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Update

Well, that only took two months.

Hi guys, sorry about that. So here's the deal:

Now that I've sufficiently satisfied the gaping void in my soul that was ravenous for All Of The Classic Who at this time two years ago, I'm feeling ready to take a voluntary prolonged hiatus so that I don't leave you guys hanging without notice like I did recently, and also so I can finally watch Torchwood. Right now, I'm in the middle of Colony in Space and I plan to make it through at least The Daemons (so as to finish season 8) before putting my feet up for a bit. However, there's a distinct possibility that I'll either continue doing commentaries in April anyway or just do a lot of rewatching that I won't report on here, because my Junior Independent Study project is going to be on the women of Who so I'm going to have to do some watching at some point soon anyway.

So yes, just letting you guys know that I'm alive and well and haven't abandoned you. Things are probably just going to be slower from here on out.

Regenerations 2011 in Swansea

As an apology for my much-longer-than-expected delay in getting The War Games done (still got 5 episodes to go, but my days are annoyingly packed), here's my full report of my very first Doctor Who convention from last weekend, edited from my Study Abroad blog.

(Note: this post was typed separately over the course of about 9 days, starting Sunday September 18, because I just had that much to talk about. Also, I’ve been out and about a LOT this past week.)

I’m actually typing this in Word on the train from Swansea, Wales, to London’s Paddington Station because I don’t have internet but I do have a power outlet and I’ve been falling far behind again on my posts. This one actually isn’t going to start where I left off last time because this weekend is something that I really want to write about while it’s still fresh in my memory.



Something I’ve been wanting to do for almost a year is go to a Doctor Who convention. The two big ones in the US, Chicago TARDIS and Gallifrey One, always get rave reviews from my friends who go there, both in terms of the presentation and content of the conventions events and the fun, friendly atmosphere they always find there from mingling and making new friends. Unfortunately, Chicago TARDIS (while somewhat reachable from Wooster) always seems to fall on Thanksgiving weekend and Gallifrey One is all the way out in LA and would cost me quite a pretty penny, even though I’d know a bunch of people who would be there (online friends and such.) Now, I’d actually never heard much about British Who conventions, although I knew they existed.

After a bit of research, I found out that there was not one but three Doctor Who conventions happening in the UK while I was out here. The first, Whooverville in Derby, was something I wanted to go to, but that didn’t happen because the National Express bus website waited until the last minute to tell me that the coach I was aiming for was full. The second, Regenerations in Swansea, had a lot of guests that I wanted to meet and was conveniently scheduled the weekend I finished up my pre-session at Lancaster. On the other hand, it was a bit pricey (80 pounds for the weekend.) Still, after Whooverville fell through, I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. This was my first time planning a multi-day cross-country trip all on my own: registering for the event, booking accommodations, working out a travel schedule, etc, so naturally I was bound to make at least one major slip-up. I booked my train ticket and hotel through the Lancaster University travel office, which conveniently neglected to tell me that my hotel booking was uncancelable and nonrefundable. So when mom convinced me to find accommodations for two nights instead of one (long story), I tried to cancel my first hotel booking and found myself out $100. As you can probably guess, that’s the last time I’m booking rooms through the travel office (I might even book the trains on my own from now on too, just to be safe: I found a great discount website that’s getting me to London right now with no trouble.) So after a long and mostly uneventful ride down to Swansea on Friday night, I settled down in a nice little bed and breakfast and rose the next morning preparing to meet my heroes.

But enough about the boring travel stuff, let’s talk about the actual convention!Collapse )

Update

I'm far overdue for one of these, so I should do it before I forget again. Hopefully the next time I do one it'll be a more detailed post with my latest Big Finish conquests (for there have been some.)

There are two major reasons for my current delay:

1) I'm in England (I completely forgot if I've mentioned this here before) for a semester abroad and, despite the fact that this month is just the International Summer Program to get us prepped for UK schoolwork, the workload is pretty crammed for just one class. Then again, they ARE squeezing a semester's worth of grades into four weeks...
2) I'm smack dab in the middle of The War Games at the moment. I'm enjoying it, but take the serial's length and 1) into account and, well, this is gonna take a while.

OH.

AND SATURDAY I WILL PROBABLY BE GOING TO MY VERY FIRST DOCTOR WHO CONVENTION.

Will report on that later if it happens (which is looking very very likely. All I have to do is reserve a place and buy my bus tickets.)

Frazer Hines: The Time Traveling Scot

I know this is a few days late, but I had things going on and didn't get to putting the photos on the interwebs in an LJ-friendly form until tonight. But yes! I figured I'd share the experience of my very first Doctor-Who-cast meeting.

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The event was held at a very tiny venue just off Times Square (something you learn about us NYC-folk is that we can squeeze a theater into ANY nook or cranny.) I got there, met up with Andre T from The Happiness Patrol podcast, debated the delay of the latest Terrible Zodin with Barnaby Edwards, nabbed a good seat, and waited for the show to begin. Being the massive dork that I am, I read the Target novel of The Highlanders while I waited. And then things got underway:

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The show itself was really more like a live commentary of snippets of the Two era, which I was a little miffed about at first because I thought it was going to be more original content, but then I remembered a) most of the episodes on Lost in Time don't have commentaries and b) it's Frazer Hines in the flesh talking to us. We were allowed to take pictures but not video, so it's a damn good thing my camera was actually cooperating with me that night. Unfortunately, I didn't get as many good pictures as I wanted, since I missed most of his best faces and poses when I put my camera down, but there's still a few goodies in here, mostly due to context.

Making the obligatory "you would've had to shoot us to get us off the show" speech:
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Watching the goodbye scene at the end of The War Games:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Remembering Pat yelling "YOU LITTLE SHIT!" at him (all in good fun) when he and Colin Baker were fooling around with his wheelchair in The Two Doctors:
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On literally arguing with himself playing both Jamie and Two in Helicon Prime:
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Ken Deep (from Podshock) brought up Prison in Space. Frazer's reaction to the mention of leather-clad Zoe was to do the Jamie thing and rob him of personal space while, and I'm not kidding, rumbling "WHAAAAT. Say it again. I love it when you talk dirty to me."
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Apparently the guy who choreographed the fight scene between Zoe and the Karkus in The Mind Robber was in the audience, so we got to watch a clip of that. I felt the overwhelming need to get some shots of Frazer with Classic Who superimposed on him:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

"Look at the size 'o THAT thing, Doctor!"
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Thwarting the crew's efforts to see under his kilt during the helicopter rescue scene in The Invasion:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This was a really poor shot because I got to it late and he isn't pointing to the right spot anymore, but worth noting in case anyone else wants to try scouring pictures for a better shot. Showing off a scar on his upper forehead he got from a swordfight in The Highlanders:
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Recalling the other helicopter rescue scene in Fury From the Deep:
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And finally, a bit of derp:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

During the Q&A afterwards, I seriously considered taking a hit for the Terrible Team and asking Frazer about sandwiches. Eventually I chickened out. Oh well :/

And then it was time to SIGN THINGS! Part of the autograph policy was that if you bought a copy of Hines Sight, you could get one personal item signed for free. Deciding to take this route, I scrambled to figure out what to get signed: my Target Highlanders or a piece of my Jamie-art. Between Tumblr and Facebook, arting won out. Pretty much everyone else there getting personal stuff signed had their books, DVDs, or Big Finish sleeves with them (one guy even had a small stack of Doctor Who Annuals.)

So I made it up to Frazer at the table and was more or less completely lost for anything special or witty to say, not even an "I love Jamie" (although that was because I figured that just being there was indicative of that fact.) Before signing the book he double-checked the spelling of my name with me and quipped "ah, Hannah and Her Sisters," to which I replied "I actually haven't seen that movie yet." While he was signing The Book, I pulled this out:



Barnaby, who was standing right next to Frazer, saw it and his face lit up and said "is that one of your pieces of artwork?" (He's a fellow contributor to TTZ, so he's familiar with my Who artings) I said it was and showed it to Frazer. He smiled and said it was lovely :D



I wound up waiting until the crowd had died down (there were a few dozen people in line behind me the first time) before going back and asking him for a photo of us. Everyone else who had done it before had done so with a copy of Hines Sight. I decided to pretend to be original and did one with my Highlanders book (someone else actually had an Emerdale Farm book with them.)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And well, that was that, really.

I really need to get that art framed now.

Update

General News

Not even going to bother calling this a "Weekly" Update because that would be a dirty lie. But I'm going to use the tag anyway.

So! Hello all. Summer is here (and has been for a while) and I honestly thought that my Who-watching would kick into full gear again but, as you can probably tell, that hasn't exactly been the case. Unlike last summer, I'm more compelled to go to sleep before 6AM and I've had the added difficulty of having to slog through an epic mass of recons in the past few months. I have to be honest: as much as I love and adore Patrick Troughton, watching blurry black-and-white static images set to audio of varying quality really starts to grate after a while and watching at early hours in the morning starts to become a chore rather than something to look forward to at the end of the day.

Fortunately, my resurgence into complete-surviving-serial territory is putting the spark back in and at the moment I'm almost done with The Invasion. Hopefully I'll have that up in the next couple days. I say "hopefully" because I'll be busy every evening (except Mondays) for the rest of the month in my summer internship. I was actually hoping to finish the entire Troughton era by Friday, but I highly doubt that's going to happen, especially since The War Games is going to take me a week at least.

Why that particular date? Because Friday evening I'm meeting Frazer Hines.

Finally finally after all these near misses, I'm going to get to meet someone from Doctor Who.

In book-related news, I struck gold again at my college's local used bookstore where they magically had four more Target novels on their Doctor Who shelf: The Highlanders, Day of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks, and The Five Doctors. After borrowing a few bucks from my friend I came out with The Highlanders and The Five Doctors (which is somehow the only Target novel I currently own that was actually written by Terrance Dicks.) MAYBE I can race through The Highlanders before I meet Frazer, but I also need to brush up on The Merry Wives of Windsor (the play I'm interning for.) At the moment, I'm just one story away from finishing Short Trips: Companions. I've enjoyed this one a lot more than Life Science (which I read around this time last year), probably because the stories were a lot more character-driven than plot-and-technobabble-driven, plus they delved deeper into the nooks and crannies of Whoniverse lore with the Before and Afters of the various companions. I thought they made a poor choice in starting with the Zoe story because it was told from the perspective of a very unconcerned narrator who didn't even bring up anything distinctly Who-related for the first several pages. On a lighter note, Harry Sullivan's story was probably one of the best romps I've ever seen in written Who and the only one to end its climactic scene with a cave full of exploding roasted chickens.

Audio Dramas

Summer seems to be Big Finish's sale time, doesn't it? Well, this time they paced it out more so I felt less rushed. This run consisted of picking up recommended titles and properly purchasing some stories that I mumblemumblemumble last year. My final haul included The Marian Conspiracy, The Fires of Vulcan, The Holy Terror, Loups-Garoux, The Eye of the Scorpion, Colditz, Primeval, The One Doctor, ...Ish, Bang-Bang-A-Boom!, Doctor Who and the Pirates, and Omega. Also I got Turlough's Companion Chronicle Ringpullworld and the Dark Shadows audio The Creeping Fog which featured the acting return of none other than Matthew Waterhouse. See my review here (tl;dr, I honestly thought Matthew was excellent)

So far, besides the ones I listed to last year, I've only finished The Fires of Vulcan and I'm making my way slowly through Loups-Garoux. Fires of Vulcan was actually a remarkably good story, almost a throw-back to the old Hartnell-era pure historicals because it actually had no alien intervention at all. My only real complaint with it was that I thought Seven gave up WAAAAAY too easily when he realized what was going to happen to the TARDIS, especially since their escape plan felt like a no-brainer after they'd actually done it. Loups-Garoux is okay so far, but I particularly love the interactions between Five and Turlough. It's so rare that we have a sausagefest just guys in the TARDIS, much less guys who look about the same age, that it's an interesting and fun change of pace. It almost makes them seem like very mellow intergalactic frat boys.

Oh, and I also listened to Slipback. It was not good.

And Demon Quest! Demon Quest was better than Slipback. I only have Part 1 at the moment, but I'd like to get the rest of it eventually. My big thing about it is that Tom Baker sounds very noticeably different. Someone who read his autobiography recently said that he'd undergone some pretty intense psychotherapy since leaving the show and maybe it's that or just the passage of time, but there's a very distinct Fourth-Doctor-ish-ness missing from this audio. There's a lot more calm structure and a lot less of the wild-eyed crazy that more or less defined both Tom and Four. It's almost like if the Fourth Doctor didn't really die in Logopolis but just went into retirement and settled down while Fivey took over companion-rearing duties.

Upcoming Commentaries

As I said before, I've got a few episodes left in The Invasion so that'll be up next. I've also decided to re-watch The Seeds of Death and maybe even do a revised commentary for it since my first one only covers the last 2-3 episodes. I'm still on the fence about that since I really only rented the DVD for the special features and audio commentary (since I watched it on Netflix Instant the first time.) That rewatch DOES need to happen before Thursday (when the DVD is due back at the library), so I might just fill in the Twitter commentary for the episodes I didn't do the first time around. What do you guys think? Also, should I do this for Spearhead From Space too when I get to it, since I didn't do the last half of that the first time? Anyway, after that I'm moving on to The Space Pirates THE VERY LAST RECON FINALLY and then, at long last, the epic grande finale of Two and Crew: The War Games.