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House March 31, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment

Here we have a character who has an over reliance on drugs. Is unsociable and seemingly rude to everyone he comes across. He is witty and incredibly intelligent in his field having the ability to deduce things in an instant. This is Sherlock Holmes. This is also Gregory House.

I might even say that the character of House is closer to the original inspiration behind the character of Holmes since Sherlock Holmes was inspired by medical Doctor Joesph Bell whom was a friend of Arthur Conan Doyle and could diagnose a patient upon seeing them without even needing to ask them what’s wrong.
If you keep your eyes open the homages to Sherlock Holmes are obvious. Holmes - House. Watson - Wilson.  Their addresses are the same, 221 B Baker street. House has been shot by Moriarty. House’s first patient in the series is one Ms. Adler. It’s a wonderful re-imagining of the Holmes character that I am very fond of. House really got me interested in Holmes.

Of course House is very much it’s own show and thanks to Hugh Laurie House is a character that people love and feel mortified by at the same time. He acts as a man with no conscious. The game to him is solving the puzzle. The patient isn’t important. Wilson is House’s closest confidant, his conscience. But it’s his team of Doctor’s that provide the serve of the tennis ball, allowing House to bounce back their conclusions and ideas so he may ultimately get closer to the solution. Although the character seems morally bankrupt deep down he does care which is why he keeps his distance from his patients in the first place, to avoid developing relationships that will cloud his judgment. As a man he is alone and flaunts himself as a someone very comfortable with his own personality however he is deeply vulnerable if he does get close to someone and often spirals out of control when relationships with people he is close to collapse. He therefore turns to Vicodin. House’s drug to ease his leg pain which goes far beyond just physical pain.

It’s the last season of House as I write this. How’s it all gonna end? Will Stephen Fry appear as House’s smarter Brother with two limps? Will House be the final patient his medical teams treats? Will he die? Will it finally be revealed that House is a Father? (I always felt there were hints to this sprinkled throughout the series and is partly why he is who he is and why he tells people to not throw their life away on kids they don’t want)

Favorite Quote: You think that the only truth that matters is that truth can be measured. Good intentions don’t count. What’s in your heart doesn’t count. Caring doesn’t count. But a man’s life can be measured by how many tears are shed when he dies. Just because you can’t measure them, just because you don’t wanna measure them, doesn’t mean it’s not real.” - Moriarty

Doctor Who Series 3 & 4 or (29 & 30) March 25, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Science Fiction, Time Travel , add a comment

Season 3 of Doctor Who starts off in the vein of Pirates of the ‘Caribbean’ with the Doctor becoming more adventurous and swash buckling to the theme of music that sounds a lot like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ music. By the end of season 3 he turns into Dobby and then becomes Jesus and it all ends with an ending of Return of the Jedi mixed with Flash Gordon. RTD let things edge a bit too much towards homage and like for all these other popular franchises. Martha Jones is a weak companion and like Rose she is in love with the Doctor except that the Doctor doesn’t love her and still pines for Rose. Awkward!

Still season 3 did have some high points with “The Family of Blood” two parter and of course Steven Moffat’s Blink. The Master returns by the end of the season as does Captain Jack whom are both out of character, the master acting zany like Tennant’s Doctor and Captain Jack becoming a caricature of himself with little else to do except die…

But with all that said it was a fun series finale even if the Doctor did become God like with everyone using their power of thought to help him.

Season 4

Now that’s more like it. I had been really against Donna Noble returning to Doctor Who as I had never liked the character from “The Runaway Bride”. But she turned out to be one of my all time favorite companions. Firstly because there is real chemistry between Tennant and Tate, they play off one another well and are quite funny together. Their second encounter in season 4’s ‘Partners in Crime’ had me in stitches laughing. What also works is that Donna isn’t swooning over the Doctor unlike previous companions. As she says she doesn’t want to “mate”. What’s great about her is that she takes the Doctor down to size. He often speaks with a condescending authority over humanity and Donna is the first companion to clip him around the nose for it.

I miss the Doctor/Donna relationship. It was short and sweet much like Season 1 was with the departure of the 9th Doctor. Donna’s faith at the end of series 4 is in some ways worse than death and the final 15 minutes of the episode ‘Journey’s End’ contain some of the most heart breaking scenes in the new series. This would be the final full 13 episode run under Russell T Davis before the Specials. He threw everything into it along with the kitchen Sink. Daleks, Davros, Torch Wood, all the recent companions including Rose and Davros’s plan for the destruction of Reality itself. The return of Rose wasn’t the most exciting and I thought too much emphasis was placed on her. She is just a companion in the end.

Time Travel Analysis: The relationship between the Doctor and Donna is hinted as been something more from early on in the series but instead of a “Bad Wolf” type message being sent into to the past it’s more of a echo from the future to the past about where these two character’s are heading.

In “The Fires of Pompeii” the Doctor discovers that although his job is to protect the fixed points in time he realizes that he is actually responsible in the first place for the fixed point, a sort of predestination paradox. By choosing to not interfere he would be interfering with a large historical event. So he must act in order to preserve history. That’s an interesting idea because it gives credence to the fact that while Timelords do exist outside of Time they are also a necessary part of events that happen and even with their Time travel capabilities there are events that must and have always happened because of their discovery of Time Travel.

Favorite Quote:  “Is that why you travel round with a human at your side? It’s not so you can show them the wonders of the universe, it’s so you can take cheap shots?”- Donna Noble

Doctor Who Series 1 & 2 (or 27 & 28) March 14, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Science Fiction, Time Travel , 1 comment so far

Before the 2005 series I was never a big fan of Doctor Who. I did watch older episodes on some occasions but after the cancellation in 89 there wasn’t too many opportunities. My favorite Doctor was Jon Pertwee as he seemed more of a secret agent type of Doctor while I thought Tom Baker to be a younger madder version of him. I had some frustrations with the older series due to the long time it took to resolve episodes with arcs spread out over weeks and the seemingly cheap quality of some episodes. I was a larger fan of Star Trek and although some people find the original series dated it never came across as having obvious low production values.

The 1996 Doctor Who TV movie intrigued me but since it was a once off there was no room to expand upon my interest until 2005. I don’t know why I decided to tune into the series but with it been surrounded by so much hype I thought it might be a good point to jump into the fandom. There was some spark of interest there always and I wanted to see how Aliens like ‘The Daleks’ would be presented for a 21st Century television audience.

I was somewhat unimpressed by the first episode but stuck with it. Being a little bit more impressed with the second episode and very impressed with the third. Mention of a “Time War” gave a larger background to the Doctor for now he was “The Last of the Time Lords”, a man alone. The episodes ‘Aliens of London’ and ‘World war III’ were pretty good and even better if they didn’t have scenes of farting Aliens that came across as childish. Finally I reached the episode I had been waiting for, ‘Dalek’ and wow did they do that well! They made one Dalek so menacing and deadly, reminding me of how the Borg on Star Trek the Next Generation had once seemed undefeatable.

Somehow I got hooked to this show without realizing it and Saturday evenings became events. I’d cook myself a spaghetti dinner and time it to finish just before ‘Doctor Who’ started so I could sit down and open a packet of Viennese Biscuits with a Mug of Cappuccino.

Christopher Ecclestone is a large part of why I got into the series. His Doctor was Dark, Charming, Funny and otherworldly. He did look down on Human’s and made the character able to get away with saying things nobody else dared to. Even in the face of danger with guns pointed in his face the good Doctor always gave a wide grin to the danger as if enjoying it. I loved the little moments where the Doctor tells Rose he gave her a red bike for Christmas when she was a child or how he always called Micky, Ricky, foreseeing that Micky would actually become Ricky in a future episode. I liked that the character kissed Captain Jack with no hesitation which I also thought was a somewhat brave scene to put into the series due to it been viewed by families with some likely over protective parents.

With Ecclestone leaving after just one series the final episodes delivered one hell of a smack.The hilarity of the Doctor finding himself in the Big Brother Household, the reveal of the Daleks and their fleet, the Doctor have to once more face the same decision where he had to choose between destroying the Earth and the Daleks with it or letting the Dalek’s win, a decision which he had once made in the Time War when he was forced to destroy his own World and people along with the Daleks. Here he redeems himself by deciding not to kill everyone and sacrificing himself to save Rose.

By the end of the first series I considered it to be one of the best Science Fiction series ever. Russel T Davis, Producer, had knocked it out of the park and it was on it’s way outside the solar system.

Series 2 introduced David Tennant as the new Time-lord. I like Tennant, I felt his performance was an amalgamation of previous Doctors. Unlike Ecclestone’s Doctor the character comes off as likeable and has less conflict with other characters. Gone is him calling Micky, Ricky, gone is his main conflict with Jacky over his care of Rose, even his reaction upon seeing the Daleks again is subdued. He is a great Doctor though. Series 2 was a weaker series compared to Series 1 although there are some very memorable episodes such as “The Girl in the Fireplace” and the epic “Doomsday”. It wouldn’t be until Season 4 that we would see some good character conflict arrising between the Doctor and new companion Donna. Rose was a bit too doey eyed with the 10th Doctor to give series a bit of oomph that it needed.

Time Travel Aspects: The first series introduces a very interesting mystery with the words “Bad Wolf”. These words appear across time and Space wherever the 9th Doctor and Rose go. It kept people guessing to the very end and finally it is revealed that it was Rose herself that sent the words “Bad Wolf” back through time as a warning/message to herself. This is the Future influencing the past and also a paradox as it’s the significance of the words that makes her spread it out throughout time.

Favorite Quote: “if you wanna remember me, then you can do one thing. That’s all, one thing. Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.” - The 9th Doctor

Star Trek III : The Search for Spock March 9, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Science Fiction , 2 comments

Star Trek III is not a bad film. Before Star Trek X came along it was considered that the uneven numbered films were the weaker ones but ‘The Search for Spock’ has a lot going on in it and pulls no punches. Kirk steals the Enterprise, his Son is killed, Kirk destroys the Enterprise and directly faces Klingons for the first time in a movie, a battle which moves from ships to a fist fight on an exploding planet. On top of all this is the return of Spock. What is not to like? Ok, maybe people didn’t like that they blew up the original Enterprise which has been in people’s hearts since the original series aired and maybe the movie did have a slower pace compared to TWOK but there are some major going ons happening here.

Originally the enemy of the movie was to be the Romulans but that was changed to Klingons as the adversary with their latest weapon, a cloaking device. Edward James Olmos was also tipped to be the Klingon commander however that role went to Christopher Lloyd who gives a pretty cool performance as Kruge.

There’s a little bit of discontinuity between Star Trek II and III. At the end of II Kirk is devastated by Spock’s death yet in the final moments it looks like he is going to be ok and get over it. When we get to III we take a step backwards he is reverted back to his anguish over the loss of Spock and still seemingly unable to let him go. As Kirk puts it, what he feels in III is an ‘open wound’ as opposed to him feeling ‘young’ at the end of II. Of course this is in production terms a way to give an emotional weight to the film and a reason to not give up on Spock. Cheating death once more.

This film would form the middle part of a loose Trilogy of Movies from II-IV. It’s a great mid piece and really defines the “kirk against orders” character that we all came to see him as.

Favorite Quote: “What you had to do, what you always do. Turn death into a fighting chance to live“- Bones

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