coalescent: (Default)
To be clear: I have not watched "Journey's End" yet, because [livejournal.com profile] bibliolicious is out at a gig this evening. But I wouldn't wish to deprive anyone of poll-clicking fun, and anyway I'm planning to pretty much avoid the internet for the next 24 hours, so:

[Poll #1218259]

Feel free to link to your Who posts in the comments. Actually, that would be really helpful, because by the time I get around to watching the episode any relevant posts will probably be buried at about skip=300, and thus difficult to find.

Gosh

Jun. 14th, 2008 07:54 pm
coalescent: (Default)
RTD wrote a good episode!
coalescent: (Default)
Based on the results of this, this and this:

1 2x04 The Girl in the Fireplace 95.2
2 1x09 The Empty Child 93.9
3 3x10 Blink 92.2
4 1x10 The Doctor Dances 90.0
5 3x08 Human Nature 88.5
6 2x12 Army of Ghosts 87.2
7 3x01 Smith and Jones 84.1
8 2x13 Doomsday 82.5
9 3x09 The Family of Blood 82.5
10 1x06 Dalek 82.0
11 1x03 The Unquiet Dead 80.8
12 2x03 School Reunion 76.2
13 1x02 The End of the World 75.0
14 3x11 Utopia 73.4
15 1x01 Rose 72.5
16 2x09 The Satan Pit 70.7
17 2x02 Tooth and Claw 69.0
18 1x12 Bad Wolf 68.6
19 2x08 The Impossible Planet 68.3
20 C1 The Christmas Invasion 67.4
21 C2 The Runaway Bride 66.0
22 1x13 The Parting of the Ways 65.4
23 3x12 The Sound of Drums 61.9
24 3x02 The Shakespeare Code 58.1
25 1x08 Father's Day 56.2
26 1x11 Boom Town 56.0
27 1x07 The Long Game 52.3
28 3x06 The Lazarus Experiment 50.8

<--------------- THE LINE OF TRUTH --------------->

29 2x10 Love and Monsters 48.7
30 3x03 Gridlock 47.6
31 2x07 The Idiot's Lantern 47.5
32 2x05 Rise of the Cybermen 41.5
33 3x07 42 37.7
34 1x05 World War III 35.3
35 2x11 Fear Her 34.2
36 2x06 The Age of Steel 32.5
37 3x13 Last of the Time Lords 28.1
38 2x01 New Earth 26.2
39 3x04 Daleks in Manhattan 26.2
40 1x04 Aliens of London 19.2
41 3x05 Evolution of the Daleks 6.2


Observations:

1. Steven Moffatt's four episodes take the top four slots comfortably; all his episodes have at least 90% GOOD; no other episodes do. For all the complaints about him, RTD has the next-highest number of episodes in the top 10.

2. Season three has the most episodes in the top 10, but has the lowest average score -- 56.7% GOOD, vs. 65.2% for season one and 60.0% for season two -- possibly because it also has the most episodes in the bottom 10.

3. These means exclude the Christmas specials, which both sit mid-table.

4. I'm a little surprised at how well the season two finale has charted; both parts made the top 10, much higher than either of the other finales charted.

5. Less than a third of episodes are officially BAD, which I guess means the show's doing something right.
coalescent: (Default)
Your show had a ranting Trig.

That is all.
coalescent: (Default)
not in bullets this time )

All the other posts ever:
[livejournal.com profile] palatinate here.
[livejournal.com profile] iainjclark here.
[livejournal.com profile] nhw here.
[livejournal.com profile] apotropaism here.
[livejournal.com profile] communicator here.
[livejournal.com profile] surliminal here.
[livejournal.com profile] blackbeltbarbie here.
[livejournal.com profile] andrewducker here.
[livejournal.com profile] ang_grrr here.
[livejournal.com profile] pikelet here.
[livejournal.com profile] wg here.

(And people wonder why I'm still watching.)

EDIT: O anonymous adder of tags: "flocking"?
coalescent: (Default)
'BBC to screen 'Doctor Who for adults' as new spin-off show':
The new programme will be called Torchwood (an anagram of Doctor Who) and will follow a crack team investigating alien activities and crime in modern-day Britain.

It will feature in its starring role John Barrowman, who played Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and who will play the same character in Torchwood.

[...]

[Davies] said: "Torchwood will be a dark, clever, wild, sexy, British crime/sci-fi paranoid thriller cop show with a sense of humour - the X Files meets This Life,"
According to the BBC page, we can expect this next summer, on BBC3. I will spend most of the time between now and then boggling.

EDIT: Private texts made public, episode 632:

[livejournal.com profile] coalescent: They're making a Doctor Who spinoff.
[livejournal.com profile] immortalradical: ... please tell me it's not called 'At Home With The Slitheen'
[livejournal.com profile] coalescent: It's the Captain Jack show.
[livejournal.com profile] immortalradical: Why do you tell me these things?
[livejournal.com profile] coalescent: They're calling it Who for adults.
[livejournal.com profile] immortalradical: STOP IT!
[livejournal.com profile] coalescent: "No. They won't see this coming."
[livejournal.com profile] immortalradical: Captain Jack - he so gritty!
coalescent: (Default)
In honour of the final episode of this series of Doctor Who, a Very Special Edition of GOOD or BAD: all thirteen episodes ready and waiting for you to pass arbitrary judgement upon them. Vote now!

[Poll #516009]

And if you wanted to use the comments to argue for what you think are the best and worst episodes, that'd be cool too.

EDIT: Interesting discussion about the finale on [livejournal.com profile] ajp's journal here.
coalescent: (Default)
TV: OK, so I caved and downloaded 'Dalek'. My need to be part of the consensus fandom experience is too strong. And, well, it was ok. Chris Ecclestone's performance was excellent, the story was tight (if a bit too obviously concerned with addressing all the common jokes about the Daleks: the pepperpot, the plunger, the stairs, etc), and the direction was lightyears more effective than in most of the previous episodes. My problems with the episode basically come down to the fact that I find Daleks inherently ludicrous, no matter how many people they kill; the fact that the setup was pure by-the-numbers; and the fact that the shape of the plot was strongly reminiscent of a particular episode of Angel. I mean, it wasn't quite an alley at the end, and you could argue that the Dalek possibly has a slightly less annoying voice, and it wasn't written by Tim Minear, but other than that ... you know where I'm going with this, right? Still: it was basically a decent piece of television. That sounds like damning with faint praise, but the point is that it shows potential; if they'd come out of the gate with episodes like this, I might have thought the hype had a point.

Film: The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy was not, contrary to certain reports, crap. I quite enjoyed it, to be honest. If you're as over-familiar with the radio series as I am then it definitely takes a while to get used to the new cast, but by and large most of the performances are good, and the film's heart is in the right place. Martin Freeman, Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy in particular are excellent, and the only real weak link is Mos Def who never quite seems right (though I wasn't entirely convinced by Fry as the Guide, either). Narratively it's quite different to previous incarnations--as it would have to be, to work. I didn't mind the insertion of a more conventional emotional arc, though it does some damage to Trillian's characterisation in particular. In general, I do think they edited most of the dialogue a bit more than was necessary. Where I give the film big points is in the visuals. The Vogons are outstanding (and Vogsphere in particular has a very Gilliam-esque feel to it), the improbability drive is perfectly rendered (the knitting!), and the trip to Magrathea's factory floor is jaw-droppingly wonderful. Oh, and Neil Hannon is absolutely the perfect singer for the Dolphin Song.

Book: The Portrait of Mrs Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford, read for an OUSFG discussion this coming Wednesday. A curious book, this: the story of a painter in 1890s New York, commissioned to paint the portrait of a women he may never see. Instead, he has to discern her likeness from conversation alone; from the stories she tells. Ford's deceptively simple prose is used to good effect to tell an atmospheric tale about the relationship between creation and obsession. Much of the book has a surreal, slightly hallucinatory quality to it; echoes of Greek myth haunt this New York, and the fantastic lurks in Mrs Charbuque's speeches. There is a slight feeling of self-indulgence about the whole enterprise, though, and I haven't really decided what I think about the ending yet. Worth reading, however.

Music: I have fallen head over heels for the Eels' latest album, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. Yes, it's a double album so yes, it's baggy in places, and simply by virtue of its size it takes a long time to get to grips with; but I wouldn't begrudge a minute of it. The album picks up where Daisies of the Galaxy left off. Many of the best moments come from the slight cognitive dissonance induced by the contrast between Mark Everett's gruff vocals and the sparklingly beautiful melodies he crafts, from the delicate lament of 'If You See Natalie' to the shuffle of 'Railroad Man' and the bouncy pop of 'Old Shit/New Shit'. Lyrically the songs are as sharp and observant as ever, although it has to be said that some of the titles--'Theme For A Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists'--are a bit laboured. The surprise, though, is that in amongst the pessimism there are moments of genuine sincerity and hope; the final track finds Everett concluding that 'I have some regrets, but if I had to do it all again/Well, it's something I'd like to do.' It's almost enough to give you warm fuzzies inside. Try this: One of the tracks that's really got under my skin, 'Blinking Lights (For Me)'.

(Other albums getting a lot of play at the moment include: Ambulance Ltd by Ambulance Ltd (think Doves, but with a bit of New York swagger instead of Northern melancholy); Songs For Silverman by Ben Folds (good, and I'll probably write more about it after the gig at the end of the month); and Natalie Imbruglia's latest offering. Yeah, Counting Down The Days is pure Richard-Curtis-movie-soundtrack music but, be honest, who hasn't wanted to pretend they live in a Richard Curtis movie now and then?)

Doctor Who

Apr. 23rd, 2005 09:27 pm
coalescent: (Default)
So I've been saying this off and on in comments for the past month, most recently on Tim's journal, and I figure I should set it down properly here at least once, and then I can shut up on the topic.

Here's how it is: I never watched Doctor Who as a child. At least, I don't think I did. I certainly never imprinted on it. I have some vague memories of Pertwee and McCoy, but I never hid behind the sofa. I don't think I ever even hid behind my hands. My nostalgia level for this show is approximately zero.

On the other hand, I do remember loving a BBC children's drama called Dark Season. That--Behemoth and the mind control, and all of it--creeped me out like you would not believe. I didn't find out until much later who it was written by, not until after Queer as Folk had been and gone, but on the strength of the memory I watched Bob and Rose (ok) and The Second Coming (excellent). I've missed Casanova entirely, but I'll be getting hold of the DVDs of it and Queer as Folk at some point purely because they come with Russell T Davies' name attached.

So I went into the new Who with a curious mix of feelings. I didn't really know what Who was, and somehow everything beforehand had led me to expect--well, maybe not another Second Coming but at least something intelligent. Something that was fun, and had fun with skiffy tv tropes, but was worth thinking about. Something, in other words, that was a bit like the less-dark bits of Buffy, but with the scope of Farscape and filtered through a British sensibility.

That's not what we got, and it took a while for everyone to get the message through my skull that it's not what Doctor Who is ever going to be. You can call it a family show if you want, but that's a euphemism. It's children's TV. That's not an automatic criticism; there are some children's shows I like a great deal and can still rewatch today, including the aforementioned Dark Season as well as Press Gang and ReBoot. The problem is that Doctor Who seems, on the evidence of the first five episodes, to wobble between the cartoonish and the actively juvenile. Do I have to mention the pig?

And yet ... the far-future episode wasn't bad, you know. It wasn't wonderful, but I liked the scope of it (until they felt the need to reassure the audience by returning to the present at the end), and the dialogue was pretty sharp, and it looked good. And the Dickens episode, well, that was weaker, but it still had a nice debate between the Doctor and Rose about whether it was right to let desperate aliens appropriate human corpses, and Rose was shown to be wrong. There have been other bits like that, too--bits where it's felt like a slightly more ambitious show has been trying to break through the covering of latex and comedy flatulence. I thought for a couple of weeks maybe it was Russell T trying to work within the format, that he was going to build up and pull a 'Becoming' (or at least a 'Prophecy Girl') at the end of the series, but then he went and wrote 'The Aliens of London'; so maybe such scraps have always been part of Who.

It's not a terrible show. On its day, it can be quite fun. Tonight's episode, in fact, I quite enjoyed. It was about as subtle as a brick, but it was funny without being silly and, dammit, I actually felt involved at the end of the episode. I'd even be looking forward to next week, if I hadn't seen the clip that Richard and Judy showed yesterday. So even though it's not really for me, I can start to see why people enjoy it. What I resent a little--and this is the thing that needles at me enough for me to be posting this--is that everyone seems to be hailing it as good, and worthy of serious attention. It's not, not by any sensible measuring stick. Forget the occasionally ropey but mostly actually not bad effects, never mind the formulaic but improving scripts, it's just not smart enough--not sharp enough, not willing enough to go after the interesting angle rather than the cheap gag. It is, for instance, not a patch on Dark Season. I don't want to offend anyone, but it feels to me like lowest common denominator fare.

Because the corollary to the above is that this one show, given the fuss made over it, will do more than any other single thing to define the Great British Public's image of sf as sci-fi for the next ten years. It's not being handled as a children's show; it's being handled as an Important Cultural Event. In fact, if episodes like 'The Aliens of London' have occurred with any frequency in the history of Who, I suddenly understand why that Public tends to dismiss sf as silly and nonsensical and not for them. This is not about sf having to be po-faced--much as I love Carnivale and (the new) Battlestar Galactica, I also wouldn't give up Farscape or Hitch-Hiker's for the world, and you can hardly say Mutant Enemy shows take themselves seriously the whole time--but it feels like we just got to the point where, maybe, some people were starting to accept that sf drama could be for grownups, and I can't help thinking this is going to set everything back two steps, without even taking one forward. Irrational? Almost certainly. But there it is.

And now, a poll.

[Poll #480618]
coalescent: (Default)
I cannot believe they fucked that up.

Stewart, you can't defend this one. Just don't even try. :-p

Who

Mar. 26th, 2005 07:59 pm
coalescent: (Default)
Christopher Eccleston is fantastic. A lot of the dialogue was sharp. The rest ... well, it wasn't all actively shit. Some of it was just meh. The direction was pedestrian, the effects just weren't up to scratch, and the music was dire.

There's potential, and next week's does look better, but at the moment it really wouldn't bother me much if I missed the rest of the series.

But everyone else liked it.

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