zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
Skullcrusher Mountain a Doctor/Master crackvid. The Doctor's expressions are fantastic. And the long moment where the Master pauses in his evil scheme to lovingly study the Doctor's sleeping face. And the... the whole verse about the monkey/pony monsters is... I don't think I'll ever get tired of that bit of spectacularly wonderful WTFery.

My other favourite Master fanvids are both from Ten's era:

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better - is another Doctor/Master fanvid, just as hilarious, not quite as much "...What did I just see?"

Don't Stop Me Now - a joyride through the Master's life as Saxon.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
I believe I forgot to mention that, when my next door neighbours were moving out for the second time (I think they weren't very happy with the fixes their landlord put in place, or maybe just the big aftershock we had shortly after they moved back in was the last straw; by the way the house next door to me is now available for lease if anyone's keen) they had a container on the street for all their furniture and so forth. And the container was TARDIS-blue. And when you turned the corner from the main road, you saw it end-on and with part of it blocked by lampposts and it looked just like the Doctor had parked there for a refuel.

But that's not the cool thing. You see, inspired by this, and portaloos -- especially one I saw in that same TARDIS-blue -- I came up with:
The TARDIS lands in Christchurch. A local bursts through the door, then looks around in bewilderment. "It's bigger on the inside," the Doctor starts to explain. "I can see that," says the local, "but where's the loo?"

This is also not the cool thing. Because while I was failing to get it to a tweetable length, @entomocephalous tweeted the far superior:
Just saw a Porta-Loo painted up to look like the TARDIS. It's smellier on the inside. #thisisawesome #eqnz

I promptly said a politer version of "Pix or it didn't happen", but alas, none were forthcoming. A couple of days later, I saw it myself while on a bus; and a few days after that I took my own camera with me on the same route. Alas, the bus went by too fast and I decided fate was determined to leave us without proof.

But -- and this right here is the cool thing -- today my Mum got the photo! <happy-dance>
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
(I've been pondering this a while but got around to it tonight after reading [personal profile] annathepiper's review of S6ep1.)

Moffat has some harmless and indeed interesting thematic refrains going on, one about eyes and sight and such, and another about forgetting and remembering and such. I rather like these things.

What I'm less happy with is his compulsion to store sick girls in boxes so that his boys can take them out and play with them when it's convenient.

Contains spoilers through to season 6 episode 1 of Doctor Who. )

If it was just the Doctor storing girls in boxes for their own good, that'd just be the Doctor being the Doctor. But it's done by all sorts of other people too; it recurs so often in so many (minor) variations, and the girls and women are always portrayed as content to be in the box and ecstatic to being taken out and played with, and it's getting increasingly disturbing.

If I get through my current fanvidding project (been dragging on since at least September) I'll be rather tempted to skip all my other ideas and go straight to Living Doll. If I only had the time...
zeborah: Vuvuzela concert: This is serious art. (art)
I've never actually read Dickens' book. In fact I'm not sure I've read any of Dickens' books in their entirety. I was assigned Great Expectations in school and I must have soldiered through at least half of it, and I did look at the very end which was my favourite part (I enjoy minor ambiguities like "We never said farewell again"), but it's quite possible I skipped the rest. I've tried Oliver Twist and Tale of Two Cities and others at various ages, but it just comes down quite simply to the fact that I don't enjoy reading Dickens' novels.

So everything I know about A Christmas Carol I learned from the general societal gestalt, inhaled from bits of TV movies and duck-filled cartoons and fanfic pastiches and the Blackadder parody and YA novels involving children putting on plays and a multitude of slighter references. A Lamb Chop episode once argued that people are born knowing "Three Blind Mice" because who can remember not knowing it? The story of A Christmas Carol is like that for me. A Dickens fan would grimace and say I really should read the book, of course, but there's lots of things that should happen and won't.

Because of my utter lack on fanning over Dickens, then, I was disappointed to see that the title of this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special was A Christmas Carol. We've already met Dickens, y'know? and moreover, the story's been done, in movies and cartoons and fanfics and parodies and novels about plays and and and.

But Doctor Who makes everything better, even earthquakes )
zeborah: Vuvuzela concert: This is serious art. (art)
Title: The Trouble With Lipstick
Author: Zeborah
Fandom: Doctor Who
Spoilers: New Who season 5 (but only minor points)
Summary: On a mission, River Song starts questioning her taste in makeup.

The trouble with hallucinogenic lipstick was that a lot more of it got on your lips than on the person you kissed. )
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
I meant to upload this a long time ago. It's like something came up and distracted me or something.

Title: Blue
Fandom: Doctor Who
Music: "I'm Blue (da ba dee)" by Eiffel 65
Triggers: I can't think of any, but if anyone notices something I'll update this.

Download link at my fanvid master post; YouTube embed follows:

Notes )
zeborah: Vuvuzela concert: This is serious art. (art)
This was going to be a pseudo-review of Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) but I got distracted in the middle.

So it turns out I can be tricked into watching a biopic if a) I don't even know it's a biopic because it's about someone I never heard of and b) it's free (both libre and gratuit) on the internet and c) it's full of songs and d) I can look things up on Wikipedia during the boring bits.

Because face it, it's taken a while for movies and tv to ratchet up to their current fast pacing. Watching Old Who, for example, is an exercise in alternating hilarity and impatience. "The Leisure Hive" in particular starts with this really slow pan across a windy beach. We see a couple of deck chairs, and then the back of a tent. And when I say slow I mean it. For six seconds we see nothing but the back of the tent, and then finally we emerge to some more deck chairs and then just when you think we're going to see something interesting we're panning across the back of another tent. Five seconds, and remember these are only the seconds where there's nothing in the frame but the back of a tent - if you count from when we first see it to when we can't anymore it's eighteen seconds. So, finally we see more deck chairs. And we keep panning, and we keep panning, and then we reach -- a third tent. This one we escape a little more quickly and there's the sound of snoring, so I'm thinking something's about to happen, maybe in the next deck chair? The next? What about this one? Or maybe-- Noooo, not another tent!!!!

I don't use multiple exclamation marks lightly, people. The opening credits faded onto the beach at about 00:35 (the cross-dissolve takes a couple of seconds itself) and we don't see the Doctor until--

Um, this is embarrassing! I forgot to mention that right after tent number four we actually get treated to tent number five. And then we see the TARDIS (at 02:08), and then the Doctor snoozing (02:13) but the camera mocks us by coming to a rest with the corner of tent number six just in frame. So it takes well over a minute and a half just to pan across the beach, and I... I'm pretty sure that in 1980 this coyness must have been the height of comedy because otherwise why would you bother? Please someone tell me this was funny at one stage.

Which reminds me I watched Charlie Chaplin's The Rink (1917) a few months ago. Again, I'm pretty sure it was meant to be funny because I gather Chaplin was known for being quite a card, but I was sitting there watching it thinking, "Wow, how fascinating that some ancient human civilisation used to watch things like this for entertainment. I suppose that guy's caricaturised black eye makeup had some tremendous cultural significance at the time; I wonder what it was."

Anyway, back to Till the Clouds Roll By. It's a pretty straightforward plot, if "plot" is the right word. There's this songwriter, and he's having a hard time breaking onto the stage. He gets a mentor, he goes to England because English stuff's all they're buying, he falls in love, show business continues to be hard, he breaks onto the stage, he gets married, his mentor's daughter disappears, his mentor dies so he goes into a funk, someone finds his mentor's daughter for him so suddenly he's out of the funk, he writes stuff with Hammerstein (I've heard of Hammerstein!), his stuff gets produced at Hollywood sung by his mentor's daughter, the end. --By the way, the mentor and the daughter were invented for the biopic; this guy must have had a really boring life.

I actually started watching it a year or so ago and fell asleep half an hour in. But today I started watching it on my iPod when I was waiting in the takeaway shop with nothing else to do, and the songs were pretty good. I particularly liked Lena Horne's "Can't Help Loving That Man", and then later at a boring spot I looked up her bio and... in case I'm not the only person who did not know this let me quote:

"[She] was never featured in a leading role because of her race and the fact that films featuring her had to be re-edited for showing in states where theaters could not show films with black performers."

"Horne wanted to be considered for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM's 1951 version of Show Boat (having already played the role when a segment of Show Boat was performed in Till the Clouds Roll By) but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a personal friend in real life, due to the Production Code's ban on interracial relationships in films."

I think it might be possible to trick me into watching a biopic about Lena Horne by saying, "Hey, Zeborah, this is a biopic about Lena Horne."
zeborah: Vuvuzela concert: This is serious art. (art)
I don't normally post fanvid recs because I get them all from veni_vidi_vids so if anyone cares about vids they'll be there first anyway. But I feel the urge today, so here's two utterly idiosyncratic categories of fanvids:

Vids about River Song that don't end with the "Bye" cartoon
I love vids about River Song. And I love the "Bye" cartoon. But there is too much of a good cliche. Fortunately there's always something else too!

Set My World Into Motion by beccatoria
Gorgeous split-screen use - sometimes just to cram more action into fewer seconds, sometimes to show synchronicity (er, inasmuch as events in two different time periods are happening at the same time...), and sometimes to highlight parallels between episodes (♥ "eyes staring back" and "nothing but black"). Lots of fun, and also some thinky thoughts.

Run With Me by chaila
Lots of parallelism of imagery. ♥ "ABC" and "It's just textbook stuff." I think maybe the point of view is a little wonky? - it seems to me that it's meant to be from River's pov but the first high note is timed so it looks like the Doctor's shouting it. But maybe it is meant to be from his, or maybe dual pov - their stories are working in opposite directions so far, after all. Unfortunately blip.tv and me aren't fond of each other so I won't be able to watch enough times to figure it out.

The World Is Not Enough by cvalda
Okay I cheat! This one actually does end on the "Bye" cartoon, but unlike many of the others that do it really earns the right through the romp and especially the leadup to the end. River Song as Bond. So much fun... and creepy undertones, particularly with the ash/reflection clips that make up the "If we can't have it all, then nobody will" sequence.

Vids that use parallelism of positioning to good effect
I always thought I wasn't kinaesthetic. But maybe five years ago I realised that the relative position of things is something I feel strongly. So seeing this particular kind of effect in vids just really makes me extra happy.

O Fortuna by curriejean
I adore this music. And this vid uses it brilliantly. The little flashes of foresight on the little chimes are gorgeous. And Gallifrey as "the tower of wisdom". And Rose/Martha/Donna/Amy merging into an ur-Companion, and that sensawunda encompassing the fan-viewer. But on parallelism of positioning: watch the beginning, introducing each Companion, and see where the flashes of the TARDIS show up for each one. This gets echoed later on in the vid where the Doctor's holding Amy's wrist and the TARDIS moves from him to her.

(I am a pedant so have to note - in the credits, which list the Latin part of the song and its translation, there's also an additional line "pectus pectoris est maior intus". Which... I'm pretty sure was written without an understanding of Latin because "pectus" means "chest" not "heart", let alone metaphorical heart, and while "pectus pectoris" might mean "chest of chests" it's more likely that it was just copied from a dictionary - Latin dictionaries list the singular nominative and plural genitive because from those two you can work out how the noun is declined. So it's a bit of a shame this bit wasn't just left in its original English which sums up the vid marvellously: the heart is larger within.)

Bachelorette by obsessive24 (warning for serious strobe effects; and violence)
A Buffy ensemble vid. Not just incidental parallelism of positioning, this also has parallelism of body language and morphing transitions to really ram it home. I'm in absolute awe of the technical skill here.
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
First off, Amy Pond's eyes. I mean. I've come across someone who actually doesn't like that thing where her eyes steal the entire scene, so obviously going "OMG her eyes!" is not a universal trait, but nevertheless I think it's a fairly common one.

But today I was watching the first episode of Covert Affairs (thanks to discussion here) which may be my new post-"Oh Leverage no" love. This is mostly because, in the pilot episode two of the three main characters are women and the third is blind. (Sadly unsurprisingly he's played by a sighted actor.) And there's Tropes there, particularly around Our Heroine's motivations for joining the CIA, but mostly it's pretty awesome fun and maybe in episode 2 she'll have got over First Day on the Job syndrome and won't have to be saved by a man. Anyway, about halfway through the episode we get a good look at Our Heroine's boss's eyes and they are really startlingly green.

In retrospect, I always had a huge fascination with the constantly changing eye-colours of Due South's Fraser and ST: Voyager's Kes.

--Moving on, or rather back to casting, because Wikipedia notes that in episode 2 of Covert Affairs, we start to get Sendhil Ramamurthy as Jai Wilcox (replacing a rather whiter character). And I remember when I first went back to watch the pilot of Criminal Minds I noticed that JJ wasn't in it - she only appeared in episode 2. Which makes me wonder which is happening:
  • are producers saying, "Okay, good pilot, now you can have your series but, um, maybe a tad diversity, huh?" or
  • are directors/writers saying, "Whew, now we've got the conservatives to greenlight us we can slip in some non-WASPs"?
Given recent casting developments on Criminal Minds I'm kind of suspecting the latter.

Also I like the title because, haha, it's a pun, see? I'm easily amused by puns. But I hope they don't expect me to be surprised when it's revealed what Our Heroine's boss's husband is really up to because that's kind of obvious, narratively, and fun as the show is I don't expect any really subtle twists per se.

(ETA: One problem with the show is that the music's too loud and at times obscures what's actually being said. If I keep getting the feeling that I need closed captioning then... well I sure hope it gets closed captioning when it screens live.)
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
One thing about being sick (better now! mostly, anyway) is that it gave me a lot of free time, not all of which I swallowed up by playing Solitaire. So I've been watching from the start of series 1 and have noticed a couple of things.

1) Father's Day doesn't actually set up a bunch of rules about time travel that are subsequently forgotten. It's not that you can't change history or the bugs will get you, and it's not that you can't touch your earlier self or terrible things will happen. It's that if you weaken space/time by having two sets of yourself in one place and then change history... then you're at risk of (possible but not inevitable) infection. And if you've already got infection going on and then touch your earlier self... then that gives the infection a chance to spread.

2) There's a big theme of accepting responsibility going on. The good guys accept the responsibility for their mistakes (or just for fixing what needs fixing, regardless of whether they broken it); the bad guys try to pass the buck.

See the undertaker of the Unquiet Dead whose insistence that the spirits inhabiting "the stiffs" aren't his fault.

See companion Adam, whose meddling with alien tech ends up betraying the Doctor's identity to the Editor. It's not made explicit that the Doctor would have forgiven him if he'd just owned up to his mistake and apologised, but I bet he would have (well, though see #3). What we do see is Adam making excuse after excuse (not even decent excuses like "Technology like that could alleviate the suffering of billions!") and looking more and more of a git.

See how Rose accepts responsibility for what she's caused in Father's Day. And how her father accepts responsibility for fixing it. (My eyes may have got a bit of dust in at some point while watching this.)

See Jack, whose meddling with alien tech ends up infecting a bunch of people with gas masks and an Oedipus complex. Again Jack is portrayed negatively in how he insists that the alien ship has nothing to do with what's going on; but he redeems himself by saving Rose and the Doctor when he has the chance to escape by himself.

See how the plot is only resolved when Nancy takes responsibility for the situation and for her son. [Which is not to dis her decision to keep that secret as far as society's concerned - not just for her reputation, but to avoid, say, Jamie being taken away from her and sent off to Australia or something.]

See the Doctor's continual angst over his actions in the Time War.

And see how the Doctor constantly takes responsibility for Rose's safety, and agonises over his inability to protect her. Um, except this is where…

3) I don't actually like Nine anymore.

This is weird. I remembered liking him more than Ten. And if he weren't a Time Lord the romance with Rose would be kind of sweet. But... there's points where this gets a bit creepy. Even aside from the age gap, I mean.

Like in Father's Day, where he's shouting at her about being just another dumb ape and then they make up like this:

Doctor: Just say you're sorry.
Rose: I am.
Doctor: <smiles>

Not a small smile. Not a soft smile. A really cheerful smile. I'm absolutely certain no-one intended to portray this as "the Doctor is glad he's forced Rose to say she's sorry so that she has to be grateful for him forgiving her" but that's exactly what the smile looks like.

Earlier in the episode Rose accuses him of being annoyed that she cares more about her father than about him. And I think this is meant to be only half-true, but you know what? It goes a long way to explaining why he dislikes her mother (who's a bit abrasive, perhaps, and not sufficiently respectful of his elite Time Lordshipness, but on the other hand her daughter was missing for a year because of him) so much that he's positively gleeful at having the chance to order her around.

And it goes a long way to explaining why he so irrationally dislikes Mickey and keeps calling him "Ricky" and "useless" even after Mickey kind of like totally helps save the planet.

See also how he's jealous of Adam and Jack. But that's just because he's falling in love with Rose, right? It's totally romantic, right? Apart from the fact that he does it while acting like an emotionally abusive creepface.

I'm suddenly feeling like I've seen all this said before, and probably rebutted too. But I liked Nine and would excuse him if I could, but when I was already feeling a bit uncomfortable that smile was seriously ew.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
I'm rewatching some old episodes of Due South and...

(apart from omg yeah, that's some really skeevy appropriation of the Inuit; and apart from how I'm quite admiring at the nice structures, eg the bookends of jumping into water, and the use of fire, in Burning Down the House)

...I'm watching Eclipse and they're in the crypt and there are weeping angel statues all around. I used to love these scenes with the wittiness and character development -- there are some absolutely wonderful moments here -- but now I just want to shout at Ray and Fraser,
"Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink!"


zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

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