Posts Tagged With: twin peaks

Have I got Whos for you (part 468)

This week in Whoverville: Peter Capaldi’s magazine collection.

A new deleted scene emerges from The BFG.

Speculation mounts as a new trailer for the upcoming series 10 appears to show footage from an upcoming regeneration.

And there’s a lot of fuss over the identity of that woman in the photo the Doctor keeps on his desk.

Enjoy your day. I’m off to London: I could tell you why, but I’d have to exterminate you.

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Fish Custard: Reversed

I walked into the study on Monday morning to find the boys watching a Lazy Town video. Backwards.

It beats the hell out of some of the stuff I find in the internet history. I mean, I love YouTube. It’s a wealth of fantastic, entertaining material. It has recipes, educational videos, how-to guides and interviews. It’s enabled me to see programmes I haven’t seen in years and ones I’d forgotten about completely. It’s connected me with musical artists in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible, shown me ideas and concepts I could never have imagined and, for all the idiocy and bigotry, generally broadened my horizons.

And what were my kids watching the other week? Fucking Crazy Frog. Backwards.

It’s hardly Twin Peaks, is it? It’s quite amusing to watch Sportacus climb back into his cage while Robbie and his clones skip backwards over the wall, but you wonder what the point was. And then you look at the other stuff on the channel and you notice a pattern in the titles –

weare

HOW THE HELL HAS THIS GUY GOT SO MANY HITS? Do people like Lazy Town that much? Or is this another artificial inflation scam like the VEVO incident? I mean, here’s me, scrabbling for social media coverage, begging and borrowing and promoting like crazy just to creep into the hundreds, and this guy’s presumably living off his monetization. It’s enough to make you weep for the future of humanity; it really is.

The definitive use of reversed footage, of course, is in Red Dwarf, in an episode that isn’t really as funny as we’d like to think (gimmicky episodes seldom are, as ‘Gunmen of the Apocalypse’ proves in abundance). There are amusing moments in ‘Backwards’ but the best of the humour stems from Lister’s reactions (“Santa Claus – what a bastard!”), as well as that single shot of Cat, springing up from the bushes. But a better episode that series is ‘Marooned’, which is almost a two-hander, but which has some of the best gags in the history of the show. ‘Backwards’ has Lister falling off a bicycle. ‘Marooned’ has Rimmer doing the funniest Richard III you’ll ever see. Case closed.

catbackwards

Anyway, I started to think about whether I could take anything from Doctor Who and run it backwards. I’ve occasionally reversed small clips in isolation – the Beckett video springs to mind – but was there any merit in anything longer? The problem was picking an appropriate scene, and seeing that inspiration was lacking I decided to ask Facebook. Someone suggested Clara’s death scene. “Anything with the Weeping Angels”, said someone else. “It’s just them backing away from people.”

There’s a lot of mileage in a scene like that but one obvious example – inspired, in part, by the scene in Red Dwarf where Rimmer and Kryten observe a woman regurgitating a cream cake – was the Fish Fingers and Custard sequence. Because it’s a wonderful moment that’s been done to death and had all the life sucked out of it with subsequent references (Why, in the name of sanity, does the TARDIS interface say ‘Fish fingers and custard’ to the Doctor when he’s lying on the floor halfway through ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’?). There is absolutely nothing new I can bring to that scene apart from reverse it and witness the Doctor’s telekinetic summoning of a reassembling plate across the garden, before sucking baked beans back into his mouth.

But what’s most striking about it is how similar it sounds to Nordic noir. As I was watching it – and particularly after I’d dropped in the background ambience, which comes courtesy of the lovely people at Cryo Chamber – it felt like I was watching a scene from The Bridge, or Modus, or Wallander (I assume; that’s one I’ve not seen yet). The analogy’s far from perfect, of course. Amelia’s house isn’t nearly Nordic enough. There’s not a single glass wall. She doesn’t even have decking. Nonetheless, the vibe is there. It’s the dialogue: it all sounds like Swedish.

And that’s given me another idea, but you’re going to have to let me finish it first…

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God is in the detail (x)

At first, I didn’t think there was anything significant in ‘Nightmare in Silver’. It felt very cluttered, but not terribly coherent. I was struggling. But then a couple of light bulbs went on, and everything started to connect. And so – one day before the final episode of the series – here’s this week’s list of SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT THINGS THAT WILL TURN OUT TO BE VERY IMPORTANT LATER ON.

Firstly, observe the countdown screen.

Silver_detail (1)

You see the list of numbers on the left? Well, they refer to the first ten Doctors. Specifically the first one, who is highlighted with an X. This once again indicates the connection between Clara and the First Doctor. But that’s not all. Notice, also, the presence of the word ‘Armed’ in the middle, meaning that reading from the left you get ‘1 Armed’…one-armed what? One-armed bandit? One-armed man?

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Ah!

Mike, the one-armed man from Twin Peaks, as played by Al Strobel. Which, by a curious coincidence, is an anagram of ‘Laser Bolt’. WHICH IS HOW MADAME VASTRA IS GOING TO DIE TOMORROW.

There was also a one-armed man in The Fugitive, in which innocent man Richard Kimble was pursued across the United States by the diligent Inspector Gerard. I mention this not for the sake of random trivia, but because it’s VERY IMPORTANT. Because of this.

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It’s the Eastenders girl again, but she was expendable and irritating, so ignore her. Look instead at the windows in the background. Blue, aren’t they? And green. Which is a CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS reference to the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labour unions fighting for environmental causes. And the co-chair of their board of directors is the International President of United Steelworkers – a chap called Leo W. Gerard. Case closed.

(Coincidentally, in the 1993 film of The Fugitive, Gerard was played by Tommy Lee Jones, but that reminds me of Martha, so let’s not go there. Also Kimble was played by Harrison Ford, and a Ford is a shallow crossing on a River, so let’s really not go there.)

Blue also features here, in this image.

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You can see the flag, can’t you? The blue and white one? Blue and white, as in…oh, I don’t know. The state flag for Colorado?

Colorado

And, of course, the inclusion of a big letter ‘C’ on this flag is pure coincidence.

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Yessir. Pure coincidence.

Now, my friends, to Tolkien. Here’s the Unknown Soldier.

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Notice what she has? A nose ring? And what literary classic do we know that features a powerful ring? Let’s also remember, of course, that her eyes are angled left, and that if she were facing north she’d be gazing westward, which in turn recalls this:

“There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving”.

Oh, you could do a whole story about ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and Doctor Who, but I don’t have the time. Still, the allusions run deeper, and then there’s a feint and another feint and it all twists in a new direction. Take a look here.

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This, if you remember, was the Cyberman’s head sitting on the pile of boxes that are blatantly a pile of boxes. But look at the sign. “Staff only”, I think you’ll find. And Who Carries a Staff? Yes, he does. (Sorry. You see what I did there, right?)

Gandalf carries a staff. Gandalf was played by Ian McKellen. Ian McKellen voiced the Great Intelligence, who appeared in ‘The Snowmen’. “Aha!” I hear you say, “this must mean that McKellen is coming back.” Well, no, it doesn’t. Because the other thing you need to know about Ian McKellen is that he’s currently starring in a dreadful sitcom called Vicious, in which he plays one half of a pair of ageing gay men in an antagonistic relationship. The other is played by Derek Jacobi, who also played The Master.

What does this mean? It means, of course, that we’ll deal with the Great Intelligence next week, and then in the last minute of the episode, Derek Jacobi’s hand will appear in shot and pinch the soldier’s nose ring.

I swear, sometimes I’m so brilliant I amaze even myself.

Categories: God is in the Detail, New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The weighted companion, cubed

“Have you seen Men in Black?”

Emily stretched, yawned, reached for her tea mug and downed another sip. “I think so. Years ago. Not with you.”
“How about Men in Black II?”
“Probably not.”
“They’ve made a third film. It looks dire.”
Men in Black was, I seem to remember, not bad, if silly.”
“The sequel has some inspired set pieces, and it stars Lara Flynn Boyle, who played Donna Noble in Twin Peaks.”
“Oh, I see.”
“No, wait. Did I say Donna Noble? I meant Donna Hayward.”
“I know you did.”
“Although. Thinking about it. In Twin Peaks Donna’s father was Doc Hayward. So you had the Doctor-Donna. Coincidence???”
“Yes dear,” said Emily, “it is.”

This afternoon I had a meeting with Sarah Jane Smith. Honestly. And then on the way to said meeting, I found this on the table.

It’s been one of those days.

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In the darkroom

This time last year, I discovered video editing.

It happened during a screening of Whistle and I’ll Come To You – the 2010 remake, starring John Hurt in the Michael Hordern role. The general consensus is that this adaptation is a pale shadow of the original. Not having seen the original – nor having read the story on which it is based – I’m not in a position to judge. Suffice to say it terrified us: even devoid of half the original characters and, indeed, the eponymous whistle, it was still a chilling ghost story, with compelling narrative ambiguity, slow-burning scares and an ending that gave me nightmares. (There is something in that final sequence that is very reminiscent of Twin Peaks. If you’ve seen it, you’ll see what I mean.)

It was during the aforementioned screening that Emily – who, I think, wanted a respite from the night terrors that seemed to be affecting her even more than they were me – suggested that the noises and bumps that James Parkin could hear weren’t ghosts at all. I’d dabbled with video before when I was transferring our wedding footage to DVD, but doing something like this was a new experience. The resulting mashup can be seen on YouTube, but I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this entry. I won’t give away the surprise.

What was jarring in the first instance was the number of dislikes I was getting – three, at the last count, which isn’t many, but when it’s your first YouTube feedback the effect it has on your morale can be catastrophic. (It’s very easy, I’ve found, to hop online and leave scathing, unconstructive feedback which gives no rationale for your apparent dislike. It’s harder to actually create something.) Looking at it again now, there are things I don’t like about it: the structure is wobbly and uneven and I’m not entirely convinced by some of the editing. But it hangs together, just about, and there are moments of goodness. And it opened a metaphorical floodgate because I suddenly realised that much of my thought process consisted of random mashups and silliness, and this was a way of transforming them into something tangible.

The stuff I do can be subdivided into two main categories: mashups, which are usually quite silly, and montages, which are usually not. The mashups emphasise the quirkier side of my sense of humour, and most of them speak for themselves. Some work better than others. The montages are usually collections of images designed to invoke an emotional response. For example, I was driving home one afternoon listening to Bat For Lashes when I suddenly had a half-formed video come into my head, consisting entirely of images from Matt Smith’s first season in the TARDIS. It just seemed to work. So I put it together. And it worked reasonably well. People heap scorn upon these bastardised creations, citing them as examples of internet laziness where users just nick existing stuff and chop and change it and call it their own. There’s a certain amount of justification in such a viewpoint, but it beats hanging out on Facebook all day, or shouting your mouth off on the Daily Mail forums.

Anyway, I’ve spent the last twelve months building up a reasonable portfolio, and over the next few weeks I’ll showcase them here. The YouTube channel gets its fair share of hits, but a good number of them are actually Doctor Who related, and thematically they fit. In the meantime I shall leave you with the unfortunate Mr Hurt and his unwelcome bedfellows. Switch the lights out when you leave.

Categories: Crossovers, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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