Remember When I Said I Wanted Hunchback to be a Stage Musical?

Well, it is. I’m still learning about it, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on these glorious clips.

This song, “Made of Stone”, wasn’t in the original Disney film, but it’s awesome, and I think it’s one of my new favorites.

I think this is now on my list of musicals I really, really want to see live.

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Underwhelming and Vaguely Disappointing…

…aka my reaction to the 1984 version of Dune.

I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog that I have wanted to see this movie since it is an adaptation of one of my favorite novels. Now that I’ve actually seen it, I thought it only fair that I share my impressions with you.

It. Was. Terrible.

They changed several of the established facts for how the Dune universe works (how the Guild Agents navigate through space, some of the Bene Gesserit powers), cut major scenes (no dinner party and no duel with Jamis), and added things that didn’t entirely make sense (how could the Guild have known about Paul’s powers before Paul himself did? Why did the sandworms have lightning to herald their arrival? Why did the Atreides have a pug?).

What was left of the plot felt forced and rushed, and we didn’t really have a chance to get to know characters like Stilgar and Chani. Oh, and Paul and Chani didn’t have a son.

The one redeeming point of the movie was the sandworms. They were appropriately awesome although, as I said, there was the weird lightning effect to mark their approach. I’m still not sure what that was for.

So, yeah, I wasn’t pleased with this version. Several years ago, however, I remember seeing a miniseries of Dune that originally aired on the SciFi (I think it’s SyFy now) Channel. Even though it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, I seem to remember that it was much closer to the book than this was.

This is just example 1,941 of the book being better than the movie.

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That Time I Unknowingly Predicted the Future

I was looking back through some of my season 8 Doctor Who reviews when a particular paragraph from my review for “The Caretaker” grabbed my attention. During my review I hypothesized:

Clara later admits that she loves both Danny and the Doctor (although the Doctor in clearly a different way), and she is not the first companion to do this in recent history. But what will come of this? Rose chose the Doctor; Amy chose Rory. What decision will Clara make? My guess is that if Moffat wanted to shake things up a bit, Clara will choose neither of them. If her departure is imminent, something will happen that will cause her to leave the TARDIS, but she won’t necessarily go off with Danny either because he’s dead or their relationship is toast.

Without realizing it, I had predicted the end of the season 8 finale “Death in Heaven”. If you’ll recall, Clara did leave the TARDIS at the end of that episode, but she didn’t go off with Danny due to his untimely demise and his decision to return the boy he killed in Afghanistan to the land of the living rather than return himself. Granted, she returned for “Last Christmas” and looks to be resuming her full-time companion status in season 9, but still…I got it right. I think that’s the first time I ever correctly predicted the outcome of a season of Doctor Who. I wonder if I can pull it off again for season 9…

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Happy Birthday, My Turn to Talk!

Three years of My Turn to Talk! Three years! And I thought I would run out of things to write about after three weeks!

Just as always, a lot has happened over here in the last year. We said hello to the Twelfth Doctor and bade a fond farewell to Middle-Earth; we discovered that the TV show Resurrection was based on a book; we learned that the Incarnation was totally going to happen in Middle-Earth; we talked about different musical versions of The Phantom of the Opera apart from the well-known Andrew Lloyd-Webber version; we’ve started geeking out about The Force Awakens and the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast–heck, we even found a song that celebrates books!

As always, you, my fine readers, are the best part of this endeavor. There are 1,647 of you according to my site stats, and that is way, way more than I ever thought I would get. Okay, I’ll be honest; I was pretty sure that number would be 0. Just knowing that you’re out there and (hopefully) enjoying what you’re reading brings an extra bit of enjoyment to something I already enjoy doing–writing.

Happy Birthday, My Turn to Talk! Here’s to the next year!

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Book Review: “Dune” by Frank Herbert

This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I decided to write a review for it to honor the 50th anniversary of its publication. Dune has been called the greatest science fiction novel ever written; legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke admitted, “I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings.” It spawned seven sequels (two of which were penned by his son Brian Herbert and Brian’s friend Keven J. Anderson) and a multitude of prequels, but none of them (in my opinion, anyway) can ever quite match the one that started it all.

Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, the fifteen-year-old son of Duke Leto Atreides, as his family moves from their ancestral home on Caladan to the desert planet Arrakis, home of the much-coveted spice. Spice is used for a multitude of reasons–for regular people it prolongs their lives; for the Guild Navigators it enhances their prescience so that they are able to safely navigate space, and for the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood it enhances their Truthsayer abilities. Whoever controls Arrakis controls the richest planet in the known universe…and there are some who will stop at nothing to exactly that. But the politics are just the backdrop of the story; something much bigger looms on the horizon, and Paul is at the center of the storm. Exposure to the spice triggers a change in him…will he become the Kwisatz Haderach, a male with the powers of the most adept of the Bene Gesserit Sisters? Or is he becoming something else entirely?

This is only a small portion of the plot–much like LotR, Dune has a vast, epic landscape that captures your imagination and sweeps you off on a journey you never dreamed possible. It has its fair share of dreams and nightmares, contained within a world that feels just as real as our own, populated with people you might encounter in our own lives–the loyal, trustworthy Gurney Halleck, wise, cautious Stilgar, honorable Duke Leto, devoted Jessica, steadfast Chani, and, of course, Paul himself, haunted by the future he sees for himself and desperate for a way to break free.

Why is Dune considered the greatest science fiction novel of all time? For many of the same reasons that The Lord of the Rings is considered the greatest fantasy epic of all time–the setting and the people are all drawn vividly, and the story is told by someone who clearly cares about the story he wants to tell…a story that will stick in your head for the rest of your life.

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“Doctor Who” Trailer and “Sherlock” Teaser Released on the Same Day!

Yes, you read that right–we have footage from the upcoming ninth season of Doctor Who as well as the extremely-long-awaited Sherlock Christmas special. At least, we think it’s the Christmas special. All they’re saying is “soon…ish.”

Anyway, first let’s take a gander at the trailer for season 9 of Doctor Who.

Is that you, Jenny?

And now we come to the teaser clip for Sherlock. Do you have your hyperventilation bags ready? Okay, let’s do this.

Oh…oh, my. WHY DOES THIS LOOK SO BRILLIANT!?

Doctor Who returns on September 19, starring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald. Sherlock returns (presumably) at Christmas, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson.

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The Hidden Myth behind “The Phantom of the Opera”

Yes, the random, pointless Phantom of the Opera posts are back! Did you think I’d given up on them? Bwahahahahahahahaha! Really, with this being My Turn to Talk’s birthday month, it made sense to bring back some PotO posts since Phantom has been a big part of this blog from its very beginning.

The other week I was watching My Fair Lady for the first time, and that, of course, got me thinking about the Greek myth of Pygmalion. Pygmalion, according to Greek mythology, was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he was making, a statue of a woman of unsurpassed beauty (before you start saying “Weirdo,” remember that this was the same culture that gave us Oedipus Rex). During a festival in honor of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, Pygmalion asked the goddess to bring him a woman who was like his statue. He didn’t dare say that he wanted the statue to be alive because that would just be crazy, but Aphrodite knew his unspoken request. She brought the statue to life for him, and sculptor and sculptee lived happily ever after.

What does this have to do with The Phantom of the Opera? Well, Pygmalion was pouring all of his skill into sculpting the perfect statue of the perfect woman, and the end result was all of his ideals brought to life right in front of him. Quite similarly, Erik used his passion for music to mold Christine–more specifically her voice–into his perfect ideal for what the human voice should sound like. Most people see only the parallels to Beauty and the Beast, but the story of Pygmalion is present in the narrative as well. Christine was Erik’s pupil; his tutelage formed her voice into one of the greatest sounds of all time. Like Pygmalion, he poured all of his skill into creating the perfect singer, and the end result was a woman who encompassed everything he loved about music. In a way, you could almost say that she became the personification of music to him.

Of course, it’s important to remember that Erik’s obsessive, homicidal tendencies ensured that they did not live happily ever after. Impersonating a heavenly being is never a good idea for a relationship, ever. Nor is stalking. Or kidnapping. Or anything that makes you look like a creeper.

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