Friday, 14 February 2014

Favourite Fictional Characters: On Valentine's Day

To celebrate Valentine's Day, I thought I'll treat you to some poetry. Prepare, readers, for some romantic verse, inspired by an unlikely bunch of poets...

The Eleventh Doctor: 

Fezzes are red
My TARDIS is blue
Bow ties are cool
Just like you


Roses are red
Violets are blue
The statistical chances of you finding someone with whom you can tolerate a lifetime are incredibly low, meaning you should probably spend your time on something more constructive than a feeble attempt at attracting a short-term romantic partner.

 Homer Simpson: 

Roses are red
Like the floor stains at Moe's 
I will spend time with Marge
Tomorrow on Valentine's - d'oh!


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Poison Ivy is green
The Joker's hair is too

The Tenth Doctor:

Rose's jacket was red
Oh, God, Rose!
*Buries head in hands, sobbing*

Have a happy Valentine's Day, folks.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Monthly Scribbles: The Adventure of the Three Sherlocks and Capaldi's Coat

Welcome to a new series of posts on my blog: Monthly Scribbles! If that positively prosaic title was not clear enough for you, starting from this month I will write a round-up of, in Charlie Brooker's words, things that have been happening. Things like news bits and pieces and mini-reviews of things I've consumed within the month. Things like this:

Sherlock Series Three

Right at the beginning of January - if you can remember that far back - the stupendous Sherlock returned to our screens for a new run of three movie-sized adventures. Hyped for the two years since it's last series more than any other television show, it was feared that the result would not have been worth the wait. In the end, Series Three seems to have divided people far more so than the previous two, with many not being won over by its emphasis on character and humour as opposed to mysteries. Myself, while it did not quite reach the heights of the second series, Series Three was a fantastic run of television, with the definite highlight being 'His Last Vow' which saw the show at its most exciting, daring best. You can read my reviews of the episodes here or have a look at my favourite moments of the series over on Whatculture.

There was much talk about Series Four (which, as well as Series Five, Moffat and Gatiss apparently have all planned out) being broadcast at Christmas time but co-creator Steven Moffat has since said that seems rather unlikely. Personally, I don't mind waiting a while as long as the show is as good as it can be. Plus, this will be back in a few months...

The Clothes of the Doctor!

Doctor Who fans everywhere went wild the other day when Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi's costume materialised in our dimension. Capaldi said on the costume: 'No frills, no scarf, no messing. Just 100% rebel Time Lord!'
There's a lot of fun to be had picking out the various inspirations from different Doctors. The lack of tie evokes Eccleston's laid-back style, the cardigan under the coat is similar to the Doctor's previous penchant for waistcoats (see Numbers Four, Six, Eighth and Eleven) while the coat itself has more than a whiff of the stylings of Pertwee, thanks to the red lining.

At this stage, though he does look dapper, I've yet to think of Capaldi as the Doctor but that'll surely change soon as filming of Series Eight is already under way. Not much has been revealed yet - plus I'm actively avoiding spoilers - but we do know that the first episode will return to the familiar Victorian setting of recent years as the new Doctor and Clara team-up once again with the Paternoster Gang. Take a look at some spoiler-free snaps below:

Doctor Who Series Eight is expected to air in either August or September. What to do until then? Well, there's always old stuff to read and watch...

The Simpsons (Season Three)

In the wake of great new TV, I thought I'd re-watch a classic. I'm less familiar with The Simpsons' first few series, preferring the middle years of the 90s, but I'm thoroughly enjoying this season. Despite being three years in, the show was still finding its feet, with several characters not having developed their own personalities yet - for instance the endearingly dumb Ralph is often portrayed as an ordinary child - however, many episodes are real gems. 'Flaming Moe's' provides the groundwork for Moe, an up-to-then unimportant side character, while 'Lisa's Pony' must surely be one of the series' funniest ever episodes. As well as humour, the series also has that strong heart present in the show in the 90s which was sadly slowly replaced with cartoonish antics. Even now, The Simpsons isn't a bad way to spend half an hour but its good to look at its past to remember how good it once was.

The Sandman: Dream Country

For the last few months, I've been gradually working my way through Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics, the stories that made him famous. Focussing on the Sandman, Morpheus, the maker of dreams, it encompasses a vast range of myths and legends and literature and history all weaved together with Gaiman's consummate panache.
While I enjoyed the first two volumes - Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll's House - they struck me as the work of a young writer still feeling his way around. However, with the four separate stories in this third volume, Gaiman seems on much surer footing. The rightly-lauded 'Midsummer Night's Dream', which sees Shakespeare give the first performance of his play to an audience of the real Titania and Oberon and their fairies, is a triumph of comic storytelling while 'A Dream of a Thousand Cats' is a surprising and quirky tale of the true story of felinekind. If it is not to bold a claim, I think it's the defining story about cats ever written. Purrrfect, you might say, if you were a 1960s Catwoman.

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