The original series of Twilight Zone. It holds up remarkably well, and it takes advantage of its anthology series format to tell a range of stories in a variety of styles.

Rod Serling wrote the vast majority of the tales, along with Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. Some were original, some were based on short stories written by others, and the vast majority are, at the very least, good.

In fact, the biggest issue that Twilight Zone has is that it's entered our collective consciousness - so many of the stories we know the ending of before we've even seen them - and even the DVD intro menu has spoilers. But it's to the show's credit that even knowing the ending of some stories fails to dull the punch. On top of that, there are still so many good and great stories that we've not had spoiled, that it can still regularly surprise, even when you're looking for the twist.

Some of you will have had this on your 'one day I'll watch such-and-such' list. Well the show's been around for fifty years, those other newer shows can wait a while, make a start.

For my non-spoilery review of the first season, go here.
I'm going to mention two, and I make no apologies for this.

Pretty easy for me, this one. Time and the Rani is a stand-out stinker from the original series of Doctor Who. Bad in so many ways, from dreadful writing, poor acting, lacklustre direction... there is little this story does well. Pip and Jane Baker are writers who have only written one story I liked, Mark of the Rani, and even that was pretty ropey in places.

From the new series of DW, End of Time stands out. So poorly executed by people who have shown they are capable of so much better that it's insulting to its audience. I liked David Tennant, but this story basically highlights every wrong decision they made with his character through the series and hyper-sensitises you to them, so when you see those minor elements appear while rewatching earlier stories, they piss you off where previously you weren't fussed.

The Bakers were always ordinary writers, but RTD is one of the best of his generation, and as such I hold him to a higher standard. EoT was poo.
I'm going to be a bit anal and loose (gosh that sounds dreadful in so many ways) with this one. I'm only going to choose from the original series of Doctor Who since I made a point of specifically mentioning that the original was my favourite show, and I'm going to pick a favourite story rather than a single episode. I could probably pick a favourite episode, but to be frank the idea of picking one part of a story seems like a pain in the arse.

Of course 'favourite' is dependant on my mood, what I'm feeling like I need at that time. For instance, Warriors' Gate and Frontios are my 'chicken soup' Doctor Who stories, ones I tend to enjoy watching when I want some comfort. I love both The Invasion and Daleks' Master Plan for all sorts of reasons, though I think Kevin Stoney's performance in each is awesome fun to watch. Happiness Patrol and Web Planet are both the sorts of stories that only Doctor Who would attempt, and I love the insanity of both.

This is the problem, whatever I pick as my favourite will be completely different this time tomorrow, and different again next week. But, if I have to pick one...

Revelation of the Daleks is a comedy, one that features Daleks, funerals, cannibalism, Davros, direction by Graeme Harper, and acting from William Gaunt, Clive Swift, Eleanor Bron, and Alexie Sayle. Needless to say, it's a bizarre black comedy, with moments of weird horror. Its flaws are many but they don't really matter because when it works, it's wonderful.

There's the disgraced Knight of Oberon and his foul-smelling servant, Davros stating that telling people his new food supplement was made of their dead might lead to 'consumer resistance,' Mr. Jobel's vanity, and of course, Daleks being killed by highly-directional ultrasonic beams of rock 'n roll.

I think my favourite moment of all the silliness is a small one right near the end. Davros has had his hand blown off. He's about to be taken away by the Daleks to stand trial. As he's about to leave, the Doctor moves as if he's about to shake Davros' hand, and Davros raises his bandaged stump for a moment and then brings it back down in annoyance as if he's just remembered he no longer has a hand.
Ok, going to try to catch up a bit now I'm back from sleeping in forests.

So far it's been interesting how closely [ profile] angriest and I match. When I was thinking about this topic, my first thought was 'something like The Footy Show.' Then I decided that I'd go for something I hated that I had actually watched more than a bit of.

There's V the Series from the 80's, which is a text book example of how not to make SF TV. Seriously, think of any mistake you've seen appear regularly in TV and SFTV, and V made them all.

Dollhouse I found to be misogynistic and painful to watch. It had it's good moments, but it really felt like Whedon's problem was that his whole starting premise was flawed and hard to build into a decent show.

But in the end it really is a toss-up between Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise, because what I really, really hate in most shows is watching something that's crap because of lacklustre writing and missed opportunities - things where the show could easily have been good, because it wasn't a problem of budget and the like hurting it - ST:V & Ent have both in abundance. While they do have their occasional good episode (or in the case of Enterprise one good season, the fourth) overall both are weighed down by show-runners who were lazy, uncreative, and uninventive in the extreme.

In the end I feel I have to go for Star Trek: Voyager, since Enterprise did at least manage one good season.

ST:V also had the initial theoretical advantage over Enterprise in that ST:V had no history it needed to try and conform to. On top of that, you have a concept to die for - two crews with opposing viewpoints are flung to the far reaches of the galaxy and have to work together on board a single ship with limited resources as they make their way home through unknown space. With the effects technology of the day and such a fabulous premise just brimming with potential drama, Voyager literally had more scope to tell fabulous, stunning, and human stories than any Star Trek series ever created, including the original.

By the end of the pilot, both crews have agreed to work together under Federation guidelines, and they do so with barely a hiccup from that point on. The next two episodes are built around temporal anomalies, which many SF series resort to when they have no other ideas. Through the series, episode after episode hits the reset button so that by the last episode, the titular ship hasn't changed a jot, even with everything it's been through.

It ran seven years, continuing to do lame, half-baked, stories that usually failed to take advantage of a stunning premise. Being part of the Star Trek franchise, it had the chance and backing to do really brave confronting stories, and instead usually did run of the mill dreck.

And I can't help but wonder how many other well-written and thought out shows could have been made with the resources allotted to Voyager.

For a slightly more detailed rant, with extra swearing, look here.
Need to jump in early with this because I go bush tomorrow morning, and will be away for a couple of nights.

So, do I really need to tell you the answer to this question? Really?

Okay, for the new person who doesn't know me and only discovered my LJ through twitter, or the odd friend who is criminally thick, my favourite show ever is Doctor Who.

To expand on this a little, it has been my favourite show since age seven. To expand on it further, and to be anal about it, the original run of the series is my favourite show ever, the new series is not quite there yet, but it's pretty good.

I don't think there is another TV show that, when at its best, can be so inventive and different. It runs the gamut from comedy to drama to action to thriller, sometimes all in the one story. Plus it features a hero who, when at his best, doesn't use weapons but instead his brains to win the day.

And the show changes organically with the world we live in, the ways of telling the stories change, the lead actor changes, everything changes so that the show you're watching now is not the same show you were watching two years ago, and it's not the show you will be watching in another two years. And if you don't like what it becomes, just hang around, it'll change again.

Nothing else has had the positive impact on my life that Doctor Who has had. And while I may be able to judge the show more critically than when I was seven, I still love it just as much.

You will see Doctor Who mentioned a few more times in this meme.
Only seen a few new shows this year, Archer, K9 Adventures, Happy Town, and far and away the best has been Stargate: Universe.

Let me say, to begin it started slow. It wasn't bad, and it was trying to be realistic, but it didn't quite grab me. It's taken time to grow on me, in fact it was only around episodes 14-15 that I started to really like it, prior to that I merely thought it was good. And now, with episode 20, I'm actively hanging out for more.

I've only every seen bits of the original Stargate series, which seemed fun, and I saw all of Stargate: Atlantis which was dumb but enjoyable enough to keep me going, but Stargate: Universe, even when I wasn't enjoying it as much as I am now, was good.

More importantly, it's Star Trek: Voyager done right. In SGU there are genuine issues with food and water, there are problems with the ship, there's real conflict, disagreements, bad decisions, and all these things have consequences. And on top of that, you have an ongoing power struggle between the military and the civilian sections of the crew. None of these people want to be here, and they aren't happy about it or having a good time.

All up, good stuff.
Dirty Jobs starring Mike Rowe does exactly what it sets out to do - show the audience at home the sorts of jobs that people have to do in order to make life work for the rest of us. Roadkill pick-up, sewer maintenance, bell-making, horse insemination, salt mining, plumbing, this show deals with them all.

What really makes Dirty Jobs work is the charm and likeability of its host, Mike Rowe. He's an educated guy, and ex-opera singer, and with only very rare exceptions he gets in and does every aspect of every dirty job they look at, no matter how vile, hard, or dangerous. And he does it with great honesty, humour, and a fabulous turn of phrase.

Most importantly of all, he always shows respect for the people who do these things day in and day out. When he visited the San Francisco transfer station (processing and sorting garbage for recycling and landfill) he made a point of talking to a bunch of the people working there and getting them to list the physical cost of working in such a harsh environment - knee and back operations, bad cuts, lung problems, and so on.

Dirty Jobs is currently showing on ABC 2 at 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Well worth the look.

Embedded video below cut... )
I pinched this from [ profile] angriest who pinched it from a bunch of others. Figured it might be a way to get some posts out of me. Of course, I'm vanishing for a couple of days over the weekend, so that'll mess things up a bit, but we'll see how I go.

There were so many choices I could have gone for, so many good or just unusual or interesting shows I could have picked. Normally I would have gone for Alien Nation because it was a truly great TV series. But since Grant has already snaffled that one, and everything he says is spot on, I figured I'd go for -

The Middleman
I think what I liked most about The Middleman was that it was a joyous show. Not cynical, or mean spirited, but fun and full of whimsy. Its humour came from fabulous characters and weird situations, not embarrassing circumstances or people being horrible to one another (unless you count Ida, an android locked in 'domineering schoolmarm' mode, who was delightfully horrible to everyone).

The main characters of the Middleman, Wendy, and Ida were well drawn and realised, and the supporting cast got their moments pretty much every episode as well. Plus it played against the stereotypical laziness of TV writing without ever cracking a sweat, easily passing the Bechdel test, as well as Deggan's rule.

It played knowingly with the tropes of villains and heroes from comics, TV, and film, but with the deft touch of someone who loves the genre and isn't trying to show how smart they are, but how enjoyable the genre is. Some episodes were 'themed' so that subtle references to a specific show or book were scattered throughout - one episode grabs its names from Dune, another from Back to the Future - the real wit of this was that they seldom went for the obvious references.

Was it a perfect show? No, but it certainly wasn't bad and it had a lot more heart than most TV. Most of all, one came away from The Middleman feeling happier, and not many shows can do that.

Embedded videos... )
Yes, the final in the trilogy!

Today you get to write and tell me how you would want to photograph me. You know me, nothing is too bland or extreme, so let yourself go.

All replies screened unless you specifically say it can be unscreened.
dalekboy: (Default)
( Dec. 14th, 2009 12:28 pm)
Reply to this post (all comments are screened unless you specifically tell me to unscreen them) with your ideas on how you'd like me to photograph you. This is your idea on a photoshoot, so no need to reference anything from the previous post unless it really inspired you and you want to run with it.

Basically, I want to see what you think would make for a good photo or series about you. And I'll tell you what I think and if I'd be up for it.

You can check here for links to my photos to maybe get some ideas, inspiration, or to go, "No, he's just not right for me!"

Rules - If you're waiting on a reply to yesterday's meme, then don't post here with your ideas until after I have replied to that one. I'd like to avoid having my first reactions influenced by something you've suggested here.

(I have a couple of things that I need to drag myself out of bed to attempt to do today, so there may be delays on replies to those still waiting on yesterdays meme.)

Write to me if you'd like to know how I would like to photograph you. Don't tell me how you'd like to be photographed, it's my job to come up with something for you.

All your comments will be screened, so people will only see my replies to you. I will unscreen your original request only if you ask me to after I have replied.

Disclaimer time - I may need you to point me towards a recent photo of yourself since my memory for people's faces/bodies is often crap. Be warned, you may find the way I'd like to photograph you ridiculous, insulting, boring, obvious, exploitative, confronting, confusing, completely off the mark of how you see yourself, or completely uncreative. Worse still, I may not be able to think of anything for you. If I can't think of anything for you though, it probably means I just need to chat with you more, to spark some ideas.

Either that you or have no discernable personality.

Yes, I am mean. Tough it out, you bastards!

I kissed a Danny Oz and I liked it.

Which song was this lyric from?

Get your own lyrics:
dalekboy: (Default)
( Sep. 15th, 2009 02:54 pm)
Gakked from [ profile] whochick

My username is: [ profile] dalekboy because one of my very favourite webpages way back when the internet was much smaller was "Dalekboy's Homepage." Dalekboy's original page has long since vanished, but when I needed a name for LJ, I went for that one. Plus it doesn't hurt that I'm a big dalek fan.

My journal name is: See Above!

My title is: Danny Danger Oz, because that's my name. For those that don't know, Danger really is my middle name. I do have other names, but Danger is the exact middle one.

My subtitle is: "The ever-changing state of the grumpy old wanker," as I think that describes me fairly well. My moods, attitudes, etc, change. Plus I'm grumpy, old, and a wanker in every sense.

My friends page is called: "People who seldom annoy me...," which I think is pretty self explanatory. Everyone annoys me, because I'm a grumpy old wanker, but many of the people on my friends list annoy me less than most. Well, actually, some of them piss me off almost every time they post, but that's what filters are for.

My default userpic is: A Coming Soon icon of the 11th Doctor and Amy pond, created by [ profile] diablo_dancer. I'm using it because I'm really looking forward to the new series of the show. I'm not expecting it to be perfect, or to avoid doing things that annoy me, but I'm just so over RTD's poor writing any change is exciting to me. Plus I think it's a really nice icon.

Will probably change it to a photo taken on my 42nd Birthday, as has become my trend the last couple of years.
Life is stupidly tiring and busy at the mo'. Lex is refusing to sleep, which woldn't be so bad but he insists we don't sleep either. So here is a mostly pre-written post I've been meaning to get up for ages.

Way back in January I did the Interview Meme. As it stood, I still had a bunch of questions to answer, I answered most of them at the time but babalon_93 hit me with five questions that required detailed answers, two of which were stumpers. And it's taken me until now to finally answer the two I found most difficult. All the rest were answered way back in early Feb. I haven't made any changes to my old answers to update them.

So, below the cut, my answers to questions posed by [ profile] stephiepenguin, [ profile] arcadiagt5, and [ profile] babalon_93. If you posed questions for me that I haven't answered here, feel free to repose them and I shall attempt to answer them sometime in the next eight months. Very long... )
dalekboy: (Cognitive Hazard)
( Jul. 28th, 2009 05:25 pm)
Because all the geeky kids are doing it!

If you are on my friends list, I want to know 36 things about you.
I don't care if we never talk, or if we already know everything about each other.
Short and sweet is fine... you're on my list, so I want to know you better!
Comment here and repost a blank one on your own journal.
AND INCLUDE A PIC OF YOURSELF AT THE END if you'll please indulge me (actually don't feel obliged if you don't want to)Read more... )
dalekboy: (Chaotic System)
( Jul. 16th, 2009 11:06 am)
There's a meme going around for first lines from published stories and for first lines from works in progress, so here goes... Read more... )
dalekboy: (Default)
( Jul. 16th, 2009 11:06 am)
There's a meme going around for first lines from published stories and for first lines from works in progress, so here goes... Read more... )


dalekboy: (Default)


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