In depth analysis of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Time Travel

First of all: SPOILERS FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD!!!

SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS

You have been warned.

Here goes nothing: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is either bad canon or a good fanfic. Short explanation: I loved the new characters and the development of the old ones, and the dynamics between them, but story-wise is isn’t that good. Lots of tropes and screwing up established lore. Now I could ‘just’ write a review of the book, but I actually feel like going in-depth about the subject that ruined the story most for me: Time travel.

Time travel is tricky. It can be confusing, it has many forms and it’s hard to do it good. Time travel as explained in the 3rth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, was done quite well in my opinion. However, now they’ve revisited the subject in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, they didn’t do so well. To explain, I need to visit some other franchises and forms of time travel where it is actually done well.

Prince of Persia: Undoing actions by rewinding
In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, you are able to rewind time for a bit. Using this mechanic, you can undo a short period of time and start over. You end up in your own body where it was a few minutes ago, not creating any doppelgangers. [Disclaimer: in later PoP games this mechanic gets more complicated and elaborated, but let’s leave it at this for now]

Life is Strange: Creating an alternate universe by rewinding
In Life is Strange, your character has the same kind of ability as you have in Prince of Persia. You have the ability to rewind time for about 5 minutes, placing your ‘mind’ in your body where it was 5 minutes ago (so no doppelgangers), enabling you to make better choices. However, the timeline where you came from keeps existing, so by travelling back in time, you create an alternate universe in which different choices are made. Your body keeps existing in the original timeline too, so you’re actually ‘copying’ your mind and placing it in your body of 5 minutes ago, resulting in 2 you’s in 2 different universes.

Life is Strange, Steins;Gate and the Butterfly Effect: Travelling back and forth in time, memory gap versus memory addition
In both Life is Strange and Steins;Gate, you’re able to change events of the past, resulting in alternate universes where different choices were made. However, right after the changed event, the protagonist fast forwards to the alternate universe version of current time. As a result, the protagonist does not have knowledge of anything that took place between the changed event and the present, resulting in a lot of confusion. In the Butterfly Effect, the protagonist is also able to change events in the past, and travels back to the alternate present right after. However, the protagonist gains added memories of events that took place in that alternate universe. So the protagonist ends up having memories of 2 different lives.

Doctor Who: Staying in the same universe
The Doctor travels back and forth in time. However, changing the past does not result in an alternate universe. In fact, everything he changes in the past has already happened, thereby he is not really able to change the past which would otherwise result in an alternate future (there are exceptions, but this is how it generally goes, Doctor Who is very wibbly-wobbly timey wimey). Example: Let’s say he can’t find his wallet in the morning, but some time later he finds it in a strange place. Later that day he travels 24 hours back in time, and he moves his wallet from the usual place to the strange place. He didn’t actually change anything, because it already happened. Another interesting point is that he does not copy his mind and places it in a former version of himself, but he physically travels back in time. As a result, he disappears in the present time and 2 versions of him exist in the past.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Closing the loop
The mechanics of time travel in HP 3 are very similar to Doctor Who. Initially, Hermione uses the Time Turner to travel back short amounts of time to be able to follow multiple classes at once. She physically travels back in time, so she disappears in the present, resulting in a double Hermione in the past. Because Hermione only travels back a short amount of time, it isn’t necessary to travel back to the present. She just has to wait until her doppelganger travels back like she did, and take her place as soon as the doppelganger disappears (closing the loop). It is important to note that there are no alternate universes created in this case: Hermione is present in all classes at once, she isn’t creating different universes in which she follows different classes in each one. Later in the story, Harry sees his father creating a Patronus, and later he travels to the past, creating a Patronus in sight of Past-Harry, realizing he didn’t see his father but himself. This follows the ‘It has already happened’ logic. Same goes for saving Buckbeak: They didn’t create one universe where he was saved and one where he wasn’t saved: They actually already saved him in the past.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: A hot mess
I’m going to dissect this by pointing out facts that confused me or contradict the logic used in HP 3.

They are able to create an alternate universe
Albus and Scorpius get their hands on a Time Turner. They travel back a huge amount of time, change events, and travel back to the present. But instead of staying in the same timeline like in HP 3, they create an alternative timeline, and travel back to the present of that alternate timeline. This leaves them with a memory gap, similar to the mechanics in Life is Strange and Steins;Gate. There is nothing wrong with this mechanic on its own, but according to the lore that was established in HP 3, they should not be able to create an alternate timeline, but just travel back and forth in the same universe, not being able to really change things because everything has already happened. Granted, in the end the undo their changes and end up in the original timeline, but why does saving Buckbeak not create an alternate timeline, while Expelliarmus-ing Cedric does?

Abandoned universes stop existing
In one of the timelines where they end up, Ron and Hermione sacrifice themselves so that Scorpius is able to travel in time again to set things right. This suggests that when someone travels back in time, the abandoned timeline stops existing. Why would Ron and Hermione sacrifice themselves if their terrible universe would just keep on existing without them? Also,  Albus and Scorpius are physically time travelling (like in Doctor Who and HP3). By that logic, if universes would keep existing when they’re abandoned by the protagonists, they’re creating universes where they have forever disappeared. However, the book actually gives contradicting information, because when Albus and Scorpius have disappeared in the original timeline (travelled back in time), HP and gang keep on searching for them, proving that timelines keep existing after all. Which leaves 2 options: 1) all universes keep existing, resulting in universes where Albus and Scorpius have disappeared forever and Hemione’s and Ron’s sacrifice was in vain. 2) The original timeline keeps existing and newly created alternate timelines stop existing as soon as they’re abandoned.

They don’t follow their own logic
Because they screw up time so much, Albus and Scorpius indirectly kill Harry Potter, resulting in Albus never being born. Albus actually disappears at that point, but Scorpius is still there. However, if Albus was never born, Scorpius would never have any motivation to travel back in time in the first place, so by that logic he should disappear as well, which he doesn’t.

They create doppelgangers but they don’t
Albus and Scorpius physically travel back in time. So their bodies disappear in current time, and by that logic they should create doppelgangers in the past (this literally happens in HP 3). Because they travel back to a time where they haven’t been born yet, this doesn’t apply. But when they travel back to the (alternate) present, their mind is suddenly in the bodies of their alternate selves, in stead of creating a doppelganger, which would make more sense, following previous logic.

In conclusion:
The only way for time travel in HP and the Cursed Child to make sense is to follow these rules:

  • When you travel back in time but don’t travel back, but just wait until the loop is closed, you don’t create an alternate universe (HP 3), however, when you travel back in time, change events, and then fast forward back to the present, you have created an alternate timeline (HP and the Cursed Child). Or creating alternate universes just happens randomly. Or it depends on what you change. Or something.
  • The original timeline keeps existing, newly created alternate timelines stop existing as soon as they’re abandoned. Or you create multiple timelines where you have disappeared forever.
  • Preventing your own birth causes you to disappear, preventing events that caused you to time travel in the first place changes nothing. Because.
  • Travelling back to a time where you already exist creates a doppelganger, travelling to an alternate universe where you already exist doesn’t, your mind is transferred to the alternate you, leaving no memories of events in the alternate timeline prior to your transfer.

As you can see these rules are convoluted and obviously created in hindsight. Time travel logic in HP 3 was great: simple, clear rules, no exceptions. These new rules contradict everything established in HP 3, which is a real shame. Now I know it’s a play and it’s meant to be seen, not read. But J.K. said this is canon. So I really think it’s too bad that they’ve screwed up the otherwise great time-travel mechanics.

Being a ‘real’ fan, part 1: Fantitlement

We are all a fan of something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Maybe it’s Doctor Who or Sherlock. Maybe you like video games or anime, you probably have a favourite band or musician. Fandom can be something wonderful. You can meet like-minded people and make new friends. But something caught my attention lately. Something that irks me. Because I’ve come across people that seem to think that there is a very important difference between ‘fake’ fans and ‘real’ fans. And I hate that idea. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about it, but also the subject became more complicated and more elaborate. That’s why I’m splitting this up in 4 parts, with this post as the first.

Fan entitlement, or fantitlement as I like to call it, is something I’ve come across many times. I’ll be writing this mostly from my perspective as a gamer, but it happens in other media too. Let me first define ‘fantitlement’: The idea that you have to meet certain requirements to call yourself a true fan. It happened many times to me, online as well as in real life, that when I introduce myself as a gamer, people start asking me about what games I play, how many consoles I have, if I play games on PC too, if I have finished all the games, etc., which could be out of genuine interest, but often it’s something else. They’re interrogating me. Testing if I’m a ‘real gamer’, or just pretending to be. Funny thing is, that the requirements that I have to meet are always arbitrarily set by my conversation partner. Some of you may have seen my Zelda collection, still someone managed to tell me that I’m not a real Zelda fan because I’ve never finished the first 2 games (which came out in 1986 and 1987). Some might not call me a real gamer because I mainly play on consoles. Some might call me casual gamer because I like Nintendo a lot.

Like I said, this happens in other media too. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will say that you’re not a real Doctor Who fan if you’ve never watched to original series or if you don’t particularly hate Stephen Moffat. Or are telling you that you can’t be a Marvel fan if you’ve only seen the movies but never read a comic. That you can’t say you love anime when you’ve only seen Spirited Away and Death Note.

Well people, I call bullshit. Maybe someone didn’t put as much dedication in his or her fandom as you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t call themselves a fan. You’re not entitled to the title of fan either. ‘Fan’ isn’t a badge of honour that you have to deserve. Maybe someone just has different priorities money-wise. Maybe someone was born in the wrong era, maybe someone doesn’t have as much free time as you. Maybe they are uninformed and they just don’t know about the other cool stuff that’s available. Or maybe, Gods forbid, they don’t exactly like the same things you do.

I once came across a girl who said to me that she was a huge Zelda fan. After a short conversation I found out the she thought that Twilight Princess was the only Zelda game that existed. There are 2 things I could do at that point: Laugh in her face, brag about my impeccable Zelda knowledge, and make her cry. 2) Tell her that there are more games like that, share my fondness of the franchise with her, and make her happy. The choice it not that hard right? Be happy that there are more people that enjoy the things you love, and share that joy! Don’t make fandom a competition!

Are you a series snob?

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Today I want to address something that’s been bugging me for a while now.

tv-shows

Being a series snob. For those who grew up or already were adults in the 90’s and a geek things finally started to look up, series wise. (This might have happened earlier, but I was born early 80’s and grew up in the 90’s and can only talk about my own experience.) series and particularly sci-fi series became a thing.

Pre-download and pre-streaming services, yes those were scary days, we had one channel in the Netherlands supplying us with those epic series all the way from the US. You had to make sure you were home to watch it, or videotape the latest episode, 1 episode a week! Oh the horror!

untitled

But… It was something you were looking forward to, I even remember discussing episodes at length with friends prior and after it aired. There wasn’t much diversity so if it was slightly sci-fi or fantasy like, you watched it and kept on watching it until you liked it, because that was it!

The fond memories I have while watching the X-files, a couple of very obscure series I don’t even know the name of. Star Trek during dinner and my mum complaining about the gruesome prosthetics that made her loose her appetite. The adventures of Buffy and her Scooby gang and whether you had the hots for Spike or Angel. Friday night and Babylon 5 with a bowl of crisps, or chips depending on which side of the big pond you live. Cue the nostalgic feelings please.

Watching-my-favourite-TV-show

Back to today. We have basically everything on demand. Netflix on the telly, illegal downloading, semi-illegal streaming on line, DVD’s are fairly cheap if you want to wait two months. And more series than you can possibly watch in an entire lifetime, even though we, or I, try.

With the overabundance of different series I find myself getting more critical about what I watch. I have my popular regular series, namely the big 3 (SuperWhoLock) and about a dozen or so I also follow. I often start new series, but whenever the CGI is very bad, for example Grimm, I give up very easily. I do this as well with series I find too confusing (as in I don’t have to watch every freaking second or I might miss an important plot). If the story line disappoints me and it’s more of the same every damned week, bye bye series. (how many freaking doppelgangers can you have parading on the screen).

untitled1

Some series get a second go because there’s an actor on it I admire, Arrow is such a series. I love John Barrowman, but I know Oliver has been stuck on the damned island by now. Just stop with the freaking flash backs.

Some series are entertaining enough even though totally unrealistic, Scorpion anyone? Seriously you have an IQ of 170 and use Bing as a search engine???

happy-quotes-278

Also, I love crossovers! Arrow and the Flash, the Flash and Supergirl, now if someone, and I’m looking at both Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, made a Doctor Who / Sherlock crossover I would be over the moon.

But going back to my original point. I’m more critical in watching my series and not very loyal in watching it all the way towards the end. I give up when it doesn’t interest me any longer. Much faster nowadays than a couple of years ago.

hsfile_287134

Are you a series snob? Let me know in the comments.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

She’s back!

I’ve felt a disturbance in the force, I’ve awoken from my slumber. Guess who’s back fellow geeks! It is only me!

logo2

Wow. It must have been over a year since I wrote a proper blog. A lot has happened and real life got in the way of writing. Speaking of writing, something else I didn’t do for the past year. So why didn’t I post? Well, like I said, live got in the way, along with work and my etsy shop.

 

We had so much fun we are thinking about selling at Amsterdam Comic Con as well! I’m waiting to hear back from both Amsterdam Comic Con and German Comic Con because they spotted me and want me as a potential vendor.

DSC_0372.JPG

I checked the last blog post I wrote and I am really ashamed to say it was the Jurassic World review in June 2015, so it’s been almost a year.

What happened? Well, I got my contract renewed at my new job. Don’t worry, I’m still a Social Worker, only for a different company now (and I’m waiting for my second renewal and permanent contract in a couple of months. Keep your fingers crossed please.)

Had a relationship, didn’t have a relationship. I am bound to end up as a geeky 80-year-old with 30 cats and a house filled with POP vinyl’s, Doctor Who merchandise, books and an awful lot of yarn.

DSC_0147Let’s see, I went to London and met Laurell K. Hamilton! Epic moment! Went to Cardiff, cried over Ianto’s memorial wall and flewDSC_0179 the Tardis at the Doctor Who experience, also ate the most gruesome hotdogs in that American Diner in Cardiff which they used several times in Doctor Who. I tried to get into Torchwood Three but my Vortex Manipulator didn’t work, I suspect the Doctor…

20150916_161655Also went to Greece (Kos) and made new memories. I went to the same Island 10 years ago in between my grandparents dying so it was really sad 10 years ago. Now not soDSC_0658 much and I rescued some kittens as well!

I cried over Doctor Who, I cried over Sherlock, I cried over Supernatural and why am I still watching those shows?

Read not as much books as I wanted but I really started to enjoy manga and anime.

I skipped nanowrimo last November because I was busy working on my holiday season orders and getting enough stock for Comic Con.

I loved the new Star Wars! But no so much Deadpool. I won’t be seeing the new Batman vs Superman due to bad reviews. Although I can’t wait until the new Captain America. (Team Iron Man whoop whoop!)DSC_0122

I had a pretty shitty holiday season myself due to my mum’s cat getting really sick and we had to put him down in the end.

I took pity to a stray cat in my back yard, for the people who follow me on Facebook, it’s been a long couple of weeks. But I did rename him Captain Jack Harkness. In the end he went to the DSC_0114animal shelter but before he could be adopted his owners picked him up, and just 3 days later he’s back in my back yard again.

I went to Dutch Comic Con, sold some of my work, made an appointment for edited_1459167786957my new tattoo, met the Hillywood sisters and bought epic stuff from Canvas Warriors (yay for them calling me a friend and remembering me from the previous two times I met them). Also got an epic photo op with Marnix again, the lovely and sweet Dutch actor who plays the Silence in Doctor Who and bought some cool merchandise.

IMG_20160328_141644

And that’s how we ended up here. I am back to writing again, Camp Nano here I come! Back to blogging, updating my etsy shop, enjoying a couple of days off from work and life goes on.

_20160328_141800

So, until next time my epic geeks! Love, Mendy.

 

Dutch Comic Con 2015

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Dutch Comic Con happened last weekend. It was the first ever Dutch Comic Con in the Netherlands. And I attended the whole weekend.  DSC_0619

I’ve been excited for this for months, keeping up with the guests who were attending, the stands, the amazing geeky cars and planning for two whole days of cosplaying for the first time ever.

DSC_0620

And although a couple weeks prior to the start of DCC there were a lot of rumours online about the people organizing DCC and money issues, a weekend before the start, some guests started to cancel because there were no flights or hotels booked. It all turned out in the end.

DSC_0926

Because this was the first time, you can expect some things not to well organised, such as some part of the venue were really dark (sucks taking pictures), no chairs for the Q&A, getting photo ops not organised, and the organizer and vendors didn’t expect so many people. We had 16.000 for the first day! For a first time con, that’s really amazing!

DSC_0850

As expected there were a lot of people cosplaying. Not as much as you expect attending an US con. On Saturday maybe 30-40 percent and on Sunday 20 percent. But for us Dutchies that is a lot. The level of cosplay was amazing. Ok you had the crazy people wearing onesies and other really mismatched stuff, but loads of people really did put up there best show.

DSC_0884

The vendors were amazing. So much geeky stuff, so little money! You could get everything your geeky heart desired. From comics, to pop vinyl’s, to full Japanese Manga body pillows to amazing handcrafted jewellery.

DSC_0696DSC_0929

I attended Comic Con with my lovely geeky friend Nanayah (who also took all the pictures, kudos to her and her amazing camera!) The first day we stood in line for ages to get our photo ops. I bought a photo op with Osric Chau (Kevin Tran on Supernatural) and Marnix van den Broeke (he plays the Silence in Doctor Who, the werewolf on Harry Potter and Death in the Hogfather). We also made some new friends waiting in line. The Supernatural fandom is just epic!

IMG_20150328_185816

We attended the Q&A with Osric on the first and second day and I shot some vids (which I still need to upload on YouTube, I had a very busy week, sorry). We had no idea it was so crazy busy until we left the Q&A and although we did look at the merchandise, it was too busy to really buy anything.

IMG_20150328_185551

We left to get a signed photo with Osric. I presented him my homemade Gishwhes 2015 hat and some syrup waffles. And I got an unexpected hug. Osric gives the best hugs!

FB_IMG_1427715662502 DSC_0750

After that is was time for my photo op with Marnix. He was a last minute announced guest and he’s not really know for his work. I was sad to learn only 3 people bought a photo op with him on Saturday, hopefully he got more fans on Sunday. The good this was I had some time to chat with him and laugh about getting my picture taking with him. He’s freakishly tall, 2.01 m or 6’7 tall! While I am 1.67 m or 5’4. The photographer ended up getting a step stool to get both of us in the picture!

DSC_0889

We looked around some more, met up with some other friends, seeing loads of Doctors. Funny thing as you are dressed up as the Doctor and see another Doctor we greet each other with a “Doctor!” “Doctor!”

DSC_0645

We also bought two ‘dating for geeks’ comics and got them signed before getting our pictures taken with Osric, my second Osric hug in a day!

DSC_0803

The second day I went as Osgood from Doctor Who and I was early at the con, basically to buy some merchandise and I scored! Some pop vinyls and a vortex manipulator! Because Osric was going in cosplay today and he was dressed as Peter Pan, I had to get another picture with him!

DSC_0948

Nanayah and I also learned the people of Wolfcon would be attending and giving away free passes, so naturally we found them and we are going to Wolfcon in May!!!

DSC_0741

The Q&A with Marnix the second day was hilarious as was the second Q&A with Osric. Osric also used my Gishwes hat for the raffle he was holding that weekend to win a free dinner with him (too bad we didn’t win) but I did get an epic picture with Osric the second day.

DSC_0084

We bought more merchandise and I even bought my first 3 manga! And according to Tekira I did very well. I bought the first manga from: Blue Exorcist, Vampire Knight and Black Butler. I loved those! (Don’t tell anyone but I found accompanying anime online and already watched Vampire Knight and Black Butler). Tekira is very proud of me.

DSC_0774

I was absolutely dead after two days of Comic Con, but I can’t wait for next year and a new cosplay I have in mind!

That was it for this post. Love you guys!

Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy!

“Doctor Who” – Ten for 10

Galloping hot on the heels of Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary (well, relatively given the programme’s history), Doctor Who celebrated another anniversary.  On 26th March 2005 at 7:00 pm, a beloved British classic returned to the television with a new Doctor along with an independent and go-getting companion and his iconic TARDIS disguised as a London Metropolitan Police Box.

I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as that new realisation of Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire’s magical hit the screen, I sat forwards in my chair and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I was transported back to the programme I loved as a child.

To celebrate “New Who’s” tenth birthday, I decided to do a “Ten for 10” – my ten personal favourite moments since the programme came back in 2005.  Now, they’re not a definitive top ten, but a run down of ten moments which made me fall in love with the programme again and continues to get me tuning in.  (Oh, and get some tissues ready as there could be tears).

 

Right from the off, this version of Doctor Who was going to be pacey and full of action and this scene from the first episode sums this attitude up perfectly as the Doctor grabs Rose, and in some respects the viewer, by the hand into his universe of adventures.

Billie Piper manages to embody Rose’s, and the viewers’, disorientation as she is rescued from the Nestene Consciousness’ Auton footsoldiers, whilst Christopher Eccleston moves the Doctor away from anything we’ve seen before by delivering a Doctor full of attitude and swagger.

9. “School Reunion” (2006) – “Hello Sarah Jane”

The year is 2006 and nearly thirty years after his last regular adventure, the Tenth Doctor meets an old friend in the form of Sarah Jane Smith, wonderfully portrayed by the great Elisabeth Sladen.

As a fan of the original series, Sarah Jane was one of the first companions I remember regularly watching and like the Tenth Doctor himself, you can’t help but feel a comfy glow of familiarity when Lis returns in the role which delighted children not only in the 70s, but in the 21st century thanks to return appearances on Doctor Who and through her own highly successful spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Alongside this, you get the the Doctor still showing some of the trauma over the loss of the Time Lords which reverberates into the story’s conclusion with Sarah Jane’s wise counsel that the Doctor has to deal with loss like everyone else has to, Sarah Jane and Rose being bitchy to one another and Mickey playfully giving the Doctor hell with the “Mrs and the Ex” remark.

8. “The Empty Child” (2005) – “Are You My Mummy?”

Steven Moffat is the master of making the ordinary scary – the Weeping Angels that can only move when you’re not looking at them, the creatures from “Listen” that hide underneath your bed or the Vashta Nerada who exist in the shadows and eat you alive, but this is the “monster” that was the most terrifying of his creations for me – a young boy killed on a bomb site and resurrected thanks to alien technology who has only one thought – to find his mummy and be reunited with her.

On the one hand, you get the emotional pull of this boy wanting to find his mummy whilst the plague that he is “Patient Zero” of is turning people into creatures just like him.  And then, you get the cliffhanger.

After the disappointing cliffhanger in the Slitheen two-parter, this story really shows how to do a Doctor Who cliffhanger with the Doctor, Rose and Jack surrounded by the “Gas Mask zombies” and seemingly no way out.

With the prospect of more two part stories with cliffhangers in Series Nine, I hope the production team can get back to edge of the seat cliffhangers like this story.

7. “Utopia” (2007) – “I… Am… The Master”/”The Master Reborn”

It had been teased, it had been “spoiled”, but one thing was certain – you can’t keep a bad Time Lord down.  Eleven years earlier, Eric Roberts was the Master in the BBC/Fox/Universal television movie and was seen disappearing into the Eye of Harmony.  At the end of Series Three, the clues that had been peppered during Series Two and Three came to fruition on the planet Malcassairo with the Doctor, Martha Jones and a hitch-hiking Captain Jack meeting the seemingly sweet natured Professor Yana – only to find out that he is, in truth, the Doctor’s former childhood friend and nemesis.

Sir Derek Jacobi was delightful and, for want of a better phrase, sweet in his role of Yana, but once he changes from Yana to the Master, Jacobi perfectly embodies the villainy and malevolence the embodies all the actors who have previously portrayed the role… only to be shot be his assistant Chantho which led to his regeneration to the wonderfully hyperactive and villainous portrayal by John Simm leading to the “Year of Hell” arc of the last two episodes of Series Three, “The Sound Of Drums” and “Last Of The Time Lords”.

6. “Dalek” (2005) – Nine meets the “Metaltron”

Whilst the new series was being prepared, there were rumours that the Daleks weren’t going to be a part of the return due to rights issues and the Toclafane, who appeared in “The Sound Of Drums”/”Last Of The Time Lords”, were going to be the big bads for Series One.

Thank goodness that the BBC and the estate of Terry Nation managed to work things out as we got a new chapter in the Doctor’s mythos which pitched him against his most formidable foe… and a fantastic episode which re-introduced a single Dalek facing a scared Doctor in a scene reminiscent of “Silence Of The Lambs”.  Who would have thought that a monster created in 1963 could inspire so much fear thanks to the performances by Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Nicholas Briggs and his voice modulator wizardry as the last Dalek… who wasn’t, as we found out later in the series, really the last Dalek?

5. “The End Of Time – Part Two” (2010) – “I Don’t Want To Go”

If you’re a Whovian and your heart, or hearts, isn’t moved by this scene, then you must be a Dalek.

David well and truly wore his fanboy heart on his sleeve in his portrayal of the Doctor over four years and this scene summed his love for the show perfectly as he seemingly speaks to the audience to say that not only does the Tenth Doctor not want to go (something that’s touched upon in Matt Smith’s final episode), but that David didn’t want to leave the role he loved so much.

4. “An Adventure In Space And Time” (2013) – Matt Smith’s cameo

Yes, I cheated with this one, but I wanted to include this as one of my ten moments as Mark Gatiss scripts this surprise at the end of the anniversary docudrama with Matt Smith acknowledging David Bradley in the role of his real-life predecessor, William Hartnell.

After the emotional scene between Bradley and Lesley Manville as Hartnell’s wife, Heather, where he admits that he doesn’t want to leave the part, it’s good to see this brief coda to show not only Hartnell handing over to Troughton, but the legacy that both men left to Matt and beyond.

3. “The Day Of The Doctor” (2013) – “No Sir, ALL THIRTEEN!”

I was fortunate enough to see “The Day Of The Doctor” at the cinema along with a studio full of Whovians.  The episode enough is special enough bringing together Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt, but this scene manages not only to tie up the “Time War” arc of “New Who”‘s history, but then tops it off with twelve… wait, THIRTEEN Doctors banding together to save not only Gallifrey, but the Doctor’s very soul by hiding his home planet away rather than burning it.

2. “Flatline” (2014) – “The Man Who Stops The Monsters”

A surprising choice, perhaps, but this is THE moment that cemented Peter Capaldi into my mind as the Doctor… and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

From my childhood, the Doctor has always represented safety and the man you can rely on when the monsters came, but Capaldi’s Doctor felt a little unreliable for the majority of Series Eight and somebody who was almost scary as the monsters he fought.  This speech, however, signified everything that the Doctor should be – a man reluctant to take arms against the enemy unless absolutely necessary, but who is willing to draw a line in the sand and defend his adopted home, but the words alone don’t sell it.  Peter Capaldi’s fierce delivery more than effectively sells the script and, in my eyes, the twelfth Doctor is truly born.

1. “Vincent And The Doctor” (2010) – Vincent visits the Musee D’Orsay

It’s no surprise that I picked this as my favourite moment as it’s probably my favourite regular episode since 2005.  A perfect combination of fantastic writing by Richard Curtis, the right song (“Chances” by Athlete) and pitch perfect performances by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Tony Curran and an uncredited cameo by Bill Nighy.

Given what we know about happened to the real Vincent Van Gogh, it was both delightful and heart-breaking to witness Amy’s attempts to help Vincent realise that his work is beloved and lives on into the 21st century and a lovely touch by Curran when he apologises about his beard after kissing Nighy’s Dr Black.

 

So, those are my personal 10 for Ten.  Do you agree with any of them or do you have any moments or memories that embody “New Who” since it came back in 2005?

Rotterdam Book fair!

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks. For a couple of years now I wanted to go to the book fair in Rotterdam, but usually I either just miss it or don’t have enough cash. This time I made sure I didn’t forget and had enough spending money.

So on the last day of the 4 day book fair I went to Rotterdam to go hunt down some books, without really knowing what to expect.

DSC_0437

It was epic! It turned out it was an enormous hall filled with long tables of endless rows of books. No independent market salesmen just everything in one big heap so no haggling on prices or anything. They advertised books were at a maximum of 90% discount and all new!

DSC_0438

Some books were a bit damaged but I don’t mind.

At the entrance you could get a little book trolley to carry all the books around with you. I must say, they had a lot of books. Unfortunately, most of them were in Dutch. Now I don’t mind buying some books in Dutch to get a collection complete, but I do want the majority of my books in English. And I don’t know who was responsible for dividing the books into genres because all the sci-fi and fantasy books were under romance and thriller novels.

DSC_0440

I am very serious about my books. You don’t mix and match, you give them a proper place.

When I entered, one of the first books I saw was the biography of Roald Dahl. Since that book came out it 2010 it has been on my ‘I need this book in my collection and want to read it.’ But the price was very steep. And every time I bought new books I looked at it and still was too expensive. Until now… 5.99 in euros! It was the first book to go in my trolley. And I have already start reading it.

DSC_0447

I browsed the Dutch books and stumbled upon a book from my childhood. It was a series of books and I own just one of them “Tiny is ziek” translated Tiny is sick. For some twisted reason I really loved it. And now I found a second book “Tiny ziet spoken” or Tiny sees ghosts. I had to have it. Yay, second book found. The young adult section had many good books I wanted, but all in Dutch so I let them be. (Be still my crying heart).

DSC_0448

I did however found another Robin Hobb book I didn’t own yet. The second book in a series I already have in Dutch so I added it. Making three books now in my trolley. I loved the trolley and wanted to take it home with me. My own personal book trolley. Can I have it please?

DSC_0446

Finally I stumbled upon the English novels. Because it was just two tables, no genres specified I really had to dig through them to find some gems and I did. I added Dawn of the Dreadfulls, the prequel to pride and prejudice and zombies (epic, epic book) and Android Karenina (really looking forward to reading that one.)

DSC_0442

DSC_0445DSC_0444

I also found a cheap vampire novel which looks interesting enough for just 1.99. And I found Wild Thyme beyond, a book that came recommended by Russel T. Davies, so of course it ended up in my book trolley as well.

DSC_0443

The next time the book fair is close by I’m going again, although I won’t wait until the last day. I seriously think I missed out on loads of good books. But I did ok and am really happy about my book haul which ended up costing me 23 euros!

DSC_0441

Do you go to book fairs or book markets? Do you love discount books or always pay full price?

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Cosplay adventures or prepping for Dutch Comic Con.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. In two months’ time Dutch Comic Con will start and I have tickets! I am so excited to go! Although seriously bummed I couldn’t persuade Theta to come along, so I will be going solo.

Not really solo, because I’m meeting a lot of friends there. And I decided to do some cosplay as well. As a Whovian and British at heart I just had to cosplay my female eleventh Doctor. I have the costume and all the props already so that one is easy, although I wonder how I’m going to enjoy walking around with a mop all day.

DSC_0425

The second day cosplaying is going to be Osgood! And if you follow me on social media you might have seen some pics of me assembling the outfit.

I found the corduroy dark green pants, already own black sand shoes, bowtie and the fourth Doctor’s scarf (although the colors are a bit off, it was my first knitting project I finished and I couldn’t find the right colors at the time. Besides making a new one is going to take ages.)

DSC_0394

I got my mum’s old asthma inhaler, bought a brown blouse in case I couldn’t find a white one with a brown sweater, just to be sure. I ordered my lab coat and it will arrive later this week.

I’ve been struggling with my hair. I’m blond, Osgood has dark brown hair. I’m not dying my hair for just a day, it’s a drag to grow it out, plus blond going brown is a good change at getting stuck with green hair. I’ve been researching wigs as well. But as I need a full lace wig (because I need a high pony tail) those are a big expensive for just the one time.

DSC_0449

I bought a brown hairspray at the ‘carnaval’ store and just tried it out. The color looks amazing, although it is vile stuff, plus I need someone to help me spray it on, on Sunday morning before I leave for the DCC.

Another downside, it can’t get wet. If it gets wet it’s going to stain like hell. I now have a huge amount of brown hairspray in my hair and I need to wash it in a couple of hours. Just so see if I can get it out of my hair without any stains. If not, I’ll guess I’ll go wig shopping.

Oh and my new glasses arrived as well, yay for the Osgood looking glasses!

Are you going to Dutch Comic Con, or any con? Any tips for a new cosplayer? Know any cheap full lace wig sites? Let me know!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Doctor Who Review – “Last Christmas” (Writer: Steven Moffat)

Do you ever remember the Christmas jumper that you got from your maiden aunt on Christmas Day?  The one that you can’t fail to show disappointment on when you first receive it.  And then time goes on and, actually, it’s not too bad and it eventually becomes something that’s nice and comfy to wear.

“Why am I waffling about jumpers?” you may be asking.  Well, I have to admit that these are my feelings on the latest Christmas offering from Steven Moffat.  In fact, on the evening itself, I was left slack jawed in disappointment with the episode.  However, time has a way of putting things into perspective and I’m glad that my busy schedule over the Festive period prevented me from putting my immediate thoughts on the internet as after a second viewing, I found that it actually wasn’t as bad as originally thought.

 

As with the previous specials, certainly the ones written by Steven Moffat, the story is firmly couched in the trappings of the Christmas celebration – this time with a visit from good old Santa Claus himself, although he isn’t quite as jolly as the ones you see in the department store.  But as we know from previous specials, it wouldn’t be “Doctor Who” if there wasn’t some form of peril involved and Moffat brings this in with that classic staple, the “Base Under Siege” type story, something that’s rather appropriate given one of the guest stars for this particular special.

Unlike previous specials (apart from “The End Of Time”), this story had a firm continuity thread running through it as, beyond the Christmas aspects, the main theme of this particular special was the part that lies play in the Doctor’s adventures.  It’s been a rule since Matt Smith had the key to the TARDIS was that the Doctor lies and this comes to bite him on the bum in this special as both he and Clara have to resolve the lies that they told each other at the end of “Death In Heaven”.

The lies told by the Doctor and Clara aren’t the only ones involved in this episode as the viewer is conducted into a story where the core theme is lies, in so much as the way that we lie to ourselves when we dream – both when we believe that we’re awake and lying to ourselves when we’re dreaming and the way we try to control our dreams.  In fact, it’s reminiscent of the plot of the 2010 Christopher Nolan film, “Inception”.

Speaking of films, one of the issues that I originally had with the episode was that the premise was basically built on a viewing list.  Now I understand, though, that I was wrong to dismiss it as not only does this mean that I missed the central joke of the episode, but takes away that extra layer of Christmas – that point in the holiday when we’re sick of what’s on the telly and being filled with food and drink that we decide to retreat into what makes us comfortable, a comfy couch and our favourite films.

The Christmas overload in this episode hides one of the most scary creations in Steven Moffat’s tenure, both as a writer and as showrunner, the Dream Crabs.  Where on earth have you been keeping these creations been in your arsenal, Steven?  Not only do they look scary, but the whole idea of a creature that keeps you de-sensitised and dreaming whilst it has lunch on your brain is genuinely frightening.  Yes, the on-screen representation of the crabs screamed “Alien rip off” and their M.O. was reminiscent of the Dream Lord from “Amy’s Choice” – especially when Clara is trapped into her fantasy Christmas with Danny returned to life following his sacrifice at the end of “Death In Heaven”, but I’d love to see a rematch between the Doctor and the Dream Crabs at some point in the future.

 

The guest casting of this episode was note perfect.  The crew of the base was reminiscent of a story from the Second Doctor’s era.  You had the hard-nosed and in charge base leader in Ashley Carter, portrayed by Natalie Gumede (soon to be joining the regulars in offbeat BBC crime series “Death In Paradise”), the sceptical scientists, Fiona Bellows (Maureen Beattie) and the turkey leg munching Professor Albert Smithe (portrayed by the real-life son of the Second Doctor, Michael Troughton) and Slade dancing junior staff member Shona McCullough (Faye Marsay).  Their roles in the base not only provides a dynamic which enables the team to band together from the off, but you also get the additional terror that, in the dream world, it is they themselves who they are observing in the medical bay, plus you get the poignant ending where upon being returned into the real world, you get a far too brief snapshot of the real lives for Ashley, Fiona and, most significantly, Shona, who provided the main focus for the dream construct.

For Santa’s entourage of elves, you get the cool Wolf (Nathan McMullen), the one who’s allowed to use child’s rifle but also the one who’s in awe of his boss, and for a third successive Christmas special Dan Starkey who is out of the Sontaran make up to portray Ian who shares some traits with Strax (which I can only attribute to the fact that the Doctor contributes some of his persona into the dream) with his mannerisms (such as greeting Clara with a “Hello Human” and referring to the fact that she’s of elf height, which must also be a joke based on the Doctor confusing Clara and Strax at the start of the Season Eight opener “Deep Breath”).

Nick Frost is the main guest star for this episode in the role of Santa and provides a clever counterpoint to the Doctor himself in that he mirrors him.  Whilst he’s the creation of the gestalt subconscious of the other “real life” characters, it’s the Doctor who provides Santa’s character – grumpy, trying to be cool and using references like “Beardy Wierdy”and stealing the Doctor’s limelight and knowledge to make himself look clever.  Frost manages to give us the reassuring face of Santa, by virtue of having a good slice of the Doctor within him, but he also manages to lock horns with the Doctor himself by mirroring him.

 

The three regulars manage to balance the need to progress the plot of the immediate story whilst building on their respective story arcs.

Samuel Anderson makes a poignant return in the role of Danny Pink.  In his early scenes, he’s the goofy romantic from earlier in Season Eight, the one before he meets the Doctor.  Once the Doctor arrives in Clara’s dream, he becomes the stronger, brave Danny – the one who, albeit in dream form, manages to stand up to the Doctor by calling him “Sir” and stating that the Earth was only saved as a by-product of his love for Clara.  And then he finally makes the ultimate sacrifice, again, whilst reminding her that she needs to move on with her life.

Peter Capaldi gets to add further layers to his interpretation of the Doctor in this special.  Yes, you still get the darkness and the “gallows humour” that has become the hallmark of his Doctor, but he manages to infuse lighter comedy (such as the scene where he is insulted about the Professor’s reference to “Alien”) and a childlike sense of wonder in the scene where he gets the opportunity to pilot Santa’s sleigh.  The Doctor is also starting to open up on a human level to Clara and there is a sense that the two characters are developing a deep bond with each other.

“Last Christmas” is very much Jenna Coleman’s episode and, for me, would have been an episode to end her run on the show.  Jenna manages to portray the addiction that Clara has for travelling with the Doctor with a wide eyed wonder that has been missing for some of Season 8 whilst demonstrating that the Doctor has an increasing influence upon her that has been threatening since “Flatline” (for example the character’s vocal mannerisms at the start of the story when she tells Santa to shut up).  Whilst I like Jenna as an actress, I really felt that the ending was a bit of a wasted opportunity for her as I believe that the Old Clara ending would have been the perfect departure point for her – not only because the Christmas Cracker motif echoes the conclusion from “The Time Of The Doctor”, but it was also reminiscent of the scene in “Hook” where the young Peter meets the older Wendy.

At the risk of a backlash, I have to admit that Jenna’s return for Season 9 is a double-edged sword.  Yes, you get an increasingly comfortable partnership both between Peter and Jenna and The Doctor and Clara, but I have to wonder if there’s anywhere else for the character of Clara to develop beyond being the enigma of “The Impossible Girl” and the part-time time traveller plus we have now been robbed of a fantastic conclusion of her time on the TARDIS.

Given this bone of contention, “Last Christmas” ticks the box of being a festive warmer, despite being all glitzy and overly filling on the first viewing.

 

And now, we have nine months to wait for Season 9 and I hope that some changes are made in the structure to the programme for the forthcoming year including a change to the Team TARDIS dynamic with an additional person, more of a focus pm stand-alone stories rather than an overall arc (possibly going back to the RTD seasons where the arc bubbles away in the background) and, despite my hope that the programme goes back to being one for the family rather than being too sophisticated, a really scary episode for Hallowe’en (given that it’s on a Saturday for 2015).

Looking back on 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. We agreed to do a, we’re looking forward to 2015 and looking back towards 2014.

DSC_0200

I had a pretty turbulent year. But I guess it was no exception to the past years. The biggest thing for this past year was work related. With the economic crisis and working in mental health sector. The government is planning big reforming plan for 2015 I expected to be out of a job by the end of the year. For me this meant a tight budget, putting all extra money on my savings account, no vacations or extra stuff and looking for a new job.

On the one hand, it’s really scary. I have a house, a mortgage, and a permanent position with my old boss. But I also knew it didn’t meant anything if they wanted to let you go.

I also made plans about going back to school, maybe learning to be an English teacher and getting my CPE degree. Another plan was to move to the UK, because there were more jobs there for my line of work.

Luckily, I could start prepping for my CPE degree the day I decided and I followed a 10-week course, which ended in an exam, which I passed! I am now the proud owner of my CPE degree in the highest level, near native speaker. I was and am still very happy with this degree. It also means that if I want to move to the UK I can!

Furthermore, I went on a job hunt. It had its ups and downs. Loads of companies now a day don’t even bother to send you a confirmation letter any more or even let you know you didn’t get the job.

I ended up with three interviews. One job was a ridiculous low pay, so low I couldn’t even pay my mortgage, let alone groceries and other bills.

Another job I got a second interview, but I felt like it wasn’t for me.

The third interview almost hired me on the spot. I got a call back the same day I did the interview to sign my contract. It also meant I could work lesser hours for more pay. I now work with this company for four months and love it. I found my place, love my work and colleagues and I have a normal boss. Which is awesome.

On landing this job I could book a vacation as well, be it last minute, but I spend 5 days in London with my mum. Saw Martin Freeman perform live on stage. Hugged my bestie at Speedy’s café. Went to the season 8 premier of Doctor Who in the cinema, got my picture taken with a real-life tardis and Dalek and generally had an amazing time, feeling at home again back in London.

2014 was also the year I got back in contact with my dad after a huge fight and me being generally tired of the way he treated me. Things are getting better and he’s coming over for Christmas day this year.

I started Gishwhes, but it was a bust thanks to no help from my temporary roommate.

I started NaNoWriMo but had to give up after two weeks after some health problems. But I did meet new friends, which is epic.

I decided to celebrate Christmas again this year. I wasn’t feeling up to it last year so this year I went all out. Bought the biggest tree I could find and my house is now properly Christmassy and cosy. All ready for the upcoming Christmas days. Yes days. We celebrate first and second Christmas day and I decided to add a third one as well.

First Christmas day was dinner with my dad and his wife, unfortunately no Doctor Who for me, I had to record it. But all in all I enjoyed myself.

Second Christmas day was my relaxing day, prepping for an epic British Christmas dinner for the third Christmas day and going out to dinner with my mum.

The third Christmas day was my epic British Christmas dinner with some friends roasted a turkey for the first time and it worked! I roasted a turkey! And juggled with loads of side dished and we had fun with dinner, friends and playing Sherlock cluedo and Doctor Who monopoly afterwards.

This year I lost some friends and gained some friends. It was a year with high highs and very low lows. I struggled, fought, cried, rejoiced, enjoyed and laughed. Unexcitingly reached my reading challenge. I knitted and crocheted until the burn marks from the year were etched in my fingers.

I had a super quick December visit to London again. Bought loads of stuff and can’t wait to go back.

And I have good hopes for 2015.

I have the feeling I’m closing off some stuff from the past. I turned 31 this year and now own my very first Dalek.

I have very high hopes for next year. Hopefully finding some love, blogging more, enjoying more, celebrating more. Attending my first con. Going back to London, getting a renewal for my contract and who knows?

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

fireworks