Great episode. Particularly identified with the bits where the Doctor stuggles to explain things he obviously understands, to other people. That’s so me.
Best line “The windows are too big”. An in joke at the fact the Tardis prop isn’t an exact replica of an old London Police Box!
Yesterday the Sun carried a story about the fact David Tennant, Russel T Davies, and other key members of the Doctor Who production team are moving on after the 2008 series. Only the spin was that they would all walk out at the same time and this was a plot to axe the show.
Today the Guardian have their own unnamed source, said that RTD was always going to move on after a while, and that the work schedule is too gruelling. Their source recons the BBC will not let Doctor Who disappear now it’s so popular and will look for replacements for the key players.
Speculation among online Doctor Who fandom reckon that the Sun’s source is none other than their own wild and fevered speculation on Doctor Who fan boards. The Sun has got it right, but fans put this down to the infinite number of monkeys using typewriters theory.
This weekend like Paul Walter we watched Friday night with Jonathan Ross and Parkinson.
Jonathan Ross was anarchic. I find the programme, and his Radio 2 show, entertaining,
It started off well with one of my favourite comedians Eddie Izzard, who was fab as usual and apparently in Ocean’s 13. Then it was Janice Dickinson, who was just OTT, and slightly crude, which set the tone for the rest of the evening.
John Barrowman and Andrew Lloyd-Webber were next and interviewing Janice seemed to take JR to a new level of smut. I do find Jonathan’s near the knuckle comments a bit much when he’s interviewing John Barrowman, but simultaneously I think Barrowman is an entertaining person to listen to. Unlike Lloyd-Webber, whose innuendo about Sarah Brightamn was just… gross…
So the next day it’s Parkinson. I’ve heard many people criticise Michael Parkinson for being sycophantic towards his guests, and that they find the programme difficult viewing. Personally I think there’s room for both the Ross and Parkinson style. Chat shows are entertainment, not investigative journalism or gladiatorial combat, and Michael Parkinson is still one of the best. He wasn’t afraid to confront Piers Morgan on his Sunday Supplement radio show the other week.
Anyway the first guest was George Michael who came across as quite sensible and agreeable. When he was interviewed on his own that was. While he can be a bit of an idiot with regards his personal life, I have to agree with him that having paperazzi camped on peoples doorsteps is a bit much. “George Michael charged by police” is news. “George Michael opens front door of own house” frankly isn’t. While I accept Piers Morgan’s point that a big sector of the public are interested in celebrity coverage and gossip masquerading as news, I don’t see how harassing people in their own homes adds anything to the coverage.
I do disagree with him on one thing, I don’t think being gay has anything to do with the treatment he has received, because I don’t think reigning in his flamboyant lifestyle would be being untrue to his sexuality.
Stephen Fry was the second guest, and we were looking forward to listening to him, but unfortunately some things he said set George Michael off, and he would not shut up. I appreciate that the press has given him a hard time, but we really wanted to hear what Stephen had to say.
On Sunday it was the Television Baftas. I think Brenda Blethyn should give a masterclass in how to present awards because some of the people were dreadful. Joan Rivers was also good- she either knows her UK celebrities or had prepared well for her 30 seconds of speach time. The worst was an award won by Jonathan Ross, where Kelly Osborne and Kris Marshall droned and mumbled their lines like a couple of schoolchildren. John Simm looked sour when he missed out on the best actor BAFTA to Jim Broadbent, but perhaps the Life on Mars team had had their hopes built up too much by the media. Maybe not, as they won the award voted for by the general public.
We listened to the end of the Eurovision song contest on Radio 2 on Saturday night, having spent the afternoon in Manchester. Ken Bruce easily matched Terry Wogan’s commentary, but I found the songs all blurred into each other.
It was depressing to see Scooch get so few points, and even more depressing to read the vitriol of those in the media. While I don’t believe Flying the Flag deserved to win, compared to the rest of the field it was fun, melodic, and contrary to Justin Hawkins moans, it was an actual song.
Mike Reed, former radio 1 disk jockey, comments that the song was weak with appalling choreography. Yes it wasn’t the pop equivalent of Stoppard, but did any of the detractors listen to the stuff it was up against?
I think though the fact the Ukraine and Turkish entry scored so highly in the UK illustrates our predicament with Scooch. We selected Scooch because of their silly campness, and how that fits in with our opinion of the contest. And perhaps rightly so. We voted for the Ukraine, whose song was awful (yes I agree Will) because of the extremeness of the drag act. And we voted for Turkey because of the British belly dancers.
You can’t eliminate the voting for your neighbours aspect, without getting into a silly level of blind voting that will spoil the whole thing, or looking like a petulantly sore loser. We all have our prejudices and that will affect how we perceive the quality of the entrants. There is also the argument that cultures blend across borders and that neighbouring countries will have similar tastes in pop music. Indeed if a country put up an act with an existing high profile, they will be instantly popular with the voters just across the border.
At least Serbia won and not that silly act from the Ukraine. Even if that means someone lost money.
People may be interested to know that both Robin Hood and Torchwood have been renewed for another year. Cynics may say that this is because it’s cheaper to spread the set-up costs over two “seasons” but I know plenty of fans for each programme!
Torchwood has even made the leap from being a programme targetted at the BBC Three market, to a BBC2 show. Whether this will mean any changes to the tone we will have to wait and see.
Not Torchwood, but another programme from the top 5 things on TV at the moment (and yes that is more a comment about everything else out there).
Robin Hood appears to have had a bad reception in many quarters, however Sarah and I love it and try and watch it together. It’s obviously taking advantage of Russel T Davies’ reinvention of the family genre with the laddish swaggering Robin, and strong female supporting heros. Sarah especially likes the way Jack is much brighter than the male outlaws.
It is amusing how of the times it is, we have political intrigue and correctness, but far from dragging it down the political correctness actually makes Robin Hood more entertaining. Especially as you can imagine nutters from Tonbridge Wells foaming at the mouth.
Well it’s two episodes in and what do I think?
I’ve enjoyed Torchwood inside, but am not sure whether this is me being a fan of Doctor Who, Russell T Davies or this sort of thing, or whether it is genuinely any good. What does strike me is how silly many of the criticisms are.
Torchwood is a different programme to Doctor Who. It is unashamedly niche, post watershed sci-fi. Where pre-watershed the swearwords would be edited out and replaced with “Flippin Hell” and the like, it doesn’t happen with torchwood. Many have said the swearing was shoe horned in, but I would say I barely noticed it.
There has been a fuss from parents who have “suddenly” learned (despite it being made clear way back that this would be niche and post watershed), that it’s unsuitable for their children, and grumbling that they’re having to tell their who mad offspring that they’re not allowed to watch it. These are the sort of parents who want others to say “no” so they don’t have to.
The BBC aren’t telling parents what to do either, they’re clearly letting them know what it is and letting them decide, however this didn’t stop some loon at the Express going on about how the BBC was encouraging parents to let kids watch sex and violence. 
Torchwood in this respect is the show for the people who’ve grown up with Who and then complain the new programmes aim too much at the kiddies. It’s not more Doctor Who to fill the gap between seasons.
Likewise there has been a great fuss over the fact that Torchwood employees are not angelic cartoon heroes, but actually a bit dodgy. Torchwood blatantly don’t care about the world beyond their narrow clean up and cannibalise role, they’re not even as goody too shoed as The Doctor. Sato is quite uncaring and amoral, valuing the challenge above anything, and Owen, according to some interpretations, nearly commits date rape in episode 1 and is shown to have a violent streak in episode 3. Ianto seems to be a human sonic screwdriver, there to deliver witty lines, but also to explain why they’re not spending two thirds of every episode doing boring stuff. Jack is a driven man, the Doctor and Rose’s good influence is wearing thin, and the obvious façade is cracking. He doesn’t care that his team are dishonest, so long as they obey the ground rules and the job gets done.
So yes they’re dodgy characters, but thing is so what, this is post watershed, they don’t have to be role models for the kids. The rules don’t apply and if they did there is no rule that says the central characters of Sci Fi must be whiter than white. It is signposted that this is a dangerous crowd Gwen is getting involved with, so these actions are not condoning or endorsing any form of immoral behaviour. The question is: Is she going to be their moral compass or become as corrupt as they are?
The Jury is out over Torchwood in my house, however if I do criticise it, it will be over what it is, not how it fails to be what it’s not supposed to be.
 Thanks to nutterwatch
With 27 double sized Doctor Who episodes under her belt Billie is the longest serving Doctor Who companion since Janet Fielding, who played Tegan the Australian air hostess in the early 80s.
She’s also beaten by Liz Sladen as Sarah Jane and narrowly by Katy Manning as Jo Grant.
Anyone notice that Billie had a week off during the filming of Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who. The role of companion being played by Tommy Connolly. Great feel, loved all those valve and Bakerlite gadgets, and Maureen Lipman was fab as the wire.
Some nitpickers have pointed out that the simulated 50s TVs obviously have 00s tubes in, and that you could see UPVC windows in some shots, but I will also point out that at standard definition you’re not supposed to sit closer than 6 screen diagonals to the TV set.