Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fish Fingers with Custard.

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A blue box.

I had seen it somewhere before. I was puzzled, however, because I’m pretty sure in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the Wicked Witch of the East is killed by Dorothy’s house, not a blue box. Of course, my interest was peaked. This blue box was in Oz. How did it get there? And what was it, exactly?

So, I did what anyone would do, which is type something into Google. “Blue Box” yielded results, but nothing that provided an answer. I looked at the drawing again  and noticed the word “police” on the blue box. So, I typed in “Blue police Box.” Google produced what I wanted to know in a fraction of a second.

I was looking at the TARDIS.

Within the next five minutes, I was able to discover the TARDIS was a time machine and used by The Doctor. ‘Doctor Who?” I literally wondered, I swear to you. I was so curious as to who he was. You may not know, but I am an avid Oz fan. I have seen nearly every adaptation of the story. I was shocked to see I had somehow missed something where a Blue Police Box makes its way to Oz. “TARDIS” “Time Machine” and “Doctor” had only been in my mind a few seconds before I realized this wasn’t directly related to Oz, but was a separate entity. But, this didn’t phase me. I was still interested.

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The logo of the program, from seasons 1 to 4.

So, I did some quick reading. DOCTOR WHO was a show that had been around for twenty some years, then ended, then was brought back in 2005. It also had a huge following. I came across a photo of 11 different actors playing the same man. Something you don’t see every day.

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All the actors who’ve played ‘The Doctor.’

But, everything kept directing me to a “Matt Smith.’  Mr.Smith was the actor portraying the 11th version of The Doctor.  I saw a few things saying he was the ‘best’ and very ‘quirky.’ I was sure I’d run into spoilers, so I stopped reading. I was going to watch the first episode and see if it was any good.

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A little girl investigates a strange noise in her backyard.

I watched The Eleventh Hour with fascination, as a young girl met with a zany gentleman, who wanted an apple. He said he loved them, but spit his first bite out. He then asked for yogurt.  He gulped it in his mouth, but spit it up. “I hate Yogurt! It’s just stuff with bits in,” he said.  Next came bacon, beans, bread and butter— none of those did the trick. Finally, he helped himself to fish sticks and some custard. (Or  as the Doctor called them, “fish fingers…” ) I was almost in a trance— the food, the bright colors, the strange man, and this cute little girl.

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The Doctor with Amy Pond.

Once the strange man had satisfied his hunger, the little girl shows him a crack in her bedroom wall. And, we soon learn, this crack is not just in the wall, but the universe!

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This not your ordinary crack in the wall.

To make a long story somewhat short, I watched the first episode completely and wrote on my Facebook about it. That’s when my cell beeped at me.

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We can’t break the law, can we? “You can’t start with 11. You won’t understand what happens. You need to start with nine,” I was later told.

So, I started at the beginning. With Doctor Number 9. Just in case you are lost, when The Doctor is severely injured, his physical form ‘regenerates.’ The result is a totally new appearance, with the occasional slight change in personality. This was the real-world solution to keeping the character alive, but giving reason for the actor to change. Normally, a new actor playing someone else’s character is a big no-no. But, here, it works.

The Doctor uses the TARDIS to travel through time, as well as space. The Doctor always finds himself in a time where something isn’t right, and he must correct it. He is aided by many female companions throughout the series, all of whom eventually develop feelings for him.

My point, I suppose, is that DOCTOR WHO is a wonderful show. The writing is especially good. The majority of the time, an episode kept me interested with plots that were so imaginative and often included twists and turns I never saw coming. In addition, the show largely pays attention to its own mythology, rarely falling into the recon trap. (Rewriting established ideals for the sake of story.) Lastly, while the show follows a ‘monster of the week’ format, there is always a lager plot thread that completes by the season finale. There was a show some years ago, called DOLLHOUSE. Its first season also followed a ‘monster of the week’ format. However, fans disliked that a “larger plot thread’ seemed to never be present. DOCTOR WHO manages to do both, and it’s quite genius.

If you like fantasy, time travel, action, drama, comedy— do yourself a favor and check this show out.

It’s one of the shows I wish I could write for.

It’s simply brilliant.

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The Sound of Music Live! – A Short and Sweet Review

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To the point. Short and sweet:

  1. First, let’s applaud the network for attempting this. It’s a marvelous idea, and if memory serves me right, hasn’t been done since 1957. (In which Julie Andrews played Cinderella.)
  2. Yes, you could tell they were on sets, but it had a “Broadway” feel, and the sets were pretty damn impressive.
  3. The children did amazingly well. No major line flubs or anything.
  4.  Carrie Underwood’s singing was amazingly wonderful. Her acting was nothing special, but I would not say she was bad. For not being an actress, she did well. She didn’t miss any lines. Give the woman some credit.
  5. I don’t know Stephen Moyer’s background— His acting was great, but he was flat on some notes. But I ‘d rather hear a flat note here and there instead of an actor lip-syncing.
  6.  Laura Benanti, again, I have never heard of her, (I apologize)  but she shined in both acting and singing, and even had to adlib a second when an extra stepped on her dress and it almost ripped. She was very enjoyable to watch.
  7. The rest of the supporting cast was top notch. You know who I’m talking about – Audra McDonald and Christian Borle.

So, in summary— was this perfect? No. But it was a damn good production and people need to realize that this sort of event is a major undertaking. It should be celebrated. I hope that another musical receives this treatment before another 56 years go by.

 

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