts of courageous authors, fearless publishers and unprejudiced readers.

QUILTBAG Protagonists in SF/F YA Literature
Suzanne van Rooyen

About Today's Contributor:

Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. 

28 April 2012

Doctor Who Spotted in New York


'Doctor Who' is one of the longest running science-fiction series originating from the United Kingdom to date. In a nutshell, the television show documents the adventures of one Time Lord, an ancient humanoid race, the Doctor, traveling with an assistant referred as a companion inside the time traveling spacecraft TARDIS.

The science-fiction show is so popular that the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales, hosted the first official convention this year in a weekend in March. The convention attracted fans from as far away as Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Matt Smith, the current Doctor, and Karen Gillan, the departing companion Amy Pond, attended the convention to meet fans from all over the world according to BBC.

Previously showcased in London, the Doctor Who Experience will exhibit sets, props and memorabilia from the popular show in Cardiff Bay later this year according to BBC News. Based on the London attendance, the Doctor Who Experience is expected to draw the attention of up to 250,000 visitors per year.

12 February 2012

Doctor Who And The Case Of The Lesser-Known Villains

Every science fiction series runs into a wall occasionally, and even Doctor Who has had its share of strange villains. While the Master and the Daleks are famous, one might assume that the Seeds of Doom haven't garnered quite as much fame as these illustrious monsters. 
However, that doesn't mean that fans shouldn't celebrate the lesser-known Doctor Who bad guys just as well. After all, they make the Cybermen look all the better.

25 January 2012

The Lowdown on Doctor Who Season 7


Fans of the beloved show will be waiting extra-long this year before The Doctor returns to work more of his magic. The new season is scheduled for fall of 2012 and will be split in two parts, the second to air early in 2013. Producer Steven Moffat says that this delay is due to the fact that he does not wish to risk rushing the production and messing up this important 50th anniversary season. The season will include the 2012 Christmas special, though whether this is part of the reported 14-episode run or an addition to that is unknown. The airing of the Christmas special in the middle of a standard season will certainly present some interesting opportunities for the writers to make dynamic moves in the story arc.

23 May 2011

The 'Torchwood: Miracle Day' New Trailer Has Landed


There is at least one good reason for not being too disappointed for not having been one of the chosen ones on 'Rapture Day': the new series of Torchwood is soon to be aired and here is the new full trailer... 

1 January 2011

Eleven Timelords, Three Doctor Who Theme Remixes, Some Pictures, And One Little Tribute Video...


I thought that it would be a great way to celebrate the New Year by taking you all on a journey through Time and Relative Dimension in Style... or, failing that, by sharing my latest little YouTube video with you guys.

It is Doctor Who related after all, isn't it?

10 July 2010

Doctor Who: 'Tooth and Claw' or 'The Origins of Torchwood'

'Tooth and Claw' - Someone is having a bad hair day...
'Tooth and Claw' - Someone is having a bad hair day...
With the news of Torchwood returning soon(ish) to our TV screens (for more details and info, see the related links at the end of this post), we thought that, while we're waiting for the Big Event, we might as well do some time travelling of our own and take you back to when (and finding out the reasons why in the process) Torchwood was originally founded...

Oh yes, the Torchwood Institute existed loooooong before the Doctor Who TV Series was even created. Never mind the good old story conveniently spread around about Torchwood being an anagram of Doctor Who and that's what gave the idea of the Torchwood story, etc... It's only a cover up, more or less like the one telling us that Santa Claus doesn't exist. See what I mean?

It's all in the Doctor Who's 'Tooth and Claw' episode (second episode of Series Two, to be precise...) anyway. So, if you haven't watched it yet, now might be a good time to do so. 

Plus, it's one of those episodes when Rose Tyler was still the Doctor's companion (aaaah, those were the days)...

Today's post is filled with opportunities that I couldn't humanely pass even if I wanted to... Not only we have both timely opportunities to refresh our memory about Torchwood's history and populate the almost neglected "It's a Wolf Thing" Category in the process, but we also have the golden opportunity to see our favorite chav, Rose Tyler, once again (and, I don't mean only Billie Piper's pictures either, nope, we have a video-clip with her in it as well)... How's that for value for money?


Loup Dargent

'Tooth and Claw' - "I do look good with glasses. Maybe I should wear a bow tie as well. Hmm, perhaps another time..."
'Tooth and Claw' - "I do look good with glasses. Maybe I should wear a bow tie as well. Hmm, perhaps another time..."

'The Origins of Torchwood' aka the 'Tooth and Claw' episode
In 'Tooth and Claw', the Tardis is back to its goold old self and, instead of taking The Doctor and Rose to Sheffield 1979 (so that they could see Ian Dury and the Blockheads live in concert), it takes them to Scotland... in 1879.

That's also when Queen Victoria is expected to visit Sir Robert McLeash and his wife at their house, the Torchwood Estate...

But It looks like the Tardis, didn't bring the Time Lord and his companion to that time and place by accident: There have previously been a possible assassinat attempt against the monarch and the Torchwood Estate has been taken over by a cult's members who have some rather sinister plans for Queen Victoria and the British empire...

'Tooth and Claw' - Rose... in a cage.
'Tooth and Claw' - Rose... in a cage.

Some nice little treats

  • Rose (probably) making the guards' day with her "nakedness
  • Rose in a cage (well, it worked for some of us) 
  • Some Kung-Fu fighting during the taking over of the Torchwood Institute
  • A Were-Wolf and a full moon
  • A rather interesting and funny joke about the modern British Royal Family

'Tooth and Claw' - "Have you got rats in your attic?"
'Tooth and Claw' - "Have you got rats in your attic?"

What's on the continuity front

  • The werewolf's host saw a ‘wolf’ inside Rose (reference to "Bad Wolf" in Season One)
  • The 10th Doctor called himself James McCrimmon, (the full name of one of his previous companions)
  • The Time Lord took credit for crashing Skylab in 1979.

The origins of Torchwood

What we learn in the "Tooth and Claw" episode is that Queen Victoria was actually not amused at all with the way The Doctor has been dealing with the events and, seing him as a threat to the British Empire and her world, (she has seen now that Great Britain has enemies beyond imagination and must defend its borders on all sides) she decided to found the Torchwood Institute.
"There shall be an institute, who shall investigate these occurrences and to fight them. It shall be christened after the house, the Torchwood Institute and should the Doctor ever return then he should beware, because Torchwood will be waiting…" 
Talk about royal ingratitude... Wow! 

Tooth and Claw' - "Wow, that's a big one!"
'Tooth and Claw' - "Wow, that's a big one!"
'Tooth and Claw' - a great Doctor Who episode, written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. With David Tennant as "The Tenth Doctor", Billie Piper as "Rose Tylerand Pauline Collins as "Queen Victoria".

22 June 2010

Pictures Time: Doctor Who's Vintage Daleks

25th May 1965:  Twelve Daleks arrived in Cannes from Shepperton Studios, England, for the showing of the new 'Dr Who' movie which features at the Film Festival.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

While re-visiting the sixties, thanks to the CO2eux Soiree episodes one (Broadcast From The 1960s and From Inside A Bottle), two (The Marina and The Diamonds' Music Video Episode) and three (The Mystery Jets Are Dreaming of Another World), we've made the most of our travelling back in time and managed to get our hands on more Doctor Who related pictures - all black and white pics,  like the ones we got  for our Tom Baker's Years Part One and Part Two posts. And, not only they are pictures of some of the earliest Time Lords, but they are also pictures of the fearsome and merciless Daleks themselves...

8 November 2009

How To Create An Online Sock Puppet And Get Away With It

The Tardis
The Tardis

The Definition

'Sock puppet n. [Usenet: from the act of placing a sock over your hand and talking to it and pretending it's talking back] In Usenet parlance, a pseudo through which the puppeteer posts follow-ups to their own original message to give the appearance that a number of people support the views held in the original message ...'
From: The Internet Jargon Dictionary.

The Problem

Imagine for a moment that you are involved in a heated debate about an issue which is very important to you but, somehow, your opponents are increasingly, and at a very fast and alarming rate, gaining points. Even when their views are blatantly incorrect, you find yourself in an ever decreasing minority when it comes to challenging their so obviously flawed arguments.

To top it up, there is no hope at all that the proverbial cavalry will arrive, as there is no one on sight to come to your rescue.

Not something very pleasant to imagine but not something to be dismissed as improbable either, as, unfortunately, even the best of us can one day find themselves in a similar frustrating situation.

So, the use of a sock puppet, as an emergency measure, might be the only way possible to get out of it but, if you open a new account then, your attempt is bound to fail lamentably. The sock puppets hunters will without fail spot it, especially if it comes to your rescue straight after having registered.

The Solution

The solution is actually very simple and, unless you are psychic and have already predicted the tricky situation and taken the appropriate steps to remedy it, you will agree that the following suggestion is definitely the best and the most efficient of all possible ones.

All you need to do is:

  • Time travel back to when the site has just opened.
  • Register your alter ego.
  • Build up a reputation of seriousness for it.
Once that's done, the rest is practically a piece of cake.

You should not worry about the fact that you might have to follow your alter ego's online life up to the point when you need its help as, even if it means spending years in the past, it will only take a few minutes of your time in the present.

There are still a few advices that need to be followed though:

  • Make a point of registering your puppet before the date you've registered yourself.
  • Do change the way you type while using that alternative persona. If not, you could be seen as your puppet's puppet when you register.
  • Do not let your alter ego get involved in other discussions you are in.
  • Do not be tempted to use your other account to settle scores with your own opponents before that crucial moment, as that would drastically reduce the effect needed when the time has come to make efficient use of your sock puppet.
There are some side effects that have been noticed as a result of intensive 'time travelling sock puppeteering' unfortunately. One of them being a high risk of identity crisis. So, it is advised that you try to take a break from your alternative persona as often as possible.

Of course, to time travel you need the proper equipment, but you should be able to get hold of a time machine by checking the local papers' classified adverts.

Failing that you have nothing to lose by:

  • Asking around.
  • Asking one of the scientists you have come into contact before.
  • Asking your country's secret services for a spare one.
  • Asking those guys dressed in black who are always hanging around the local ufologist's home.
  • Asking the BBC to borrow the TARDIS used in the old Doctor Who's TV series.
The Loupster - (Alleged) time traveller
The Loupster - (Alleged) time traveller

Just In Case

If your quest for a time machine has for some unexpected reasons failed, then the best option would be that you keep well away from that controversial discussion.
That will, at least, save you from some irritating but also very embarrassing moments.

Easier said than done, granted...

'Tips on Anger Management' might come handy in some of those frustrating situations we are faced with at times.
'Often, when working with or coming into contact with someone who really annoys you, the best plan is just to walk away and leave them talking to themselves.You have no idea just how silly they look standing there raving away at, nothing!'

A very useful piece of advice that is not just relevant to Real Life somehow.

You might not have had a chance to make the points you wanted to make, but, at the end of the day, you will not be the one looking bad...

Of course, had you followed my advice on how to get hold of a time machine in the first place... etc... etc... etc...

Oh never mind...

Loup Dargent

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