Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Family's Nick, Peep Show's Jez and Gavin and Stacey's... Stacey. Live on stage!

Well there's a line up for ya!

Doctor Who - The Sontaran Stratagem

Well if Marie can admit to finding David Tennant rather annoying, then lord knows I can. Cos he *is* annoying at the moment, isn't he? Say a line straight, for goodness sake! Just one! Please? When he gets a decent dramatic scene he'll ace it again, I know that, but for now - just turn it down a tad, eh?

Anyway, as for the episode overall - well, it had Helen Raynor written all over it, didn't it? Painfully slow, dull as very old dishwater, and some lines that had me laughing out loud. Not the ones that were *supposed* to be funny, you understand. Just normal dialogue. Marie has already mentioned the scene with the two UNIT guards as being particularly bad, and she's absolutely right. And it went on for bloody ages. Just because you've got an hour and a half to fill, doesn't mean the audience wants to spend ten minutes listening to mind-numbingly boring speech being uttered by UNIT's answer to Dumb and Dumber. A serious low-point. As for the Sontarans, when they first emerged, I felt how I often feel - that I don't actually like Doctor Who at all. Not proper Doctor Who, with funny little aliens and no Jackie Tyler. But they grew on me, actually. They're not scary opponents in any sense - I quite warmed to them - but I can see why, with all their quasi-Viking devotion to honour and "glorious warfare", they've been brought back. Oh, and is it just me, or did their ship look distinctly Dalek?

The episode picked up, certainly, but it was as Helen Raynorish as I'd expected and that's not a good thing. But I have to admit that surely only Russell T Davies could have come up with the idea of WHEN SAT-NAVS GO BAD. So we'll forgive her that one.

Oh and Martha? Well, she was just... Martha, wasn't she? And that's about all you can say.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Doctor Who - The Fires Of Pompeii

I'm still not entirely confident in my analytical skills for Doctor Who after being totally thrown by much of last series, but I'm pretty sure this was really good... wasn't it? At least the dramatic, emotional bits were really good, and Donna is proving to be a brilliant companion for this Doctor in particular, who "used to" have so much mercy, remember. He needs someone, and the someone he needs right now, when he's a bit confused, still grieving for Rose, and still feeling guilty over Martha, is Donna. He needs a strong hand, and he certainly gets that with her. I've got to say that I was *very* happy when she told him not to tell her to shut up. Damn straight.

There were a couple of brilliant scenes: when Donna and the Doctor's identities were revealed by the soothsayers; and when the volcano was erupting, and Donna begged Pompeii's citizens not to head to the beach - and the Doctor not to let them all die. In the first, everyone viewing the show must have been tripped up by the announcement that Donna has "something on her back", but - just as Derren Brown knows - it was forgotten as soon as it was said (though not by Scott). It's an odd, deliberate thing to say, and it must have significance in the future.

The Mill did a good job with the Magma Men (as I've decided to call them because I can't be bothered to look up their names), but the sci-fi part of this episode was, I think, weak in comparison with the drama, delivered wonderfully by Tate 'n' Tennant. They're one hell of a partnership, and what the show needs, as well as the little lost Doctor.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Oliver casting news

Nick Knowles as Bill. Reportedly. It's not April 1st again, is it?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I am...

Watching Mark Watson's 24 hour show online! It's quite bizarre - he's so far away and yet... he's just there. Being shambolic and entertaining. They're currently casting an impromptu soap :)

Saturday 5 April: A good day

Lisa had a good day yesterday, and so did I. It started with an acceptance letter from the noSWeat magazine journalism course, and a lovely personal one, too, that quoted specific things I'd written. Then I picked Comply Or Die for the National (the winner, if you missed it), as it sounded like something a Dalek would say; and then Doctor Who was all... cuddly and warm. Brilliant.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Doctor Who in a time-warp...

Is it just me, or did Partners In Crime feel very... Christopher Eccleston series-esque? It's clear that RTD had the words "gotta bring back the fun" in his mind when he wrote this episode - soapy, set in the UK, fully comedy. He was rocking it like it was 2005. When we were dragging ourselves through Daleks In Manhattan, the wheelie-bin-burping business of Rose felt a very long way away... a good thing? For some people, definitely. But you all know that I *like* silly, soapy DW. It's what got me hooked in the first place, and it's what we got tonight. This was pure RTD - forget the plot, enjoy the dialogue (and especially the lack of it, during Donna and the Doctor's reunion). That's not to say it was particularly good, of course, I could never argue that, but heartening. Certainly heartening. And who could hate an episode that featured a glimpse of (a very pensive) Rose? Not me, anyway.

P.S. my usual post-DW blogsearch threw up a few gems, especially this. I like that she says "I think I must have a thing for anything that isn't canon" - you and me both. But I do need a bit of help with some of her terminology: "I suddenly ship Doctor/Donna". "I feel all OTPish about them". Ship? OTP? Suddenly I feel very old....

P.P.S. Urban Dictionary says that OTP is "One True Paring. Used in fandoms to espress what charaters you ship. (put together romanticly)" So that helps on both counts. Well I certainly don't ship them... but they are a bit OTP-ish, in a platonic way. (Am I doing it right?)

P.P.P.S. Marie's wonderfully positive review.

P.P.P.P.S. Rob's also positive review!

P.P.P.P.P.S. Lisa's also *also* positive review!, and good day all round.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Not everyone's so happy with the episode, though. John had good words for it over on TVScoop, but commenters are dissenting...

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I'm so happy Doctor Who's back... when else do you get posts like this??!

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Rosby's review! Spoiler-avoiders beware - there's a biggie in there.

Want to get involved with Mark Watson's next 24 hour show?

Here's what you need...

Hi all,

Welcome to Mark Watson and Friends take over the world!

In anticipation of the show, we're asking all our members to take note of a few tasks which will greatly increase our chances of the show not being an utter shambles:

1. Invite people to join in. We want an international network of collaborators. Especially interested in people in far-flung countries. Please get someone to sign up and get them to recruit someone else. The bigger our global team, the more remarkable our world-changing potential. Just send them the URL:

2. Send us information about what you're up to over the 24 hours. Doing anything interesting? Or even anything quite trivial? Give us a glimpse into your twenty-four hours as you join in ours. And send us pictures of things happening. We want to put up pictures of sunrises and sunsets in different parts of the world, for instance, and have blogs from keener participants. Email your info to

3. Prepare to compete in an Alternative Olympics. One thing we're going to be doing is staging our own tiny version of the Olympics. Each hour we'll have an event which might be 'Spinning A Coin', 'Building A Big Tower', etc. People in Melbourne will have a go, but we'll also throw it open to people around the world, to see who can send in the best video or photos of their efforts.

4. Prepare to perform other tasks. We'll be asking for people to carry out all manner of work in the interests of our non-violent takeover of the world. We won't know what most of it is until the show is actually underway but we need willing souls who are poised by their computers.

5. Set yourself a 24-hour challenge of your own. I'm making a special appeal for people to tackle their own 24-hour-long endurance tasks, to show solidarity. For example, one year, a man called Wayne famously gave out flyers for the whole 24 hours, and in another previous show, an audience member travelled from Edinburgh to France and back again. There's no need to do anything as extreme as this, but can you make some sort of vow for the 24 hours which we can monitor your progress with?

6. Take part in any other way you want. This show will largely be an exercise in chaos, as always. Anything you fancy doing to add to that chaos will most likely be worthwhile.

Before too long, the web site will be updated to include a place called "Tasks" where you can submit all the text, photos and videos of you completing a task.

It's simple, fun, and a great way to scramble your way to the top of the coming One-World Government.

Stay in Touch

There are some new ways to keep in touch with Mark during the show.


By subscribing to Twitter, you can receive information about new tasks and missions direct to your email, mobile phone, or instant messenger, wherever you are.

First, head to and click "Join" (or sign in if you already have an account). You can change your settings to receive messages wherever you are.

Then click the link below and subscribe.

Live Streaming

During the event (2008-04-06 11:59pm AEST - 2008-04-07 11: 59pm AEST), you can watch the show LIVE from multiple camera angles at


I never thought I'd refer to email as "the old fashioned way", but there you go.

Thanks again for joining our movement. We look forward to charming the world into doing our bidding.


Mark Watson and Friends