Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Pond Farewell - To Amy and Rory

So that was it.

We said goodbye to Amy Pond and Rory Williams last night.

Just over 2 years ago, we all sat down to watch The Eleventh Hour. Of course, it was a new Doctor, but it was also a new companion. A fresh start.

Of course, what we didn't realise, was that it wasn't just one companion that'd be joining the show that week. It was 2.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the new companion(s) when Series 5 started. To be honest, I'd spent more of the run up wondering what I'd think of the new Doctor.

But also, I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a constant companion traveling with The Doctor in the TARDIS. We'd had 5 specials (4 stories) worth of David Tennant finishing his tenure as The Doctor, and in pretty much each one, he had a different companion with him for that story.

But the Ponds came along, and like the new Doctor, they were funny, and brilliant, and different, and just amazing.
Look at that picture above of the two of them - they're beautiful. 

We completely have fallen in love with The Doctor, Amy and Rory, over the past couple of years, and them being the longest-serving  companions since the series came back, then a part of me (and I'm sure a part of a lot of Doctor Who fans) subconsciously thought that they'd be there for many, many years to come.

But, to quote one equally amazing companion, "Everything has it's time, and everything ends."

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Gillan last year. I was doing some volunteer work for The National Youth Theatre's Our Days Of Rage, and she came along to see this piece, taking place in the Old Vic Tunnels. Being the huge fans that we were, me and my friends, James & Beth, asked her quietly (so as not to draw too much attention to her presence) after the show if she wouldn't mind having a photo with us (no flash, due to being down in the tunnels, and again, not to draw too much attention).

Done various edits to this since  it was taken because of the lack of flash - this is the final one.
Came out pretty well in the end without flash, methinks ;)

She was absolutely lovely, and everything you could hope her to be. She was kind enough to chat to us briefly when we first met her in the interval, and after the show when we got our photos with her.

Quite honestly, before that day, then as a character, I had fallen in love with Amy Pond.
After that day, I had fallen in love with Karen Gillan.

Of course, we've already fallen in love with Jenna-Louise Coleman, thanks to the genius of Mr Steven Moffat.

But there's absolutely no denying how much the Ponds will be missed in Doctor Who. We bid a very Pond farewell to Amy and Rory this weekend.

"It's the end...", The Doctor once said. "But the moment has been prepared for."

The Last Days Of The Ponds:


But is it, though?

If there's one thing I've learned from watching Doctor Who, it's that, with this show, Anything Is Possible. ;)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A Whovian's Complex...

Anyone reading this who knows me will not find it surprising that one of my first proper blog posts is about Doctor Who. It being pretty much my favourite TV Show and all.

The picture above is the main picture from tonight's episode, A Town Called Mercy. Doctor Who is now in it's 7th Series (since it's return in 2005), or it's 33rd Season (if you're a Whovian like me, who quite likes to know exactly how many full series/seasons of the show there've been.

I love Doctor Who. I wasn't actually one of the many people of my generation to watch it exactly from 2005 onwards, I actually started a little later and subsequently went back (but that's another story in itself). But the one thing that you often have to come to term with as a Whovian (Who fan, for those who've been wondering if I was referring to some odd form of OCD), is that there are always going to be episodes which are...not as good as others, shall we say.

Now, obviously, with any TV programme, there are bound to be some episodes that are not as good as the ones surrounding them. But the one thing that I can bring myself to critically say of my favourite show is that, quite often, it's at extremes. For the most part, when it's good, it's really good, when it's bad, it's really bad, and when it's average, it's...well, you get the picture.

Thankfully, there aren't that many bad episodes of Doctor Who, and as Whovians we can often sit quite comfortably watching our favourite show without the fear that we'll need to be critical of it.

But there's always the odd episode that just doesn't stand up to the regular standard of the rest of them, and so far, this series seems to have had it. (Last weeks Dinosaurs On A Spaceship).

Now, it being Doctor Who, there are always things to enjoy about the bog-standard episodes. The Mitchell and Webb robots being one, for last week. I have to say, I enjoyed the series opener Asylum Of The Daleks immensely - it'll probably become a fan favourite, and it certainly deserves to be treated as quite historical in the ongoing saga of The Daleks.

The thing Doctor Who (and Sherlock, come to that) struggle with a lot at the moment, it seems, is that there's always some sort of overall storyline that's weaved through each of the episodes. Don't get me wrong, as fans, we love it, but the sometimes damaging thing about it means it puts pressure on the episodes that are leading up to the bigger stories that affect the overall storyline of the show to make an impact.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something about Dinosaurs On A Spaceship that doesn't feel up to scratch. This often happens with me - I will always enjoy an episode as it goes out, but the ones that I don't enjoy as much are not easy to pick out the specific flaws with until I have a bit of hindsight.

This week, with A Town Called Mercy, the standard was raised back up again. Not as good as Asylum Of The Daleks, but that had the added weight of being a season-opener, so you'd struggle to actually top it as such.

But I could very easily name episodes of Doctor Who from the past 6 series that really weren't on par with the others.

Some people will stop watching if Doctor Who has a few bad episodes though. Okay, granted this will often be the people who will watch every week but not call themselves "fans", but I do find that sad. Doctor Who just sometimes needs a little patience. Even if it has 2 or 3 bog-standard episodes in a row, I don't think that's a legitimate reason to assume that "the shark has been jumped."

But should I? Is it just because I have declared myself an out-and-out, unashamed Doctor Who fan, that I look past the less consistent episodes that, if it were any other show, might disuade me from watching?

Or is it just the way that I as a person work? There have been a fair few TV Shows where my parents and friends have stopped watching but I've wanted to persist (Glee would be a prime example). Thinking about it, while I know really good quality telly when I see it, something often has to have really gone downhill to the point that it's quite bad for me to want to stop watching it altogether. (The X Factor took long enough...)

Perhaps I should've called this post A Henry's Complex instead...

But really, I do think that as a fan, you should be prepared to stick with a TV show through good times and bad. Doctor Who has the unspoken guarantee that even if you've had a bad episode or two, there's always one really amazing one round the corner, that old Steven Moffat or one of the show's other brilliant writers has penned.

But some people just don't seem to get that.

It's only a TV programme. It shouldn't bother me.

But every time someone tells me that they've stopped watching Doctor Who, I do feel that little twinge of disappointment.

P.S. I should clarify, the disappointment is mainly just from the point of view that I have one less person to discuss the show with in the world, I rarely think (that much) less of you as a person if you stop watching :P

Friday, 14 September 2012

As first blogs go...

So this is interesting.

I've always liked writing. Dare I say it, I'm kind of good at it. Well, okay, for anyone who knows me, I perhaps write too much - at least for Facebook (in their opinion.) While I'm capable of keeping myself to 140 characters for Twitter, I still do use "TwitLonger" occasionally.

I guess it should've occurred to me sooner to write a blog. The idea has sort of been floating around in my head for a little while, but for quite a while, I guess, I didn't really get them. I didn't read them particularly often, either. So I guess there was a little voice in the back of my mind stopping me, saying, "Why write something that you wouldn't read yourself?"

Now, of course, I am a bit more accustomed to blogs. The only one that I'm a regular reader of is House Of Coxhead (which, if you don't know, is a very good, very successful music blog, rather than a blog that involves an awful lot of writing, but still), but I get blogs a lot more now, and I do read the odd blog post from various people.

A little while ago, a few weeks back I think, it was my Mum who said to me that I should write a blog, to save people having to read some of my particularly long facebook statuses. At the time (and make no mistake, I still maintain this), I'd said something along the lines of "Well, they don't have to read it if they don't want to." I mean, seriously, just because it's there, it doesn't mean you have to read it. I don't exactly put up really long facebook statuses about what I ate for breakfeast or the fact that I just got out of the shower. When I do write statuses that long, they're often heartfelt or to do with something that I (and fairly often, others) feel strongly about. So, if you are reading this and you're one of my facebook friends, don't necessarily expect me to hold back in terms of facebook status lengths now, simply because of this blog :P

But then, fairly recently, I put up a status about missing some of my friends and teachers who I was missing. I recently started Sixth Form at my school, and as is usual for a lot of schools when a year group finishes their GCSEs, not everyone stayed on. Some of my friends that I've made over the course of my first 5 years did indeed move on. As did some of the teachers, and rather unfortunately, a lot of these ones meant an awful lot to me and my peers.
The flip side to this, mind you, is that now there's no rule against being friends with these teachers on facebook. So, one of these teachers who saw my status, commented and said that it would be great if I could write a blog to keep himself and the others who have left informed as to the happenings at Ashcroft (formerly ADT College, but that's a different story.)

So that brought the idea back to the forefront of my mind again, and made me think, "Actually, maybe I should write a blog."

One thing I want to make clear though - I do not intend to be simply blogging about school, or one particular thing. I've decided that I wanted to write a blog that reflected me, and my diverse personality, likes and dislikes. I've seen a lot of blogs and tumblrs which are all dedicated to one specific subject, (House Of Coxhead being one of them, though music is obviously quite a diverse subject in itself) but I don't want to write a blog like that. While I'm sure writing blogs like those is fun, then people aren't really like that. They have more than one interest, and that's what I wanted to get across, and show about me as a person through this blog.

There will be days where I'll write big long blog posts like this. There will also be days where I'll just post a link to a new video or music track sharing a brief comment. That's just me. That might not be to everyone's taste. But the advantage of it means I will blog about a variety of different things, so for most people, it's bound to suit one of your interests, somewhere along the line.

Some of you might want to follow my blog quite closely to see what I post. Some of you might get to a point where you'll just check up every now and then to see if I've posted anything of interest to you.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this little blog of mine, and I apologise that, as first blog posts go, this one isn't massively coherent. I'll get better as I go along (hopefully :P ).


P.S. Yes, I do have a big enough ego to believe people will actually want to read what I have to say :P