Friday, July 25, 2008

Star Trek Cross Stitch

Star Trek Cross Stitch

I designed and made this cross stitch picture!
Scotty, Chekov, McCoy, Chapel, Kirk, Uhura, Spock, Sulu, Rand

View more of my Doctor Who cross stitch designs, based on Jo Verso's book Picture it in Cross Stitch, at my website:

Update 1/23/09:
Star Trek pattern is now up at

Update 7/23/09:
This is part 2 of a three part cross stitch series I designed for Star Trek: Enterprise, the original series, and The Next Generation. Patterns for all three pictures are here:

Doctor Who Peter Davison Cross Stitch Bookmark

View more of my Doctor Who cross stitch designs, based on Jo Verso's book Picture it in Cross Stitch, at my website:  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Progress in the Whoniverse Today

Now that the broadcasts of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures have temporarily gone on vacation, but the future of all three are secure, I'm writing a series of articles about the themes that they have in common. In my reviews of the Doctor Who episodes "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End" I looked at the convergence of the three series to help defeat the Daleks. Inspired by rewatching series two's "Army of Ghosts" which introduced the Torchwood Institute, and Stephen James Walker's great book about Torchwood Series One, Inside the Hub, I wrote about what makes the show Torchwood unique.

Torchwood is a new kind of show for a mainstream audience that portrays science fiction situations in a real Earth environment. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of Russell T. Davies' inspirations for the Doctor Who spin-off, the main characters have real-life problems even as they battle extraordinary creatures. Every episode has something different to offer. Torchwood is unconstrained by television censorship rules that might be in effect in America, allowing authentic language and fight sequences, as well as love scenes, to be portrayed.

Captain Jack Harkness is also a progressive leading role. An alien from the 51st century, he makes no distinctions of gender or race, or planetary origin, about who he finds attractive or allies himself with. This leads his team to become more free about their own relationships. This viewpoint may also influence viewers to progress in their societal expectations of others. A science fiction series should portray the diversity of humans, as well as different types of aliens. This is a standard especiallv visible in the new series of Doctor Who, as well as Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. They all portray many different aspects of contemporary human life in addition to imaginative alien environments and characters.

Monday, July 21, 2008

WALL-E Poster

WALL-E Poster, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco

Disney/Pixar's WALL-E at the Vogue Theater, San Francisco

Me at WALL-E, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

I saw WALL-E at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco last week. It's a great film, with lots of action, science fiction and comedy! The robots are also fun, with personality and resourcefulness. It should get an Academy Award, even best picture as Time Magazine speculates.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photo Galleries

I'm at Flickr posting some of my pictures about Doctor Who and travel!

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Doctor Who" in Portland and Seattle

This is a shop window of a store called Robot I saw on a trip to Portland, Oregon. They have mannequins in the window like Autons, and Daleks!

a restaurant called Rose's in Portland, this references the City of Roses and reminded me of Rose from Doctor Who

Daleks in Seattle!

The Doctor visited the Space Needle too.

I took this picture from the top of the Space Needle with a view of The Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project

The Doctor and Rose see the sights in Seattle

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle has representations of just about every science fiction series, including props, original novels, and pictures as well as interactive videos about science fiction. There are some pictures and props from the classic series of Doctor Who, I saw a picture of the Fourth Doctor with Daleks and a weapon from "The Happiness Patrol."

The music museum has an art installation made up of guitars reaching to the ceiling.

The Space Needle with the Science Fiction Museum.

The Dalek leaves Seattle.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Doctor Who Action Figure Pictures

My favorite characters in action figure form!

Doctor Who action figures in front of the
TARDIS: Dalek, Captain Jack, Martha, K9,
the Tenth Doctor, Rose, an Ood, Dalek

Martha Jones, the Doctor, Captain Jack

The Doctor and Rose meet an Ood!

The Doctor steps out of the TARDIS

The Doctor, Rose and K9

I took these pictures in my garden and back yard.

Also posted today: review of "Fear Her" on my website, added to other episode reviews from series two as well as series four.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Welcome to Torchwood

I also went back and rewatched the first episode of Torchwood, "Everything Changes," after viewing the first two series of the television show. The series spins off from Doctor Who with the Doctor's companion Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) taking the lead role as the director of the Torchwood secret organization branch in Cardiff, Wales. Doctor Who established that a rift in time and space over the Welsh city, which also serves as the base for the filming of the television series, causes aliens to come through to Earth. Torchwood is made as a program for older viewers, with more explicit language and violence, as well as realistic depictions of adult relationships. While Doctor Who is designed for a family audience, Torchwood may not be suitable for younger viewers. Both Doctor Who and Torchwood have a lot of humor and has fun with science fiction conventions as well as aspects of everyday life.

The first episode introduces viewers to Police Constable Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), who like Rose Tyler in the first episode of the 2005 Doctor Who revival is just discovering the existence of aliens in her world. Russell T. Davies' script, like Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was one of the series' inspirations, has lots of unexpected moments and humor as well as shocking revelations. Gwen, like Buffy, meets an enigmatic man (Jack in Torchwood, Angel in Buffy) who she gradually finds out more about. Though Torchwood began in 2006, I first saw "Everything Changes" after viewing Doctor Who series three (2007), so I already knew some more about Jack's story than Gwen did in the episode. I saw the show more from Jack's point of view than Gwen's, since I had seen Doctor Who and knew its backstory. However, someone who was less familiar with the show's history or science fiction might identify more with Gwen who doesn't know what is going on until Jack explains the situation to her. Torchwood can be enjoyed on multiple levels and has lots of fun moments for Doctor Who fans as well as providing a great action adventure and mystery for people new to the series or genre.

My Doctor Who Viewing History

While rewatching the Doctor Who episode "Love & Monsters," I was reminded of how I first came to see the television show, long before the new series began. Check out my review here.

I started watching Doctor Who in 1997 (at age 11) with the Third Doctor's "Planet of the Spiders," the regeneration to the Fourth Doctor, and "Robot." I watched the show in San Francisco on the local PBS station KTEH, which showed all the classic series and now airs episodes from the new series. It soon became my favorite television show, and still is today, having seen all the new series and spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Like Elton Pope in "Love & Monsters," back in 1998 I searched the Internet for information about the Doctor and his companions, finding many fan sites dedicated to the show. I found out that it had been quite popular in Britain, but was not being produced at that time. Over the next few years, I saw all the television stories (except for the ones that had episodes missing from the BBC archives), and found many of the novelizations, Missing Adventures and BBC Books with stories from the series, as well as behind the scenes books like "The Making of Doctor Who" and "The Official Doctor Who and the Daleks Book." In 2000 on a trip to London I visited the Who Shop in East Ham London which had lots of props from the show and many more books and videos. My parents are also fans of the show, so I was aware of it for a long time.

Around 2004 I heard about a new production of Doctor Who being planned. When I finally saw the first episode, "Rose," it had all the magic of the classic series, starting with the theme music and the TARDIS flying through the time vortex. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper gave amazing performances as the Doctor and Rose. The episode also paid tribute to the fans of the classic series, with the character Clive who kept track of the Doctor's history with his website. Now Doctor Who is very popular again in Britain, and is a cult favorite around the world. By the time the series came to America, viewers already knew a new Doctor, David Tennant, was coming the next year. He had been a fan of the show since he was young and planned to stay for a long time, like Tom Baker, the most well-known Doctor in America. When David Tennant took the lead role in the program, the Tenth Doctor became my favorite of all time. I enjoy his enthusiasm for the part and the history of the series as well as his dynamic and engaging performances every episode. I hope David Tennant remains a part of the show for many years to come.