Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quick Hits

NWN2 Update
I've not done much on 'The Maimed God's Saga' in the last couple days, but if all goes well, I'm going to do a whole lot of planning this weekend. I should be able to give an idea of the number of areas, length, and an estimate of the words, and maybe - just maybe - I'll be able to lay out a tentative timeline for completion.

But it also looks like Alazander let slip an interesting comment today. Apparently, he's been working on some 'Secret Project' and is nearing some sort of announcement. Gee, I can't wait to see what THAT might be!

The Daleks Take Manhattan!
Doctor Who is absolutely my favorite show of all time. If I were British, that would make me fairly normal given the extreme popularity the series currently enjoys in the UK. In America, however, that puts me on 'geek' level. Such is my lot in life...

Anyway, this week aired 'The Daleks In Manhattan.' I was a bit prepared to rant about how overused the daleks are in the new series - this is, after all their fourth story in less than three years - but after watching it last Saturday night I'm forced to give the DW team kudos instead. In many ways, it felt as though it was part of the classic series, as the pace was a bit slower and the daleks were kept more in the background. And then, of course, a sewer setting screams 'Dr. Who.' This was a terrific story, and I can only hope and pray that part II lives up to the promise shown in part I.

I have no idea if any of the filming was actually done in America, but regardless the rendering of 1930s New York looked spectacular. This isn't the first Doctor Who story to take place in the States. The series one story titled, coincidentally, 'Dalek' was set in Utah, and the classic series story 'The Gunfighters' was set in the Wild West, but this was the first story I can think of that made obvious use of American landmarks (The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building) so that it actually felt like America. And the British actors by-and-large did a terrific job with their accents. I understand that there were some Americans thrown in, but I can't tell which they were, so that goes to show a good job done all around.

David Tennant gave one of his more restrained performances, which served him well. It was one of the few times that I actually felt he was a legitimate successor in terms of acting 'weight' to Who giants like Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee. And Freema Agyeman continues to impress as Martha Jones. My initial reaction is that she's roughly the same caliber actress as is Billie Piper, but I much prefer Martha Jones' character to Piper's Rose.

Finally, a big shout out to Helen Raynor, who wrote the story. I guess I shouldn't be all that impressed given the amount of studying I've done of British history, but the fact that a British writer got so much right about a less well-known period in American history is impressive and, at least on my part, appreciated. Given the appalling state of education in this country, I doubt that even 25% of Americans would know who Herbert Hoover was, much less what a Hooverville was. So it's certainly impressive that a British writer centers a story around one.

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