The Games Have Begun!

Last night, like countless other Americans, I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games. Because I now have a fancy new blog, I figured I would share some of my thoughts about the ceremony.

First of all, I am extremely disappointed that this man did not light the Olympic Torch:

The Tenth Doctor Lights the Olympic Torch in "Fear Her"

It could have been done, too, which makes it all the more frustrating. There were petitions circulating as early as 2006, I think.  As someone pointed out, Doctor Who is a British icon. If they included Lord Voldermort and Mary Poppins, then, dagnabit, why not the Doctor?

Granted, there were about 3 seconds of TARDIS noise in one of the numbers, but the effect just wasn’t the same.

I am also disappointed that there were no Tolkien references. British readers voted The Lord of the Rings the best fictional work of all time, and it doesn’t even get a two second mention!? Really!? Personally I would have used a Balrog instead of Voldermort. Then, instead of the posse of Mary Poppins that came floating to the rescue, we could have had Gandalf, leading to an epic reenactment of the Bridge of Khazad-Dum (“You. Shall Not. PASS!”). Of course, the BBC America blog noted that the agricultural-era England setup looked suspiciously like the Shire, so I suppose that could have been a subtle Lord of the Rings reference, but I would have preferred something more concrete.

Now for the good parts…although it wasn’t on the level of the spectacle that Bejing hosted in 2008, the opening ceremonies featured some stunning visual feats as well as some unexpected guest appearances. The Queen parachuting out of a helicopter with James Bond? Priceless. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet and, thus, indirectly responsible for my blog? Proof that the geeks shall inherit the Earth. My favorite appearance of the evening, though, was British comedian Rowan Atkinson, AKA Mr. Bean. I used to watch his show on PBS Saturday mornings, and he was just as funny as ever.

In closing, the opening ceremonies were truly entertaining if a little lacking in certain areas (cough cough, Time Lords, cough cough, Hobbits), and now all that remains to be seen is how the athletes perform in the coming days.

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5 Comments

Filed under Reviews

5 responses to “The Games Have Begun!

  1. Unfortunately, I was unable to see the “grand opening” of the Summer Olympics, but it sounds like it was quite a splash!

    Honestly, the bit about the computer-created Queen and James Bond parachuting into the arena sounds rather silly to me. I mean, what ever happened to dignity of the monarch, and why the heck pair her with James Bond who is forever to be associated with that rebel-traitor, Sean Connery?

    I am suprised along with you that Mr. Frodo and Doc Who didn’t get honorary mention. After all, they are British pop icons. But then, you know me: I’d prefer a Lord Nelson reenactor to light the Olympic Torch!

    I honestly wish the Brits would spend less time searching for ficticious spectacle and learning more about their glorious history. But hey, I guess a little fun never hurt anyone. Besides, it might serve as a source of national unity and good sportsmanship.

    God Bless!

  2. Blah, what I meant to say was that I wish the Brits would spend less time searching for fictitious spectacle and focus more on learning their glorious history!

    Apologies for typo and less than clear statement 😉

    • I think they included the Queen to try and show that the Royals, along with being dignified, also have a sense of humor. And perhaps I am missing something, but how is Sean Connery a rebel-traitor? I’m assuming you have quite the interesting story behind it. 😉

      Actually, the first part of the ceremony did focus on British history. They had a fancy little performance that basically boiled down to a fifteen minute British history lesson. There were no battles, alas; it mainly showcased the agrarian age, Industrial Revolution, and some of the major events leading up to the 21st century. There was also some strange dancing. Apart from the aforementioned dancing, it was pretty neat to watch.

  3. Dear One,

    For more information on Sean Connery and his rebel-traitor status, check out the post on my blog called “False Fronts….”

    Indeed, perhaps I am being rather straight-laced to protest the “parchuting” Queen, but I think keeping some mystique behind the institution of the monarchy would be a good think. Anyway, I can forget that minor quibble now that I know history featured at least part time 🙂

    What, no battles? No Quebec, Trafalgar, Waterloo, etc. etc.? Well, I guess they were sacrificed for the sake of international relations, especially with the French! What particular events were covered?

    • I looked up your “False Fronts” post…yep, living in the Bahamas is really some hard-core martyrdom. Let’s see how long it keeps up when hurricane season arrives…

      Nope, no battles. Not even a little one. The event started with the agrarian era, and it was at this point that they featured songs from the four different nations that make up Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). After this they moved on to the Industrial Revolution and the changes, both good and bad, that it brought to England. Following that, they covered some of the major events of the early 20th century (World War I, women gaining the right to vote, etc.) and wrapped up with the 21st century and the Olympics returning to London for the third time.

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