New Doctor Who : Episode 1 “Rose”

I’d give the first episode of the new Dr.Who a “B”. The next episode looks much better.

The production quality is high for the BBC. Billie Piper makes a very effective companion (yes, really). Christopher Ecclestone makes a semi-convincing Doctor, capturing his levity without his underlying gravity. I’m sure he’ll grow into the role, and despite losing his footing when first facing the villain of the piece he is surprisingly affecting when the confrontation strikes a personal note.

The only real problem is the terrible incidental music. I’m sure some people will find the plot silly, but it’s no sillier than the average Star Trek plot, and surprisingly evocative (blink and you’ll miss the Doctor recount the entire history of the star-spanning Auton war and his part in it). It’s pitched at kids, just like the original Dr. Who (which people always seem to forget). Tom & friends were raving about it. So the target audience have been hit.

Favourite line:

Rose: “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?”
Doctor: “Lots of planets have a North!”

Recommended. Just don’t tell anyone I watched this and liked it. 😉


Airport Extreme Card

I got a wireless card for my iBook. It’s easy enough to fit, but routing the net connection through the machine that is connected to the net took some fiddling with the firewall, and too many passwords. This isn’t the card’s fault, it’s MacOSX’s connection sharing software, but the combination could be easier to set up.

I’m posting this now using the connection, so it can be made to work. But it’s not the simple user experience I expect from Apple.


Bloc Party: Silent Alarm

Songs to listen to after the end of a ten-year relationship should probably go something like:

“It’s so cold in this house… Like drinking poison, like eating glass.”

So ‘Silent Alarm’ by Bloc Party is ideal for me just now. There’s a good measure of dark and acutely observed songs on the album. But there’s beauty as well, as in the current single “So Here We Are”. It’s a good range, musically as well as emotionally. I’ve no idea who Gang Of Four are, so Bloc Party sound like the Cure, The Police, New Order, and other late 1970s/ early 1980s influences that I can’t quite place. Which isn’t to say that this is pastiche, it isn’t, it’s poetic lyrics and driven music that works very well and sounds fresh and young. In some places it sounds a little too young, as if Bloc Party haven’t been to Hamburg yet, but that just means that they have more potential for the future.