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The Flash

Posted December 13, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

The ladies took themselves off to the ballet last night, leaving the lads at home to amuse themselves, which we did by catching up with the first eps of The Flash. I ran the trailer here a while and said I was looking forward to it. It turned out to be even better than I expected.

The cast is heavy with talent, especially in the older 'character' roles. The moral/personal dilemmas are pretty well thought out. The effects are oddly cheesy. But enjoyable in a 1980s kinda way.

The amp which forms the beating heart of my home entertainment system is still dead, post lightning strike, so Thomas and I repaired to my office where the 27" iMac did sterling duty as a stand in teev.

I think I'll be happy to invest in this series. Possibly because I always thought Barry Allen's superpwer was the coolest of them all. Think of the commuting time you'd save.

18 Responses to ‘The Flash’

Lobes reckons...

Posted December 13, 2014
i always liked the flash he has one of the most awesome suite of powers, definitely a favorite. However he suffers from superman syndrome in that he's so completely overpowered for any reasonable opponent that you find him battling existential threats week in wekn out.

TheWah puts forth...

Posted December 14, 2014
The way the tv show is building his power level slowly is great.

He can run at 200 mph.. now it's faster.. can he hit 700 mph and run across water? Yes!
Can he break the sound barrier to save that girl's life.. woo!

It's be a fun ride watching Barry slowly figure out what a super speedster can do.

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TheWah asserts...

Posted December 14, 2014
I've been really enjoying The Flash tv show. More light hearted and fun compared to Arrow. I've also been enjoying Constantine a hell of a lot too

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 14, 2014
This is wonderful television. Anyone can watch and enjoy it without having read the comics. But for those who read them, it is a special pleasure knowing who the Man in Yellow is and seeing how they adapt this old, established story line for television.

I love Arrow. I binge-watched the first two seasons on Netflix. Arrow is less joyous only because Barry Allen didn't walk through hell and back to become "special" the way Oliver Queen did.

The DC universe is as rich, if not richer, with potential media product than the Marvel universe. But Man of Steel and the Green Lantern were such horrible adaptations. It seemed the DC Powers That Be couldn't make the hard decisions needed to abandon the details they loved as children in order to breathe new life into the concepts. But with Arrow, the Flash and what looks like promising pending depictions of the Atom and the Spectre, it looks like those with the power and money to bring DC properties to new life finally have their shit together. We anticipate the Justice League and Batman v. Superman with new hope.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted December 14, 2014
Have to agree, it seems like Marvel might be winning on the big screen but DC is winning on the small. Agents of Shield not withstanding.

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted December 14, 2014
Flash! Ahhhooooo. Saviour of the universe!

Oh, wait. My bad.

Sudragon mumbles...

Posted December 14, 2014
Now I have to find and watch that movie again, if only for the soundtrack and BRIAN BLESSED.

Which also means finding Highlander as well.

Oh hell, lets make it a Cult Movie Christmas.

Anthony asserts...

Posted December 14, 2014
No, please, not Brian Bloody Blessed. Unless you have a special Brian Blessed volume and pomposity controller...

Sudragon mutters...

Posted December 14, 2014
But...but... no-one else chews scenery so well.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted December 14, 2014
Oh yeah, and Gotham is the best show on television.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 14, 2014
I wonder if "the man in yellow" will turn out to be the professor Xavier character in the TV series? (Dr Harrision Wells -Thank you wikipidiea)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 14, 2014
Don't know. Although the Reverse Flash story line, including Barry's mother's murder, is right out of the The Flash Reborn mini series, there is no Dr. Wells in any of the DC universes.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted December 14, 2014
Thats why I figure he could be the character after all Dr Caitlin Snow in the DC universe is 'killer frost' but I don't see Ms Panabaker's character going that way in this TV series.

Sudragon is gonna tell you...

Posted December 14, 2014
Considering the latest episode, i wouldn't rule anything out.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 15, 2014
That's the ultimate fun of anything worth watching: it keeps us guessing.

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Dan is gonna tell you...

Posted December 15, 2014

Best thing about the new DC tv shows. They take the old, established material and in quite a few cases, turn it on it's head (a la Huntress in Arrow).

I am looking forward to what they do. No need to cling to the original stories beyond a nod and do something fresh!

Now if only DC can get their big screen sh*t together... being a Green Lantern fan since birth, I almost ended it after the film...
such pain, such agony.. like firing bullets at one meter and missing the target.

Dan

PS - I want my Hooper books NOW!! Thank you...

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted December 15, 2014
We don't like to talk about the green lantern movie, I think there's a support group for us.

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The Wire in widescreen HD

Posted December 3, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

HBO is releasing the series remastered for widescreenHD. Really interesting bit here at David Simon's blog, or interesting for those of us who make our quids by telling stories, about the power of story telling form. I would have thought that reframing a show like The Wire for wide screen was purely a matter of making it awesomer. But no. There are compromises:

... Over the past several months, looking at some of what the widescreen format offered, three things became entirely clear: First, there were many scenes in which the shot composition is not impaired by the transfer to 16:9, and there are a notable number of scenes that acquire real benefit from playing wide. An example of a scene that benefits would be, say, from the final episode of season two, when an apostolic semicircle of longshoremen forms around the body of Frank Sobotka. Fine as far as it goes, but the dockworkers are all that much more vulnerable, and that much more isolated by the death of their leader when we have the ability to go wider in that rare crane shot.

But there are other scenes, composed for 4:3, that lose some of their purpose and power, to be sure. An early example that caught my eye is a scene from the pilot episode, carefully composed by Bob, in which Wee Bey delivers to D’Angelo a homily on established Barksdale crew tactics. “Don’t talk in the car,” D’Angelo reluctantly offers to Wee Bey, who stands below a neon sign that declares, “burgers” while D’Angelo, less certain in his standing and performance within the gang, stands beneath a neon label of “chicken.”

That shot composition was purposed, and clever, and it works better in the 4:3 version than when the screen is suddenly widened to pick up additional neon to the left of Bey. In such a case, the new aspect ratio’s ability to acquire more of the world actually detracts from the intention of the scene and the composition of the shot. For that reason, we elected in the new version to go tighter on the shot in order to maintain some of the previous composition, albeit while coming closer to our backlit characters than the scene requires. It is, indeed, an arguable trade-off, but one that reveals the cost of taking something made in one construct and recasting it for another format. And this scene isn’t unique; there are a good number of similar losses in the transfer, as could be expected.

8 Responses to ‘The Wire in widescreen HD’

Lobes mutters...

Posted December 3, 2014
I havnt seen the wire, does this extract have spoilers?

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Spanner would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2014
Yeah it does have spoilers. The Wire is such a slow burn that you probably won't notice the spoilers but best not read any further. It is defiantly worth a watch.


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puma would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2014
I tried to get into it but couldn't. Maybe try again. I did enjoy Generation Kill immensely. Shame they didn't make more of that.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted December 4, 2014
Thanks Spanner. Yeah have heard good reports on it. I watched about half the pilot then got bored and flicked over. But being re-released in HD might be a reason to try again.

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Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted December 4, 2014
I watched the first episode or so when it was finally shown on ABC2 (I think?), and I was strangely reminded of the old series Hill Street Blues. Didn't get into The Wire, but I have very fond memories of the other David Simon/ Baltimore series, Homicide.

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Aaron reckons...

Posted December 4, 2014
For those interested there is a good interview with the actor who plays the junkie (can't remember the name - Latino American guy) on Marc marons WTF podcast. A good listen all the interviews are long form

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Spanner mumbles...

Posted December 4, 2014
The Wire is about building the case slowly and methodically a "police procedural" before the event rather than the forensics TV shows we see after the event. It's also about the dealers side of the equation and how they set up their own procedures not to get caught.

I will admit that watching the box set in 4:3 did give me the irrits.

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Crocko would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2014
I started on the Wire when it was on abc 2, and then drifted away from it. When I got sick of being told it was "the greatest show ever" I went back and watched it on box set. I was hooked, and it pretty much chewed up 2 weeks of a January holiday. Stick with it as the pay off is worth it, but as others have said, it is a slow burn.

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JJ Abrams to adapt Stephen King's '63' for Hulu

Posted September 24, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

Da King's alternate history/time travel epic is a great pick for a long form adaptation. And I usually love most of whatever Abrams does. Where the hell he's going to find the time to do it, and whether we'll ever see it here in Oz – outside of Foxtel – is another matter.

11/22/63 to use the book's full (and really awful) title is arguably King's best work. The story of Jake Epping, an English teacher, as King once was, who uses a friend's, er, timey-wimey portal to skip back to 1958 and eventually to try and foil the Kennedy assassination, was something of a critical break through – being widely and favorably reviewed as a work of literature as much as genre. Some actual critics of real grown up books pronounced it the best novel of 2011

I enjoyed it so much I'm thinking I might do the audiobook with Thomas once we finish The Stand.

Still, Hulu.

I have grave reservations about the availability of this series when it is finally released. I won't be stealing it, natch, but if Foxtel locks it up I might have to wait until it's released on disc or try to get it from US iTunes or something.

My commitment to paying for content doesn't extend to respecting Darth Rupert's practise of hording and gouging.

24 Responses to ‘JJ Abrams to adapt Stephen King's '63' for Hulu’

beeso is gonna tell you...

Posted September 24, 2014
I would argue. Still haven't finished it. Maybe i'm too young for all the Kennedy stuff to be cool?

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2014
Coinkadinkally, the quiz on stuff.co.nz had a question on this very book today. Unfortunately I do the quiz before reading CBG so I got it wrong - wrong on so many levels.

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schlepstar mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2014
As an aside, Interesting you draw the distinction between accessing Hulu to that of accessing the US Itunes. Hulu is available for only $8 a month, with a with a VPN account. The endless merry-go-round of the 'legality' of such a set up in Australia has and continues to be debated of course.

thetick is gonna tell you...

Posted September 24, 2014
It's legal. And encouraged by two government panels so far. :) Hulu TOS might not agree, but they have no legal recourse as far as I am aware beyond switching it off for you.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted September 24, 2014

and while it sounds cool, I have reservations after watching the adaption of Mr King's 'Under the Dome' for television. Shudder that was awful, and I don't mean it was full of awe either.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2014
"The Dome wants us to say it with flowers."

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JG would have you know...

Posted September 24, 2014
I loved Stephen King's book, Under the Dome. I bought it and his On Writing some time ago. About time I read some more of his work, and 63 (year I was born in) and The Stand sound like great books to further my King reading.

I watched a couple of TV episodes of Under The Dome but they didn't live up to the vision I had from the book. I found what the TV series mediocre. Film rarely manages to capture the integrity of a great book. The characters in the TV series seemed flat against the book's characters. I didn't watch more after a couple of episodes, as I didn't want to be further disappointed with the memories I enjoyed from the book.

I loved JJ Abrams Lost TV series and own the DVD set. It's shame that Under The Dome doesn't live up to the high bar set by Lost.

Anyway, still a huge fan of JJ Abrams.

JG

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 24, 2014
"The Dome wants us to eat less fried food."

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted September 24, 2014
Isn't he a bit distracted with Star Wars?

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BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted September 24, 2014
Off topic. I just got back from my lunch hour, strolling around the streets. Didn't see one Aussie getting beheaded by Islamic terrorists. Huzzah!

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted September 24, 2014


<A href="http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-the-iphone-made-us-junkies-20140924-10kjj0.html">http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-the-iphone-made-us-junkies-20140924-10kjj0.html</A>


Off topic too

insomniac mumbles...

Posted September 24, 2014
Remain ... ah ... remain alert ... ah ah ... alert citizen Willie ... citizen Willie ... ... ... ... ah ... Team Austraya

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Michael has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2014
You could, as you know, with some non-illegal trickery sign up to Hulu.

...and get SNL/Daily Show/Colbert/Brooklyn nine nine and a bunch of other stuff to boot.

Like Louie C.K. say, take my money and give me the thing!

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2014
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is being shown on SBS. The others unfortunately are not.

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Kay Orchison has opinions thus...

Posted September 24, 2014
*hoarding

Though Newscorp could arguably be described as a horde

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Halwes puts forth...

Posted September 25, 2014
Mr B, Do you do book signings at a bookshop or somewhere when your new books come out? I

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted September 25, 2014
Good Question, H. I'd normally do a full tour, but since the first one comes out on Dec 23 I don't see that happening. I can easily get around Brisneyland, of course. And I have a few shops I routinely sign for up here. But outside of the deep north, I dunno yet. Maybe I'll tour the middle book?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2014
Tour the middle book in California. Have you seen LA?

Therbs asserts...

Posted September 25, 2014
LA is a great big freeway

Halwes mumbles...

Posted September 25, 2014

If you want to tour Arnhem Land give me an e-mail. You might not sell many books, not many people can read around here, but you'd certainly catch a lot of fish! Accommodation and food ( fish and more fish) supplied

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted September 25, 2014
Put a hundred down and buy a car.

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Evan ducks in to say...

Posted September 25, 2014
If Frank Darabont were doing it I would be excited.

With Abrams, I just dread the imminent desecration of something I loved. He's already done it to me with Star Trek.

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25, 2014
Really? I'm definitely an ol' trekker, and I loved the new star-treks. The first one was an absolute cracker IMO.

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S.M. Stirling has opinions thus...

Posted September 28, 2014
It's definitely one of his best books... right up until the giant earthquakes where the universe somehow inexplicably takes its revenge for revisions of history.

I mean, please, "there are Things We Are Not Meant To Do/Know"? Oh, please.

It's a pity, because for me that spoiled a great book. The period flavor is impeccable and the research is great and the writing is good.

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Dr WTF

Posted August 27, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

Sometimes a comment is worth pulling out and running as a standalone entry even if I disagree with it. Or sometimes, especially if I disagree with it.

Simon Garlic's rant about the first Capaldi episode is so drenched with ranty spit balls it seemed a shame few would see it at the end of comment thread half a week old.

So, here's Simon's take on the first ep of the new Doctor:


This episode existed for one reason – to reassure younger fans of New Who that it’s OK for the Doctor to be old. Clara gets upgraded from being a piece of the set to being an audience surrogate. Still not a character though.
The dinosaur out of its time, lost, all alone. “The world is grey, everything I knew is gone.” We get it.
The robot out of its time, repairing itself for millennia, all alone. Come on Moffat, we get it.
The broom speech. “There’s nothing of you left”. The face in the tray bit showing 12 his own face. Fuck Moff, give it a rest.
Vastra’s veil speech. “He’s old. The young face was just an act. If you can’t accept that he’s older, you are a shallow person.” Jenny to Clara. “I don’t just like her, I love her, even though she’s different.” If you are just “liking” him for his looks, you don’t really love him. MOFFAAATTTTTT
Clara: fucking everything in the whole episode. Oh, she’s only 27? Gee, thanks for that Strax, that line didn’t half stand out like dog’s bollocks. “Hey Doc, that’s not the only grey hair”, and just in case you haven’t been slapped in the face with it enough, here comes a call from Clara’s boyfriend so that Matt Smith can explain to the audience – I mean, Clara – that it’s OK for the Doctor to be old and grey.
The “Clara doesn’t understand regeneration and wants her young Doctor back” plot was inexplicable shit. She has more understanding of Time Lord regen than anyone! She spent time with three different Doctors of different ages simultaneously in the 50th, and thanks to the crap Impossible Girl crap story arc crap she’s the only companion to have personally encountered every different incarnation of the Doctor across 2,000 years. Shit. Fuck you Moffat, lazy writing.
Episode highpoints: Capaldi, “times like these I miss Amy”, eyebrows.
Episode lowpoints: everything else.

At a higher level this episode embodies something even more annoying – Moffatt’s twin tendencies to
a) regurgitate his own previous plots and storylines - S08E01 is basically S02E04 “The Girl In The Fireplace” (writer: Steven Moffatt) re-done to emphasis the Doctor's age. Clockwork robots in a broken time-traveling spaceship trying to harvest human bodyparts to perform repairs, the Doctor struck with the reality that he's ancient and immortal and personal relationships with humans just don't work; and
b) make the Doctor a timetraveling Sherlock Holmes. Moffatt is lead writer and showrunner of “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” at the same time, and it shows. Not in a good way.

14 Responses to ‘Dr WTF’

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted August 27, 2014
Just to backtrack about 5 posts - got me a copy of Andrew McMillen's "Talking Smack" book. Very good read, recommend to all Burgers. Particularly liked Lindy Morrison's tale about stealing Nick Cave's heroin accidentally on purpose.

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Spanner would have you know...

Posted August 27, 2014
As much as I enjoyed that ep. I found something vaguely irritating about it. Then I realised that I find all new Dr's irritating.

(I found all the Matt Smith eps hugely irritating and couldn't wait for him to regenerate but that's a separate topic )

I'm not sure it was bad writing bashing us over the head as Simon says rather it was a regenerated Dr ep. Many of them have been ham fisted, such as the the Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker ep in Robot or the somewhat more eloquently done in the Tom Baker to Peter Davidson ep Castrolova but all leave us with a sense of dislocation from a beloved character. The dislocation makes our immersion in the world that little bit less deep and we can start to see the flaws in the writing that we would otherwise forgive.

@simongarlick puts forth...

Posted August 28, 2014
Hey, I didn't say it was BAD writing, I said it was LAZY writing. It was a script with a Message that reused plot elements from one script and ignored discontinuity with others.

Take your point on the dislocation; I remember watching Doc 5 having a moment lying under that bit of the Zero Room and thinking "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT BRING MY DOCTOR BACK". And I luuuuuuurved Tennant and I wanted to hate Smith. But man S05E01 The Eleventh Hour was pretty damn good. (You couldn't not love Matt Smith after his very first episode. Somehow the youngest actor managed to play the most elderly-FEELING Doctor.) I don't think a regen episode by its very nature HAS to feel like a flawed script.

Having Karen Gillan in a sexy police outfit helps, of course.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 28, 2014

Summary - Dr Who is overblown twaddle. Yep.

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@simongarlick would have you know...

Posted August 28, 2014
"Ranty spit balls"? :)

Hey don't get me wrong, Doctor Who fanboy since forever, Moff is in the pantheon of heroes just for being part of the team that brought DW back, love his writing in just about everything. But I think he's overreaching himself being writer and producer on two demanding, intelligent, high-profile shows at once. Every time I see something Sherlocky in Doctor Who I start foaming at the mouth, because the DW fanboy in me wants Moff to eat sleep and breathe making DW as awesome as possible, not be swanning around the world doing distracting trivial shit like winning Emmy awards for Sherlock. (I'M LOOKING AT YOU TOO, GATISS)

The fact that Deep Breath felt so preachy to the audience while so self-evidently recycling the "Fireplace" story with Sherlocky stuff thrown in just felt lazy. All it lacked was a timey-wimey bootstrap-paradox resolution to be a satire of a Moffat script.

I also want Moff to lift his game because Season 7, from the Snowmen to regeneration into 12, was IMHO the weakest season since the reboot. The character of Clara in S7 was a fembot with three settings - running, puzzled, or smirking. Like I said in the first rant, that inane Impossible Girl story arc made her a plot device, not a character. And the central character of the Doctor suffered for it, much love for Matt Smith but Lord knows he didn't have much to work with given S7's scripts.

And if I see the goddamn Weeping Angels anywhere in S8 I swear I will make a critical post to the Internet, BY THE GODS I SWEAR IT.

PS: Garlick

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 28, 2014
Best episode of Dr. Who I have seen since the series went out of production in the 1990s.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted August 28, 2014
ha! After Mr Garlick's posts that tickled my ribs. I kinda agree with Garlick though - a friend pointed out: what's with the slapstick gobshite?

I think Capaldi will carry it on well. I have a personal theory one of the reasons they upgraded the age of the actor playing the doc is that they want to bring in a bit of love action with River Song again and social conventions can't have a protracted (more involved) love story arc with a young male and an older female.

Feel free to shoot me down in flames - my attention span during the last doctor who series was waning a bit so may have missed some crucial plot points.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted August 28, 2014
WHO...THE...FUCK....IS...M.O.F.F.E.T.T.!!!!!!!

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Aaron puts forth...

Posted August 28, 2014
I agree that Moffat is over stretched but to be fair a regen episode is always going to be hamstrung by the need to accommodate any new viewers starting with that series. At the end of the day it's a family friendly show. And yes yes yes to no no no of reoccurring Cyber men daleks and angels etc. it's done

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NBlob asserts...

Posted August 29, 2014
Sorry Chaps & Chapette, I lost interest in the Dr in 1978.

However * Off Topic Warning* I would be most pleased for a discussion stimulated by the rather excellent Mz Razors latest piece. Wherein she flogs the left like only one who knows us intimately can.

As per usual it is stuffed to the gills with potty talk, adult themes and the quite excellent "The Congress is a vat of infinite Stupid kept simmering to a salmonella heat by the fuel of thrice-digested bullshit."
http://badhostess.com/naughty-step/

damian has opinions thus...

Posted August 29, 2014
On the internet somewhere is a photo of me at a Dr Who fan convention in 1983.

I always find Ms Razer's floggings entertaining when directed at others, and perhaps even when captured in the spotlight glare. A little like being whipped with a used condom, it might sting a little but doesn't bruise, smells funny and there's the risk of some unpleasantness involving bio-hazards.

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robW mumbles...

Posted August 30, 2014
I didn't like Dr. Who when I moved to Scotland in 1978 and was too stupid to figure out that the Scots had fuses in their electric plugs. I watched Dr. Who because the light from the "Telly" was the only light available in the corporate flat besides that from the refrigerator. It wasn't Star Trek and William Shatner enough for me, or maybe I was just freaked out having arrived myself, not in a phone booth but in a TWA 747 and a weird BA flight where they only served tea and spoke funny.

I didn't care for Dr. Who when I moved to England in 1982. I was sophisticated then and understood the concept of fuses in electrical outlets. I even understood drinking tea by that time and could perfectly understand a highlands accent, and I could drive on the left side of the road with practiced ease and I knew the streets of London like the lines on the back of my hand and I knew all the best (or worst) pubs in Earls Court. Still, Dr. Who sucked.

I didn't like Dr. Who when it was on PBS in LA in 1985. Didn't like it when it was on Denver Rocky Mountain PBS in 1990. Saw it in Mexico City in 1995 or so. In Spanish. Lasted about 2 minutes. Couldn't keep awake watching it on KQED in San Francisco in 2000. Could care less about it in 2005 when I saw it in a hotel room in New York City. Hated it in another hotel room in Phoenix in 2008. Didn't like it in yet another hotel room in Florence, Italy, in 2010 when the Doctor was speaking in dubbed Italian. In 2012 (or was it 2013) it was supposed to be "All New!" and I watched 3/4ths of an episode on BBC America. Can't remember where I saw it. Denver. Perhaps Oklahoma City. Maybe Houston, or possibly that steamy evening in New Orleans where the air conditioning was going full blast and the condensation was dripping down the hotel window.

While channel surfing the other night I momentarily landed yet again on BBC America. Some show about cops in 1880s New York who speak with a Cork, Ireland accent. I can tell a Cork accent from a mile away. The announcer said that Dr. Who was up next. I couldn't contemplate it.

I turned it off.

I must be yet another Yankee barbarian who doesn't know fine SF when he sees it. Still, JB, would like to spend a few hours with one of your new novels soon. Much better than the Doctor, I'm sure...

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Mark mutters...

Posted August 30, 2014
Mofatt is great. It's all about flow. Even when the plots are blatantly utilitarian what makes a great writer is their flow. Like Gaiman, Falkner, Twain (insert great writer whose plots you don't like), when their plots fail/bore, their writing voice still comes through like a sack of literary bricks on your grown-men-complaining-about-a-children's-show heads. With Moffat it comes through in his dialogue.

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Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2014

I thought that last night's Dr Who was <A href="mailto:cr@p">cr@p</A>. Since Simongarlick so kindly intellectualised it for me I've been looking for flaws. The worst thing is that he is right about lazy plots and stupid Daleks. I still like the new doctor and I think that he has potential but I'd like more substance to the deduction of problems in the plot. It's no fun if it's predictable. I mean who didn't know that that Dalek was going to turn nasty again after he was repaired? I suspect that the "good" Dalek is going to be a recurring theme and what about all that heaven stuff?

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The new Doctor

Posted August 25, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

Worked until 9.30 last night, trying to get the current manuscript out the door today. Rewarded myself with the latest episode of Dr Who on iView. I've only watched a handful of Smith/Tennant eps so there was a lot of backstory and fan service I knew I was missing in the opening scenes. (Who are these lesbian crime fighters, one lizard one not?)

But still, I enjoyed it hugely and thought the storyline about identity and its loss was deftly handled. Capaldi was great, although I did keep waiting for him to burst into obscenities. Maybe next week when the Daleks show up.

For now, it's back to that manuscript.

30 Responses to ‘The new Doctor’

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted August 25, 2014

I also think Capaldi was a great doctor and the storyline was original and interesting. It got a bit soppy a couple of times but overall excellent.

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted August 25, 2014
I've got to admit that Dr. Who has left me cold since it went out of production in the 1990s. I've tried to warm up to the new series but without much luck.

I did watch the last bit of the new episode last night and I have to say his performance was first rate.

"I'm not your boyfriend," is a line I think many of us have been waiting to hear for years.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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JBtoo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 25, 2014
It struggled to hold my attention, probably because I was a huge Matt Smith fan and it will take a while to accept Capaldi in the role. It was the same for me when Tennant took over from Ecclestone.

The best bit about the "I'm not your boyfriend" line was the follow up that he was reminding himself, not her.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted August 25, 2014

+1

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Miss maudy would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2014
I really struggled with the Matt Smith incarnation at first, mainly because he reminded me of someone I used to work with who was a completely gormless git who also used to flirt clumsily with ALL the girls, not because of anything wrong with his Doctor. I think it took me all of his first season to get my head around the fact he wasn't Azza with a dark wig!

So, I think I was more open minded this time to a new Doctor... I enjoyed the episode, I enjoyed all the past references, and there were a couple of moments toward the end where I started to feel like Peter Capaldi would be alright (when they went for coffee was one of them; and I liked the not your boyfriend line as well.)

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted August 25, 2014
Apparently there were quite a few disappointed whovians who had woken up for the 5.00 A.M. broadcast on Sunday. That's 5 fkn A fkn M on fkn Sunday. I'd be well disappointed too getting up that early for something which ain't live sport. Deserve whatever they get.

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Aaron has opinions thus...

Posted August 25, 2014
I have liked all the incarnations so far but Matt smith took a while as I think the writing has suffered since Russell Davies left as main writer after the end of tenant. The 50th anniversary ep got me back on board. I have a great feeling about capaldi. For next doctor I would live to see one who still solves with his smarts but is more uncompromising with his enemies. Ps and no more bloody daleks. They are done alright.

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Aaron is gonna tell you...

Posted August 25, 2014
I have liked all the incarnations so far but Matt smith took a while as I think the writing has suffered since Russell Davies left as main writer after the end of tenant. The 50th anniversary ep got me back on board. I have a great feeling about capaldi. For next doctor I would live to see one who still solves with his smarts but is more uncompromising with his enemies. Ps and no more bloody daleks. They are done alright.

Dave W asserts...

Posted August 25, 2014

I can live without a cliffhanger season-ender featuring Daleks and/or Cyberman, too. In fact, I think I heard that they've aimed for storytelling is different and has a slower pace. So I hope this means that the baddies will be different, too.

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Bunyip mumbles...

Posted August 25, 2014
The dinner invite / larder quip was golden.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted August 25, 2014
And excellently recapped by the indomitable Girl Clumsy.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted August 25, 2014
Girl Clumsy is totally domitable.

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2014
would you prefer the unsinkable girl clumsy?

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Boscolamb reckons...

Posted August 26, 2014
I'm slowly warming to Capaldi, but I hate the Scottish accent. To my American ear, entire sentences he'd rush through sounded like jibberish. Even rewinding the DVR didn't help. I think I'm not alone in this. I hope producers take note.

Halwes reckons...

Posted August 26, 2014

Come off it. No one butchers the queen's ( god save her fascist soul ) english like the yanks. I have to use the sub titles when I watch American shows.

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted August 26, 2014
I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but to my ears it sounded as if Capaldi had toned down the Scottishness slightly. He was much more Scottish on The Thick Of It (and like JB I keep waiting for him to turn into Mr Sweary),

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted August 26, 2014
Might I suggest this

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted August 26, 2014
Watched it last night. Pretty happy overall but again moffat who has great ideas seems to rely on blind luck for his characters yo escape rather than pulling the rug out with some clever sleight of doctor hand. But capaldi brings it so looking forward to it.

Lizard lesbians? Yeah why not

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 26, 2014
There is something about lesbians in general that I've always considered a touch reptilian.

Not that there is anything wrong with it.

Blarkon mutters...

Posted August 26, 2014
Not at all.

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Halwes mutters...

Posted August 26, 2014

Gees in two days you've pissed off Maoris and lessos PNB. Let's hope you never run into a 16 stone Maori lesso. Although that would be an encounter I'd like to watch.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted August 26, 2014
Thought it was the weakest "new Doctor" episode since the reboot. Ultimately the show stands or falls on the writing and for every "Doctor's Wife" and "Blink" there's been a lot of chaff. They've got a great lead, but the question seems to be is anyone still able to come up with new material that leverages that to its fullest extent?

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Sudragon puts forth...

Posted August 26, 2014
Interesting Fact: Capaldi has an Oscar.

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damian would have you know...

Posted August 26, 2014
I vaguely remember that when Colin Baker came in there was talk of a move to a "darker" doctor, though of course this did not happen. I suppose in the meantime they've done this with the John Hurt doctor, but Capaldi seems like the best opportunity for some morally ambivalent inner tension since Hartnell (who did that rather well, as I understand it).

It's sort of a pity there wasn't more than one telemovie with Paul McGann. Not that I'm saying it'd necessarily have been awesome or anything (it could, or it could flop badly... hypothetical alt history stuff there), just it could have provided some neat "improving" stories for the canon.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted August 26, 2014
I should say - one telemovie and one 5 minute teaser to introduce Hurt.

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Aaron mutters...

Posted August 27, 2014
I liked the john hurt war weary doctor and wish they would go there more but they don't want to hurt their family friendly brand I guess.

I think some more writers with Moffat at head would make a lot more blink quality episodes.

I hope they do a spin off lizard lesbian chronicles.

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simongarlick is gonna tell you...

Posted August 27, 2014
This episode existed for one reason – to reassure younger fans of New Who that it’s OK for the Doctor to be old. Clara gets upgraded from being a piece of the set to being an audience surrogate. Still not a character though.

The dinosaur out of its time, lost, all alone. “The world is grey, everything I knew is gone.” We get it.

The robot out of its time, repairing itself for millennia, all alone. Come on Moffat, we get it.

The broom speech. “There’s nothing of you left”. The face in the tray bit showing 12 his own face. Fuck Moff, give it a rest.

Vastra’s veil speech. “He’s old. The young face was just an act. If you can’t accept that he’s older, you are a shallow person.” Jenny to Clara. “I don’t just like her, I love her, even though she’s different.” If you are just “liking” him for his looks, you don’t really love him. MOFFAAATTTTTT

Clara: fucking everything in the whole episode. Oh, she’s only 27? Gee, thanks for that Strax, that line didn’t half stand out like dog’s bollocks. “Hey Doc, that’s not the only grey hair”, and just in case you haven’t been slapped in the face with it enough, here comes a call from Clara’s boyfriend so that Matt Smith can explain to the audience – I mean, Clara – that it’s OK for the Doctor to be old and grey.

The “Clara doesn’t understand regeneration and wants her young Doctor back” plot was inexplicable shit. She has more understanding of Time Lord regen than anyone! She spent time with three different Doctors of different ages simultaneously in the 50th, and thanks to the crap Impossible Girl crap story arc crap she’s the only companion to have personally encountered every different incarnation of the Doctor across 2,000 years. Shit. Fuck you Moffat, lazy writing.

Episode highpoints: Capaldi, “times like these I miss Amy”, eyebrows.
Episode lowpoints: everything else.


At a higher level this episode embodies something even more annoying – Moffatt’s twin tendencies to

a) regurgitate his own previous plots and storylines - S08E01 is basically S02E04 “The Girl In The Fireplace” (writer: Steven Moffatt) re-done to emphasis the Doctor's age. Clockwork robots in a broken time-traveling spaceship trying to harvest human bodyparts to perform repairs, the Doctor struck with the reality that he's ancient and immortal and personal relationships with humans just don't work; and

b) make the Doctor a timetraveling Sherlock Holmes. Moffatt is lead writer and showrunner of “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” at the same time, and it shows. Not in a good way.

Dick swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 27, 2014
Tell us what you really think, Simon. Stop holding back.

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JG reckons...

Posted August 30, 2014
I like Capaldi as the new doctor.

The first Dr Who episode screened in November 1963 when I was five months old.

I have faint memories of watching Dr Who on black-and-white TV. Some memories of Jon Pertwee (and maybe the doctor before him), but Tom Baker (long scarf doctor) is the one I think I saw the most of, even though he annoyed me.

I remember that Catweazel used to screen right before Dr Who on TV. Both pretty scary shows for young children. I was terrified of the Daleks.

Not really a keen Dr Who fan, but I may start watching the odd show now again. I enjoyed the new series pilot with Capaldi. I saw him interviewed by Julie Z before it went to air, so I guess I already grew to like him before the show went to air. He's refreshing and kinda sexy.

JG

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Sharknado 2, the Sequelator

Posted July 11, 2014 into Telly by John Birmingham

20 Responses to ‘Sharknado 2, the Sequelator’

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted July 11, 2014
I must be the only person who hasn't seen the first.
I will wait for the box set and watch them in one sitting.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2014
Someone is getting paid for writing this stuff. Their life is awesome.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 12, 2014
Rumor has it that it is being written by two 12 year old boys in exchange for snacks and video games.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted July 12, 2014
If they offered Apple Store Vouchers ...

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Vovchara has opinions thus...

Posted July 12, 2014
kinda sad, so many good books as a base for good films/tv shows, instead we get this kind of crap...

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Vovchara swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 12, 2014
kinda sad, so many good books as a base for good films/tv shows, instead we get this kind of crap...

Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 12, 2014
The future is filled with low quality high margin stuff.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2014
There were thousands of low quality, high margin "B" motion pictures followed by countless even low quality, high margin television shows followed by even lower quality, higher margin cable shows followed by....

The past is the present is the future.

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Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted July 13, 2014
Exactly. We get stuff like Offspring and Wonderland but not Tasmanian Babes Fiasco. Hands up who thinks that Fiasco score well, but have to be on the ABC/SBS due to subject matter?

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Aaron puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2014
Sure it's crap but then you will get people like Spielberg and Lucas who grew up on trashy stuff of their day and do their own take. Not that sharknado fills me with confidence for the future

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 14, 2014
One day some small child will grow up to make a high budget, mega remake of Sharknado and it will be the Raiders of the Lost Ark for that generation, filled with artistic merit and deep meaning.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Dave W reckons...

Posted July 14, 2014

<EM>Raiders of the Lost Ark </EM>has artistic merit? WTF did I watch?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted July 14, 2014
RoTLA is a fucking dinkum cinematic masterpiece, you munted wanker.

Dave W puts forth...

Posted July 14, 2014

Oops, for a moment there I thought you were engaging in satire. My bad.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2014
Perhaps I stretched the joke a bit too far.

Dave W mutters...

Posted July 14, 2014


I just wondered if there were themey things I was missing, PNB. It's entirely possible, you see. And mettyfors, can't forget those.


That third (or was it the fourth?) one, though, where he started out by escaping a nucular blast by getting into a fridge, that was complete shite by general consensus, right?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted July 15, 2014
Stepping away from my online ironic opinionated bogan persona, I say with all sincerity that I only enjoyed the first one, and most of the third. The others were - adopting the venacular - shite. Awful.

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luckedoutout mutters...

Posted July 14, 2014
Finally, a reason to live.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted July 14, 2014


Pa, the spamtrolls have got into the solar project agin.


Oh and please may we have a permenant linkage somewhere?

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Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted July 14, 2014
Damn you again JB. An hour and 23 minutes lost time looking at trailers. Once you see one you can't stop. Machines v Alienz looks kinda interesting. Surely he is leading them away from the RV point, surely...

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