“He’s Dead, Jim”

The science fiction community is in mourning today; it was confirmed earlier that Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing the half-Vulcan science officer Spock on Star Trek, is dead. This is really, really sad news to me. I know I don’t mention it here very often, but I have been a big Star Trek fan for several years. Before Sherlock, before Doctor Who, before The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, I had two major loves, and Star Trek was one of them (Star Wars was the other).

I have more likes and interests now than I did when I was first started watching Star Trek, but this show is always going to mean a lot to me–maybe because it’s been part of my life for so long; I’m not sure. But one thing that makes it special to me is that I didn’t always like it. Before I started watching it, I thought it was a dumb show that only strange nerds watched (the irony that I am now one of those strange nerds is not lost on me).

Then, one night, I actually did watch an episode. I still thought it was a strange little show, but it was a fun way to spend a Saturday night. And each Saturday night I kept coming back to watch more. It wasn’t love at first sight as it had been with Sherlock and Doctor Who; it was slower and more gradual…and there was something special about that.

Spock was one of my favorite characters; he was the smart one that solved all the problems when Kirk was away for some reason (usually involving a woman). So Leonard Nimoy’s death is sad for me, too, but I’m grateful that we all had the chance to watch him on Star Trek.

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Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World”

In the BBC’s Great Archive Wipe, one of the classic Doctor Who episodes lost to us forever–or so we thought–was “The Enemy of the World”, a 1967 serial with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, Frazer Hines as Jamie, and Deborah Watling as Victoria. Fortunately for Whovians everywhere, a copy of this story was found in 2013, and it was promptly released on DVD.

Why was there so much excitement when it was revealed that “The Enemy of the World” was an episode that had survived the Great Archive Wipe? Well, there were two reasons behind this. Firstly, very few of Patrick Troughton’s stories have survived completely intact, so a chance to see him in action is a rare treat, indeed. Secondly, “The Enemy of the World” is not your average Doctor Who story–Patrick Troughton is not just playing the Doctor but also the villain, a scheming would-be dictator known as Salamander.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of Patrick Troughton as a villain, but I was not disappointed. Yes, at times his Mexican accent seemed a bit dodgy, but the power and menace he brought to Salamander was electrifying. I had no idea he was so talented. What’s more, I gained a better appreciation for him as the Doctor after watching him as Salamander; the harshness of Salamander’s character was quite a contrast to the Second Doctor’s cheerful cosmic hobo.

The supporting characters, especially Astrid and Fariah, were interesting and well-drawn allies. It seemed a shame they didn’t get to travel with the Doctor–although having four companions probably would have been overkill. Still, it’s rare when characters who don’t become companions are well-drawn and likeable enough that they could have become companions (I’m thinking primarily of Rita in “The God Complex”).

As for the story itself, it certainly wasn’t predictable. I won’t spoil anything for you, but there were some unexpected plot twists that I did not see coming as well as some moments when Patrick Troughton is on the screen, and you think he’s playing one character when he’s really the other.

Do I recommend “The Enemy of the World”? Absolutely. Not only is it one of the best surviving episodes of the Second Doctor’s era, but it also gives you a chance to see just how talented an actor Patrick Troughton really was.

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Ash Wednesday 2015

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Lent is upon us once again–funny how that works. It’s weird; before Lent begins, I’m all, “Nooooo, I’m not ready!” but when it’s actually here, it’s no big deal.

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Post Valentine’s Day

I hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day. Whether you love it or hate it, at least it involves chocolate, so that’s a reason to tolerate its existence.

St. Valentine still wants his feast day back, though, as Eye of the Tiber reports: http://www.eyeofthetiber.com/2014/02/13/st-valentine-makes-impassioned-plea-for-safe-return-of-kidnapped-feast-day/. Honestly, I can’t really blame him for feeling this way.

However you celebrated today, I hope you at least had a chance to reflect on the challenges and joys of real love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

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A Song to Celebrate Books

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Disney made a sequel/midquel to Beauty and the Beast, called The Enchanted Christmas. Yes, it was as sappy as it sounds, but it did have one redeeming quality–Belle’s song, “Stories”. After working to bring Christmas celebrations back to the castle, she was trying to figure out what to give the Beast for Christmas…and, of course, she decides to give him a book.

It has been awhile since I’ve watched The Enchanted Christmas (and even longer since I thought it was good–but as direct-to-video sequels go, it could have been much worse), but even as I got older and grew up, this song stayed with me. I looked it up on YouTube (the interwebs really is a wonderful place) and found it again, and I realized something: this song is pretty timeless. Maybe because reading itself is timeless…anyway, here’s the song, and I hope you enjoy it.

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So Apparently Disney is Making a Live-Action Version of “Beauty and the Beast”

I’ve heard rumors of this for about a year, usually in the comments section of trailers for their live-action version of Cinderella, which is coming out on March 13. I never fully believed those rumors until a few days ago when I saw the announcement that British actress Emma Watson (best known for her role in the Harry Potter films) had been cast as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

I freely admit this–I am excited for this movie. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney films, and to have it come back to theaters is something I never thought I would see. I really hope they include some of the songs from the Broadway musical; “If I Can’t Love Her”, “Home”, and “Me” deserve to have more exposure.

I don’t know why I’m bothering to be excited; I remember how my hopes and dreams were crushed with Les Miserables and The Hobbit trilogy. I guess I’m just hoping this time is different.

I’m also really hoping they’ll eventually do a live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame.


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“Resurrection”: What is Preacher James’s Angle? Why is Rachel’s Baby so Important?

Today I’ve decided to do a post on Resurrection, the ABC drama about a town that is seeing its inhabitants come back from the dead. It all started–at least the show started–with Jacob Langston, an eight-year-old boy who died in the 1970’s when he tried to save his aunt from drowning. Shortly after Jacob returned to his family, other people began coming back as well. Eventually we learned that this has happened before; there are records of the dead coming back to life going back centuries in the town of Arcadia, Missouri.

But this time is different; this time we had a pregnant woman return…and when she came back, her pregnancy continued as normal. Rachel hadn’t known she was pregnant when she drove her car off the bridge, but now that she’s back, it’s progressing far faster than the average pregnancy. And this clearly won’t be the average baby; we’ve already seen how he can control the minds of other Returned even though he hasn’t been born yet.

All of this leads Preacher James Goodman, another Returned, to declare that Rachel’s baby is the Anti-Christ. He claims it was “gestated in death” and “was never meant to be born” and plans, with the help of Jacob’s scheming grandmother Margaret (also Returned) to eliminate Rachel before she can give birth. (This has to be done by getting the Returned to lose the will to live; they can survive any other form of death–shootings, stabbings, hangings–but if they lose their will to live, they disappear and are never seen again.) They don’t have much time left, though, because Rachel’s labor has already begun.

It’s easy to see why some of the Returned are wary of Rachel’s baby, but the Preacher’s declaration that the baby is the Anti-Christ is a bit suspicious. The Preacher has long had his own motives, his own reasons for doing things, and he can’t exactly be trusted. It could be he has an entirely unrelated reason for getting the baby out of the way–Preacher James is fairly strong and is a leader among the Returned, but the baby can control even him. Perhaps he seeks to get rid of a rival before he poses a serious threat?

But is Rachel’s baby harmless? How can he control the minds of the other Returned? What role does he play in this ever-widening saga?

The short answer is that I don’t know. And I think that’s part of why I keep tuning in to Resurrection each week; its core is a mystery story.

Please note that this post is actually a brief summary of what’s happened so far–there’s actually been a whole lot more in the episodes, but I can only include so much in one post.

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