The Teresa Jusino Experience

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Tag: UK Television (Page 2 of 2)

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 9

Day 9 – Least Favorite Episode

The Web Planet

OK, so there are these bug people…on a planet. And um, The Doctor is, like, trying to talk to them I guess…? And um…

*bleary eyes*

…Ian is hot, in a dashing 1960s kind of a way. And I like Vicki. She’s what Susan should’ve been. And Barbara’s always awesome. But yes, back to the bugs…oh, and Barbara has this bracelet that the bugs talk to her through? And there are different kinds of bugs…because…

*YAWN*

And something-something different bugs at war with each other. And something-something crotchety, douchey Doctor, and something-something….

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

NOT from "The Web Planet", but it was one of the few quality pics I could find with all of them in it.

I’ve fallen asleep watching Doctor Who before…because I was tired. I fell asleep during “The Web Planet” because it was SO. FUCKING. BORING. It was either fall asleep, or tear off my own face. And the following day, I had access to the DVDs to try to pick up where I left off…but I didn’t. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it that day. Or the next. Or the next. It was too huge a struggle to put the DVD in the player, because of the sheer enormity of the boredom that I knew would befall me if I pressed ‘Play.’

If you want some quality First Doctor stories, check out “The Aztecs,” “The Romans,” or “The War Machines.” But do not, under any circumstances, watch “The Web Planet.”

That is, unless you need a sleep aid.

And you can’t get to a pharmacy.

And you don’t have alcohol.

And your friend won’t punch you in the face to knock you out.

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 8

Day 8 – Favorite Series

Series 3 of New Who

“Smith and Jones”, “The Shakespeare Code”, “Gridlock”, “Daleks in Manhattan”, “Evolution of the Daleks”, “The Lazarus Experiment”, “42”, “Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”, “Blink”, “Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, “Last of the Time Lords.”

Series 3 of the new Doctor Who is a series where even the uneven episodes tackle themes and issues that are important, and are about more than mere frolicking through time and space in a blue box.

Not that there are many uneven episodes. The reason why Series 3 stands out as my favorite is because it contains many of my favorite episodes. “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” (which I praised as my favorite episodes HERE) and “Blink” (whose heroine I praised HERE) are my top three. However, I also love “Smith and Jones”, which provides a wonderful introduction to the fabulous Martha Jones, as well as the equally fabulous Judoon. “The Shakespeare Code” is just sheer fun. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Shakespeare if they could? “Gridlock” was a surprising and emotionally affecting story that I loved because it examined faith in an interesting and heartfelt way.  “Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, and “The Last of the Time Lords” feature The Master, Doctor Who’s most complex and thrilling villain (played impeccably by both Derek Jacobi and John Simm), Martha at her most extraordinary (how anyone can hate on her after she walked the Earth in order to save the universe is beyond me!), and The Doctor at the height of his faith in humanity. He completely puts his life in the hands of Martha (again) and the world, because he trusts that they will do what they need to do and step up when the time comes.

“The Daleks in Manhattan”/”Evolution of the Daleks” had a lot wrong with them (not the least of which was huge historical inaccuracies and Noo Yawk accents that were horrendous), but the idea of a Human-Dalek hybrid like Dalek Sec is hugely interesting to me – that being human is about more than our cultures or environments; that there is something innate down to our DNA that makes us who we are. “The Lazarus Experiment” and “42” are filler standalone episodes, but they’re quality filler, both dealing with human survival at any cost. Even these seemingly weak episodes have something to offer.

So there you have it – Series 3 of new Doctor Who is my favorite season of the show for its near perfect, consistent quality, and the ideas and themes explored.

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 7

Day 7 – Favorite Episode

“Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood”

My favorite episode of Doctor Who is actually a two-parter by one of my favorite writers, Paul Cornell. “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” tells the story of The Doctor and Martha hiding from a group of aliens that have attacked them, needing The Doctor’s Time Lord life force to stay alive. In order to escape them, The Doctor hides out with Martha in 1913. The trick? In order for The Doctor to be untraceable to this family of aliens, who can smell out his life force, he contains his Time Lord essence in a fob watch that he entrusts to Martha, and lives a life for three months as a human being named John Smith. He has a career as a teacher at an all-boys school, he falls in love with a woman named Joan Redfern, and he lives a life of quiet wonder that The Doctor never gets a chance to have. Meanwhile, he has entrusted Martha with his life, which she protects with hers as she lives a humiliating life as a maid watching the man she loves fall in love with someone else.

I love this story, because we get to see The Doctor live as the species he so admires. It isn’t just that he falls in love – though his relationship with Joan is beautiful and heartbreaking – but that he gets to be human. He gets to understand what that really means.

I love this story, because we get to see how strong Martha is. So many people see Martha as weak because of her feelings for The Doctor, but it is her enormous heart and the way she owns her feelings so fearlessly that make her strong. When she believes in something, she will fight for it. This first big mission of hers guarding the fob watch (and The Doctor’s existence as a Time Lord) prepared her for evangelizing The Doctor later on in order to defeat The Master. This story shows Martha at her best.

I love this story because The Family of Blood is frightening, and yet, really charming. The way they refer to each other as “Son of Mine” and “Father of Mine”; the way the son sniffs around like an animal for The Doctor; the way they kill people and use the bodies to walk around and communicate.

I love the little runt of a boy who ends up helping The Doctor and Martha, and though he isn’t the best in military training along with the rest of the boys in school, he ends up fighting in the war when he’s older and becoming a war hero.

I love that The Doctor makes the most difficult decision of his life by choosing to give up his humanity. And I love that we get to see him at his most ferocious. He punishes each member of the Family of Blood by giving them exactly what they wanted: immortality. But he gives them this in the coldest way possible, and it sent a chill up my spine to watch him be that way.

Also, there were evil scarecrows. How could you not love evil scarecrows?

So there you have it, “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” are my favorite episodes of Doctor Who. Incidentally, the episodes are based on Paul Cornell’s Docotr Who novel, also called Human Nature, for those who care to read it! 🙂

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 5

DAY 5 – Favorite Guest Star

Jessica Hynes as Joan Redfern

As a huge fan of Spaced and Shawn of the Dead, I knew that Jessica Stevenson (as she was known when she made those things) could do funny. What I didn’t know was what heartbreakingly serious work she could do. I perked up during the Series 3 episode, “Human Nature,” when I saw that she was in it, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional wringer I was going to be put through.

Her Joan Redfern starts out stuffy and kinda racist, but by the end of the second part of her story, “The Family of Blood,” we feel her pain as a woman in love with someone that is being taken away from her. Hynes and Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, light up the screen in those episodes, and Hynes reappears in the Series 4 episode “The End of Time” as Joan Redfern’s granddaughter, Verity Newman (yes, that is a nod to Verity Lambert – the show’s first producer, and Sydney Newman, the show’s creator), who unknowingly gives the Tenth Doctor a final goodbye in her grandmother’s stead before he regenerates.

And that’s that. Jessica Hynes is my favorite guest star, both for her performance and for how excited I got when I saw she was doing Doctor Who.

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 4

DAY 4 – Favorite Character

Sally Sparrow

Cathy: “What’s good about sad?”
Sally: “It’s happy for deep people.”

There have been so many characters on Doctor Who over the years. What’s special about Sally Sparrow, from the New Who Series 3 episode “Blink,” is that even though she’s only in one episode, she’s written so well (and played so flawlessly by Carey Mulligan) that we continue to think about her long after the episode in which she appeared. I’ve talked to people about being disappointed that she’ll never be a companion, I’ve analyzed her over at Tor.com, and I’ve wished I could be half as cool, as together, as clever, or as brave. Sure, the Angels were scary, but the real star of “Blink” was Sally Sparrow.

Well, there you have it folks! Sally Sparrow is my favorite character on Doctor Who. You didn’t think I was going to choose someone as obvious as The Doctor, did you? 🙂

30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 2

DAY 2 – Favorite Companion


Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams

I’m thrilled that Arthur Darvill is now officially in the Doctor Who opening credits, because that means I get to say this wholeheartedly. Rory is my favorite companion. I love Rory with the power of a thousand suns. While I adore Amy and think she’s wonderful and complex and interesting, it is Rory who really stands out to me for all of those things and more. He is strong enough to join Amy in the big, blue box, and also strong enough to acknowledge when he’s too afraid to follow River Song into danger. His love for Amy is absolute, but not in a cloying way. He sees her flaws, and he loves her anyway, for all of who she is. He has never been afraid to stand up to The Doctor. And when the chips were down at their lowest, he guarded Amy in the Pandorica for 2,000 years.

Rory is us, but better. He is kind, and brave, and loyal.  He is extremely patient, and right now is, to me, the emotional heart of the TARDIS. He’s also ridiculously cute.

So, yeah. Rory Williams is my favorite companion. So much so that I decided to try and RP him. 🙂 We’ll see how that goes…



30 Days of Doctor Who – Day 1

River (Alex Kingston), Rory (Arthur Darvill), The Doctor (Matt Smith), and Amy (Karen Gillan)

In honor of last night’s Series 6 premiere of Doctor Who (my review of which can be found HERE – beware. It’s spoilertastic.), I’ve decided to steal from Tumblr and do the 30 Days of Doctor Who meme here on my blog. Because I’ve been neglecting my readers for far too long, and this would be a great way to get back into the swing of blogging. Also, I love Doctor Who. So, there’s that.

DAY 1 – Favorite Incarnation of The Doctor

Matt Smith as Eleven

I know. He’s the new one. I’m not supposed to say he’s my favorite. I’m supposed to say David Tennant. Or say something obscure, like Jon Pertwee as Three (he actually IS my favorite Classic Doctor).

But unlike every other actor in the role that took getting used to, Matt Smith had me from his very first episode. He was The Doctor for me the moment he met Amelia Pond. You could see both his childlike sensibility and his age and wisdom all wrapped up in the eyes of a 27-year old, and it was brilliant. One of the best things about Matt Smith in the part is that, no matter how young he is, he is believably an old soul. He is fun, but he’s also someone you would trust with your life, because you believe he has seen everything. Also, I love that he’s good with children. Other Doctors seemed to have to try hard to “get” kids (though Nine came close – see “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances”), but watching Eleven and Little Amelia together was magic.

So yes – Matt Smith as Eleven. My favorite Doctor.

Vampirrific!

Hello all!  I’ve got a couple of new links for you from the past week.  Interestingly, I’ve had vampires on the brain lately:

One of my favorite shows on the planet, TRUE BLOOD, is back for its third season, and it started off with a bang!  You can read my review of the season premiere for Pink Raygun HERE.  A piece about Episode 2 is coming soon…but you can keep yourself entertained until then by watching this:

And now, we move from vampires on television, to vampires in the theater…

One of my favorite indie theater companies in NYC, Nosedive Productions, has started its tenth anniversary season with an original production called The Little One, about the relationship between a young vampire and her maker.  I interviewed playwright, James Comtois, for Tor.com, which you can read HERE, and I interviewed director, Pete Boisvert, for Pink Raygun, which you can read HERE.  It looks like a great play – I’m seeing it this week, and there’ll be a review shortly thereafter – so definitely check it out if you can!

And lastly, some comics stuff that has nothing to do with vampires at all!  Check out what I thought of last week’s comics haul by checking out my weekly Comics Round-Up column over at Pink Raygun!

STILL TO COME:

** a review of the Doctor Who two-parter most recently aired on BBC America (get off my back, UK!  I KNOW the Pandorica opened, and I.  DON’T.  CARE!)

** a review of S3, Ep2 of True Blood (can I just say how much I love Jessica?  Because I really, really do.  Also – Eric needs to stop getting hot, or I’m going to pass out.)

** Comics Round-Up for the week of 6/16

** write-ups about Molly Crabapple’s t-shirt launch for Pink Raygun and Tor

** a post about the Nerd Girls reality show auditions for Tor

** interviews with YA sci-fi writer, George Sirois; sci-fi writer, Kat Howard; comics creator, Nathan Schrieber; and comics creator, Zane Grant and his comics creator/actress sister, Brea.

** and a piece about the comic, Young Allies, and judging a book by its cover.

Stay tuned!

Paul Cornell, and Dazzler, and Vampires, Oh My!

It’s getting more and more difficult to keep a running record of what I’m up to on this blog, because it’s all happening so goshdarned fast!  And before you mention Twitter or Facebook, it’s hard for me to keep a running record there, too, because most of the time I get caught up in conversations with other people.  There’s just SO MUCH GOING ON!  But I’m here now, right?  🙂

So, an interview I did with Paul CornellAction Comics (Lex Luthor, what?!) and his first-ever television pilot for a show called Pulse, which is airing on BBC3 was posted on Pink Raygun today!  It’s to promote both his taking over writing duties for in the UK TOMORROW NIGHT AT 9PM.  So, you know, if you’ve stumbled onto this blog and live in the UK, check it out tomorrow night – or you can watch it online right now.  Either way, let BBC3 know what you think of it.  Especially if you like it!  I’m counting on you lot, as you have to get it to series first before I can see it on this side of The Pond.  Woot!

In other Pink Raygun scribblings, you might want to check out my Comics Round-Up for the Week of 5/26!  Marvel (get it?) at how I lavish praise on Angel and Batman whilst simultaneously ripping Dazzler and the Mystery Society new ones!  If you’re looking for new comics to read, this weekly column of mine would be a great place to start!

And lastly, there’s my most recent Doctor Who review!  There was no new Who on BBC America this past Saturday, because of the holiday, but you can jump in on the conversation in the comments under my review of “The Vampires of Venice” at Tor.com!

Enjoy!

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