Monday, June 6, 2011
"Excuse me, I believe you have my locker."
Upon entering the fandom of Doctor Who, you are sooner or going to encounter the "My Doctor" classification. The definition varies a little bit, depending on the circumstances, but often Your Doctor is the first one you saw. This doesn't necessary hold true for everyone, but it's a decent rule of thumb -- because Your Doctor is the one who enticed you into a small blue box and took you gallavanting across the stars and sky, displacing your mind and winding your heart tighter than the mainspring of any pocket-watch.
Now, I'm one of the odder folk in that respect, as I am fairly certain that my first Doctor was the Third, AKA Jon Pertwee; I have vague six-year-old memories of Daleks and opera capes and Brigadiers, you see. But the Doctor who first reminded me of those half-forgotten childhood evenings behind the couch was Eight, but he only had the one outing before disappearing from television screens. And then, my current fascination with the series was brought about one rainy Edinburgh night while I was kicking my heels in an Edwardian boarding-house until it was dark enough to go traipsing around an old Covenanter's prison in a cemetery so reputed to be haunted by a poltergeist that the City Council locked it to most access. The Doctor that night? Ten. But I didn't really fall in love until I met Nine. So...the Eccles, he is My Doctor? I would suppose so. I miss him and his ridiculous ears even now.
Still, this all seems a lot of blather for a writing-blog, yes? It has a point. I've been giving myself a headache the last week or so thanks to the character above, one Wills Penrose (courtesy of the very talented RaraHoWa). He plays a pivotal role in the ending of a novel I am desperately trying to figure out, and...yeah. I keep thinking back to Who, although that isn't what really got me onto the charming topic of stable timeloops, causality and temporal paradox. I actually blame the Disney animated series Gargoyles for that little blessing. Goddamn that David Xanatos anyway! But yes, working out how these things work...it's amazingly easy to tangle yourself up in the logic of it. Wills and Jon had an argument about casuality in my head, and it will go on paper, once I untangle it enough to translate. Because I mean, when one voice in your head says something to another who then blinks and responds with: "...you know, that makes me want to punch myself in the face," you just know that not even the Doctor is going to be able to save you this time.
But yes, it's been a long weekend here and even though I had fully intended to do SO MUCH WRITING, I got very little achieved. In fact, I made a terrible discovery via the Steam network and ended up playing ported versions of three of my favourite computer games from the very early Nineties. [headdesk] The interesting thing, mind you, was that one of these games was The Secret of Monkey Island, which was highly appropriate because I fight like a cow. (...don't ask.) Monkey Island was, in theory, one of the inspirations for the movie The Curse of the Black Pearl; I remember seeing the latter and walking out with a memory full of Guybrush Threepwood. But this reminded me of three of my favourite fictional characters -- James Norrington, Hector Barbossa and Jack Sparrow -- and so today I finally got around to going to the theatre to see the latest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
...and wow. I said I was having trouble with the ending of this novel, and this movie? Reminded me of all the things I can do to not fall into the same trap. Because really, all these movies had going for them? Was the characters, and then the set piece battles. There is no goddamned story tying them all together. Even the first movie, by far the most superior of all the productions, manages to stuff this up completely. I mean, I actually didn't like the first movie the first time I saw it. I was absolutely enchanted by the Commodore, I will admit, and by Jack Sparrow; Jack, because he was so completely unexpected, and Norrington because was also played against type. He seemed to at first be set up as the Jealous Apex of the classic love triangle, existing to just prove that being an asshole means you don't get to snag the girl. Yet he played his part with considerable honour and nobility, and I was crazily in love with the writers for that (even if they cut out his best scene; considering the length of the movie they really did have to, but come on!). Still, I walked out of the theatre -- and let us pause a moment to remember this theatre; I did love the Reading at the Palms, and the last I heard it's still largely off-limits after the Christchurch earthquake of February -- and pretty much promptly forgot all about it.
I have no idea what reawakened my interest. I'm sure it was something to do with Sparrington, as that's the only thing I really think about when I consider the movies these days, but I ended up totally in love with the damn film after seeing it several more times. It's just...the first time around, I didn't have a bloody clue what Jack Sparrow was doing. I totally didn't follow the ending sequence at all. And while one must admit that Jack Sparrow doesn't exactly plan ahead, when you walk out of the movie theatre thinking: "What in god's name was he doing?!" it doesn't bode well at all for your opinion of the flick. It's a bit like Fridge Logic gone wrong, I suppose? Not that Fridge Logic can ever be said to be entirely correct, I suppose, but you get the point. Because I didn't get what he was doing even when he was doing it, although I followed along happily enough for the ride. Which is probably somewhat ironic, considering the entire franchise is based off a theme-park ride in the first place.
But yes, the novel I am attempting to finish began with short stories that played entirely on the strength of the characters and their penchant for getting into ridiculous situations. Building a story around this has proven time and again to be almost beyond my abilities. I mean, at first, the muse is the commanding force. But then the inner editor really puts the knife in, and...yeah. Oops. I'm slowing making my way towards a conclusion, though. It's a big ball of timey-wimey bullshit, perhaps, but there you go. It'll still be my ball of timey-wimey bullshit, and I guess that's what really counts?
But aside from the games (Loom! Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis!) I also amused myself with re-watching a little of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a live-action reimagining of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon; although it looks like it ought to be a technicolour low-budget nightmare of a Saturday morning tokusatsu sentai series, but it actually has a far more coherent storyline that any Pirates movie. And it's strikingly visceral on an emotional level, too. Not to mention Rei is a BAMF. But the point of mentioning this here...? It reminds me of how much I love characters, and how much I love stories, and why I ought to stop doubting myself and just write. I mean, honestly...I was intending to watch Doctor Who last night, but before I got distracted by Penn and Teller on The Simpsons (seriously, I adore Teller so damn hard) I ended up watching about five minutes of the climatic battlescene of Twilight: Eclipse and just about died of boredom. Both the books and the movies need serious editing, but the fact that they exist at all ought to give a girl hope, I suppose...?
And then I ended up re-watching Resident Evil. Yes, I have a weakness for movies based on video games. But much like Pirates, when it comes to Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat, as far as I am concerned there was only ever one movie. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.
But in the meantime, I suppose its off to writing I go...? Just remind me not to answer the phone if my Inner Editor calls. Because dammit, I'M THE BOSS HERE.