The first time you see the Third Doctor he falls out of the TARDIS at the start of the story Spearhead From Space. Years later Jon Pertwee agreed to play the part again for a fan film called Devious and his final scene in that is the same as his first Spearhead From Space. This was the very last time he played the Doctor and so his very first scene is the same as his very last .
I've mentioned before that I've had a few nice chats with somebody named Lofty (strangely, the last time I wrote about him on here was exactly one year ago yesterday!). Now, as I'm sure you can guess 'Lofty' is not his real name; rather it's a nickname of his. I didn't make this nickname up myself, I just heard it from my Dad several years ago when I first met Lofty and so that is how I have referred to him since. I'm guessing he got this name because he's quite tall (just like I am).
Anyway, a few months ago I was in Co-Operative doing a little bit of shopping and, just as I was about to leave, I saw Lofty coming in with a friend of his.
"Oh, look, here comes Lofty!" I thought to myself. My chats with him always seem to be pretty entertaining, so I was quite happy to see him.
"Oh, look, here comes Lofty!" he said to his friend.
At first I was a little confused. Why was he saying the exact thing I had just been thinking? But then, when he came over and started chatting with me, I realised exactly what he meant: he doesn't know my name either, so ‘Lofty’ was his nickname for me too! I liked that a lot. I sometimes felt bad calling him 'Lofty' because, for all I knew, it was a nickname that could offend him, but since he uses the same for me, I have no reason to feel bad. Plus, it's quite nice, since, he obviously enjoys chatting to me as much as I do to him, because why else would he have a nickname for me? So that was a nice little coincidence, I thought.
Abide With Me is my favourite hymn and I have two different versions of it on my iPod. I've liked it for quite some time, but I've heard it at every funeral I've been to (I think) and I've realised that, now, it's a little bit more of a sad song for me because of that. If, say, ten people I knew suddenly died over the next month and then Abide With Me was at ALL of their funerals, I don't think I'd be able to casually enjoy the song anymore due to the association. So this leads me to a conclusion: why would I want my favourite song played at my funeral? That will stop the people I know from enjoying that song because I've then tarnished it with sad memories! Why not just always play absolutely awful rubbish at funerals? That'll save the songs.
Doctor Who is one of my absolute favourite television shows. For me, its only real rival is The Waltons. One of the best things about Doctor Who, I think, is the way that it changes. In any other series, if you want to see a reinterpretation of the main character you have to wait years for it to be remade or look online for fan projects, but with Doctor Who, the main character, or, the Doctor, is reinterpreted every few years, and the best thing is, it all happens without them having to change the continuity or anything. Originally, I was going to make a 'Top 10 Incarnations of the Doctor' but I'd feel bad leaving out just one, and 'Top 11 Incarnations of the Doctor' doesn't really flow well. Anyway, without further ado, I'd better get started.
Number 5 is The Ninth Doctor.
Back in 2005, I'd only seen a little bit of Doctor Who via my Dad's old videos and DVDs. I thought it was pretty cool, and I especially liked the Third and Seventh Doctors, but I wasn't the huge fan that I am now. Then, in March, Doctor Who came back and I thought "Oh, that's nice, some brand new episodes to see" and so I watched all of that series and, my goodness, I think it was incredible! I still think that the 2005 series is the best one since Doctor Who came back; pretty much every single episode was of a very high standard. So, this is when I became a proper 'fan' of the show. Of course, part of that is due to the Ninth Doctor himself. All of a sudden, the Doctor is a little more mysterious than he had been before, mainly due to being seen from the point of view of Rose Tyler, but also due to having taken part in a mysterious war since we last saw him. This Doctor can be both serious, and also very funny, and that's a very good mixture for the character, all of which is why he is my number five. The biggest downside to him is that he only has thirteen episodes... I must also say that I was very torn between giving the number five spot to the Tenth Doctor and the Ninth Doctor, but in the end, the Ninth won. Just.
(Image screen captured from the episode 'Rose' available in the Series 1 Box Set .)
Number 4 is The Fourth Doctor.
The Fourth Doctor is, I'm sure, the best Doctor for many people and, while I do think he's very good, he's not my number one. I suppose the best way to describe him, is just to say he's kind of weird. Now, I know that sounds very rude, weird being quite an offensive word, but I mean that in a completely positive way. He's very unique, and all of his quirks are very charming. This is the Doctor who offers jelly babies to allies and enemies alike, who one time saves himself by randomly being able to scream really loudly, who tossed his hat onto a Dalek's eye piece and then shoved it away and who, basically, did whatever he wanted. The goal seems to have been to make this Doctor seem very alien, and I think it worked exceptionally well.
(Image screen captured from the Robot DVD.)
Number 3 is The Fifth Doctor.
I must admit, I only recently started to like the Fifth Doctor, but I can see now that he is really very good. I always used to think he was just boring, but then a friend of mine told me that the Fifth was his favourite, so I decided to give him a bit of a reassessment. I bought a boxset of three more of his stories and rewatched everything of the Fifth Doctor I had, and, after that, my opinion of him was much higher. With the other Doctors you get the impression that they're unstoppable heroes who go out on adventures because they really love doing it, whereas with the Fifth you get the impression that this is a very put upon, vulnerable man who so often saves the universe, simply because he HAS to because, if he doesn't, who will? Despite his very good intentions, things never go well for him; his companions often get annoyed at him and start being mean, he's one of the few Doctors who suffered the death of a companion, and while other Doctors would save the day, make some kind of joke and happily head off in the TARDIS, he'd often be left horrified with all the death and destruction he'd witnessed. He's just so endearing.
(Image screen captured from the Earthshock DVD.)
Number 2 is The Third Doctor.
Unlike most of the other Doctors, the Third spent a big portion of his life living on Earth, which makes quite a difference to his era. The Third Doctor, despite being my second favourite Doctor, actually has my favourite story of all Doctor Who: Inferno. But the best thing about him, I think, is that he's a man who seems to be very reasonable. Sure, he does seem to be a little reckless in his early stories (mainly due to his anger at having to live on Earth) but he quickly becomes a much more mature and responsible man and, in the end, his decision to take responsibility for his actions is what cost him his life. Another thing is, he seems to have a really strong affection for all of his companions and lots of the people he meets during his adventures; this isn't really a particular thing that he DOES it's just that, whenever he's having a chat with somebody you just get the impression that he really cares for them, without being over the top about it, and I really like that. He's also the first Doctor I ever saw, and I remember I really liked him as a young child, I used to call him 'The Nice Doctor'.
(Image screen captured from the Day of the Daleks DVD.)
Number 1 is The Second Doctor.
I must admit, the distance between first and second on this countdown is VERY small, but the Second Doctor wins, even if only by an inch. The Second is nearly always so jolly, which makes it fun to watch him even if it's an episode which isn't particularly exciting, so he's able to make all of his stories very enjoyable! Everything he does is pretty loveable, really; in a good situation he'll probably be having a laugh while eating a sandwich with his companions, in a bad situation he'll get all worried and flustered, so he'll cling onto his companion Jamie for protection. Strangely, I'm finding him to be the hardest to write about, but perhaps that's because every single thing about him is excellent. The biggest downside, of course, is the fact that the BBC wiped so many of his stories, and now he has very few complete stories left. Hopefully more will be discovered sometime soon...
(Image screen captured from The Three Doctors DVD.)
(Also, it's Friday, so don't miss today's Finger Puppet Show! This week's features Jake and Amir.)
(I do not own the copyright of any image in this entry.)
A few weeks ago my friend Dalfino called me on my mobile and asked whether I'd like to have an evening stroll with him. Since I really like walking, I happily accepted his proposal. So, I went to Co-Operative, bought myself one of their delicious brownies and waited outside for him.
Before long he had arrived and the pair of us set out for our walk. I suggested to him that we wandered around at The Corsham School, since it had been quite a while since I visited there and he agreed that it'd be quite nice to do that. Now, I've visited the school several times since I've left it, but this time it felt especially bittersweet and nostalgic. Everywhere we went reminded me quite vividly of things that had happened while I was there.
First we walked across the field and I was reminded the time when I worked as an MDSA and the troublemaking children I encountered out there. And, of course, it was also the place of the only fight I ever had, or, at least, the nearest thing to a fight I ever had. While walking across the field, I took a moment to look through the window of my old English class room, during my time in the Sixth Form, that was my favourite lesson, and I have lots of fond memories of my time in there. I found that, even the lessons I hadn't enjoyed at the time, were now things I quite missed, such as PE lessons and Food Technology lessons. Even the misunderstandings seem pleasant now.
Once we'd finished wandering around, we walked up a staircase and sat on the balcony of the Sixth Form Common room. Peeping in through the window of that brought even more memories back. I used to make cakes for my friends a lot too and I couldn't help but think that I should be doing the same for my friends at Bath Spa University, but since I don't see somebody I know every day and the cakes would have to survive a fourteen mile journey, I decided I probably shouldn't.
It's quite a shame, really, because I'm not in contact with a good number of my old friends anymore. It seems to me that often, something or another will come up and so I won't be able to contact a friend, that'll last for a certain period of time and then once it's over, there's nothing to stop the friendship resuming, it just doesn't happen. I expect that's something a lot of people can relate to.
Today has been a very nice day. Now I have met up with two of my internet friends in real life, the first was Mairi Mac Arthur, and the second is my friend Rhino Water (I can't write his real name, but, regular readers probably remember him anyway).
He and I spent a large portion of the day playing various video games together, but the most interesting thing happened while we were playing Mario Party DS. Now, I know I used the word 'interesting' but, actually, what I should have said was 'interesting to those who are familiar with the Mario Party series and how it works' to the average person who has no knowledge of Mario Party, this anecdote won't be interesting at all. Sorry.
Anyway, have you ever wondered what would happen if the game ended on a draw? I mean, what are the chances of two people having the exact number of coins and stars? They can't be very high, especially after the bonus stars as well. But it happened; he and I both had five stars and seventy-one coins.
So what do you think happened? The two computer players were deemed the losers and then there was a small message that pointed out that both he and I had the same number of stars and coins. How could this be settled? Would they introduce an exceptional fourth bonus star to be awarded for something else? Trigger a super-secret and awesome mini game for the two of us to play in order to determine the winner? Maybe even just a regular dual mini game? Nope, it was something incredibly exciting: we each had to roll a dice, whoever got the highest number won. This was the most suspenseful dice roll in any Mario Party game I ever played. He rolled a four. I grinned and thought that I'd won. I rolled a three. The game was his. I wonder what would have happened if I rolled a four as well?
So, if you've ever wondered what would happen if a Mario Party game ended on a draw, now you know! I wonder which age old mystery I’ll have the answer to in my next blog entry? Be sure to keep reading to find out!
(I posted an extra Finger Puppet Show on Saturday, click here to read it!)
One time, in a Writing for Young People Class, I had a lesson on how to write as the opposite sex and, quite frankly, I thought it was nonsense. It boiled down to things like: well boys like to be rough and messy, while girls are nice and clean (bear in mind this was a class about writing for children). So, for today's entry I'm going to give my own advice on how to write as the opposite sex.
Put simply, when writing the opposite sex, don't write somebody as 'Jessica the woman' or 'Gordon the man' just write them as 'Jessica' or ‘Gordon’. It's an inherently sexist notion that there is a certain way to write males and a certain way to write females, why should there be any difference? They are all humans after all. Sure, if you picked a random woman and a random man and put them beside one another, they would probably be very different, but this difference has nothing to do with their sex, it's just down to the natural diversity of human behaviours; the personalities of the randomly picked male and of the randomly picked female could very easily be the reverse of what they are and it would be completely unnoteworthy.
Another thing is, writing a character 'as a male' or 'as a female' will severely limit the types of people you create, because you'll doubtlessly find yourself writing them as (potentially damaging) stereotypes and archetypes. One thing to try is this: not having a character's sex be the first thing you decide. Create a character, plan out their backstory and their personality quirks, and once all that's done, THEN pick their sex, that way you're bound to avoid any potential bad writing.
Hopefully that was interesting to anybody who does find they struggle writing the opposite sex. There's also the fact that there are many people who don't fit the two gender binaries, which my method takes into account, but I shan't go into that now...
(Also, it's Friday, so don't miss today's Finger Puppet Show!)
In the past, I would have a lesson that ended at 7 p.m., then I'd catch a bus from the university into the city and then have an hour's wait for my bus back home to Corsham. Since, as I'm sure you can guess, waiting around for an hour can be slightly boring, what I'd do to pass the time was to drop by at the house of a couple of friends of mine.
"Well, I'm going to head upstairs now," said one of my friends after a while. "Be sure not to lose track of time, you don't want to miss your bus!"
So I said goodbye, and he went upstairs. He was quite right too, I didn't want to miss my bus. I would always catch the 8:30 p.m. bus, and the next bus after that left at 11 p.m. meaning I would either have to get home really late, or spend the night in Bath.
Sadly, I failed to heed his advice and got so distracted with chatting to my other friend, that it was 8:15 p.m. before I left and the walk to the bus station from their house took between half an hour and forty-five minutes. But I was quite determined not to miss that bus, so I thought I'd try running to the bus station just to see if I could make it. I wasn't quite wearing appropriate clothes for running though; I was wearing, as I usually do, a long sleeved shirt, a blazer, regular trousers and also, on that particular day, a big pair of walking shoes. My back pack was also quite a hindrance, since there was nothing in it but my laptop and with every step I could feel it bouncing around in there. Once or twice, I had to stop because I thought it was about to fall out.
Realising that I may well miss the bus, I decided to try something else: instead of running to the bus station, I would run to the second bus stop and catch it there, since I perceived that that was slightly closer and it’d also give me an extra couple of minutes. So, I headed towards that and, quite happily, I made it with a couple of seconds to spare. I was pretty exhausted though, but that's not too surprising I suppose. I looked up the exact distance I'd run on Google Maps and it turns out it had been just over three miles. I'm surprised I made it, to be honest, but then again, it wasn't the first time I had had an unexpected large amount of running to do...
And so now, whenever my friend (the second of the two mentioned above) introduces me to people, she'll often tell them that I have a super power: the power to always catch buses on time. Which I suppose is quite a handy ability.
This is the debut novella of Oscar Taylor-Kent and is a parody of the supernatural romance genre and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight in particular. Having said that, while it is a parody of Twilight, you can still enjoy this story without knowing anything about it (like I did).
The story is about a teenage girl named Frederica Williams who has moved to a new town to live with her Uncle Toby after some kind of fishing accident. At this new school she meets an unusual boy named Alex, who she instantly becomes hugely attracted to. She also meets another boy, Darren, who is the opposite of Alex in every way, except, it seems, in terms of attractiveness, as she falls for him too. So, Frederica struggles to choose between each of these handsome young men and, at the same time, gets caught up with vampires, werewolves, banshees and sorceresses.
Now, that storyline may not sound very funny but it is. As the blurb itself says, this is "hilariously dry" a description that fits it very well. It reads almost as if somebody who really hated supernatural romances had found themselves having to write one and so had tried to make fun of the genre in as subtle a way as possible. There are lots of lines that you'll read and then laugh after a second's thought, much of the humour in the book does not draw attention to itself, and very charmingly so, too. Another thing I noticed was the tendency for things to very unnecessarily be over explained; this may sound like a criticism, but it actually is the cause of several laugh out loud moments.
However, despite it being so highly enjoyable, A Dark Hand does have its faults. It was self-published and so did not have an editor, which is noticeable due to a few mistakes. Of course, I'm not saying that this is riddled with errors; there was just the occasional clunky sounding sentence or typo which broke the flow.
On the whole, this is a highly entertaining book and one I would heavily recommend. The author of it describes it as a parody but, at the risk of sounding snobbish, I would say that its comedy is so sophisticated that it belongs a level up in the realms of satire. Rating: 8.4/10
(I do not own the copyright of the cover image.)
In this instalment in the Castlevania series you take control of Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin as the explore Dracula's castle, which is now inhabited by a new evil vampire named Brauner.
While it is only a 2D game, Dracula's castle is huge and you'll spend a long time exploring it. The castle has all the usual things you'd expect: creepy old corridors full of skeletons, dungeons full of monsters and ghosts, water ways full of mermen, but as well as all that there're paintings which are portals to other worlds. The painting worlds include an ancient Egypt type desert, a giant creepy circus, an abandoned village and other interesting places to visit too, all of which are also pretty big (but not as big as Dracula's castle itself).
The fact that you can be both Jonathan and Charlotte is something I quite liked. Jonathan is more of a power type character, while Charlotte mainly uses magic, so you can switch between them at any point in the game and use the one that you think best suits whatever it is that you're doing. You can also choose between having just one on screen at a time, or having the other character controlled by the computer: an option which can come in very handy during some boss fights.
Outside of the main game, there are a few other things you can do. For example, you can open up an online shop and sell several of the various items you've found throughout the game (and there are literally hundreds of things to collect). I thought this was a lovely little feature, as it made everything feel kind of connected, but the downside is that customers barely ever came, which did reduce my motivation to maintain it. There's also a mode where you have to fight through loads of enemies in as short a space as time as you can in order to win items which you can use in the main story. You can also play this mode with a friend, which is a nice addition, but one that you probably won't because both players need both a DS and a copy of the game.
On the whole, this game presents an excellent adventure which wonderfully uses some classic horror tropes, is packed with references to classical mythology and literature and, at the same time, is very fun.
(I do not own the copyright of the image)
(It's Friday, so, don't miss today's Finger Puppet Show!)
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