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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘doctor who’

Watching New Who: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

We are incredibly honoured to have tied for the William Atheling Jr Award, alongside Galactic Suburbia. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and to all our readers for your support and for spreading the word. We also want to thank Lynne Thomas, Jo Anderton and Kathleen Jennings for their guest contributions. Congratulations to not only Galactic Suburbia on their well deserved win, but all the amazing nominees – you are producing some wonderful writing! We are looking forward to writing many more reviews about the show we love, and hopefully catching up with the new season soon.

David is coming to New Who for the first time, having loved Classic Who as a kid. Tehani is a recent convert, and ploughed through Seasons 1 to 6 (so far) in just a few weeks after becoming addicted thanks to Matt Smith – she’s rewatching to keep up with David! Tansy is the expert in the team, with a history in Doctor Who fandom that goes WAY back, and a passion for Doctor Who that inspires us all.

We are working our way through New Who, using season openers and closers, and Hugo shortlisted episodes, and sometimes a couple of extra episodes we love as our blogging points. Just for fun!

DOCTOR WHO

“The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon”

Series 6, Episodes 1 and 2
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill
River Song – Alex Kingston
Canton Everett Delaware III – Mark Sheppard
President Richard Nixon – Stuart Milligan

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Verity! Extra! – Doctor in a Strange Land

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

VerityExtraDrStrangeLand-210This week’s Extra! features crossover madness! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy, as we muse over what it would be like to plop the Doctor into other fictional worlds. What makes a good crossover? Which Verity isn’t really comfortable with crossovers? Who coins the term “Capaldi-flicted”? And who observes that Capaldi “gives good cape”? Listen and see!

Then let us know in the comments what fictional worlds you’d like to see the Doctor (and/or his companions) visit. Inquiring Verities want to know!

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New Who Series 5 Report Card – Tansy

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

We would like to thank everyone who nominated our “New Who in Conversation” series for the William Atheling Jr Award again this year – it’s a great honour to be on the ballot! Voting for the annual Ditmar Awards (which the Atheling is included in) is open to all members of Continuum X (2014 Natcon – Melbourne) and Conflux 9 (2013 Natcon – Canberra), and can be done online.

You can find David’s report card and Tehani’s report card for this season on their websites.

billboard


The Doctor: Matt Smith

Well, he’s wonderful, isn’t he? From “The Eleventh Hour” onwards, Matt Smith proved everyone wrong about whether an actor under thirty could play the iconic role. He quickly became a favourite of mine, not that I have favourite Doctors! And while the show continued the fresh, modern ever-changing style that had been launched with New Who back in 2005, it was with this Doctor and this version of the show that it started to feel that maybe there wasn’t such a thing as Classic and New Who after all – the Eleventh Doctor felt most coherently like the last in a long line. That scene in Eleventh Hour where he steps through the holographic images of his former selves, straightening his bow tie… it gets me every time!

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Verity! Episode 41 – The Legend of Sontar: A Linx to the Past

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

VerityEpisode41-210Our survey of Doctor Who baddies continues with those kings of the potato people themselves! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Tansy as we chat about Sontarans. We all rewatched “The Sontaran Stratagem” and “The Poison Sky” as a jumping-off point for this conversation, but fear not classic Who fans, there’s plenty discussion of their origins and development throughout the series (and even Big Finish)!

What do you think of these (usually) stocky, militaristic foes? Let us know in the comments!

While you’re commenting, please vote! We’re going to try our hands at an audio commentary. Let us know which one of these stories you think we should do. (Or let us know on Twitter using #VerityVotes.)

  • The Gunfighters
  • The Visitation
  • Black Orchid
  • Paradise Towers
  • Father’s Day
  • The Curse of the Black Spot


[Tansy note: obviously Paradise Towers is the best option here. RED KANGS RED KANGS RED KANGS ARE BEST.]

PLUS, feel free to ask us any Doctor Who-related questions you might have. We’ll start covering those in future Extras! (Again, you can also ask on Twitter, using #AskVerity.)

^E

Also covered:

Bonus links:
The First Sontarans
The Five Companions
The Time Run (full video)

Download or listen now (runtime 1:25:15)

The Chauvelin Effect

Monday, April 21st, 2014

scarlet-pimpernel12Talking with my friend Isabel the other week, I wanted to put a name to the specific phenomenon of enjoying an actor in something, and retrospectively realising that actually they were in something else REALLY MEMORABLE AND SIGNIFICANT to you a long time ago, but you never made the connection that they were the same person. It’s like a kind of actorly deja vu only without any sense of remembering they are familiar and you have in fact seen them in things before. So the complete opposite of how I usually watch any TV/movies from Britain, which consists of pointing out all the actors who have been in Doctor Who, Press Gang or Carry On Movies.

I wanted to name the syndrome after Rupert Graves, as I am still frankly recovering from the retrospective shock of discovering that the actor who played Jolyon Forsyte (my favourite character) in The Forsyte Saga was the same actor who played the floppy-haired Freddy Honeychurch in Room with a View back in the distant 80′s.

Isabel, however, argued quite rightfully that actually this phenomenon could only be named for the experience we had both shared, of rewatching the classic Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour version of The Scarlet Pimpernel in the 21st century, only to discover that the reason we remembered Chauvelin as being really excellent and acting everyone else off the camera was in fact because he was played by SIR IAN FREAKING MCKELLEN.

I’ve had a couple of experiences of the Chauvelin Effect lately, so very glad that I now have a name to put to it when relating the anecdotes.

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Verity & Tansy’s Two Cents: Who’s In What?

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

veritywhosinwhat-300This week’s episode of Verity doesn’t have me in it at all!

The topic was ‘who’s in what’ and I think it’s inspired the most comments by listeners ever! Lynne was inspired to do a “My Two Cents” post, and I started composing mine almost as soon as I started listening to the episode.

The question was, what shows/movies/media have you chased up purely because of a Doctor Who connection?

I found the various perspectives really interesting, especially as the episode is balanced equally between those who started Doctor Who with the new version of the show, and those who have been watching it since they were ‘wee.’ Liz provides a treasure trove of which old movies to track down in search of Doctors!

Download or listen now (runtime 35:40)

Mrs Hudson from Sherlock, what are you doing with the Third Doctor?

Mrs Hudson from Sherlock, what are you doing with the Third Doctor?

Turns out that despite having watched Doctor Who my whole life, I’ve rarely gone hunting for Classic Who actors in TV shows or movies – I’m much more likely to have done that with the modern gang, in our post-IMDB reality. I did however spend most of my childhood being hit over the head by appearances of Doctor Who actors in unexpected places.

I am more likely to have deliberately sought out shows featuring Press Gang actors (yes Hotel Babylon I’m looking at you for hiring Dexter Fletcher) – though there are several actors appearing in Press Gang who I definitely saw in Doctor Who first, including Principal Winter and Duggan from City of Death. Oh, and Chrissie, AKA Winifred Bambera.

I think my lack of actively hunting classic actors is because it wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do back in the height of my classic Who fandom – I was much more likely to casually stumble across them. And by the time the Internet was available for the likes of me, I was already pretty well established in my ‘casual stumbling’ technique. (also let’s face it, a lot of the actors playing companions didn’t actually turn up in many other shows, at least in substantial roles)

And, you know, remembering odd connections between actors from British TV is kind of my superpower. I have often baffled people with my unfailing ability to remember exactly which Carry On Film featured that particular actor, or which long-forgotten BBC drama featured that actor now guest-starring on Absolutely Fabulous. Following them deliberately would be a bit of a cheat, wouldn’t it?
Having said that…

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Oods and Hobbitses Taste Delicious

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

January is a sea of birthday parties for me and mine, and we had an extra one to factor in this year – friends from Sydney came down for a holiday and took an opportunity to hold a Doctor Who party for their three year old daughter on the grounds that she doesn’t have any friends back home who know their sonic screwdrivers from their fish fingers.

Oh, you need a small group of boys and girls who are rabidly interested in Doctor Who? Why yes, we CAN help with that…

We ended up with four families, nine children, all in costume, plus a TARDIS play set and a ridiculous amount of Doctor Who themed food, culminating in a gingerbread TARDIS full of jelly babies.

I was called in to make Ood cupcakes on the grounds that figuring out cheats methods to do ridiculously complicated cake requests is basically my super power.

Some evidence:

-5

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Watching New Who: The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Tansy and Tehani love this season so much we’re making David do more work – we’re changing up our usual plan and reviewing each episode, in sets of two.

DW-pandoricaTHE PANDORICA OPENS

TANSY:
I always forget quite how much I love “The Pandorica Opens” until I’m watching it. The ‘cold open’ piece before the credits is especially wonderful. It’s fascinating how quickly this new mode and tone of Doctor Who has established itself in only a few months, so that the season finale is able to rely on nostalgia about the Eleventh Doctor and the friends he has made along the way.

TEHANI:
It’s quite amazing how much is packed into that beginning, and how lovely it is to revisit old friends in such a way. And they feel like old friends, even though we’ve really only just met them!

DAVID:
The whole setup of this episode is wonderfully done, not only do we get a refresher on some of the key players of the season, we barely have time to draw breath. River is wonderful, and we see her as this real James Bond type figure, absolutely dashing and fearless. And the reveal of the cliff face and the message was hilarious – It is certainly one way to get someone to return your calls!

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Gingerbread Dalek Season

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Gingerbread daleks are not just biscuits (or cookies if you are American). “Gingerbread daleks” has become a shorthand for me that conveys a) how ridiculously domestic I get in December, with the crafting and the cookie baking and the menu planning and the (gasp) cleaning; and b) the way that Doctor Who and Christmas have become interwoven over the last few years – in our house in particular.

If Daleks exterminate a forest of Christmas trees, does anyone hear them?

If Daleks exterminate a forest of Christmas trees, does anyone hear them?

It all started with a cookie cutter that my honey made for me by bending a teddy bear out of shape until it resembled a dalek. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! I can of course make dalek cookies at any time of year, but once you get a chance to make gingerbread daleks at Christmas, believe me, you never go back.

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Doctor Who and the Golden Fiftieth: A Master List of Essays [WHO-50]

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

WHO-50Happy Doctor Who Weekend!

To celebrate, and to distract myself as we wait another WHOLE DAY for the actual anniversary shenanigans to begin properly with real TV shows and everything, I’m putting up a masterlist of the 53 (yes, really) blog posts I made weekly over the last 12 months to mark each year since Doctor Who began in 1963. With extras for 1965 and 1996 because reasons. These essays were made with love, and while the weekly commitment was tough at times I am really glad I did it – it was an opportunity to think about and look at the show across its entire history and to get a lot of my stray thoughts down as well as celebrating so many of my favourite bits along the way.

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