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What Happened To the Great VOICES in Film?


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In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 10:37:58 AM PDT
Kacee says:
Katherine was in the A Christmas Carol episode with Matt Smith as the new doctor, and yes Thomas, Michael Gambon was in it.

I would like to share the gorgeous David with you. This man is just lovely and definitely the best Dr Who ever. (Matt Smith has very slowly grown on me but I look forward to a new doctor hopefully soon).

http://youtu.be/0Lve6NXMjGg

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 10:42:32 AM PDT
Mona re Dr. Who:

Where is the outright creepiness of the Weeping Angels? Where is th anguish of "Doomsday"? (Billie Piper excelled herself in the climax to this one. Anguish and helpless heartbreak--makes me sad just to remember it.) That feeling that you have lost someone and there is nothing on earth--on in another dimension--that you cand do about it. Where is the irony of the Doctor trying to save Vesuvius only to learn that in so doing, he is the one who caused Pompeii to be wiped out?

Where is the overwhelming sense of human loss we got in "Father's Day"? Where is the terror and beauty of watching the Earth in the last minutes of its death throes? Where is the bitter irony of a man trying only to do good who bring death and destruction in his wake?

Where is the intense drama of the "farewell tour" where the dying Doctor visits everyone he has loved and lost, one last time? How about the time he must hide out as a human, in the past and like all humans, falls in love--only to break her heart (and maybe his own? Both of them?) when he remembers who he is and that human happiness is not for him? How about the Doctor watching everyone die around him in "The Waters of Mars" because he knows he can't change the past, yet then trying to do so anyway because he knows his own death is imminent. And the way History rewrites itself, thumbing its nose at the Doctor's efforts?

I could go on and on with great moments, low comedy and high drama from the first four seasons. I am sure we all have our favorites. But look how much the series has lost! There is no sense of real menace, nothing laugh out loud funny, nothing that makes you think about Real Life, as the Davies episodes did.

Look at the loss of the companions: Billie Piper trapped forever in another universe. Freema must stay behind because there is no future in being in love with a Time Lord. Donna Noble goes back to her sad little life,never being able to know how special she was. Sarah Jane who has wasted her life waiting for him to return and now realizes its too late?

And what happened to Amy and Rory? He doesn't want to put them in danger so they stay at home and live happily ever after.

Now THAT alone demonstrates how much the series has lost.

Where is Russell Davies now that we need him?

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 10:49:14 AM PDT
Mona:

Is this why K-9 had only token appearances in Sarah Jane Adventurees? Because he was copyrighted?

You know I have a great compassion for animals and the destruction of K-9 in School Reunion was heartbreaking! (Just as Sarah bringing him out of the back of her van was a great moment! "Master"!) But, of course, he was resurrected--and I didn't much care if it was illogical!

I was very disappointed that he had such a small role in the Sarah Jane series. I missed the pilot episode and kept asking "Where's K-9?" every week.He has a cartoon show? Good for him!

Ms. Sladen did look greatl I figure she must have been around my age and it was unmistakably the same girl from earlier in the series. You couldn't have told she had been ill at all. But that fact makes that episode all the more poignant.

Oh, I hadn't even thought at the earlier shows being only a half hour, with commercials. They were always cliffhangers. That makes sense now.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 11:38:42 AM PDT
Peridot says:
Taz, those weren't statues in BLINK. They were women in angel makeup. CGI made them statues in different poses. Consider the numbers of statues that would have been required for the episode and you can understand that the production costs would have been prohibitive.

Sally and her policeman would have dated, had he been spared by the Weeping Angels. As it was he married a woman in the past who looked much as she did. I wondered if it was Carey Milligan dressed in 1960s attire and wig, but never confirmed this theory. 'It's the same rain' was full of longing and sentiment for the path untraveled. I agree with you, BLINK is a masterpiece, from beginning to end. Love the beginning with, Sally, duck, no, really DUCK! It was amazing. There was little of the Doctor in it but his presence was everywhere.

BLINK won the 2008 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form and the BAFTA as well as the BAFTA Cymru (I've no idea what that is). It was nominated for the BAFTA Scotland but failed to win. See, I told you it was great. ;-) This is the first time I've looked up the awards for the episode. Of course others have recognised its genius.

Some great dialogue in BLINK besides the rain quote:

Sally Sparrow: Started well, that sentence.
The Doctor: [on video] It got away from me, yeah.
Sally Sparrow: OK that was weird, you're talking like you can hear me.
The Doctor: [on video] Well I can hear you.
Sally Sparrow: [turns off TV] OK, that's enough of that!

Sally Sparrow: Aren't you on duty, *Detective Inspector Shipton*?
Billy Shipton: Nope. Knocked off before we came down here. Told them I had a family crisis.
Sally Sparrow: Why?
Billy Shipton: Because life is short and you are hot. Drink?

Sally Sparrow: How can you know what I'm gonna say?
The Doctor: [on the DVD] Look to your left.
Larry Nightingale: [Sally turns to see Larry writing something down] What does he mean by look to your left? I've written tons about that on the forums. I reckon it's a political statement.
Sally Sparrow: He means you. What are you doing?
Larry Nightingale: I'm writing in your bits. That way I've got a complete transcript of the entire conversation. Wait until this hits the net! This'll explode the egg forums!

[Larry exits the bathroom, naked. He pauses when he sees Sally]
Larry Nightingale: [half-awake] Okay... not sure, but... really, really hoping.
[Larry points downward]
Larry Nightingale: Pants?
Sally Sparrow: [subtle smile] No.
[Kathy rushes in and shoos Larry away]
Kathy Nightingale: Put your pants on! Put them on! I hate you!

The Doctor: Yeah, listen, listen, got to dash... things happening. Well... four things. Well... four things and a lizard.

Such wonderful and brilliant dialogue with radiant and completely believable three dimensional characters. I'd invite them all to my house (except for the Weeping Angels, of course).

****************************************************************************
Absent Alex Kingston, the story of the crash of the Albinion is a snooze. The Weeping Angels weren't in the least frightening.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 11:41:40 AM PDT
Peridot says:
Taz: 'Is this why K-9 had only token appearances in Sarah Jane Adventurees? Because he was copyrighted?'

Affirmative.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:03:32 PM PDT
Hikari: "reason I like that bit about Morse having a lie-in and doing the crossword on his day off is that it shows him, however briefly, enjoying the benefits of singleness"

Ah, the benefits of singleness. If only...seems so terribly long ago.

Its funny because your reference made me think of a very unusual, rather sad scene in "The Remorseful Day". It shows Morse at home, sort of aimlessly wandering his home. He picks up his birdwatching binoculars and almost immediately puts them down again. He sits and starts listening to music (I think its the cd Lewis gave him in the hospital. Lewis said it contained "lighter" classical music.) Morse just turns the music off and sits in his chair. Alone. Sitting.

I think its a telling scene, the antithesis of the one you mentioned. For whatever reason (his health, his impending retirement, the woman he lost to Australia?) the solitude isn't working for him anymore. It was partly this scene that led me to say that it appeared he would rather die on the job--hence his horning in on an investigation that was not his--than retiring. But I could be wrong.

At least Hobson is unlikely to be involved in murder like some of the other woment Morse and/or Lewis have been passingly, or more, interested in. (Wasn't one prospective date for Lewis involved in something incestuous?) I think it is not a reach to conclude that Dexter is a bit misogynistic. But then again, Morse never loses his interest in women. And certainly Lewis felt he had a winner--but to my knowledge we never actually met Mrs. Lewis.

I don't know. Certainly, you never rule females out as suspects.

"I suppose, if one has a natural predisposition to melancholy"

This might of course be a case of a chicken and an egg. Did Morse have a disposition to melancholy or did he end up that way because of his experiences? Or it a mixture of both, and to what proportion? I wonder if Endeavor deals with these questions.

"Do you mean that ignorance is bliss? Probably. Too much education does not bring peace of mind"

Yeah, I think this is pretty much what I meant. It not always true--C.S.Lewis, an academician was something of an apologist for religion, wasn't he?--and its certainly not a hard and fast rule, but I think, in general, an education tends to give you less refuges to hide out in, if that makes any sense. Whether that was ever intended to be the case with Morse, I don't know. But I do think that it isn't just life's inequities or the weight of the job that has weighed Lewis down. In some ways, his exposure to Morse and his ideas has not been beneficial, at least as concerns his outlook on life.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:05:08 PM PDT
hikari: "Inspector Morse makes an ill-advised emotional attachment"

Wait until you see his ill-advised emotional attachment in Remorseful Day. It is the only time in the series I actually remember pitying him. Its sadly pathetic, in its way.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:06:50 PM PDT
"it will have the best cat roles since Tonto in 'Harry and Tonto'

"That's right, kiddo. Harry Lauter."

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:10:51 PM PDT
kacee:

I was willing to give Mr. Smith the benefit of the doubt, but he just doesn't make it, not after his predecessors. Of course, he isn't helped much by the scripts.

I hate to confess this but I don't recall much about the female lead in the Christmas Carol episode. I remember she was frozen to make up for an unpaid debt and ended up flying off with Mr. Gambon. Should I be ashamed of myself? I can't remember what she looked like.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:13:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 12:17:13 PM PDT
"Affirmative"

Good dog. Goooood dog.

Affirmative.

And when Anthony Head realizes he's going to die: "Bad Dog!" To which k-9 replies,of course, "Affirmative."

And then the saddest (and it shouldn't be)line in the series: "This time nobody dies."

Isn't it interesting that we know how River Song ends up because we saw her first in his LAST encounter with the Doctor. Its the one thing we know that she doesn't.

Spoilers.

Posted on May 8, 2012 12:21:17 PM PDT
Hikari:

I was pulling your gams. Glenn Miller's plane went down in the English Channel during WWII. Story goes, he was such a martinet that when his band members heard the news, they cheered. But that's just how the story goes, who knows if it's true.

"You can pull my left leg, you can pull my right leg, but don't mess with Mr. Inbetween!!"

(I forgot who said that, but it's pure gold.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:29:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 12:31:14 PM PDT
Mona:

Cymru is Welsh for Wales.

One thing that gets me about Blink is what you say about nice, interesting people. I forget her friend's name who, in essence, sets it all in motion and Officer Shipton who, quite literally, had their lives torn away from them. Can you imagine the friend, living out her entire life, waiting for the chance to help Sally, knowing she just isn't going to live long enough? That kind of subtext was what this show USED TO do so well.

I really had to laugh when you reminded me of that great dialogue. Some kind of political statement: He means you! How funny, and how clever, was that. And, of course, his notes are how the Doctor can make the recording in the first place! Nice convoluted. Where was the Doctor trapped? 1968? And didn't Freema have to get some menial job to support them?

Duh. What was I thinking? They would have had to sculpt a few hundred statues! Still, then, the makeup artist deserved recognition! How's that?

Nice to know it got some recognition.

Did you see the mini-series "Torchwood: Children of Earth"? I was totally blown away by it and immediately bought the dvd set. I thought it was one of the best tv programs I had ever seen, from any country in any genre.

And not one single Emmy nomination, not even for its script. Ridiculous. What do they want?

The crash of the Albinion. Remember the scene where the Doctor comes back to see Pond and a few weeks later we learn that this was a later doctor, afloat in time trying to yadda yadda yadda dah. This is the kind of thing that used to work so well and make the show so special. Now it just comes off as silly.

And what was that resurrection of the Doctor at Pond's wedding? Because she BELIEVED? It was like being implored to believe in fairies to save Tinker Belle! Give me a break.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 7:56:27 PM PDT
Peridot says:
Kathy Nightingale. Sally Sparrow. Wester Drumlins. Larry Nightingale. Such wonderful names in BLINK.

Yes, the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones were hurled back into the late Sixties. Much to look forward to there, but who would want to live through the Seventies again? Vietnam, Maxie skirts, PRESIDENT NIXON! Oh, please NO! Not to mention Watergate and President Ford. Non-elected Presidents are not my idea of a good time, thanks very much. Once was too much for me. Never again.

Every fan including me noticed Eleven was dressed differently in that forest when the Doctor told Amy to remember him. It was ridiculous that she remembered him and it brought him back. Stupid, even. That trick was already performed with Ten when the Master shriveled him up and kept him in a birdcage, remember? (LAST OF THE TIME LORDS) That was another reset of time, etc. When the same thing's repeated it loses all of its power and charm and becomes yet another television trope. That's what killed DW off the last time.

In all honesty I disliked TW:COE. They had me right up until the end and it fizzled like a damp squib. That's my opinion and perhaps it's invalid; I've been wrong before. It was such a huge disappointment to me that Jane Espenson couldn't come up with a better ending. :-/ I expected so much more from her after all her fantastic work on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. :-( Were my expectations too high? They may have been.

Posted on May 8, 2012 8:00:08 PM PDT
Ramona:

The Seventies did produce a lot of great movies. No decade since then has generated so many lasting classics. But I don't miss platform shoes and disco barf shirts.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 4:39:50 PM PDT
Mona:

Must part company with you on Children of Earth. This is what science fiction can do so well. When Jack had to sacrifice his own grandson--and lose his daughter forever in the process--that was incredibly powerful. Jack had led a charmed existence of a long time and the pigeons finally came home to roost. Where did Captain Jack's hubris finally get him? And his farewell on that hilltop I found extremely moving.

"This planet is one big cemetary."

"But you can't just run away."

"Watch me."

Powerful stuff.

Not to mention part four which I think was one of the best written tv episodes of anything. When the British cabinet was discussing which children to sacrifice--and of course the uneducated and the poor were going to be targeted--and squabbling over how to save their own relatives...Well, I remember sitting my jaw open amazed at how REAL and how TRUTHFUL this was--and on television yet. I can think of few tv shows that skewered they hypocrisy, the banality of evil, of our elected officials--or maybe of mankind in general.

And how about the scene when the army turns on the population, tearing screaming children from their parents in order to sacrifice them. Remember PC Andy tearing off his policeman's jacket, finally making a commitment to help the children and to heck with authority? How moving was that. That scene was jaw-dropping--the thin veneer of the "protection" that a government offers its citizens when it behooves them to sacrifice whoever they please.

And how about the question of where the Doctor was, of why he didn't help them? "Sometimes he turns away in shame..." And you just know that wasn't really the Doctor they were talking about.

Mona, that was television at its best.

I just wish they had just let the series end there. It would have been the best conclusion for a tv series ever, I think.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 4:44:05 PM PDT
"The Seventies did produce a lot of great movies."

I get so tired of hearing about that "great movie year of 1939". Almost any year in the seventies produced more fine films than 1939. I went to the movies 3 or 4 times a week, seeing double and triple bills. There were more movies I wanted to see than I had time or money to be able to get to.

Today? I haven't set foot in a movie theatre for over two years now. And I feel badly about that. I feel badly that I have lost that interest, that excitement.

Is it true, as someone here said that we have "Jaws" and "Star Wars" to blame for this? Then oh why do so many people still acclaim them as great films? If they changed the landscape so completely, they have a lot to answer for.

Sometimes I really miss the movies.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 6:24:53 PM PDT
Peridot says:
But, Taz, that was TORCHWOOD. You're confusing TW with COE. Captain Jack sacrificed his grandson in TORCHWOOD, and Ianto died...no, wait. The confusion is mine.

CHILDREN OF EARTH was 456. That was great storytelling. Captain Jack Harkness saved the children of this planet by sacrificing his own grandson. That was the greatest act of heroism I've seen portrayed onscreen.

Viewers hated him for that. Jack Harkness was vilified and excoriated. They said, no way would they ever do anything like that. They couldn't, they would never EVER do anything like that. I looked at my son and asked him, what if that was the only way to save the world? What if you were the only child available? Would you step forward? My son said he would volunteer to die to save all the children in the world. I am very proud of my son. I would honour his wishes. Not sure I'd be able to live with myself afterward, though. That would be hard. But I'd act to save the rest of the world. We ENTJs take the tough decisions and perform the difficult tasks.

It was MIRACLE DAY that had the stupid ending, Taz. Sorry for the confusion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 6:37:59 PM PDT
Mona:

I refused to see Miracle Day. I like to think that Children of Earth ended the Torchwood series. It certainly should have.

People have no business saying whether Jack would have done that or not. Russell T. Davies created Captain Jack and if he said he would do it, then we have to go along with it.

People don't like too much reality in their fantasies,I guess.

And, as you say, looked at another way, it was the bravest, noblest thing former conman Jack Harkness ever did. And he has to live with it.

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:29:28 PM PDT
Peridot says:
MIRACLE DAY started out well...but the ending was a disaster in my opinion. It didn't make sense to me. I hesitate to mention any spoilers but shall we simply say that there is another like Captain Jack Harkness.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:23:32 AM PDT
Mona:

That is pretty cryptic. (You mean the Tardis made someone ELSE immortal? Its hard enough to accept it in Jack!) But not enough to make me want to spend the money to buy the dvd. I was just so ****ed off that they didn't let the series die after Children of Earth which was the absolutely perfect ending for the series that I just didn't want to watch any more. I kind of missed Owen and Tosh too.

Posted on May 14, 2012 10:35:11 AM PDT
Hikari:

Do you know the episode "Dead of Jericho"? I actually got it for 99 cents on Ebay over the weekend. I figured it had to be worth that and a couple of bucks shipping. I don't even know which season it was in, but Thaw doesn't look TOO decrepit on the cover. I am so looking forward to it that I had it sent directly to me rather to my friend's store in Pasadena. Its taking a chance, but I will have it sooner.

I actually got a bargain even better than that. A UK film of a couple years ago that I saw on the plane and rather liked "Edge of Love" with Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller. I don't recall the name of the young actor who played Dylan Thomas in it, but he was quite good. Anyway, I got that for seven cents! Now THAT is just about my price range.

Another disappointing new episode of "Sherlock" last night. Second season definitely not as good. Looking forward to the Reichenbach Falls episode next week, though. I guess hope springs eternal. On Sundays I watch Foyle at 8, then the same PBS station is showing the complete I Claudius and then I catch the rerun of Mystery (currently Sherlock)at midnight. My wife got up at 1 am and said did I realize I had to WORK today! (Like my mother always getting up in the middle of the night and telling me I had school in the morning!)

Anyway, Sunday is actually a good night for tv here.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:36:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 14, 2012 10:37:08 AM PDT
Kacee, was that THE NEXT DOCTOR

That was the episode with David Morrissey, the first of the four (or was it five?) hour- long episodes that ended David Tennant's run as the Doctor.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 11:03:52 AM PDT
Hikari says:
@tas
Sounds like your Sunday TV schedule is enviable. Sundays are the nights I listen to my complement of Celtic/folk and trance music on the local PBS radio station since I don't get the TV channel.

"The Dead of Jericho" was not the first Colin Dexter novel, but they chose it for the very first episode of the TV series. A foxy-looking Gemma Jones plays Morse's erstwhile love interest before she commits suicide . . .or does she? The other night I saw an episode from the same batch, 1987, and you can see that Thaw's hair is still more gray than white.

John was only 45 there, believe it or not. He seems to age a great deal between the first series and subsequent episodes. Now that I've read a bit more in the Dexter canon, there are references sprinkled like breadcrumbs to Morse's 'prematurely white hair' and 'intense blue eyes'. What I think happened, however, is that Mr. Dexter was so delighted with John Thaw's portrayal that he cast Morse in Thaw's image for later books, not the other way 'round. I just finished a batch of short stories set in 1993, when the series was well underway, and Morse definitely looks like John Thaw. The earlier novels referenced Morse's thinning yet still dark hair, and I think he was originally conceived to be actually a few years younger than Lewis.

Their banter in the stories is even more delightful than what Thaw and Whately got to do. They make me smile. I'd say the banter between our present duo of Lewis and Hathway continues the tradition.

The color of Morse's Jag is called 'dark maroon' on the page. I'd probably prefer that myself, seeing as cherry-red cars are a bit flash for me, but maroon would have looked too muddy on camera; red photographs better. Our inspector is also seeing quite a bit of action in that car that doesn't have anything to do with police work, if you catch my meaning. I suppose there were limits to what they could show on public television 25 years ago, but Dexter's Morse is quite the rake with the ladies, I'd say.

Good score on "The Edge of Love". I have reviewed that movie here and enjoyed it a lot, but of course, I had my obligatory Dylan Thomas period. We were both October babies, you see . . . That's Matthew Rhys as Dylan (suitably, a Welshman.)

Posted on May 14, 2012 12:07:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 14, 2012 12:10:57 PM PDT
Hikari says:
. . . .Morse pointed vaguely to the piles of magazines laying around.
"You'd better have a look through."
"Can't we get somebody else---"
"No!" thundered Morse. "I need your help--YOUR help, Lewis. For Chrissake get on with it!"

Far from any annoyance, Lewis felt a secret contentment. In only one respect was he unequivocally in a class of his own as a police officer, he knew that: for there was only one person with whom the curmudgeonly Morse could ever work with any kind of equanimity--and that was himself, Lewis.

***********************************

"Get a MOVE on!"
"I"ll get there as fast as I can, sir--I always do."
"And what's that supposed to mean?"
I mean, replied Lewis, finally, 'That here we are with another murder, and *you'll* get there, won't you? You always do."
"Nearly always," conceded Morse.
"And *I* won't. I've got a second-class mind--"
"Don't underrate yourself, Lewis. Let others do it for you."
"I'm like a second-class stamp, and well you know it."
"But second-class stamps usually get there in the end."

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 12:36:24 PM PDT
Hikari:

Yeah, Sunday night isn't bad, but its an isolated experience, believe me. I have to pass on the first showing of Mystery at nine so I can watch I, Claudius--which for some reason I have never seen--so I have to stay up until Midnight when the repeat starts. Another PBS station shows it on Wednesday, but its not an HD channel, so I usually do it this way. Sherlock, in particular, looks quite good in high def.

I have located a couple of Morse episodes, as you suggested, on Amazon for around $3 each. Pretty much everything I sell now has to go to paying my Ebay bill fot this--something that may be hard to handle by the end of the month--but then I can hopefully get a couple more. It will be interesting to see them after so long. I may not have actually seen these real early ones at all, in fact.

I also see the the cd of Inspector Lewis can be had for something like $6 on Amazon, something else I hope to be able to do in a couple weeks, if its still available.

Well,one of those little screens in front of you is no way to view a film, but I did rather like Edge of Love. I know Keira is not everyone's cup of tea, but she has always seemed okay to me, and Sienna Miller is much underrated. She was excellent and Edie Sedgewick in Factory Girl, for one. I don't know if she is American of English; whichever accent she is adapting she is doing a good job of it.

Not surprisingly Matthew Rhys--what else have I seen him in?--steals the film. But then he is the most compelling character. Proving, once again, that you don't have to be a nice guy to be a great writer. This was truly Dylan Thomas without makeup!

I can't tell you exactly why, but I have never cared for Cillian Murphy, but he doesn't ruin the film for me, but he sure doesn't help. I think the film is a nice antidote to all the sappy "love stories" out there. I think this one gets at the truth of "relationships" and the use and abuse people put each other to. In the end, the two women probably had the most sincere relationship of everyone involved. (Isn't Ms. Knightley playing her own grandmother or something like that?)

Not bad for 7 cents.
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