Monthly Archives: December 2016

Farewell, 2016

It was a hard year that saw the deaths of a lot of celebrities (including the most recent passings of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds) as well as one of the most hotly-contested US presidential elections in recent memory. But there were good things that happened this year, too–Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary; Doctor Who gave us a Christmas special we’ll not soon forget, and there are always books to read and movies to watch and games to play. Perhaps it’s the hobbit in me, but I always try to find the bright spots in a bleak year because in the end, those are the moments worth remembering. Plus, we get a new season of Sherlock tomorrow, which is always welcome.

I also wanted to take a moment to share the patron saint generator for 2017: I’ve always thought this was cool, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about a new saint. My patron saint for 2017 is St. Leopold III, patron saint of Austria. I’m not entirely sure how well this will work since I’m not Austrian, but he was a good king who did his best to lead a holy life, and I can identify with that (not the king part, the trying to lead a holy life part).

Alas, I had hoped WordPress would have published a recap of my blogging this past year, but for some reason I didn’t get one. I guess the biggest thing that happened in my blogging is that I published my 400th post, which is certainly more posts than I ever thought I would have.

See you all in 2017!


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Doctor Who Review: The Return of Doctor Mysterio *Contains Spoilers*

Considering this was the only new episode of Doctor Who we could expect to see this year, writing a review of it was kind of a no-brainer. I did miss having new episodes to review each week, so I looked forward to having a chance to write down my thoughts on the 2016 Christmas special. It’s been exactly one year since our last new episode–was it worth the wait?

“The Return of Doctor Mysterio” sees, well, the return of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor with Matt Lucas reprising his role of Nardole from last year’s Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song” (yes, there is an explanation as to why he is back in one piece after he was beheaded last year). After his twenty-four-year night with River on Darillium, the Doctor reattached Nardole’s head to his body and offered him a place aboard the TARDIS–with both Clara and River gone, he didn’t want to travel alone (although he denies this reason). They turn up in New York City investigating Harmony Shoal, suspecting it’s a front for alien activity. Their investigation leads them to cross paths with Lucy Fletcher, a journalist trying to get background information on Harmony Shoal’s real purpose, and the Ghost, a masked superhero who has made it his mission to protect the city from all threats. Plot twist–the Doctor and the Ghost have met before. Twenty-four years ago, there was a little boy named Grant who had a conversation with a madman on a roof, and during the course of the conversation, he accidentally swallowed a Hazandra gemstone. Known as the “Ghost of Love and Wishes”, this gemstone has the ability to grant any wish–to a young boy with a love of comic books, it gives him super powers. The Doctor made Grant promise never to use his powers, but Grant saw an opportunity to help people, and he took it.

This wasn’t the best of the Christmas specials, but it was very good, nonetheless. There was much poking of fun at common superhero clichés and wry commentary. What I noticed, though, is that Moffat seemed to have toned down his writing this time; it seemed less frantic and manic than previous specials. Frankly, I think the story benefitted from that change of pace–when Moffat slows down and takes the time to work out the plot, his writing is much better. Also, I hope we get to see Grant and Lucy again in the future; they were fun characters. They started as parodies of Superman and Lois Lane but turned into characters I genuinely cared about.

Something else that struck me was a change in Nardole’s character–he seemed wiser, somehow, and seemed to have a good understanding of the Doctor. I’m not sure if that wisdom came from having a drastic perspective shift from being beheaded or if it came from many previous travels, but he definitely understands the Doctor’s pain and wants to help him heal. The Doctor certainly trusts him, or else I don’t imagine he would have taught him how to fly the TARDIS. But Nardole is showing he can be more than an inept bumbler, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out in season 10.

And speaking of season 10…


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Christmas Eve 2016

Yes, it’s Christmas Eve once again, ladies and gentlemen, and I decided to get on here and wish you all a Merry Christmas in case I don’t get a chance to do so tomorrow. I also wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas songs with you, “Gabriel’s Message”. My church choir sings it every Christmas, but I didn’t know what the title was until I searched for some of the lyrics. My search led me to this, and I am so glad I finally found the title.

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December 23: Seventh Day of the O Antiphons

O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

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December 22: Sixth Day of the O Antiphons

O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

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December 21: Fifth Day of the O Antiphons

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Sun of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

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December 20: Fourth Day of the O Antiphons

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

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