Category Archives: television

Unexpected companions

Spoilers in the internet age are hard to keep under wraps, but those involved with Doctor Who must have been thrilled that no one let the companion cat out of the bag before Saturday’s telecast of “Asylum of the Daleks”.  Of course, no one is saying if Jenna-Louise Coleman will be playing Oswin Oswald once she becomes the Doctor’s full-time companion in December.  I hope so, because I fell for the chirpy, fast-talking genius.  And of course, what a perfect way to introduce her, when she’s following some of the best companions the Doctor has ever had.

Rose was amazing, as well as Jackie and Mickey. Donna was great, along with her family. (I love how the companions’ relatives are included.)  Martha followed too closely to Rose’s affections for that Timelord, although she is wonderful in “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”.  The Ponds, both of them, have been exceptional, but their tenure is ending.  It’s supposed to be heartbreaking, and with that known, I was sort of dreading the episodes leading to their exit.  But now, well, whether Coleman is Oswin or anyone else, she’s got me hooked.  And that’s all that matters.

As a writer, I find this so clever, as Oswin kept noting about the Doctor.  As a viewer, I’m in hook line and sinker.  Moffat and team knew they were facing a huge task, as Amy and Rory are so compelling.  Coleman’s secret participation should be noted as one of the biggest coups pulled off in modern TV; the episode had been screened, it could have leaked.  But it didn’t.  And with that victory, I won’t be crying too many tears when the Ponds sail off into the sunset, or however they make their exit.

If you’re looking for more Doctor Who analysis, check out this link.  (My eldest sent it to me.)  And I do recommend viewing Pond Life, if you haven’t seen it.  Nothing more inspirational for the writing than other great writing.  And no milk went off in the making of the episode…

More Doctor Who

So amid all the upcoming sport, yes I am thrilled to bits that the seventh series will begin soon; BBC in Britain and in America will show the first episode on 1 September, and I can’t WAIT!  I’m not a big Dalek fan, the subject of the first show.  What I care about is Amy and Rory.

Yes, I am a HUGE Mr and Mrs Pond fan, probably my fave companions, although Rose Tyler was very good, with either Doctor.  What I love about Amy and Rory is that it isn’t Amy, Rory, and The Doctor.  It’s just this young couple who hold onto each other regardless of vampires that are really aliens, other aliens, and death.  Even death couldn’t keep Rory from Amy.

But what about those Weeping Angels, huh?

No spoilers on this blog, but that’s fair game, all over the web.  The Weeping Angels will have something to do with The Ponds’ departure, and this fan can’t wait to watch.  This writer can’t wait to see how Steven Moffat closes their tenure; some of the best writing I have ever encountered has been within Doctor Who.

I started watching before my writing commenced, so at first I viewed just with wide American eyes.  Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor was shadowy, a little scary, as were “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”, episodes perfectly frightening, terrifically British.  Wonderfully Eccleston, and there isn’t enough time to note all of David Tennant’s contributions, except to say the end of “Doomsday” is one of the most brilliant moments in TV (IMHO).  Will Amy and Rory top that?

As a writer, good grief, I am just gobsmacked!  The end of “The Big Bang”: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…  The author in me wished to create something so succinctly plotted, so touching, heartbreaking.  Currently I’m prepping the last three novels of a series for release this autumn.  The last book, while not quite on par with Doctor Who, does wrap up several stories with some pretty crafty twists.  But still, I am stunned with most of the Doctor Who episodes.  This past season was okay in working through the River Song arc, but the previous season, Amy and Rory’s first, was so sharp.  And take it from this writer, that is not easy to do.

There’s foreshadowing, moving the tale along, ratcheting up the action.  Unwinding each story-line just enough to make the reader (or viewer) crazy to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.  That is key.  The audience has to be dying to see the next show, read the next chapter.  Willing to hunt high and low for any hint to The Ponds’ future.

In my own work, one cast has lingered through six books since 2009.  By the end of this year, their stories will be concluded, maybe around the same time Amy and Rory head off to companion sunset.  I didn’t plan it this way, but can’t miss the parallels, also the significance of connecting with one’s audience.  Be they readers or viewers, hearts must be captured.  Daleks have nothing on The Doctor when conquering others, but we won’t tell them that.  They think they’re pretty superior, Exterminate and all that.  But it’s the human element that matters, whether in sci-fi or family saga.  I love Amy and Rory.  I hope they live happily ever after.

(But if they don’t, I won’t be surprised.)