Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Brain of Morbius

So, I had two Sarah Jane Smith dreams last night. I can’t remember the last time I dreamed about Sarah Jane, and it makes me so happy.  In the first one, she and I were investigating some sort of aquarium or water park that had closed, but I kept seeing dolphin shapes in the water. A great wave came and washed us apart.
In the second one, I was wandering through a half-built building when I saw a sonic screwdriver and various other tools. My first thought was great! I can have a sonic screwdriver now, if I can just keep these when I wake up. But Sarah Jane was in an asylum sort of place, so I asked to talk to her alone, and we broke and started running away. We tried to hid in a cupboard, but Four showed up and just hugged me….
And this is going to sound insane, but I felt so safe, so perfectly secure in that moment.  And then we all ended up back at UNIT in the ’70s, and I was like “You’re a time traveler—you were looking for those things in the cupboard but they were covered in dust so they must have been there forever….” It was really cool. 

Anyway, while at work tonight,  I decided I wanted to watch Doctor Who tonight, either continuing with Web of Fear or watching something with Sarah Jane.  I thought...badass adorable,  hurt/comfort--ah! Brain of Morbius! While the plot is primarily a Frankenstein retelling with a dying priesthood subplot, the acting is absolutely brilliant. But the high point is the acting--from the Doctor and Sarah's arrival on a strange planet to their causal banter
(in response to a comment on his head)
Doctor: I used to have an old grey model before this. Some people liked it.Sarah: I did!
Doctor: But I prefer this model.
If you don't stop wallowing in self pity, I'll bite your nose.

At the end of part 2, Sarah is blinded by a flash of light while rescuing the Doctor. On the advice of Solon (who has already expressed interest in the Doctor's head), the Doctor goes back to the same people Sarah just saved him from in order to get an elixir to treat it.  Meanwhile, Sarah overhears Solon talking to Morbius about the trap he laid for the Doctor.  So,  while blind, she stumbles across the rocky  plains to warn the Doctor. I mean, that's some serious determination! And then, while still blind, Solon forces her to serve as his assistant in the Frankenstein operation! Girl, you  just don't quit, do you? 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Resurrected Ones

When I saw this book listed on Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze site, I thought it sounded interesting--a book focusing on characters who came out of their graves after Jesus's resurrection. However, the premise wasn't used to its full positional. 
The author seems to be caught between fiction and non-fiction, especially in the latter chapters, where lectures about wind patterns interrupt the narrator's story.  The characters lack fullness. All three of the main characters fall into common stereotypes and never develop beyond their limited role. Their brief interactions are equally cliche--a Puritan witch hunt, a strange northern tribe, and a truly bizarre encounter with Martin Luther which may or may not have a basis in fact.
On a literary level, the sentences lack variety. Many paragraphs have five or six sentences that end in an exclamation point. Some of the scenery descriptions are beautiful, but they’re sometimes used unnecessarily, and the early chapters are almost entirely flashbacks.
The fictional flaws are compounded by theological flaws. The strange hybrid of genres makes it difficult for readers to tell which elements are orthodoxy theology and which are imaginative additions. The timeline of events between Jesus’s resurrection and ascension seems lengthened, with persecution of believers before the ascension. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Dark Island

And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.
--Chapter 12, British edition 
One of my greatest issues with the film adaption is the addition of the green mist plotline, but I hadn't previously considered the loss of the original Dark Island. It's one of my favorite parts of the book, and the audio version by Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre is absolutely brilliant. You can faintly hear the death of Aslan in the background,  the sharpening of the White Witch's knife, and other strange noises. When they begin to despair, Lucy calls for Aslan, and an albatross appears. The bird leads the ship into bright daylight.
In the British version,
And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.
 The original American text reads differently,
 And just as there are moments when simply to lie in bed and see the daylight pouring through your window and to hear the cheerful voice of an early postman or milkman down below and to realise that it was only a dream: it wasn’t real, is so heavenly that it was very nearly worth having the nightmare in order to have the joy of waking, so they all felt when they came out of the dark. 
Furthermore, the Dark Island completely disappears in the British, whereas it merely disappears from sight in the American text. Most publishers go with the British text, which I prefer.  No matter how many nightmares I have of Weeping Angels or returning to high school,  fear is groundless when you really understand the power of God.

Lucy's Temptation

While rewatching VOTDT, I was remembered how much I disliked Lucy's temptation scene. Oh, the magician's house is absolutely beautiful, especially with the snow, but by the Lion's Mane, why did her temptation scene have to deal with physical appearance? It's not entirely invented--she did see images of herself beautiful in the book, but far more than that--
She saw herself throned on high at a great tournament in Calormen and all the Kings of the world fought because of her beauty. After that it turned from tournaments to real wars, and all Narnia and Archenland, Telmar and Calormen, Galma and Terebinthia, were laid waste with the fury of the kings and dukes and great lords who fought for her favour. Then it changed and Lucy, still beautiful beyond the lot of mortals, was back in England. And Susan (who had always been the beauty of the family) came home from America. The Susan in the picture looked exactly like the real Susan only plainer and with a nasty expression. And Susan was jealous of the dazzling beauty of Lucy, but that didn't matter a bit because no one cared anything about Susan now.
She has a strong feeling that she shouldn't say the spell, but looks at the words anyway.  However, in the middle of the page she sees the face of Aslan, and instead, enacts a spell which lets her know what her friends think of her.  When she hears two of her friends belittling her, she thinks
I wonder are all my friends the same? There are lots of other pictures. No. I won't look at any more. I won't, I won't' and with a great effort she turned over the page, but not before a large, angry tear had splashed on it.
To be honest, I think this scene would have been far more interesting. I know a lot of girls struggle with  appearance, but it doesn't fit Lucy's character. She is concerned about other peoples' opinion, but in a different way. Both in LWW and in Prince Caspian, she is deeply hurt when people don't believe that she is telling the truth. Also, a temptation involving friends hits much closer to home for me. During high school, I had acquaintances, buddies, but no peers I would classify as friends. Even now, at college, I feel unreasonable panic when one of my friends chooses to hang out with another and I'm left alone. Not always, but in certain circumstances..

Once Upon a Time: Tiny

One of the first things I noticed about this episode was the image quality. I'm not sure if the problem lay in the TV, the weather or the broadcast, but the pictures seemed rather "smokey," with less contrast and weaker colors than other episodes. In addition, the shots of the giant in Storybook seemed rather cut-and-paste.
The main plot was rather predictable, and I'm surprised Anton was the only one to lampshade the unlikeliness of David's story. I mean, "evil twin brother" screams soap opera. Regina's egging Anton on didn't surprise me either...seriously, how can she claim to have changed when she's still sending out assassins?
On the other hand, I adored the road trip, especially Henry's enthusiasm for Cinnabons. Come to think of it, until he left to find Emma, he wouldn't have been to any restaurants outside Storybook.  And I loved seeing Rumple's vulnerable side too--thought something was up with the magic, though my thoughts were more along the lines of coming off a substance abuse...