Friday, August 22, 2008

Mixed-up confwhosion

I've been a DW fan for a long time - and indeed it must be 30 years since I first borrowed Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters from the library - but there are some stories which I'll still be mixing up after another 30 years.

The Mind Robber and The Celestial Toymaker - the TARDIS materialises nowhere, and the Doctor has to do stuff while his companions are harassed by fictional characters.

The Reign of Terror and The Massacre. It's France, it's the past and the companions are locked in cells while the Doctor pretends to be one of the chief French guys.

The Ark and The Space Museum. Trying to explain these to me is like Father Ted trying to explain perspective to the stupid priest. 'Do you see Shallow, in this story they have jumped a time track, but in that story they just come back to the same place in the future.' 'Er...'

The Mind of Evil and The Sea Devils. Pert, the Master, Jo and a prison.

The Sunmakers and Underworld. Lots of corridors and tunnels, and both a dramatic decline in quality from the rest of the season.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thinking about Bilbo's domestic arrangements again: in The Hobbit he appears to do all his own housework. When the dwarves turn up for tea, he has to serve the food (and he's baked the cakes himself too) as well as washing up next day (lighting fires and boiling water in the process), and then he cleans the dining-room into the bargain.

Doesn't he keep any servants? Or were Wednesday and Thursday their days off? In the days before washing machines and vacuum cleaners, housework was a serious business. With a huge hole like Bag End to keep in order, it's a wonder Bilbo had time to go off for walks in the Country Round at all.

Of course, Holman Greenhand (and his apprentice Hamfast Gamgee) did the garden for him. And perhaps Frodo was displeased to find, when Bilbo adopted him as his heir and brought him to Bag End, that he had to pitch in with the housework; certainly when he moved to Crickhollow, Sam went with him 'to do for him', ie to keep house as well as just looking after the garden.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A fine haul of Targets from the second-hand bookshops today - Time and the Rani, Silver Nemesis, Happiness Patrol and Unearthly Child. That gives me, at one stroke, 100% Hart and Slyv coverage, and only 17 more books to go.

And Happiness Patrol completes the McCoy magical realist trilogy, which will be ample compensation for having paid actual money for Silver Nemesis.