Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Doctor confronts a Cyberman

Action Figures from Doctor Who: Cyberman, TARDIS, The Doctor, Donna Noble

Dalek and Cyberman face-off

Dalek and Cyberman face-off
Dalek and Cyberman face-off, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

A Dalek confronts the Cyberman while the Doctor and Donna Noble look on.

Friday, September 26, 2008

AT&T Park

AT&T Park
AT&T Park, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

AT&T Park

AT&T Park
AT&T Park, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Home of the San Francisco Giants, with a MUNI streetcar.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge
Bay Bridge, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

San Francisco
"Cupid's Span" by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is near the Bay Bridge

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Bones", a modern forensic anthropology show

I've been watching Bones, the Fox TV show about the forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her partner, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).  In the first episode this season, the two crime-fighters went to London to compare strategies with British intelligence agents and academics.  In the episode was Indira Varma, who played Suzie Costello in Torchwood, playing Inspector Cate Pritchard.  

In the first two somewhat uneven mysteries in the fourth season, the team seemed fractured (spoiler alert!) after the arrest of Dr. Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) for conspiring with a serial killer and the split of Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) and fiance Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne).  There was also conflict after Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) had an affair with Angela's ex-husband.  In the third story this season, "The Finger in the Nest," the team finally addressed their problems with the help of psychiatrist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley).  While the forensic team members and Agent Booth were at first dissatisfied with Dr. Sweets' introduction, he helped Dr. Hodgins (who seems to be turning into Dr. House!) come to terms with the disruption in the team.  Sweets also learned what was bothering Booth's son after he found a finger in a birds' nest.  

Dr. Brennan was also affected by the case's connection to a dogfighting operation operating outside the law.  This episode has an important message about treating animals humanely.  Bones is the only television show mentioned in both my anthropology classes at college, as an example of how anthropology is portrayed relevantly to society today.  As a forensic anthropologist, Dr. Brennan (and the character's creator, Kathy Reichs), applies her knowledge of human cultures and bone structure to solving crimes.  Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz  have great chemistry together as they solve mysteries using Brennan's analytical approach and Booth's understanding of human behavior.  It's a lot of fun to watch and also incorporates the science in an entertaining way.

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #1

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #1
Doctor Who: The Forgotten #1, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Comic book from IDW, August 2008.
Cover by Nick Roche.
This is a great first issue of a new comic book story, with writing by Tony Lee, art by Pia Guerra and colors by Charlie Kirchoff. The Tenth Doctor has lost his memories of his previous incarnations but finds items that remind him of his past adventures.

Continued at the next post.

Doctor Who Magazine and Comic Books

This is the best comic book so far I've read from IDW, with humor and character development with the Doctor and Martha Jones.  There is also a new adventure with the First Doctor, after the Tenth Doctor finds his walkng stick and remembers a trip to Ancient Egypt with Susan, Ian and Barbara.

Today the 400th issue of Doctor Who Magazine is released, with a brilliant cover of David Tennant reading the magazine.  Outpost Gallifrey has a preview of the issue on their news page.  DWM has been published since 1979, and David Tennant says he's been reading since the first issue.  IDW is currently reprinting the comic book stories that have appeared in the magazine since the beginning, and it's fascinating to read the Fourth Doctor adventures along with the new Tenth Doctor stories.  I started reading DWM this year and subscribed after getting some of the back issues from the Alien Entertainment online store.  It's my favorite magazine, that covers the making of the new series as well as lots of features on the classic episodes.  And the comic strip is still telling new stories about the Tenth Doctor.  The previous issue, 399, has a fantastic coda to "Journey's End" with the Doctor and Donna.  I'm looking forward to getting issue 400, and reading Doctor Who Magazine in the future as well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doctor Who References

Some situations that reminded me of Doctor Who on last night's TV:

Fringe's case of the week involved a woman with an accelerated pregnancy due to paranormal interference (see Torchwood's "Something Borrowed" and Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Child").  Also Dr. Bishop and his son Peter discovered a car with the scientist's files in it, including the aforementioned hand in a jar.

On House Dr. Cuddy remarked "We know who she is" when told about a prominent feminist leader whose assistant became ill, like Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister ("We know who you are").  This became a recurring phrase on Doctor Who, when she would introduce herself and even the alien Sycorax were familiar with her identity.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Television and Doctor Who

The article Doctor Who's secrets revealed, by Russell T. Davies in the Times today gives an interesting look into what was going on behind the scenes of the show. It is excerpted from the upcoming book Doctor Who: A Writer's Tale, by Russell T. Davies and Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook. The producers were considering a Doctor Who episode featuring J.K. Rowling as part of their series of the Doctor meeting famous writers. Already in the new series actors have played Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie, but Rowling could play herself as she did when The Simpsons went to London. I'll be interested in reading A Writer's Tale when it is released.
The Times also has a feature on the childrens' show Blue Peter, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The article, Here's One We Made Earlier, is about the crafts that the presenters show viewers how to make. I used to watch something similar on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood when I was younger, where Mr. Rogers would demonstrate projects and interview guests like cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, and football player Lynn Swann. I was intrigued by the connections between Blue Peter and Doctor Who when reading about it in Doctor Who Magazine and the About Time series of books. Peter Purves, who played companion Steven in 1960s Doctor Who, was also a presenter on Blue Peter. The show often hosts actors from Doctor Who. As a promotion for the episode "Journey's End," presenter Gethin Jones played a Dalek in one scene (escorting Sarah Jane and Jackie down a corridor on the Dalek ship) in addition to his appearance as a Cyberman in 2006. I watched the clip where Jones showed viewers of Blue Peter how the scene was made and interviewed cast and crew. While people of any age can watch Doctor Who, Blue Peter provides an introduction to the show for younger viewers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

California Academy of Sciences

Today was the preview day for the new science museum in San Francisco.  This picture reminded me of the TARDIS with the round shape design for the room and the organic theme.  There are more pictures of the museum at my Flickr set California Academy of Sciences.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Cyberman, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

The Cyberman action figure which I just got poses with the Torchwood logo.

Torchwood and Fringe Comparisons

The Fringe series premiere and Torchwood radio play "Lost Souls" which aired this week are similar in tone and situations.  When I saw Fringe it reminded me of Torchwood since both shows feature a woman working in law enforcement who comes upon a paranormal mystery and collaborates with a team to keep the threat from the rest of humanity.  

Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv) in Fringe and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles)  in Torchwood are drawn into the mystery and find themselves working with unusual associates.  Agent Dunham of the FBI learns of a chemical that killed all the passengers on an airplane, and during her investigation, her partner Agent Scott (Mark Valley) is taken ill as a result of exposure to the chemical.  The only scientist who is familiar with the condition, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), was sent to a mental institution after a lab accident years before.  They work with Dunham's assistant Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) and Bishop's son Peter (Joshua Jackson).  While Gwen Cooper joined the existing Cardiff Torchwood team, Olivia Dunham forms her own group in response to the results of "fringe science."

"Lost Souls, " aired yesterday by the BBC's Radio Four, takes place at the activation of the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator in CERN, Switzerland.  As part of the Big Bang Day, the Torchwood radio play is available at the Radio Four website. Doctor Martha Jones calls Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones to the scientific base to investigate people going missing Both shows include people who exhibit translucent skin as a symptom of a deadly illness, and the team must find the cause and cure it. The team is brought together by circumstance and part of the drama is their attempts to reconcile their contrasting viewpoints in order to find the answer.  

Fringe is very atmospheric and intriguing, and like Torchwood shows the characters' personal lives along with their jobs.  Fringe will also deal with reanimation, supernatural science and even showed someone's hand in a jar in the trailer. Torchwood and Doctor Who viewers will be familar with the Doctor's hand which he lost during the Sycorax battle in "The Christmas Invasion," whereupon he grew a new hand due to his ability to regenerate.  Captain Jack Harkness then retrieved the hand and kept it in a jar to act as a detector for the Doctor, then it was used to clone the Doctor in the fourth series finale.  Fringe also predicts a situation like that in Torchwood's premiere episode "Everything Changes," in which a scientific organization plans to question a character who died by resurrecting that person.  I am interested to see where Fringe is going, but Torchwood is still more entertaining and groundbreaking.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Star Trek 42

Happy 42nd Anniversary Star Trek! I'm looking forward to the next film in 2009! There are a lot of great actors in Star Trek XI as well as fantastic writers, producers and crew. J.J. Abrams, who also produces Star Trek XI, will premiere his new television show Fringe tomorrow, September 9 on Fox at 8 PM (U.S. Eastern and Pacific Time). I'm interested in seeing what the show will be like!