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Things I’ve learned from ‘Doctor Who’

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With filming for the highly-anticipated 50th anniversary special under way, fans of the BBC television show Doctor Who have taken to social media to scrutinize every little detail of production stills being released. I confess, I’m one of them. A Whovian, as we call ourselves. And I will be waiting in breathless anticipation when the BBC celebrates the golden anniversary of the longest-running science fiction show on television.

Doctor Who premiered Nov. 23, 1963 on the BBC network in Great Britain. It chronicles the adventures of a space- and time-traveling alien, a Time Lord named simply “the Doctor,” and his (usually) human companions. He explores space and time in his sentient, bigger-on-the-inside ship called the TARDIS. With his companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to help ordinary people, save civilizations and right wrongs.

The show ran continuously from 1963 until the late 80s, with one television film in 1996, with eight different actors playing the Doctor. (Time Lords “regenerate” into new bodies when mortally wounded, a handy plot device used to pass the torch between actors.) In 2005, the show was rebooted and added three new actors playing the title role.

I was a late bloomer to the show. Though it played on PBS here in America in the ’70s and ’80s, I did not get hooked into this fantastical world of the Doctor until 2008, after several of my friends had recommended it to me. It only took two episodes for me to become a devoted fan, gobbling up both “classic” episodes and the newer reincarnation of the series. Along the way I learned some valuable lessons about life, the universe and everything.

1. There’s no point in growing up if you can’t be childish sometimes. Too often, as adults, we let the real world turns us cynical and pessimistic. Sometimes we just need to let the grown up slip away and regain some of that childish innocence we had when we were children. Run through the grass barefoot. Play with dolls. Have a tea party with friends.

2. Everyone is important. This is one I struggle with, especially when it comes to myself. I battle depression every day, and sometimes, when it feels like the world is caving in on me, I have to remind myself I am important, too.

3. Time can be rewritten. Of course, we don’t have a fancy time machine like the Doctor, but we can rewrite the past in other ways. A heartfelt apology for a past wrong can be offered. Forgiveness can be given. A fresh start can be had.

4. Not all victories are about saving the world. Even the smallest victories, such as achieving a personal goal, is every bit as important as the world-saving victories.

5. Nothing is impossible, just highly unlikely. Even then, those highly unlikely things can become likely if you just persevere.

6. Stand up for what is right, no matter the odds. Don’t ever give up on your personal convictions.

7. The bad things in life don’t spoil the good things. Learn from the bad memories and cherish the good ones. When life throws you for a loop, take out a good memory and relive it. Don’t give in to the bad things in life.

8. The most ordinary person can change the world. You could change someone else’s world for the better and never know it. Be a positive force in the lives of those around you.

9. The best weapons in the world are books. The knowledge within books are the best arsenal you could hope to have.

10. Be proud of your beliefs… and your fashion sense. Your beliefs make you who you are, not what kind of clothes you wear. But it’s OK to be proud of both. After all, bow ties are cool.

Of course, there are many other lessons to be learned from Doctor Who, such as angel statues are things to be feared, the adipose diet isn’t a good idea and despite their appearance, Daleks can climb stairs, but it’s the ones you can apply to real life that have stuck with me. And in 50 years of traveling through time and space with the Doctor, I know I’m not the only one whose life has been affected for the better by Doctor Who.

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Playing ketchup

Yesterday, my Shakespearean Star Wars project was linked by the @starwars Twitter feed. Cue fangirl squee. I had the most hits to this blog ever. Which would be great…. if my last post hadn’t been in June. *facepalm*

It seems I’ve been too busy stitching, reading, fangirling over ‘Doctor Who’ and doll collecting to make a post. Doesn’t excuse my slacking. But that’s what I am. A slacker of epic proportions. Principal Strickland would have loved me. Anyway, I haven’t posted because, well, I just haven’t had anything to say. For five months. OK, now that just makes me pathetic. Oy.

So here I am, playing catch-up on some of the stitchery projects I’ve completed in the past few months. So, without further ado, more geek craft:

One has to wonder if Mario learned the trick to getting past the Boos from the Doctor.

This one came about after looking at some Mario sprites. Doctor Who/Super Mario mash-up. I am such a dork. XD

Because Time Lords need support, too.

I had to do this one twice, as the first go-around, the bottom part of the scarf looked just too wonky for me.

It's just as easy to get lost in a book as it is inside the Tardis.

Because I needed an excuse to do yet another ‘Doctor Who’-themed bookmark.

And now for something completely different....

This was done with glow-in-the-dark thread. Picture it. *oooooh*

In which I get a little ambitious....

My largest and most complicated piece to date. You can see close-ups here. *cough*cheap plug*cough*

I’ve got more stuff in the works. Mostly Tardises, because I really am that obsessed. But I’m also feeling compelled to do My Little Pony, too.*crickets*

That’s all for now. I’ll try to update this thing more often than once every five months. No promises, though.

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An extremely long, rambling post about ‘Doctor Who’ series 6

I don’t usually write reviews for things. For one, I’m not very good at it. Most of the time my reaction to something is either, “Me like” or “Meh.” That said, after watching last night’s episode of “Doctor Who,” I can’t not write something. This is not going to be a review, per se, just some probably incoherent thoughts of a “Doctor Who” fangirl.

First, I’d like to preface this rambling by saying I was not a fan of series 5. I know, I know, that kind of crazy talk could get me killed at a sci-fi convention. But… I was still feeling bereft over David Tennant leaving. He was my Doctor, and he wasn’t in it anymore. Also, Donna. I really became invested in her character, and she couldn’t be in it anymore. I was put off by Matt Smith’s take on the Doctor after the first episode, and Amy bugged me to no end. She was too brass and sassy and headstrong. I know I could say the same thing of Donna, but Amy was not Donna. Amy was annoying.

Each week, I’d come away from series 5 thinking to myself, “Meh. OK story. Some funny lines. But just not the same.” It wasn’t until “Vincent and the Doctor” that I finally felt, OK, this is “Doctor Who.” The next week, it was “The Lodger,” and for the first time, I couldn’t wait for the next episode. The final two episodes were also really good, if a little non-sensical, because of the interaction between the Doctor and River Song. I had enjoyed seeing River again earlier in the season, but didn’t care much for the storyline she was in. But as a season overall, it was definitely my least favorite.

So I wasn’t looking forward to season 6 as much as I should have.

But then. But then….

Oh, “The Impossible Astronaut.” River Song. The Silence. Canton Everett Delaware III. Oh, and the Doctor dies in the first few minutes.

Hooked, line and sinker.

Just like season 6 of “Lost,” series 6 of “Doctor Who” is making me fall in love with the show all over again. The first four episodes of the new series have been absolutely stellar, and making me yearn for more of the overall series arc. Is Amy really pregnant? Who killed the Doctor? Who is River Song? Who the hell is that weird regenerating child? I need answers, dammit!

I’m not a member of the online “Doctor Who” fandom. I don’t visit forums. I don’t scour the Internets looking for spoilers. Hell, I rarely read “Doctor Who”-related articles unless it sounds interesting. So I really don’t have any idea what may happen in the next three episodes. But I’m so looking forward to them!

If you’re still reading this, you deserve a damn medal I would now like to ramble incoherently about the last couple of episodes.

The Curse of the Black Spot

Yo ho ho! The Doctor on a pirate ship. Can it get any better? (Turns out, it can…) The first viewing, I loved this episode. It was funny. I liked the pirates. I liked the Siren. I even enjoyed Amy’s swashbuckling. It was enjoyable hour of television. On the second and third viewings, I started having some problems with it.

List time!

1. How did Avery’s son get on board the ship if he didn’t know it was a pirate ship.

2. The alien ship is parked in the same place as the pirate ship? Like an alternate universe? I thought that was supposed to be impossible.

3. Why didn’t Avery, Amy and the Doctor land in the sick bay, attached to alien beds, if they were injured and taken by the Siren?

4. Crap CPR. (Oh my god, they killed Rory! You bastards!)

5. Where the hell did the boatswain go? One minute he’s piling powder kegs against the door; the next, he’s on the alien ship. We never see the Siren zap him. How did he get over there? (This could possibly be explained by shitting editing for American TV. Otherwise, damn, that’s a hell of a continuity flub.)

Even with all these plot holes, I still very much enjoyed it, more than most of series 5. It had some great moments. “Ever meet Freud? Comfy sofa…” “Cuddle me, shipmate!” “‘Toby!’ ‘Rory!’ ‘The Tardis!'” Space pirates! And another appearance by creepy eye-patch lady! Yes. Good stuff.

The Doctor’s Wife

I must confess, when I saw how excited everyone was over this episode being written by Neil Gaiman, I wondered what the fuss was about. This is where I admit I’ve never read anything by Gaiman. Yes, I know. I should be flogged. When I saw the preview and learned of the episode title, I wasn’t really that excited for it. Junkyard planet. Frazzled-looking mystery woman. Meh. I figured this would be one of those episodes I probably wouldn’t watch again, like “The Idiot’s Lantern.”

Oh, how I was wrong.

I went into the episode with some trepidation. Who the hell was this woman who was supposedly the Doctor’s “wife”? At first I figured it would be something the Doctor accidentally fell into, sort of how Malcolm Reynolds “accidentally” married Saffron in “Firefly.” Nope. Not even close.

Allow me to illustrate my reaction to the first few minutes of the show:

The Tardis! Is the Doctor’s wife! Holy crap! Genius! Why didn’t I think of this before! Doctor/Tardis OTP FOREVER!

There was so, so much about this episode to love! Allow me to make another list:

1. THE DOCTOR’S WIFE IS THE TARDIS!

2. There’s an Ood!

3. She calls him “My thief!”

4. The Doctor: Ooh, sorry, do you have a name?
Idris/The Tardis: 700 years, finally he asks.
The Doctor: But what do I call you?
Idris/The Tardis: I think you call me…Sexy.
The Doctor: Only when we’re alone!

5. “Biting is like kissing, only there’s a winner.”

6. Time Lords changing gender is CANON, bitches!

7. The Doctor: She’s a woman and she’s the Tardis.
Amy: Did you wish really hard?

8. “I wanted to see the universe, so I stole a Time Lord and I ran away. And you were the only one mad enough.”

9. Tardis corridors! TEN’S CONSOLE!

10. Rory “dies.” AGAIN.

11. Idris/Tardis: There’s something I didn’t get to say to you.
The Doctor: Goodbye?
Idris/Tardis: No, I just wanted to say… hello. Hello, Doctor. It’s so very, very nice to meet you.

12. “The only water in the forest is the river.”

Oh my god! How can so much deliciousness fit into one 45-minute episode? I don’t… I can’t even…

*deep, calming breath*

OK. So. Now for some speculation that will probably be proven totally wrong. It’s funny. I usually have a knack for figuring out plots in books and TV shows. (Totally called the last Harry Potter book.) But with “Doctor Who,” all bets are totally off.

“The only water in the forest is the river.”

This seems to have something to do with River Song. But it’s almost too obvious. But let’s say it is. Who is River? Is she the Doctor’s real wife? Who did she kill? The Doctor? Someone else? Who? I don’t even know. But it’s odd, some of these word choices. The first time we met River Song was in “Silence in the Library.” The big bad in the first two episodes was called “The Silence.” Hmmm. “Silence in the Library” was a two-parter, with the second one called “Forest of the Dead.” “The only water in the forest is the river.” HMMMM…

Could River be Amy’s maybe-possible daughter? She did say the Doctor came into her life knowing everything about her, but that may just be because they meet back-to-font. She does know how to pilot that Tardis. But then there’s that creepy eye-patch lady Amy keeps seeing. She’s said two lines. The first, “No, I think she’s just dreaming,” and the second, seemingly to Amy directly, “It’s fine. You’re doing fine. Just stay calm.” Then she disappears.

Donna Noble had all kinds of alternate universes popping up around her, and now it’s as if the same thing is happening to Amy. There was the alternate universe where there were no stars; the one where Amy never met the Doctor; the alternate universe alien ship; the bubble universe where the Tardis became human. Is the eye-patch lady some kind of cosmic midwife for Amy’s child, who could very well be affected by being conceived in the Tardis and traveling through space/time? Is Amy living all of this in an alternate reality? I really hope that’s a red herring, because it seems so over-done, to have everything be a dream-sequence.

I feel like we’ve been given a bunch of clues we’ve not caught onto yet. Everything so far this season seems to be related in some way. For example, the Time Lord message the Doctor received was from the Corsair. A corsair is a pirate. They were just on a pirate ship. Maybe it’s just a big coincidence.

And what really makes Amy so special? It can’t be just because of the crack in her wall, not after everything we’ve seen. The Silence said she was needed. She may or may not be pregnant. Hell, for all we know, maybe Amy is the real Prisoner Zero. MOFFAT! STOP FUCKING WITH MY HEAD!

And finally (are you still reading this?) who is the regenerating little girl? River? Amy? Amy’s daughter? The daughter of the Master and his wife, as some have speculated? I have decided on my own theory:


Next week, another two-parter, “The Rebel Flesh” and “The Almost People.” So my burning question for the moment is, how will Rory die next week?

(Feel free to leave your theories in the comments. Just because I don’t go looking for them doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear anyone else’s theories!)

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The Crafty Companion

So. I’ve done it. I opened my own Etsy shop, The Crafty Companion. I only have five cross stitch patterns available so far, but I’m planning to add more. I’ve also got some finished stitchings done, but I’m waiting to add those until after I get back from my weekend trip. I’m hoping I’ll make a couple of sales, especially since I’ve got a ton of design ideas.

Finished a few new “Doctor Who” designs recently. One is brand-new and the other two are framable versions of designs I’ve put on bookmarks.

I already had a Dalek bookmark, so of course I needed a Cyberman to go with it!

I used Satin floss to do my Cyberman. Probably won’t do that again, as that stuff is as difficult to work with as the metallic floss.

"If something can be remembered, it can be brought back..."

It’s blue on the outside. It’s bigger on the inside. Inspired from the fifth season episode, “The Big Bang.” This finished stitching will be for sale next week.

This guy needs his own fan club.

I really liked the bookmark with this little guy on it, so I had to do one that could be framed. He’ll also be for sale next week. He’ll probably also show up again on a tea towel…

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Geek Craft: Time and Relative Dimension in Stitches

I bought a pack of blank aida bookmarks off Etsy a while back, because trying to make my own would most likely have been disastrous. I envisioned adorning them in various geeky designs, but somehow, the first five all turned out “Doctor Who.” Not that I’m complaining, really.

This bookmark is bigger on the inside.

My first bookmark of course had to feature the Tardis. Sadly, I totally misremembered the quote from “The Eleventh Hour,” as I did not have access to the DVDs at the time. But I think it works. I may do this again with a different quote or maybe a starry background.

Daleks taste like Skittles.

I was totally going to do this with the caption “Go, go Dalek Rangers,” but after reading Mark’s review of “Victory of the Daleks” over on Markwatches.net, I thought “Taste the rainbow” would be more hilarious.

Exterminate thirst!

Also from “Victory of the Daleks.” Because nothing is funnier than a Dalek serving tea. This one would have been perfect had I not miscounted and actually got the design centered. A lesson for next time.

Spoilers!

Because bow ties and fezzes are cool.

I also have a Cyberman bookmark to go with these, but he’s not quite done yet. I’ll post it when I’m finished, provided I’ve not been deleted.

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Tenth Doctor and Companions cross stitch

So after I completed my Firefly cross stitch project, I thought I’d give it a go at designing my own pattern, using the basic template for people that was done on the Firefly pattern. I really wanted a Doctor Who design, and it wasn’t until after I’d started stitching my own Doctor Who design that the talented couple at Wee Little Stitches came out with a Doctor Who design of their own. (Which is amazing, by the way.) But I decided to stick to my own design, as I wanted to do Ten and his companions, and Wee Little Stitches’ design was of all 11 Doctors.

Ten and companions

I’m mostly pretty happy with the way it turned out. Some of the colors aren’t quite right. I think Rose’s hair is a little too yellow and Donna’s hair is a little too orange, but I was limited to the materials I had on hand (mainly the leftovers from the Firefly design). Martha’s shirt and jacket are too different color reds, but it’s really hard to tell since they’re so similar. I wish I’d had a different red for her shirt.

Ten, Rose, Jack

Martha, Donna

But I’m most proud of my little Tardis design. It took two days alone and I think it’s awfully cute.

TARDIS: Time and Relative Dimension in Stitches?

Next project: “The Big Bang Theory.”

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Friday (the 13th) Five

Um, so. I kinda skipped the last two Fridays. The first one, I was off work and didn’t have an opportunity to get online. Last Friday, I just didn’t feel good. So, I’m sorry. You can spank me with wet noodles at your convenience.

1. Real ghosts plague ‘Being Human’

It’s Friday the 13th! Ooooooh! This one’s for all you triskaidekaphobes out there who are also Anglophiles with a love of British television. If you watch BBC’s ‘Being Human,’ you know the basic plot: a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who share a flat while struggling to maintain their humanity. It’s good stuff. But what’s even better is the idea that the set might actually be haunted. Someone get GHI over there, stat!

Source: Anglophenia

"You got your Star Trek in my Serenity!"

2. When fandoms collide

This was posted all over Twitter a while back. But it was just so awesome, I had to share it here, in case any ‘Star Trek’/’Firefly’ fans missed it. God, I miss both those shows…

Source: Whedonesque on Twitter

3. How ‘Lost’ should have ended

It’s been a couple of months since ‘Lost’ ended, but I’m still hung up on it. Coupled with the DVD release of the final season later this month, and the Internet leak of the 12-minute epilogue “The New Man in Charge,” and I am just itching for more ‘Lost’ goodies. Damn you, ‘Lost’ writers, for making me fall back in love with the show right before it ended! Damn you. But, as much as I loved the ending, this is really how it should have ended.

Source: HowItShouldHaveEnded.com

4. How Twilight works

I’ve had the first Twilight movie from Netflix sitting on my TV stand for, oh, several months now. I really should just bite the bullet and watch the thing already so I can send it back and get something good. Like Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Even having read all the books, I still don’t get why it’s so popular. But The Oatmeal tries to explain how it works. Complete with funny drawings.

Source: The Oatmeal

5. MOAR DOCTOR!

This is a few years old, but I hadn’t seen it before. David Tennant made a guest appearance on ‘The Catherine Tate Show,’ bringing together three of my favorite things: ‘Doctor Who,’ Shakespeare and sketch comedy. I laughed so hard, I pulled a muscle on my side and was sore for days.

Source: rednoseday on YouTube

I’m off work again next Friday and will be heading down to Chattanooga to help my brother celebrate his 31st birthday. So I’ll probably skip the Friday Five again. Get those wet noodles ready.

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