Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: An Adventure in Space and Time; Doctor Who: ‘The Day of the Doctor’; The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot; Culture Show Special: ‘Me, You & Doctor Who’
At the first youth borough brass band event
I, at eleven, attended (in ’91
This, eighteen months after the beeb, intent
On ‘Eldorado’, had told the show begone),
Big Jonny Black (to whose Joseph I later
Would Pharaoh play), having clocked me as mild
& shy fixed upon my ‘Timewyrm’ adventure,
& asked, mockingly, if I’d a ‘Doctor Who’ mind.
‘No,’ I said, ’for I hail not from the Kasterborous
Constellation, for I am not a time wanderer,
For I am not nine-hundred-&-fifty-three-plus,
Nor have two hearts, low temperature.’ Cool, huh?
This week was no vindication of that defence,
But shows the world’s caught my early good sense.
As You Like It, Theatre Royal Newcastle, November 2013
I think I’ve seen, in Pippa Nixon, one
Of the great Rosalinds; certainly the best
I’ve known. For her Ganymede teeters on
A believable brink of Arden sex
As lover, not – as some R’s are – as grand
Orchestrator of the upside-downing
World of the green. Her passion takes in hand,
Her super Orlando leaves upstanding.
It excels, this production, in swerve;
Re-revealing the oddness of a play
Which sometimes fits processional berths,
A tread through five acts, a ceremon-ay,
Revived with joyous rave May Herne-down
Made by the mistress shepherd sister clown.
High Rise, by JG Ballard; Doctor Who: ‘The Happiness Patrol’
There was a phase, towards the eighties’ end
When ‘Who’ reclaimed, if not its heights, then some
Of its Tom Baker pulse. It took SF trends
From Ballard, Gaiman, Moore, as it had done
With Hammer years before. I was a child
& remain fond of these. Though execution
Can rightly be criticised, my junior mind
Revelled in image & imagination.
Reading Ballard’s Marxian-Darwinian
Fable last month (pub. some thirteen annos
Pre-Patrol), more than ever the grand notion
Of Who seems to be to slice ideas, take goes
At feeding them to childish minds, with wit,
Humour, & sets, monsters a little bit sh––.
NOT A SONNET REVIEW: Autobiography, by Morrissey; My Autobiography, by Sir Alex Ferguson
I don’t feel any need to read you now,
Or send my coin towards your advances,
For the papers, with their blanket glances,
Have digested on my behalf: & how!
Ten things we learned! With Joyce & Rourke the rows!
With Travis, Trader, another. Lances
Beckham, the Ferg, & Ruud. Olive branches
Not for Keane or Wenger. Live Blog! Go! Pow!
It beggars mind that folk shell out, these days,
For book itself, or rights to serialise,
For the writing, likely nothing special,
The stories well chowed down in laze
Of bullets, lists. Thank you, the press, my eyes
& time saved from reading work more glacial.
Vancouver set as well as shot reveals
A city not unlike The Killing’s home:
Broad river, chrome & glass. The show appeals
Like a clever US network show, a neat roam
Through some X-Files themes & supporting cast,
Plus a Canadian bend in Anonymous,
In Occupy directions, with clever blasts
Of gamer-lore, of scientistic geekinous.
Though, like the show above mentioned, one feels
Too soon it gives itself to uber arc-plot.
By season two, all pretence at final reels
As final Acts is dropped. X-Files is not
A good precedent in this regard,
I’ve a concern that it’s trying too hard.
Stephen Fry: Out There, BBC Two
The same two talks, again again again
Around the globe, the film repeats itself
As Fry the fearful challenges with brave
Good humour, & then meets a great wealth
Of pride & sense. It will bear repeating
This film, as talks within repeat again
& the case for progress is made again, pressing
Forward, pressing on, of what we would gain
If love was the world’s good guide. Good old
BBC, good old Stephen Fry, this humane
Collection of repetition unfolds
Great & simple truths. Its dark refrain
& its bright light bear broadcast again
& everywhere, & again again.
Masters of Sex, Channel 4
WARNING: THE SHOW IS CALLED ‘MASTERS OF SEX’
SOME EXPLICIT LANGUAGE FOLLOWS - THOUGH NOT ALL *THAT* EXPLICIT
JUST… YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ IT IN FRONT OF YOUR MUM, OR YOUR BOSS, MUCH AS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO WATCH A SHOW CALLED ‘MASTERS OF SEX’ WITH YOUR MUM OR YOUR BOSS
If we’re going to do prime-time soft porn –
Which, after ‘Spartacus’ & ‘Game of Thrones’
It seems we certainly are, then it’s good form
Not to replicate the bias of those shows
Towards male gratification – for though
‘Blood & Sand’ made its equal ops case
With a little conviction, it did not show
Many cocks. ’Tis cocks must find their place
In prime-time if this is the high-brow road.
Sheen’s show, happy enough with Caplan’s tits
Is shy about her co-star’s unseen Tom Joad.
We’re past obscenity, it seems, so this
Reliance on old standards & old laws
To protect shy male members rather galls.
#ManBooker 2013: The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
Extraordinary second novel, Catton’s
Characters as finely defined as those of
The greatest nineteenth century novels.
The huge ones. You might cite Deadwood, &
You’d be quite right, though this ends, where
The other… & a fierce eye
For aphorism not
Milch’s profane ear.
Late it builds &
#NotTheBooker 2013: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
I rocket through this thing. Atkinson
Has ways with a tale, & though the stop
Start structure could lead to tiresome
Repetition, incite irritation (like the plot-
Split in Skios), each iteration plays
A short involving variation
In involving mid-middle-class ways
With no hesitation or deviation.
Its point, however, is not quite as clear,
It entertains, works the emotions
(Ursula’s harrowing life of fear),
It has tale fuel, but where grander notions?
Its many-worlds mode is a flip fillip,
Comes to no more than a good sales gimmick.