It opens on Davros, black stage, spots from behind, flanked by Daleks. Opening verse intercut with gentle clips from series. All very moody and serious.
When the beat kicks in, the front of Davros' chair snaps open, as does the front of the Dalek casings; from each Dalek steps a squiddies in spats. Opposing him, emerging from the shadows, are several different regenerations of the Doctor.
There follows a West Side Story style danceoff. Choreography by Stomp.
I didn't say it was funny, I just said it amused me.
 All parts to be played by lookalikes
It is a time of great financial upheval.
Not commuting to Macclesfield: good.
Ant off work: plusungood.
Got a raise: doubleplusgood.
Every bill in the world arriving at once: doubleplusungood.
I'm really hoping this was just a badly timed month ... and will probably be buying fewer toys in the near future.
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Ok, this isn't exactly the same; Rory has been researching actual science instead of watching TV, and they do go for one of the options my Doctor dismissed (which is sort of the point of my scene, whimsy over hard SF). But it's thematically similar enough to be really quite vexing.
Also startling, as I've had that scene rattling around in my head for a year or more. What are the odds it would make it into the show like a week after I finally sit down and write it?
Stupid psychic writers.
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I do, in fact, already have some ideas about Terry; who he is, how he came to be, and why he was hurrying after the Doctor in the first place. But I'm suddenly struck with a powerful curiosity about what other people conjure up when they are given very little information about a character. So, tell me about your Terry.
What does Terry look like? How tall is he, what colour is his hair? How does he wear it?
How old is he?
What style of dress does he favour?
Where does he come from?
What does he do of an evening?
What does he do during the day?
If you like, you can tell me how he met the Doctor and what was chasing them. And for bonus points, tell me which Doctor this is (and which TARDIS).
Terry rushed into the box after the Doctor, turning to glance through the door before slamming it firmly shut. He kept his eyes fixed on the door while turning his head slightly to speak to the man he assumed to be just over his shoulder.
"I think we lost them," said Terry. "Now I assume you have something better in mind than hiding in a cupboard because..."
He tailed off. Something wasn't right. The Doctor should be right there, the box was only a few feet across, but there was no sense of a body, no warmth, no pressure, and the air was moving..
He turned around.
The Doctor had already bounded up to the console and was gleefully playing with the controls. As the groan of ancient engines filled the filled the air - the ground, the door, Terry's bones - the Doctor shot him a glance.
"'Salright," he reassured his young friend, turning back to the controls, "We're safe now, we're in flight. You can relax. You can say it."
Terry took a breath.
He lowered an eyebrow and raised a finger.
The Doctor grinned again. "Ye-es?"
"... It's ... a teleport?"
"No, no it's not a teleport," said the Doctor, still grinning.
"It's a gateway, then. A portal interlock to your ... secret lair or ..." Had the Doctor said they were in flight? "Ship?"
"Yes, it's a ship, no it's not a portal." The Doctor's expression was more quizzical now, and he leaned on the console. He'd been expecting a simple exclamation, not an interrogation.
"Okay, the ship exists in another plane - like a hyperspace - and extrudes a physical exit into real space?"
"You really do watch far too much science fiction. Not even close."
"Right. So it's a pocket dimension - a tesseract? At right angles to reality?"
"No, no, no. Getting colder. Sub-zero. Kelvin. And that's not even possible."
"Alright, I give up. What is it?"
"You sure? You'll kick yourself."
"No, yeah. Tell me."
"Alright. What it is, is..." The Doctor beckoned Terry closer, looked theatrically around to make sure none of the other imaginary passengers were listening and lowered his voice. "The way it works is..."
"Yes?" demanded Terry.
"It's bigger ... on the inside."
Developer: Hey let's do ABC!
Client: No I want to do CBA.
Developer: Uh okay that is technically possible but will be a lot of work.
Client: Good good. Let's go.
Client: Wow this is a lot of work. Hey, would it be possible to do ABC instead?
Developer: YES THAT WOULD BE FINE WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT
I am considering giving away my old one (it's a 32" widescreen Samsung of the cathode ray tube variety, with 2 SCART sockets; in reasonably good nick, apart from occasional distortion on bright images and no built-in Freeview), though we may stick it in the bedroom or something.
Within a month it developed a fault (overnight becoming unresponsive to controls, requiring unplug/replug to resolve - inconvenient at the best of times, and at worst rendering the alarm function useless). Took it back and got an identical replacement - and within a month it developed an identical fault.
Naturally, with the second replacement, I decided to go for a different model. I mean, I don't know if it's a general fault with the line or just with that Curry's batch, but I just didn't feel like risking it again. I went for a Sony, and wow, it's so much better, even though it's around the same retail price as the Hitachi's reduced sale price. Quick comparison of key points:
|Hitachi AXM136i||Sony CMT-BX70|
|iPod dock||Plug in thing on extension lead||Built into unit|
|Standby light||Bright blue LED which lights up whole room||Soft unobtrusive red LED|
|While playing CD||Another, brighter blue light lights up the whole room even more||It just plays it|
|Alarm function||Turns unit on, using whatever function happens to be selected when it was turned off||Allows function to be selected when setting alarm, so you can go to bed listening to iPod and wake up to radio|
|After checking time with unit on standby||Display remains on, but at least the blue light goes away||Display switches off after 8 seconds|
|Remote sensitivity||You have to point it right at the unit||Vague approximation of direction will do|
|Station name display||BBC RADI||BBC R2|
It's, you know, little things like that; tiny points of usability that make the Hitachi unit basically unsuitable for use as a bedroom stereo and unsatisfying in general. Even without the Halt Until Reboot bug I was finding it fiddly and not 100% satisfying - the Sony's much better off the bat. I think there's a slight loss in sound quality (the Hitachi was 100W, the Sony is closer to 50) but it's not noticeable and certainly worth the £60 saving.
Oh - one flaw with the Sony - it doesn't come with a DAB antenna included. This isn't as big a problem as it might seem, though, as the internal one seems to work quite well, but I was still glad I had one lying about the place from an older unit.
It's not so much that I am desperate for a BBC player (I can get it on my computer and even on my iPod touch), though it would be nice to get it on the TV. No, it's more the way that allowing their users to get any sort of functionality out of their console without turning it into a revenue stream is just so completely outside their business model. It gives you some real insight into how they think of their customers.
Fair enough for in-game DCL, I guess, but when you realise they want you pay to download game-based themes - which is, essentially, the privilege of plastering advertising all over the brief interstitial screen between turning your console on and actually doing whatever it is you want to do with it - it's just sad.
How have people found services such as LoudTwit? Do they require your LJ password? Because no.
My thoughts on Mr David Tennant's final trip in the TARDIS can be found on Twitter (#theEndOfTime, in case I can be bothered working out how to link to a single Twitter account's hashtag stream). Fundamentally: Decent, but massively self-indulgent at the end. The last 20 minutes literally does nothing but celebrate RTD's tenure as script editor.
And what happened to that plot about the Ood developing too quickly? Where did that go?
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