?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
13 September 2017 @ 09:14 pm
Reading, Listening, Watching  
Reading: The Regiment - The Real Story of the SAS as recommended yonks ago by [personal profile] fififolle. I'm not, in general, that much interested by the military but do keep having to write them in stories. I've only just finished the first chapter on the Iranian Embassy siege.

Listening: The Writers' Room have been wrong about a lot of things recently. I've just finished listening to them being wrong about Ian Stuart Black, before that they were very, very wrong about Stephen Gallagher and before that a little bit wrong about Douglas Adams.

Watching: We ran out of Netflix available Killjoys, fortunately the second series of The Expanse turned up to fill the gap.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/465788.html.
 
 
 
liadtbunny: Books with eyeballsliadtbunny on September 14th, 2017 03:23 pm (UTC)
The things you do for fic! I hope the SAS book turns out to be a good read.

Might be time for a new podcast?
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on September 15th, 2017 04:10 pm (UTC)
Might be time for a new podcast?

I dunno. I've been listening through from when they started podcasting, plus recent stuff as it comes out and I find their discussions mostly interesting. If I didn't know I liked their more recent stuff I'd be worrying that they'd just become a bit jaded about it all and were tending to see the flaws rather than the good parts in old Doctor Who scripts - as it is, I'm not quite sure why they seem to be so negative just at the moment.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on September 14th, 2017 06:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, what were they saying that was so wrong?
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on September 15th, 2017 04:36 pm (UTC)
With Ian Stuart Black they were unaccountably dismissive of both The Savages and The War Machines which I consider to be among the better Hartnell's.

- The Savages they criticised for a lack of detailed world-building (which seems an odd criticism for a Doctor Who story - or at least should be accompanied by an observation that the world-building is often fairly cursory and this is, in fact, better than many) and that, after the production team wisely chose not to call it The White Savages and try to make some ill-considered point about racism there remained basically no underlying thematic point to the story where, in fact, it works perfectly well as a commentary on class in particular and privilege in general.

- I'm less inclined to defend The War Machines (particularly as their focus is specifically on the script) much as I enjoy it, though I think they needed over-looked the naturalism of some of the initial scenes with Ben, Polly and Dodo.

- They liked The Macra Terror though.

Stephen Gallagher they strongly disliked on the basis of a paucity of theme (or at least human-nature based themes rather than more abstract themes about action and inaction) but they also had weird complaints - for instance they described Rorvik as a "rubbish villain" on the grounds, as far as I could tell, that he didn't chew the scenery in a suitably melodramatic fashion where I've always thought half the point of Warriors' Gate (and to a lesser extent Terminus) is the banality of evil - it happens because people, who may be more lazy and uncaring than actively villainous do stuff because it's their job and it would be too much like hard work to even contemplate doing anything else - and specifically that Rorvik's villainy comes because he is a limited man with petty concerns who is way out of his depth and reacts badly to that fact.

They had other complaints about the plot structuring: why did the Tharils need Romana? why couldn't K-9 return through the gateways? the Doctor's presence was pointless but I'm not sure if the answers to those are in the script or the novelisation which I read first - because the answers are definitely in the novelisation (to break the cycle of slaves becoming the slavers of those who enslaved them, because only organic material retains the temporal regeneration properties of the mirrors (thin, but the explanation is there), and the Doctor is a catalyst: he may not do much but the things he does do have profound effects upon the actions of everyone else which ultimately lead to the freeing of the Tharils).

- They were only a little bit wrong about Douglas Adams mostly that there is too much running around Paris in City of Death which, to be fair, there is. But given it was one of the requirements of the script, I find it hard to treat it as a flaw in Adams' writing as opposed to an external constraint he was trying to manage. They also didn't like the scene with John Cleese and Eleanor Bron which seems like an odd bone to pick with the story.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on September 16th, 2017 07:54 pm (UTC)
Wow, you've put me off listening to that podcast! I agree with all your points, especially about Steven Gallagher. Warriors' Gate is one of my desert island Doctor Who stories and I also see it as a 'banality of evil' story. The explanation about Romana isn't on screen, but the one about K9 is. The idea of the Doctor as catalyst isn't explicitly stated, but there are lots of other stories that you could say that about.
louisedennis: Who:Fourlouisedennis on September 17th, 2017 11:19 am (UTC)
The novelisation is very explicit about the idea that Biroc forsees what will happen if he brings the Tardis together with the slavers at the gateway and hence that he sets the coordinates to bring it there.

I actually mostly have enjoyed listening to the The Writers' Room. These episodes are from their back catalogue from around 2014 but I also listen to new episodes as they come out. If it weren't that I was also listening to new episodes I think I might be inclined to give up on them at this point - these last three episodes have had a big undercurrent of "we can not understand why fans like these stories as much as they do" which I don't think they have adequately justified (at least in the case of Ian Stuart Black and Stephen Gallagher) or at least they seem to have justified by obtusely missing the point of stuff that is actually there in the scripts. I'd be worried that they'd just become a bit jaded with the whole thing and had tipped over into watching to criticise rather than to genuinely discuss the scripts.