Thursday, June 30, 2011

Knitting Project: Dalek Plushie

As I mentioned previously, the bad part about doing a craft blog is that when I am making a gift for someone, the gifts cannot be featured here until after they have been given. Otherwise, the recipient could find their gift featured on the blog, and that would ruin the surprise.

Anyway, I found this great pattern for a Dalek plushie a while back. I decided that I had to make one for Jason for his birthday, which was last weekend. Here it is!

I used plain black for the main color and a great silver yarn with metallic strands for the details. The black was worsted weight, and the only metallic yarn they had was sport weight, so I just used two strands of the silver together. For some of the details, where it was supposed to be doubled, I ended up using four strands held together! I stuck a pipe cleaner in the plunger arm, and another in the eyestalk. For the eye, I actually left an extra bit of pipe cleaner and sewed it in place inside the Dalek. This enables the eye to move up and down. I could have done that for the arm as well, but I had already sewn the arm in place when I decided to try it on the eyestalk. I used a Dalek photo to make sure I had the colors right. The one change I made from the original pattern was to make the end of the eyestalk black, instead of making it all one color. I had originally wanted to make the other bump blue, but ultimately decided too many color changes on such a small piece would be a bad idea.

Here it is from another angle.

I am really pleased with the way it came out. This little guy is not a Dalek. He is a D'awwwwlek.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 15

Today's topic: Favorite Rose Moment

Another quick one today. My favorite Rose moment is from "The Idiot's Lantern," where she confronts the misogynistic man who is trying to prevent her and the Doctor from investigating the strange goings-on in the neighborhood. She gets to him in the best way possible: by showing that she knows more than he does.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite Martha moment

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 14

Today's topic: Favorite Doctor Moment

There are so many great moments with the Doctor! In addition to the ones I have mentioned already, another favorite moment comes from "Forest of the Dead." The Doctor has confronted the immensely creepy Vashta Nerada and must prove to them that they need to leave him and his friends alone. How does he do this? He tells them, "I'm The Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up!" And, of course, it works.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite Rose moment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 13 AND Who Review

Today's topic: Favorite Era Visited by the Doctor

For some reason, I have to say 1950's Britain, as seen in the Ten/Rose episode "The Idiot's Lantern." Man, that was another great episode. The monster attacks people through their televisions. Of course, this being the 1950s, televisions are rather difficult to come by...except for that nice television salesman who is selling sets at ridiculously low prices so that everyone in the neighborhood can watch the coronation. Or, you know, so the monster can attack everyone at the same time. Did I mention that the monster eats people's faces? Incredibly creepy, yet cool.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite Doctor moment.

Now for the Who Review for "A Good Man Goes to War."


Even with one twist revealed for me beforehand (Melody Pond=River Song), this episode still had some surprises. The Sontaran nurse was hilarious, especially when he offered to nurse the baby. That was kinda weird. In fact, I would say that was weirder than the human/Silurian lesbian couple.

And at the end, when the baby turned out to be a ganger...I am so glad I do not have kids, because that would probably give me actual nightmares. To have your baby melt in your arms? I cannot think of anything that would be more horrifying for a new mother. Compounded with the realization that this means your actual child is in the clutches of the creepy eyepatch lady, who wants to turn her into a super-weapon.

This episode raised an interesting point: For someone who is opposed to violence, the Doctor does seem to cause a lot of it. And how much of a badass do you need to be if people are intimidated when all you do is show up? What kind of awful acts do you need to commit to earn that kind of reputation? Poor Doctor. As if he did not have enough to feel guilty about already.

And, with the "Only water in the forest is the River" explained, we are now on hiatus until fall. Grr. On a brighter note, in two weeks there will be new episodes of Leverage! This will be season 4, and I have yet to see an episode that disappointed me. I will probably do Leverage recaps here too, starting soon after June 26. Like Doctor Who, they will be delayed by a day or two due to my lack of cable. Hooray for iTunes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 12

Today's Topic: Favorite Scene or Moment that Makes you Giggle

This is another tough one. There have been a ton of scenes and lines in Doctor Who that made me crack up, particularly Eleven's running joke of declaring various things to be "cool." However, my favorite scene is this one with Ten and Donna, from the episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp."

Yeah, Donna is not the best person to have on your team when playing charades.

My other favorite funny moment was the deleted scene I posted back on Day 7. It still makes me laugh every time I watch it. "Yickity-doo, yickity-dah, ping-pong, lippy-tappy-too-tah. And finally, number 23..."

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite era visited by the Doctor.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 11

Today's topic: Favorite Scene or Moment that Makes you Cry

Another quick one here. I can think of several, but right now my favorite is the scene at the end of "Vincent and the Doctor" where they take Vincent to the gallery with all of his artwork, and he talks to the curator (with the bow tie!) and realizes for the first time that his work is important and people will appreciate his talent. Such a beautiful moment.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite scene or moment that makes you giggle.

Friday, June 10, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 10

Today's topic: Favorite Scene or Moment

Later in the month, we have various clarifications of that question (favorite moment that makes you cry, favorite moment that makes you laugh, etc) so I suppose to avoid duplication this favorite moment should not fit into any of those categories. Which leaves me to think of a scene that is just indescribably awesome.

The first one that comes to mind is Ten coming to save Reinette at the end of "Girl of the Fireplace." The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey landed on a ship that is connected through a fireplace to a little girl's bedroom in 18th-century France. The ship is piloted by the clockwork demons, and the Doctor finds out that they want to take the little girl and use her as the navigator of the ship...or, more specifically, they want to add her brain to the navigational system. So to stop them, the Doctor uses another portal on the ship and comes crashing through a mirror on horseback. If that is not impressive, then I do not know what is. It definitely made me cheer.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite scene or moment that makes you cry.

For more Doctor Who goodness, check out Neil Gaiman's Q&A on "The Doctor's Wife."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 9

Today's Topic: Least Favorite Episode

Of the ones I have seen so far, my least favorite is "The End of the World" from Series 1. It has everything I disliked about Nine; he comes off as insensitive to Rose's discomfort and rather dismissive of humanity in general. This was rather jarring, after seeing Ten spend his first appearance talking about how wonderful humans are...

This was added to my long list of reasons why David Tennant is made of awesome.

By the time the season ended, Nine had grown on me somewhat. However, in my mind at least, "The End of the World" was an unimpressive early episode that did not live up to its full potential. Even if it was the first appearance of Cassandra, and the Face of Boe.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite Scene or Moment. Are you kidding me?? Prepare for another long one, folks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 8

Today's topic: Favorite Season/Series

My favorite season is Series 4. This is for several different reasons. A big part of it is probably because Donna is my favorite companion, but I think another reason is because I watched most of s4 for the first time with Jason. After I introduced him to Doctor Who, we watched all of David Tennant's run together. I started watching Who a few months before we met, and in that time I had seen some of Series 2 and most of Series 3. Most of this was by myself; attempts to get my dad and brother interested in Doctor Who were futile. Mostly. Now Johnny is a Doctor Who fan, in the same way that I am a video game fan. He hangs out so much with other fans that he has enough secondhand knowledge to follow our conversations and insert Dalek jokes.

Which is a rather roundabout way of explaining that I enjoy watching Doctor Who even more when I am watching it with someone else. This is probably at least part of why I am enjoying Series 6 more than Series 5; Jason and I ended up watching most of s5 separately.

But there are a lot of excellent episodes in Series 4. In addition to "Partners in Crime" and "Turn Left" (both discussed in previous entries), you also have "The Doctor's Daughter" and the Moffat-penned two-part episode "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead." In addition to creating the Vashta Nerada (shadow monsters that eat all the flesh off of your bones), Silence/Forest was the first appearance of River Song.

Tomorrow's topic: Least favorite episode.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 7

Today's topic: Favorite Episode(s)

As I mentioned yesterday, this was incredibly difficult. Therefore, I will list my favorite episodes from Series 1-6 of the new Who. I have not seen enough of Classic Who to really name favorites.

Series 1 (Christopher Eccleston): As much as I enjoyed "Father's Day," I will have to go with the two-parter "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" for introducing us to Steven Moffat, Evil Genius and Creator of Nightmares. It also gave us a line to quote whenever we see someone with a gas mask: Are you my mummy? Oh, and this is also the first time we meet Captain Jack Harkness.

Series 2 (David Tennant): I am really torn between another pair of back-to-back episodes, but in this case they are two separate stories. I suppose I will have to go with another Moffat creation, "Girl in the Fireplace," because I covered "School Reunion" pretty thoroughly a couple days ago. The clockwork demons are some of the creepiest Who villains I have ever seen. It must be their empty eyes and jerky movements, straight out of the Uncanny Valley. I loved the scene at the end where the Doctor comes bursting in to save Reinette on horseback. Through a mirror. Oh, and I recognized the actress who played Reinette from the underrated, unfairly cancelled Moonlight.

Series 3: Another two-parter: "Human Nature/The Family of Blood." I loved seeing Human!Doctor. I thought it was cleverly plotted, and because they had twice as much time, I was really able to get a sense of the historical atmosphere. I know some fans are not too crazy about Martha, because of the whole unrequited love subplot that ran through the series, but I have nothing against her. I thought it was handled particularly well here. Oh, and this scene was done so that they would have something for Martha to fast-forward through while watching the Doctor's video. I find it absolutely hilarious.

Series 4: So many good episodes here! For a lighthearted favorite, you cannot beat "Partners in Crime," which I discussed when explaining why Donna is my favorite companion. I actually really liked "Turn Left." Although it is one of the darkest episodes of the whole show, I am a sucker for alternate realities (see "Father's Day" in s1). Jason and I were watching it together, and he pointed out that the problem with alternate continuities is that they are always solved by pushing the Magic Reset Button. Of course, if you make your alternate reality as horrible as the one shown in "Turn Left," the reset button comes as a relief.

Series 5 (Matt Smith): New series, new Doctor, new favorite episode is, by a wide margin, "Vincent and the Doctor." I have always been intrigued by Van Gogh, and I love the historical facts thrown in along with the invisible monster and time travelers. It reminds me of the original intent of Doctor Who, which was to be an educational program with fantasy/sci-fi elements thrown in. Kind of like a live-action version of The Magic School Bus, but British. And in 1963. Anyway, the characterization in this episode was magnificent. The ending nearly made me cry. Beautiful and tragic, like the painter they focused on.

Series 6: We are only halfway through s6, so my answer may change by the time we get to the season finale, but as it stands right now, my favorite is "The Doctor's Wife." You can read the review from a couple weeks ago for more info.

Tomorrow's topic: Favorite series/season. Hmm... will this be easier or harder?

Monday, June 6, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 6

Today's topic: Least Favorite Character

This is going to be another quick one. It is difficult, because I really like all of the main characters. Even the ones I was not too fond of at first tend to grow on me. I suppose, if I had to choose a least favorite, it would be Mickey. He really seemed like the third wheel, always in the Doctor and Rose's way. As he pointed out, he is the "tin dog" of the team.

Tomorrow: Favorite episode(s). Yikes. That will probably be "favorite episode from each season of New Who." And even then, it will be tough.

Catch you on the flip side! Also coming soon, my review of X-Men: First Class.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 5 AND Who Review

Today's Topic: Favorite Guest Star

As I said yesterday, this is easy for me: the double whammy of Anthony Stewart Head and Elisabeth Sladen in "School Reunion." Doctor Who fans recognized him as the guy who did the voiceover for "Doctor Who Insider." Buffy fans recognize him as Giles, Buffy's mentor and trainer. Though I was not fully aware of it at the time, "School Reunion" featured a much more notable guest star for the Who fans: Elisabeth Sladen's first appearance on New Who as Sarah Jane Smith. As I mentioned a few days ago, this was one of the first Who episodes I ever saw, and I tracked it down specifically because of Anthony Stewart Head. As soon as I saw her, Sarah Jane became one of my favorite characters. I was so glad to see her return several times through David Tennant's run. Naturally, I was shocked and saddened when she passed away earlier this year.

Tomorrow's topic: Least Favorite Character. Hoo boy.

Now for the review of The Almost People.


Wow. What a tight, action-packed episode. I liked it much better than the first part, actually. Loved the interaction between the two Doctors. Oh, and I totally called that Jenn had two gangers. What tipped me off was when she put Rory's hand on the scanner.

Depending on exactly when the Doctor and Ganger!Doctor switched places, Amy may have told him that he is going to die. Whoops.

Creepiest moment: the eyes set into the wall. Eeew.

Favorite moment: the Doctor's phone call to Jimmy's son. And at the end when ganger!Jimmy came home, though in a bittersweet way. I guess I am just a sucker for touching family scenes.

Well, I guess Amy being a ganger explains how she can be sort of pregnant. Though, this being Steven Moffat, we have one answer and about a dozen new questions. How long has she been there? Actually, probably about 9 months, so moving on. Where is "there?" My guess: in the clutches of the Silence. Just to tie everything together. Whose baby is it? Will the baby be okay? Is it a boy or a girl? I actually have the answers to those questions, because Jason tracked down the preview for next week's episode, "A Good Man Goes to War," which has already aired in Britain. If you want to know, scroll down.

Rory is the father. The baby is a girl named Melody. Melody Pond.

Ready for one more crazy revelation?

Melody Pond=River Song.

Ten points if you guessed that.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 4

Today's topic: Favorite Character

I would assume that this means "favorite character aside from the categories I already mentioned," which narrows my list down quite a bit. Favorite character, aside from the Doctor, his companions, and the villains? Who is left? Actually, my favorite character has been in the show from the very beginning, but in another sense only showed up this season. And it would require a...flexible definition of "character."

I loved, loved, loved the anthropomorphized TARDIS from "The Doctor's Wife." It was just a fascinating concept, to figure out what the TARDIS could say if it (she?) could talk, and to give her a personality. If these walls could talk, indeed. And we will probably never see the return of Idris!TARDIS, which only makes it that much more unique.

Tomorrow: Favorite guest star. That one is easy for me. Who is it? Check back tomorrow to find out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 3

Today's topic: Favorite Villain

This is going to be a quick one; this has been a pleasantly busy day and I plan to go to bed a bit early. My favorite recurring villain is definitely the Master. The only version I have seen is his latest incarnation, played by John Simm. He is just so... unapologetically evil. TV Tropes would describe him as "Evilly Affable." He loves to listen to music, make speeches to important people, and communicate with the world via television. Oh, and he gassed Parliament. And ushered in a year of hell on earth, accompanied by this surprisingly catchy song.

Here...come...THE DRUMS!! And thus, the "technopocalypse" begins.

My favorite one-shot villain has got to be the clockwork demons from "The Girl in the Fireplace." Brr. They are creepy.

Tomorrow: Favorite character. Another toughie.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 2 AND Nail Art

Today's topic on 30 Days of Doctor Who: Favorite Companion

I like all of the companions I have seen so far, but my favorite is Donna. I think she and the Doctor had great chemistry, and they were good for each other. He needed her as his moral compass, someone to challenge his more extreme decisions. At the same time, she really became a happier, more well-rounded person when she was with him. What happened at the end of Journey's End was just heartbreaking. (I will leave it at that. If I say any more...SPOILERS!) I love the first episode of season 4, especially the scene where she and the Doctor finally reunite.

Tomorrow on 30DoDW: Favorite Villain

Now for a quick craft: How to do ladybug nail art!

With the warmer weather, I love wearing sandals or even going barefoot. I will paint my toenails once a week or so, and recently I became interested in doing some different designs. I picked up a black nail art pen at Wallgreen's. My original thought was to do pink nails with a watermelon design, but the green polish I had was so thin that I had to throw it out. So I did a base coat of red for a ladybug design instead.

The pen was very easy to use. I was afraid it would be hard to control, but as you can see the line down the middle was nice and thin. I drew a little shape on the top for the head, with four dots on each side of the line. I was going to stop with just decorating the big toes, but then decided to do dots on the smaller toes as well. I am nowhere near professional level yet, but for a first attempt I am quite pleased with the results.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30 Days of Doctor Who, Day 1

Today's topic: Favorite incarnation of the Doctor.

Ten. Full stop. David Tennant is marvelous as the Doctor. He was also my first Doctor. I started watching about a year ago, after a friend at work told me about the show. I thought it sounded really good, so I tracked down the episode she said was her family's favorite. That episode was "Blink." David Tennant is only in there for a few scenes, but I enjoyed him very much. Everyone talks about "Blink" being the scariest episode ever, but for some reason I did not find it particularly scary. This is probably a combination of watching it on YouTube and having the ending spoiled.

Then I read up some more about Doctor Who on TV Tropes and decided to watch "School Reunion," AKA "the one with Evil Giles." I absolutely loved the Doctor going undercover as a teacher. I actually cheered when he showed up at the beginning. In my mind, he will always be the Doctor.

I like Matt Smith almost as much. He acts very much like an old man trapped in a young man's body, which actually works quite well most of the time. Christopher Eccleston grew on me, although I did not like him too much at first. Of the classic Who, I have seen one or two serials each with William Hartnell, John Pertwee, and Tom Baker.

Speaking of Tom, I will try to do a Classic Who Review of "Genesis of the Daleks." Jason picked up the DVD, and we watched it a few days ago. There is no Who Review for season 6 this week, due to reruns for Memorial Day weekend.

Up next: Favorite companion. We shall see if I can blog every day for thirty days...