Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I was going to post this blog, in fact I was halfway through writing it, when I heard the news that Lis Sladen had died. Then I went on holiday for a week, so it's a little belated, but the general gist stands out even more now I think. This is a blog post about Doctor Who.

There is no other programme in all of time and space that makes me as excited, emotional and comforted as Doctor Who does. It is the longest-running science fiction programme of all time; a multi-award winning myriad of bizarre monsters, relatable female companions and a mad man with a box. To sum up Doctor Who in one word would almost certainly result in a total event collapse. So I won't. Instead, I'll explain why I love it so much as simply as I can.

The Doctor
A Time Lord, the last Time Lord, running from his past and seemingly having fun doing it. Nine was a moody bloke from the north, fresh from the Time War and still reeling. Ten was a converse-wearing, occasionally Scottish goofball who fell in love with Rose Tyler and bounced about the TARDIS like a child. Eleven is a bow tie wearing master of silly jokes, sillier walks and a lover of fezes. Written like that the Doctor doesn't sound particularly serious, more an inter-planetary clown with uncontrollable mood swings. But somehow, be it due to the writing or the acting or whatever, he's the most lovable, heroic, intelligent and reliable being in all of creation. And he's just like us. It doesn't matter that he's over 900 years old and an alien because just like the rest of us mere mortals he runs because he's not ready to face the big things yet.

Amy: Have you ever run away from something because you were scared, or not ready, or just...just because you could?
The Doctor: Once. A long time ago.
Amy: What happened?
The Doctor: [gesturing to himself] Hello.

He has his fears and fails to hide them. He can go from joke telling friend to man fuelled purely by rage in a matter of seconds. He understands humans better than we understand ourselves and has proved to us time and time again there is a reason for creaky floorboards and our fear of the dark or why we got our most-wanted Christmas presents. He's totally himself all of the time and makes it okay for the rest of us to be that little bit weird sometimes, because he shows us that nothing really bad can come of it. That's why I love the Doctor.

That, and his incredible hair.

The Companion
Amy Pond is hands down my favourite companion ever. I guess because she embodies everything I loved about Rose and Donna, and Martha. She's reckless and courageous and clever and funny and just spot on. Without the companion there'd be no show. Or at least, there'd be Doctor Who but we'd have no idea what was going on. The companion asks what we want to know. They bring out the best and worst in the Doctor. They are arguably the most important character.

The Monsters
Everyone loves monsters. Sometimes, yes, they are pretty crap. Abzorbaloff anyone? But most of the time they are pretty ruthless and pretty terrifying. Watch Blink, or Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead or...well, actually, any Steven Moffat episode if you want to be freaked out. He takes our childhood fears and twists them into the scariest things you could think of. Indeed, the Silence are spine chilling and I'll be surprised if the BBC don't get complaints about how dark series 6 is so far. Especially considering parents complained about the Gelth being too scary. I mean, come on. Skeletal mind-altering men in black who you forget the minute you look away, or ghosts from Dickensian times that take over dead bodies. Take your pick, parents.

Doctor Who is brilliant because for 45 minutes a week you forget everything you were worrying about and finish feeling better about the things you were worrying about beforehand because you've just watched this impossible man and his friends prove that actually, there are far more good things in the universe than bad things. And Doctor Who will definitley add to your pile of good things.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

What a day. Today was the 2011 Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final at Wembley. This is the same thing as the Football League Trophy, so it's kind of a big deal. Anyway we were up nice and early and in the Civil Service Club for sausage baguettes by half 9. The presentations went down pretty well and Lee Maddison's little interview was entertaining. We left for Wembley stadium and arrived in our seats at quarter to 12, for a 1:30 kick off.

I had a bet on either Curran or Marshall scoring in the 53rd minute, and Neil had his money on Peter Murphy scoring in the 64th, but we were both wrong. Sort of.

Murph did score, and his 12th minute goal was all the more impressive due to the fact his son was born on Friday night, and was in the crowd being held by his mum. Adorable. Promising Ben Marshall may be forced to end his season early due to a harsh tackle resulting in rumoured ligament damage, and there were some dodgy referee decisions but it didn't matter - when the final whistle blew the place exploded. They were playing Freedom Fighters by Two Steps From Hell as they went to collect the trophy and medals and there were balloons everywhere and confetti was flying about and it was just awesome.

I'm very, very happy.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Mum and I were just looking out of her bedroom window, which has a view of the back garden. We were watching Ruddles and Spider romp about in the garden, and spotted Herbie coming over for a visit too (our house has become a cat drop-in centre). Anyway, Mum was expressing her annoyance at the fact no-one bothered to get out of bed last night to find out what the strange banging noise coming from the living room was. I said I was too scared and terrified that someone was in the house, attempting to steal the Xbox. Note that I said Xbox there and not 'priceless family mementos'. Priorities, see? Anyway, my story was true, I was sat bolt upright in bed, straining my ears for a gruff cockney dialect and the sound of a shotgun being cocked.

Turns out someone had shut Ruddles in the front room all night and he'd been trying to claw the door open and wailing to no avail. Yes, I do feel guilty in retrospect. Don't blame it all on me, however, as Neil was apparently too frightened to move as well.

Anyway, so we were looking out of the window at the cats and the garden and the conversation went a bit like this:

Mum: I love the tree when it looks like that.
Me: I spent ages in Morrisons trying to decide which Empire cover I wanted. The blue one or the Fassbender one.
Mum: I love the tree when it's like that.
Me: I decided on the Fassbender one because, well, it's Fassbender. Everyone loves a bit of Fassbender.
Mum: exasperated Jane, that's nature out there!
Me: Fassbender is nature too, he's a human being!

The point I'm eventually trying to make is perhaps my priorities are not as well thought out as perhaps they should be. Who cares? I just priority booked my ticket to Empire's Big Screen event at the O2 arena in August. Movie previews! Secret screenings! Amazing guest appearances! I'm excited already.