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Showing posts from May, 2010

Dimensionally Transcendental Confession 12: Hooray!

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There have probably been countless terabytes of information written about the new Doctor Who since its return five years ago. Whilst I am loathe to add to this data pollution, as a wise Icelander once said, " I've started so I'll finish... " The first few months of 2005 were torture. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but it seemed to take a long time to get to Easter when the first episode was due to be broadcast. All sorts of bit of information were leaking out in the press. The new Doctor was apparently going to be played by Christopher Eccleston whom I remembered from The League of Gentlemen and 28 Days Later but didn't know much else about. What I'd seen of the costume made him look more like The Navvy than The Doctor, but I would suspend judgement until I'd seen him in action. I was more worried about the casting of the companion. Billie Piper ? In my mind this seemed like a big mistake - dangerous stunt casting. Had they learned nothing from the

Cybernausea

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They've done it again. They keep changing things. Both Google and Wikipedia have had a minor makeover almost simultaneously. It's most disconcerting. They're not immediately obvious changes, it's quite a subtle thing, but you get the distinct impression that both websites are now made of translucent molded plastic and perfumed mist instead of paper and card. Of course no matter how disconcerting it is right now, we will all soon get used to it and in a years's time if they suddenly reverted to their previous state we'd suffer from severe dislocative shock. Just like the physical landscape , these virtual worlds become part of our mental furniture. Everything our minds are is made up of and sculpted by our perceptions of the various worlds around us and the models of them we build in our heads. The infant digital universes that have been springing up in our environment in recent years may not be as conspicuous as the material world, but the internal m

Dimensionally Transcendental Confession 11: Coming Soon From Big Finish

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Previously on DTC... At a time when, aside from the 1996 McGann TV movie, there had been no new Doctor Who for over ten years, I suddenly came across a double cassette in Borders - not an audio book, but a proper brand new, full-cast, audio-effects, four episodes, theme music and everything story starring the fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Well of course I bought it. It wasn't half bad either; neither Peter Davison 's nor Sarah Sutton 's voices seemed to have changed that much (unlike Steven Pacey who, in the brief audio Blake's Seven comeback of The Sevenfold Crown and The Syndleton Experiment seemed to have turned Tarrant into an unrecognisable gruff voiced old toff) and it being audio they were free to do stuff they'd never have attempted on TV. They were being produced by a company called Big Finish who seemed to have achieved the impossible by being granted a licence to produce official Doctor Who by the BBC (I was aware of previous unlicenced productions whic

Intellectromagnetic Spectrum

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Back in the mid-nineties I read an interesting post to a Usenet group (remember them?) about a psychological condition that apparently more people suffered from than was generally thought. The gist of it was " Are you lonely? Are you this? Are you that? If so you may be suffering from the other..." This instantly started ringing bells. Could this be why I'd always felt that I was a bit, well, rubbish when it came to dealing with people and life? Why I rarely seemed to find myself in a successful relationship? However, as was so often the case on Usenet, this interesting post was immediately shouted down as being a load of old mumbo-jumbo dreamed up by inadequates to give themselves legitimacy. Amongst the more typical of the responses was: Will you kindly take your quack psychoanalysis, your novice Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and your painfully inadequate hypnotherapeutic attempts and ram them where the sun don't shine? I forgot about it and if anyt

Character Sketch

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Books actually have a lot more in common with radio than they do with TV or film but are probably the hardest work out of all media. They also offer the greatest rewards. No spoilers here, but there was a point in China Mieville 's The City and the City which had me thinking "No! You can't possibly do that!" The author's world building skills were so strong that I felt the shock of the moment just as strongly as the book's characters did. I don't think you could get that in a film; by its very nature a book gets more into your head. Language defines our consciousness, so books become us whilst films are only experienced. The only thing more pleasurable than reading a book is writing one, but that's even harder work. One of the tricky parts is deciding which narrative mode to use. There is more to this than meets the eye; it's not just a case of deciding between first-person ("I said") or third-person ("she said"). There a