Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Next Human Part

Are we all on the Internet living alone in isolated rooms? I listened to three particularly nice Doctor Who audios this past week, Dreamtime, Catch-1782, and Three's a Crowd, though Three's a Crowd was definitely my favourite. A rather amusing metaphor for the Internet, the Fifth Doctor story sees he and his companions Erimem and Peri encountering a lost group of colonists who in the name of survival have confined individuals to separate small, dome-like quarters for their entire lives communicating only by Intercomm and only occasionally seeing one another through video chats. The title refers to a scene where one man suffers a panic attack when Erimem enters his room after his friend has also entered the room, creating the unprecedented situation of three people in one room together.

They have annual "socials" where people are able to entertain single visitors one at a time. The guy suffering the panic attack, Vidler (Richard Unwin), has fallen for another colonist, Bellip (Lucy Beresford), who continually puts off meeting him in person at socials because, she continually says, she needs her "space". I wonder if the writer of this story, Colin Brake, had an ax to grind with an evasive crush but it all still comes out as a nice satire of a culture grown comfortable avoiding physical contact with the help of electronic communication. The leader of the colonists, Auntie, is played by Deborah Watling who portrayed the Second Doctor's companion Victoria on the television series. Like Anneke Wills, time seems to have improved her acting ability considerably.

Catch-1782 is a nice time travel ghost story even though it stars the worst Doctor and one of the worst companions, Six and Mel. Dreamtime is a nice Seventh Doctor story with companions Ace and Hex about an Earth city being stolen, plucked up on an asteroid. The reptilian race, the Galyari, introduced in The Sandman, show up looking to trade or scavenge, the story turning into an interesting perspective on immigration and territory disputes.

Twitter Sonnet #773

Songs composed on doorknobs've stained the palm.
Walkway fluorescent lunch has stuck above.
Flickering bulbs'd fain dissuade the bomb.
Midday dinners burn through the old kid glove.
Wakeful beads signal popcorn ceiling stars.
Mislaid supermarkets conceal the bag.
Faded sushi wanders through salty bars.
Extinct but the pilgrim wight has a tag.
Low bells betoken Caracas Kraken.
Broken kitchen drawers draw blinds over light.
Wisdom devours gardens of Traken.
Black nylon night streets soon take over sight.
Missing pine needle mirrors close crosses.
Clouds of tiny demons cut their losses.

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