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Tom Baker’s Doctor, number four

Tom Baker’s Doctor, number four published on No Comments on Tom Baker’s Doctor, number four

I just had the pleasure of watching the first 4-ep [back when eps were 30 minutes apiece] adventure with the Fourth Doctor of Dr. Who. That adventure, Robot, appeared in 1974 and involved a morally conflicted robot being manipulated by elitist geniuses to promote nuclear warfare on Earth. Given that the Doctor was played at this time by Tom Baker, known for his indelible and classic portrayal of the Doctor, I was curious to see what Who Classic, as interpreted by a universally beloved actor, looked like.

I must say that I easily see why so many viewers adore Baker as the Doctor. With his buggy eyes, uncontrollable hair and facetiously long but always useful scarf, Baker projects an air much like Harpo Marx. Seemingly childlike in his non sequiturs and mood shifts, Baker conveys the impression of an intelligence and a personality moving much too fast for most humans to grasp. While light-years beyond humans in comprehension, Baker’s Doctor also enjoys playing with them, changing costumes, offering jelly babies and doing other performative flourishes that require an appreciative audience. I don’t think of him as an arrogant performer, but a self-satisfied one, always ready to prove how sparkling he is. His smugness, playfulness and utter confidence wrap up into an endearing whole.

As a whole show, Dr. Who was different in 1974 than it is now. With shorter episodes and stronger musical cues pointing out humorous moments, Dr. Who in 1974 comes across as more sit-com-like than dramatic. At the same time, the constant shooting, blowing up and cliff-hanging endings work against the sit-com frame, suggesting more of an old-fashioned serial drama. The show has an interesting hybrid form, and I can see why it appealed back then to viewers of all ages.

Guro-art short story by Caitlin Kiernan

Guro-art short story by Caitlin Kiernan published on 1 Comment on Guro-art short story by Caitlin Kiernan

After reading The Red Tree twice earlier this month, I discovered that its author, Caitlin Kiernan, is to blame for a particularly memorable bit of fictional splatter, "Season of the Broken Dolls," that I read online a few years ago and then forgot all the salient details of, except for that it was about living art made out of undone and rearranged people.

Anyway, purely by chance, while looking into the rest of Kiernan’s oeuvre, I found out that she wrote "Season," and I knew then that it was the story that I’d remembered for quite a while. I even found a copy of it online, so here it is in its memorable, disgusting glory, memorialized for future use. It will never get away from me again.

Supernatural hates women.

Supernatural hates women. published on No Comments on Supernatural hates women.

How much evidence must I draw together to prove my conclusion? Every single female character of note has been killed off by the cruelly misogynist calculus of the show, leaving a single-sex colony of gruff, bitten men to save the world, which, in the Supernatural universe, has no women in it.

The cavalier contempt with which the show dispatches its female characters really revolts me. Its most egregious murder of women occurred when the show offed its most sympathetic and universally loved female character, Ellen Harvelle, and her daughter Jo in the episode this season where Sam and Dean tried [and failed] to kill the Devil with the magic gun that never kills anything. After multiple seasons of development, during which the audience grew to like and appreciate Ellen and Jo, the two were killed gratuitously in a failed mission. They died for no greater cause or purpose besides the show’s inability to countenance a live woman. Misogyny kills, even in narrative form.

Why do I keep watching this show?

EDIT: So I hear that Supernatural has been renewed for a sixth season, which makes me wonder what sort of plot arc can come after the Biblical apocalypse. Anything after that will seem small-scale and jejune. I won’t be tuning in. Bye, Supernatural.

Junebug and Sardonix have sushi, part I

Junebug and Sardonix have sushi, part I published on 3 Comments on Junebug and Sardonix have sushi, part I

My sister gave me some fragrant soaps in the shape of sushi for my birthday in the hopes that my dolls could use them. Junebug and Sardonix obliged.Continue reading Junebug and Sardonix have sushi, part I

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