Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Return

I watched a ridiculous amount of Doctor Who yesterday. I watched the last two parts of "Terror of the Vervoids", and then I started thinking of the fact that just two episodes stood between me and being done with Colin Baker forever. And when I finished "The Ultimate Foe", I couldn't resist watching the first Sylvester McCoy episode. It was like the first real episode of Doctor Who I'd seen since "The Caves of Androzani".

Superficially, McCoy seems like a cross between Dudley Moore and Scrooge McDuck. The latter because, like Jamie, he's not just Scottish, he's sort of cartoonishly Scottish. He wears two different kinds of plaid;

I can't tell if he's barely covering up a Scottish accent or if he's intentionally trying to sound slightly Scottish. Wikipedia identifies him as a Scottish actor who grew up in Dublin with an Irish mother and an English father. Maybe he has an amalgam accent like Claudia Black.

His outfit is infinitely better than the sixth Doctor's. The Doctor doesn't look like he should be on a low budget public access preschool show anymore. And oh, how I love his shoes.

In fact, I love his costume as a whole. The only complaint I have is for the question marks on his vest.

But the comparison to Dudley Moore and Scrooge McDuck stops at the surface level. Unlike Colin Baker, McCoy is an actor capable of conveying the internal personality of his character, something all the actors previous to Colin Baker had, a capacity to behave unpredictably yet totally naturally. This is why it's genuinely funny when the Doctor and the Rani in McCoy's first episode go through the silly business of amnesia and mistaken identity. Colin Baker's Doctor, who was supposed to be a sort of clown, only made me laugh out loud once, in "Terror of the Vervoids". There'd been a running gag about the Doctor gaining weight and when he sees a trash bin being taken out of a gymnasium he says, "Wish I could get rid of my waste so easily." Or "waist".

It's amazing the show survived Colin Baker's era, not just because of him, but also because there was apparently a lot of fighting amongst the production staff. The death of Robert Holmes before he finished writing the final episode of the season also seems to have thrown quite a wrench in things.

The sixth Doctor's final season was linked together in a season long story called "Trial of a Time Lord"--the season's first three serials presented as evidence in a court trial where the Doctor is defending himself against accusations of meddling in alien affairs before a council of his fellow Time Lords. There's a sort of breathtaking layering of senselessness and silliness in the story.

Of course, there's an air of cheap phoniness when characters in a show or movie watch footage that's clearly been composed and edited as though it's candid footage. This old, silly conceit is combined with another old, silly conceit of the courtroom drama where people constantly pop up shouting "Objection!" to say something like, "He's totally wrong! He's lying! He's just trying to kill me!" etc. so the judge can explain continually how the participants need to abide by court procedure.

And, where brain cells are dying on Doctor Who, the Master is usually there, as indeed he was this time with his usual flimsy motivation, in this case to prevent an apparently evil version of the Doctor from killing his past self. Which of course begs the unaddressed question of how he could kill himself in the past while still trying to kill himself in the past. Though I guess that's the sort of paradox one needs to overlook often on Doctor Who. But it can be addressed effectively.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I'm Surrounded by Killers

Snow caught a mouse yesterday;

Music in the video is by Ennio Morricone from The Thing soundtrack, Carmine Coppola from The Godfather Part II soundtrack, and Kroke from their album Ten Pieces to Save the World.

I'd actually missed Snow's initial capture of the mouse. I was taking pictures of a spider when I noticed Snow on the fence peering at something on the other side with an intensity that made me put my shoes on so I could walk across the grass and dirt with my camera. While I filmed him, he leapt down to the other side and intently watched a bush for a long time. I finally gave up and switched off the camera when he suddenly sprang forward and I heard a small but very clear squeak. Snow emerged carrying the mouse by the scruff like it was his kitten and proceeded to parade his prize in circles around the whole house. Finally he stopped and set it down to re-enact the capture for my camera (where the footage begins) and to increase the terror of his victim.

My camera was running out of battery power or I would have recorded Snow tossing the mouse up in the air several times. When I left him finally to go inside, the mouse was still alive.

Twitter Sonnet #267

Hungry trees knock down little apple minds.
Hollow point water bottles gash your thirst.
In jail, stripes smell like watermelon rinds.
Female key chains are so pink they could burst.
Parental death races round blank junior.
Woozy snipers see swaying scope crosshairs.
Mounds of butter support pickle mayor.
Newt Gingrich has bad buffalo nightmares.
The cheeseburger can never kill live prey.
Delayed murder moves in shrinking spirals.
Quick squeaks are all a running mouse can say.
Even outside Cheshire the cat smiles.
The sightless mask permits an emerald eye.
Distant train screech sounds like a metal sigh.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Game Reality

I was already looking forward to Skyrim before I found out yesterday Max von Sydow's going to be in it as a knight who's a mentor of sorts for the player character. It's going to be like having Antonius Block from The Seventh Seal as your companion;

It's hard to imagine better casting for a game taking place in a fantasy version of medieval Scandinavia unless they resurrected Ingrid Bergman.

I've been enjoying New Vegas still but lately I've been finding myself playing a lot of Bubble Bobble, the game that had the courage to suggest that dinosaurs breathed bubbles.

I'd been playing it while listening to The Howard Stern Show but yesterday I found myself playing it while watching parts 2, 3, and 4 of "Mindwarp", the second and last Doctor Who serial to be written by Philip Martin, who wrote the similarly excruciating "Vengeance on Varos". Though "Mindwarp" isn't quite as bad since it featured the rather horrific death of Peri. I actually felt really bad for her, and whenever I feel anything for anyone in the Colin Baker era, it kind of surprises me. She had her head shaved and her mind replaced with that of a slug creature before she was shot--I mean, wow. It makes me wonder if the show runners really hated her. I almost feel like it's wrapped in self-loathing for Peri's primary role as eye candy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dark and Narrow Streets

I hadn't seen Morocco all the way through in six years, judging from this old, annoyingly mannered blog entry of mine. Boy, do I sound full of myself in it;

But, of course, there's a lot more to Some Like it Hot than George Raft. But what could I tell ya? Marilyn Monroe's hot and I like it? You know that. You're on that page, too, odds are.

Ugh, shut up, douchebag. I hope I'm not going to feel so annoyed by to-day's blog entry six years from now. I'd like to think I'm not coming off so contrived anymore. It's funny how a lot of becoming a better writer is just in sounding like you're not trying so hard anymore.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about Morocco, a movie I enjoyed much more last night than I did in 2004, and I loved it in 2004. Mainly because I liked Gary Cooper a lot more this time. I used to not get Gary Cooper--I thought he was kind of stiff, his performance not very convincing. He does have a few, too broad silent movie mannerisms, but now his performance speaks volumes to me.

He's stiff, he's awkward--the way he pretends to lean on the fan, the way he tosses it onto the piano and misses the first time, the way he almost hits his head on the door frame. Above all his smile--it's bitter, and you can see he's mockingly smiling at his own foolishness more than anything else. It's this that tells us why he says he wishes he met Amy ten years ago. His experiences with women in that time have only caused him to hate his own impulses to love. He's awkward because every moment with Amy is telling him she's different while another part of him is saying, "I've felt this way before and I was wrong before."

Amy is different and in a way that makes this a great feminist movie--because it's Amy's self-possession and independence that make her different. She's not like Caesar's wife, heedlessly following her pleasure impulses expecting the men to take all the responsibility, or the mercenary girls who hang around the soldiers, both literal prostitutes and those who engage in a more implicit trade of sex for material goods. Amy has the strength and self-discipline to be true to someone, running contrary to society's idea that women should be like children and men their masters.

Few actresses at the time could've carried this off as brilliantly as Marlene Dietrich. This was long before her infamously skeletal years, and it's refreshing to hear her claim to weigh more than 120 pounds.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sealed Evidence

Twitter Sonnet #266

Putrid purses hold unholy old gum.
Hot air is written on the bathroom wall.
Age too late unites Ataru and Lum.
Weak mechanical arms let their toys fall.
Seven soldier fingers molest later.
Sacrilegious desert eyelids winking.
Thigh fleas and lice are bane of the satyr.
But the quicksand takes all legs worth sinking.
Red bangles squeeze the blood into the hand.
Minotaurs dream of graceful blue babies.
Useless secrets hide in the breast of sand.
Resignation forms from soup of maybes.
Networks of inverted noise blossom grey.
Iron needles keep the vinyl away.

Music in the video is by Henry Mancini from the Charade soundtrack.

Currently drinking Starbuck's Orange Blossom tea, which is jasmine green tea with tangerine peel, goji berries, chamomile flowers, fennel seeds, liquorice root, orange essence, tarragon, and bergamot essence. It kind of tastes like Ecto-Cooler. I can't believe they finally discontinued Ecto-Cooler . . . in 2001. I guess I'm the last to know. It would've been great if it was still around to-day, with kids wondering who the fuck this Slimer character is.

Starbucks has finally stepped up their tea quality to match Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, which for years was the only place I could go to get full leaf tea bags. American tea finally taking steps away from the slim packets of sand mocked by the rest of the tea drinking world. The Orange Blossom, for example, looks like this;

There's something exciting about tea being little bags of goodies. Though I'm sad to see Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf isn't doing good business nowadays--they've rather scaled back their menu, no longer even serving their hot apple juice with cinnamon and honey.

Feeling pretty foggy and unfocused the past couple days, somehow this made me decide to watch The Big Sleep last night, one of the most notoriously convoluted plots in movie history. Though one of the great things about that movie is that it's enjoyable regardless of whether or not you're actually following it. Sometimes when I watch it, I am keeping track of who killed Geiger, making sure to remember to pretend Carmen is naked when Marlowe finds her at Geiger's house, as she is in the book, so the blackmail scheme makes sense, remembering Mrs. Rutledge's relationship with Eddie Mars and the significance of the whole business with Regan, remembering the deal with the kid and Agnes. That poor kid. Other times, like last night, it's enough just watching Bogart going from hot dame to hot dame, smiling wearily.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anthropology is Cheap

I wanted to sleep in until at least noon to-day but for some reason I got really sleepy at 2am and there was a lot of noise around here at 10am. So I had more than enough time to study for to-night's Anthropology final exam, which is at 8pm.

I just received an e-mail a few minutes ago from my anthropology teacher, sent out to the whole class, which reads, in part;

Anyone who is going to be on campus today before 7pm and
Has $33 cash with them (of course I will repay upon my arrival
And will happily give a $5 tip for your favor)
please contact me ASAP

No explanation as to what the money's needed for is included.

Since last night, he's sent out two other e-mails telling the students to bring in all their assignments from the semester or the grades for these assignments will not be factored into the total grade. I guess I can infer from this that he does not keep records--the fact that we've only had two assignments outside of class makes this all the more fascinating. I'm really starting to wonder if I'm going to hear about the decaying corpse of my real anthropology teacher turning up somewhere, five months dead.

It's a good thing I'm such a pack rat and I have both my assignments in my backpack still. Though, as this is the first time he's mentioned the need for us to hold onto the assignments, I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few students who are quite justifiably angry to-day.

Having finished the second half of "Revelation of the Daleks" yesterday, I've completed the first full season of the Colin Baker era Doctor Who and with his final season having only fourteen, half hour episodes, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at last.

I never did warm up to the sixth Doctor, but I will say season 22 wasn't a complete waste of time. There were only two serials that felt like genuine torture--"Vengeance on Varos" and "Timelash". "Vengeance on Varos" did feature Sheila Reid, Mrs. Tuttle (or was it Buttle? It's been confusion from the word go) from Brazil, though she's in a strikingly phoney role as a member of a television audience for the serial's Running Man style plot wherein the Doctor and criminals are forced to overcome deadly obstacles for the amusement of that audience. So, so bad, though not as bad as the phoney DJ in "Revelation of the Daleks", a serial I otherwise rather liked, particularly the horrific moment where a young woman comes across her father being turned into a Dalek and he begs her to kill him.

There were several very effective guest stars in the season--Eleanor Bron and Clive Swift in "Revelation of the Daleks" and I liked the new Time Lord (Time Lady?) villain known as "The Rani", despite the fact that her name is pronounced exactly like "Ronnie" as in Ronnie the Limo Driver.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Trying to find something in my purse to-day, I pulled out a bunch of the cards, flyers, and even whole short comics that increase in number every time I go to Comic-Con. It was kind of depressing--all the hard work I was looking at and knowing practically none of these people make any money. It's like ten thousand people trying to fit on a lifeboat.

Two nights ago, I watched Midnight Cowboy, directed by John Schlesinger, who also directed Billy Liar, and Midnight Cowboy starts off with what might be seen as an alternate ending to Billy Liar, presenting the possible reality that may have occurred if Billy had gone off to London and left everything. Joe, Jon Voight's character, is another young man with big dreams who's been oppressed all his life by abusive relatives and neighbours in his small Texas town. One day, he decides to dress as a cowboy and go to New York to try to earn a living as a gigolo.

Joe's lack of success has a lot to do with his naiveté and simple, good old fashioned stupidity. Meeting with failure in trying to get female clients, Joe finally takes a guy into a movie theatre, only to find the guy unwilling to pay afterwards. Joe threatens to take the guy's watch, but lets him keep it once the guy's pleaded his mother would be upset. Joe not taking the guy's watch anyway goes a ways beyond naiveté or good nature. It's hard sometimes not to see his "innocence" as cartoonish at times. But this effect is counteracted quite a bit by the location shooting and general sense of realism in the photography.

Also helping the character of Joe work, while sort of diverting things from his story, is the character of "Ratso" Rizzo, played by a very amazing Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman conveys layers of thought and feeling in character few actors are capable of. The relationship between the two men diverts the movie from the unexciting dumb kid getting eaten up by the big city story and makes it something subtler and more primal, about two people just trying to survive.

The movie takes kind of a cheap shot early on at Breakfast at Tiffany's having Joe come across an apparently dead or unconscious man in front of Tiffany and Co. as if to say, "See, Holly, bad things can happen at Tiffany's." It's not really an earned shot as Joe's a character not nearly as well drawn as Holly Golightly. Voight's performance carries a lot of it.

As with movies like Klute, this movie seems to be a reaction against the old Hollywood style film, incorporating New Wave techniques. But as is usually the case with such films, it's not in their reaction against the old style that makes them succeed but rather when the filmmakers just settle into telling an honest story.

My Hot Carrot

Did you know carrots could catch fire in the microwave if you overheat them? I sure didn't.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Short Things and Shorter Things

Short on time to-day since I had to study for to-night's history final. We're allowed to bring in one page of notes, but I didn't bother putting one together. It's pretty unlikely I'll get a grade that'll seriously effect my grade in any case.

I watched the new Panty and Stocking OVA with breakfast to-day. Here it is in its entirety;

I think the first joke depends on the similarity of the words shikyu (uterus) and pitchu (pitch). The bit that provoked an involuntary "Holy shit" from me, though, was the one the title of which is subtitled as "Brothers" though the Katakana actually says "Brothers of the Roundhead". Whatever the fuck that means.

Twitter Sonnet #265

Banana peels and soggy towels pile.
So the bleeding bins break before sundown.
Astronaut legs spend days on a mile.
Cicada haze transports the yellow town.
Stencil glory etched holes in the ceiling.
Famished demons dully praise a rare mint.
Extra teachers question without feeling.
Grey news through erased white channels is sent.
Easy puzzle pieces are very square.
Fat orbs unlock doors of obesity.
Perfect protein exists but few know where.
Diesel fuels bad films with velocity.
You've not lived 'til you've touched a live duck tongue.
Breath leaves no room for a real decent lung.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Secret Mall

View from the Horton Plaza parking garage to-day, with the convention centre visible at the end of the street. Comic-Con's already just two months away.

It occurs to me San Diego really is Ray Bradbury's town. There I was in a mall designed by Bradbury within sight of the convention Bradbury's been a fixture at for decades. Every now and then, I think about doing a series of photographs of Horton Plaza to show off its disjointed floors, one way escalators, and hidden shop lots all designed by Bradbury with the intention of getting people lost. But moments after taking this picture;

I was stopped by a mall cop who told me I'm not allowed to take pictures unless they're pictures of people I'm with. Believe it or not, it was the first time in months I wished I had a girlfriend. If there are any hot dames in San Diego reading who want to model for me, let me know.

I had to get up early for a dentist appointment and I skipped coffee until afterwards. I don't think my brain appreciated being jerked around. I had to drop my sister off downtown for her work, so I went to Horton Plaza and from there walked to Pokez where I wrote more comic script and ate lunch while this bee paced back and forth in the window sill beside me;

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Two Doctors

Doctor Zhivago's a movie I consider to be almost flawless. I have no complaints about the first two thirds, in fact it transports me better than any hokey rapture could just with the beauty of its imagery. I watched it in Blu-Ray last night, which was utterly breathtaking.

My problem starts when Yuri finally kisses Laura. Maybe it's because I've never been married, but I don't get adultery. Well, I don't mind open marriages, though it's not how I'd prefer to live. I can still respect the people who choose to lead their lives that way. What I can't sympathise with is making a commitment to someone and then going behind their back and betraying them. It's not that I think it's bad behaviour, though I do, but that I think it's pathetic behaviour. I respected Yuri up to that point, I liked how, from his POV, action would occasionally stop as he admired the moon or some flowers or some other bit of natural beauty. I loved how he simple heartedly agreed with the communist philosophy and was happy to share his home suddenly with dozens of strangers. All this makes the apparent ease with which he betrays the woman pregnant with his child even more ridiculous.

But, again, I do like unlikeable characters. I really liked Rod Steiger's character, who's a cynical bastard who does terrible things, but he's no simplistic villain. He calls Pasha a better man than him and he means it--he knows he's scum, and he's comfortable with it. His narcissism actually makes him helpful sometimes as it's apparently the sole reason he seeks to save Laura. That kind of moral ambiguity I can dig. But the petty adultery stuff belongs on Ricki Lake.

Doctor Zhivago has an amazing cast, particular since it has so many actors I'm familiar with from such a diverse range of movies and shows. Klaus Kinski is effortlessly effective in a minor role--I know him from Werner Herzog movies. Tom Courtenay I know from Billy Liar, Alec Guinness I know from Star Wars (did I just hear a ghostly, disappointed sigh? Must be the wind), and then there's this guy

Bernard Kay is one of my favourite recurring Doctor Who guest stars. Apparently he was playing Saladin on Doctor Who at the same time he worked on Doctor Zhivago. Now that's spanning a spectrum of Doctors.

I'm still in the desert of Colin Baker, but I hit the oasis of "The Two Doctors" a couple days ago. A genuinely fun episode that brought back the second Doctor and his companion Jamie.

There's something vaguely racist, in a Star Trek way, about the bloodthirsty race of chefs, the Androgums, and the scientific experiments to make them smarter. But I admit I laughed when the second Doctor said to the scientist in charge of the project, "I have no doubt you could augment an earwig to the point where it understood nuclear physics, but it would still be a very stupid thing to do!"

I also loved when the second Doctor is implanted with Androgum DNA and he and the chef go into Seville to ask if a restaurant served human flesh. And I loved the waiter's ingratiating reply, "No, sir, the nouvelle cuisine has not yet penetrated this establishment."

I have to admit, too, to enjoying Peri a lot. She has the perfect body. And it makes her fake American accent sexy somehow, like she's wearing a dress she hopes no-one notices is totally see-through.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Scales of Stuff

If she were alive to-day, I feel like Elizabeth Gaskell may have been a gamer. The impression I get from Margaret Hale, the protagonist of North and South, is that she's a bit of an avatar for Gaskell, and a someone narcissistic one--Margaret's shown to be the glue holding together her family, comprised of a somewhat weak willed father and a little lost lamb of a mother. Margaret's also the object of desire for powerful men, whom she often leaves feeling disarmed. Mr. Thornton, who's in charge of the mill town (Milton) in which Margaret's family have just taken residence so that her father can act as Thornton's tutor, apparently becomes rather quickly infatuated with Margaret. I loved the possibly unintentionally sexual quality to the prose when Thornton calls on the family, like this section from his POV;

[Margaret] stood by the tea-table in a light-coloured muslin gown, which had a good deal of pink about it. She looked as if she was not attending to the conversation, but solely busy with the tea-cups, among which her round ivory hands moved with pretty, noiseless, daintiness. She had a bracelet on one taper arm, which would fall down over her round wrist. Mr. Thornton watched the replacing of this troublesome ornament with far more attention than he listened to her father. It seemed as if it fascinated him to see her push it up impatiently, until it tightened her soft flesh; and then to mark the loosening—the fall. He could almost have exclaimed—'There it goes, again!'

Even better, from Margaret's POV;

She rearranged her mother's worsted-work, and fell back into her own thoughts—as completely forgotten by Mr. Thornton as if she had not been in the room, so thoroughly was he occupied in explaining to Mr. Hale the magnificent power, yet delicate adjustment of the might of the steam-hammer, which was recalling to Mr. Hale some of the wonderful stories of subservient genii in the Arabian Nights—one moment stretching from earth to sky and filling all the width of the horizon, at the next obediently compressed into a vase small enough to be borne in the hand of a child.

'And this imagination of power, this practical realisation of a gigantic thought, came out of one man's brain in our good town. That very man has it within him to mount, step by step, on each wonder he achieves to higher marvels still. And I'll be bound to say, we have many among us who, if he were gone, could spring into the breach and carry on the war which compels, and shall compel, all material power to yield to science.'

As George Takei would say, "Oh, my."

Later, when Thornton calls on the Hales again, he and Margaret have an interesting debate about Thornton's relationship with his workers. As the title suggests, the book is about a contrast between Margaret's experiences in northern and southern England, mainly in the change of environment from a rural parish to a sooty, miserable industry town (apparently modelled after Manchester). But the conflict also seems to become masculine versus feminine and capitalism versus socialism. The dialogue between Margaret and Mr. Thornton would not need to be changed much to fit into the mouths of a modern day liberal arguing with a libertarian. Particularly in Thornton's arguing against providing more for his workers because he values their independence. Thornton even argues for the necessity of a "wise despotism", which makes him more honest with himself than modern libertarians, perhaps.

Reading about the American Civil War for class, I had to smile about how the Confederacy, which was a loud proponent of states rights, very quickly fell under a system of a stronger central government than it had ever been in under the Union. It has to be the greatest perennial comedy of politics that those who most vociferously argue against the virtues of a "nanny state" inevitably end up with the biggest nannies.

Twitter Sonnet #264

Monkey punishment wears an olive mask.
Red Sophias smile at stranger men.
Legos are equal to galactic tasks.
Taxis grow in places of horse famine.
Flip-flops foil flora friendships quickly.
Shameless girdles indicate a defeat.
Pushpins puncture naive poultry strictly.
What loud, fell cushion embarrassed the seat?
Smashing noodles cuddle popping eye balls.
The slow voices have lightly called the cops.
Ragnarok rings jokes from green waterfalls.
Cats watch behind trees where their quarry hops.
Zapping spigots race a heavy bar tab.
Mutant suspenders walk out of the lab.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bereft in Chaos

I never thought Lars von Trier would cause me to laugh hysterically. Though I guess it's actually the board at Cannes that's making me laugh for expelling von Trier from the festival for these comments (they come after the clips of his new film Melancholia);

What a bunch of oversensitive dimwits running Cannes. I guess attempting to joke in English is dangerous when it's not your first language, but I think it's pretty clear he's being absurd.

Anyway, apparently this is somehow tangentially related to his extensive use of Wagner in his new film. Which would be the latest in a long line of movie soundtracks to take good advantage of Wagner, from directly using his work, as in the case of Excalibur, to soundtracks that reference bits of his Ring cycle like the Willow soundtrack and, of course, Vertigo.

I watched Götterdämmerung a few days ago and I was surprised when I caught very distinctly bits reminiscent of the scene in Vertigo where Scottie embraces Judy after he's forced her to dress as Madeleine. It makes sense, as Götterdämmerung largely revolves around the male lead, Siegfried, deceiving Brunnhilde, his wife, by disguising himself as another man. The male and female roles are almost reversed, except Brunnhilde doesn't force him to dress as Gunther afterward. Though she does desire to take revenge, calling on Wotan to do so at the same time Hagen calls on the powers of the Nibelung to kill Siegfried and take back the ring. So all the powers of good and evil are set against Siegfried, the consummately innocent kid from the previous opera.

Well, not so innocent, since he apparently raped Brunnhilde in the guise of Gunther. It's an interesting question, actually, what the rape means. If one considers the way people thought of sex in the time Wagner wrote his operas, Siegfried having sex with his own wife may not have been considered rape. Yet Siegfried doesn't know it's his wife when he's deceiving her because his memory has been temporarily wiped, and it does feel like Siegfried deserved the wrath of heaven.

Siegfried still seems like a kid, and it's questionable whether or not he has the emotional maturity to understand when taking his own pleasure is harmful to someone else. He'd never even seen a woman before Brunnhilde, having grown up with only a dwarf who'd raised him just for his own selfish ends.

Mainly, the point of Götterdämmerung seems to be that the world exists in a moral chaos without the gods around. It's the breaking of Wotan's spear, and the bad circumstances of the wolf son's birth that conspire to create an evil existence. Which is not to say Siegfried's not responsible for his actions. He kind of reminds me of Lenny from Of Mice and Men.

It's interesting how Hagen becomes a sort of replacement Wotan--carrying around a spear to witness oaths as Wotan had done, and kind of abruptly holding up two dead ravens as a sign to Siegfried that he deserves his punishment. And yet, of course, Hagen was an accessory to Siegfried's crimes.

The funeral music, the section that plays after Siegfried dies, is one of the best bits of music ever written in my opinion. It comes right after the mortally wounded Siegfried has been singing of Brunnhilde, having just drunk a potion that restored his memory. The contrast between the two songs emphasises how death is so much bigger and stranger than Siegfried's crimes and virtues. No wonder Lars von Trier likes it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Drifting Over Drops

This'll be my last regular night of school--next week's finals. Looks like my history final will be the harder of the two. My anthropology teacher told the class that the final will not be cumulative, that it'll just cover the last couple weeks' lectures, because, he said, he didn't see how cumulative finals were conducive to learning. He said teachers who gave cumulative finals were bastards. Indeed, what can asking a student to demonstrate knowledge of information taught at the beginning of class have to do with encouraging them to learn what was taught throughout the semester?

I'm more worried about my dentist appointment on Monday, actually. It would be a fitting end to a semester that barely got off the ground thanks to a stomach flu and urinary tract infection in the first week. It would be nice symmetry if in the last week I learned I needed a root canal or something.

Just when I thought summer was finally starting to get underway, it rained again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

World of Fail

Twitter Sonnet #263

Vitamins strain a wet rice paper cup.
Golden fat sighs into divine smile.
Hooves slide from the squirrelly yahoo's stirrup.
More want salt than I've seen in a while.
Grains like stars shoot over the buffalo.
Tongue men are aroused by black outer space.
Hybrid babes buy amniotic Jell-O.
Lime moles betray the captain's bubbly face.
Chain hoods conceal what's not worth concealing.
Liquid soldiers seep in snail memory.
The pitted clouds are slow at revealing.
A green fairy draught sunk the armoury.
Villain bud blooms into a big beetle.
Vinyl rain takes the Earth for a needle.

Still muscling my way through Colin Baker. Only nine more stories to go and I can say I climbed this colour blind, high school drama student mountain. Really, the only good thing about the show now is Peri's breasts, but they're not enough even for me. It is sort of fascinating listening to her try and maintain an American accent. Sometimes she sounds kind of Australian, which makes me wonder if Australians and Americans sound similar to an English ear.

I stayed up too late playing chess last night. Thanks to a stunning series of blunders, I ended up losing when I had two rooks versus my opponent's two pawns. Three people I know were watching the game and all of them tried to tell me it happens to everyone, it's important to play just for fun. Only Morrissey could write a song for the kind of feeling this inspires;

Though actually it wasn't so much the shame of losing that got me as it was a sort of awe at how bad I was playing. It kind of went past shame to something bigger--I think it touched a superstitious nerve, like I became aware of being cursed or something.

I started writing the script for my next comic yesterday. It's so much simpler than Venia's Travels I actually felt a little hesitant to keep writing. I asked myself, shouldn't I add like fifteen more layers or something? But I reminded myself that my intention was to write a much shorter and simpler piece, a set of three or four 24 page issues. And much more of a comedy than I've written before. The idea was to actually try and sell this one to a publisher.

I may have more time to work on it during the summer than I thought because it's looking unlikely I'll be able to get any classes in the summer. Looks like my Anthropology teacher was telling the truth about the massive budget cuts, in fact I think he may have sold the cuts short. I went into the bookstore to pick up the summer schedule only to be told they weren't being printed this time, that the schedule would only be available online. I downloaded it last night and was astonished by how short it is. Few of the classes I need are even being offered and classes filled up fast last semester. They'll probably go in the blink of an eye this time. I suppose I can pounce on the very instant registration becomes possible, though I suspect when I do it'll be attempting to log onto an incredibly sluggish, overtaxed server only to find the classes full when I finally get through.

Meanwhile there's a bunch of unfinished construction on campus. There's sure a lot of fucking up going on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calcified Shackles

When I saw the headline on Huffington Post that read simply, "Famed English Rocker Compares Queen To Mubarak, Gadaffi," I instantly thought, "It's Morrissey, isn't it?"

Indeed it was, from an essay he wrote for Hot Press. It's kind of sad how rare it is nowadays to hear a popular artist condemn the royalty.

The Smiths -The Queen Is Dead.... by samithemenace

I'm short on time to-day because my alarm didn't go off for some reason. Kind of guzzling my green tea with cocoanut milk.

I've switched to Silk's cocoanut milk exclusively for my fake milk needs because it somehow contains 50% more calcium than cow's milk, one cup supplying 45% of the daily recommended calcium. This quite dwarfs every other fake milk I've looked at--hemp, soy, and rice tend to have only 30% and the competing brand's cocoanut milk has just 10%. I figure the Silk cocoanut milk in my coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon followed by a Cliff bar, which has 25% of the day's necessary calcium, covers me adequately. Maybe this'll slow the eternal disintegration of my teeth.

Last night I had the cocoanut milk with Triple Sec, an experiment I was hesitant to try as I couldn't find any posts online endorsing the mixture. Turned out to be insanely good.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Missing Ingredients

Listening to The Big Lebowski soundtrack yesterday, I was surprised by how much wasn't included. Man, they took the Creedence!

Wikipedia has a list of songs left out of the official soundtrack release. I was surprised to find out that "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" was Kenny Rogers. It's weird, because I kind of like the song. I'm used to seeing Rogers on billboards around town promoting a local casino.

I've never thought about how they got the camera between the girls' legs on the closeup of Jeff Bridges. I guess they're either fake feet or they have the girls standing to the side and we're actually seeing the opposite feet of what we think we're seeing.

So "The Caves of Androzani", voted the best Doctor Who story in one poll, and among fan favourites in any case, is followed by "The Twin Dilemma", which has many times apparently been voted the worst Doctor Who story. It's the first serial to feature the widely reviled sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker, who I'd been actually kind of curious to see. Not just out of the kind of curiosity that compels one to watch a train wreck, but also because, I figured, I like a lot of things a lot of people hate. Maybe I'll like the sixth Doctor, maybe he's unpopular because they tried to do something interesting and ambitious with him.

I was half right. They were trying to do something interesting and ambitious, but I didn't end up liking it any more than anyone else. I guess it follows naturally from the sympathetic villains to the anti-hero Sharak Jek that we'd get an intentionally unlikeable Doctor. I have no problem with a main character who's unlikeable, but I don't like unlikeability for unlikeability's sake. There's no logic to the sixth Doctor's unlikeability--sometimes he kind of reminds me of the first Doctor's crotchetiness, but when he just abruptly says something rude to Peri or suddenly wants to run away from a plan he'd made himself, it feels artificial, like the writer's trying to meet a quota of unlikeable moments. It's certainly not helped by the fact that Colin Baker delivers a rather uninteresting performance. I enjoyed the first episodes of the other Doctors because they were always actors capable of creating characters who seemed to have a lot going on inside. You could sense the layers and you were compelled to study them to try and see if the familiar Doctor was in there. But Colin Baker is all surface. It's like when Bernard Herrmann got an opera singer to deliberately sing out of her range in Citizen Kane, only that time it was on purpose. Baker might be a decent supporting character in something, but he simply hasn't the depth of a lead, unless it's one of the Stanley Kubrick movies where he deliberately cast a lead with no depth. Though, maybe he's not great as a supporting character, either, since apparently he'd played one in a Peter Davison episode and I don't remember him being remotely remarkable.

So far the only positive I can see in the sixth Doctor is that Peri's less whiney around him--so she can be a foil for the whiney Doctor.

Meanwhile, everyone else is talking about how great the new Neil Gaiman episode is. Well, I guess I have something to look forward to in four or five months . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Digestion Compulsion

Some caterpillars I saw to-day;

Martin Scorsese's Casino (1995) has a lot in common with Goodfellas, his 1990 film. The similarities are mostly unfortunate in Casino, as they tend to highlight the superiority of the earlier film.

Both had screenplays cowritten by Nicholas Pileggi, based on non-fiction biographies he'd written. Goodfellas is told from the perspective of real life gangster Henry Hill while Casino is mostly told from the perspective of Sam "Ace" Rothstein (based on casino mogul Frank Rosenthal). This is one of the fundamental problems, as Rothstein isn't as an effective storyteller. And it's most evident in how the two stories begin--Hill's story begins in his childhood, and he effectively conveys how natural and easy it was grow into the mafia, which granted him a living and respect. Casino starts late in Rothstein's life, and the beginning is mostly a montage of scenes explaining how he got into the casino business and why the mob trusted him to run things in Vegas. It's interesting, but no characters are built by it. We don't get the feel for characters that Henry's narrative gave us. There's not a real dialogue scene to start getting some character development until around forty minutes in.

The movie carries over two stars from Goodfellas, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Pesci plays mob muscle Nicky Santoro--almost a reprisal of Tommy, his character in Goodfellas, except Nicky seems to have less of an inferiority complex. Nicky feels a bit more like gangster stock type, a less psychological portrait.

But the biggest problem in the film is Sharon Stone, who plays Rothstein's wife, Ginger. I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I've never found Stone very attractive. I suppose on a theoretical level, she has attractive physical features. But she always seems pissed off, like a rabid chihuahua. She has those Hilary Clinton* bug eyes.

This is appropriate for Ginger the coke addict, but not for the Ginger Sam falls in love with, the one he watches, marvelling how she can work a room, easily getting everyone to like her. If I met her at a party, I'd be less likely to think what warm and luminous presence she has than I would to wonder if she's pissed off because of something I did or if she's just seen nasty comments about her written on a bathroom stall.

And it's crucial we see what Rothstein likes about her--the centre of the story is how Sam's undone by the trust his love compels him to place in her. De Niro as Sam carries some weight--in one of he movie's best moments, when he proposes marriage to her and she tells him she doesn't love him, his face falls subtly, perfectly. It's a very old story, both in fiction and real life, I've seen it a million times, guys losing their minds over a girl who's not as into him as he is into her. De Niro's good enough to bring some reality to it, but not enough to compensate for Stone.

Twitter Sonnet #262

Bearded clocks sing of spade tipped magic wands.
An Apple rots its flesh round a slug drive.
Candy farthings choke the liquorice bonds.
Pirate hornets crew a galleon hive.
Fuzzy black nose sticks stab the hard blank lip.
Horizontal brass bars odour entry.
Rat's senses send police a timely tip.
Red film for paste is a tender sentry.
Ranger spies steal doors from an old nightmare.
Sunglasses reflect pink chewy dummy.
Final tower's foam found the Princess bare.
Silent critic toad thoughts make no money.
Vegetables stink for lazy digestion.
Roulette pupils dial information.

A spider in my bathroom a few nights ago;

*I am, for the record, a Hilary Clinton fan. It's no wonder she looks like that, though, considering how much she's had to swallow her pride in the sort of career that's mostly prompted by pride in oneself.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Infections, Crash Landings, Heroes, and Revenge

"The Caves of Androzani" was voted the greatest ever Doctor Who story in a 2009 fan poll, a poll I can't find myself putting too much stock in as it includes no stories from the first, second, or third Doctors' eras and it puts "Genesis of the Daleks" at three. "Genesis of the Daleks" had its moments, but mostly it was one of the most dismal war serials I've seen, and the war oriented serials are usually pretty dull. They rely a little too much on main characters miraculously surviving and running around hunched over in a rather less dangerous environment than they're trying to make us believe it is. And it's rare for the characters to run through heavy crossfire and even stop a moment to marvel they could've survived.

Anyway, "The Caves of Androzani" is really good, possibly my favourite fifth Doctor serial. And rather a pleasant surprise after a season that had started so badly. It's written by Robert Holmes, who was a regular writer in the third and fourth Doctor eras, and "Caves of Androzani" does have a retro feel, particularly in how the Doctor offers smart remarks to his captors. When he and Peri are informed of the nature of their upcoming "red cloth execution" the Doctor glumly yet dryly remarks, "Doesn't sound any more enticing than any other form of death."

Robert Holmes was one of my least favourite of the writers, actually, when he was a regular. When I saw his name in the opening, I got used to expecting a story where characters tended to do things with no real motive as plot points just sort of arbitrarily happened, as in "Terror of the Autons" or "The Deadly Assassin". But this is a case where he makes his big ideas work as just about everything is effective in "Caves of Androzani". I'd say only a fairly cheesy dragon monster with a scaly cape didn't work, and he only shows up very briefly. Most of the monsters in the serial are of the humanoid variety and, unlike in too many Doctor Who serials, it's not quite a manner of good guys versus bad guys. Usually a serial starts off establishing a hero and villain and sticks to them. On Androzani, it seems everyone's a villain and I rather liked how audience sympathy changed throughout. At first it seemed the General and his assistant were the heroes, despite trying to execute the Doctor and Peri, but then things switched to the rebel force of one, Sharaz Jek, who seemed to be sort of an ode to The Phantom of the Opera.

I think he's the show's first real anti-hero, and maybe the series was sort of leading up to him with sympathetic villains like Omega. Sharaz Jek's arch enemy is the government official Morgus--who's also secretly supplying Jek with weapons for his own cold-blooded ends via some also rather interesting cutthroat mercenaries.

With all these interesting, complicated subplots, the Doctor's story still manages to be the most interesting. As a regeneration episode, the writer has the freedom to kill the Doctor, an opportunity I don't think had really been utilized as well as it could have been in the previous regeneration stories. In this one, Holmes uses it for one of the most effective penultimate episode cliffhangers I've seen as the Doctor aims the mercenary ship at a planet. When the lead mercenary threatens to kill the Doctor if he doesn't stop the ship, the Doctor replies with just the right mix of cool and sort of resigned panic, "Not a very persuasive argument, actually, Stotz, because I'm going to die soon anyway." Interestingly, it's in this serial that I did start to see in Peter Davison a resemblance to Errol Flynn. And the Doctor's race against his death is made better by the fact that he's doing it more for Peri's sake--it would be admirable for the Doctor throw everything on the line for one of the companions he was close with, but when he's doing it for someone he barely knows and who still isn't very well established on the show, it goes to a whole other level of heroism and Davison sells it. Though I should say Nicola Bryant's American accent has gotten a bit better.

The final episode also featured one of the best desperate runs back to the TARDIS.

Friday, May 13, 2011

You'll Never Guess to Who You're Talkin'

Currently under the giant warm wet concrete tongue of last night's margarita. I guess I was celebrating the one week anniversary of Cinco de Mayo--well, I figured I'd better use the other lemon I bought that night before it went bad.

In my history class last night, the teacher went over a quiz we took last week, finding several of the wrong answers people had were technically right answers due to the poor wording of the questions. In my anthropology class, the teacher talked about how he didn't like No Country for Old Men because he found none of the characters to be likeable. Me, I wondered when the black freighter was going to show up. Or the black raider.

I finished reading the first volume of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 at school yesterday, which was mostly built around The Threepenny Opera, particularly the song "Pirate Jenny". It sent my brain in a weird loop because "black freighter" in the comic's lyrics is changed to "black raider". And I thought, "Wasn't it 'black freighter' to begin with? No, that's the name of the comic within a comic in Watchmen. Or is that one a reference to 'Pirate Jenny'? And it's changed here because Moore wanted to avoid seeming as though he's referencing Watchmen?" There also seemed to be an oblique reference to From Hell when MacHeath of Threepenny Opera is pardoned of the Jack the Ripper crimes and Mycroft Holmes says, "It seems that in our new century, fortune is set to favour Mr. MacHeath and his kind . . ."

It was a good comic, much too short. I guess it is only the first volume in a series. The idea of Pirate Jenny being Captain Nemo's daughter rather appealed to me. I think she's strong enough to have her own series.

Supporting Cast

(This post was written on the 12th but wasn't posted because blogger was down)

Twitter Sonnet #261

Blurred toes slap the dry black rancid ether.
Cold tea twirls round a toy walrus dwarf star.
Wicker wombats wish for nasty weather.
Down turned whiskers dim the mood of a bar.
Algae singing commenced behind the cat.
Nauseous notes drizzled over calcium.
White fur streamed like dry milky glove combat.
Sexless shapes snag in glass coliseum.
Striped snakes shake hands with new technology.
Aging oil relaxes in rockets.
Jehovah's loincloth holds biology.
Divine breath microwaves your Hot Pockets.
Blue sand whips soft bikini radishes.
A white plantation laughs and vanishes.

And to-day I finished watching "Planet of Fire", the Doctor Who serial introducing the companion Peri Brown. She's first seen talking with her brother, the two of them speaking with very strange accents I at first thought might be Italian or Slavic--it looked like the serial was shot in the Mediterranean.

But, slowly, mainly due to references to Miami Beach and New York, I realised these were supposed to be Americans. Just American accents so bad they make the Americans in "The Gunfighters" sound like California natives. She uses weird colloquialisms, too--she tries to warn the innocent natives that the Master is "going to do a bunk" on them. Which I think means he's going to trick them? I don't know. But it's sort interesting in that Peri's as foreign to me as an American would seem to the English, so I can kind of get a perspective on how Americans might seem to the English.

Apart from the bad accent, or maybe because she's saddled with it, actress Nicola Bryant also gives a remarkably unconvincing performance. And she makes Kate Capshaw seem like Tilda Swinton with all the whining and general helplessness she pulls. I wondered what in the world the show runners could have possibly been thinking in adding a character so useless on every level when

Oh. Oh, I see. Well, feminism on Doctor Who was just set back at least fifteen years. From Nicola Bryant's Wikipedia entry; "Bryant's tenure on the show was met with raised eyebrows in some quarters as series producer John Nathan-Turner admitted (in his book Doctor Who: The Companions and elsewhere) that his intention was to pump up the sex appeal of the ageing series by casting the young actress who was often seen wearing revealing outfits in the show."

Really. You don't say. The entry goes on to say, "During her final season on Doctor Who, the actress was allowed to dress more conservatively on the show." Which to me sounds like punishing a serial killer by cutting off everyone's hands. Its not her breasts' fault she's a bad actress in a badly written role.

Anyway, otherwise I rather liked the serial. There's some great location shooting, and I liked the story of superstition versus science. Turlough's reuniting with his people gave him some decent character moments, though I could have done without seeing him in his panties.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Phantom Voice

Now that I know his favourite spot, the frog is weirdly accessible. He refuses to run from me, but now my ambition is to get him to sing on camera. So far I've failed, but I did want to show how very loud he is. Snow endeavours to keep the video visually interesting;

I finished watching "Resurrection of the Daleks" yesterday, the last Doctor Who serial to feature the companion Tegan. Her departure I found curiously effective for how much it reflected a lack of connexion between her and the Doctor. Her stated reason for leaving is that travelling with the Doctor isn't fun anymore, only scary. His desire for her to stay felt like the nerd in high school who feels surprised when the hot chick in science class who was partnered with him hasn't developed feelings for him. Peter Davison is younger and more conventionally handsome, but Tom Baker seemed more keyed into romance. I only just found out Elisabeth Sladen died in April this year, and I rewatched last night her final scene with Tom Baker in "The Hand of Fear", which is one of the most emotionally effective scenes in the series, as I said when I talked about that serial.

"Resurrection of the Daleks" was nice in other respects, too. I found I'd actually kind of missed the Daleks. When the Doctor said, "They take themselves so seriously," I thought, "That's why they're so cute."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Escaping the Gravity of Nothingness

The callous young pilots at the beginning of The Wings of Honneamise (1987) reminded me of the ones from Only Angels Have Wings. Like that Howard Hawks film, Honneamise opens with one of the pilots having been killed and his fellows not seeming overly concerned about it, continuing their relaxed, hard drinking perpetual party in off hours, the emotional capacity of these young men seemingly numbed totally.

The pilots in Honneamise are navy volunteers for an experimental space programme, and as such, they're treated with ridicule by regular members of the navy. The Wings of Honneamise is a very simple hearted story about the value of men risking their lives for exploration instead of war.

Directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga, Honneamise shares many qualities with his television series Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. Both are stories that lack momentum, their greatest virtues being world building and attention to detail. Honneamise takes place in an alternate reality, and much of the incidental imagery features astonishingly intricate detail.

The animation cuts absolutely no corners, everyone in crowd shots being animated, and characters are constantly given evocative bits of business, as in one scene where the lead, Shirotsugh, is lying on his back on a catwalk eating bread rolls. When he sits up suddenly, he knocks over his thermos, spilling water onto a startled worker below.

Every little hint of character and aspects of this alternate reality emphasise the complex beauty of humanity, the aesthetic itself arguing against a more warlike ideology.

Shirotsugh is the test pilot chosen for the space programme's final phase of actually sending a man into space. One of the callous young officers at the beginning, he wanders the red light district after the death of his comrade and is surprised to see a woman handing out religious flyers. He befriends her, at first apparently just wanting to get into her pants, but her influence seems to wake his heart up a bit. I make it sound a lot more simplistic and cloying than it is--a lot of it is very subtle and neither Shurotsugh or Riquinni, the young woman, seem to be morally superior to the other. There's a hint of her own dysfunction in her inability to consummate an apparently mutual sexual attraction. In the most challenging scene of the film, Shirotsugh, in some kind of sleepy horny state, starts to take her by force before she hits him and he stops. The next day, she apologises for hitting him, making no mention of his own actions, apparently her own self-hatred and difficulty confronting sexual issues not allowing her to see what was done as something wrong done to her while Shirotsugh, of course, seems to hate himself for what he did. He muses about the contrast between what he knows about himself and the propaganda the government puts out about him that paints him as a heroic pioneer.

Mostly, though, the story is more simplistic and not quite as challenging as later Gainax projects like Neon Genesis Evangelion. And it's not as emotionally involving as Gunbuster, which was released in 1988, the following year, though the animators' distinctive intricately detailed machinery is on display in both films.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Mysteries of Beta-Carotene

Twitter Sonnet #260

Small frog statements rock the snail heavy leaf.
Computer eyes can't see the orange heart mote.
An angel watched the kid like Lee Van Cleef.
Amphibians choose to stand or to float.
Green gold sticks to the foggy stream bottom.
Blindfolded Real Dolls decide Coke's blank taste.
Tori Amos PAs spark cell autumn.
Prisons crowd with weird fern nuclear waste.
Orange juice cures set with the sugar tooth sun.
Spies got past Olympia Dukakis.
The King's old guards slept face down in their rum.
Iron flowers took spice of Arrakis.
Ancient ring winds through nutrients still blow.
The last of the crinkle cut carrots go.

Watching a bit of Steel Magnolias with my mother and sister yesterday, I realised Olympia Dukakis is one of my least favourite actresses of all time. I don't think I'd mind how smug she seems so much, though, if the movies she's in didn't seem to sympathise with her most of the time.

I finished watching "Frontios" to-day, the first decent serial of Doctor Who's twenty first season. I don't think I appreciated writer Christopher Bidmead as much in the previous serials of his I'd watched--"Logopolis" and "Castravolva", though I thought both were fine. But after "Warriors of the Deep" and "The Awakening", he seems like a genius, despite the fact that the production designer apparently committed suicide during production of "Frontios". I'll assume it was unrelated.

"The Awakening" was kind of a nice idea--historical re-enactment gone deadly. But it lacked real invention, the characters again running around from plot point to plot point. I appreciated the quoted dialogue from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood;

SIR GEORGE: You speak treason!

THE DOCTOR: Fluently.

Though it doesn't sound as natural coming from the Doctor as from Errol Flynn.

"Frontios" had more fun working within the Doctor Who universe, like Turlough threatening the colonists with a hat stand, or the Doctor pretending to be friends with the Tractators.

Also, I'm loving Tegan's sexy little leather skirt.

Here's last night's spider in my bedroom;