World Class Aftermath

As I wrote about a couple days ago, the BBC made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT regarding Doctor Who. I was hoping my cynicism was misplaced and there would be news that was as “MASSIVE” as they claimed. Alas, my cynicism was spot on. The announcement was a new spin-off, a YA series to be set at Coal Hill School called Class.

This is a great thing. I’m thrilled my favorite show is doing well enough to spawn yet another spin-off. I’m not personally excited about watching it, but I’ll give it a chance, and perhaps I’ll adore it and become a “massive” fan. It’s entirely possible. So let me make it clear, I do think this announcement is excellent news.

What I don’t think it is: MASSIVE. Or HUGE. (I’m using all-caps here because that’s what the promo tweets did.)

Doctor Who is currently the flagship show for the BBC. It’s shown around the world to truly huge audiences. It’s not a big surprise they’d capitalize on this with a spin-off. It’s smart business. Good for them. And yes, 20 years ago I probably wouldn’t have believed you if you told me how popular Who would be in 2015, but I’ve already covered that this is a good thing. “Good” and “massive” are two different things.

The BBC still hasn’t learned its lesson. In 2012, they claimed they had an “iconic” actor for the Christmas special. Speculation ran wild, and then they revealed it was Richard E. Grant, a fine actor, but hardly “iconic”. The BBC marketing department was the butt of many a joke for weeks to come. (Okay, years to come–we Doctor Who fans have long memories.)

Tansy BBC tweet

As Tansy says in the tweet pictured above, history is repeating itself. We worked ourselves up dreaming of news that really would be massive–missing episodes returned, David Tennant guest-starring, a Doctor Who movie starring [insert dream-TARDIS team here]. The list went on. So it was inevitable that disappointment was the general reaction. A spin-off might be great, but it’s not as great as what each of us were wishing for in our heart of hearts.

I love Doctor Who. I love that there’s going to be another show set in the same universe. I don’t love that the BBC let me get my hopes up (way up) for something even better. Sure, it’s partly my fault for letting my expectations rule me, but that’s how human beings work. I think it makes the BBC look stupid, and I don’t like when the BBC looks stupid–especially now with all the strain they’re under.

Pretty please, BBC, next time just announce something with less preamble and less time to get our hopes up. We Who fans dream BIG. Bigger than an announcement of a spin-off, however cool that spin-off may be.

Big Announcement? Big Delay!

DW Twitter

So according to the Doctor Who Official Twitter feed, there’s a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming from the BBC about Doctor Who. Is anyone else having flashbacks to when they had an ICONIC announcement that turned out to be…not-so-iconic? And the fact they keep saying it’s coming soon–or as soon as they can? Makes it look like they don’t have all their ducks in a row. I find it rather irritating. I’m all for good news, but it irks me when they start teasing something they’re not ready to go ahead with. I like it better when the marketing engine behind my favorite show looks like they have their shit together.

Anyway, the speculation on Twitter has been something delightful to behold. From the truly ridiculous to the…well, to the truly ridiculous! My gut-reaction guess was that David Tennant is going to guest in an episode. (This follows along with some speculation about how we may find out why the 12th Doctor has the same face as an ancient Roman.) But in my heart, I hope it’ll be something about missing episodes. I have no good reason to think that’ll be it, but the delay does make me suspect it’s something more involved than a mere casting announcement.

If the announcement isn’t going out as early as originally planned (which seems to be the case), there’s gotta be a reason. What’s happening (or not happening) behind the scenes that isn’t fully prepped? I suppose it could be a casting announcement, and they’re just waiting on all the pretty pictures to accompany the tweet/press release? Or maybe it is missing episodes, and they’re trying to get them ready for release on iTunes (or iPlayer)? Or perhaps there’s a nifty new web short that’s taking longer than expected to be ready for worldwide viewing?

Regardless of what the announcement finally is, at this point I’m just as curious about why it’s taking so long to tell us!

(By the time many of you read this, the news will already be out there. I hope it’s amazing [and not totally underwhelming] and you’re still celebrating! Three cheers for Doctor Who!)

Thanks, Podcasts

International Podcast Day

Today is apparently International Podcast Day. I’ve got an awful lot to thank podcasts for. They changed my life so very much, and for the better.

It all started with The Nerdist. That led me to Radio Free Skaro. After that, nothing was the same. RFS led me to a passel of other great Doctor Who podcasts. And, of course, RFS also led me to my husband, Steven.  It led me to a whole, huge group of friends-who-feel-like-family, scattered over the entire globe. It led me to Doctor Who conventions. It led me to Canada. Yeah, I have a lot to thank podcasts for.

And now, I’m making them myself! I adore my fellow Verities, and while making Verity! takes a lot of work, it’s so incredibly worth it. Diving back into Babylon 5 after many years for The Audio Guide to Babylon 5 has been an even bigger treat than I anticipated! (And it means I get to talk to Chip and Shannon every-other-week, so that’s pretty fab too.) I can’t thank Jason enough for inviting me to become a panelist on The Incomparable. It’s broadened my horizions in a lot of great nerd ways! And it means I get to play Dungeons and Dragons again for Total Party Kill. SO FUN! Producing the Uncanny Magazine Podcast means I get to hear (and now, read!) amazing stories every month (plus catch up with Lynne and Michael) And Lazy Doctor Who means I get some quality time with my spouse watching our favorite show. Can’t beat that.

Thanks, podcasting!

I’ll close by listing (in no particular order) the podcasts that I listen to (pretty much) every episode of. Continue reading

Whooping it Update

That title is 100% ironic, I assure you. I try to focus on positivity here as much as possible, but boy oh boy is that hard when you’re sick and have been for a long time. Thus, I’ve been a bit quiet this month. I did watch The Philadelphia Story–several weeks ago now. At first I was putting off writing about it because I was intimidated–it’s a really good movie, you know? And then it was because I was just so danged tired I couldn’t make my brain form thoughtful sentences.

It’s amazing how much a simple (or not so simple) cough can take out of you. I’m now to the stage where I wake up multiple times a night unable to breathe, thinking I’m dying. So yeah, struggling a bit to find the positive. Still mostly managing to though. When I’m lying there next to my humidifier concentrating on breathing shallowly, I think about how glad I am to be lying there. Regardless what happens or how sick I get, I’m still constantly thrilled to be here in Edmonton with Steven.

We worked so hard to get me to Canada that even shitty stuff like being sick together has a little hint of sappy sweetness. We get to take care of each other instead of staring at each other over Skype, not being able to do anything to help. (We did plenty of that, and it was heartbreaking.)

So anyway, in another 4-8 weeks (sigh), I look forward to having some more energy and getting back to proper blog posts and podcasts. (Poor Lazy Doctor Who is on a bit of an illness-enforced hiatus.) Until then, things might remain a bit quiet here.

When Sickness Leads to (Mental) Health

lemon tea

I’m sick. I have whooping cough.* And it sucks. But as always, I’m looking for the bright side.** And there is one here. Because in my desperation to feel better, I stumbled onto something kinda neat. One of those minor eye-opening experiences that can brighten up an otherwise mucky day.

My throat’s rubbed raw from all the coughing, so I wanted something hot and soothing. I’m trying to avoid coffee because caffeine and I Do Not Get Along (and the decaf at work is rubbish).*** I’m not generally a big fan of tea/herbal infusions, but I needed something. One of the choices was lemon “tea”. Lemon is supposed to be good for throats, so I thought I’d try it, despite the fact I don’t like fruity teas.

So I brewed it up, and you know what? Continue reading

Stretching is Scary


No, this is not a post about yoga. Though considering how long it’s been since I’ve done yoga regularly, that’s scary too. No, this is a post about trying something new–or at least trying something publicly that you haven’t done a whole lot (and never beyond the confines of your own home).

It’ll probably come as no surprise that this is podcast-related, so it’s not as scary as it could be. But despite the oodles of podcasting I’ve done over the last few years, new things can be intimidating–even new things you’ve really wanted to try.

I suppose I should get to it. I read a story for the Uncanny Magazine Podcast!* Continue reading

Bad News and Board Games

I got some bad news today. I’m not going into detail because it’s not my news, but it’s health-related and regarding someone close to me. That gives enough context for the kind of helpless fear that’s got a hold of me right now.

In a weird way, the timing was excellent.* You see, last night Steven and I did something we hadn’t done in probably well over a year–we played a board game together.

I’d been having a so-so weekend (due to factors unrelated to the lousy news), and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do on the eve of the work week. (That in itself was making me more anxious than I like.) I’d been listening to episode 24 of Unjustly Maligned, in which Cory Casoni defends the board game Monopoly. It made me nostalgic for the days when my siblings and I played board games all the time.

We played LOTS of board games. As a family with limited means, games were perfect. They were cheapish and provided hours of re-playable fun. When one of us was home sick from school, Mom often let one of the other kids stay home to keep the sickie company. And that always meant board games–endless rounds of Life, Sorry, Careers, Chutes and Ladders, and, of course, Monopoly.

So yeah, board games conjure up a sense of comfort and safety and being-cared-for. That’s a difficult feeling to capture these days. I’d forgotten just how good it felt. Last night I got a reminder.

Solarquest Continue reading