Doctor Who Series 3 & 4: Rebound Girl and Sassy Girl

When Matt Smith auditioned for the role of Watson is Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ version of Sherlock, he was turned down because he fits better as Sherlock rather than the companion…I mean, Watson. It doesn’t take an extraordinarily perceptive person to see the similarities between The Doctor and Sherlock. While one describes himself as simply clever, the other is a high-functioning sociopath. Let’s see what else? Both are skinny, tall, and white with a penchant for wearing the same clothes (and coats) everyday. They both have their preferred gadgets: a sonic screw driver, the other, his mobile.

What sets them apart, other than all that time-travel thing and the general ‘arsehole’ personality, is their choice of companions. While Sherlock prefers a monogamous relationship with his Dr. Watson, The Doctor prefers to line them up and go through each one until he leaves them heartbroken one by one. Okay, maybe I was judging too harshly… I have not seen every Doctor Who episode yet!

Still… Doctor? 3 little words! Oh come on! Rose Tyler, I…  yes?… yes? The fandom is left as frustrated as Martha Jones.

Series  3: Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones

Oh, Martha! I feel your pain! I loved Martha Jones as the next companion after Rose and the story was riveting and heartbreaking as well in the finale of the 3rd Series. There were glaring differences between Martha and Rose (aside from the obvious). While Rose was just a naive teenager, Martha was already 23 years old working on her medical degree. Martha seems smart because she’s highly educated but that doesn’t mean Rose was not just as smart. Rose’s education came from experience and instinct rather than academic.

Before the 2005 reboot, I was unfamiliar with the series so I wasn’t exactly sure how the whole companion thing works. I thought the doctor would just fall in love over and over again with his companions. I’m glad Rose was a bit more special because even if he didn’t say it, we all knew the doctor loved her.

I applaud how Martha decided to give up on her unrequited feelings for the Doctor and go for the right decision which is to stay with her family and resume her life. This level of maturity have yet to be achieved by Rose as she values her feelings more than what her mind is telling her.

Series 4: Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble

Donna Noble is freaking hilarious. Just what the Doctor needed after feeling a bit guilty for breaking Martha’s heart. I’ve watched a few clips of Catherine Tate’s Lauren Cooper sketches and I laughed so hard the neighbors probably think I’m crazy. Take a look at this classic sketch with the Doctor, himself.

Many fans love Donna Noble and for good reason. Although they are strictly just friends, they have amazing’s chemistry that’s a breathe of fresh air from the previous companions’ longing looks at the doctor.

She’s the perfect representation of an everyday woman. I know I can relate to her, feeling like your life is headed nowhere and almost believing the people’s negative opinion of you that you begin to doubt yourself and the choices you make.

In the end though, Donna mattered so much she can’t even to begin to imagine how much. It’s just sad and tragic to see that the doctor had to erase any traces of memory that included him and their adventures together.

What I feel about Rose and the Duplicate Doctor

One part of me actually wanted the Series 2 finale to be the final time we see Rose Tyler but shipper part of me is glad to see her have a happy ending although he’s just a duplicate semi-human doctor. If only we could’ve heard what the Doctor whispered. I know… everyone knows what it is, but still. You never thought those 3 simple words could be as powerful as it is even on just a TV show.

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Dr. Who, Series 1 and 2: I Volunteer as Companion!

I stayed away from watching Dr. Who for the longest time for such stupid reasons like “I’m really not into sci-fi, I’m more of a fantasy kind of nerd”… (Although my fave tv series included: The X-Files, Star-Trek (TNG), and Sea Quest (admittedly because of Lucas – Jonathan Brandis!)), “I might not get it, I’m intimidated!” (although I’m currently watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus – esoteric humor galore), and “I so don’t want to be labeled a hipster.” (This will never apply to me as hipsters will never… ever… ever… admit to reading and liking the Twilight Series un-ironically.)

Series 1: Ninth Doctor with Rose Tyler

I started with the reboot in 2005 starring Christopher Eccleston, as the doctor and Billie Piper as Rose, the companion. I was kindda hoping I wouldn’t like it since there are 8 series or seasons in all with 13 episodes each. 8 series x 13 episodes x 45 mins divided by 60 equals 78 hours of my life devoted to this. Although I’ve done marathons of TV shows before (South Park, Alias, 24, CSI, etc.), that was before I had a regular job with corporate bosses. (This is why I keep away from never-ending animes.)

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view), I discovered a new drug in the form of The Doctor, flying on a silly blue police box with a slightly masochistic blonde “companion”. I was hooked, plot holes, “cost-effective” effects, and all.

What I Liked

Series 1 with the Ninth Doctor was the perfect place to start for a non-fan of Dr. Who. You don’t have to go through the 1960s ones. I’m not that hard-core! You don’t get lost in the universe because they explain all you need to know – the story of the Time Lords, the regeneration, the concept of the companion, how the Tardis generally works, and the arch enemy with a plunger for arms – Daleks (although, why you need a sink plunger in space is bonkers to me!).

I thought that the series will be all about the sci-fi side of things but the core is really about the characters and how they develop through their experiences and adventures.

I felt that the relationship between Rose and the Doctor began as a friendship and somewhat of a paternal love. Since Rose Tyler lost her dad, she bonded quickly with the relatively older version of the Doctor.

Is the Rose character believable as a girl willing to leave her planet and family to travel with a total stranger through time and space? If you’re 19 and full of wanderlust, the answer is yes! I may not be a Rose Tyler but I’ve met these girls before. I totally understand and wish I had the same drive when I was a teenager. Christopher Eccleston is a bit more subdued compared to the next doctor but he really does give the vibe that everything is going to be okay in the end because he’s dependable and intelligent.

What I Didn’t Like

What my feminist side disagreed with is the constant need to protect Rose when things get a bit too scary. It seems she has to prove herself time and time again that she’s capable of taking care of herself. But this is really just a minor issue.

The major ones are the effects and a few plot holes. It seems the budget was a bit tight considering this was 2005, technology was so advanced, George Lucas just can’t stop ruining his franchise with Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith. As for plot holes, I just don’t buy the plausible science of it sometimes. It seems so convenient that all their travels don’t OFTEN cause a rift in the time-space continuum, only when the plot calls for it to be. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most are the characters and their motivations.

Series 2: Tenth Doctor with Rose Tyler

The Doctor and Rose kiss in the final episode of Series 1 but the blossoming relationship briefly hit a snag as it was revealed that the Doctor was dying and he needed to regenerate in order to survive. So goodbye Christopher Eccleston and hello David Tennant!

This younger version of the doctor looks a bit more appropriate as a love interest to Rose Tyler. they don’t go too far with that aspect though. It reminds of the earlier seasons of the X-files. In an interview, Gillian Anderson said that the fact that Mulder and Scully barely acknowledges the attraction makes each hug and show of concern that much sweeter. I think the same is true for The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Believe me, I was crying my eyes out at the end of the finale.

I may have a crush on David Tennant now and I’m glad he’s on 2 more series! I will miss Rose Tyler and I hope the next companion would be lovely as well.  Will the doctor mourn Rose for awhile? Or like a jackass, be getting another companion at the  first opportunity and concentrate all his devilish charm on her until she’s looking all puppy-eyed in love with him? Hmp!

I’ve noticed that they had better effects for this season. The writing and the witty dialogue was still solid but I can’t wait for the Steven Moffat 2010 series!

Sherlock Mini Episode: Many Happy Returns

BBC just gave us a taste of Sherlock Season 3 with a mini episode entitled, “Many Happy Returns.” This is in reference to the uncut DVD Detective Inspector Lestrade made of Sherlock for Watson’s birthday.

The mini episode features a hobo-looking Anderson who somehow tuned into a Sherlock-is-alive fanatic, not unlike Elvis’ fans. How this came about is interesting to me. I loved Anderson as a comic-relief character, I’d hate to lose one of Sherlock’s best humor whipping boy.

I thought Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t appear in this episode. But he did! Thank you, thank you!

Dr. John Watson’s blog is also alive and kicking with a response to this DVD: Read it here.

Sherlock Season 3 Trailer is Finally Here!

Finally! BBC released a proper trailer for Sherlock Season 3 and not some teaser that equates to a drop of dew on a man dying of thirst.  See http://wirewax.com/sherlock

What can we infer from the minute-long glimpse into Sherlock Season 3?

  • Sherlock still thinks John’s life centers around Sherlock’s. It’s not John, Sherlock! It’s us! We are the ones who still haven’t moved on!
  • Mrs. Hudson can scream like a possessed Banshee!
  • Anderson looks better with the homeless-looking beard. It gives him such a character lacking in the previous seasons.
  • I don’t even wanna know why John’s wife prefer the ‘stache. What he and she does with that, I.don’t.want.to.know.
  • Finally, the most amazing moment…”…the person he thought would least matter to me…” could it be? MOLLY??? #notadormatafterall

I was just clicking on the trailer now and holy MOLLY we got exclusive content, people!

Gotta go!

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window

I’m a fan of the Hitch. I discovered his films in VHS format at the forgotten corner of a video rental store where the classics and special interest genres were displayed. I knew his films, of course, I think I may have even watch some of his specials on TV as a kid but I was too young to remember.

In my bucket list, I’ll include, watching all the Alfred Hitchcock films I can lay my hands on. So far I’ve watched just the most notable ones: The Birds, Vertigo, and Psycho. Today, I add Rear Window. (Next stop: Strangers on a Train)

Alfred Hitchcock at Madame Tussaud's
Alfred Hitchcock at Madame Tussaud’s

I knew the premise as I’ve watched the imitation, Disturbia, starring Shia Labeouf. I must say this one is a bit slower on the pacing, no hurried action sequences necessary. It’s a little light compared to Birds and Psycho but it’s meant to be that way. I love that courtyard and how someone can make do without a television and just watch the neighborhood drama unfolding simultaneously, in 4D no less. I would love to live in a neighborhood like that but I’m betting they don’t make windows like they used to.

Rear Window stars dashing James Stewart and Grace Kelly (before she became a princess). Jeff (Stewart) is immobile with a cast on his right leg. He misses the action packed life of a press photographer who covers world events and makes do with watching other people’s lives unfold, framed in the 4 panels of his rear apartment window. His window overlooks a courtyard shared by 5(?) buildings. In plain view are windows of his neighbors: a ballet dancer who’s stupid enough to leave her windows wide open while prancing about in her undies, a nagging wife and simmering husband, another couple who sleeps on the balcony (it’s hot) and is probably the laziest dog owners around (dog in the basket with pulley to bring dog in and out of the apartment), newlyweds who didn’t leave their bed for the whole of the movie, partying composer, an artist, and probably more that I’m just forgetting.

Anyway, a lot of those neighbors are not important. The story centers on the couple with the nagging wife and a tired looking husband. Jeff got it in his head that one night, the husband killed the wife and stuffed her body in a trunk or maybe buried her under the flower beds (when the dog got killed while sniffing on the assumed burial spot). The problem is he didn’t actually see the murder, even with big ass zoom lens and big ass binoculars. He fell asleep when the deed took place, and besides, the guy had the decency to keep his blinds close.

Jeff was so engrossed with his theory, he even convinced his girlfriend and part time nanny to dig up the “grave.” His overly-attached girlfriend (Kelley) was so eager to please (or maybe just a tad high on adrenaline), she risked her life climbing over the guy’s window to get evidence. Well, the guy caught her when he returned unexpectedly to the apartment. Fortunately, the police was called beforehand, but the guy caught girlfriend signaling to boyfriend, Jeff, that she got the ring as evidence.

As any self-respecting guy who’s apartment just got broken into would do, he went to Jeff’s apartment to ask what’s the deal? In the confrontation, it was revealed that he did, indeed, killed his wife and stuffed her body in the trunk. Scuffles followed and Jeff ended up hanging from his window while killer tries to do him in with an alarmed neighborhood all looking in on the action happening from across their building(for once). In a miraculous coincidence(that happens only in movies), turns out the police haven’t left yet (although it seems impossible as a lot of time passed) and was there in time to save Jeff although he still fell and in a funny ending, hurt both his feet and is again confined to his apartment.

SIDE BAR: Have I mentioned the gorgeous clothes? I’m really a 50’s fashionista, at heart, deep inside, where there lies a thinner me. Sigh… If I had the body, I’d wear those gorgeous voluminous skirts all the time. I wouldn’t care if people have to give me an extra 2 feet of space in a crowded train.

SIDE BAR: I don’t know why Hitchcock prefers blondes. Is it because of the black and white format of his earlier movies? But I’m enamored by Grace Kelley’s presence on the screen. The clothes fit her perfectly and even while climbing the second story fire ladder, she was nonchalantly elegant.

I have to say, this don’t happen in the 2010s. Oh no, privacy is very much sacred in today’s society*sarcasm* Instead of windows, what we have is social media. Instead of one dashing, slightly pervy, but otherwise normal guy, the whole world is a potential peeping tom. Instead of a courtyard, we have the internet.

Alfred Hitchcock and Me
Alfred Hitchcock and Me at Madame Tussaud’s in HK

 

Dracula, the Liberal Democrat Steampunk Vampire

I’m not sure why but I’m slowly liking NBC’s newest vampire series, starring the arrogantly gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Myers, Dracula. I’ve always loved vampires even as a little girl but since reading the original Dracula, I’m averse to the Hollywood-ification of the character. I watched the first episode just because, well … Jonathan Rhys Myers! How could I not. I’ve got objections of course. The costumes – what??? No self-respecting lady of aristocratic origins would wear something like that in the late 19th century, LUCY! The PDA – What??? No self-respecting lady of the 19th century would be kissing their beau in the middle of the street, MINA!

The unexpected plot lines are hilarious. Dracula, disguised as a wealthy American industrialist, is here to bring forth wireless light bulbs! No, not flashlights, as in light powered by geo-magnetism (what makes your compass point north, I don’t know how. Don’t make me explain, for the love of God!)  He’s here to wipe out the Order of the Dragon’s most lucrative venture – oil. Dracula’s plan is to develop green energy to eliminate the need for crude oil. (He should really talk to Obama)

Another surprise is Dracula’s personal approval of the gay community in the 19th century. He personally don’t care who you love but if he can use it to further his agenda, he would not hesitate to use public disgust to his advantage.

Although the characters are all here, Van Helsing, Mina, Jonathan Harker, Lucy, and Renfield, it’s far from Bram Stoker’s original tale. Jonathan here is not a solicitor but a struggling journalist who can’t afford to marry. Mina is studying to be one of the pioneer women in medicine. (I checked – the first woman ever to have a medical degree is Elizabeth Blackwell in 1849) That plot’s at least plausible.

Van Helsing is not the Dracula’s adversary but his ally. He’s the one who resurrected the mummified count to wreck havoc on the Order of the Dragon, the murderers of his family.

I can’t wait for the next episode. I think it’s going to become one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Blame it all on Myers!

Try Defying Gravity

We just saw Gravity (starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) and it was hard on the heart, really. I don’t mean in a bad way but in a very good way. I was going to skip this movie but it garnered rave reviews which makes it hard to resist. And besides it just rained again in the Metro and streets were going to become parking lots in a matter of minutes so I’d rather spend 2 hours enjoying a movie than be frustrated and trapped in the pouring rain and flooded streets.

The movie is not easy to watch. It’s not some lighthearted fare you can forget about when you exit the cinema. I felt myself getting stressed out, dizzy, and I had to remind myself that Sandra Bullock is safe somewhere in the US and this is just a movie and George Clooney is probably out and about trying out his latest “girlfriend.” We watched it on a regular 2D screen. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking and disorienting the experience would be in 3D IMAX.

Critics praised the technical aspects of the movie and deservedly so. The effects were awesome. I don’t know how they shot the movie but it really felt like they were out there in space. You can almost feel the lack of gravity with all the lack of control – spinning and hurling through space. (It made me think of how I’ve taken gravity for granted, even hating it after every time I remove my bra.)

I like the injection of humor, that mostly comes from Clooney. Sandra’s character was a tad annoying at first but in the end, you’ll root for her to go home. The little twist in the story is a brilliant move as it just elevated the story more. If you think this is just a movie about an astronaut’s survival in space, you’d be so wrong.

Go see it. It’s really worth the ticket price.