Monthly Archives: March 2014

Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen”

Recently I had the chance to watch Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen, a serial from 1987 starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel. I was curious to see this one because of its generally poor reception–this was written during a time when the BBC was actively trying to kill the show so they could use the production money to bring newer, original shows to TV. It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, but it could have been much better, too.

The story was set in 1959, which would have been perfectly acceptable had they not taken every single stinking opportunity to play 50’s rock and roll music. It was clever the first few times it happened, but by the end I was ready to scream every time 50’s music started to play. The plot, although intriguing, needed to be fleshed out better–what attracted Billy to Delta in the first place? How come Ray is taking her boyfriend’s decision to run off with an alien queen so calmly? Was there really a valid reason for Hawk and Weismuller to be in the story at all other than to provide some rather stale comic relief?

It wasn’t a complete disaster, however. The bit of exposition about bees was fun and educational, but then we found out that the development of bees was a parallel to Delta’s race, the Chimerons–some people might find that cheesy; I thought it was a clever little twist. Sylvester McCoy’s performance showed that his Doctor is truly underrated, and Bonnie Langford proved that Mel Bush really did deserve a better chance to prove her worth as a companion. Sara Griffiths was also enjoyable as the one-storyline-only companion Ray–in fact, she was so popular that she was almost the new full-time companion when Bonnie Langford left the show, but, as we all know, that distinction instead went to Sophie Aldred as the erstwhile Ace.

It’s difficult to decide if I recommend Delta and the Bannermen to the rest of you. If you decide to see it, just remember that you’re not seeing Doctor Who at its best. If you don’t watch it, you’re not really missing anything.

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And the Phantom/Les Mis Actor Crossovers Continue…

Recently I heard that Norm Lewis, aka Awesomely Awesome Javert from the 25th anniversary Les Miserables concert, has been cast as the Phantom in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera. This is yet another example of how it seems the actors from Les Mis seem to inevitably find themselves in Phantom and vice versa. However, one of the nice things about an actor formerly being in Les Mis is that amazing singing skills are required for that, and if you can sing in Les Mis, you can sing in anything. And with as awesome as Norm Lewis was as Javert, I’m confident he’ll do well as the Phantom.

It’s also worthwhile to mention that he’ll be joined by Sierra Boggess as Christine, and Sierra, as we all know, did a phenomenal job in the role for Phantom‘s 25th anniversary.

http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news/latest-news/phantom-in-new-york-proudly-welcomes-two-great-broadway-stars-this-may

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Who Said Nuns are Boring?

This popped up a couple of days ago, and I thought it was worth posting here. Apparently an Ursuline nun, Sister Cristina, decided to audition for the Italian version of the TV singing competition The Voice.

“What’s a nun doing on a talent show?” you’re probably asking yourself. The answer: sounding awesome.

Who ever said nuns were boring people?

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Goodbye, Winter…

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, today is the first day of spring. It is normally a joyous day when the sun is shining, birds are singing, and the grass is starting to look much greener than it did over the winter. In short, everyone is celebrating the fact that sunlight is back and the frigid days are almost over.

Except me. I’m one of those strange people that actually likes winter and is sad to see it go. I look out the window at the brightly-lit field, and a little part of me whimpers at the knowledge that the dark, snowy days won’t be around for awhile. I guess I’ll cope somehow.

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Sherlock Lives…Rumpelstiltskin, Not so Much

After viewing a promotional poster for the Once Upon a Time spring premiere that featured Rumpelstiltskin, I had the greatest of hopes that he would miraculously appear in the Enchanted Forest in the new episode. I looked forward to it with great anticipation…but no Dark One. Granted, it’s still early, so he could still return–here’s hoping Belle and Bae can make that detour to Rumpel’s old castle tout suite–but I had hoped for more concrete proof that he was still around.

As for everything else–why, oh, why couldn’t they have chosen a different villain; why did they have to include the Wicked Witch of the West? For that matter, why couldn’t they have stayed in the Enchanted Forest? Storybrooke overstayed its welcome–for me, anyway–and a change of scenery would be welcome so long as it didn’t turn into the dragged-out Neverland storyline last year.

Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the show’s return tonight. Finding out precisely how Storybrooke returned to Maine and how Captain Hook was able to locate Emma (and where he got the memory potion) should prove to be quite exciting.

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“Memento, Homo, Quia Pulvis Es…”

“…et in pulverem reverteris.” Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return–a sobering reflection, yes, but important as we enter the Lenten season. I’ll be honest; I loathed Lent when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see its usefulness. The saying about dust reminds us that, hey, we’re not going to be around forever, and we really should decide where we want to spend the afterlife. How does Lent accomplish that?

Lent helps us to better control our wills and desires, to say “no” to something we really, really want. By strengthening control of our wills this way, we are better equipped to conform them the way we want…the way to follow Christ. But how does sacrificing that luscious chocolate doughnut covered in sprinkles help us follow Christ? It’s just a little doughnut; what difference does it make? Well, by saying “no” to little things, we get practice saying “no” to big things–it works like exercise; we start with smaller exercises first and work our way up to the more strenuous movements. So may you have beneficial exercising this Lent.

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