bug eyed monster

Monster Prompt: “50′s”

Earth wasn’t this visitor’s first choice of rest-stops, but engine trouble is engine trouble. Communicating with the locals is a hassle, but a little nip on the brainstem and they’re eager to lend a hand with the ship!

“The Doctor was created as a male character.”

There was a rather desperately thrown-together piece about the new casting on Victoria Derbyshire this morning, and she read out the above quote.  And I thought, well, yes, he was, but he was created as an elderly male character as portrayed by William Hartnell.  He certainly wasn’t created as the cosmic hobo played by Patrick Troughton, or the kung-fu daredevil played by Jon Pertwee – none of the Doctor’s subsequent portrayals fit the character’s original outline.  

 He wasn’t created as a Time Lord – in the original concept document he’s human, and he’s not revealed as a Time Lord until 1969, six years into the series.

 He wasn’t created as someone who fights monsters – Sidney Newman, the show’s creator, was emphatic that there would be “no bug-eyed monsters” and was appalled by the Daleks.  (He later admitted that he was wrong, and that Verity Lambert – the first, female, producer of the show – was absolutely right to put her foot down about them.)

 He wasn’t even conceived as a hero – “anti-hero” is the stock phrase to describe the First Doctor in his early episodes; he is selfish and even spiteful at times.

 Doctor Who has thrived on change; if it had stuck rigidly to the format originally devised for it, there is no way on Earth it would have lasted over half a century.  The core of the Doctor is not anything that was laid down at the start in 1963, but those aspects of his character that have been honed and developed through so many writers, producers and actors – he is brave, kind, clever and funny; never cruel or cowardly.  Nothing that is vital to the Doctor will be in any way eroded by “he” becoming “she”.

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Captions! Click to see ‘em!

Last two commissions for @zoe-nirvana! And again, sort of doubles as a gift for @atopfourthwall, since the jokes are courtesy of his TSSM episode review. I was allowed to pick one of the jokes, and well

I couldn’t pass up JJJ drawing in crayon.

Thanks for commissioning me!

The new Poké-squad!

I got rid of most of my pokémon, mainly because most of them were pretty weak, and I started collecting again. This time, I’m naming them.

Side note: B.E.M stands for Bug-eyed monster, because have you seen the eyes on the venemoth?!

Doctor Who: A Guide to the Deep Cuts, an Introduction

There has been no other show or movie I’ve watched in my life that has captured my imagination in the way Doctor Who has. Not Star Trek, not The Real Ghostbusters, not even Star Wars has sucked me in this hard, and I used to run around my backyard with paper towel tubes and backpack pretending to bust ghosts. This show is like  believing in Santa Claus as kid, only once a week you get to see what he does with his off time. It even helped me find the love of my life (she used the old “Hey want to watch classic Doctor Who? I have every season on a 1 TB hard drive and I can go all night.” pickup line. Well, those may not have been her exact words but we’re getting married in a few weeks so there).

I have vague memories of seeing the classic series on PBS as a small kid but not really understanding it. I was also the older brother in my house so I didn’t actually catch the Doctor Who train until the 2005 series hit the SyFy channel. I was lucky enough to have a cousin fill me in on all the crazy details of the show and that 1 TB hard drive? Well we watched every episode, including the reconstructions.

So a bit of history for you first. Doctor Who is the longest running sci-fi TV series in the world. Starting in 1963 with veteran actor William Hartnell staring in the role of the Doctor. He was more well known for military roles and was reluctant to take the part initially. The show was created to fill the Saturday afternoon time slot between a sports broadcast and a pop music show. The executive that was head of Drama at the time was Sydney Newman, and he thought a science fiction drama would be a good fit. He wanted it to be educational though so he had the idea of the lead role to be a time traveling alien who would have no backstory. He would be traveling with his grand-daughter to all different periods in earths timeline. He wanted it to be exciting as well as educational. He also made a point to tell his new producer, Verity Lambert, there were to be no bug eyed monsters. Verity was given this skeleton of a concept and ran with it. With Sydney overseeing all production and casting decisions they created the show as we know it.

The shows first serial aired the day after President John F. Kennedy was killed. The show barely made a blip in its ratings, however, it was given a second chance the following weekend. The show was a hit, even though the Doctor was sort of grumpy and not particularly friendly at first. It was his first alien nemesis, the Daleks, that propelled the show and brought out his heroic side. Kids were freaked by the new monsters, adults were entertained by the action and a classic TV show was born.

Due to health issues Hartnell was no longer able to keep up with the demanding production schedule. It was decided that since The Doctor was an alien, he could change his form when close to death. This was a genius idea. Rather than just cast another actor who looked like him, it enabled the show to refresh itself without starting the story over completely. Fifty years later there have been 12 different actors playing the role, 13 if you count John Hurt in last years anniversary special. 

So the show ran for many years until in 1989 when it was canceled due to poor ratings and budget issues. The show was expensive to produce and was killed without a proper send off. The final episode aired in December of 1989 not to return again until 1996 with a TV movie. It was to act as a backdoor pilot for a new series picking up where the original left. Complete with the last Doctor regenerating into a much younger new Doctor, played by Paul McGann. Jointly produced by Fox and the BBC for both American and British audiences. Although it did well in the UK it wasn’t well received in the states, and the show was never picked up. It wasn’t until 2005 when the show was brought back in full force by the BBC with Christopher Eccleston playing the role. He was a bit edgier, a bit more modern, and most of all he was wearing a bad-ass leather jacket. This Doctor was still the same character but updated. This wasn’t a reboot, it was a re-awakening. Doctor Who was back and has been growing ever since. 

So for the next few weeks I will be writing a different post talking about each Doctor starting with William Hartnell all the way up to Matt Smith. Instead of writing about their classic well known episodes, however, I’ll be talking about some of the lesser known favorites. While everyone’s talked about The Dalek Invasion of Earth until they are blue in the face, no one has really brought up The Keys of Marinus. Which became almost a template for future stories of the show. 

So if you are just getting into the show by watching the new series or have watched all of the new stuff and want more but don’t know where to start, follow this series. I’ll go through each Doctors best episodes hopefully giving you a starting off point. If you’re as crazy about the show as I am then maybe try watching all of it. However, I don’t recommend it as not all of it is available on DVD or Netflix and you may have to use some less-than-legal ways to get the episodes. Not to mention most episodes from the early years and completely missing. A topic I will go over in the first post. Hopefully I can shed some light on the history of this wonderful TV show.

Gillian Anderson has never been busier - so why go back to the role that made her famous.

By Tim Martin The Daily Telegraph February 13th 2016

Excerpts (full article below the cut)

On memory and learning lines:“Gibson has a lot to say this year,” says Anderson wearily as she folds herself into a seat by the window, “Hundreds and hundreds of lines of dialogue.  By Friday I was not speaking sense.  Real words were not coming out of my mouth.  And I have another week like that.” She must have got used to it by now, I say, “Well, I don’t necessarily feel like my brain’s very good at it,” she replies.  “I wish it were better.  If I had three wishes that’d be one of them.  I’ll have lines [memorised] in the morning and later they won’t be there.”  A vaguely wistful look crosses her face as her strong coffee arrives.  “It would be nice to be able to concentrate on other things and not worry about words.”

On rumours about her and Duchovny’s closeness: People who want to read more into that closeness, however should “know there’s nothing to it” says Anderson.  “It’s a game.”  She shifts in her seat, and fixes me with a cool gaze. Does she really think people believe that? Plenty, as a quick Google search reveals, seem absolutely convinced that there’s more to it.  “Does he live in London?” she snaps back.  “Does David live in London?” Not to my knowledge I say, but were they ever romantically involved? “Nope,” she replies crisply.  “Is that going to be the headline of this interview?”

On rumours that her and Duchovny couldn’t stand each other: Anderson has little time for this narrative.  A few days ago Fox sent her a compilation of outtakes and bloopers from the X-Files, she says, “and there’s such a lovely, supportive, really genuinely caring feeling” about the relationship between her and Duchovny.  “From a bird’s eye view now it looks quite sweet.  I was moved by it.  We’ve always had an element of that.  That was there , I think from the very beginning.” There’s no doubt, however that the pair’s closeness brought with it a degree of friction.  “I think the grind of working every single f——– day, 17 hours a day, with each other, in those circumstances, just took its toll.  “I think when we did the last film, we got closer, as time had passed and we’d I don’t know, matured, grown up, gotten a different perspective on life and work.”

On her message for Duchovny’s Star ceremony: “They asked me to write something, that was exactly what came to mind, and I pressed send, I mean, it’s such a weird thing anyway, that whole idea of a star on Hollywood Boulevard.” She laughs again.  “It is akin to a gravestone!”

On the salary she was initially offered for the revival: As Anderson recently revealed, during negotiations for the reboot she was offered a salary half that of Duchonvy’s.  “I don’t think infuriated is the right word,” she says evenly, “but I think, probably all of us who heard what figure they came in at were gobsmacked.  I think my agent may have just put the phone down.  We knew what he was being offered, and we knew what I was being offered.”It must have been tempting to walk away altogether, “Well, yeah.  And I would have.  So then it just became: don’t talk to us until it’s parity.  We worked really hard at parity many years ago” - it took three years of the original series before her agents were able to negotiate an equal salary for her - “so it’s not even a conversation until we can get it there.  I think this happens everywhere, in every workplace around the world.”

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