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:
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.