It’s not the size, it’s how you use it.


(Contains major spoilers for Lexx season two, Spider-Man 2, Superman the Movie, and minor spoilers for Alien, Aliens, Die Hard and Die Hard 4, and both versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Has a swear word.

May contain traces of nuts.)

One of the issues I’m having an increasing problem with is size. Movies and television are both guilty, and I’m just a bit over it.

Once the scale of a thing exceeds a certain level, it’s hard to maintain a comfortable suspension of disbelief. Now that doesn’t have to just be about physical size, it can be able the scale of a concept, or the way the action or drama is built.

Hollywood doesn’t seem to quite get this, and by way of example I’ll pull out one of the many, many pointless remakes. The one I’m thinking of is The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Keanu Reeves. Let’s forget about all the ways in which it’s emotionally wrong, and the way they stuffed up Klaatu’s character, and simply look at Gort.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Classic Who – The Why of the Daleks

The Daleks just got that much cooler...

Right, after a lengthy Twitter conversation involving the lovely @knuckle_salad, I figured I’d do a post or eight-hundred aimed specifically for the new fans of Doctor Who, the ones who came in some time in the last six or seven years and know little to nothing about the original series.

Now, if you have no interest in the original series, that’s fine.  I don’t know what the heck you’re doing here reading this, but it really is fine.  We all have different likes and dislikes.  For instance, I love the original series of Star Trek, I think Next Generation is mostly good, I adore Deep Space Nine once it gets moving, Voyager was like having my mouth washed out with chunky diarrhoea, and Enterprise was one of the worst screwed up opportunities I have ever seen, except for Season Four which was really clever and interesting.

Point is, different things appeal to different people.  Despite the claims of some fans, you’re actually allowed to not like the original series of Doctor Who.  It’s not a perfect series.  Its strength was always story-telling, characters, and ideas.  But some stories are severely lacking in one or more of these elements.

Also, huge chunks of the first six years are missing.  There are some television shows from that era where nothing at all exists.  Where Doctor Who fans are unbelievably fortunate is that all the missing bits still exist on audio.  And while audio isn’t an ideal format for some stories, it’s better than nothing at all.

We also have telesnaps [1] from some of the missing episodes, so combined with the audios, we can hear and see what was going on.  Again, it’s not ideal, but we’re very lucky to have even that.

I think I’ll try recommending some stories for new Doctor Who fans next time around, unless someone out there throws me a topic too yummy to resist. Which is very likely. So don’t wait for the list, but if you have questions, write to me and I’ll do my best to answer them without lying too much making too many errors.

But this time I want to talk about the Daleks.  There are a lot of people who simply cannot understand the fascination with them.  They’re short little robot [2] dudes.  What is it about the Daleks that made them such a success right from the beginning?

Okay, to address this, you have to try to understand where they come from, from a media and cultural perspective.

Continue reading