Tag Archives: TARDIS

Geeksquirrel’s Nutty Review: Doctor Who “The Bells of St. John”

With the return of Doctor Who we are finally gifted with the first regular episode for new companion Clara Oswald. Well, technically, it’s the third time we’ve been introduced to her, but why bother to count? This time Clara is a live-in nanny for a typical London family. She is quickly entangled with the Doctor over a threat carried over wi-fi. It seems if you accidentally click on some squiggly lines when trying to log in, you will be captured and ultimately fed to the Great Intelligence.

This episode, while fun, is wracked with problematic elements. The chief of which is the main threat: a monster that will eat you if you click on the wrong wi-fi connection. Put simply, you have to be pretty darned stupid to click on a bunch of unknown squiggly lines that pops up on your computer, and a monster that feeds on stupid people is not what I would call threatening (since I am a total screaming genius…see what I did there?). There’s nothing less scary than a monster that is easily avoided.
Which brings us to another problem: Clara Oswald. We have been introduced to her twice before, and unfortunately the third time is the dullest. This version of Clara is sadly, not that interesting. Her back story is that of a girl who lost her mother at a young age. Her personal story is not as intriguing as the souffle girl who tried to fight the Daleks for a year, or the mysterious governess who doubled as a serving wench when it suited her purposes. Jenna Louise Coleman is a fine actress and she embraces her role with gusto, but she is not given much to work with except for the usual companion functions of asking questions and getting into trouble.

The primary difficulty with Clara is that we’ve already seen her meet the Doctor twice before, and both of those times carried more emotional impact and set up a more interesting character. Oswin’s cheerfulness in the face of danger and Victorian Clara’s fairytale climb up the ladder to the TARDIS were far more compelling than anything we saw in this episode. Couple this with a very non-scary villain and you have an episode which at best is a below-average but mildly fun adventure story. I truly hope that Clara’s story will turn out to be more intriguing than its start. Certainly Ms. Coleman deserves better.

 

“The Bells of St. John” gets Two and a Half Acorns out of Five!

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What it Feels Like to Start a Meme

Note: This blog contains spoilers concerning the recent season of Doctor Who…go watch it on your DVR then come back. Trust me it will be funnier that way.

It’s odd how sometimes you succeed without really intending to.  I’ve been kicking around the internet as long as almost anyone and I’ve always wondered how these things get started.  You know, the Dancing Hamsters, the LOLcats, the crasher squirrel….all of those innocent gags that snowball into trends that are followed by thousands of people.  Well it seems that my time has come…

Doctor Who fans are very familiar with the character of Rory Williams:

…an unassuming and slightly geeky fellow who worked as a nurse in the peaceful town of Leadworth in the UK.  Rory dated a quirky sparkplug of a girl named Amy Pond, who as a child had an imaginary friend called the Raggedy Doctor.  Having been smitten with Amy from a young age, Rory would join her make-believe games involving the Raggedy Doctor and his time-traveling blue box, even dressing as her imaginary friend to entertain her.  Ah, the things we do for love.

Of course it turns out that Amy’s imaginary friend isn’t imaginary at all, but rather the latest incarnation of the Doctor, the last of the Time Lords, the Oncoming Storm, protector of the Earth, etc.  The Doctor takes Amy on as his latest traveling companion, and eventually Rory gets pulled into the action. While not as comfortable as his girlfriend is with the whole space/time-travel/alien monster fighting thing, Rory eventually grows into his role, and goes from a somewhat cowardly and insecure fellow into, well…a total badass.

Rory’s badassness credits include: getting killed and revived almost as many times as the Doctor (but without the benefit of that nifty regeneration trick), being erased from history but still managing to come back in the form of an artificial duplicate living as a Roman Centurion (yeah it’s Doctor Who, dude, stuff like that happens), killing a cyberman with a gladius, shooting a Dalek in the face (well, the eyestock), and guarding the box that Amy was imprisoned in for two thousand years.  Ah, the things we do for love.

Rory hits the heights of badassery when his new wife Amy and their daughter are kidnapped.  He confronts a group of cybermen who are withholding information abut his family’s whereabouts (again dressed in a Centurion outfit) and (with help from the Doctor) he blows up their whole fleet to make a point.

Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions

Did I mention he also fathered a part Time Lord child with his wife while she was dressed up as a policewoman, while they were traveling through the Time Vortex in a time machine that refers to him as “the pretty one”….in a bunk bed? (Dude, it’s Doctor Who, try to keep up!)

All of which of course led my geeksquirrely mind to conclude that Rory Williams is in fact the Next Chuck Norris.

While I know this has been done before with other characters (Jack Bauer and Neville Longbottom for example), I felt I had enough material to do a few jokes along this line, so I went to the Internet Movie Database message board for Doctor Who and threw a few of them out there.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436992/board/thread/183802399?p=1

As you can see by the number of posts I was not the only one who thought this was a good idea.  The responses were so favorable that I decided to create a Facebook fan page to see what would happen:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Rory-Williams-is-the-New-Chuck-Norris/206862529349188

Yeah…3000+likes and enough traffic to make Amazon.Com look twice.  Pretty impressive for a bunch of re-worked Chuck Norris jokes about a secondary character in a British Sci-Fi show.  The icing on the cake however was the recognition of the meme by a member of the Doctor Who production team…as a matter of fact the Producer and show runner himself, Steven Moffat.  Mr. Moffat re-tweeted this .gif file that was cobbled together with jokes from the two websites, a good number of which were written by yours truly.

(Click on the Gif to see the slide show)

To this day I have no idea who made the .gif, but I wish to offer my sincere thanks for getting Mr. Moffat’s attention.

So that’s how I gained my smidge of internet fame.  I have to confess that I am totally flabbergasted by what has happened.  True, it is unlikely that I will gain anything other than the satisfaction of contributing to the Doctor Who fan community.  But I can honestly say that this is probably the coolest online thing I’ve ever done, at least in terms of how many people I’ve entertained with my writing.  It’s hard to describe how it feels to know that there are thousands of people out there who have gotten a laugh out of your posts.  The fact that so many have contributed jokes of their own is equally staggering, and I am especially indebted to my fellow Rory Rousers out there, especially one Donnie_Darkerr who comes up with just as many gags as I do.  So yeah, grateful, pleased, happy, a little proud and still a tad flabbergasted.

I guess the only thing now is what to do next.  Should I invest in a website? T-shirts? Coffee mugs?  Are such things possible?  I don’t know.  Maybe someday I will go to a convention and see my words on someone’s t-shirt.  Maybe I should get a t-shirt myself….hmm.

So this is me…the first raindrop, the first pebble in the avalanche, the first flake in the snowball….and I’m feeling very cozy surrounded by fellow fans with the same sense of humor.  Thanks to everyone who writes, reads, and laughs along with me.

P.S. Rory Williams doesn’t blog…he rewrites history itself.