This weekend brings us "The God Complex" - the eleventh episode of DOCTOR WHO's Sixth Season/Series, meaning we have only two left to go ("Closing Time" and "The Wedding of River Song").
"The God Complex" is scripted by Toby Whithouse ("School Reunion," "The Vampires of Venice") and directed by the awesome Nick Hurran, who knocked it out of the park with last week's "The Girl Who Waited."
In case you missed previous Docback posts on the matter, YES we'll be returning to vintage/classic/retro WHO festivities as soon as this current Season/Series ends...and YES we'll re-join the new stuff as it comes along, even opening a Docback for Christmas Day's episode.
IF SPONGE BOB DECREASES MENTAL FUNCTIONING...
THIS piece via Yahoo & AP offers the result of a contentious study.
The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch "SpongeBob," or the slower-paced PBS cartoon "Caillou" or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched "SpongeBob" did measurably worse than the others.
Most kids were white and from middle-class or wealthy families. They were given common mental function tests after watching cartoons or drawing. The SpongeBob kids scored on average 12 points lower than the other two groups, whose scores were nearly identical.
I've never been an ardent believer in these kind of studies, as I feel a multitude of factors impact how individuals...whether they be young or mature...perceive media.
I could break down these factors for hours - but, suffice to say, I personally believe that...no matter what we're exposed to...television, film, video games, etc...their impact on us is most heavily governed by our own life experience, by how we've already been formed by the world before our exposure. I believe we shape the media we're taking in based on what we bring to the table.
Elements that I feel strongly influence our perception of media include (but are not limited to): are we loved, neglected, or beaten? Are we fundamentally happy...or are we bitter? Have our imaginations been regularly fostered, or have we been treated like lumps? Do we have passions and direction, or are we constantly trying to find our place in the scheme of things? These kind of considerations...as far as I'm concerned...are far more potent indicators of how we'll respond to media than the actual content of the media itself. And, unfortunately, many surveys of this nature tend to not factor in such considerations. I do think media has a number of responsibilities, but I also think it's far too easy...and far too lazy...to summarily condemn its influence.
With all of this in mind: I'll confess that the first questioned which popped into my mind after reading this report is: "OK, so what impact does DOCTOR WHO" have on viewers?" I don't presume to speak for any other Docbackers when saying this, but I find even the most troubled DOCTOR WHO stories to be rather exhilarating...I feel more activated mentally and creatively after my exposure to them.
In the past, I know that DOCTOR WHO has come under scrutiny and fire for its "violent" content...discuss below?
SO, EXACTLY HOW MANY DALEKS CONSTITUTES "AN ARMY"?
My family feels I have "an army" of Daleks - but I only I have 5. Three 18" variants - two of the Voice Command variety, one that's straight-up RC, and two 12" versions (one of the red "Apple" Daleks, and a plain old gold RTD-era version). To me, five Daleks do not constitute "an army" - although three was considered an army in the original version of "Day of the Daleks" so perhaps I'm just wrong.
Either way, five…is only the beginning as far as I'm concerned. I need an action figure sized Dalek, a 12" yellow "Apple" Dalek, The Dalek Paradigm, a Dalek from those crazy Peter Cushing movies, a Dalek alarm clock, and a great big, pimped out, legit replica Dalek. Not sure I'll ever be able to afford that last one, but a boy can dream, can't he?
This said, I'm quite certain I'll never, EVER achieve the following haul…despite my vast envy and knee-jerk ambition to equal or best this man. The 2012 Guinness Book of World Records (US HERE, UK HERE) says that 49 year old Rob Hull has the world's largest collection of Daleks - 571 of them, to be precise. THIS piece at DoctorWhoNews offers an image of Rob's collection, along with the requisite disparagement from his wife. Hull's collection is both magnificent and humbling, and a stunning illustration of how extreme Dalekmania can become. And, I should think, it's also an unspoken template many Docbackers may secretly aspire to match, even if they don't say so aloud.
CBS TO "MODERNIZE" SHERLOCK HOLMES EVEN THOUGHT IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE
Even though this isn't precisely DOCTOR WHO related, the following does connect to WHO in a strangely circuitous way.
Earlier this week, we learned that CBS had ordered a pilot script hat would bring SHERLOCK HOLMES into modern day (details HERE). As many Docbackers know, Sherlock Holmes has already been "modernized" spectacularly by DOCTOR WHO's Steven Moffat and frequent WHO-verse citizen Mark Gatiss. More episodes of their SHERLOCK show appear on BBC (UK) and PBS (US) in 2012, and it'll presumably continue beyond that. Adding fuel to this peculiar move is, of course, the continuing bigscreen adaptations the character from Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie. So…to put it bluntly…what the hell, CBS?
At this time, I have no inside knowledge of the CBS matter whatsoever. But if I had to indulge in a bit of potentially shaky guesswork, I'd wager that…
1) CBS & Co will port Sherlock Holmes & Co. into the modern day as an "edgy", slick, buddy cop-ish re-invention that will likely bear little resemblance to our already beloved BBC SHERLOCK. I.e. I'm presuming an amped-up, Americanized Sherlock Holmes a la the network's highly successful HAWAII FIVE-O reinvention…
2) That Moffat/Gatiss' SHERLOCK must certainly be on CBS's radar, and at some point…should the project movie forward…CBS will almost certainly be forced to justify an undertaken that's currently being pursued elsewhere…
3) CBS may perceive the Moffat/Gatiss SHERLOCK as "niche" and could well believe that either show is unlikely to pose any kind of threat to the other.
In the end, though, CBS even conjuring such a feat is crassly unimaginative and seems to lack…I dunno what word I'm looking for here…class? While I can envision both "modernized" Sherlock Homes emerging as uniquely distinctive pieces, the potential for confusing and possibly dividing audiences here seems unnecessarily high - and more than a tad reckless.
It's important to note that a script being ordered DOES NOT necessarily guarantee a pilot will be shot…much less make it to the air, or portend a full series. Still, CBS' shenanigans are odd - and I thought this might be fun fodder for discussion in the Docback below.
A CALL FOR UNUSUAL DOCTOR WHO-RELATED IMAGES, AUDIO, VIDEO, OR WHATEVER
Regular Docbackers may've noticed that I traditionally post an image or video at the top of each Docback - always DOCTOR WHO related, and from any point in DOCTOR WHO's history.
I try to steer clear of widely seen promotional images or videos, much preferring content that is less commonly known. This media can, and has, taken various forms - from a vintage commercial of Tom Baker in character as the fourth Doctor hocking computers, to a photo of young Steven Moffat reading a DOCTOR WHO book, to an image sent by Docbacker Beamus of third Doctor Jon Pertwee posing with Beamus' homemade Dalek. I've received some wonderful media from ya'll in the past and am always looking for more. If you know of any images, video, or audio you think Docbackers might be interested in…please feel free to send it to me HERE.
The AICN DOCTOR WHO Talkback below - aka "Docback" - is comprised of, and warmly welcomes, participants from across the globe.
Alas, please remember that DOCTOR WHO airs in the U.K. a few hours before it's seen on BBC America here in the States, for example.
While the Docback Code of Conduct (posted below) strongly encourages SPOILER SENSITIVITY at all times, it is quite likely that this Docback will become aSPOILER INTENSIVE ZONElate tomorrow morning U.S. time (Saturday September 10) - when "The God Complex "airs in the U.K.
If you wish to remain free and clear of "God Complex" spoilers until after you've seen the show for yourself, you should tread cautiously if visiting this page after late tomorrow morning U.S. time.
U.S. VIEWERS (AND VIEWERS FROM OTHER REGIONS): please consider this ample notice and fair warning.
DOCBACK CODE OF CONDUCT
AICN's Friday DOCTOR WHO Talkbacks - aka "Docbacks" - operate on a different set of standards than other AICN Talkbacks. These standards developed quickly and naturally, and we intend to preserve them. Accordingly, please take a moment to note a few guidelines which should help proceedings move along smoothly and pleasantly:
1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO (with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)...
2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity. Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example. "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well. "**SPOILER** Why did everyone die?" Is NOT good.
And, above all...
3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way. Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning. Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated. Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.
In short, it's easy. Be excellent to each other. Now party on...