Wild and Wandering Thoughts of a frizz-laden loon

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well, bollocks. Apparently Mr Tennant isn't appearing at the Literature Festival anymore. I should've known it was too good to be true. I'm a little miffed, but I really don't mind all that much; Hamlet! I cannot wait until September. It'll be the perfect end to the summer holidays. My Dad says that he's envious of me, because when I read (and see) Hamlet, it'll be an incredible literary experience that I won't forget. I'm inclined to believe him; so much of the play is already iconic and the depth of language, and imagery, that I've come across so far, is wonderful.

I always hoped to study Hamlet at school; we did Othello this year, whilst the other two classes did King Lear and Hamlet. Shame, but Othello is fantastic to study as well (although it was hard for me to regard Desdemona in anything other than a 21st century regard - which, as a result, made me very frustrated with her. I suppose that's a sign of effective writing!), and I'm sure David will play Hamlet brilliantly.

So, yes. Pity about the festival, but I'll go and see the others that wing their way over. To his own schedule be true.

ANYWAY. One day I'll write a post which culminates in a promise I intend to keep. Eep! I left the Barrowman Show hanging a bit last time.

Interval arrived, largely uneventful; Tara and I stuffed ourselves with overly-expensive theatre ice cream and conversed with the ladies next to us ("You enjoying it so far?" "OH GOD, YES! He is *amazing*, isn't he?" You may be surprised at which of the two pairs of us said that latter sentence. It was so sweet!)

At this point, despite the fact that the previous, stomach-churning excitement had abated now that we'd seen the man, I started to get seriously jittery, as I'd heard from lots of other fans that John tended to begin the second act with Feelin' Good, sung backstage at first. Feelin' Good; my favourite song sung by him, EVER, and the one that always makes me melt and renders me pretty much useless for a while. So, for the last five minutes, I had to control my impatient twitching for the second half to start. The word sad has been mentioned previously, right?

The lights dimmed, the band appeared again to enourmous cheers (John Barrowman's boys - they really were fantastic; funky and talented and very funny. John had a running joke throughout the show that his drummer was a closeted gay and spent half the time flirting with him, telling him that by the end of the show he'd be "out and proud" - along, according to him, with the rest of the audience. But I digress.), the chords I recognised from my mp3 player, from youtube, from everywhere, rang out, and...

"Birds flying high, you know how I feel..."

Christ. I went insane. Silently, of course. I think my excitement was conveyed through my shaking Tara's arm repeatedly. And let me tell you, the sight of John Barrowman striding through the smoke, singing one of my favourite songs in the world, is one I won't forget easily. I'm planning on recalling it during the imminent exam season, when I get completely demoralised. I've already had to, actually. But more on that later.

I'm not sure of the exact order of the songs from then on, to be honest. At one point during the second half he introduced another "friend" on stage; another dummy with a spangly Elvis costume over it; cue John bursting into hysterics, because the dummy had its back to audience, and, "I can't turn it round. The guys backstage, they've done something to it - there are children in the audience!" Turns out the crew had put a massive black tube in the pants area to, er, flesh out the dummy. John retrieved it, still giggling, and threw it to a member of the band, saying, "I think this belongs to you!"

I didn't recognise the suit, myself, but it turns out it was a costume John wore on his Dancing on Ice days. He waxed lyrical about how he practised, wore the costumes, had so much fun..."and then I got voted off." He's still bitter about that (and somebody called Robin Cousins who was responsible, apparently), but he hammed it up for the audience and made a few pointed (and bitchy) comments about toupees. Hee! He then sang, I couldn't believe this, The Road to Amarillo, claiming that he'd had so much fun dancing it he wanted to sing it himself. At this point, my admiration of him quadrupled because somehow, inexplicably, John Barrowman can sing that dirge of a song and make it good! Seriously! I actually found myself enjoying it, instead of wanting to beat myself over the head with something heavy, when I usually hear it.

There was audience participation, as well, as we all sang along and joined in the "Sha-la-la"s in the middle (amping it up when John told us, "That was shit!" in the instrumental). There was also a brilliant moment when John sang completely the wrong words at the wrong point and almost lost it, but recovered quickly. It's gratifying to know that professionals make mistakes. Plus, he is so cute when he laughs. He told us, at the end, that he'd been on tour for two weeks and that was the best he'd heard it done - hurrah!

About halfway through the second half, having hinted at it earlier, he brought on Daniel Boys, one of the Joseph finalists from Any Dream Will Do. I'll admit, I wasn't particularly keen on the idea (I hate those programmes and wanted to see more of John, to be honest), but Daniel was fantastic; he sang three songs (I am a terrible person and can't remember what they were, but one was a Josh Groban song and one was from Hercules, to my recollection) and was adorable with the crowd; "Woo!"ing back whenever he got cheers, and being lovely and modest. Plus, he's a brilliant singer; he's in Avenue Q in the West End, and I can see why he's doing so well. John was incredibly complimentary of him; bringing him back on stage for a massive hug and more audience appreciation.

(And before you ask, yes, there were jokes about how nice it must be to have Daniel's hand up...there. Mind in the gutter, that bloke. Mind you, nothing less than what we were expecting. There was a little stand-off with the band over some misplaced Preparation H as well; "Who's got piles?!" He was adorably filthy-minded all evening, and we loved it!)

Following Daniel Boys, there was a groovy little session with the band, who he introduced one at a time whilst they all did their little riffs on their instruments (the man who played percussion was brilliant - I wish I could remember his name. *shame*), and he danced along. The band were lovely all evening; so talented and on the ball, and shamelessly flirty and teasing with John. John called them his family, and you could really see why; they all seemed really close, and it must've been a shame for the tour to end.

John then performed Moonriver, which was absolutely beautiful, and then the song Please Remember Me, which was dedicated to Sandie Gill, his partner's sister, who died of brain cancer a few years ago. The whole theatre went absolutely silent to hear his story; her husband had already died of cancer a few years previously, and her and Scott's brother, in a horrible irony, couldn't help her, despite being one of the top brain surgeons in the country. Sandie exceeded the life expectancy given to her by her doctor, but sensed that she didn't have long; the night before she died, she rang up everyone she knew, and when she spoke to John, she said, "Please take care of my brother." She died the next mornings, and the song was for her; what John imagined she wanted to say to her kids. The story, and the way he told it and sang it, makes me choke up just writing about it, and had both him and the audience in tears by the time he'd finished. It's so rare to see John so vulnerable like that, and it really affected everyone watching. To the girl who shouted, "We're with you, John!", that was so lovely, and he definitely appreciated it.

There was a lovely little bit of business with a hanky that was thrown on stage; John gave a massive comedy nose blow then handed it back to her, saying, "Thank you very much. Here, six hundred quid on e-bay." Which led to possibly my favourite exchange of the night.

"It's close to my heart now."
"Close to your heart? My bogies?"

My memory of the evening gets a bit muddled around this point, because at some point there was a flurry of presents being put onto the stage, but I'm sure it was before Please Remember Me, or maybe in the first half. Anyway, one lady put some roses on the stage, which led to another, and another, until the front of the stage was heaped with gifts, leaving John pretty bemused. I now understand why his ego gets a little out of hand sometimes; when you've got women throwing roses and cards and knickers at you (and yes, knickers; there was a whole bunch chucked on stage, to his delight), then your self-esteem is bound to give a big leap.

The woman sat next to Tara deposited a bottle of alcohol of some kind, and John leaned down and said "Give us a kiss!", and she, to our great amusement, lay several smackers on him that left him reeling backwards. I had to admire her; I'd never have the nerve to do that! She sounded a little embarassed afterwards, saying, "I know you've got Scott..." to which he replied, with a grin, "Well...never say never!" She practically bounced to her seat, and we spent a considerable amount of time later, in the scrum at the exit, telling her quite how envious we were of her.

Whew. Fingers hurting again, but I'm damned if I'm letting this span over three entries. Anyway, the following exchange preluded his next song.

John: Now, Portsmouth, I'm gonna tell you a little secret.
Audience: Oooooo!
Random Audience Member: *yells something*
John: What was that?

Whereupon John cracked the hell up for about a minute and a half. It was glorious! Then he came back, with:

"I remember when I was first getting into the business; I'd meet with all these executives who'd be whispering, he can't be gay, he just can't be! I thought, back then, when I'm forty-five, I'm definitely gonna come out as straight and freak everyone out!"

Following that, he sang the song I won't send roses - which, according to Scott, is him down to a tee, which surprised us all, really. He seemed quite embarassed singing it, but it was a beautiful performance and you could tell that he meant it, despite having performed it dozens of times before. I have to admit, even though the song was about him and Scott, halfway through I turned to whisper at Tara, "Jack and Ianto!" because to my ears, the song seemed to scarily fit them. This is what comes of being involved in fandom for a while...

After that (and raucous applause), John donned a sparkly jacket, and I instantly knew what was coming; yep, I am what I am, and oh, it was so good. That song has gone down in folklore as John's signature song, and it was sensational. He put his all into it, and the audience were on their feet by the time he was done. He went off, then came back with an encore about thirty seconds later. He thanked everyone; the stage crew, the band, the organisers, and us (which...well, you can imagine the "you're welcome!" we supplied him with).

He ended by getting on his soapbox a little and talking about advancing music programmes in schools (the speech's effect was slightly marred by him saying "I know you care about sport, here in Portsmouth...", and that comment being greeted by a massive laugh), then sang the song Heaven, which he said represented what he had with Scott, and what his parents have after thirty-odd years of marriage (we, promptly, melted into puddles for the fiftieth time that evening), and finally ended with That's Life - the absolute perfect, cheeky, brilliant song to end with which, again, had the audience on their feet and giving him their all. He stayed on stage for a few minutes, thanking everyone through their applause and shaking hands with the front row (lucky bastards) before he finally, finally, left the stage.

So. There it was. The best evening I've possibly ever spent; I don't know about Tara, but I'm convinced the whole thing gave me some kind of drug-effect. I was on a massive high from it until halfway through the next day, whereupon I arrived back in Cheltenham after yet another long and rainy journey, and just went...sort of flat. Later that evening I went to see Dara O'Briain with some friends, something I'd been looking forward to for ages, and I just couldn't get into it. Is that a normal feeling? I felt I was still recovering; I wasn't in the right mindset. Plus, he wasn't as funny as I'd been expecting, and we were being bugged by several drunk, Welsh hecklers just down the row. But, another digression.

The journey back to Pokesdown from the Guildhall was a bit fraught; we ended up in a completely empty, freezing station, bashing a vending machine to make it dispense some goods before hopping onto a train set for Bournemouth that turned out to take forever to get back - still, it gave us a chance to have several long conversations about writing, slash, and relationships. And sluts we know and love. And also hate.

(Also, to the man who stared at me as I swore repeatedly at the vending machine when it refused to accept my money; I was hyper! I needed food! Give me some credit! The damn thing hated me, although it suited Tara fine.)

I left Pokesdown at eleven thirty, in the pouring rain, but frankly not in a tearing rush this time. It was horrible saying goodbye to Tara again, but we've promised to meet for Pride London on July 5th, so we've got that to look forward. Going to the Barrowman concert could never have been half as fun as it was without her; her excitement was infectious, and she also helped calm me down when I got a little too into it. I'll miss her, but we speak on the phone a lot, and hopefully she'll wing her way over here to read this.


So...that's it. I went straight back to school, and straight away, the shit has hit the exam-fan. Remember last year's exam woes? Well, they're making an unwelcome return, and have returned in bulk rather than gradually. Ack, it's not good. I have a German oral AS next Thursday, off on study leave the following Friday, and my first exam is on May 16th.

However evil GCSEs are, AS-levels are doubly evil. I have three-hour exams with tiny breaks in between them; exam boards clearly think we are either robots, ambidextrous, or just incapable of being exhausted. Perhaps they've been watching Skins and think we're running on Ecstasy. Bastards. Have they ever tried writing about the intricacies of electoral reform and constitutional sources for three hours? It's fascinating stuff, sure, but three hours in the Gym doing that? Yuck. Still, it has to be done.

RIGHT. MUST GO. My fingers hurt now, but I'm glad I wrote all that up. Hopefully it wasn't too boring. It was...so good. I can't begin to describe how much I love that man, and how good he is onstage. He is, as I always suspected, spectacular. Here's hoping for a Pride London reappearance.

Better go.

Rosby out, feelin' good. I'll keep you posted on the exams of doom.

P.S. How on earth did I live seventeen years without discovering this song until now? It's insane, wild, bewildering..and utterly brilliant.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

I didn't manage to get to Gloucester, in the end. Still, I don't mind especially; I'm seeing David Tennant in September anyway, and I've some friends who got a kick out of being so close to the filming. Gloucester cathedral's getting pretty popular for a filming location, isn't it?

Anyway, I looked at the blog today and realised that I still haven't written about the night of Barrowman. God knows who'd really be interested, but writing about it is a kind of a self-gratification exercise as well as for the interest of other people; it'll serve as an archive for a fantastic experience that I can look back on in the future, and writing is a brilliant exorcism.

So. It took me several hours, by way of three different trains, to get down to Pokesdown to meet Tara, who I hadn't seen in six months and had come up with the idea of the concert in the first place. I don't think I've mentioned Tara in here, which is a shame; I met her on the writer's course during the summer, and she is already one of the best friends I've ever had; she's wacky, she's kind, she's so creative, and we have masses in common. She is incredibly funny and very excitable - the PERFECT companion for a Barrowman night out!

Anyway, three trains, many stations, lots of rainfall, and a long and involved discussion about Torchwood and John Barrowman with some lovely fangirls on a train later, I reached Pokesdown (just on the outskirts of Bournemouth) and had a lovely reunion with Tara - it was fantastic to see her again, pink tights and messy bedroom and all. Within two minutes...

"D'you realise that in three and a quarter hours we will be seeing John Barrowman live on stage?"
"I KNOW!!!"

Whereupon we jumped up and down and had our first screaming attack of many that evening. This is what John Barrowman does to the two of us.

We caught up, we surfed the net, we killed ourselves laughing at Eddie Izzard ("I'm Darth Vader, I'm your boss." "What, you're Mr Stevens?" "Who's Mr Stevens?" "He's head of catering." "I AM NOT HEAD OF CATERING!") , we got dressed into our finery (in Tara's words, looking "goddamn sexy"), and we headed out, in a considerable rush and high panic, to the train station, where we nearly missed the train out due to underestimating how much time we had.

(In retrospect, it may have been a bad idea to both dash down the street in high heels, waving at the men at the bus stop who were staring at us and shouting, "Barrowman, we're coming!")

All I seem to remember of the short train journeys to Portsmouth that followed were me constantly panicking that we were going to be late and not let into the Guildhall, and Tara telling me, in no uncertain terms, to calm the bloody hell down. I've unfortunately inherited my Mum's penchant for travel paranoia; I love going on excursions, but everything has to be meticulously planned and time left in case anything goes wrong. It's in the genes, and it does begin to irratate people after a while.

Still, as predicted by lovely Tara, absolutely none of the worry mattered, as we reached Portsmouth half an hour before the concert, and the Guildhall was literally right next to the station. I felt a wee bit sheepish after that, but my worry served an excellent purpose, as I'll shortly explain.

(I've read through all this, and God, it sounds very dull, not in the least bit creative. I'll try and spice it up.)

For those who haven't seen it, the Guildhall is incredible-looking from the outside; I posted a picture last time, but it really is brilliant; it's incredibly ornate and stretches up to the sky; looking over a massive plaza; pillars and statues at the top of (what seemed to me), about a million steps. Tara and I (and a couple of her friends who we'd bumped into at Southampton Station), all let out a collective breath of amazement when we rounded the corner and saw it looming, in all its glory.

I knew, right then at that first glance, that we were in for a spectacular night.

The butterflies began as soon as we went inside and saw the queue, and the Barrowman paraphenalia being sold. I began to realise that this was it; we were actually here. A vague plan made months ago had come to complete and total fruition, and we were poised on the edge of utter brilliance and incredible excitement. Everyone knows the feeling of delicious anticipation; it stirs in your stomach just as it begins and you realise how much there is still to come, and relish. It's a bloody brilliant feeling.

That anticipation was heightened when we entered the auditorium, which was smaller than I expected, until I saw the stage, which is bloody massive; it's very wide and stretches very far back, and when we filed in, it was all set out with instruments for the band; saxophones and keyboards and guitars and drums and percussion.

That was when it started.

Have you ever been so completely excited that it takes over your entire body, and brain? That you're taken aback by your own reactions, by how much it utterly absorbs you, from the roots of your hair to the edges of your toenails?

That happened to me.

I had never felt so excited, as me and Tara sat in our designated seats in Row K (which were wonderfully close to the stage), than I did in that half hour of waiting. In my head, it seemed, all the worry about trains and lateness had been replaced with this bubbling, happy, almost hysterical excitement. I know it sounds sad, but it just overtook me; my stomach contained a million butterflies that wouldn't stay still for a moment, my breaths took on a shallow edge, and I couldn't stop laughing in amazement, a little thing I do when I'm excited. Everything seemed to trigger me; the sight of the stage, the fans, the seats slowly filling up, the background music, it was electric to me. Tara thought I was adorable, and in retrospect, I must have looked a little insane to someone watching me closely, but I managed to keep it in check. Just. I did a lot of seat-wriggling, though.

(Tara was also ridiculously excited, as well. In fact, she probably deserved to be so more than me; she's never seen him live before, whereas this was my second time in a year. She bit my arm at one point to try and contain herself - I know that sounds very weird, but it was perfectly acceptable under the circumstances.)

Finally, finally, after half an hour of increasing excitement, of happy discussions with the ladies on our row, of frantic capslocked texts sent to friends and my Dad (who replied Get a grip, you wally!), half past seven arrived. The band came on stage to cheers from the very packed audience, the lights dimmed, an unknown voice rang out "Ladies and Gentlemen...", at which point Tara and I grabbed each other so tight it's a surprise we didn't suffocate, "...Mr John Barrowman!"

Then the theatre erupted, we whooped and clapped, I peered over someone's shoulder, and there was John Barrowman coming onto the stage. As gorgeous and as large-as-life as he appears. We went crazy; I'll never forget Tara bouncing up and down in her seat. The butterflies took off and exited me in the form of screams.

John Barrowman had entered the building, and was causing a storm of excitement in his wake. Lord, do I love that man!

He began straight away with the Latin-American themed It had to be tonight - which, after research on my part, is apparently a Michael Buble song. And this may be a redundant statement, but John Barrowman can fucking sing. He is brilliant. He gave the song incredible life and was clearly enjoying himself, dancing away during the instrumentals and providing the audience with some arse-wiggling (which we *greatly* appreciated). After that he moved straight onto You're so vain, which I didn't recognise until the chorus. I'm not a massive fan of that song, but John can make anything sound good (as evidenced later on in the show), and it was, again, bloody wonderful. Afterwards, he greeted the audience (to explosive screaming), and told us about how he'd been rung up by Carly Simon and asked to do a duet of that song, and he described the experience as completely surreal. He also did an impression of Carly that had the audience in total hysterics.

There's something about John Barrowman, and being a fan of John Barrowman, by extension; despite him being a lovely, cheeky, entertaining man, there is a certain disconnect when you're viewing him on television. David Tennant is very much a "bloke"; despite being so famous, he's reassuringly normal and charmingly bewildered at all the attention he gets. John Barrowman is different in that respect - perhaps it's the American in him; the massive, loud personality, or the fact that he's done so much, but it's often hard to imagine him living a normal life. He gets everywhere, and sometimes you think of him as just a star rather than just a bloke. On stage, there is still an element of this left (I spent half the concert thinking, sweet Lord, John fucking Barrowman is right in front of us), but he makes up for it by being absolutely absorbed in what he sings. Whatever song it is, he means it absolutely, and is so involved and so brilliant that it's infectious. Performing musically is when he is the most sincere, and throughout the concert, we got to see further depths of John Barrowman rather than his personality on all the shows he ends up on; the funny, giggly, banter-y one which joked and flirted with the audience and the band, and the serious and touching side, which doesn't come out very often and moved us considerably. Long story short, he may seem unreachable, but when he sings, you can see more of him, somehow.

ANYWAY. His next song was Milly Molly Mandy, a song he sang when he was five in Scotland, accompanied by childish dance moves which made us all laugh and go, "Awww!" It was adorable! Following that, he brought on a dummy with Captain's Jack's coat draped over it (eliciting a staggering response from the crowd - the coat!), and dedicated a song to Jack Harkness from The Wizard and I, except he changed some of the lyrics and called it The Doctor and I - it was a lovely dedication and we all went a bit nuts over the defabrication request. I was half-hoping David Tennant might appear, but I was obviously underestimating his schedule.

Following that (although I'm not sure of the exact order) was Every little thing she does is magic, and Time after time, accompanied by a heartbreaking story about a friend in America who tested positive for HIV, and his father, not finding anything to say, sent him a package with this song on cassette, with a note saying the song said everything that he wanted to say. It was an incredibly emotive peformance and moved a lot of the audience to tears, including me. After that was Weekend in New England, a Barry Mannilow song for his manager Gavin ("A big gayer, like me!"), and he did a hilarious impression of his first "meeting" with Barry, when he saw his jet plane fly over his hotel and jumped up and down yelling, "HI, BARRY!"

Then there was Anything Goes, a personal favourite of mine that had me squirming in my seat with glee, followed by Where is love from Oliver, (although he caused hysteria by imitating Nancy in a cockney accent at first. And don't get me started about the jokes involving the word Nancy.) The first half ended with Man of la Mancha with him saying he would love to play Don Quixote one day, as "he's a little crazy, like me."

Whew. My fingers really hurt from typing now, and God only knows how long this entry is already. I may come back to it tomorrow. It's becoming lacklustre as I get more tired.

More tomorrow, I promise, if you haven't died of boredom already. Plus, my thoughts on Doctor Who. Watch this space!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008





I should get down there.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Concert report coming soon, I promise. Just as soon as I can properly articulate the words. It put me on such a massive high, then low, that I'm still recovering.

Yes, I am that sad.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Complete fangirly indulgence ahead!





...sorry. But SQUEEEEE! Hurrah! It's not until October, and for all I know he could cancel (he's a busy man, after all, and after the fiasco we had with Russell Brand I'm not completely trusting), but if I manage to get tickets then I will see him twice in two months; first at Hamlet, then in Cheltenham. Seriously. HE'S COMING HERE. SERIOUSLY.

Christ; been a fan since mid-2005 (before Doctor Who, contrary to what a lot of my friends think), never seen him in the flesh, then twice in two months! I am dashing to the box office as soon as I can and finding things out. Those tickets will go like hot-cakes.

I could never miss out on that. Imagine how I'd feel if I did! I'd go the whole day thinking David Tennant is less than a mile away from me, and I won't get to see him! I hope it's not on a Saturday; I won't be able to take any more days off work.

ANYWAY. Drifting. It's not until October; I have time. Still, super-excited! Bweeee!

Had better go and pack overnight things for tomorrow, or as I'm calling it, Barrowman Day. Ohohoho. This is going to be good. I did some probing, though, and it turns out that he doesn't greet people stage-door on this tour. I was a little miffed, but it's my fault, really; I underestimated the size of this tour. I mean, I'm seeing him at the Portsmouth Guildhall, and I had NO idea what it looked like until yesterday. Look! It even has pillars!

If John appeared at the stage door he'd be mobbed. I didn't realise how massive all of his venues were. Still, I don't really care. Live! Seeing him LIVE! And from what I've heard so far from other fans, it promises to be a brilliant show. And, with any luck (although my original plan of asking him for confirmation has now been scrapped), he'll be appearing at Pride London again, so off on another trip! Tara will come with me and Emma this time, so God knows what's going to happen to Barrowman when we've finished with him.

(Psh - finish with him. Who am I kidding? We'll just stand in the middle of the street with our mouths open like we did last time. Still, we weren't expecting him last time, so you've got to allow a little mitigating circumstance for the frozenness.)


Will report back mid-Saturday, possibly with pictures. Wish me luck, people! I'll see you on the capitalised side.

This is going to be spectacular.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Doctor Who is back, people!

And, I must confess, I was so involved in Torchwood that I didn't notice it coming - then BAM; straight after thirteen weeks of solid Barrowman, we get thirteen weeks of solid Tennant. With Barrowman mixed in near the end. Hurrah!

Overall, I loved it. I missed the first ten minutes due to spaghetti boiling (which had me flicking frantically from room to room until I gave up and concentrated on the pasta before it overboiled), but it was easy to follow. Due to, great shock, being three years older than when it started, it's impossible to take Who seriously, but I loved it all the same; the little fat-babies were absolutely adorable, and Miss Foster, although seeming like a complete characature to me, was deliciously evil enough to scare the little kiddies. Plus, it was refreshing to have a motive other than destroy/take over the Earth. It's good to have a villain who cares.

(Lord, that sounds like some kind of advert.)

And Catherine Tate! I'll admit, I was one of the ones who was slightly annoyed by the addition of Catherine Tate; she's a great actress, but I found Donna relentless irritating in The Runaway Bride, and didn't think I'd enjoy that for thirteen straight weeks. However, I really enjoyed her in this; her experience with the Doctor has definitely changed her; she seems to have become more assertive, has a more meaningful perspective on life, yet she's still very ballsy and down-to-earth. Also, I love the relationship she has with the Doctor; they work very well as partners in crime, and the contrast between them is played out very well.

Time will tell if she'll capture the hearts of the public, but she seems to be doing brilliantly so far. I've read that the relationship between the two is more matey this time around, which seems to bode well; from what we can witness with Martha, unrequited love for the Doctor clearly doesn't do a lot of good. Not that it can be helped, I'm sure. I was glad to hear the Doctor expressing his guilt over his treatment of Martha; hopefully it'll lay a nice foundation for when we see her later on in the series. Hurrah!

So, all in all, good episode; a nice, ridiculous, fun-filled romp for an early Saturday evening. The new time-slot is irritating, though. What is it with the BBC and scheduling? Torchwood was completely all over the place; is that going to happen with Who as well?

Also, that bit with Rose?

I may have flailed. Just a tiny bit. Out of surprise. Bwee!

As for Torchwood...gah. I cried. I was completely spoiled for the deaths of Owen and Tosh, but I still cried. The episode itself...ehh...I loved it, but I was really hoping for something a lot stronger, and which made a modicum of sense. Also, the actor playing Jack's brother Gray was diabolical, to be honest, and the whole premise seemed very squashed together, and there wasn't enough room for any real development of the character, or of his relationship with Jack.

Still, James Marsters took another winning turn (although, as with Gray, the accent was a bit off. I haven't seen Buffy before - does his British accent fluctuate in that, as well?), and there was good acting all-round, especially from Naoko Mori and Burn Gorman. God, I'm going to miss Owen and Tosh. And Torchwood! This series has been a million miles better than last series, and the future of it is very uncertain. Still, I have thirteen episodes to enjoy at my leisure, and Jack will be cropping up very soon!

(And I'll be seeing John Barrowman live before that. But that's for another day.)

In addition, as read in Deathray magazine, Gwen and Ianto are meant to crop up in Doctor Who as well! SQUEEEEEE! God knows for how long, but it's been said more than once, and...oh hell, I don't care. IANTO! AND GWEN! IN DOCTOR WHO! YAYYYYYY!

...ahem. I'm rather excited about that.

RIGHT. That's the review done. Doctor Who is back! I'm going to miss the next episode, though, which is annoying; I'm off tomorrow to Turkey for a week, which promises to be fun. I still haven't packed, though. Next week (I think) is James Moran's episode, so make sure you give him some nice feedback on his blog; he's a lovely guy and hilarious with it.

Had better go and pack my suitcase. Will definitely post when I get back, on the second episode. Also, if you come back here after the 18th and see several posts filled with incoherent capslock and the letter "e" repeated many times, that means I've seen John Barrowman. And talked to him. And gone mental.


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