Movies/Television

Discovering Dr. Who.

A couple of years ago, I discovered Agatha Christie, although discovering may not be the right word, but the fact that I watched/read her works for the first time after all these years was an eye-opener as well as a pleasure. So too, recently with Dr. Who. I grew up knowing about the show, particularly Tom Baker as the fourth doctor, but I never actually watched it. It was not until late last year, we decided as a family to watch Dr. Who over the evening meal.

Watching the doctor soon became an addiction; buying some pop vinyl figures and my husband buying me a T-shirt (Keep Calm and Alons-y). The show did not attract my son’s interest and he stated that the Daleks were ‘not scary’. We have found the Daleks to be annoying more than anything else as there is only so much one can take of their voices, so we can hardly blame the doctor there.

Although my husband wasn’t overly fond of Donna, we’ve enjoyed the various companions and characters and have a soft spot for Strax. 😉

The stories mixing both science and history have been good (I’m all for the Victorian era), although some issues involving characters can become confusing when it comes to various time lines (no spoilers). My husband commented once that he could predict the ending of one episode, which surprised him because you never know what to expect with this show. And that’s part of its appeal.

The tenth doctor, played by David Tennant is our favourite and we weren’t entirely sure how Matt Smith would go as his replacement, but he soon managed to win us over. It was only when the twelfth doctor arrived that we managed to struggle for the first time. It’s been difficult to put our finger on it, but we just haven’t warmed to him as much as the others. Perhaps it’s because the other three demonstrated eccentricity and humour, and an almost childish quality that we found appealing. We’ve found the twelfth doctor, now ‘older’, will take some getting used to. Try as we might, I have to admit we are struggling. Which is a shame as up until this point we have enjoyed the show and would like to see how things work out with the thirteenth doctor being a woman.

Whether we persist or not, I don’t think it would really matter. We have watched several seasons of Dr. Who and have become converts. As the good doctor himself says ‘We are all stories in the end, just make it a good one’.

Are you a Whovian? Do you have a favourite doctor? Have there been any doctors after regeneration that you’ve struggled with?

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Inspiration · Research

Time Travel: Would You Go Backwards or Forwards in Time?

back-in-time-rose-1706449_1280If I could travel through time, I wouldn’t hesitate in going back in time; reliving my carefree days as a kid or even venturing to a different time period altogether, just for a day. Personally, I wouldn’t care for travelling forwards in time. Having two kids, I naturally worry for their future and I don’t like the way this planet is heading. Besides, travelling to the future takes all the mystery out of it, and I guess I’ll get there eventually. 😉

I’ve always been a sucker for the past. I guess from an early age I continuously romanticised it. Whenever visiting old towns and houses in and around Sydney as a child, I liked to imagine what life was like back then. My childhood fantasies fired my imagination and elicited a life-long interest in history. From the ancients and medieval times to the Victorian era and the 1950s, there were very few periods in history that I didn’t wish to find out more about. I absorbed what the teachers taught us throughout school and I had no hesitation in choosing history subjects at University level as my electives. To travel back in time I hold no illusions though; the days of early medicine before anaesthetics and just being a woman in general was a tough life, but the past fascinates me and we can learn so much from it – there have even been reality television shows based on this very premise.

As a writer, the past has always been an endless source of inspiration for me. Travelling back in time and really living the experience would make the best possible research material for our stories, don’t you think?

If you could travel in time, would you go to the future or the past? Why? Is there a period in history that you like best?

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 Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Movies/Television

Back to the 70s: Life on Mars.

life on marsHave you ever watched something on television that really gets your cogs working; and by those cogs, I mean way back in your memory banks? Although Life on Mars combined elements of science fiction with police procedural, it was set during the 1970s – a decade in which I grew up.

Sam Tyler, a police officer, is hit by a car in 2006, only to find himself waking up in 1973. Back at his station, he learns that he now works under the command of Gene Hunt. It is unclear to both Sam and the audience if he has gone mad, in a comma, died or has travelled back in time.

Two things in particular stand out for me about this show. The first is the job that went into making the time period as realistic as possible. Although I didn’t grow up in the UK and there have been known to be some discrepancies, there were still many things that got my memory working. Seeing the image of the girl with the clown appear on Sam’s television screen made me wince. We used to see that same image here on Australian television (and yes, as I have a dislike for clowns, this could be where that all started). Hearing songs from the era probably stood out the most – some songs that I had completely forgotten and had probably hoped never to hear again (although the more I hear the theme song from David Bowie, the more I like it). The same could be said for the clothes and décor – after having lived it, I can honestly say that I think the 70s were the worst decade when it comes to fashion.

The second thing about the show is the characters and that’s where the writing comes in. Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt may have differences in opinion when it comes to policing due to the eras in which they are used to working, however, they do eventually earn each other’s respect. They play the old ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine, but they get results. They each have flaws and are able to make light of them, which introduces the humour into the show. Above all, it is the characters that stand out and help make the show so memorable; a combination of good writing and acting. Once you’ve watched the show, you can’t forget the ‘Gene Genie’. 😉

I think this video is really well done and sums the show up nicely.

Have you ever watched a television show that reminded you of a time in your life? Have you watched Life on Mars and which version – UK or US? Which era do you think was the worst when it comes to fashion?

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