Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The BBC's brilliant trailer for the Olympic coverage:

Seriously, the BBC need to commission those guys to do a Monkey cartoon series, in just that style. Get the guy who wrote the 1980s live-action series to do the scripts, and it would be just the best thing ever.

Another brilliant thing is Hamfatter:

Go download their single, like, NOW.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Music for the Masses

Following Lawrence Miles' recent assertion in his blog that you can come up with lyrics for all of the Murray Gold instrumentals, Alan and I watched "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" yesterday trying to do just that. The winner was, to the tune of the triumphal towing-the-Earth theme at the climax of the story, "A buuuunch of stupid grinning twiiiiits... staaaanding... around a coooonsoooole... around a consoooole..." And then I noticed that the music for that theme is exactly the same as Kristy MacColl's "He's on the Beach," just slowed down and with a slightly different rythm, and that was that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Survival Recyclingwatch

Is this the template for Nu-Who? Consider:

-Urban London contemporary setting
-Pointless celebrity cameo
-Return of old villain/monster who's mainly of interest to the fans
-Gay agenda (the sergeant and Chris)
-Gratuitous soap about companion's friends and family
-Monsters that look like humans in animal masks (are the Cheetah People that far removed from the cat-nuns or Judoon?)
-Lots of explosions and makeup to distract from the general lack of effort on the resolution front...

I'll think about this some more.

Strange things happen

I met somebody named Ianto the other day.

I thought they only existed in fiction.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Recyclingwatch's End, not really. Expect me back for every single special next year, and, Stephen Moffat Team, I'm watching you.

Anyway. Fittingly for the final hurrah of the Recycler-in-Chief, this was the ultimate in recycling; in fact, many of the tropes have been repeated so many times that I'm officially reformatting Recyclingwatch, as follows:

Something disastrous happens to the Earth, with pundit commentary and cutaways of people first hanging around looking apprehensive, then celebrating: Aliens of London/World War Three, The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Voyage of the Damned, The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky.

Dalek armies menacing the Earth: The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan, blah, blah blah.

Captain Jack's not-dying abilities coming in handy: The Parting of the Ways, Utopia, Last of the Time Lords, several episodes of Torchwood.

"I've just taken on some dangerous energy and now I'm going to expel it in some fantastic way": The Parting of the Ways, The Christmas Invasion, Smith and Jones.

The Daleks are back and they've brought some freaky weird saviours with them: The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks.

Big reunion, hooray! With everyone cheering and bonding together, hooray! (gag): School Reunion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday [Mickey and alt-Pete's return], The Sontaran Stratagem, Martha's Torchwood episodes.

One or more Daleks has an epiphany that they're all evil and thus need to be either exterminated or utterly transformed: Dalek, Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks.

Setup of great big much-trumpeted villain/group of villains, who is/are then promptly killed off, but with a vague exit clause so they can bring him/them back when they start running out of ideas: Aliens of London/World War III; Dalek, The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, The Age of Steel, The Sound of Drums.

Doctor as Messiah: Gridlock, Last of the Time Lords/The Sound of Drums

Martha with a lethal weapon, and/or lethal weapon as distracting McGuffin: Last of the Time Lords

Slow bullets: Dalek, The Parting of the Ways.

Pounding on a glass door mouthing words: 42, Partners in Crime.

Monsters herding queues of people off to a horrible fate: The Age of Steel.

Mickey leaves his current universe with a mopey line about Rose not loving him: The Age of Steel.

Rose loses somebody she loves, then gets a too-perfect substitute handed to her on a platter, but she's still not happy about it: Doomsday.

Human Doctor: Human Nature/The Family of Blood.

Companion takes something more powerful than herself into her mind and has to have it purged by the Doctor, resulting in memory loss: The Parting of the Ways.

Main characters prepared to commit suicide/destroy the Earth rather than let the bad guys take it over: The Parting of the Ways.

Stopping a moment of pathos to clear up an irrelevant continuity point from earlier in the series' run: Torchwood-- Exit Wounds.

Doctor taking on someone else's personality: New Earth.

Jokes about Clom: Love and Monsters.

Good gravy, now they're even recycling within *this* season: A Doctorless Donna, "Turn Left". The Doctor being a hypocrite in condemning violence but then letting his companions do it, "The Doctor's Daughter." Same story also provides a handy clone from the Doctor. "Ordinary people are special! Really they are! But if the Doctor's not around, we're all hopelessly screwed!"-- Turn Left. See above for all the recycling of "The Sontaran Strategem/The Poisoned Sky", etc.

Catchphrasewatch: "A temp from Chiswick." "I'm so sorry." "Ohyesss!" "No, no no no." "Oi, spaceman." "Molto bene." "Brilliant." Babbling out explanations far too fast. Somebody please explain to Murray Gold that smaller is better, and that giving every character a leitmotif which you play to death every time they open their mouth is only excusable in Wagnerian opera (I have a suspicion he got it off "Attack of the Cybermen," though at least there they had the wit to vary the style and instrumentation of the Lytton Theme every time they whacked it out).

Old Skool Who: Doctor having flashback montages: Logopolis, The Caves of Androzani. Daleks herding queues of people off for some unknown but hideous fate: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Destiny of the Daleks. The Virgin books used to milk the whole "Doctor turning companions into human gun platforms" bit for all it was worth until they got rid of Ace. Davros thinks destroying the universe is a damn fine idea and doesn't think through the implications for himself: Genesis of the Daleks. The Daleks keeping Davros around, but not because they like him, because they think of him as some kind of vaguely useful abberation: Resurrection of the Daleks, plus vague implications in Destiny of the Daleks. Pushing a powerless Dalek away with one's foot: The Daleks, plus the AARU film thereof. Trapping the Doctor and one companion in the Dalek control centre: The Daleks. Companion being left on earth with a new boyfriend: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Testing an ultimate weapon on a convenient stooge: The Daleks' Master Plan. A parallel Earth that's a little bit ahead in time: Inferno. Any book by Ben Aaronovitch (the Daleks call the Doctor "Destroyer of Worlds." Companion being left with no memory of her time with the Doctor: The War Games. Tardis as towing service: The Horns of Nimon. Someone being thrown into a furnace and coming out of it OK: The Armageddon Factor.

Everything Else: The Matrix, and every single action movie since (slow bullets), Marvel and DC comics and their continued incessant team-up stories, Buffy and Angel, ditto (particularly involving spinoff series). Hellraiser II-VI (taking something that was pretty good and then repeat it until it's a pale copy of itself). The Wizard of Oz ("I'm going to miss you, Scarecrow/Jackie, most of all"). Red Dwarf (character stuck on a single word; character gaining superintelligence at a cost). Blake's 7: Terminal ("Maximum Power!"). The Terminator ("Come with me if you want to live," which of course also got used in "The Fires of Pompeii"). Star Trek: The Cage (the benign aliens create a duplicate Captain Pike as a consolation prize for the girl who can't leave the planet). Oh, sod it-- I can't think of anything else that's this ridiculous.

Incidentally, German for "exterminate" is "Ausrotten."