There is no better way I can open here other than to show you the most blatantly absurd of these ads.
Wow, right? So much to unpack here. I’m legitimately impressed that they managed to make the audience that uncomfortable in a fifteen-second spot. But how?
There’s a line in one of my favorite novels, Snow Crash, where the threat of the title is explained to the main character, and he can’t quite get his head around it.
“This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?”
Juanita shrugs. “What’s the difference?”
Shut the fuck up, it was less heavy-handed in 1992. Anyway, this pretty well sums up my feelings about a brand where, if I say its name, you don’t know if I’m talking about a television show or a restaurant. There’s a weird Marshall McLuhan/Videodrome quality to that idea that gives me a sour, orange feeling behind my eyes. You can’t eat reality television! I said.
I was wrong. There is no better way to describe this place than “trying to eat television.”
In my last article about Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas, I rounded up all of their free samples, aside from teaser excerpts. At the end of that article, I suggested continuing to Big Finish’s monthly range, and so here we are now.
Big Finish’s monthly range has been releasing a 2-CD full-cast Doctor Who story every month for fifteen years. That is quite a lot of Doctor Who. The prices are tiered by release date, and the first 50 releases are the lowest-priced, so it makes sense to start near the beginning until you know that you want to go deeper and spend more money.
I’m going to give my opinions on Big Finish’s monthly series, starting from the beginning. In this article, I’ll present my opinions of the earliest ten that I’ve listened to (not the earliest ten ever, since my own listening is not thorough). Continue Reading
Here’s a candidate for the least controversial statement you’ll read this week: The 1963-1989 series of Doctor Who did not rely on a high standard of quality in its visual effects.
If you think about it from an engineering mindset, you might ask: couldn’t you make Doctor Who more efficiently if you left out the video? That way, producers wouldn’t have to pay for sets and costumes, directors wouldn’t need as many takes, and the audience wouldn’t have to look at a screen all the time while watching it.
In 1999, a company called Big Finish Productions began reuniting casts from multiple eras of Doctor Who to do exactly that. Actors who had portrayed the Doctor and his companions on television returned to their roles for direct-to-audio adventures. When the Doctor returned to television with a new incarnation in 2005, television showrunner Russell Davies personally made sure that the new television series would not prevent Big Finish from continuing the classic series in audio form. Continue Reading
“He came across the huge wasteland of the desert in the east, the vastness forbidden to his kind from time immemorial, determined to discover who took away his memory of the past years of his life and to find out who and what he once was. But that mission does not prove easy: the secret of the world in which he so mysteriously found himself got in the way between him and the truth of his past . He did not even know that fixed upon him were the eyes of potentates and that with his very appearance he perturbed the forces that tailored the fate of the world.”