Monthly Archives: February 2015

“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: 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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