llywela: Eleven and TARDIS (Who1)
Doctor Who season finale

The only appropriate reaction is: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
llywela: Serenity in flight (Firefly1)
What's going on? I have enjoyed two episodes of Doctor Who in a row now - if it carries on like this, I might actually start to get optimistic again!

I don't think either episode is perfect, by any means, there are weaknesses aplenty in terms of both plot and pacing - there's plenty I could say about this last episode becoming flabby and preachy toward the end and falling apart slightly in the resolution - but I can't quite bring myself to care, because Bill is like a breath of fresh air and the Doctor actually seems to be enjoying himself again, and I'm just so relieved.
llywela: (DW-12)
I actually...quite liked tonight's Doctor Who. There were some scenes and details I side-eyed dubiously and I still don't like Nardole, and Moffat's overall style remains very much not my general taste, but even so, I managed to pretty much enjoy almost an entire episode. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Now, was it a one off? Or does this bode well for the season to come?

It helped that a large chunk of the episode was filmed just up the road from my office, so there was some truly class location-spotting going on! Plus a few moments of, 'hang on, you can't get there from there!'


Nov. 23rd, 2016 09:20 pm
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)
Another random flyby update, because time she does fly! I can't believe it's the end of November already - how did that happen? Where did the time go?

For whoever cares, season three of Y Gwyll continues apace on S4C - the English version Hinterland should pop up on one or other of the BBC channels sometime after Christmas, so watch out for that. There's a really huge plot twist at the end of what on S4C was episode two, but on the BBC will probably be episode one, since they tend to merge the two-part stories into one longer episode shown on one night - so watch out for that!

In other telly news, I've been following the new Doctor Who spin-off, Class, and loving all the location-spotting! The location used for the Coal Hill Academy site is just up the road from my office, our shiny new Hadyn Ellis building (I remember when that was just a new build project we talked about endlessly in Estates Liaison meetings, and now look at it). Once I'd recognised it, I remember all the fuss when they were filming up there, and all the fake flower petals all over the road! Also, April's house is just around the corner from where I used to live, by St John's Church. Oh, and there are plots and characters as well, I guess...

In Old TV news, My Power of the Daleks DVD arrived today - a shiny new animated version of a completely missing Doctor Who adventure. Just when we thought the Classic Who DVD range was over and done with, they produce this! I sat down after work intending to watch just an episode or two, but ended up marathoning all six. I really enjoyed it - I'd read the novelisation previously, so already knew the story, but had never made it through the recon. However cheap the animation, it apparently made all the difference for me! The story is long and slow-paced, it's true, but I found it tightly plotted with strong worldbuilding and a sense of tension that escalated inexorably from episode to episode, while the Daleks are really creepy here - so manipulative and subversive. The wholesale slaughter in episode six is a bit grim, but certainly sells the high stakes, while Troughton makes an immediate impression and is well and truly cemented as the Doctor by the time we reach the end of the story - the success of this first ever regeneration is the reason the show is still on air today, 50 years later. Great stuff.

In work news, I am very happy for my colleague J, who has just gone off on adoption leave after being matched for adoption at last - they were approved way back in February, but had to wait until October before they were matched, and now have their children at home living with them at last. A little boy who just turned two, and a baby girl who will be one in December - just 14 months between them and much younger than they were expecting, so it's all a bit intense and chaotic for them at the moment, but such a precious time as they get to know one another and bond. Hooray for J and M and happy new home to little N and G.

In family news, my older sister has a diagnosis at last, almost five years after she was rushed into hospital with crippling migraine and intracranial pressure three times higher than it should be. Well, she has a partial diagnosis, at least, after finally, finally persuading a consultant to look at all her symptoms instead of each one individually. They have decided that she has fibromyalgia and osteo-arthritis. But the outcome of her sleep trial for apnoea isn't in yet, and they still don't know what to make of the oligoclonal banding found in her spinal fluid, so the diagnosis remains incomplete. But at least she is beginning to get somewhere at last.

In other family news, look at this baby getting all tall and chatty!

In the first picture, that's her reaction every time her absolute favourite Bing comes on the telly. Layla-May adores Bing. In the last pic, she is explaining at great length and volume why it is vitally important to stop and bang on every bench we pass. For science. She also tells lots of babbling baby jokes and then laughs at them. Funny baby. One day, she might even have hair.

I have become Yo, incidentally. And she calls herself Yay-Yay!

In other, other news, have some pretty pictures I took around and about the city this autumn. Every single one of these was taken at the heart of the city centre, believe it or not. Having nearly four miles of unbroken parkland stretching through the middle of city has its benefits!

llywela: (DW-12)
Okay, so there’ve been film crews crawling around Cardiff Castle the last couple of days, I’ve been past the back of the castle a few times and seen all the prop and lighting trucks parked up there.

This evening I went past and there were horses, complete with riders. Dressed Early Modern style - like roundheads or cavaliers or something. That kind of era. Chain mail, helmets, the whole shebang.

There were also military trucks.

Doctor Who? I mean, we have a bunch of shows filming out of Cardiff these days, but surely only Doctor Who would have roundheads and modern military trucks in the same place at the same time?

A couple of weeks ago they were turning the back of the Main Uni building into a snowscape. In June.

I am now intrigued for the new season!
llywela: (DW-12)
So Steven Moffat is standing down from his role as Doctor Who showrunner, with season ten to be his last, held back until 2017, after which Chris Chibnall will be taking over.

Well, it's no secret that I haven't enjoyed Moffat's tenure, which never quite rang the right note for me even from the earliest days. My feelings toward his showrunning style started off ambivalent back in season five, then slowly degenerated into outright dislike in the later years. His vision of the show simply doesn't work for me and never really has. It is more than time the baton was passed on.

As for Chibnall, his track record isn't great but neither is it terrible, and how he is likely to fare as showrunner is hard to judge from the commissioned episodes he's produced. He's another from the same stable that brought us Davies and Moffat, so it isn't a complete fresh start, but for better or worse he will bring his own vision to the show and only time will tell what that vision looks like. I'm choosing to be optimistic, because I want to love Doctor Who again. We'll see.

Really, the biggest drawback of this early announcement is that fans will have two whole years to work themselves into a frenzy of anticipation before Chibnall's first season airs - and two years is plenty of time for a lot of prejudices and preconceptions to set themselves in stone. I hope everyone gives him a chance before judging.

I really hope Capaldi stays on at least for Chibnall's first season - it's about time we got to see how a different showrunner handles an established New Who Doctor!

Shall I say what I'd really like to see? New Who has played with soap opera and comedic stylings, it's played with the concept of the Doctor as romantic hero, it's done the Time War, it's played with timey-wimey themes, it's played with the idea of the Doctor as Machiavellian Merlin a la the late '80s. I'd like to see the show get right back to basics with more of an early '60s styling - an ensemble cast and 'found family' theme, multiple companions from different eras or planets, character-driven storytelling that derives organically from the respective situations and personalities of the main characters - and by that I mean character stories, rather than plot-tied-to-character. It's unlikely to happen, though.

In other news, according to the Big Finish's planned schedule for the year, the following Doctors will all have more new adventures in 2016 than Peter Capaldi:
David Tennant
Colin Baker
Paul McGann
John Hurt
Peter Davison
Sylvester McCoy
(Plus Patrick Troughton via Frazer Hines' uncanny voice impressions!)
llywela: (DW-SarahHarry)
Okay, I think I've got this out of my system now...I may not have liked these episodes much, but they certainly inspired me!

Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Show: Doctor Who
Characters: Harry Sullivan, Sarah Jane Smith
Spoilers: The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion
Summary: Companion piece to Z-67. The Doctor has asked for a favour; Harry and Sarah discuss over dessert
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The Doctor, his TARDIS and his companions belong to the BBC. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.

Follow the fake cut to the story at my other journal

Also archived at A03 | Teaspoon


Nov. 11th, 2015 06:51 pm
llywela: (DW-4-DocHarry)
There were certain things I didn't like about Doctor Who's recent Zygon two-parter. This little missing scene story is the result.

Title: Z-67
Show: Doctor Who
Author: [livejournal.com profile] llywela13
Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Osgood, Clara Oswald, Harry Sullivan (mentions thereof)
Spoilers: Missing scene from The Zygon Inversion. When the crisis is over, Osgood has a question to ask. Companion piece to Smoke and Mirrors
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The Doctor, his TARDIS and his companions belong to the BBC. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.

Follow the fake cut to the story at my other journal

Also archived at A03 | Teaspoon
llywela: (DW1-brainyspecs)

My never-ending review project has reached the end of the First Doctor era! That's three-and-a-bit seasons, 29 adventures and 134 episodes – he certainly served his time. I won't say how long it has taken to get this far, writing reviews takes time and I have precious little of that available, each project taking its turn (before eventually, usually, fading away) but it's been nothing but fun, getting to know the original Doctor and his wonderful companions.

That's what this project is all about, really – getting to know every part of the Doctor and every one of his companions. I've seen almost every televised adventure now, but writing about them in-depth, in order, teases out details I might not otherwise have noticed, allows me to join the dots and build up a complete picture of who all these characters really were and what they actually experienced – which doesn't always bear much resemblance to what the received wisdom of collective memory might claim.

When I first started watching First Doctor adventures, I found, as do most newcomers to the classic show, that it was quite a culture shock, the television of 50 years ago so very different from what I've become accustomed to in the shows of today: different structure, different format, different production values and technology, different acting style, different pace, different dialogue patterns. It takes a bit of getting used to! But I found that I adapted quickly, growing enormously attached to the characters and gaining a whole new appreciation of the televisual pioneers of the 1960s along the way.

This era of the show, like every other, has its ups and downs. It was limited by the technology available at the time, and sometimes over-reached itself, its ambition greater than what could actually be achieved. Sometimes the pacing didn't quite work, or the dialogue was clunky. Sometimes the plot was a bit thin for the time available and had to be padded out, while other times perhaps there was a bit too much story to cram into the time available and the resolution was rushed. Sometimes the characters fell a bit flat, or were required by plot to do or say something out of character. But you know what? Every one of those criticisms could also be aimed at every other era of the show, including the current one. Nothing made by man is perfect, after all. So yes, this era has its flaws, but the whole is immeasurably greater than the sum of its parts.

There is just something wonderfully fresh about this era of the show, back before a dense mythology had grown up around it, back when everything was new – there's such freedom here, as the show explores its concept for the first time, pushing boundaries and discovering what Doctor Who is capable of. There are some fantastic characters in this era, and they have some incredible adventures. Susan, Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Steven, Katarina, Sara, Dodo, Ben, Polly, not to mention the Doctor himself – it is well worth the effort of acclimating to the style and technology of the era for the sake of getting to know them.

Behind the cut is a masterpost of reviews and banners for the First Doctor era:

Masterpost of links and banners )

Phew! Now onto the Second Doctor era!
llywela: (DW1-brainyspecs)
So my reviewing project has slowed, since I have far too many hobbies to juggle effectively, but it hasn't stopped yet - Doctor Who's third season is now complete, following on from Season One and Season Two

Season Three brings me almost to the end of the First Doctor era, closing with the Doctor just two adventures away from his first regeneration.

When I began this journey, I did not expect to fall so much in love with this era of the show, but the First Doctor and Susan, and Ian and Barbara, and Vicki and Steven and the others have well and truly won me over. The seeds of every Doctor there has ever been can be found in William Hartnell's performance – he is the Doctor, the pattern for every incarnation after him. Very much of its time, his era isn't always easy viewing for an audience accustomed to modern stylings and slick production values, but if you commit yourself to taking that journey with him and hook into the characters along the way, it really is a fantastic ride, an age when almost anything could happen. Although at times the show could be over-ambitious, the limitations of the cramped little studios often worked in favour of the drama, as, without sophisticated special effects to fall back on, there was much greater emphasis on characters, dialogue, drama and tension. Equally, while we are so accustomed to dramatic shortcuts now that it is easy to become frustrated by the slow pace of this storytelling, there is something only too relatable about seeing the characters struggling to overcome the obstacles they encounter along the way, rather than simply glossing over them to save time. There were no quick fixes in this era of the show, no shortcuts and no easy way out, the characters had to work through their adventures on their own wits in a way that brings their fantastic adventures right back down to Earth.

Of Hartnell's three complete seasons, the third is the weakest and there's no getting away from that. Those ten adventures, told over 45 episodes, were a time of transition for the show, both behind and in front of the camera, and it was very much a season of two halves as the departure of the show's pioneering first producer, Verity Lambert, ushered in a new era, leading to an experimental, more light-hearted and less character-focused second half of the season. The cast, meanwhile, went through a period of rapid turnover, swapping Vicki for Katarina for Sara for Dodo in the space of just four adventures. Space pilot Steven was the constant figure at the Doctor's side through all this, carrying entire adventures virtually single-handed, an absolute stalwart through some turbulent times, but he too had departed before season's end, while yet another change in the season finale saw granddaughter-figure Dodo exchanged for the trendy young adult pairing of Ben and Polly to launch a new era going into the new season ahead.

3.01 Galaxy 4
3.02 Mission to the Unknown
3.03 The Myth Makers
3.04 The Daleks' Master Plan
3.05 The Massacre
3.06 The Ark
3.07 The Celestial Toymaker
3.08 The Gunfighters
3.09 The Savages
3.10 The War Machines

All reviews hosted over at my other journal, [livejournal.com profile] whatinthewho
llywela: (DW-4-team)
Summary: All together aboard the TARDIS once more, Sarah's feeling complacent about life as a time traveller, Harry's in denial, and the Doctor is only too glad of an excuse not to return to Earth when a distress call takes the trio to a remote planet at the far edge of the universe, where an isolated survey team has fallen prey to a mysterious malevolent force.

Title: The Planet at the End of the Universe
Show: Classic Doctor Who
Characters: Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 48,888 - 8/8 chapters, complete
Disclaimer: Not so much alternate universe as universe alteration, this story is (very) loosely based on the season 13 serial Planet of Evil, written by Louis Marks – a re-imagining of what it might have been like if Harry had returned to the TARDIS instead of staying on Earth at the end of the previous adventure. All characters herein belong to the BBC, along with the original concept and anything else that seems familiar. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.
Author's Note: Although loosely based on Planet of Evil, this is not actually a re-telling of that story, partly because adding another companion alters both the dynamic and the flow of events, but mainly because although the Doctor and Sarah are as cute as all heck in Planet of Evil, I've never been overly fond of the story itself, so here I've simply taken the core concept and constructed a new plot on top of it.

The story can be read at AO3 or at Whofic.com
llywela: (DW-SarahHarry)
I did commit fic again.

Title: The Interview
Author: [livejournal.com profile] llywela13
Show: Classic Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures
Characters: Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Luke Smith, Rani Chandra
Rating: PG
Word count: 2,173
Summary: Sarah asks Harry for a favour; a meandering bit of fluff with a sting in its tail
Disclaimer: All characters herein belong to the BBC. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.
With thanks to dear friends.

Follow the fake cut to read the story at my other journal

Cross-posted to Ao3 and Whofic.


Nov. 10th, 2014 09:18 pm
llywela: (DW-SarahHarry2)
I've grumbled a lot lately - time for more happier fannish things! So here's a short story, kindly sanity-checked by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] galathea_snb

Title: Stranded
Show: Classic Doctor Who
Characters: Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Fourth Doctor
Summary: If we can't always rescue ourselves, perhaps we can still find ways of helping ourselves
Wordcount: 7,811
Disclaimer: All characters herein belong to the BBC. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.
Author's Note: I decided to play with a cliché and let it run

Fake cut to the story at my other journal


llywela: (Default)

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