Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Am Going To Build a TARDIS in My Backyard

I downloaded plans for how to build the various Police Boxes that the Doctor's TARDIS has taken the form of over the years and am going to build one in my backyard, now that I have bought a house and have a backyard. I figure I can use it as a garden shed as well as to travel in time and space.

Don't know quite when I will get started, but I'll update my progress on this blog whenever I do.

13 Comments:

At 3:01 PM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

Good garden shed. Should hold a fair bit of equipment. Remember to post pictures!

But the real question: What color will be the placard? Hmmm?

BTW: Thoughts on Torchwood yet? I just watched season 1 straight through. My overall feeling: not bad, but it's no Doctor Who. The finale was terrible.

Also: What? Did they decide that sense Doctor Who has to be nearly sexless, Torchwood has to have more sex in it than Grey's Anatomy (as if that were possible)?

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

err ... "sense" -> "since"

Sorry.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger mooglar said...

I think I am going to do the TV movie version (I'm doing an 8th Doctor costume as well), so the placard will be... blue!

I'm only partway through Torchwood season 1. I do know that in interviews in the Doctor Who magazine, Russell Davies noted that Torchwood was a little too dark and too sexual in the first season and they intend to cut back, especially since (SPOILER) Martha Jones will be on Torchwood for part of season 2 and they'll have some younger viewers tuning in to see her.

Personally, so far, (I just saw the cannibals episode where I am absolutely convinced they wanted Doctor Who fans to think they were Androgums), I think Torchwood is pretty good. I think it's interesting how different Jack is with the Torchwood folks than he is with the Doctor... he's like an excited kid with the Doctor but like your older, wiser, more cynical older brother on Torchwood. Which makes sense, since he is still a kid next to the Doctor but is Methuselah next to the Torchwood folks. But I do like the contrast.

I agree it's not Doctor Who. But, on the other hand, I often don't think the new series of Doctor Who is Doctor Who either. Not that there's anything specifically wrong with it, but rather that it is missing a certain tone or charm that the old series had. I'm not sure if it's because of the 45-minute, American-style episodes, or perhaps because the whole tenor of the show is different now that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords. Or perhaps because, in the past, the fact that there wasn't a heck of lot of forward character development for the Doctor was OK because he was an (essentially) ageless being who walks in eternity with nothing changing, but now that he is the last Time Lord (okay, except for the Master, who obviously isn't REALLY dead), there should be some character change going on with his dealing with the fallout of the Time War, but I don't really see it. I feel like we're treading water, but it's no longer OK, maybe.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

My very long, tedious Doctor Who ramble ... I'll categorize it to make it easier to digest.


THE NEW SERIES:

I actually like the new Doctor Who quite a bit, though I agree that it has some essential differences from the original. It still feels like Doctor Who to me -- certainly much more so than the Fox special.

The new series does some things worse than the old, but many things better. Characterization is much better ... not just growth (to which you allude), but the depth and nuance of the characters is better. The series addresses relational issues that were never dealt with before, but were always on my mind (What happens to his companions friends/families? What kind of strain does this kind of life put on them? How do they deal with the fact that he parade of them).

Moreover, the Doctor has always had a dark aspect, but I think it has never really had a cohesive shape until the new series. There is a lot more moral philosophy being explored in the new series, and I find that interesting.

I really like the season story arcs idea. It makes for interesting TV, and it also harkens back (vaguely) to Doctor Who as a serial. Admittedly, each season the arcs have held together less ... so perhaps the writers have tapped that as far as they are going to.


COMPARING DOCTORS

Paul McGann? Really? To each their own. Not my favorite Doctor ... though I guess his outfit was alright.

Actually, I quite like David Tenant. I liked Eccleston, and I doubt Tenant would have done as good a job at starting the new series, but I think Tenant is the better Doctor. He's "cheeky" (as Jack says), with just the right amount of arrogant compassion. He feels like "The Doctor" to me more than Eccelston ever did.


THE OUTFITS:

And I like the suit! Though, admittedly, it had to grow on me. When I first saw it, I thought, "That doesn't work for the Doctor." But Tenant pulls it off. I was never very fond of Eccleston's casual-modern look. It just seemed too easy, and not that interesting.

At any rate, I think they made the right choice by moving away from the goofy outfits from the original series. While I will always have a 14' scarf in the closet, I don't think that kind of silliness sits well in modern TV. We expect too much serious drama from even the most flippant of shows now-a-days.


COMPANIONS:

I definitely like Martha better than Rose! Oy, Rose was annoying me. She just seemed totally pointless, from a usefulness-of-companion point of view, as well as a relational point of view. Martha's unrequited obsession with the Doctor, combined with the fact that she is a better intellectual companion for him makes that relationship a lot more interesting. I never really "believed" Rose ... she was just there. I buy Martha entirely. She seems very realistic.


TORCHWOOD:

I agree that the difference between Jack-with-the-Doctor and Jack-on-Torchwood is interesting and appropriate. But I was really hoping the that cross-over between he season finales would be more interesting, while instead it felt forced and secondary ... and Jack's difference in behavior mixes with this (for me) to help separate the two more than I was hoping for.

Also, I am still confused by Jack's time line. Are we meant to be? Or have I just missed it? How do you know Jack is much younger than the Doctor?

My dad has been watching Torchwood, btw ... before I was watching it (actually, that's why I started watching it). But he does not watch Doctor Who at all. It was interesting that I knew things about Jack that he didn't know. It made me think about the audiences of the two shows and their different impressions of that character based on what shows they watch or don't watch, or in what order. After all, I'd seen the DW finale before I even saw the premier of Torchwood ... so I already knew why Jack didn't die. Whereas, my father (if he never watches Doctor Who) will still not know why.

What is most interesting about that is that clearly Torchwood has setup a mystique around Jack, whereas on DW we know a lot more about him. Does Davis believe there is little crossover between the audiences of the two shows? Does DW spoil some of the effect?

At any rate, I didn't mind the darkness of Torchwood, and I don't even mind it having more of a sexual component than Doctor Who ... it just seemed so absurdly over the top that it felt like writers like Davis were overcompensating. There's a metaphor for repression there, I think ...

Wow, that was long!

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger mooglar said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

(Just kidding, but isn't that a fun way to start a comment?) :^)

THE NEW SERIES:

I don't care about the families of the companions. I really don't. Too much of Rose's Mum. Too much Mickey. The show is about the Doctor and, to a lesser extent, his companions, but I thought bringing in stuff about the companions' families and such started feeling soap-opera to me, IMHO.

And I actually don't think morality and the Doctor's dark side is being dealt with better in this show than the original. I think the Doctor is angrier now, but that the limits of what he will do aren't significantly different. And Martha's whole, "You need someone to tell you when to stop" really made any sense either. Other Doctors would have done the same thing the 10th did, perhaps with a little less glee, but ultimately I don't think his range of moral choice is much different or that Martha's presence is holding him back.

Overall, while some things in the new series are, certainly, more modern and perhaps more realistic, I don't think the Doctor is actually getting much, if any, character development in a meaningful way, and I think the show often focuses on those elements at the expense of the sense of wonder and the coolness of the basic idea: an immensely smart alien with a time machine.

COMPARING DOCTORS:

I think, physically, I can best pull off Paul McGann and Tom Baker. I'm still doing a 5th Doctor -- my fave -- costume, but I think I'm going to have a harder time pulling him off. But the reason I'm doing the 8th Doctor's TARDIS is because it's a little bigger than the earlier ones, for more space inside, but isn't quite as big and blocky as the 9th and 10th Doctor's TARDIS, which is too much so for my taste.

Tenant is OK. I like Eccleston better, though I seem to be in the vast minority on this. I didn't like Eccleston's outfit either, and while I didn't like Tenant's at first, it has grown on me. I don't think they should go back to more costumey, JNT-era costumes, but I would like to see a little more Edwardian/Victorian in there, since that's sort of his signature style.

COMPANIONS:

I agree. I like Marth way better than Rose. I was very weary of Rose by the time she left. Martha is more intelligent, has more spunk, and is more interesting than Rose. Though I could really go for a companion who isn't in freakin' love with the Doctor, though I do believe we're getting one in the next season.

TORCHWOOD:

I don't think we're supposed to be confused by Jack's time-line. It was spelled out in dialogue, I think. He was a time agent from the future for some unknown amount of time, but then went rogue, both within the limits of a normal human lifespan. He joined up with the Doctor, was killed, and rejuvenated by Rose, at which point he became immortal, though he didn't know it yet. He then tried to travel back to 20th century Earth, but missed, and his time-travel thingie broke. He ended up in the 18th century, I believe, and lived from then until the 21st century. As such, I calculate that he's something like 300 years old, about the age of the 1st Doctor, as opposed to the 1000 year or so age of the 10th Doctor.

I think the mystique around Jack is meant to be because we're (more or less) in Gwen's point of view. I think the idea is that it works if you don't watch Doctor Who, 'cause then you don't know what the hell Jack is, and it works if you do watch Doctor Who, because then you get to feel more with it than the other characters, sort of like we get to whenever the Doctor gets a new companion and we know him and he or she doesn't.

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

THE NEW SERIES:

It's not that I think the Doctor is any more or less dark in the new series, it's that the series focuses on such moral issues more. The Doctor would have made similar choices in the original series, but the moral question wouldn't have been as big an element in the plot line.

It's always been the case that the doctor stomps around in history doing what he things is right, come-what-may. But I think the original series rarely demands much from the audience in terms of evaluating this strategy, whereas the new series has made it a big part of the series.


COMPARING DOCTORS:

I thought I was in the minority! Of course, my sample size is very small. But of those I know who watch the new series, most like Eccelston better.

Though I am very aware that in GB, Tenant is something of a sex symbol.


COMPANIONS:

I liked the premise of the unrequited love bit, but I don't think it would have kept me interested for long. Something would have to happen to change the dynamic eventually ... and we know the love can never be returned. So, in some sense, the tactic doomed Martha as a character, I guess.

(Never really thought of it until now, though.)


TORCHWOOD:

I just re-watched the first two of the three finale ep of DW last season, and I don't think they specify exactly what happened after Rose revived him. He mentions that he as around in 1882, but I don't think he says that's where (when) he went.

Moreover, I am unclear as to whether he got one jump with his little device then it broke, or whether he jumped around quite a bit, then it broke. Did they say and I just missed it?

That's what I mean about the time line.

Also: Who was he the second time he went through world war II? If he took Harkness' name the first time around, surely he had ... er ... complications the second time around. On the flashback ep with his old lover from the war, which time through was that? She knew him as Jack Harness ... so the first time through?

Here's why I ask: The first time through (presumably) he is a money-grubbing con man type , while the second time through he is a noble, do-what-I-can-to-save-the-world type. Which was he when he knew her?

Are we meant to be confused, or am I just over-thinking it?

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger mooglar said...

CAP'N JACK:

I'll watch "Utopia" again when I get the chance to download it, but I thought he pretty much made it sound like he got one jump out of his thingie and plopped down in the 19th century (I always screw up the centuries, how the 1800s are the 19th, etc., but 19th is what I meant last time) and then was stuck. Maybe you're overthinking it or maybe I'm making shit up myself. I could be wrong. But that's definitely the impression I got: one time jump back to the 19th century and then stuck after that. I didn't get an impression anywhere that Jack was longer-lived than usual before Rose revived him, nor that he was able to jump around in time for a long period before he got stuck. But I could be wrong.

I don't know for sure how they will play it, but I don't think Jack was around in WWII for very long the first time. Long enough to get known a little and set up his scam, but I don't think more than a few months at most. So, if you think about it, though Jack will have to lie low while he's already around, he can be Jack Harkness before and after the period when his previous self is there without much problem.

It is a great question, though, which time through Jack was involved with that woman from the war... or, perhaps was it both times, under my theory? But that didn't even occur to me 'til you brought it up.

THE NEW SERIES:

I guess I don't think the focus on moral issues is really any greater in the new show than the old. IMHO, they just talk about moral issues more (but not to say they didn't on the old show, which they did), but ultimately I don't think the show dramatizes those issues any differently. I guess, to me, the difference is superficial at best. Just my opinion, of course.

COMPARING DOCTORS:

You're just hanging out with the wrong crowd. In Britain Tenant is much more popular then Eccleston was, and in my experience going to lots and lots of cons the past few years, I think that the general consensus is that Tenant is much, much better than Eccleston. In fact, the only person who agrees with me that I have ever spoken to is my girlfriend Jennifer. Every single other Who fan I have met at conventions and such thinks Tenant blows Eccleston out of the water. I wouldn't hesitate to liken Tenant's level of popularity to Tom Baker's, in fact. He's by far the more popular in general in Doctor Who fandom.

COMPANIONS:

(SPOILER ALERT)

*

*

*

Martha isn't/wasn't doomed as a character. She's coming back for half the next season, it has already been announced. She'll be on Torchwood in the meantime. They wanted to have her leave the Doctor when she realized her unrequited love would never be returned and then come back a stronger person for it. In the meantime, the runaway bride, played by Catherine Tate, Donna, will be the companion. Don't know if she's staying after Martha returns or not.

 
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