Saturday, July 07, 2007


Tonight was the night I was going to finally start writing in depth about the 2007 series of Doctor Who, based on the fact that it started airing in the U.S. today on SciFi. I don't quite feel up to it tonight, but I do want to share my reaction to one particular image seen by American viewers alone. This:

Why did I bother photographing this Channel Guide listing? For one thing, I wasn't quite sure you've believe me if I merely told you about it. For another, I'm wondering how many of you have already figured out that it's wrong, wrong, wrong. Well, two wrongs, anyway. So what's the problem? If you're a fan of the new series, it's just glaring. Otherwise, not so much. Let's break it down, shall we?

It is on Cox Digital Cable, it is on SciFi and the time given is correct for Tucson and the Pacific feed. Yes, the star of this episode, "Smith and Jones", is David Tennant. But Billie Piper? What is she doing on the two screen displays? She played Rose Tyler in Series One (2005) and Series Two (2006) of the revived series. She isn't in Series Three (2007), except for the occasional brief clip from older episodes. She certainly isn't in "Smith and Jones," although she's mentioned.

David Tennant's co-star in Series Three is Freema Agyeman, who plays Martha Jones‎. Martha is mentioned in this listing, but Freema goes uncredited. Shame on them, whoever it was that messed up this listing. My theory is that someone reused a template from last year, added that oh-so-uninformative plot description, and called it done, little realizing that the lineup of stars had changed, as indeed it did last year as well. Oh, and just to make it a little more pathetically clueless and wrong, they left about the definite article before the word Doctor. It wasn't "Doctor" who was transported to the Moon, along with an entire London hospital. It was "the Doctor!"

Oh, and by the way, they cut the proper trailers from both "The Runaway Bride" Christmas episode and "Smith and Jones", and substituted a different one at the end of "Smith and Jones," a few seconds later than the original one should have appeared. The main feature of the American trailer was a rather cliche style American voice over. Bleah. What I don't understand is why they couldn't have put it right after the logo crawl where it belonged.

Oh, and there were several ads for Series One and Two on DVD - except that the images, other than the regeneration, were all from Series Two. There was one little audio clip of the Ninth Doctor, buried in the mix. They couldn't be bothered to include a representative sample from the earlier series. Shortcuts.

Just for the heck of it, I'm throwing in another picture of the Simpsons figures here. In this case I deliberately included the ribbon that ropes it off, along with the sign that says, "Please Do Not Sit Or Touch." I don't know why it's in Title Case like that. I would contend that the couch was deliberately designed to allow someone to sit down, and be photographed alongside The Simpsons. Apparently a few too many people tried it, though. There were definite signs of wear at that end of the couch. Rather than try to maintain it, or just let it get worn, the theater proprietors are taking the shortcut of just roping it off.

It rained again today, and we got more pretty cloudage. The monsoon is definitely on its way!

Just in case you think I did absolutely nothing tonight but watch Doctor Who (and you're not far wrong), I'm up to page 281 of the Heirs of Mâvarin, edit, nearly halfway through Chapter Seven. But I'm tired now, in part because I was awakened early this morning (by my standards) by someone calling on behalf of a charity. We last gave them money twenty years ago, but apparently a charity contact list goes on forever. It's just another shortcut: collect the names, update the photo numbers as needed, and never, ever cull the list. The firefighters, the Children's Wish Foundation and John Kerry will be trying to squeeze money from me for the rest of my natural life, and probably a good while afterward.


1 comment:

julie said...

You can tell the charity to take you off of their list and they have to comply. If they don't ask to speak to a supervisor and tell them you'll report them to the FTC next. Here's a link to their FAQ: Scroll down to #30.