Memory, Webcasts, and Animations

Something’s been nagging me since the first time I saw Closing Time, since I saw this moment right after the Doctor finds the Cybermen spaceship. I’ve seen this silhouette or something like it before, and I think it was in Scream of the Shalka, a Flash animation done in the dry years before RTD, and therefore starring Richard E. Grant as the ninth Doctor rather than Christopher Eccleston.

I could be wrong. Frequently am. But it’s a good excuse to watch Scream of the Shalka after work today.

Doctor Who Webcasts also includes Shada, which has some production history behind it, for the more geeky sort of fan who cares about that sort of thing (and sometimes I do), as well as Real Time, which I don’t remember seeing here before. It’s got Colin Baker, so I may have inadvertently blocked it from memory. Shada, however, contains Paul McGann who via Big Finish audio plays featured heavily through the dry years and, I hear, holds tenure as the longest running Doctor. Interesting if true. Although Big Finish isn’t canon so maybe it doesn’t count.

Since we’re talking animations, thought I might include links to Dreamland and The Infinite Quest, two Tenth Doctor stories made available for CBBC, but neither is available there any longer. The links preceding give a bit of info about them for the curious, and maybe they’re DVD extras somewhere or otherwise obtainable. Although in the case of Dreamland, when I had it, I preferred to listen to it with the video off. It wasn’t pleasant to look at. By the way, The Infinite Quest has Anthony Stewart Head! If you don’t know any of his other work, you still might remember him as the headmaster in School Reunion.

Miscellaneous Notes

Experimentation, notes about various episodes, and an epiphany about the fixed point.

Ok so I just wrote a huge long private post containing the plan for the experiments that I mentioned in my big long whine. Not going to publish it because it’s long and boring. But, like the Cylons, I Have A Plan!

I went to the library early yesterday so I could spend the day downloading with their massive bandwidth, only to discover upon arrival that I forgot all the accessories to the netbook, to include requisite cables. It had been a horrendous journey to get there – wet and cold and full of fellow-driver peril – so I opted to stay at the library all day and read. Which was nice.

Today was meant to be a do-over, but the massive bandwidth turned out to be ridiculously small. Ludicrously small. So I’m sitting in the library using my 4G modem to suck these down at modest speed, which is better than no speed at all, but which I could have done anywhere but at/near home. And there was the weather and the peril again. Well, phooey.
So, while that’s on – I really need to learn to take notes when things strike me. For instance, I noticed the first time I saw The Girl Who Waited that the noise going on while the Doctor is rummaging around in his toolbox sounds a lot like the Tom Baker-era Doctor Who theme music being played backward. But I keep forgetting to write that down, and it never makes it into this blog. Until now. I wonder if anyone has an audio file of that bit they can run backward and see. Or have already done so. If I’ve noticed it, surely more hardcore fans than I have noticed also.

Let me also add my voice to the general din about how much I love what happens to my eyeballs and their associated brain parts when watching The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex. The people in the podcasts are attributing this to the direction of Nick Hurran. If indeed this is all his doing, he’s just become my favorite director ever.

By the way, did you notice that the hotel doors had no locks?Even in the 80s hotel doors had locks and locked automatically when the doors closed. However, given what the hotel turned out to be, it’s completely in character for there to be no locks, even for a hotel that’s an exact replica to the last detail. It has to let you find your room, right?

Lots of fuss in the podcasts over the Cybermen in Closing Time being Cybus Industries Cybermen, and how did they get there and stuff. But they’re not. Have a good look at their chests. They are the Mondas-origin Cybermen, same as the ones in the Cyber Legion who get a visit from Rory in A Good Man Goes to War. Some folks actually spotted those but missed Craig’s. Weird. If identity is important enough for a person to make a fuss over, wouldn’t it be important enough to notice?

Speaking of podcasts, downloading a fresh batch now. Haven’t been able to get a set since the ones all about Closing Time. Really looking forward to how they liked this episode, or disliked it, and especially looking forward to the Blogtor Who Commentary on it. Those things are hysterical.

About the fixed point – I had an epiphany that I bet you got days ago. The definition of a fixed point is that what happened must always be what happens. No matter how often that point is revisited by anyone, it has to have always occurred.

Dorium said something that got me thinking. He said the location chosen for the killing “makes it easier to create a fixed point”. The operative word being “create”. The fixed point wasn’t some organic item in the flow of time; it was created. As a party involved in the creation of it, the Doctor opted to show up inside the Tesselecta, so what happened, what always happened, was that River shot the Tesselecta.

The fixed point was mislabeled. The fixed point was observed and reported that Melody Pond kills the Doctor, because that’s all anyone knew about it. The actual fixed point was that Melody shoots the Tesselecta.

Of course that means the Doctor was enacting a wild-ass guess when he said, “Time said I had to be there.” Time said the Tesselecta had to be there. Although, probably, time said everyone who was there had to be there, so it’s sort of moot.

Why I Love This Picture: Closing Time

This is one of those beautiful images that don’t have much emotional significance. I mean, yes, a nice clean house is emotionally pleasing, especially when it’s a friend doing it for you and you’ve been through a lot, but that’s not what this picture is about for me. For one thing, love-love-love all the orange and yellow. Love the perspective. Love the balance of dark and light. Love the Doctor’s silhouette against the light in the patio door, and yet we can still see him – nice fill lighting! Love the slanting shadows. Love the hamster cage. Love tiny baby feet. Love the fairy godfather feel – he just needs a wand.

I really enjoy this image.

As an aside, it’s a bit of a relief to be at the end of the series, when it comes to trying to decide what to hide for spoileryness and what not. The above doesn’t really give away any major plot points. It’s not like cleaning house is integral to the resolution of the conflict in this episode. But with others, it’s been hard for me to figure what’s a spoiler and what’s not.

Closing Time Screencaps

Closing Time screencaps are up.

Raw caps: 691

Finished caps: 123 – much more than I expected! I was thinking maybe 70 or so.

Resolution: 1680 x 1050

I just could not compel myself to save any of the smoochy-lips caps from the declaration of love moment. Funny as that moment was, any of those would make me wince in embarrassment if they suddenly popped up on my desktop and that’s a major litmus test for inclusion.

Watch Closing Time on Amazon.
Watch Closing Time [HD] on Amazon.