Archive for Daleks

My First Doctor

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by urbannight

Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor by S Dawg.

My introduction to Doctor Who was in grade school, between 5th and 7th grades. It would have been somewhere between 1980 and 1982. Tom Baker had started playing the part. As the longest running Doctor, he was still playing the part. But PBS was importing the episodes from early on in his run. I watched it on a small black and white t.v. in the basement. I was instantly fascinated.

They say everyone’s favorite doctor is the first one they ever see. With all the people I’ve talked to over the years, I’ve found this to be true. Those of us who discovered the Doctor back in the day will often agree that David Tennant most accurately captured and portrayed the quintessential Doctor, the absolute soul and core personality of the Doctor, we will still say our first Doctor was our favorite. Tennant’s performance was simply outside the realm of favorites and disliked versions. It was to flawless, to superb, to be labeled.

David Tennant as the Doctor

There is a two panel cartoon floating around facebook where a young guy is sitting down to his computer to find out what all this Doctor Who hullabaloo is about. The first pane showed an average guy in a dark shirt with an average coffee cup. The second pane showed him in a light shirt, bow tie, and old style 3D glasses with a Tardis shaped mug thinking about what’s going to happen this week. The little details made it clear he was watching Matt Smith.

I’ve talked with people who were initiated into the Who-universe with Tom Baker. We all have a fondness for long scarves, robot dogs, and occasionally fedoras. I quite like Matt Smith. But then I realized he had a lot of subtle similarities to Tom Baker’s Doctor and the writers put in some subtle to not so subtle references to the Fourth Doctor in the entire Sixth Season.  Or is it Season Five?  I can’t remember how they counted Tennant’s last ‘season’ which was a series of Doctor who ‘movies’ rather than a full season. 

Matt Smith as the Doctor

Our first doctor shapes our perception of the show and how we interact with it.  We can still watch and love or hate other Doctors.   For example, I started watching at a time when there were a lot of episodes with The Master.  As a result, I was very disappointed in the only storyline involving The Master in the reboot.  People who stared watching under a different Doctor may have responded differently because they didn’t have the same emotional context for that villain. 

Another example are the Daleks.  The creation of the daleks was also one of the earlest episodes I saw.  So the modern Daleks seem to be lacking something.  As the Kaled’s were fighing a civil war of sorts and Davros was trying to create a superior race that would never be born this the condition that left him trapped in an unmoving body.  Davros was like an evil Steven Hawkings.  The most brilliant mind on the planet in a body that had almost no ability to move or control.  So a mobility unit had been created to let him get around and communicate.

Davros

Davros’ side won, hence the spread of the Dalek race.  I seem to remember a line indication the transition could be seen as a form of evolution.  Daleks actually have biological brains in them.  Or, more correctly, small amounts of brain matter.  They are twisted, stunted things as any area controlling or involving emotions, independent thinking, morality, compassion, ethics, were all eradicated.  Davros wanted a perfect race and his idea of perfection was total rationality and no emotion.  But he also tried to make them totally obedient to his control.  This is rather ironic because Davros himself was very emotion, quick to anger and losing his temper.

Of course, Tom Baker had a lot of villains and evil races with which to contend.  He was the longest running Doctor ever.  He could have gone longer if it wasn’t for his drinking problem. (or so I always heard, further info ahead)  It reached a point that it was interfering with his ability to do his job and he was asked to leave.  He played the part for 7 seasons and looked like he aged twice that in years.  He looked much younger than his actual age when he started older than his actual age when he finished.  It was a sad thing to lose him as the Doctor.  While I really liked his replacement, I have always missed Baker’s version of the part. 

This is the version I’ve always heard, that he was let go for alcoholism.  But if you look at Baker’s writing, he indicates he started drinking AFTER he was no longer the doctor.  The back story on his life would make an excellent movie itself.  Being the Doctor saved his life, in many ways.  But the new producer wanted to take the show in a different direction.  Tom didn’t get along with the man at all and hate the new vision so he decided to leave the show.  The aging in his last  years could have been entirely due to stress.  I know my own father started aging more quickly during a particularly stressful year at work when management had changed after the company was sold. 

Clearly, rumors can become canon and not have anything to do with the truth of the matter.  I think I want to get a copy of this book.   The more I research Tom Baker the more I want know.

I did like his replacement an awful lot.  He was a young Doctor for a change.  With the looks that would appeal to girls.  But he was never Tom Baker. 

Peter Davisdon as the Doctor with the Master.

The Life of a Madwoman.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Movies and Theatre, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by urbannight

I must be mad because this doesn’t feel sane.  I’ve got a Tardis project going.  Friends are suggesting I do some Daleks a scarf like garland and make it all ornaments for a Doctor Who themed Christmas tree. 

I’m working on designing a wedding sampler for some friends who are getting married in December.   I have to finish designing it and start working on it if I want it to get done in time.  I’m starting to cut it too close.  I’m starting to chang Keep It Simple Stoopid to myself.  Sure, I’m aware of the misspelling there.  I don’t think it good to call yourself ‘stupid’ so I’m splitting hairs and changing the spelling instead.  That has to be another indicator of my insanity.

I have three sessions of dogstitting this month and I took a trip to see my grandmother.  My cats are going bonkers and last night, the first night home after 4 nights away, one kept stomping me all – night – long……   I guess he needed to make sure I was really there.  At one point I put him out of the room.  I then kept dreaming people were repeating things to me over and over and over.  I think it was because the cat sat outside my door and yowled, over and over and over, for nearly an hour.  I let him back in.  Then the whole trampling me thing resumed.  I eventually got up and slept on the couch.  He can’t trample me there.  He goes back and forth walking across my head and neck.  On a couch, there is no room.  All the can do is lay on me.  At least he then sits still and I can finally fall asleep.  I have one more weekend gone.  They are going to go nuts next weekend.

At least the dog sitting slows down then.  But I am also trying to work in more time on writing.  I kinda stopped for the most part last November when our office moved.  It was something I did during the down time that used to crop up for short periods during the day.  It was a way to keep busy and look like I was working.  Now I’m taking some of the time from when I would normally be keeping up with the blogs I read.  So I may get behind on some people because I’ve got a fairly large number of people I really love reading. 

Not to mention that I REALLY have to find time to lose the weight I gained the last two years.  I was put on a blood pressure medication that had a bad side effect.  I developed an insanely violent cough and it took forever for them to figure out it was my blood pressure prescription.  In that time, it got so bad that any effort, including the walk up to my apartment, triggered coughing fits.  I had to stop working out at the fitness center because people gave me nasty looks for going to the gym with a nasty cough.  Then I had to stop working out because I couldn’t do much before I started coughing myself sick.  Literally.  By the time they identified it, changed the scrip, and my system normalized again, I had gained 35 lbs, have foot and joint problems, and a 30 minute walk will nearly cripple me for the next three days.   But I have to get started and do something because most of my problems will clear up if I lose the weight.

And I promised my roommate I would make my lasagna.  But tonight is the only night this week where our schedules line up and I can make it.  Only I’m ready to crash.    I didn’t get anything done last night because dealing with server transfer issues took 3 hours last night on SWTOR and I had to deal w/ Blizzard as well because someone hacked my Battlenet account and changed my passwords.  I’ve taken a break from WoW to play SWTOR but I still don’t want my ‘toons robbed while I’m away.

I have two gift scarves in progress, one blanket in progress, and I was going to make fancy smancy dishrags out of sock yarn for christmas presents. 

My brain hurts and I have a mountain of clean laundry that needs to be sorted.  My cats used it as a bed while I was dog sitting and some of it needs to be rewashed.  I also have an end table of books still waiting to be read, a pile of borrowed movies to watch, a huge queue of Korean films on Netflix that I have not watched because I never sit down long enough to read a movie.  I keep trying to multitask instead. 

All of this excludes a project I was trying to work on for work.  Maybe there is a reason I’m so tired all the time.  There simply isn’t enough time in a week to work on stuff.  So clearly I MUST be insane.

Think Doctor Who and not Star Wars

Posted in Entertainment, Food, Life, Movies and Theatre, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by urbannight

Happy Easter! EGGSTERMINATE!!

This photo is making the rounds on Facebook. What is really funny is that the caption makes it clear what is it. But people seem to be thinking it is actually R2D2.