More Chicago TARDIS Goodness!

I am trying to get better at writing about things and events in a more timely manner, so here’s another quick lunchtime post about my fab Chicago TARDIS weekend! This is clearly a place I could use improvement because I STILL haven’t finished writing about our trip to London, which has now been over a year ago!

The first excitement of the weekend was watching Steven interview Michelle Gomez (Missy) on the main stage. I love watching him do interviews because he makes the guests feel so at-ease. It’s more like watching two people have a conversation than a formal interview. And he asks a lot of questions about the technical side of things, like direction and production details. That’s the kind of thing I find most interesting.

They look so relaxed.

They look so relaxed.

If you want to hear the interview, you’re in luck! It’s on this week’s episode of Radio Free Skaro!

The next event I attended was another Steven-centric one. He did a panel about “Trial of a Time Lord”. Continue reading

2 Important Things

Uncanny Y3 Solicited Contributors

#1: Uncanny Magazine‘s Year Three Kickstarter is in its FINAL HOURS!

As I type this, my beloved Uncanny Magazine is only $90 away from the stretch goal that will add an additional story to each issue for Year Three! We are proud of the fact that we help introduce the world to new voices, and this is a great avenue to do that. The additional stories will come from unsolicited submissions, so if you care about diverse voices telling stories that make you feel (and if you haven’t already), I urge you to think about contributing to our Kickstarter.

As of right now you have 24 hours left to do so!

There are still plenty of fabulous backer rewards to choose from, including one in which you get to do a live video hangout with ME! (Plus Steven, Lynne, and Michael!) We’ll geek out about podcasts and help you plan/improve your own! We did this last year, and it was great fun!

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#2: Radio Free Skaro Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary!

10 years is positively Methuselan for a podcast! I am so happy for/proud of these guys, and not only because one of them is my husband. He became that after I started listening to the podcast. In fact, all Three Who Rule were complete strangers to me when I discovered their podcast. Now I consider them all great friends.

A lot of celebratory tweets have been slung their way, and the thing that stands out to me the most is the number of times I’ve seen a variation on this one:

10 years of podcasting is nothing to sneeze at. 10 years of anything is impressive, and 10 years of something that’s a crapton of work and doesn’t pay (well) is a monumental achievement–one that is clearly born out of love for both the subject matter and what they do. But what’s truly amazing to me is the community (and communities) that sprang up around this group of Canadians. It’s a testament to who they are that so many people’s lives have been inexorably changed (for the better!) by listening to three geeks talk about the thing they love every week.

I know my life would be unrecognizably different if not for RFS. I wouldn’t be married. I wouldn’t be living in Canada. I wouldn’t have my own podcast. (I wouldn’t have half-a-dozen podcasts!) I wouldn’t be working for the aforementioned Uncanny Magazine. I wouldn’t be nominated for a freaking Hugo Award! (Also thanks to Uncanny Magazine!)

I know I’m nowhere near alone in thanking RFS for the life that I have now. Here’s to another 10 years!

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Lightning and Wonder

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When I decided to move to Edmonton, my spouse and I decided I’d better visit for a while first, to make sure it was a place I could really feel at home. So I took a two-month leave of absence from work and came up to try to settle in and see how I fit. And a year before that, I’d visited for a week just for fun. During those visits, I saw several of the most spectacular lightning storms I’ve ever witnessed.

Before I visited Edmonton, I didn’t realize lightning comes in different colors. I saw the entire sky light up purple and bolts of bright turquoise lightning snaking across the whole sky (with thunder boomers that were nearly as impressive as the light show). It was amazing. I’ve always adored thunderstorms, and it felt like Edmonton was trying to woo me with a spectacular show.

I’ve now lived in Edmonton over two years, and I was starting to think the city had tempted me here under false pretenses. I’d seen not one thunderstorm that qualified as even remotely good in all that time.

Until last night.

Tonight I spent well over an hour sitting on my balcony watching the sky. I have now added pink lightning to my collection. (That picture above actually features my building, and yes, the lightning was that pink color in real life. Some zaps I saw were even pinker.)

And it was one of those odd summer storms that was lots of sound (and light), but not much fury. There was a bit of wind, but almost no rain so I could comfortably sit there listening to this week’s episode of Radio Free Skaro. It was delightful and soothing to simply sit and enjoy myself. (And yes, I did pause the podcast whenever I saw lightning so I’d be ready to hear the accompanying thunder.)

Steven and I are both between jobs right now (Steven was laid off just over a week ago), and I admit I’d considered moving elsewhere to find work. I wonder if Edmonton sensed that and stepped up its storm game to keep me here.

If so, I think it worked.

Photo credit: Vagabond Expedition

Knitting – Back in the Game!

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I started this blog waaaaay back in 2011. My goal at the time was to watch geeky TV and work on knitting the season 18 Doctor Who scarf. If you read my posts regularly, you’ll know that plan didn’t exactly continue with any strength or regularity. In fact, until recently, I hadn’t even picked up the scarf since well before I moved to Canada. And I moved just over two years ago.

I just looked, and my most recent knitting post was in December of 2012. Yikes. I didn’t realize it had been that long. And that post wasn’t even about the scarf! You have to time travel all the way back to January of 2012 to find any record of that project. Bad Erika! Continue reading

Geek Girl Gushes: Gallifrey One’s Network 23

If you follow me on Twitter, this post may be largely redundant.  For that I make no apology.  I firmly believe that no amount of gushing about Gally is too much.  On the plane ride home, I drafted over 40 short posts about the fond memories I made last weekend, and I’ve been dribbling them out on Twitter and Facebook ever since.  Because I am such a completionist (something I’ve found is not unusual in Doctor Who fandom), I’ve decided to collect them all here in one place for easy reminiscing.  Before I get to that, a few words about the weekend in general.

Gallifrey One is the oldest and largest fan-run Doctor Who convention in the world.  Once you’ve been there, you understand why.  Simply put, this con is fantastic.  I’m not exactly a con expert, having only attended a handful of different events over the years, but I can safely say that Gally is my favorite by far.  (And that’s saying something, because I positively adore several others, including Chicago TARDIS and Dragon*Con.)  The inestimable Shaun Lyon has done a fantastic job helming this convention and making sure that everyone is happy—from the guests to the attendees to the volunteers to the hotel staff.  It was a veritable well-oiled machine.  With the exception of a few technical hiccups, I saw very little in the way of the FUBAR moments I’ve come to expect as a necessary evil of con attendance.

This, Gallifrey One’s 23rd year, was my first in attendance.  I didn’t even know Gally existed until Radio Free Skaro interviewed Nerdist luminaries Chris Hardwick and Kyle Anderson at last year’s convention.  After hearing that podcast (and being floored to find there was an entire podcast devoted entirely to Doctor Who! [silly, naïve, Erika]), I discovered a vast and welcoming Twitter community of Doctor Who fans and podcasters.  Over the course of a few months, they applied just the right amount of friendly peer pressure to convince me to take the plunge and commit to Gally.  This is a decision I have not regretted for a moment.

I’d met a few of those fine folks at the aforementioned Chicago TARDIS in November, and it was as wonderful to reconnect with them as it was to finally meet the others who were able to make it out to sunny California.  And sunny it was!  While the people and the excitement of the convention were the best part, a vacation in southern California is nothing to sneeze at when compared to the usual mid-February slump in my home of Wisconsin.

Having arrived early, I got to spend the Thursday before the con with four of my favorite people (two who’d already held that honor, and two who did by the end of that day).  We drove up the coast to the Getty Villa in Malibu where we absorbed more beauty and culture than I thought one location could contain.  Please feel free to peruse the photos of that amazing and moving experience.

The other exciting pre-con activity in which I got to partake was a “live” recording of the Doctor Who Book Club Podcast.  I was über-chuffed to have been invited to review Paul Cornell’s Love and War.  I had a fantastic time talking about it with Erik and Sean.  I won’t say much about that here because I think you should listen to the episode when it’s released.  What I will say is this: Erik and Sean are as charming and delightful in person as they sound on the podcast.  I couldn’t be more pleased that they let me join the fun.

After that night, the official convention fun started, and it was a whirlwind of excitement and panels and fun and friends and booze and bad food and then more of each of those every day—plus a live lobby commentary and an interview (which may or may not ever be seen) by Chloe Dykstra and Matt Mira of Nerdist Industries.  I wish I could appropriately capture the magic that happened over those few days, but I think Deb Stanish put it best when she tweeted “Has something ever been just too important or lovely to articulate? This is why I’m finding it hard to do Gally highlights.”  That said, I’m clearly managing to chronicle some of the joy; I could go on for pages and pages, describing every moment I remember.  Instead I’ll just stick with my plan of including the lovely memories I’ve already tweeted.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, and perhaps I’m a fool for even attempting to capture this much of the glory that is Gally, but I felt like if I didn’t at least try, I might explode.

So here, in no particular order, are just a few of the highlights of my first Gally.  You better believe I’ll be back.

  • Unexpected post-#Gally highlight: I can now “hear” tweets from lots of people in their own voices.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @quarridors in person. I still wish I’d followed Nat’s lead & spent some time in the pool!
  • #Gally highlight: Flobbycon.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the sweet and kind @sourcitruslady. Yet another person I wish I’d’ve gotten to spend more time with.
  • #Gally highlight: Knowing I could wander around for a while & be guaranteed to run into someone awesome, be it a friend, celebrity, or both!
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the lovely @Bellaira & bonding over shared joy & inconvenience.
  • #Gally highlight: Drinking tequila w/@philfordesq. Well, Phil was a highlight. As it turns out, I’m none too fond of tequila.
  • #Gally highlight: An entertaining & informative panel on the music of #DoctorWho. @emilyooo knows her stuff & how to talk about it!
  • #Gally highlight: Being insanely decadent & drinking Starbucks lattes every morning.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting my official unofficial gay husband @tardistavern in person. I’m a lucky bride.
  • #Gally highlight: Randomly meeting @MattMira in the lobby & trying to find @harries71 so Matt could geek out about Cash in the Attic.
  • #Gally highlight: Being interviewed by @MattMira for the @Nerdist YouTube channel. Whether they use it or not, ’twas a hoot!
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @freyburg in person. A fellow w/a delightfully irascible wit & great talent–with whom I’ve got much in common.
  • #Gally highlight: Witnessing the sheer genius of Mette & Bryan’s costumes firsthand. They left me speechless repeatedly.
  • #Gally highlight: @RadioFreeSkaro and the World of Tomorrow stage show! The boys did a fantastic job kicking things off in proper fashion.
  • #Gally highlight: @AndreT_NY‘s hilarious & clever ribbon costume. Nice work Sir! Loved it!
  • #Gally highlight: Seeing @Feliopolis again. Can’t imagine attending a #DoctorWho con w/out my clever friend to keep it real for me.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @TardisTavernTit in person. Wish I could have spent more time hanging with him. Con life is so scattered.
  • #Gally highlight: Toby Haynes’ ass.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the lovely @capricorn_one. And not just ’cause he agreed to get his own room. : ) He’s a great bloke besides.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the incomparable @DebStanish. Everyone told me she was awesome & I’d love her. Everyone was right.
  • #Gally highlight: avoiding “con-crud” (aka con-SARS) until I got home. Don’t want to get out of bed, but the real world beckons. #coldmeds
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @twillian in person. I’m glad cool, creative, interesting people like her are procreating (since I’m not gonna).
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @whomeJZ in person. One of my favorite podcasters. Hearing him wax poetic re: #DoctorWho in person is even better!
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the hilarious @KungFuYoda. I do appreciate a good crass wit. He’s got that in spades.
  • #Gally highlight: A delicious & delightful dinner w/@David_Barsky. (Exec producer of Dirty Jobs.)
  • #Gally lowlight: Not getting to meet @abby_queenofall. : ( She was genuinely missed, as was discussed on numerous occasions.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @BullittWHO in person. Every bit as thoughtful & hardworking as I expected, as well as every bit as fun & cool.
  • #Gally highlight: Watching @Legopolis talk about (& play with) LEGO during the panel about it.
  • #Gally highlight: Telling Shaun Lyon that my first Gally was completely as advertised. Best con I’ve ever been to, hands down.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting the delightfully droll @harries71. He makes clever sarcasm an art form. Could listen to him all day.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @xanister in person. Someone so sweet & adorable doesn’t deserve to also have a razor wit; she’s doubly blessed.
  • #Gally highlight: Meeting @dubbayoo. His twisted sense of humor is just as hilarious in person. & he’s an amazing fellow to boot.
  • #Gally highlight: Touching the Pacific Ocean!
  • #Gally highlight: Seeing @Legopolis again. This one belongs in the goes-without-saying category.
  • #Gally highlight: The many & varied ways people managed to sneak outside booze into the Marriott lobby, while keeping things cool & relaxed.
  • #Gally highlight: meeting many twitter friends in person. What a great crew!

Podcast Wishes and Gallifrey Dreams

Considering how utterly steeped in Doctor Who I have been for the past couple weeks, I’ve been remiss in chronicling it.  Though to be fair, I haven’t been knitting, so I’m not *technically* required (by me) to document it here.  That said, I’d rather like to.  So I will.  So there.  So here, actually.

I recently had the opportunity to be a guest at my favorite bar in the universe—the TARDIS Tavern!  You may remember me gushing about it back in my Podcastastic post.  I believe I said something about giving my eye teeth to become a regular there.  I sure hope Sean and Steve don’t hold me to that.  But I’m a gal of my word, so if you see me at Gally, and I look more like a hillbilly than my pictures would lead you to expect, you’ll know why.

Gally!  That’s another thing I should mention.  Less than two weeks from this very day, I will be in sunny Los Angeles, California for the world’s largest and longest-running Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One!  (Or #Gally as it’s known on twitter.)  I couldn’t be more excited!  In addition to the nigh-ridiculous number of fantastic guests and panels and programming (Radio Free Skaro and the World of Tomorrow, anyone?), I’m thrilled-to-the-gills at the opportunity to meet so many Doctor Who fans—many of whom I’ve “met” on twitter and can’t wait to meet in person.  If you’re going to be at Gally, please track me down and say hi!

[Side note: At Gally I will also be guesting on another of my most favoritest podcasts, but more about that later.]

Ok, so back to TARDIS Tavern.  (Oh how I wish!)  I spent one of the most pleasant evenings in recent memory there chatting with Steve and Sean and Chris (from Radio Free Skaro) about Doctor number three—Jon Pertwee.  Much fun was had (MUCH), and many an alcoholic beverage was consumed (MANY).  We primarily focused on three episodes in particular: Terror of the Autons, The Curse of Peladon, and The Time Warrior.

You can listen to this friendly, fun, and rambly discussion for yourself before too long, and I heartily encourage you to do so!  I’ll post a link as soon as it’s available.

But remember those many alcoholic beverages I mentioned?  Well a solid proportion of them were consumed by yours truly, so I’m not 100% confident that I made myself as clear as I could have.  To make up for any possible lack of articulateness brought on by the copious spirits, I shall be posting here about each of the stories.  That way I can fill in any gaps I may have left.  Note that these should be used as an adjunct to the podcast, not a replacement for it!  My keen cohorts had innumerable pearls of wisdom to drop, and I’d hate for you to miss out on a single one.

So in the coming days/weeks (ok, it’s me, so it could be months), look forward to plenty of Pertwee posts!  (Please pardon the profuse plosives.)

The Girl Who Waited to Listen to the Commentary for the Girl Who Waited

Let me start off by saying that when “The Girl Who Waited” came out, I really hated all the “clever” plays on words that occurred using the episode title.  But did I let that stop me from doing the same obnoxious thing here?  No I did not.  Not for one second.  So yeah, I hate myself a little bit, but it was totally worth it.  You can hate me too.  It’s okay.

I suppose I should talk about the episode now huh?  Wait.  No.  I can talk about knitting!  As you may have guessed, I’ve done like, none, in a really long time.  What can I say?  I’ve had more important things to do.  Life is like that sometimes.  And by “like that,” I mean pretty awesome.  Anyway, tonight something possessed me to finally pick up my needles again and get back to it.  I completed the big ol’ purple stripe I was working on, and got exactly one row into the next red mini-stripe.  So it wasn’t a hugely productive evening, but every little bit yada yada yada.  Full disclosure here–I’m actually thinking of cheating on the scarf briefly to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves.  It’s frakking cold at work, and typing gets difficult when your fingers are cold and stiff.  As it seems I’ll be lucky to get the scarf done by even next winter, I might as well set my sights a bit lower and work on something I have a chance of finishing this year.

Ok, now I suppose I really should talk about this episode, even though I don’t really want to.  This was the most difficult episode of the season for me.  I guess it was my “Amy’s Choice” of this year.  Why do I always have such trouble with the best episodes?  Maybe that’s an indicator of just how good they are.  Or perhaps it’s an indicator of some deep-seated psychological issue on my part.  It’s both, probably.

“The Girl Who Waited” is kind of a masterpiece.  But on the other hand, I kind of hate it.  This is quite possibly the strongest ambivalence I’ve ever felt about an episode of Doctor Who.  It’s gorgeous.  It’s brilliantly directed.  It’s cleverly and cleanly written.  It’s a story that’s simple, but light-years away from being easy.  And it makes me mad.  I hate the choice that Rory has to make at the end.  It makes me uncomfortable to watch it, and it rips me up inside.  I realize this is exactly what they’re going for, and in my case, they succeeded in epic fashion.  I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve realized that I am actually mad at Tom MacRae (and Steven Moffat) for making me feel this way.

One reason I think this episode had such an impact on me is because of how I watched it.  I was watching online, and my computer just happened to freeze up at the worst (or best?) possible moment.  It was during that gut-wrenching scene at the end when Rory has carried unconscious young Amy into the TARDIS.  The Doctor steps to the door where his eyes meet those of old Amy.  She sees him and starts to run towards him, and—Zap!  No more show.  I couldn’t get it back right away, so I figured I’d go for a walk.

I knew what was going to happen.  Of course I knew.  But I spent 45 minutes walking through a beautiful park thinking “what if?”  What if he didn’t slam the door in her face?  Could they make that work?  And by the time I got back home, I’d decided that it could.  Furthermore, I’d decided that that’s what I wanted to happen.  But I knew it wasn’t going to.  And I also knew that if it did happen, if both Amys somehow miraculously coexisted, there’d be a part of me that would be pissed at the show for taking the easy way out.  So I suppose they really couldn’t win with me.

I guess the bottom line is that I think “The Girl Who Waited” is fantastic.  I liked so much about it.  But I didn’t like it as an episode of Doctor Who.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always need Doctor Who to make me happy.  Not at all.  Doomsday left me sobbing both times I watched it (consecutively), and it’s one of my favorite episodes of the new series.  But I don’t like when Doctor Who leaves me feeling icky.  And that’s what this story did.  I wish this was a short story.  Or an episode of something else.  Or even a new/missing adventure book so I could tell myself it “isn’t canon.”  Because then I think I would love the shit out of it.  As it is, I just can’t.

And jeez, I haven’t even said anything about the Radio Free Skaro commentary.  (That in itself should give you an idea of how deeply this episode affected me.)  Honestly, I think the delightful commentary is what got me through watching this episode again.  If Warren wasn’t ranting in my ear about landlines, and if Steven and Chris weren’t gushing over how beautiful everything was (including Martin Freeman), I’m not sure I would have made it through this tonight.  So, not for the first time, RFS has turned what might otherwise have been a lousy evening into something both charming and amusing.  Whew!

Doctor Who: In The (Rebel) Flesh (w/Commentary)

“The Rebel Flesh”–how appropriate.  My flesh tonight is certainly in rebellion, considering that it’s midnight & I should have been asleep hours ago. Apparently, that’s what happens when you sleep in until 1:45pm.  That, in turn, is apparently what happens when you stay up until 4 in the morning. Cause and effect: it’s neat!

“In the flesh” is appropriate because I’m in the midst of preparations for Chicago TARDIS! That’s where I’ll get to meet some of my Doctor Who twitter friends in the flesh for the first time.  That’s always a bit nerve-wracking because as nice as folks seem to be online, in real life they could turn out to be total creeps.  Or more likely, they’ll discover that I am.

So.  I suppose I should talk about the episode itself.  Sigh.  Not that it’s bad.  It’s just…not…special.  This two-parter was, for me, sort of a lull.  I enjoyed myself while I watched this and “The Almost People” (of course I did–it’s Doctor Who!) but once they were done, I was kinda like “So.  Those were episodes.  Okay.  Now on to something else.”

When I’m having a bad day, I tend to make myself list things that are good and things I should be happy about.  So here I’ll list the things I liked about this episode.  I loved the location.  It was a nifty old creepy castle.  That’s right up my alley, and the direction was well done and used it to lovely effect.

I liked the small cast.  I do appreciate “insulated” episodes of Doctor Who–where all the action takes place in a nice, confined area, and you don’t really have to worry about the rest of the world.  Speaking of the rest of the world, I love that in this episode, we’re only worrying about the fates of the inhabitants of this base.  It’s not a huge, dire, “ohmigod the whole world/universe/time itself is screwed if we don’t fix this” dealie.  I was getting sick and tired of that.  You can only up the ante so far before it just gets tiresome.

Umm…what else?  I liked the Muse song at the beginning of the episode.

I liked that I wasn’t distracted too much from my knitting or listening to the commentary.  That’s right, I listened to the chatter of those delightfully ridiculous Radio Free Skaro boys while watching this episode.  And in this case, I think it really improved the experience.  Perhaps because Warren kept taking them off track with lots of Star Wars talk.  This pleased me.  Not that I prefer Star Wars to Doctor Who by any means.  It just seemed more interesting than quite a lot of this episode.  Also, the guys may have convinced me to try revisiting the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films.  I really ought to give them another shot.  Then again, maybe I’ll wait until I have some way to watch them on Blu-ray.

Well, seeing as how this blog post has followed RFS’s suit and veered from the topic of Doctor Who completely, I think I should bring it to a close.  I’ll just briefly mention that I did crack out a few more rows of the big purple stripe I’m working on.  And then I’ll think about trying to get some shut-eye.  I don’t have a heck of a lot of hope.  Thank goodness for the internet–a boon for insomniacs everywhere, it is.

Doctor Who: The Doctor’s Wife (Commentated)

So my weeks of utter slackage have apparently come to an end.  After more days off than I’d like to admit, I got back on that horse called knitting.  I only got about 10 rows done in the space of this episode, but hell, that’s 10 more rows than I’ve done in…  Whoops.  I almost admitted it!  I told you I don’t like to do that.  Anyway, it felt good to get back at it.  Let’s hope this trend continues.  Does it count as a trend if I’ve only done it once?  No?  Drat.

Ok, so The Doctor’s Wife.  I love this episode.  It’s no secret that Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, so when I heard he was writing a script for Doctor Who (years ago when he first mentioned it on his blog), I was thrilled!  I was also pretty apprehensive.  I mean, I love his work, but this is Doctor Who.  It’s practically sacred.  But I decided I could probably trust Neil to do it justice.  I’ve known for ages what a huge Who fanboy he is; I know what he’s capable of writing-wise; and I knew Steven Moffat was at the helm and would likely not steer us wrong, so…let’s just say I remained hopeful.  My cheerful optimism proved well-founded.  This story was positively lovely.

I hadn’t seen The Doctor’s Wife since it aired, and I’m rather wishing I’d watched it again recently before trying to watch it with commentary.  It was occasionally difficult to avoid ignoring the voices in my head(phones) while I fixated on the screen.  Luckily, Steven, Warren, and Chris from Radio Free Skaro are pretty damn amusing, so that didn’t happen as often as it could have.  I definitely recommend checking out their series 6 commentaries.  This one in particular held several laugh-out-loud moments for me.  The best of all being Steven’s Ribos Operation quotation (ooh! a rhyme!): “What’s a hole doing in my TARDIS?”  Thank god I wasn’t drinking anything or that would have been a legitimate spit take and my laptop would have paid the price.  Other commentary highlights include more agendas than you can shake a stick at, fun with Nazi fashion, glowing cleavage, and many of the usuals like Matt Smith-adoration and the obligatory trips into the gutter with tour-guide Chris.

As for this episode itself, I don’t think I’m alone in ranking it as one of the best of series 6.  Part of what I like most is the fact that it really doesn’t fit into the overall arc of the series.  This one really stands alone.  Now I’m usually a sucker for a story arc, but in this case, I was pretty pleased to just get away from that for a while.  I think any addition of arc-related nonsense would have only muddied things here.  Better to keep the love story between the Doctor and Idris pure and unsullied.  And that’s really what this was–a love story.  The most beautiful love story in the history of the show in my semi-humble opinion.  And as Steven said in the commentary, “it’s the only one I can ever believe.”  Nothing before or since can come close.

Period.

Podcastastic

Ok, so I haven’t posted anything lately.  That’s because I also haven’t knitted or watched much Doctor Who lately.  However, what I have done is listen to oodles of episodes of Doctor Who-related podcasts.  (I’ve mentioned before that I listen to several.)  Well that’s what I’ve been up to.  You know how when you (and by “you,” I mean “crazy people like me”) discover something new, well new-to-you (again, meaning me) that’s really really super awesome, and you (me) just throw yourself (myself) into it headlong?  That’s pretty much what happened to me and the apparently-very-wide world of Doctor Who podcasts.  Don’t get me wrong, I only listen to a teeny-tiny, itty-bitty fraction of what’s out there.  I’m sure there are heaps and buckets of other awesome podcasts I haven’t gotten around to yet (and probably never will–there are only so many hours in the day after all).

So if you know of (or create) any I haven’t covered here, feel free to mention them in the comments, or tweet me about them.  I might even get around to listening someday, but no promises.  There’s only one of me!  (And while it might be swell having multiples of me for podcast-listening purposes, trust me, the world is really better off with only one E.)

So here is my very quick* rundown on the Doctor Who podcasts I’ve been listening to (listed in the order I discovered them):

  • Radio Free Skaro – My first love in the world of Doctor Who podcasts, and still my favorite.  Steven, Warren, and Chris strike exactly the right balance of informative and entertaining.  Their personalities couldn’t be more well-suited to podcasting together.  There’s truly something for everyone.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re rehashing the news or doing a commentary, I find myself laughing out loud regularly (sometimes even during the multitude of interesting interviews they get with the behind-the-scenes folk of the Doctor Who world).  I’m not sure how they manage to sound so professional while simultaneously being ridiculous and off-color, but they pull it off brilliantly.
  • The TARDIS Tavern – Sean and Steve have created a virtual pub at which I would give my eye teeth to become a regular.  Seriously, if this place really existed, I would become an alcoholic in no time.  I find it hard to imagine a better time than sitting around, drinking, and talking about episodes of Doctor Who.  I would love to hang out with these guys.  I whipped through the TARDIS Tavern back-catalog faster than that of any other podcast!  While I haven’t adored every guest “bartender” they’ve had, I do appreciate the variety of opinions they get by having so many different folks pass through the Tavern.  I love being a proverbial fly on the wall there!
  • Two-minute Time Lord – Oh what a happy day it was when I finally gave 2MTL a listen for the first time!  I positively fell in love with Chip’s “concentrated commentary.”  He talks the way I think (or possibly the way I wish I thought)–not so much in the content of what he’s saying (although that’s quite often bang-on the same too), but in the way he phrases things and how he clearly comes at the Doctor Who universe from a place of affection.  I always find myself re-listening to the two-minute episodes several times, just to ensure that I haven’t missed something.  And I almost always have!  He packs a staggering amount of content into a brief amount of time.  2MTL is the TARDIS of podcasts in that way.  It’s somehow bigger on the inside…
  • Doctor Who: Mostly Harmless Cutaway – I actually have TARDIS Tavern to thank for my fandom of DW:MHC.  I adored the Tavern’s frequent guest host Josh so very very much that I just had to find out what his other podcast was like (and have since determined that I would follow him anywhere).  Turns out it’s a great podcast in its own right.  Mastermind Eric runs a pleasingly-not-so-tight ship that, in addition to Josh, often includes guest cohosts such as Sean from TARDIS Tavern, Cat from Sci-Fi-Party Line (a fun podcast that covers all kinds of sci-fi), and a droll Austrailian fellow whose name seems to change with each appearance.  Listening to these folks is the closest I get to sitting around chatting Doctor Who with a room full of friends.  Good times indeed!
  • The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast – This was another case of following a podcaster I like–well two, actually.  I loved Sean on TARDIS Tavern and DW:MHC, so it seemed natural to check this out, but I hesitated because I don’t really read Doctor Who books.  Then I heard an episode of DW:MHC recorded at Gallifrey One** that prominently featured DWBC-cohost Erik.  I was sold immediately.  It doesn’t even matter that I don’t read the books.  I love hearing Erik and Sean talk about them, and I look forward to hearing the guest-readers they have recite passages from the books they review.  For not being a fan of audio books, I really enjoy that bit.  Probably because they seem to get such excellent talent each month.

I heartily recommend each and every one of these podcasts.  It really felt like a whole new world opened up to me when I discovered they existed.  I feel like I should also give an honorable mention and a quick shout-out.  Honorable mention to The Platformer Podcast.  It has nothing (well, very little) to do with Doctor Who, but two of the three lovely co-hosts were mentioned above.  I never thought I’d enjoy a technology-based podcast, but I find myself looking forward to this one every week!  The shout-out goes to Kyle Anderson, writer for (among other things) Nerdist.com.  First of all, if it wasn’t for Kyle, I’d have never discovered any of these podcasts, so I’m pretty much forever in his debt.  Secondly, Kyle himself has become one of my favorite podcast guests.  The guy knows his stuff, and more importantly, knows how to talk about it in an entertaining manner.  (And as of recently, he’s co-hosting a podcast of his own.  If you enjoy bad movies, or people talking about them, you may find that the WTF Are You Watching?! Podcast is relevant to your interests.)

Ok.  So when I sat down to write this, it was supposed to be about a certain spreadsheet I’ve mentioned on twitter, but as it seems to have turned into something else entirely–something huge, apparently, I think the spreadsheet post will have to wait until later.  Stay tuned!  (How’s that for a teaser?***)

*It may not look “very quick,” but trust me, I could go on and on (and on) about each of these.

**I’m told Gallifrey One is the world’s premiere Doctor Who convention.  I’ll get to find out in February, as I’ll be attending for the first time.  So exciting!  I will probably be starstruck meeting all these podcasters in person.

***I know, I know.  It’s pretty lame.  Unless you dig spreadsheets like I do, that is.  I really dig spreadsheets.