How to deal with critics

David Tennant in CasanovaBear with me: this is going to take a little time. I will intersperse David Tennant pictures with the text to keep you going on this journey.

Yesterday, a new arrival at this blog, Little Laura Jones (henceforth known as LLJ), advanced a postulate.

you ppl are PATHETIC!!

Actually, that wasn’t the one I meant, although it’s still an interesting take on things. No, she took umbrage at various comments that suggested maybe David Tennant shouldn’t shout so much.

dnt see u lot writing tv programmes or plays and i dnt see u starring in them either! so i dnt think u hav a right to bring the programme down

It’s an interesting theory. At initial glance, it doesn’t make much sense, since it would apparently suggest that only people who write and star in TV programmes or plays are able to decide whether a TV programme is good or bad, or whether an actor should shout his lines or not. Poor producers. Poor directors – I imagine it’s going to make their job so much harder with this new ruling.

David Tennant in CasanovaWhat if we extrapolate? Only MPs can decide who should be elected, because they’re the only ones who understand the intricacies of elections? Only someone who’s been in the Big Brother house can vote on who should be evicted? Only musicians can choose which records not to buy, since not buying a record is tacit criticism of it? GCSE English Literature and GCSE Media Studies will be banned in LLJ’s scheme of things until those taking the subject have developed their own corpus in the particular medium they’re studying. A blessing, maybe?

Tricky, isn’t it? Surely she can’t mean that? How can society function without freedom of speech?

Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a solution to this impasse. We will be free once again.

Clearly, I can’t suggest a solution since my few appearances on TV, rubbish film and TV scripts that I wrote 15 years ago and my very poor turn in The Merchant of Venice don’t really count in the scheme of things.

Uwe BollNo, the only person who can come up with a solution has to be someone who has written scripts that have been developed into a creative work that others might have seen.

There is such a person. He has a solution. He will save us.

Thank God for Dr Uwe Boll.

Dr Boll is tired. He’s tired of critics. He’s particularly tired of Internet critics, who snipe at such magnificent films as BloodRayne and House of the Dead. While he regards himself as being on a par with Sergio Leone and David Lynch, the critical world has chosen to disagree with him, suggesting among other things, that his films are so bad, they make directors of other bad films feel good about themselves:

The other practitioners of cinematic drivel can rest a little easier now; they can walk in the daylight with their heads held high, a smile on their lips and a song in their hearts. “It’s okay,” they’ll tell themselves. “I didn’t make Alone in the Dark.”

David Tennant in CasanovaDr Boll’s solution, until now, has been to accuse critics of being “…guys writing all the Internet bullshit about me and sitting in their houses where mommy pays for everything.”

But now Uwe’s come up with the perfect solution to our dilemma.

He’s challenged his critics to a boxing match.

Towards the end of the filming of Postal, the five most outspoken critics will be flown into Vancouver and supplied with hotel rooms. As a guest of Uwe Boll they will be given the chance to be an extra/stand-in in Postal and have the opportunity to put on boxing gloves and enter a BOXING RING to fight Uwe Boll. Each critic will have the opportunity to bring down Uwe in a 10-bout match. There will be five matches planned over the last two days of the movie. Certain scenes from these boxing matches will become part of the Postal movie. All five fights will be televised on the Internet and will be covered by international press.

To be eligible you must be a critic who has posted on the Internet or have written in magazines/newspapers at least two extremely negative articles in the year 2005. Critics of 2006 will not be considered.

You’ll also have to weigh between 140 and 190 pounds.

David Tennant in CasanovaSo there we have it. The solution. Even if you haven’t made a movie, TV show or play, you can still criticise a performed work if you’re willing to get into the boxing ring to sort it out. Praise the Lord!

As a result of this ruling, I will carry on blogging and passing comment, as I suspect will everyone else, with the sure and certain understanding that Russell T Davies or David Tennant can challenge me to a boxing match if they really object to anything. If I win, I’m right; if they win, I’m wrong.

David Tennant in CasanovaNow, just in case you haven’t grasped some of the implications of this, and remembering that David Tennant is a gentleman who would never hit a girl: If anyone here criticises David Tennant’s acting and tendency to shout, they have a good chance of getting into a boxing ring and seeing David Tennant wearing nothing but boxing shorts. Will anyone do such a thing? How many times with the referee have to prise the two fighters apart if it happens? Comments please…

Music from the Orange “Open” advert

Since a large number of people are coming to this blog trying to find out the music to the new Orange “Open” advert (the one with the fish in a bowl – you can view it by clicking the play button), I thought I’d put them out of their misery: it’s Music for a Nurse by Oceansize from the album “Everyone Into Position”. You can buy the track from iTunes or the album from Amazon.


Pick of the TV podcasts

There’s something odd about the BBC web site. Well, specifically the BBC’s Doctor Who web site. Every episode of the series has had a podcast, sometimes graced by David Tennant and Russell T Davies, sometimes not. You can download them separately from each episode’s web page. There are even instructions on how to subscribe to them on the site. But the bizarre thing is, there’s no direct link for subscribing. Here are the iTunes instructions.

Search for “Doctor Who Commentaries” and you should find our feed. Otherwise, follow the instructions below

Which is odd, because if you have iTunes, all you have to do is click this link that I’ve just made and it’ll subscribe you to the podcast automatically: Rob’s Doctor Who iTunes podcast hyperlink. Given the technical sophistication of the rest of the site, you’d have thought they could have made it a little bit easier, but they didn’t.

Which gets me nicely onto the podcasts themselves. They’re really not all they could be. For that we have to go to the US.

Battlestar Galactica

BSG podcastUndoubtedly the gold standard in podcasts, it’s great just to listen to Battlestar Galactica’s Exec Producer(s) explain all the thinking that went into the episode, how it was filmed and so on. The Doctor Who podcast trawls the shallows a bit in comparison and is more than a little self-congratulatory. Ronald D Moore may have a show with a gadzillion times the budget of Doctor Who and considerably higher US ratings, but unlike RTD and co, he’s perfectly prepared to admit when an episode or scene stank. There is, incidentally, a great interview with him over on Podcast411.

As well as the standard episode commentaries, there have also been three recordings of writers’ meetings, where we get to hear how one particular episode was whittled into shape. It’s fascinating to hear the various iterations of the show as it slowly became closer to the televised form. Well, it is for me.


Lost podcastAnyone watching in the UK probably isn’t going to want to listen to the later episodes of this particular podcast, but the earlier ones should be safe. It’s quite instructive to listen to, since rather than a standard DVD-style commentary, the podcasts contain interviews with the cast, previews of the next episode, and explanations and clarifications of the previous episode (always vital with Lost) by the exec producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who actually now have their own theme tune thanks to a listener competition. Lindelof and Cuse also answer questions from Lost fans, usually by insulting them slyly or using extreme sarcasm, which is more than worth the free entrance fee. As if that weren’t enough, there are occasional additional podcasts with behind-the-scenes tours.

Now, while Doctor Who is doing well to have a podcast, its own dedicated web site (if you want to see a sorry web site, go look at the ITV site. That needs life support) and TARDISodes, it’s being edged out in a couple of areas. Don’t you think we owe it to the BBC to ensure we keep the lead with high podcast quality?


Who’s worked out well for Sci-Fi?

David Tennant has some fun in CasanovaDoctor Who, that’s who. Turns out that even if you air it in a crap time slot (Friday night) and forget to mention kids might like it, you can still double your ratings compared with last year’s output.

Nicely done, Eccles. Let’s see what DT does for the US as the cold winter nights set-in. Marie? Lisa? Anyone want to hazard a guess?

PS: Please find enclosed one picture of David Tennant.


Review: Doctor Who – 2×9 – The Satan Pit

The Satan Pit

Well, after the Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit was a bit of a disappointment. All that suspenseful creepy set-up, just to have most of the second part consumed by running up and down corridors, scrambling around ventilator shafts and a fortuitous appearance by the TARDIS to save the day? It all felt a bit of a waste. Where was the cunning plan by the Doctor to overcome the enemy? Where were the buckets of evil nastiness that had proved so unsettling the previous week? Where did Billie Piper’s acting talent go? It’s a bigger mystery than the Devil himself.

Basic plot: Rose and the miners escape the planet in a rocket; the Doctor throws himself down a hole, breaks a couple of jars and then rescues the people in the rocket using the TARDIS.

It could have been so much more, given the production team had Satan to work with as a villain, yet it became so conventional. Even the Ood seemed less menacing and more plasticky than last week.

It wasn’t awful, there was never a cringe-worthy moment and the Beast was a fantastic piece of CGI. But it could all have amounted to so much more, given half a chance.

And what was up with David Tennant? You’re not in the theatre again, love. You don’t have to shout every line to the back of the auditorium. You don’t have to compensate for lack of interesting dialogue by bellowing. In short, you are not Brian Blessed.