Saturday, 14 April 2018

Time is Relative: Season 9 - Part Three

And a good morning to you, sir.

I am watching all of Doctor Who, in order, so you don't have to.

You still can watch it, of course, if you want. But you'll get a pretty good idea of what Doctor Who is about just by reading this. Just don't enter any quizzes based on my information.

You join us in Season 9, which was way back in the 1970s when the quality was variable. Here's two stories for you to pretend you've watched.




The Mutants




This story is set in the future, where these blokes are in charge of space. The big guy in the front is a total git to everyone, and quite the racist. The thin guy is saying, "We should stop being so racist to all the aliens. Space is full of them, and it's starting to look tactless."

The big guy - who I think is called the Marshall - is thinking, "I don't care. I love being racist almost as much as I love pie. I wonder if they make racist pie?"






Soon, Doctor Who turns up with his lovely companion Jo. By the look on Jo's face, Doctor Who has spent the whole afternoon going on about how brilliant he is, and making fun of her for not knowing how to pronounce science words.

To Jo's relief, Doctor Who has spotted some evil space racism going on, just through this space door. He loves telling people off, and this will give Jo a break.







This is one of the monsters for this story. He is a Mutant, which is why it's called 'The Mutants'.

He is at a Mutant disco, doing a right old dance. He's very happy, which is a shame, as the racist Space Marshall hates mutants, and discos, and happiness, and will soon try to have him murdered.








Jo goes for an explore. She finds herself in an awful, garish cavern, and is rightly horrified by its lack of taste.

Mind you. What is she meant to be wearing? Her jacket appears to made of the bits of material that all the other jackets refused to be friends with.









The Mutants come to play with Jo. They have a jolly, larkish demeanour which is, sadly, at odds with their nightmarish insectoid faces. So she runs right off.









This is shot at a rather jaunty angle, isn't it? Jo has met some badly dressed guys who want to invade the Marshall's base and stop him being so racist.

I can't work out what's going on with the guy in the middle. Is he ill? Has he got his head down because he's leading the charge against racism? Are they actually prisoners and I've simply forgotten because I wasn't paying attention?

Whatever it is, Jo is clearly hoping they'll be done soon, as her hair is starting to lose its bounce, and she's pretty sure this civilisation doesn't have any hair dryers.







 Doctor Who confronts the Marshall, albeit with quite a glum face. He wishes The Master was about. This story has failed to meet his Five Tests For A Fun Adventure. Which are:

1. Wine

2. Zooming about in a car, motorbike or helicopter.

3. Laughing at The Master and calling him a jerk.

4. Hanging about with royalty.

5. A wide selection of cold meats and/or pastries.










The Mutants get bored and come invade the Marshall's base too. They really are quite hideous, aren't they? I know the story is meant to be about tolerance and seeing beyond the surface and all that but... I mean you'd kill them, wouldn't you? If you could? No matter how nice they might turn out to be later. You'd kill them, and then you'd do a big wash of all your clothes, in case you'd got any Mutant on them.








In the end, one of the natives turns into a magic Space Angel. He floats about for a bit, and says some stuff about not being racist, not to anyone, and yes - that includes doing funny accents.

It turns out the hideous Mutants turn into Space Angels if you leave them for long enough. So... I dunno. Be nice to insects? Maybe. Probably not wasps, though.







The Time Monster



Great news! It's The Master. He's back, again, for another adventure.

This week he's pretending to be a Professor. He knows how to live, The Master. He's got a whole plot going on, with a Time Monster, but he still has time to sit down next to his weirdly massive desk, and have a read and get drunk.








Before long, Sergeant Benton turns up to ruin The Master's fun, by trying to kill him with guns. Booo! Leave The Master alone, Sergeant Benton. He's not doing anything.

OK. He's summoning an evil Time Monster to destroy Earth or something. But his plans never work, do they? So might as well leave him be.








Doctor Who is very relaxed about The Master's plans nowadays. He knows they always go wrong. So he tries to beat his record for 'balancing things on a wine bottle'. He's never done six, so he's very excited.

Everyone else seems fascinated, which is testament to how interesting the rest of the story is. Except Sergeant Benton. He's thinking, "I bet I could do eight or nine. I am amazing."









Things get momentarily exciting, as some olden time guys show up to have a battle. I think The Master made them do it. This is a good bit of the story, and quite creative. Kapow!









I can't remember what's happening here, but what a delightful picture. They're obviously having a great time, possibly due to gin. It's the last story of the season, so they may well have got demob happy and started drinking early.









After a bit, everyone goes to Atlantis. I can't remember why. The Master wants to be King of it, I think. The Old Guy King is saying, "Yes - that should be fine. It will give me more time for jigsaws and such."

The Queen - who is on the right, doing a spy, would quite like The Master to be King as well. She thinks his beard is sexy.









Doctor Who and Jo get captured, yet again. Yes, despite Jo's brilliant disguise as a kind of ornamental curtain.

They're not very concerned. Any minute now The Master will run in, shouting, "Aaarg! My plan has turned to nonsense and now all the monsters want to kill me! Help!"







 


The Master has become King, and instantly started being Evil. The Queen is super surprised. Why? He dresses like a villain and cackles all the time.









Ah, that's it. He was after a Time Crystal. And now he's got it, and everyone in Atlantis has died.

Also, he appears to be travelling in Doctor Who's TARDIS, with Jo, now. Perhaps, at last, the show has become about him. That would be a great show. Every week he could go to another planet and try to conquer it with some mad aliens. People would watch that.







Eventually this happens.

Whatever 'this' is.

I think The Master has broken Time, by playing with the Time Crystal too vigorously.

And now Doctor Who is apologising to the Time Monster, and saying, "Sorry," and, "It was The Master," and "He's always doing this - he's a total jerk. Please kill him."







The Time Monster shows up, disguised as a 1980s pop video. It is her preferred form.

She basically says, "It's the end of the series, and everyone is tired. Let's just forget about all of this and go home."

It's not a very satisfying ending. But it is a pleasingly bonkers image. However stupid this show gets, you've got to love the crazy pictures they come up with.






That's the end of Season 9. I think we can all agree that it's been a mixed bag. See you soon for Season 10.


If you want to check out the previous stories, go here.




Thursday, 5 April 2018

Time is Relative: Season 9 - Part Two

Morning. Nice moustache!

Whether you've watched Doctor Who or not, you'll certainly enjoy this - my ongoing guide to its many stories.

I present some photos I've taken off the telly, and some notes I've written to help explain what's going on. What's not to like?




The Curse of Peladon



In this story, Doctor Who goes to the planet Peladon and meets these guys. They're the Ice Warriors, and they've encountered Doctor Who before. Except that was when the show was in black and white. Now, they're startled to find they are green.

They used to be bad guys, with a very strong "murder the humans" agenda. They've gone nice now, though.

Doctor Who is still a total jerk to them regardless. Obviously.








Also on Peladon is this exciting Space Penis. He hangs around with the Ice Warriors trying to be friends. They are, understandably, making quite an effort to pretend he is not there.







There's one more alien to meet. He is also, perhaps unsurprisingly, green. He's called Arcturus. He will turn out to be a bad guy - a shock revelation, subtly foreshadowed by him being a hideous combination between a skull and a spider.

He lives in a machine, which zooms about all over the place. It's meant to be so he can breathe the Peladon air, but it might just be that he's exceptionally lazy. And, I suppose, this way people might refer to him as "The guy in the life support contraption" rather than, "Revolting Evil Spider Skull Face Guy".









Doctor Who is caught messing around with Arcturus's 'Stops Him Dying' machine. Everyone assumes Doctor Who is trying to murder him. Which is fair. Doctor Who has made no secret of how repulsive he finds all the aliens. Except the Space Penis, of whom he seems curiously fond.







The Ice Warrior thinks that Doctor Who is probably a murderer, and is telling Arcturus and the Space Penis about all the times that Doctor Who tried to kill his friends, back in the black and white days.

Space Penis is drooping with sadness. He likes Doctor Who, and is shocked to find that he once ran around on the moon killing Ice Warriors with guns. Let's hope he doesn't find out about the time Doctor Who made the Krotons drink corrosive acid and laughed as they melted.









Jo is wondering if she can come and be a companion for the Ice Warriors instead, and do they have their own TV show, and does it involve less sexist, patronising dialogue?

The answer is no.








Eventually Doctor Who teams up with Space Penis and the Ice Warriors, and defeats Arcturus. This means the galaxy is safe, but it's hard to escape the feeling that everyone is still overcome with a kind of ennui as the story comes to an end.

Everyone here seems to be trying to avoid eye contact, which suggests that their "Arcturus is Dead!" party got out of hand, and went to some dark, unexpected places.







The Sea Devils





Hurray! The Master is back. We last saw him being arrested, for being a massive intergalactic nuisance, and put in prison.

He's loads more fun than Doctor Who. When Doctor Who gets locked up, he just tells sad stories and complains to the guards. The Master, on the other hand, sneaks out and steals hats, and pretends to be an Admiral, and makes contact with Sea Monsters.

Oh yeah. The story is about Sea Monsters.









Doctor Who comes to see The Master in prison, and quickly tries to kill him with a sword. Why do they even have swords in this prison?








Doctor Who wins at swords, but gets distracted by some sandwiches and forgets to murder The Master.

If only more villains had snacks to hand, they'd get away with whatever they wanted. He loves a sandwich, Doctor Who.








Jo, meanwhile, is being chased by guys in capes, on jeeps. I forget why. I think maybe The Master told them she was doing spying. I like the composition of this shot, though the monster on the right is unconvincing.









Suddenly - pow! Sea Monsters! It turns out that The Master has been sending them emails going "Come up to the surface - it's great and you could kill all the humans!"

This one is very excited by the prospect, and has made all haste. Although, that doesn't look like an expression of joy, to me. I think he's surfaced in the wrong place.









Meanwhile, this Sea Monster has got inside a submarine. Though he now appears to very much wish he hadn't, because there's a Man With A Gun. "Oh no!" he is clearly thinking.

His options are:

a) Back away slowly through the hatch and hope no-one has noticed him, then go home and forget all about submarines, and just be content with his lot.

b) Attempt to convince the Man With A Gun that this is a Sea Monster submarine, and it is the Man With A Gun who is in the wrong place. If the Man With A Gun is English, this might work. He will apologise to the Sea Monster and go off scratching his head.

c) Stay still like this, forever, until the Man With A Gun gets bored or goes for a wee.

d) Hope the Man With A Gun is an idiot, and just come in anyway, and then kill everyone while Man With A Gun just watches, as if he was a Man Without A Gun.


If memory serves, he goes for 'd'.








Doctor Who refuses to believe Jo when she says there is an exciting chase going on outside with jeeps and men in capes and everything. So she takes him outside to look.

By the time he gets there, things have escalated, and now there are more men with jeeps, and capes, and even one guy on a horse! Jo is clearly saying, "I told you so," and Doctor Who is clearly thinking, "Why are there horses now? What's even happening in this story?"









 The Sea Monsters charge all over the place, shooting at the humans with their guns. It is very exciting. They look great, too. I don't know why they need guns. If you saw a couple of these guys coming after you, you'd just wee yourself into a state of fatal dehydration.






The Master is enjoying himself a lot in this story. Here we see him shouting, "Go! Kill everyone! Do it with guns! Zap! Kapow!"

I'm not sure the Sea Monsters understand him, though. The one on the left is just staring at The Master's pointing finger. The one on the right has become distracted by a bird. "Sky fish!" he's thinking.









Eventually Doctor Who goes to the King Sea Monster and tells him to stop it. This is usually Doctor Who's best plan - just telling everyone to go away and have a think about what they've done. It works nine times out of ten. And when it doesn't work, he just has them all killed.

The Sea Monster looks kind of shifty though, don't you think? Like he's borrowed money from Doctor Who in the past, and he's hoping he's forgotten about it, and he's just hoping to get through the conversation before Doctor Who remembers and asks him for it back.

Anyway. In the end, the Sea Monsters do stop, but then I think they get blown up anyway. Doctor Who looks a bit sad about it, but I don't think they ever really bonded, so it's not that big a deal and he soon recovers.





That's all for now. If you've enjoyed this - and why wouldn't you - the previous episode can be found here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Spun

I wrote a poem. This is the poem. Please read the poem.










Spun



And sometime you just drop a spoon


And it hits the ground
And the world breaks open


And the kitchen floor begins to crack
And you can see the black
Through the broken tiles


And all the things you left unspoken
Uncurl like smoke and rise around you


The background hum you tried to silence
A sharp seductive sound
Now rising


This fallen spoon has bent the day around its concave head
This room, reflected, makes no sense


The beams of sunlight through the window,
Twist and curve
Lies and tricks to keep you straight
If they touch you they might burn you
If you stay still
You might die


Quick, shut this down
Bend and reach and grasp
This disobedient, metal tool
This tiny trickster
This little fool that ripped the afternoon in half


This so called spoon that broke your day
This tiny thing that somehow weighs
Nearly more than you can handle


Pick it up and put it back
And surely you will seal this crack
The abyss beneath this quiet life
Will shrink and fold
and leave the real world


For a while.


The hum subsides
Retreats into the background noise
Of normal life


But don’t be fooled


You’re only ever one stupid move away
From the moment
When you drop a spoon