I have decided to change the URL of the blog to

I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please update your links and subscriptions accordingly.

Hunky Dory

The previous four months have been extremely difficult. I suppose balancing school and work will do that.

By way of clarification, I haven’t abandoned this blog (and perhaps nineteen days of non-activity is not enough time to warrant fears of abandonment); in fact, it has rarely been far from my mind. Time, however, has been difficult to manage. The good news is that the semester ends in just two weeks. During this time I will have one photo editing project to complete and one presentation to give. After that, I hope to get back to Doctor Who. I just ordered Doctor Who and The Silurians on DVD. New classic-era Doctor Who tends to excite me.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons. Copyright 2010 by Fletcher6)

Unfortunately, I have had to make a few changes in my podcast life. A year ago I was subscribed to multiple Doctor Who-related podcasts. While I enjoyed them immensely, I found they created within me a desire to consume more and more Doctor Who. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but returning to school has put certain demands on the budget and time. Essentially, I no longer had time in my life for everything I once did (I am still following the Big Finish podcast, however, as I harbor the dream to one day write for them).

The path I am currently treading has dictated certain changes, and this blog may—at times—reflect this. I have, undeniably, be a fan of Doctor Who off and on since the age of three. Yet, the greater fanaticism in my life has always been with words. More recently this has shifted into a fascination with communication in general, not so much with public speaking, but with the transfer of ideas. To this end, I have been seeking a degree in professional writing. Much of the writing in the business world utilizes forms of technical communication. It is my hope that I can transfer the concepts and techniques that I learn to improve this blog. Hopefully it will lead to better writing as well, as some of my early posts were quite rough.

But I may play around with things along the way. Designs may change from time to time; I may write about non-Doctor Who, non-science fiction/adventure topics. I say all this just as a heads up. Some of you have been reading and subscribing to this blog for a quite a while, and I appreciate every one of you. I still hope to get through every episode of DW, and now understand this to be a task that will take much longer than I had anticipated. With this goal now becoming more long-term in nature, however, I can no longer maintain a single focus. This blog must also reflect, both visually and textually, the skillset I am learning.

I hope you stick around.

Alcatraz finale (spoilers)

Madsen vs. Madsen: (Source: Jerome Wetzel TV. Copyright 2012 by Fox.)

Alcatraz completed its first season on March 26, and while the finale didn’t make me an all-out supporter of the show, it did offer up a few elements that may bring me back for a second season should the show be renewed. There will be no attempt to avoid spoilers in this review, so you should only read if you have seen the finale or if you don’t care about spoilers.

  1. Factions – Based on how this season progressed, it would seem that Warden James has been planning . . . something. James has been subjecting certain prisoners to experiments with colloidal silver, a compound that ancient societies felt would aid healing. It seems the prisoner such as Tommy Madsen had a significant amount of silver infused into their blood. Warden James wanted Tommy Madsen to be the first. It seems James has had Madsen under observation for a very long time, prior even to his incarceration.
    But other prisoners, with Harlan Simmons the seeming ringleader, are standing against what Warden James is doing. This is an interesting idea, that the 63s are returning, and possibly at odds with one another.
  2. Nation-Wide Scope – With the reveal of tracking equipment set up by Warden James and the newly-introduced scientist Mr. K, we have been given the possibility that the show will widen its scope to tracking 63s across the United States. I think this is a great move that allows more storytelling potential.
  3. Rebecca Madsen is dead? – Oh, please, yes! I admit that I never warmed to the character. I felt she never progressed beyond stock-sexy-female-cop (and they never really pushed the “sexy” part that far either, merely hinted at it). She never had any chemistry with Doc Soto; she never developed a grudging-respect-but-still-strained relationship with Hauser. With the larger scope now in place, the task force no longer needs to be so closely tied to SFPD. I would like to see a new lead investigator (perhaps Ray Archer, who could have the strained relationship with Hauser while maintaining the personal connection to Tommy Madsen), someone who can actually do convincing police-work.

While these ideas capture my imagination, I still think the weakest part of the show is the present-day action. Alcatraz has two parts: character-driven science fiction (the flashbacks) and police procedural (present day). The writers seem to have a good grasp of the flashbacks, but the police procedural aspect suffers because no one seems to know how to write in the genre. Indeed, the only writer who has extensive (read: more than one) writing experience in police procedural is Jennifer Johnson, who wrote seven episodes of Cold Case (according to IMDB, at any rate). All the other staff writers have extensive sci-fi credentials. This could explain the success of the flashbacks. I think Alcatraz would benefit from an additional writer or two who are fans of character-driven science fiction, and who have solid police procedural credits. This could tie the flashbacks more closely to the present-day material, while giving us better investigations. The show has to work on both levels, it can’t just float by on one.

At this point, it seems Alcatraz is slated for cancellation. There has been no official announcement, but the viewing figures are less than half of what the show started with. The week-to-week decline in ratings was almost painful to see, despite not being a fan of the show. I’m not sure, at this point, if I’m pulling for the show or not, but I will give it a shot in the next season, should it get renewed.

How I Have Been Annoying My Facebook Friends

No new Doctor Who content yet, but I will tell you how I’ve been annoying my friends on Facebook.

Between work and school, I have felt that my life has been rather mundane and busy, so to inject a bit on adventure and surrealism into my life, I have been altering my Facebook account so it looks more like an entry from one of the Final Fantasy games. I changed my timeline picture to a logo of my name, and have been thinking of RPG-themed versions of normal, everyday events.

I have been having a lot of fun learning photo editing software (which is actually school related, so it isn’t exactly pointless goofing off), and thus far this activity amuses me. It may start annoying my friends soon, but they can always hide my posts.