Dr. Who Season 7, Episode 5

Getting spaghetti made and getting setup to watch Episode 5, “The Angels Take Manhattan.” I’m not sure I really want to watch this one. It’s the “half-season finale” (whoever came up with such a ridiculous concept?) and … it’s the last episode with Amy and Rory. It says, “The Doctor’s heart-breaking farewell to Amy and Rory” on the site. This does not bode well.

Okay, food ready, now playing!

2:25 – Neat imagery…

3:00 – I didn’t cook the spaghetti long enough…

5:00 – Creepy.

8:50 – Ugh, Rory should never go anywhere alone.

11:55 – New music, I think. Which makes sense.

13:08 – Ack.

14:25 – I know from experience that throwing down a box of matches makes them explode. :)

23:15 – I need to pay closer attention…

25:45 – There is so much foreshadowing here that there are only two possibilities: They are going to trick us with a surprise ending or they are going to trick us with an ending exactly like we expect.

WOW. Now THAT was a Doctor Who episode.

I won’t tell you which of the above endings it was, but I was right on the money. There is a concept in storytelling that endings should be “surprising, but inevitable.” This was that.

Next up, Christmas episode.

Not So Paranoid After All

Yesterday I decided that I was being stupid and paranoid for embedding secret adjectives in my text, so I stopped. Today, I see in a Google Alert that someone jacked that exact same post!! On one hand, it’s really annoying and disappointing to see that my Internet fears were completely justified. On the other hand, it’s like, Yes! People are stealing from me! Hello, free exposure!

Anyway if you find me on Google, make sure you’re actually clicking on a link from everettrenshaw.com.

Dr. Who Season 7, Episode 4

Starting Episode 4 stream as soon as I find a working proxy…

Ah, it’s working now. Starting the stream in a second… wait, maybe it’s not working after all…

Ah, I see. Had to add bbci.co.uk to the auto-proxy-switch list.

And here we go.

For the record, I am eating heated up leftover vegetables from a can while I watch.

1:09 – “The year of the slow invasion.” Woo, cool concept.

1:50 – Wait, the tunnel was *purple* this week.

3:45 – Hrm, it’s been a while since a modern-day earth invasion. I don’t even remember one under the current Doctor.

5:25 – Unit!

5:45 – Have we seen this Doctor dealing with Unit?

10:10 – Brian’s Log. Heh.

10:45 – I kind of like the concept of dealing with “life after the Doctor.” Did I mention that before? Maybe. It’s not very exciting television, but it’s pretty dramatic.

11:30 – Those dudes look like the gas mask people.

12:35 – Why do they look like they live in the 1960s? (By their dress, I mean.)

15:20 – “I am cream-crackered.” Oh, British.

21:10 – What da hell kind of glasses were *they?*

27:30 – Holy crap.

Not bad. I think I liked that one more than the previous three, but I didn’t care for the ending much. It went from “this is new and interesting dramatic material” to “recycling old themes again for the hundredth time” in the blink of an eye. Maybe it’s a setup for something big later on. I haven’t really noticed what the season arc is supposed to be yet. (Well, I thought I had, but they just abandoned it at the end of this episode.)

Dr. Who Season 7, Episode 3

00:00 – Took forever to get the stream running tonight.

01:48 – Dr. Who in the Old West is just weird.

04:45 – His face still looks weird.

08:13 – I guess this is a nod to steampunk. Well, more like a jumping up and down pointing frantically to steampunk.

09:38 – I wonder if this actor is American or if he’s a British dude with a great accent.

10:33 – So far Rory and Amy are props in this episode.

14:00 – That’s a long extension cord.

16:21 – “Incinerating intruders for three centuries…”

17:00 – Personally incriminating evidence should be behind an extra layer of security.

20:20 – Ah, the Atom Bomb argument.

22:30 – The Doctor’s awfully vengeful this season … is he taking his meds?

26:00 – New music!

28:30 – We keep getting reminders about the electricity…

30:55 – Ha! Good one.

33:50 – I think that was a clue.

37:00 – The cyborg looks a bit like Rutger Hauer. “Tears … in the rain …”

Another “okay” episode. This season seems pretty flat so far.

I think we need a new Doctor. Or a new companion. That is all.

A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones

A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones was a hard read for me.

A Cavern of Black IceA Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones was a hard read for me, but I made it all the way to the end. I should warn you that there is no resolution whatsoever; it’s one of those series books that simply stops, rather than providing a self-contained story. According to the Internets, there are four more books planned, but only two have been released.

It’s a low fantasy in the vein of Conan, meaning the world is dark and horrifying and Celtic and Norse and mountainous and snowy and the most advanced technology is the bow, fire, and horses. There is magic, but it’s demonic and unnatural.

What I liked was the tremendous attention to detail in the characterization and descriptions. The author brought attention to little things here and there that really pulled you into the world. The characters were complex, and grew and evolved over the course of the book, both good guys and bad guys. The writing was what I might call “heavy,” in that it had the feel of an aged, rough-voiced narrator telling a story of the ages. (As opposed to, say, something more frivolous.)

Unfortunately I thought the plot pacing suffered quite a bit for the detail. It was a little like Robert Jordan in that the author spent so much time on details that it took quite a while to move the story forward. I found myself skimming now and then when I wanted to get things moving.

The other problem was that it took a long time to get to a point where I felt like the story started. I felt like I was reading back story until roughly the point where Raif and Angus met up with Ash at the gate, which was well into the book. I want to say a third of the way through. Raif’s back story was not enough to keep me reading, but Ash was interesting enough that I wanted to see what happened to her. There were other plot elements and characters that were clearly setup for things in successive books and had little or no relevance to the first book.

For me as a writer, this book was a great example of low fantasy, and a great example of “going too far” on the details. A lot of people probably enjoy that, but I don’t think it’s in my writing wheelhouse. Certainly not for a rookie.

Dr. Who Season 7, Episode 1

I really don’t remember how the last season ended, and I haven’t yet seen the Christmas episode. (Thank’s for nothing, Netflix.)

00:00 – Who’s Hannah? Oh.

02:30 – WTF! They’re all grown up! And broken!

04:15 – Why doesn’t Matt Smith look human? His face is all … weird …

05:20 – And why is he slurring his words? I mean, more than usual for British television.

06:00 – The intro looks different somehow. The tunnel is more blue-green than blue. And, oh, that red fire is definitely new.

08:30 – Who is this red-haired chick with the Dalek thingy poking from her forehead?

09:45 – “You think hatred is beautiful.” “Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you.” Awesome.

10:15 – “What color?” LOL.

13:00 – “You’re going to fire me at a planet?!?” Hehe.

14:35 – I thought this guy was Micky at first.

20:15 – “How did he get all Dalek-ed?”

24:15 – “Eggs.” LOL. Classic Rory.

28:50 – I’m getting a bit tired of the mobile-camera-pointed-at-people’s-faces shots. Not just Dr. Who. They seem to be everywhere. Like people are filming movies with their iPhone front-facing cameras.

42:00 – Well that was predictable …

45:15 – So I guess she’ll be back later.

48:30 – Not bad for the opener. I kind of wish Murray Gold would come up with some new hero music for the Doctor though. It’s getting a bit old.

Dr. Who Season 7, Episode 2

Liveblogging Dr. Who stream on BBC thanks to a proxy …

00:35 – Sometimes it’s impossible to figure out what’s going on without rewinding a bit.

01:40 – Oh, the dog barking outside was actually on the stream …

02:30 – Wow, he doesn’t even ask anymore.

02:50 – That was a super-fast setup.

06:00 – Wait, is that a two-headed dinosaur? Oh, it’s just a pair of them hanging out together.

07:05 – “I’m already clever.” Hehe.

09:25 – Uh oh …

14:15 – Press buttons…

15:00 – Dinosaur people!

16:30 – Ewwwwww..

18:45 – Apparently computers that respond to voice commands really are useful. In the future. The far, far, far future.

19:45 – It’s the Hoggwarts cat person!

25:55 – “I feel like you’re judging me.” Ha!

28:00 – Do you ever get the feeling that episodes of Dr. Who are sometimes written during NaNoWriMo?

34:00 – Well this has taken an odd turn.

42:00 – Woo, vengeful Doctor.

Well, that was an okay episode. It went downhill a bit after the “Dinosaurs … on a spaceship!” line.

Airworld Experiment

I’m trying an experiment. You may have already noticed it. I’m going to post the text of my novel draft “Airworld” as I write it (more-or-less). Some days I might post thousands of words, and some days I might post a couple of sentences or nothing. (Lately it has been more of the latter.)

I’m also trying an email subscription plugin. The idea is that you subscribe and new posts are sent to your inbox, so you have a serialized story delivered right to your doorstep without the hassle of using a bookmark link. The emails don’t seem to be working yet, but I’m still tinkering with it.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment about characters or events you like or don’t like, things that make you laugh, things that startle you, things that horrify you, or things that bore you. But please refrain from commenting on spelling or grammar, because I will ruthlessly ignore you, and deliberately misspell something in the future.

Do I have to tell you that this is copyrighted material? I shouldn’t. So don’t be a jerk.