Doctor Who, Cinema, and Being a Smart Person

At this year’s CONvergence, I had the privilege of being on a couple panels. Two of them were Doctor Who-related. One was called “What Do You Think of the New Companion?” and the other was “Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who Episodes.” I’m not sure which panel this discussion was brought up in and neither of them were recorded, but whatever.

During whichever panel, I was talking about the sci-fi aspect of the show and how I’m really unhappy with how much simpler the show has gotten in respect to the technology and plot. It used to be that the Doctor would launch into detailed descriptions of the technology of his ship, or some alien tech, or how Time and Space function. I mean, a lot of the time he got a blank stare from whoever he was traveling with, but I followed it up to a certain point. Some of it sort of made sense and a huge part of the fun of science fiction is wondering how that fiction translates into real science.

Someone in the audience (both of these panels were really relaxed and more like whole-room conversations with a team of moderators) objected to my objection by basically saying that a lot of that tech stuff goes over people’s heads. I had to stifle my desire to be a giant condescending asshole by telling her that maybe she should find another show to watch.

I’ve been considering this visceral response I had for quite a while and trying to come up with words for why I hate the perpetual simplification of a show I adore for its complexity. Here’s what I’ve come up with: Continue reading “Doctor Who, Cinema, and Being a Smart Person”

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CONvergence 2012!

Okay, it’s been several days, but I think I finally have time to sit down and write a bit about SkepchickCON.

Thursday:
We got in at about 5pm, much much earlier than I had anticipated. We visited the apocalypse panel, met a super super creepy kid, and generally awkwarded around the Skepchick party room.

The Dr. Horrible Sing Along was this night, and it was amazing. The gigantic room was packed. Lots of people would speak with some of the more memorable lines. “Because the status.. is NOT.. quo..” I was a little disappointed at how few people were singing Felicia Day’s parts. I assume it’s partially that I couldn’t hear people, and I can’t blame a lot of them for clinging to the protagonists’s lines. I used my femmy-femme voice to harmonize.

Continue reading “CONvergence 2012!”

Star Trek Sexism

This is one of my short ones:

The original Star Trek series begins with a couple minutes of the episode and a short monologue by William Shatner. The monologue wraps up with “Its ongoing mission: To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

I just finished watching the 2009 Star Trek movie. At the end, Leonard Nimoy (as older Spock) delivers the same monologue with a slight change. “Its ongoing mission: To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

A minor change, but it’s less sexist. I also understand that the original meant ‘man-kind’ and I’m sure wasn’t intended to be sexist. Or maybe they just didn’t think of that because it was the late sixties.

**UPDATE December 9, 2013: When I originally wrote this post, I hadn’t seen any of The Next Generation or any Star Trek besides ToS and the movie.**