Friday, May 13, 2011

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.

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