back from Nana’s funeral

It’s been a very strange few days really. Not even necessarily bad in some ways, just… strange. I went to Nana’s house (without her, obviously) for what’s presumably the last time before it’s sold and that makes me pretty sad to think about. It’s funny but the house I now live in is very similar to the one my Nana and Grandad lived in once upon a time. I guess we’re all always trying to recapture our childhoods.

The Power of the Doctor

I will miss Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor terribly but I liked this a lot! (Mostly) And I had a wonderful time livetweeting it along with other Who fans and watching everyone freak out in real time when the Big Cameos happened.

Some lists to summarize my thoughts, huge spoilers ahead obviously:

PROS

  • Sacha Dhawan is the absolute HIGHLIGHT of this episode, he deserves to go down as one of the best if not THE best Master in the show’s history.
  • The long LONG list of returning faces whose presence on set somehow did not leak to the media! Wow! Off the top of my head…. David Bradley, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, a suspiciously un-aged Paul McGann, Katy Manning, Bonnie Langford, William Russell (I actually didn’t know he was still alive!) and Jo Martin!
  • What they did with the returning companions was wonderful! Better than I expected even! Both Ace and Tegan got to say goodbye to “their” Doctors, Ace got to smash up a Dalek with a baseball bat, just fabulous.
  • The callbacks! I never thought I’d see the day when Adric was mentioned by name in a modern-day Doctor Who episode.
  • Neither Dan or Kate died! Over the past few days Twitter has been insistent one of them would, but nope!
  • Both Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill really got to show off their acting chops here, especially in that last scene. I’m gonna miss Yaz terribly too… Unless she can return alongside the next, next Doctor maybe?

CONS

  • There was one very significant person absent from this episode: Ryan! He was mentioned but he should have been there, why wasn’t he?
  • On a similar note I feel like Freema Agyeman as Martha really ought to have been present in the final Companions scene too. I guess she’s the sole representative from her era whose character can convincingly return and who isn’t a sex offender, sigh.
  • I’m kind of bummed this episode didn’t even mention the Tegan/Nyssa romantic relationship that Russell T Davies established, although I suppose it didn’t de-canonise it either.
  • This episode definitely HAD a plot but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was. Still, who needs one in an episode like this?
  • This is my biggest complaint actually: there wasn’t a Doctor/Yaz kiss. I really, really thought there was going to be one. It would have made perfect sense. Some lovely things happened between them (see above image) but without a kiss the story just seems so unfinished somehow.

Oh wait, another Pro! Afterwards there was a trailer for the upcoming special and we finally got our first look at Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor.

He looks amazing!

The Lost King

A film I was very excited to see, because I live in Leicester and saw snippets of both the car park dig and the King Richard III funeral! The man himself is interred in the Leicester Cathedral which I walk past all the time on the way to therapy.

Opposite the cathedral is the Richard III museum, which is fascinating and walks you through many of the same issues which were discussed in the movie.

Everyone around here seemingly knows someone who was involved with the discovery/dig story, I went to see the movie with someone who’s met the person Amanda Abbington played. So maybe I’m biased because I know the story so well, but-

Well, the good stuff first. As someone whose life has been touched by M.E. I appreciate that The Lost King portrays it as an actual disability (which it is), and that it shows that Phillippa Langley was drawn to Richard III because he too had a disability. And I like that this film shows fandom in a positive light. It’s the fiercely enthusiastic Richard III fan club who end up getting a lot of important things done. And also I can relate to Langley as, well, a fangirl, what with her developing a hyperfixation on something that was helping her navigate her own life.

Oh and Sally Hawkins was great, she’s great in everything.

But now I’ve learned about what all the controversy surrounding this film entailed, and seen exactly what was causing it… yeah. It casts Langley as the hero at the expense of everyone around her. Really, no professional historians thought to impose one map over another until she came along?

I can’t really see many folks in Leicester – a much more diverse place than portrayed here, by the way – being pleased about this movie, no matter the quality of the production and the acting, and I don’t blame Richard Taylor in the slightest for suing. If they wanted someone to represent sexist institutions in the film, why not make up a character instead of using a real person?! How terribly ironic that a film about how cruel it was to villainize one Richard ended up villanizing another.

Come see the museum instead.

Casting Mephisto

ALLEGEDLY Sacha Baron Cohen has been cast to play Mephisto aka Marvel’s version of the devil, and that’s not terrible casting at all but I was sort of hoping for something more… out of left field, I guess? Like, Mephisto appears in a MCU project, turns around and the audience goes “What the fuck?” That. I even had a mini-shortlist at one point, believe it or not-

The “Would work but only if no-one knew about it beforehand” selection:

  • Tom Hanks
  • Meryl Streep
  • Morgan Freeman

The “beloved icons who you’d never expect to show up as the literal devil” crowd:

  • Dolly Parton
  • Mark Hamill
  • Keanu Reeves

The ABSOLUTE FUNNIEST option:

  • Martin Scorsese

welcome to the internet

See I don’t actually know who Bo Burnham is (or I didn’t) but this song came up on a YouTube playlist and I fast became obsessed with it.

Just the PERFECT song about… all this. Turns out there’s numerous parodies of it around YouTube so hopefully the real Bo Burnham doesn’t mind that I wrote a couple extra verses just for, uh, “fun.” Here they are. The internet in 2022:

*

Welcome to the internet

Clearly state your goal

You could meet your dearest friend or lose your fucking soul

We see you! We hear you! We understand strife

Just don’t you ever try that shit

In real life

Welcome to the internet

Try not to be mad

This is what you asked for

So we took all that you had

Can I interest you in everything all of the time?

Anything and everything all of the – CREATE A PAID ACCOUNT TO ACCESS THE REST OF THIS SONG

An old, rather telling Kevin Spacey interview snippet

Anthony Rapp said on the witness stand today that he found Kevin Spacey’s performance in American Beauty “unpleasantly familiar” and it made me think of this moment in a 2004 Total Film interview where Spacey gets very, very uncomfortable on being compared to his American Beauty character.

From Total Film issue 96, December 2004. Guess now we know why he would have said that.

“Losing At Chess To A Dog”

(Speaking as a white person but-)

There’s this pattern happening in MCU fandom that feels kinda racist, really. Regarding the handling of queer characters in that franchise, there’s something I keep coming back to – Loki and Eternals came out in the same year. Loki had the main character make one comment about being bi and everyone loved it, but Phastos in Eternals was taken much further, he had a husband! Who he kissed onscreen! And yet he Didn’t Count as a queer character for some reason.

I saw so much of that, he just… Didn’t. I saw a lot of “Well, that character created the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima :/” (he didn’t) but at the same time everyone was falling over themselves about Loki being queer, when Loki has murdered and enslaved countless people on screen and was vaguely compared to Hitler once. (Loki’s more horrifying crimes have been completely forgotten these days. He’s never expressed much regret for them either in canon either IIRC.)

So Phastos Didn’t Count, and his Middle Eastern non-superhero husband Ben also Doesn’t Count it seems, for… What reason?! Both are canonically queer characters and their sexuality had a hell of a lot more time dedicated to it than Loki’s did. (I still wonder about Eternals. That bit of misinformation about Hiroshima spread so far and wide it makes me think it was deliberately being promoted by bad actors. The ‘go woke go broke’ crowd HATED that movie and they got to crow about a victory when it flopped.)

And now – Wakanda Forever isn’t even out yet and people are already making excuses as to why Michaela Coel’s character Aneka isn’t going to Count. There’s an interview with Coel going around where she states her character is going to be queer in the movie and people started posting that meme response “being queerbaited by the MCU is like losing at chess to a dog”…which feels incredibly mean and racist when posted in direct response to something she said: it’s like they’re implying she’s the dog. Plus, why do you think it’s queerbaiting? You HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE! Nobody has yet!

So yeah. I feel like when people started saying “We want queer characters in the MCU” they meant “We want WHITE queer characters in the MCU” because the mental gymnastics people have done to not accept the queer characters of colour has been ridiculous.

The Power of the Doctor trailer

Love the title, love Jodie, don’t love that the marketing team have so little time left to hype this up. Less than a month!

But look! There’s Ashad AND Vinder! I wasn’t expecting those guys! I keep hearing that some other past companions might pop up so I’m keeping my fingers extremely crossed for a Martha appearance. Or Amy. Or Rory. Or Bill! Any of my faves!