Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Fourth Doctor (2/2)


Finally finished the Fourth Doctor stories on Britbox. That means it’s time for another classic Doctor Who post. This time it’s the second half of the most iconic Doctor.


Season 16
"Mr Fibuli!" .... That's all.
Top Story: The Pirate Planet
One reason I like this story so much is how silly it is. I can’t get over how the Captain yells “Mr. Fibuli!” Also every time the Captain makes an announcement to his people, there’s only four or five people. Not much of a crowd or a cheer. All of the silly production notes aside, I liked the idea of the piece of the Key to Time being the core of the planet that the pirates had taken over. So silliness aside, it was a solid story idea and a solid plot.
Flop Story: The Ribos Operation
It started off the Key to Time saga and it introduced Romana (the first Time Lady companion, aside from Susan) and K9 Mark II. The problem I had with this story was that it was so hard to follow. I watched it twice because I got lost during the first time and I still struggled to understand this crime story.
Romana and the future Romana's face
Honorable Mention: The Armageddon Factor
The finale to the Key to Time included quite a twist in my opinion. I didn’t expect a person to be the segment of the Key. It also ended up being the final appearance of Romana in her initial regeneration (when she appears in Season 17, she has already regenerated) and it’s the first appearance of the Black Guardian, who would not to be seen again until the Fifth Doctor era.

Season 17
Fake Mona Lisa's everywhere
Top Story: The City of Death
The Doctor and Romana get stuck in a time loop. It was a unique way of doing time travel. I also liked the splintered aspect of Scaroth, scattered across time, like we would later see with Clara Oswald, except that Scaroth is away of the split. Interesting notion and scheme that he’s trying to put himself back together.
Flop Story: The Horns of Nimon
This season was solid, so I had a tough time picking a least favorite. The Nimon’s con and plot to take over was intriguing. The plot twists were unexpected and kept me engaged. However, compared to other stories from this season it was slow and hard to get into.
The newly regenerated Romana
Honorable Mention: Destiny of the Daleks
The first and (so far) only regeneration of a companion. We get a new version of Romana (though I would have preferred to see some sort of regeneration on screen, even if it only used a stunt double). It leaves questions about regeneration, like if Time Lords can regenerate at will, instead of just at death. This story was also the return of Davros and Skaro, which hadn’t been seen since “Genesis of the Daleks”. It led to more recurrences of Davros appearing.

Season 18
Romana and K-9 stay
behind in the E-Space
Top Story: Warriors’ Gate
This one took a little work for me to get into, but I enjoyed it. They had been hinting for a couple stories about Romana not wanting to return to Gallifrey, so I felt this was a fitting exit for her. Most of the classic companions just leave suddenly, so this one was different. Also an interesting twist of the realm shrinking over time. I didn’t see that coming.
Flop Story: The Leisure Hive
This one may not have been my least favorite. However, it is what it is. While this story was good and interesting, it was slow to start. I’m used to Doctor Who pulling me in quickly, but that wasn’t the case here. Oh well.
The end of the Fourth approaches
Honorable Mention: Logopolis
Facing off against the Master and accidentally kidnapping a new companion, this story was all over the place and it kept me going. I am kind of disappointed that the Doctor’s death and regeneration as caused by a fall. As far as his deaths, its lameness is up there with the First, Sixth, Seventh, and War Doctor’s deaths. Oh well. At least the First was old age.
Special Episode: A Girl’s Best Friend
While not technically in this season or even a “Doctor Who” story to begin with, this Sarah Jane Christmas special was nice. Little Earth-contained mystery that kept Sarah Jane’s story going. It was supposed to be the pilot for a spin-off show, but didn’t get picked up. Oh well, it set up for Sarah Jane’s appearance in “The Five Doctors” and her return in the Tenth Doctor era when she got a proper spin-off.

COMPANIONS:
K-9 (4th Doctor, Part 1) - Warriors' Gate
Romana The Ribos Operation - Warriors' Gate
Adric Full Circle - (5th Doctor)
Nyssa Logopolis - (5th Doctor)
Tegan Logopolis - (5th Doctor)

Romanadvoratrelundar.... or Fred
Favorite Companion: Romana was easily my favorite, particularly in her second iteration. Witty, smart, and a match for the Doctor. The wonderful thing about her being a Time Lady is that we could somehow see her again in the modern series. PLEASE please please BBC. Let’s have a regenerated Romanadvoratrelundar team up with the new female Doctor.

More on Adric when we address
the Fifth Doctor.
Least Favorite Companion: Adric is my least favorite companion. Not for any reasons of his appearances with the Fourth Doctor, but because of how he was with the Fifth Doctor. But I guess I can get into that when I write about the Fifth Doctor. In case he doesn’t end up being my least favorite there, I just didn’t like his obnoxious teenage attitude, overstepping the Doctor all the time.

What were some of your favorite Fourth Doctor stories, either this half or the first half? What did you think of Romanadvoratrelundar and Adric?

Tom Baker later returned to Doctor Who as "the Curator".
Could this be another iteration of the Doctor or this just
a rather odd coincidence? Maybe we'll learn someday.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Head-Canons

With nerdiness at a particularly high popularity (seriously, 10-20 years ago, comic book super heros, sci-fi, and such were lame but now everyone loves them), it's not uncommon for people to have their own little ideas about what is going on in the background of their favorite fandoms. These are typically referred to as headcanon and here are a few of the ones I subscribe to.

Remember in “Captain America: The First Avenger” when Bucky set up a double date for himself and Steve? Jenna Coleman played one of the dates, Connie. A dismissal role for a non-Whovian as you barely even see her in the movie. But to a Whovian, you’ll recall that she later played Clara Oswald, companion to the 11th and 12th Doctor. And about that, remember in “The Name of the Doctor” when Clara Oswald enters the Doctor’s time stream and starts being born all over time? Gallifrey, Victorian London, the Dalek Asylum, and many more. What if one of those splinters lived in NYC in 1942 and just happened to meet Captain America?

Another one for you: remember in the musical episode of Once Upon a Time when Zelena broke into song? She was in Oz, so I was surprised she'd be affected by Snow's wish. But what if she wasn't affected by the wish? What if Zelena is just that fabulous? It sounds kind of silly but thing about it. If any character was to break into song of their own accord it would be Zelena right? Plus, she references in her song that she'll sweep into town after Regina is victorious. If she had been under the spell of the wish, she wouldn't have remembered that plan and yet she later found her way into the Enchanted Forest while everyone else was gone. 

What if Time Lords were really wizards? I mean, we’ve seen many magical creatures in Doctor Who… werewolves (multiple times), vampires (also more than once), hags, demons, and ghosts. Of course they turned out to be aliens…. But then wizards could be aliens too right? And the sonic screwdriver? A technological wand that even a squib could use. We know both wizards and Time Lords have longer lifespans than muggles. The only question is regeneration, since wizards don’t have that power. Well, at least not yet. Give them a few thousand years and we’ll see what happens. Oh and the Time Lord academy. Doesn’t it sound a little like Hogwarts? Either that or I’ll settle for JK Rowling being some sort of Time Lady. Why? I dunno, but it sounds cool.

I've seen these on Facebook on and off and I like them. They're similar, so I'll lump them together: James Bond and Mary Poppins are Time Lords. It accounts for the many faces of Bond and it explains Mary Poppins's bigger-on-the-inside bag. Just think about it. That’s all. 

I’ve thought for years that the whole magical ability in Harry Potter is possibly genetic. Maybe it’s a recessive gene and squibs miss that gene? That would explain why after a few generations of squibs/muggles, you get a witch or wizard in the family as a surprise. So while they’re “muggleborn” they actually have some magical ancestry. I’m not a geneticist, but it made sense when I took high school biology.

Anyone who has played the Pokemon games since Platinum would remember a mysterious character called the Looker. He looks awfully like the Tenth Doctor. Same outfit and he happens to study dimensional rifts (particularly in the later games). Could it just happen to be that David Tennant’s Doctor went to the Pok√©mon world once upon a time before he died to save Wilf? Who knows?


So there are a few headcanons for you. Any cool headcanons you subscribe to? Any fun ways you like to crossover your favorite fandoms in your head? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Welcome Home Spidey!

At last, Spider-man has returned home.


***Spoiler Alert***: The following review may contain spoilers for the 2017 Film Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

I admit that I was almost skeptical of Spider-Man: Homecoming. After 5 Spidey movies with two different actors, how could this one differentiate itself from its predecessors, and how well would it fit into the Marvel Universe at large?

While imperfect, I give the new Spider-Man film a solid 8 out of 10.


What I Loved:

  1. Tom Holland
    • Finally we have an actor that exemplifies Peter Parker. For me, I was never a big fan of either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield in the role of Peter Parker. I found Tobey too awkward to play the webslinger, and Andrew is too hot....and both of them seemed too old to play the part of a high school superhero whiz-kid. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Tom in the role of Peter in Captain America: Civil War and he impressed me this time around as he starred in his own film.
    • Tom owned the role of Peter instead of trying to copy those who came before him. And even though the rising star is 21 years old, it was easy to believe that he was an awkward junior classman.
    • Tom brought some emotional depth to the role that I didn't really see with either Maguire or Garfield. In a moment of real struggle for Peter Parker, I felt a level of authenticity with Holland's performance that I hadn't seen in the previous five films.
  2. Supporting Characters and Cameos
    • Ned (Jacob Batalon) provided some great comic relief as the awkward side kick and best friend of Spider-Man. The dynamic between Ned and Peter Parker was fun to watch on screen, and Batalon's character was almost reminiscent of Luis (Michael Pena) in Ant-Man.
    • Cameos by other members of the Avengers, particularly Captain America, provided some great comic relief as well, not to mention the legendary Stan Lee's classic cameo
    • Karen was a fun addition to the film...you'll have to watch and see if you agree with me.
    • Michael Keaton plays an excellent villain.
  3. Originality
    • If this had been another origin story, I would have been extremely upset. I don't know how many more times I can go through Uncle Ben's death. Marvel struck a nice balance between introducing a new Spider-Man in his own film, without re-hashing the origin story for the third time in recent memory.
    • Integrating Spider-Man into the world of the Avengers and other Marvel characters was not an easy task, but I feel like Marvel did a nice job with this one.
  4. The very end of the credits
    • So much fun when Marvel trolls the audience.....hope you enjoy it as much as I did 

What I Didn't Love
  1. Tony Stark
    • I'll be honest, I struggled with the dynamic between Peter Parker and Tony Stark. It seemed to me that any time Peter and Tony spoke, suddenly Peter became a whiney little kid and Tony came across as anything but the billionaire genius playboy philanthropist that we have grown to love in the other Marvel films in which he co-stars. While I feel Tony's involvement in the story was necessary to bring Spider-Man home to Marvel Studios, it did feel a little bit forced and awkward at times.
  2. The Villain
    • Maybe it's because I grew up on the 90s animated cartoon, but I always enjoyed Spider-Man's villains from the comic book stories. While I enjoyed Keaton's performance, I felt like we ended up with a quasi-Green-Goblin-wannabe when all was said and done, and I'm sick of anything resembling the Green Goblin showing up in the live action Spidey films.
  3. Aunt May
    • Nothing against the actress Marisa Tomei....but I could never imagine Aunt May as young as she is in this film.


Again, overall I really enjoyed my time seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming and will probably end up seeing it in theaters a couple of more times. It isn't Marvel's best, and not a Grand Slam.....but Tom Holland and director Jon Watts hit a solid home run with this film.