Saturday, June 30, 2007

And the thing that keeps popping into my head and making me think 'woah, that's the best thing ever'...?

It's a spoiler if you haven't seen the last Doctor Who yet...

No really, you don't wanna know this if you've not watched it....

It's huge, I'm not gonna spoil it for you...

Last chance, I'm saying it in the next one...

CAPTAIN JACK IS THE FREAKIN' FACE OF BOE! My *goodness* that's one hell of a twist. The best so far. I'll do the proper review tomorrow.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Personal news...

Just thought that there'd be a few people who'd like to know my degree result... I got a first! It was quite unexpected actually... but I'm very happy, obviously :) Thanks to the people who've sent good vibes over the last three years!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mark Wright on Martha

"Freema Agyeman continues to shine, and Russell T Davies gives the actress some of her very best material here. While Rose was still making doe eyes at the Doctor this time last year, Martha is quite happy giving him a hard time as she watches her family being dragged away by the Master. “It’s all your fault!” she screams at him, a far cry from the lovelorn medical student we met 12 episodes ago. And as Martha is forced to leave the Doctor and Jack at the mercy of the Master, I can’t wait to see what she does next week. For this reviewer’s money, Martha Jones is the best Doctor Who companion since Sarah Jane Smith. Ooh, controversial…" TV Today

I wish I saw it. I wish I didn't think that she was a distinctly average actress. It would have made this series so much more enjoyable...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Doctor Who - The Sound of Drums

I really need to watch this again. Because, well, I didn't like it all that much. Here's the problems:

It was as if RTD got so involved in writing great stuff for the Master (*brilliantly* delivered by Mr. Simm of course) that he didn't leave time to do anything else very well. Necessary Gallifrey exposition? Oh, Doc can just sit down and tell it. Necessary Torchwood exposition? Oh, Jack can just sit down and tell it. Yup, that bit in the warehouse was pretty awful.

And I think that the perception thingy worked a bit too well because Jack, Martha and even the Doctor were all kinda absent. Just... dull. Maybe that's the Master being sucessful at neutralising the Doctor's assets; maybe RTD just had his eye off the ball.

Oh, and to have the first big discussion between the Doctor and the Master conducted ON THE PHONE? I think the correct Web 2.0 phrase is: WTF?!

Don't get me wrong, I *loved* John Simm as the Master, while I know that it's this performance (led completely by the script, if Simm on Confidential is to be believed) that will have been a problem for some people. It was just everything else that irked me. And yet I have *total* faith that next week's will be a total killer.

Hmm. Second watching is needed.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Getting sucked into the Digital Spy forums

is *so* not a good idea when you're trying to avoid Who-spoilers. I've been very good though... but how can people bear to read it all?!

Freema gets unequivocal

"The actress, who plays Martha Jones in the hit drama, told Metro: "I don’t know where it came from but I’m not getting axed. It was quite horrible to read it. I’m not going."
from Digital Spy

It's sad that that got me down, isn't it?

Birthday wishes to Rob's blog

My favourite way to start the day :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Having re-watched Utopia...

1) How did I fail to notice that John Barrowman was on the opening credits! Quite an honour, utterly deserved.

2) The Master is obessed with the Doctor's old hand... is that because he wanted it near him to make sure he regen'd into something akin to the current Doctor? Or is it going to become even more important as time goes on..?

3) RTD clearly decided to write Martha exactly like Rose - concerned with the little kid, getting Chanto to 'swear' etc...

4) That discussion between Jack and the Doctor was too cool...

er, that's it.

Paul Fuzz on Icky Thump

A fantastic post about Icky Thump-as-hiphop-track. He's put in links and everything! Oh, and it's a great read.

Saturday, June 16, 2007



Love it.

Doctor Who - Utopia

Jack! Watch! Cardiff! Jacobi! Rose! Master! Simm!
Who overload... that was *ridiculous*. Loved having Jack back, loved his big talk with the Doctor, loved John Simm. *Ridiculous*. That's about as much as I can say.

There we were thinking this was one of those rubbish story/great dialogue episodes that only RTD does and then those last few minutes. You can't say whether that was good or bad, it was 45 minutes of set-up. But when what you're setting up is the most intriguing and potentially awesome bit of New-Whoness, who the hell cares?

P.S. My reaction text to Mum read thusly: WWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! So, what with me, this blogger, and another one, it's post-Doomsday syndrome all over again. But in a very different way. I also like this from Emily-Anne:
"Dude! Awesomeness! With the John Barrowman (in the opening credits!) and the Derek Jacobi and the John Simm totally rocking the hell out those two minutes at the end there!" Brilliant.

P.P.S. Is there *any way* that the form that the Master now takes could be the next form that the Doctor takes? Pretty please?

Wireless Festival (Leeds) 15/06

My only previous festival experience is, I think, what you'd call idyllic. It was the Cambridge Folk Festival on a blazing summer's day, I saw the Divine Comedy, discovered The Broken Family Band and Josh Ritter, and attended 'An Audience with Loudon Wainwright III'. Things don't get much better.

Flash forward a couple of years. You know the weather's in a pretty poor state when it comes at the start of the news hour, don't you? But me and Big Brother Fuzz were off to brave the horizontal rain and falling temperatures to see a couple of heroes of ours - the White Stripes at the Wireless Festival. Or the O2 Wireless Festival, as it is properly called, which gives you some impression of the hippie values of the place - or lack of them. But let's face it, there's also the Carling Festival and V(irgin) Festival, so it's hardly alone on that score. The site, Harewood House was pretty tiny actually - you can circuit it five minutes tops, but this had one pretty major advantage - it was *very* easy to see the stage. Paul and I chose a spot behind a particularly boggy part of the field, meaning no-one would stand directly in front of us... and it worked a treat.

The main supporting act were Queens Of The Stone Age, who came out in high spirits, thanking us for battling against the rain and, "reassuring" us with the info that David Walliams was standing in the rain as well. Great, thanks Josh! Now my feet aren't wet at all! (Actually, they weren't for the most part, thanks to the wellies. If it weren't for them, it would have been an utterly miserable experience, rather than a slightly uncomfortable one.) They rocked out like the professionals they are - I don't own any of their records, but No-One Knows is a modern rock classic (almost as good as Neil Hannon's cover...!) and I absolutely love Little Sister and Go With The Flow, as well as that one about drugs, all of which they played. I really enjoyed their set, which is impressive to say that the songs I listed are the only ones I know, and they were playing when the weather was at its worst.

And the headline act - those sensational "siblings" who make a big old sound. And they were Fan.Tastic. Devastating drums, gonzo keyboards, screeching guitar and wailing voice; what more do you want? Hotel Yorba? Check. Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground? Check. My Doorbell with amazing organ from Jack? Check. For Paul, the highlight was new single Icky Thump. It's certainly the maddest song to get into the charts since, well, Blue Orchid, very probably, and Paul especially loves the fact that it's so much like a heavy, Jay-Z hip-hop track, with Jack's vocal that's essentially rapping, and Meg's relentless beat. For me, their cover of Jolene is pretty special, but can't compete with Meg getting up from behind the drums, and fronting The Cold Cold Night - a song that feels like such an age-old classic that I was *convinced* it was a cover (it's actually on Elephant). The White Stripes manage to be formulaic and strikingly original within the same song, they're an enviable partnership, and, above all, they write the sort of tunes you've just gotta stamp your feet too.

Monday, June 11, 2007


How fun is it to flick through the Edinburgh Fringe programme with a cup of tea, while listening to the metronomic thwack-thwack of tennis balls at Queens' club? Perfect. The Reduced Shakespeare Company's founder member Adam Long has written Dicken's Unplugged for the Fringe, which I'll be off to, and hopefully I'll also be seeing David O'Doherty, Frankie Boyle and Simon Amstell... and whoever else has 'buzz'. I've got the lingo down already, as you see.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Doctor Who - Blink

Lisa loved it, and Marie liked it but ultimately didn't care. This week, I'm with Lisa. I just fall for Moffat's writing every time - he's *so* clever in his plotting, and he's really the only writer who incorporates RTD-esque thoroughly New-Who gags and references (like the brilliant 'Sparrow and Nightingale - bit ITV' comment). If and when RTD calls it a day, Moffat's got to be the number one candidate for head writer, if you ask me. There haven't been that many laughs in this series, but, as always, Moffat provided them, while delivering one of the creepiest New-Who episodes. I was a bit concerned for the first few minutes though - Paul Fuzz said 'Am I watching Doctors?' (the pun was unintentional, I think...). But then Carey Mulligan continued to prove just what a charming actress she really is (she was also great in Northanger Abbey, and I hear in Bleak House too), Billy was instantly lovable (good job too seeing as though he was only in it for ten minutes) and all the transcript stuff was ridiculously satisfying.

Praise for the debutant director Hettie MacDonald too - the bit with the light going on and off was excellent, and I loved how the montage of statues was tagged onto the end with the sole intention of making kids scared of them. Brilliant.

(Oh, and I wish that the fact that the letter device was ripped straight out of Back To The Future II had been acknowledged... but that's because I love Back To The Future, and having the two overtly brought together would have been the coolest.)

P.S. Check out Rob's *measured* review, and Paul Fuzz's blog for the Billy Shipton spin-off...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bart Simpson vs. The White Stripes

So so funny.

Doctor Who - The Family of Blood

Well, it was a fitting end to such a strong, interesting start last week. The discussion of war wasn't obvious or one-sided, and, as with Father's Day, the emotional heart of the episode rang true. The flash-forward through John Smith's life makes me choke up just thinking about it. DT put in a fine performance once again, simultaneously making Smith stronger and weaker than the Doctor, Jessica Hynes are proved her worth as an endearing straight actress, and Freema benefitted, as always, from Martha being the one in charge.

What will stick with me, though, was the line of the series so far: when the Matron asked if people still would have died if the Doctor hadn't chosen that place *on a whim*. Perfectly observed.

One question though - is it the Doctor-lite episode next week? If so we'll have been without him, pretty much, for three episodes in a row... that probably could have been worked out better. BUT, it's the Stephen Moffat episode, so I'm hardly going to complain too much :)

Little Shop of Horrors - Duke of York's Theatre, 30 May

You know that a production is really good when you can start a discussion of pretty much every element of it with the phrase: "But the real star of the show was...". And that really is the case with this production of Little Shop of Horrors, which has transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory, just as the superlative Sunday In The Park With George did last Summer. I would certainly make a special effort to see anything they put on, on the evidence of these two shows.

So, the first nomination for The Star Of The Show is Sheridan Smith as the sexy-but-sweet Audrey. I've got to reveal a little bias towards Sheridan, as while I was doing the rounds of dancing competitions she was always there, everywhere from Cleethorpes to London, and she was *always* standing out. This girl is a star, and it's brilliant that she's back in the West End, and not in TV shows I really don't want to watch. Her voice is strong and clear, she's got funny bones, and you really liked and cared for her character. Second nomination is her co-star, Paul Keating who played the hapless Seymour. Keating doesn't just act with his face, he acts with his whole body. He's a fantastic physical performer, a clown almost, and he's got a wonderful voice too.

But both of these two star performers were often on the brink of being upstaged by the three girls, Katie Kerr, Melitsa Nicola and Jenny Fitzpatrick, who make up the chorus. Each of them had huge, distinctive voices, which made the most of Howard Ashman's witty lyrics, and Alan Menken's (remember why he's so great?) fabulous doo-wop and rock n' roll score. Plus they were given amazingly funny choreography by Lynne Page, which they all threw themselves into with gusto.

Then there's Audrey II. The plant was designed by David Farley (along with the set and the costumes) and brought to life by master puppeteer Andy Heath, who has worked with Jim Hensen's Muppet Workshop (of course!). The deep, soulful voice is provided by Mike McShane, who clearly revelled in that brilliant line: FEED ME!'. Audrey II grew and grew in front of our eyes, right out into the audience, and, occasionally, was genuinely threatening, just as he should be. Add to all of this a fittingly over-the-top performance from Alistair McGowan as the sadistic Dentist (and many other parts) and you've got a hugely satisfying production - funny, touching and exquisitely casted.

Friday, June 01, 2007