Conjure the wandering stars

Sunday, 20 July 2008

So, Tennant’s Hamlet. The press are already writing of it, and Jonathan Miller sneered at it for ‘celebrity casting‘. Last week, I saw the PR shot for it, and it instantly brought to mind another image.

Friedrich’s The Wanderer Above the Mists (or The Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog). It’s an arresting image, from the Romanticism period in art (painted around 1817). The same period which saw the rise of the sublime as a form of beauty, and concepts of nature v nuture emerge from post-Revolutionary France. It was also around the time when Shakespeare went through a massive revival, led in part by the Lambs’ Tales from Shakespeare (1807), and Hamlet became a tragic hero (rather than a whiny emo boy back from gap year to find ‘Uncle’ Claude has moved in with mum). All this suggests the tone the production intends to take with the play: a Romantic who ends up caught up in that fog that he looks down on.

The military coat (as well as making me go “Captain Jack!”), also recalls Branagh’s Hamlet, which looked to create a strong sense of both the political/military forces waiting on the borders, and the idea of a Germanic stoicism – Hamlet having studied in Wittenberg – in the face of the threats Hamlet faces (real and imagined).

It opens next week, and I shall read the reviews with no end of trepidation. Naturally, I have tickets for September but I can’t work out if I’m more excited by seeing Tennant as Hamlet, or by seeing what looks like it’ll be a smart production of Hamlet with Tennant as the icing.

I picked a quote from Hamlet over the other possible title for this piece, which suggests the latter reason for the excitement. The other title? “Don’t cry, emo Dane prince!”

Choose Life

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

I can’t have been the only one to have been oogling browsing the new photos of Tennant, opened this one and thought
“…but I choose not to choose life…”

Someone with better photo manipulation skills than me can doubtless do a better job.

Did I mention I am a bit excited about the up-coming two-parter?

Divine Doctor

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Now, as we’re running a little ahead of schedule, there’s just time for one extra item…

And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I’ll be running back to you

There’s been confirmation of the Doctor Who Soundtrack CD release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how delicious the song was, it includes Song for Ten from last year’s Christmas Invasion. The one that plays during the wardrobe scene and reaches a crescendo as the Doctor smiles at Rose, all modded-up and geektastic. The one that borrows the wall of sound for one brief interlude. Obviously, this is the track that non-OST types will be ripping as quick as possible, possibly for use in fanvids on YouTube. That’s not the best thing.

The best thing is that it’s been rerecorded for the OST…by Neil Hannon.

Back in the pre-Xmas excitement, back when all we knew was that Tennant was using his Casanova accent, I developed an odd mental image. I’d been listening to The Divine Comedy’s Casanova more than a girl should and slowly the two skinny geeky boys merged in my mind until I was imagining the tenth Doctor to be a mash up of Tennant’s Casanova and Neil Hannon’s. The suit helped, obviously.

The Doctor Who offices are stealing bits of my brain again.

I ::heart:: my geekboy Doctor

Sunday, 16 April 2006

Doc 10It’s Spring, so it must be time for a new season of Doctor Who.
(How cool is that? To know that Doctor Who will return, instead of the ennui of the Long Hiatus?)

Oh, go on. He is kinda foxy, isn’t he? Not weasely like some of those fanboys say. Foxy.

(image from Alexandra Leaving‘s LJ icons because I can’t find any screencaps yet)

I liked large chunks of New Earth. The pacing was far better than the early episodes of season 1, with none of that over-prolonged climax business which marred Rose etc for me. The Doctor as a slim action-adventurer is slightly strange but curiously works well, I think because it is offset by very Doctorish moments like fiddling with the TARDIS and getting answers out of people. The business with the medical stuff doesn’t hold up to serious scrutiny but as it meant we had a soaking wet tenth Doctor not once but twice, I’m willing to overlook it. It’s not a great episode in the sense that you come away thinking “wow” (unlike Dalek, or the Empty Child/Doctor Dances last year) but it was a fun romp illustrating that this is how the Doctor is going to be now.

Tennant is very much playing it as the Casanova Doctor. Not in terms of the snog (which was initiated by Cassandra-in-Rose’s-body), although I loved the high-pitched “eep!” he let out after it, but in terms of delivery. Lots of repetition, quirked eyebrows and appraising glances. Having seen Tennant in other stuff (I’ve just been rewatching Blackpool on DVD), it’s clear that the Casanova persona isn’t his only one. Is it wrong of me to be glad he’s using it, though?

There are deliberate echoes of the season 1 opening episodes. Rose is re-established as a regular girl from an estate who’s hooked on the adventure. The Face of Boe and Cassandra serve to firm up the future, and to reassure kiddies that this is the same show, just with a new new Doctor. I think the way in which this Doctor treats Cassandra is meant to be a contrast to how the ninth stood by and watched her die. Of course, giving her a second chance goes against what he said in The Christmas Invasion (“No second chances. I’m that kind of man.”).

Billie Piper as the posessed Rose was brilliant (“I don’t Adam and Eve it”) although, obviously, a posessed companion snogging the Doctor is allowed because it means it doesn’t count. There’s deniability there. Not that you’d believe it if you read some of the posts on Outpost Gallifrey, in which it is the beginning of the end, not suitable at teatime, a desecration of all that is good about Doctor Who etc etc. It’s a decade since the McGann Doctor – of his own free will – snogged Grace a couple of times: you’d think fans would be used to the idea by now.

I am stupidly excited about next week’s episode but will, annoyingly, be travelling. I’ve got a back-up plan, having asked someone to tape it – and the following week’s episode – for me in case my VCR or digibox misbehave.

I love Doctor Who, me.

A Perfect Ten

Saturday, 1 April 2006

I have a post about living out of suitcases, and some vague news re writing, but this morning, I got all distracted. Not by whoever it was who texted me to claim “Tennant is quitting at end of season 2!” because I’m not going to fall for that Fool’s Day trick. No, I was having breakfast and, as I do, flicked to the fashion session of the Weekend magazine from the Guardian. “Damn, it’s menswear,” I thought. “Those eyes are kind of famili—bloody hell! It’s Tennant doing a fashion spread!”

brideshead geeky uber geeky

So, let me get this straight…the Doctor has mainstream fashion types swooning and getting him to model clothes? It was one thing to be in the Glamour spread, where all he had to do was look pleased to have a woman on either arm, and anyway he was one of three featured “A-list eye candy” men. But he’s even in Man at C&A style geeky fashion – with no female models but with a “David wears…” breakdown of his clothing? The Doctor is so hip he gets fashion spreads? What kind of mixed up crazy bizarro world is this!?!? And can I please stay here?

I’m going to the special fangrrl hell

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

spoilery photo for The Christmas Invasion.

Well, spoilery if you:
a) don’t know it’s Christmas
b) don’t want to know what the Doctor is wearing

I’m going to the special fangrrl hell.


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