by Catriona Mills

Live-blogging Doctor Who Season Five: "Amy's Choice"

Posted 4937 days ago in by Catriona

We open on a lovely, idyllic English scene—green pastures, waving trees, clouds (obviously), and a little English cottage with ivy growing up the walls and incredibly small windows.

When we pan inside this cottage, we find Amy, with her hair pulled back off her face, incredibly pregnant, humming and mixing something in a bowl.

She’s still wearing quite a short skirt, though.

She puts the bowl down, starts panting, and screams “Rory!” loudly enough to startle nearby birds. It doesn’t seem to startle Rory, though—although his new fluffy hairstyle and ponytail certainly startle me—who comes cycling up to the door, past a flock of geese. He hears Amy calling his name in a tone that suggests she’d called it several times already, and throws his bike aside.

He gets smacked in the face by a rose as he hares in through the door—and, again, tiny little moment that it is, there’s something in the action that suggests this is more or less a daily occurrence. Turns out, though, the screaming is a false alarm: Amy says she’s never had a baby before, so how would she know how it feels?

Then the TARDIS materialises in their garden: Rory thinks it’s a leaf-blower (“Use a rake!” he shouts), but Amy know immediately what it is.

RORY: Doctor!
DOCTOR: I’ve . . . crushed your flowers.
RORY: Amy will kill you.
DOCTOR: Where is she?
RORY: She’ll need a bit longer.
DOCTOR (shouting): Whenever you’re ready, Amy!

Amy comes waddling out of the door, to much delighted shouting from both her and the Doctor. (And “waddling” is not meant to be offensive; it seems the best description for that late-pregnancy gait, where the baby’s shifting into all sorts of interesting positions.)

DOCTOR: You’ve swallowed a planet!
AMY: I’m pregnant.
DOCTOR: Look at you! You’re huge.
AMY: Yeah, I’m pregnant.

It speaks volumes for Amy’s delight in seeing the Doctor again, I think, that she doesn’t just smack him when he keeps going on about this, especially as he immediately lays both hands on her belly. She must cope with that on a daily basis, especially in a tiny village.

And, Doctor? You had at least one child yourself. Well, not yourself, unless there’s something I don’t know about Time Lords. You’ve seen this before. Unless Time Lords incubate in tubes. Do they?

The Doctor tells us it’s been five years (five years since they left the TARDIS, presumably, not necessarily five years since “Vampires in Venice”), and then they all put their coats on to take a walk around the village, as you do when an old friend drops in unexpectedly.

The Doctor makes a few mocking comments about the village, and Amy says it’s quiet but it’s healthy: “Loads of people round here live well into their nineties.”

DOCTOR: Well, I wanted to see how you were. You know me: I don’t just abandon people when they leave the TARDIS. That’s not what Time Lords are like. You don’t get rid of your old pal the Doctor so easily.
AMY: You came here by mistake, didn’t you?
DOCTOR: Yeah, bit of a mistake.

He asks what they do for fun and while Amy indicates (to Rory’s horror) that she is a bit bored, Rory says that they relax, they live, and they listen to birdsong. Not much birdsong in the good old TARDIS days, he says.

True, says the Doctor, clutching his head—and then they all fall asleep, still sitting on the park bench.

They wake in the TARDIS, the Doctor completing the sentence he’d begun on the bench.

The Doctor leaps up from the floor and, as Amy and Rory wander in from other parts of the TARDIS, says happily that they’re safe, because he had a terrible nightmare about them. Amy’s rubbing her stomach and glancing at the back of Rory’s head, so it’s quite obvious she’s had the same dream. But the Doctor just hugs her and rambles on obliviously.

RORY: Doctor, I also had a, um, sort of dream thing.
AMY: Yeah, so did I.
RORY: Not a nightmare, though! Just that . . . we were married.
AMY: Yeah. In a little village.

Clearly, this is more nightmarish for some than for others.

AMY: And you had a nightmare. About us. What happened to us in the nightmare?
DOCTOR: Well, it was a bit similar. In some aspects.
AMY: Which aspects?
DOCTOR: All of them.
AMY: You had the same dream.
RORY: You said it was a nightmare.
DOCTOR: Did I say nightmare? No, it was more of a really good . . . mare.

He deflects the situation, pointing out, quite rightly, that the fact that they all had the same dream is more important than whether or not he’s secretly judging Rory’s desire for domestic bliss and Amy’s uncertainty about her future.

He tells them not to worry about, that they just had some kind of psychic episode—“Probably jumped a time track, or something”—but they’re back to reality now.

Then why, asks Amy, can she still hear bird song. Yes, says Rory, “the same bird song were heard in the . . .”

“Dream,” he finishes, waking up on the park bench, forehead to forehead with the Doctor. (From the way they both spring apart, I think this Doctor needs to spend more time with Captain Jack.)

Amy and Rory think this is reality and they’re dreaming about being back in the TARDIS, but the Doctor tells them to trust nothing they see or hear. This is a lovely shot, with the three of them in sharp focus in the street, and the camera spinning around them, with the village faintly blurred, as though it’s not quite real.

“This is going to be a tricky one,” says the Doctor.


Credits? Seriously? I’d better stop typing so much, or this is going to take me all day.

They wake up back in the TARDIS, and the Doctor is freaking out. He kicks the console, hurts himself, and declares, “Never use force. You only embarrass yourself. Unless you’re cross, in which case—always use force.”

AMY: Shall I get the manual?
DOCTOR: I threw it in a supernova.
AMY: You threw the manual in a supernova. Why?
DOCTOR: Because I disagreed with it. Stop talking to me when I’m cross.

At least in this shot, as the Doctor runs down to look at the underside of the console, we see the value of that see-through floor: he’s wagging his finger at Amy through it right now. This episode makes excellent use of the full range of the console-room set. It reminds me of that ship-in-a-bottle episode with William Hartnell, “The Edge of Destruction.”

Amy and Rory, again, are convinced this is reality and the village the dream, but the Doctor reminds them that they thought that before, and reiterates that they’re to trust nothing, to look for what doesn’t ring true.

RORY: Well, we’re in a spaceship that’s bigger on the inside than the outside . . .
AMY: With a bowtie-wearing alien.
RORY: So maybe what “rings true” isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Then the console dies.

DOCTOR: It’s dead. We’re in a dead time machine.

There’s a glorious echo on that line, as though the voice is echoing back through all the TARDIS’s corridors.

Then the bird song returns and they wake up once more in the village.

Rory’s particularly keen on this being reality: we find out from a passing greeting in the street that he’s a doctor now (no longer a nurse), and the Doctor points out how dreamlike all this is: Rory’s dream job, his dream wife, probably his dream baby. Rory insists it’s Amy’s dream, too, and she agrees a little too readily.

Then the Doctor notices the old-people’s home, with windows packed with peeping old people.

DOCTOR: You said everyone here lives to their nineties. There’s something here that doesn’t make sense. Let’s go and poke it with a stick.
AMY: Oh. Can we not do the running thing?

The Doctor’s shanghaied into helping one of the old women with her knitting, but before he can do more than lean far too close to her and say, “You’re incredibly old, aren’t you?”, they’re back in the TARDIS.

(Honestly, the Doctor has no sense of personal space. Was it back in last year’s Easter special when he complained, “Humans on buses: always blaming me”? but you really wouldn’t want to sit next to him on public transport.)

In the TARDIS, it’s still dark and increasingly cold (since the heating’s off), and the Doctor’s expressing dark forebodings about the people in the old-people’s home, to Rory’s astonishment. But just as he complains about someone over-riding his control of the TARDIS, a little man in a bowtie pops up on the stairs and tells the Doctor it’s about time he realised.

The man introduces himself as the Dream Lord, and the Doctor asks Amy if she’d care to guess what he does.

DREAM LORD: And how about the gooseberry here? Does he get a guess?
RORY: Listen, mate. If anyone’s the gooseberry here, it’s the Doctor.
DREAM LORD: Oh, now there’s a delusion I’m not responsible for.

He tells Amy she needs to choose, and Amy says she has chosen. Rory looks terrified, but Amy—who can’t even see his facial expression from where she is—reaches back to slap him on the stomach and say, “It’s you, stupid.”

Lovely moment—it shows a synchronicity and a sympathy in their relationship, that she knows how he’s reacting without even looking.

DOCTOR: Where did you pick up this cheap cabaret act?
DREAM LORD: Me? Oh, you’re on shaky ground.
DREAM LORD: If you had any more tawdry quirks, you could open up a tawdry quirk shop. The madcap vehicle, the cockamamie hair, the clothes designed by a first-year fashion student—I’m surprised you haven’t got a little purple space dog, just to ram home what an intergalactic wag you are.

The Dream Lord tells them that one of the worlds is real and one is fake. In both, they’ll face a deadly danger, but only one of those dangers is real. And then the bird song swells again, and they all fall asleep.

They wake in the now-deserted nursing home, and the Dream Lord wanders in with scans of the Doctor’s brain, saying it’s bad news: “Your brain is completely see-through. But then I’ve always been able to see right through you.”

He tells them that if they die in the dream, they’ll wake in reality.

DREAM LORD: Ask me what happens if you die in reality.
RORY: What happens?
DREAM LORD: You die, stupid. That’s why it’s called reality.

Amy demands to know where the Doctor has met the Dream Lord before, but the Doctor distracts her by pointing out that all the old people have gone. Outside in the village, some screaming children are being herded up to a historic castle by their teacher.

The Doctor rants about how the boredom of the village is slowing his brain down, and then Amy goes into labour.

DOCTOR: Help her: you’re a doctor!
RORY: You’re a doctor!
DOCTOR: It’s okay, we’re doctors. What do we do?

He squats down to catch the baby (which isn’t going to be a problem, since Amy’s wearing tights), but Amy says the baby’s not coming.

AMY: This my my life now, and it just turned you white as a sheet. So don’t you call it dull again. Ever.
DOCTOR: Sorry.
AMY: Yeah.

Amy’s genuinely furious—she stalks off, sits on a swing, and crosses her arms across her chest—until the Doctor teases her gently about Rory’s ponytail. As soon as she’s laughing, the Doctor points out the old woman following the children up to the castle.

Then they wake up in the TARDIS again. Amy’s freezing, Rory’s cranky, and the Doctor’s snapping at everyone, trying to spot the “tell” in the dream world.

RORY: I want the other life. Where we’re happy, and settled, and about to have a baby.
AMY: You have to wonder—if that other life is real, why would we give up all this? Why would anyone?
RORY: Because we’re going to freeze to death?

See, Rory, there’s your problem: you react flippantly to these questions, because you don’t want to hurt Amy’s feelings or push her any further away. But you have a genuine dissonance here in what you both want, and you can’t address it with flippant comments.

But he doesn’t: he just keeps reiterating his vision of what they’re going to do (not taking into account this massive change of circumstances that is travelling in the TARDIS), until they’re both angry.

AMY: You are always so insecure.
RORY: You ran off with another man!
AMY: Not in that way.

Nothing is resolved—nothing is ever resolved with these two, as Amy points out that she doesn’t see why they have to grow up. But, more importantly, the Doctor cobbles together a generator from an egg-whisk and a bottle opener, and they see on the monitor that they’re drifting towards a cold star—that’s their deadly danger for this reality.

The Doctor seems quite excited about the cold star, even though they have fourteen minutes to live, and Rory’s furious that this is how it’ll end, when he just wanted a nice life in a village. Then the Dream Lord turns up again, and his rude limerick is only just stopped in time by birdsong.

“Don’t spend too much time there,” the Dream Lord says, “or you’ll catch your death here.” This is the danger with both realities running on the same time track.

They run up the steps to the castle, where the children are nowhere in sight. Rory says this is definitely the real one: it’s so tranquil. But Amy question whether she would settle down in a place with a pub, two shops, and a really band amateur dramatic society.

AMY: That’s why I got pregnant, so I wouldn’t have to see them doing Oklahoma! Doctor, what are you doing and what are those piles of dust?
DOCTOR: Playtime’s definitely over.

What happened to them? Well, the old people happened. But as the Doctor’s striding towards a confrontation, the Dream Lord pops up again.

DOCTOR: I know who you are.
DREAM LORD: You don’t.
DOCTOR: Of course I do. No idea how you can be here, but there’s only one person in the universe who hates me as much as you do.

Oh, Doctor: I can think of at least three.

Rory’s still convinced these are real old people, until the man who used to run the sweet shop picks him up by his collar and throws him six feet into the mud. then we see that they’ve all got eyeballs in their mouths.

Okay, ew.

The Doctor tells Amy and Rory to run, while he asks the old people—or the creatures living inside them—what they’re doing.

The creatures say they were driven from their planet by upstart neighbours, and now they will humbled others as they themselves were humbled.

Then they kill a postman.

Amy and Rory, running through the village, see old people steadily approaching across the fields. This leads to Rory calling Amy “Chubs” and whacking an old woman with a fence post.

They make it home, where Amy collapses on the stairs.

Amy frets about abandoning the Doctor—“We don’t see him for years, and somehow, we don’t really connect any more, and then he takes the bullet for us”—but Rory says the Doctor will be fine, as he shoves a coffee table against a door.

The Doctor’s not fine: he’s staggering down the street, because the birdsong is ringing in his head, and he takes refuge in a butcher’s shop—but the Dream Lord is behind the counter. The Doctor frantically forces himself to stay awake long enough to lock himself in the fridge room, just before the old people get him.

The three of them wake in the TARDIS, where it’s colder.

The Doctor tells them that they must all decide, now, which is the dream.

Rory, of course, picks the TARDIS as the dream, and Amy agrees because the cold star is scientifically impossible. The Doctor, of course, thinks the TARDIS is reality.

DOCTOR: No, no: ice can burn, sofa’s can read—it’s a big universe.

He wonders if he and Rory are disagreeing or competing. “Competing over what?” Amy asks, a bit disingenuously, and snorts disgustedly when they both look at her.

She thinks it’s more important to find out how cold it is.

DOCTOR: Outside? Don’t know. But I can’t feel my feet and . . . other parts.
RORY: I think all my parts are basically fine.
DOCTOR: Stop competing!

The Doctor wishes they could split up, to have a presence in both worlds, and, since the Dream Lord thinks this is a marvellous idea, the Doctor and Rory fall asleep while Amy stays awake in the TARDIS.

In the village, the old people are breaking into the house, so Rory drags Amy upstairs, apologising at every bump, into the nursery. He watches from the window as the old people rock the TARDIS and prepare to batter down his front door.

The Doctor wakes in the fridge room. He finds the frequency that will cause the aliens to temporarily retract, dashes past the old people, and throws himself into a passing Combi van with a cheerful “It’s okay—it’s only me!” They hare through the village, picking up various people being menaced by old people.

The TARDIS drifts closer to the cold star. Everything and everyone is covered in frost, and the Dream Lord seems to be trying to seduce Amy. I don’t know which is more disturbing.

AMY: The Doctor knows who you are, but he’s not telling me. And he always does. Takes him a while sometimes, but he always tells me.
DREAM LORD: Oh, is that who you think you are? The one he trusts.
AMY: Yes, actually.
DREAM LORD: The one girl in the universe to whom the Doctor tells everything.
AMY: Yes.
DREAM LORD: So what’s his name?

Does that make River the one woman in the universe to whom the Doctor tells everything, then?

He tells Amy she needs to choose.

DREAM LORD: You ran away with a handsome hero. Would you really give him up for a bumbling country doctor who thinks the only thing he needs to be really interesting is a pony tail?

In the village, the Doctor tells his passengers to barricade themselves in the church, and hares off in the van to find Amy and Rory. The Dream Lord appears on his back set, telling him to choose.

DREAM LORD: Friends? Is that the right word for the people you acquire?

The Doctor parks outside Rory and Amy’s house as, inside, Amy wakes up. Rory demonstrates his devotion by cutting off his ponytail, though he looks stricken as Amy, tearful, says she was starting to like it. Luckily, they’re distracted by the Doctor climbing in the window saying, “Sorry: had to stop off at the butcher’s.”

Then Amy goes genuinely into labour, someone throws something through the window, and Rory, investigating, is struck by the glowing green gas . . . stuff.

Rory starts disintegrating as Amy watches, telling her to look after their baby. The Doctor covers his eyes. And Amy says, “Come back” in a completely uninflected voice, which just kills me.

She looks up at the Doctor as the last of the dust falls onto the ground. She’s rocking and her eyes are bright, but she’s not crying.

AMY: Save us. That’s what you do. You save everyone.
DOCTOR: Not always. I’m sorry.
AMY: Then what is the point of you?

She puts her hands into the dust, though the Doctor takes an involuntarily step forward. When she turns her back on him, he moves up to her and his hands hover over her back, but he doesn’t quite touch her.

Then Amy declares that this is the dream. The Doctor asks how she knows, and she says because if this is real life, she doesn’t want it.

She heads to the Combi, and the Doctor tells her to be very sure, because this could be real life. She doesn’t care: she’s crying now. She says she just wants Rory, and she honestly didn’t know until this minute.

The Doctor drops the keys into her hand, and they clasp hands briefly.

She says that she loved Rory and she never told him. What, even though you’ve been married for five years and are having a baby? I mean, you don’t need to be in love to fall pregnant, but somehow this makes me sadder for Rory than his death did.

Then she drives into a house.

They wake up in the TARDIS, all of them. Everything’s thick with ice, but somehow they’re not dead yet.

The Dream Lord congratulates them on choosing the right world with only seconds to spare, as the TARDIS pulls back from the cold star and the console room comes back to life.

The Doctor leaps to the console as Rory asks what happened to him. But Amy just leans forward and hugs him, and he’s so delighted it might as well be the only time she’s ever just spontaneously hugged him.

AMY: What are we doing now?
DOCTOR: Me? I’m going to blow up the TARDIS.

Rory’s stunned, but the Doctor insists.

DOCTOR: Notice how helpful the Dream Lord was. Oh, there was misinformation, red herrings, malice, and I could have done without the limerick. But he was always quite keen for us to choose between dream and reality.

Instead, the Doctor says, they were choosing between two dreams.

AMY: How do you know that?
DOCTOR: Because I know who he is.

He blows up the TARDIS. The screen goes white, then black—and we’re back in the console room, with the Doctor examining the palm of his hand, and Amy and Rory coming down the stairs.

The problem, says the Doctor, was caused by a speck of psychic pollen, which must have been hanging around the console room for ages. When it heated up, it caused a dream state for all of them. He blows it out the open door of the TARDIS.

So that was the Dream Lord? asks Rory.

No, says the Doctor: “Wasn’t it obvious? The Dream Lord was me.”

“Duh duh duh,” says Nick, who wanders in at that point.

He says the pollen feeds on the darkness within you, gives it a voice, turns it against you: “907. Had a lot to go on.”

Amy asks why it didn’t turn them against themselves, and the Doctor says, “The darkness in you two? It would have starved to death. I choose my friends with great care.”

Amy asks the Doctor if he really believes what the Dream Lord said about him, but he deflects her: “Amy, right now a question is about to occur to Rory. And, seeing as the answer is going to change his life, I think you should give him your full attention.”

He spins her and pushes her towards Rory, who asks, of course, what happened in the village dream and, when Amy tells him, how she knew it was a dream and she wouldn’t just die. She says she didn’t, and he snogs her. Then she snogs him. Then the Doctor, at his most manic, pops up behind them, applauds, and asks where next—“Or should I just pop down to the swimming pool for a few lengths?”

Rory says it’s Amy’s choice, and as the Doctor starts the TARDIS, we see the Dream Lord smiling up at him from the reflective surface.

What? No cracks? Or did I miss it?

Next time: mysterious holes in Wales.

A Note on Tonight's Doctor Who Live-blogging

Posted 4938 days ago in by Catriona

In an almost unprecedented event, I actually have a social commitment tonight. (Sunday night social events are never terribly common, but this one’s a must.)

So I’ve set up the live-blogging of Doctor Who in advance, and it’ll be published at 8:30, at the end of the ABC airing of the episode.

This means that tonight’s episode has been live-blogged in a slightly different fashion than usual.

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about the process of live-blogging for this site, and particularly for Doctor Who.

The Eurovision live-blogging is traditional live-blogging: I type what we think about the song entries but I don’t attempt to make the post particularly comprehensible for people who aren’t watching the broadcast. It’s the sort of live-blogging you find with, say, the Oscars or The Guardian‘s lovely live-blogging of World Cup games.

But Doctor Who is a little different. It’s still what I think of as true live-blogging, in that I put the episode on, start typing, and don’t pause the episode at any point during the process.

(Well, except that one time. And I was quite tipsy. Even then, I explicitly mentioned in the post that I was pausing the episode.)

I also try very hard in these posts to make the live-blogging comprehensible to someone who isn’t watching the episode right then—or even someone who hasn’t watched it in a while—while still keeping up with the plot.

It’s remarkably difficult sometimes.

That’s why I occasionally miss talking about key points, or don’t transcribe key bits of dialogue, or, just sometimes, think that the Doctor’s stabbed Amy when he’s actually bitten her.

But this one will be a bit different. Since I’m watching the episode on my computer, I’ll have to pause it at times, in order to type. And I’m thinking this is a good, one-off opportunity to use a different structure and, perhaps, deepen the live-blogging a little.

We’ll see, shall we?

Live-blogging Eurovision: Semi-Final 2, 2010

Posted 4938 days ago in by Catriona

So this is the second of 2010’s semi-finals—and the last live-blogging for Eurovision until 2011.

I’ve heard that this batch of performers are even less wacky than last night’s, which is a distinct disappointment to me.

Oh, and Norway? Where are the travelogues? The little snippets of Norway we’ve come to expect from Eurovision? The Moomins?

Okay, Moomins are Finnish. But there must be something almost as adorable as Moomins that you could show us. So far, we’ve had nothing but belching and women stepping in cowpats.

Admiring the new commercial for Zantac heartburn remedies: “Put out what you put in”. Don’t we all put out what we put in, sooner or later?

Oh, man: it’s the pink balloons again. I’m just not feeling the pink-balloon love.

Plus, there’s nothing about this that screams “Norway!” to me. The staging, the focus on low shots of buildings or the panning over the skyline—it’s all so generic.

Oh, good: Norwegian Josh Thomas is back. (Not my joke, but a good one.)

I’m not listening to the hosts—I’m too busy trying to work out what the people in the background are waving. I think one of them’s waving a wedding cake with a teddy bear on the top.

Or is it a kangaroo wearing a T-shirt and a lei?

LITHUANIA: “Eastern European Funk”
Oooh, interesting.
No, not the pants. The pants are terrifying.
NICK: They’re all wearing William Hartnell’s trousers.
Shame it’s in English, though.
I’m not hating this, but I my suspicions that it’s not quite Eurovision enough to do well. They might get through to the finals, but I don’t see them winning.
It’s slight, obviously, but it’s not making me scream at my television.
NICK: Oh, no. No. Don’t touch your crotches.
Does this qualify as a boy band?
Woo hoo! Costume change!
And what a costume change!
Changed my mind: I hope they win. They’re wearing sparkly swimsuits! They deserve to win!

ARMENIA: “Apricot Stone”
ME: Is that a recorder?
NICK: I think it’s just a stick.
That man’s dancing with an urn.
NICK: God bless the Wonderbra.
Fireworks! And what I thought at first was a monk. But I think he’s just a back-up singer. Shame, really.
Dear lord, that’s a lot of hair.
I’m loving the interpretive dance with the urn.
She’s quite stunning, and the song’s not as boring as you think it is when you actually listen to the lyrics.
I’m a bit creeped out by the giant apricot stone on the stage, though—it’s a bit flesh-coloured.
Key change!
NICK: This song has everything. Except a costume change, so far. I’m still thinking someone might burst out of the fleshy clam.

ISRAEL: “Milim”
So this one’s in Hebrew? It’s been a bit English-centric so far, I admit.
I have literally nothing to say about this song—except I have a sneaking suspicion I once heard the melody in the ’80s.
It’s not that it’s bad—there’s just nothing to talk about yet. He’s just standing there and hitting all the notes. It’s just not Eurovision, frankly.
I mean, he’s singing in tune, he hasn’t taken his clothes off, nothing’s burst out of the piano, he doesn’t have a flamethrower or back-up dancers dressed as trees.
Whither the bad taste, Eurovision?
I’d say this one’s going through.
NICK: He’s actually quite good.
If this is the way Eurovision’s going, then there won’t be much fun in it.

DENMARK: “In a Moment Like This”
Come on, Denmark. Weird it up for me!
Oh, dear: I seem to have hit my head and woken up in 1988.
NICK: Look out! There’s a shadow behind you!
The performance is working beautifully on telly, but it’s not going to be very dynamic for the audience.
Oh, hang on: now they’re ABBA.
Oooh, travelator! Sweet. Except now they just have walk all the way back across the stage to one another.
Oh, I don’t envy her those shoes.
This is pretty much ABBA meets Roxette. I rather like it.
Key change!
This semi-final’s really bringing the key changes.
Oh, and a wind machine.
Bless you, Denmark.

SWITZERLAND: It’s Raining Gold”
Not raining men? As the commentator says, raining gold sounds quite appealing, but in reality is quite dangerous.
Oh, our first gold suit of the night. And a beard! So terribly ’70s lounge act.
I see that jellyfish is back.
And I don’t know if those are fireworks or flames or just lights that keep springing up at emotional moments in the song, but they’re really saving it from the rather boring delivery.
Wind machine! But the song bores me so much, it took me a minute to spot his scarf fluttering behind him.
The commentator agrees with me on the boredom: “Sometimes, three minutes takes longer than other times.”

Oh, even the Danish singer thinks their song sounds like ABBA. He hasn’t mentioned Roxette, though.

SWEDEN: “This is My Life”
Oh, songs with the word “life” in them are usually rubbish.
Either she’s minuscule or that’s the world’s largest guitar.
This Eurovision’s really pushing the single-singer-on-stage motif. I don’t care for it, myself. I want nutty back-up dancers.
NICK: Given that’s she only miming, she should have just got a ukulele. It would have been easier to manage.
Hey, what happened to the guitar? I was just trying to remember how to spell “ukulele” and it vanished!
This is boring enough to be in an Apple advertisement.
This is what would happen if the guy from Travis and Chris Martin had a child and raised it in an emo commune.
At least we have some back-up dancers, even if she’s making them stand as far away from her as possible.
Terrifying vibrato at the end, there.

Another “power ballad,” apparently. Is this going to be another Disney princess, like Portugal?
Oh, it’s “Nothing Else Matters”!
No? Sounds a lot like it.
Why is she wearing half a Smurf glove?
See, the thing is that I’m just deeply, deeply bored by power ballads. Unless they’re by ’80s hair-metal bands. So, basically, I’d be more interested in this if it were “Nothing Else Matters”.
You smell like lipstick? Honey, I don’t think your lipstick should be noticeably fragrant.
If this woman has been working with Beyonce’s choreographer, she should ask for her money back. She’s just walking around! I could teach her how to do that, and I just fell down a flight of stairs.
Okay, but illuminated dress. That’s kinda cool.

UKRAINE: “Sweet People”
Oh, good: a wind machine. Now we just need a key change and a costume change.
And she could probably lose that hood at some point.
NICK: I [redacted] hate Druids.
Something needs to happen here: this is both over-wrought and under-baked.
Oh, wind machine!
Not enough.
But at least she’s finally taken her unstructured felt hood off.
The lyrics are fighting with the music here.
This would be vastly improved by some male back-up dancers dressed as Druids dancing around a tiny little model of Stonehenge.

THE NETHERLANDS: “Ich Ben Verliefd”
NICK: Carnies!
Oh, bless you, Netherlands. Bless you for these rotating circus folk.
NICK: The Celestial Toymaker has come for us!
Nick thinks the back-up singers could have been themed, but we’re both bopping along to this.
I’ve even forgiven the fact that it was written by the man who wrote the Smurf song. (Smurfs! I hate them! Cheery little sods. And how can one word be a noun and a proper noun, a verb and an adjective, even an adverb? It’s linguistically improbable.)
The song? Still bopping along.
This is very old-school Eurovision indeed.

ROMANIA: “Playing with Fire”
Duelling pianos? Don’t get my hopes up, commentators. If these performers don’t start smacking each other around with baby grands, I’m outta here.
Apparently, that’s not going to happen, but there are flames, a fake perspex piano, and back-up singers with ostriches glued to their bottoms.
I tell you, if Eurovision’s main export was hair, they’d make a fortune from this year’s performers.
Oh, wow: that’s a vinyl catsuit.
NICK: I think my glasses just shattered.
That was certainly a high note.
Nick’s voting for that one. Just for the song. The song. Not the cat suit.

SLOVENIA: Oh, I can’t type that quickly enough. Sorry, Slovenia.
This is a fusion of folk and rock, they tell us.
Oh, squatting!
Hmm. It’s not so much a fusion as just a basic alternation between the two forms.
Another accordion, though—our second of this Eurovision. And I do like the outfits—especially the boots.
It’s . . . interesting, but a little too gimmicky for my taste. There’s not a huge amount of difference between this and a singing turkey puppet.

IRELAND: “It’s For You”
Oh, speaking of singing turkey puppets . . .
Smoke machine.
The smoke machine doesn’t get an exclamation mark, because the song’s not exciting enough for exclamation marks.
I don’t want to say anything mean about this, because apparently the singer’s not feeling well. But this is just the sort of song that bores the living daylights out of me.
It’s not the song’s fault.
Lovely traditional flute in the middle there.
Key change!
Still bored.

BULGARIA: “You Are An Angel”
Oh, wow.
NICK: He’s the Eurotrashiest man they’ve had on in years.
And there are “angel” back-up dancers. The angels are in inverted commas because they’re scantily clad, wearing over-the-knee boots (well, the women are), and slathered in silver body paint.
Not so angelic, are they?
He’s seriously wearing a rhinestone motorcycle jacket.
The back-up dancers are energetic, though—although, as Nick points out, they look incredibly slippery. Maybe one of them will be dropped on the stage at some point?
I have absolutely no idea what the song’s like. Ask me in ten minutes, and I won’t even remember hearing it. I’m mesmerised by the back-up dancers.

CYPRUS: “Life Looks Better in Spring”
Their singer is Welsh? That’s a bit of a dodgy rule you’ve got there, Cyprus.
Oh, is that our first drum-kit of Eurovision? We’ve had drums thrown around by the back-up dancers, but not a proper drum kit.
Nick’s distracted by the fact that the drummer is really hitting his cymbals, despite the fact that you’re not supposed to play your instruments on stage. I suggest that the cymbal might be made of painted cardboard, but Nick doesn’t seem compelled by this argument.
Have I not mentioned the song yet?
That’s because it’s terribly, terribly boring.
It includes the line “Tell me about your feelings.”
To nick a line from Scott Pilgrim, if this song had a face, I would punch it.

Oh, now they’re interviewing Beyonce’s choreographer, and I feel guilty about being mean about him earlier. But only a little bit guilty.

CROATIA: “Lako Je Sve”
As with every song tonight, the opening bars sound like something I’ve heard before.
Oh, a park bench. That’s not something we’ve seen before.
That jellyfish is back, too. I don’t trust that jellyfish.
This is all a bit Victoria’s Secret, isn’t it?
If this translates as “Everything is Easy,” why is the delivery so overwrought? Is it ironic?
Back-up dancers in slinky catsuits, and lots of emotive arm-waving now.
Once again, Eurovision demonstrates its devotion to massive quantities of hair.

GEORGIA: “Shine”
NICK: Looks quite promising so far.
He’s only saying that on the basis of the flailing back-up dancers.
And the commentator’s right—lots of these singers are barefoot. That’s a bit casual, isn’t it? Especially given their fancy frocks.
Was that a dance move, or was she just trying to keep her bodice from falling off?
I feel a bit sorry for the female back-up dancer—she’s so often off on her own in a corner while the male dancers are dancing with the singer. Hardly worth putting on that much tulle, I would have thought.
Oh, good: flamethrowers.

TURKEY: “We Could Be The Same”
We haven’t actually had that many bands this year, have we?
NICK: Dude.
ME: What?
NICK: I think there are some Cybermen in there.
And so there are. Well, robots, anyway.
I do love the bands in Eurovision: I love watching them bounce around with their instruments when I know they’re not actually playing them.
Oh, now the Cybermen are robot dancing.
This is significantly less boring than most of tonight’s songs.
NICK: I think they’re lady robots.
Oh, and now the lady robot is angle-grinding herself.
No, that’s not a euphemism.
Good to see that Turkey is still bringing the madness.
And now the robot’s taking her kit off!
Is there anything that Turkey haven’t done?
Maybe no wind machine. They should have had a wind machine.

Okay, so that’s the semi-finals.

I’m taking a bit of a break, but I’ll be back for the voting, if not before.

Actually, before I go, I’ll list the songs Nick and I liked:
The Netherlands

We’d be surprised if Azerbaijan and Israel didn’t go through, but we didn’t care for either of them—Israel purely on the grounds that he was too competent.

Since we’re only really partial to six songs, surely at least some of them should go through? We’ll see, after about half an hour of filler.

We must be coming up to the results soon, because we’re running through the automatic entries, and they’re all as boring as I remember from last night—though I don’t recall thinking that the U.K.‘s entry was quite that auto-tuned last night. That does not bode well for a live performance.

And now, the results.
1. Georgia. Not surprised, but it wasn’t one of my faves.
2. Ukraine. Oh, dear: I didn’t want to watch that again. Too over-wrought.
3. Turkey. Oh, good! One of the ones we fancied.
4. Israel. No surprise there.

Nick and I are doing well with our guesses.

5. Ireland. Not one of the ones we fancied, but we’re not surprised. Very Eurovision.
6. Cyprus. We’re not surprised by that, but we are bored.

Now we’re doing badly with our guesses.

7. Azerbaijan. No surprise—again—but I wasn’t thrilled.
8. Romania. Oh, we liked them, though the catsuit was a bit disturbing.
9. Armenia. Oh, good! Nick really fancied her.

The last one has to be Denmark, surely?

10. Denmark! Oh, joy! I would have been so upset if they’d not got through.

So, no Lithuania? I’m not terribly surprised: the gimmicky ones don’t tend to do well. (Case in point: Slovenia.) Shame about The Netherlands, but that was a bit old-school Eurovision, maybe.

So that’s the semi-finals for 2010. With luck, see you here in 2011 for the next set of semi-finals!

Live-blogging Eurovision: Semi-Final 1, 2010

Posted 4939 days ago in by Catriona

Well, let’s set up the live-blogging nice and early, shall we? And I say “nice and early,” but I’m actually less prepared than I intended to be: I was all set to have the song titles written out, so there wouldn’t be any of that embarrassing “And I didn’t quite catch the title on that, so just make it up” stuff, but I never got to it.

So if I miss any of the titles, just make them up, okay?

Or head over to The Memes of Production, where John has taken the trouble to type them all out for you.

Now, bring on the flying space dolphins!

I’m just going to get my biggest complaint out of the way right now: I miss Terry Wogan. It just doesn’t feel like Eurovision without Terry.

And on a similar note, I understand (from The Memes of Prodution), that this years’ competition has dulled down the frequently insane acts we usually get in Eurovision.

I disapprove of this. I disapprove strongly.

I want to see men in primary-coloured suits squatting over giant beetroots. I want to see brides from Bosnia and Herzegovina knitting for no apparent reason. I want to see Azerbaijani singers pouring goblets of fake wine on each other. I want fireworks and flamethrowers. I want wind machines. And above all, I want to see people get their kits off.

If there are no such things, why am I watching Eurovision and risking the sudden horror of a flying space dolphin?

Nick has charged his iPhone up in preparation for your commenting.

I hope Eurovision starts soon, because I’m tiring myself out shouting at these health-reform advertisements. Righteous anger: so tiring.

Hooray! Eurovision!

Nick just took a picture of his beer. That should sum it all up for you.

This one’s Norway—I loved the Russian staging last year. So, so beautiful. I hope Norway does us proud, as well. (I say “us,” but I“m not actually Norwegian.)

Oh, small children with pink balloons? Bad start, Norway. Bad start.

NICK: Oh, look! They’re sharing ear infections.

Seriously, what is with all these balloons?

Apparently, Norway’s holding their semi-final in a completely CGI concert hall. That’s certainly an innovation.

Oooh, lovely frocks. A big improvement on the Russian woman in lacy bicycle pants. Or was that 2008? (I’m with Sam Pang: I’m going to continue pronouncing it “Oss-lo.”)

John, is this new voting system an innovation? What does it mean for the show? Explain it to me!

NICK: Such emphatic hosts.

It seems the catchphrase is “Norway, are you ready to start the competition”. Not very catchy, is it?

And we’re straight into the songs, it seems.

Sweet! Fireworks!
NICK: Violinist on a lazy Susan!
Oh, poor girl: someone spray-painted her.
I haven’t seen saxophone playing like that since The Lost Boys.
She’s not going to be taking that outfit off, is she? There’s not really enough of it.
NICK: Man, this better [redacted] have a key change.
Uh-oh, the saxophonist’s back.
This is unbelievably boring. And I had such high hopes from the violinist on the lazy Susan. Actually, where did he go?
ACK! There he is.

RUSSIA: Lost and Forgotten
I like that this is Peter Nolich “and Friends”. It feels like watching Blue Peter.
Oh, I’m bored already.
And it’s in English, too.
I like the fake snow, though.
NICK: That’s why he’s wearing a scarf.
So far, Norway’s staging isn’t a patch on the lovely sets from Russia last year.
Peter Norich has expressive eyebrows, though—wait, is he singing to a sketch he just drew before he went on stage?
Never seen that at Eurovision before.
Okay, I need either a key change or someone to take their kit off.
No, that high note does not count as a key change, frightening though it was.
NICK: I think the wind machine’s scared of him.

I’m impressed already, just on the strength of that man’s purple and gold tie.
These guys are an indie act? Hmm.
NICK: Man, I think he glitters in sunlight. Fabulous jacket, though.
The back-up singers are preparing for a penalty.
Not seeing much indie here—it’s like an early Blur song.
It’s not that I’m not liking it, but I’m not much liking his wacky dancing.
Of course, I have run out of alcohol. That might be it.
I don’t really know what to say about this one, except that the camera work is making me seasick.

SLOVAKIA: Horehronie
Oh, no!
NICK: Wood elves!
There appears to be a jellyfish hovering above them.
NICK: They’ve got an Ent trapped in there.
Is that Gandalf the White over in the corner?
At least this one’s not in English. And I’m a sucker for enthusiastic back-up dancers.
NICK: What’s the Slovakian version of “Hey nonny nonny”?
I don’t think those boots are very Elvish. And her performance is a bit static and boring—I suspect she wore the boots for their looks, and can’t actually walk in them.
NICK: It’s actually sounding like the end-credit music for an anime.

FINLAND: Tyolki ellaa (I skipped the accents)
The band is called “Moon Whispers”?
Oooh, piano accordion! Piano accordion played by a puppeteer!
NICK: She seems to be standing on a stuffed, bleached Tribble, as well. It’s glowing!
Well, this is livelier than anything that’s gone before.
And you’ve got to respect the back-up dancers who are just there to make up the numbers.
NICK: She has a completely unironic relationship with her accordion.
Oh, the jellyfish is still there! Has it been there all along, and I’ve just not noticed it?
I have no idea what’s happening in this song, but I haven’t noticed a key change yet.
I suspect that if I want a key change, I’m going to have to put on some Bon Jovi.

LATVIA: What For?
So she’s just hanging around on the stage waiting, then?
No jellyfish for Latvia—just lots and lots of curtains.
NICK: That’s a Vulcan priestess’s dressing gown.
And it doesn’t go with those shoes.
NICK: She appears to be wearing weasel cages around her feet.
You weren’t reading this for a commentary on the actual songs, were you?
All I’ve learned from this song is that apparently her Uncle Joe is a mute, which seems tragic.
Is she singing about “Mr Guy” or “Mr God”? Neither makes much sense to me.
This seems oddly leaden for a song with such a jaunty beat.
And she didn’t hit either of those notes.
I think it is “Mr God.” That’s my final word on the matter.

Wow, these commentators are bitchy tonight.

SERBIA: Ovo je Balkan
Oh, what is that coat? What?
ACK! Shadow puppets.
NICK: Pull your belt up, lad!
He’s jaunty, but I’m hypnotised by his hair.
NICK: He may be the most bishonen performer in Eurovision history.
ACK! Robot dancing!
I’m so distracted by the belt and the hair and the back-up singers robot-dancing in their see-through tulle and sequin dresses that I can’t even judge the song. Not that I ever do.
Okay, I was fairly sure that back-up dancer was going to shimmy right out of her bodice just then.
And why haven’t we had a costume change yet?

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Thunder and Lightning.
Very very frightening?
Oooh, smoke machine. Good start.
Shame it’s in English.
Well, this is less boring than the preceding songs.
I suspect the people in the front row are particularly enjoying the back-up dancers.
Oooh, fake guitar! And fake guitar solo!
(It might be a real guitar. It’s fake in an ontological sense.)
He’s smirking at me! I don’t like it when they smirk at me.
ACK! Squatting!
ME: What is he doing to that microphone stand?
NICK: I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal in Brisbane.

POLAND: Legenda
I have no idea what the commentators said about this one.
But I’m liking it already. Gotta love some national costuming.
A combination of ordinary fruit and high camera angles leads Nick to ask, “How about them apples?”
Hmm, it suddenly got a bit boring. Shame that.
The swirling skirts on the overhead camera shot are lovely.
This is such an odd mix of strong, aggressive choruses, and rather dull Michael Bublesque verses.
Woo hoo! Costume change!
Albeit a slightly creepy one!
And a key change!
And then, as the commentators point out, it just ends.

That’s the green room? That’s a horrible green room.
NICK: It looks like the bridge of the Liberator.

And is the host knitting a Polish flag?

BELGIUM: Me and My Guitar
I have no high hopes for this at all, just based on that title.
But, as Nick points out, it’s a terribly nice guitar.
Oh, dear: it’s in English.
I’m sure I heard this song on Triple M in about 1996.
Hang on, where are his back-up dancers? How is he allowed to be on stage on his own? Or are they just being obscured by the camera angles?
Am I misremembering the rules, or do you not have to have a minimum number of people on stage?
I would comment on the song itself, but I’m afraid of slipping into a coma if I pay too much attention to it.

Ah, so I am wrong on the rules. I don’t think I’ve ever seen just the one person on stage at Eurovision before, though.

MALTA: My Dream
More smoke machine!
Hang on, Nick seems to have accidentally flipped the channel to a Disney musical.
No? This is actually the song?
NICK: Unfortunately, it looks like the smoke is coming out of her backside.
This is a kind of music with which I have no patience whatsoever.
NICK: Use some more concrete imagery, girl!
ACK! She’s being attacked by a seagull!
NICK: She’s got wings coming out of her arse! And they’re not anchored to her spinal column!
ACK! She’s cloned herself!
NICK: Is she about to sing “I’m the goddamned Batman”? ‘Cause that would be awesome.

ALBANIA: It’s all About You
Albania are already more interesting than anyone else.
NICK: Oh hai, ’80s!
I was sure she was about to sing “It’s Raining Men” just then.
Those are crazy unflattering pants.
Violinist with epaulettes. Is he on a lazy Susan, though? No? Then I ain’t interested.
Those pants are honestly the most unflattering thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they can fail to flatter so many parts of her lower body all at once.

Is that song title meant to be in caps? Oh, well: either works.
NICK: He’s just come from a rehearsal fro Reservoir Dogs, from the looks of him.
There seems to be a strong semiotic dissonance between the back-up dancers and the singer.
The back-up dancers, I think, are actually auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, whereas the singer, Nick thinks, looks like a used-car dealer.
The song’s energetic enough.
ACK! Man with unidentifiable instrument! And drums! And a turntable!
Sorry: I’m easily startled by this point in Eurovision.
Oh, the song suddenly dropped into a ringtone. How odd.

PORTUGAL: Ha Dis Assim (Again, ignoring the accents)
Oops, the jellyfish is back.
NICK: Ironically, it’s actually a Portuguese man o’ war.
This is another . . . well, the commentators called it a “power ballad”: I’m sticking with “Disney musical.”
At least it’s not in English.
The singer does a head-flip on a high note, and Nick says, “She’s like ‘Oh, where did my vocal just go?’”
NICK: This is the song where the Lion King learns to be king of the jungle, or something.
It’s seriously boring, that’s what it is.
Oh my god! Where are those disembodied hands coming from?

I remember being really annoyed when SBS went commerical, but now I’m just pleased about the toilet breaks.

Why isn’t the host knitting another flag? That’s a bit lazy.

FYR MACEDONIA: Jas Ja Imam Silata
I like his sparkly brooch.
Well, that back-up dancer’s not going to be taking any clothes off. Not in a family-friendly show like Eurovision.
Oh, wait: the others managed to shed something fluffy and unnecessary. Somehow, the costume changes aren’t as exciting this year.
Nick thinks the back-up dancers are a bit listless, but luckily we’re distracted by a pointless rap performance.
NICK: That guitarist’s got no idea where he is.
Ah, another fake guitar solo. What, no wind machine? It’s coming to something when the fake guitarist has to flip his own hair around.

BELARUS: Butterflies
Okay, a woman better come out of that piano.
Especially since the song’s in English.
Nice harmonies, and lovely frocks. But still a bit boring.
This is like Boyz to Men, but with girls.
They haven’t co-ordinated their dramatic hand gestures.
ACK! Attack human-butterfly hybrids!
There was actual screaming in this living room at that point.
And why even have a piano if you’re not going to have a woman come out of it?

ICELAND: Je Ne Sais Quoi
Oh, a bit of electronica, is it?
Still in English, though. I’m a bit bored by the songs in English.
Oh, this is old-school Eurovision. Nick says this is what we’re here for, and it’s true—except I still need fireworks, flamethrowers, people getting their kit off, and key changes.
Not necessarily all in the same song.
I love her floaty skirts—nice and dramatic, without the sheer horror of, say, a human-butterfly hybrid.
This is the only song all night that I would have picked out of a line-up as actually being a Eurovision song.
Key change!
Nick has declared this his song of the night, just on the basis of the key change.

Why is that woman in the audience clutching a giraffe?

I have to say—no offence, Norway—that the actual staging has been a bit dull. Russia’s lovely staging last year has given me a false sense of expectations, perhaps.

They’re reminding us of the songs, which is handy, because I’ve forgotten them all already.

I hadn’t realised that one of Latvia’s back-up singers was Cher.

So, with about nine minutes left until the results are announced, I’m taking a quick break from the live-blogging. I’ll be back for the results, though.

Why didn’t I notice how horrifyingly tight the Belgian singer’s pants were the first time I saw that song?

You know, these repeats of the song are just reminding me how boring everything was. And I really don’t need to see that bit from F.Y.R. Macedonia again—it’s not as though they were leaving much to the imagination in the first place.

Speaking of horrifyingly tight, the cameraman might want to rethink his angle on Malta, as long as the seagull-man’s in shot.

I don’t normally live-blog the adverts, but I must say I despise ads that says the Socceroos have the “true Aussie spirit” because it’s “not over until the last minute.” Because, of course, most football teams just sit down on the field at the 66th minute and wait for the whistle to blow.

These announcers have a tendency to make the most pedestrian statements seem portentous: “We have heard seventeen songs from seventeen countries.”

Okay, so far this exploration of human song sounds like nothing so much as an anti-smoking campaign. Filler, filler—all is filler!

Seriously, why am I watching ten minutes of people wandering around historic landmarks and coughing? This could have been so interesting, but instead it’s just a bit abject and revolting.

See? Totally unnecessary cowpat.

That was the interval act? Dude, Norway: pick up your act!

Ah, the automatic entries!

SPAIN: Something Tiny.
Dude. Clowns.
That’s just not right.

NORWAY: Sorry, missed the title!
I thought this one was the U.K, it was so boring.

U.K: That Sounds Good To Me
Boring as always.

FRANCE: Missed it again!
I only listened to this thirty seconds ago, and I’ve already forgotten it.

GERMANY: Satelitte
Boppy but forgettable.

And now, the results!

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Oh, the man in the red jacket.
2. Moldova. The woman who’d been spray-painted?
3. Russia. Fake snow and scarves.
4. Greece. I’m frankly stunned by that, but I shouldn’t be.
5. Portugal. Oh, the Disney princess? Dull and more dull.
6. Belarus. Seriously? The human-butterfly hybrids? I can’t watch that again.
7. Serbia. No real surprise there, despite the hypnotic hair. Perhaps because of it?

The Belgian man and his perfunctory flag waving is killing me.

8. Belgium. Oh, he was dull.
9. Albania. I can live with Albania, as long as she picks new pants.
10. Iceland. Well, thank goodness. I would have been deeply annoyed if she hadn’t gone through.

So that’s our first semi-final: half an hour of performance and two hours of voting/padding.

Thank you, delightful commentators.

Let’s do it all again tomorrow night, shall we? Maybe we’ll get another violinist on a lazy Susan.

An Annual Eurovision Reminder

Posted 4940 days ago in by Catriona

It’s time for The Circulating Library’s annual live-blogging of the Eurovision Song Contest’s semi-finals.

If you haven’t joined us for these before, 2008’s semi-finals are here and here, and 2009’s are here and here . . . just so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.

But, seriously, you should come over! Electronically! I get a bit tipsy and live-blog, Nick gets even tipsier, gets bewildered about how ’80s Eurovision is, and moderates your bemused comments. It’s just like a real Eurovision party, except that we can’t guarantee there’ll actually be anyone in the same room as you, and you’ll have to bring your own refreshments.

Semi-final one begins tonight at 7:30 pm on SBS, and tomorrow’s is the same (bat) time, same (bat) channel. You can catch up on the contestants themselves over at The Memes of Production here, here, and, for those countries who get automatic entry, here.

Film Noir Academia

Posted 4940 days ago in by Catriona

Important note 1: I love my job. I’m just making it look creepy and depressing for fun.

Important note 2: The Circulating Library’s traditional annual live-blogging of the Eurovision semi-finals will begin tomorrow night from 7:30 pm. I’ll add more information tomorrow morning, but if you can join us, do: the live-blogging wouldn’t be as much fun without you.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Five

Posted 4941 days ago in by Catriona

ME: I need a new title for my novel, but I can’t think what.
NICK: It’s a pity the two kingdoms don’t have names. You could call it From X to Y.
ME: From Here to Eternity?
NICK: From Justin to Kelly.

What a shame From Russia with Love is already taken.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Four

Posted 4941 days ago in by Catriona

In which Nick learns the dangers of, firstly, letting his girlfriend follow him on Twitter and, secondly, baiting an over-tired girlfriend:

ME: Honey, I don’t know what that was that you just tweeted, but I’m sure it can’t be as important as the washing up.
NICK: I’m just about to get on with that.
ME: Good.
NICK: But what I’ve done is . . .
ME: No.
NICK: But it’s . . .
ME: I have one paper to go.
NICK: But it’s the coolest . . .
ME: I’ve had five hours’ sleep.
NICK: But . . .
ME: Head injury!
NICK: I’m done.

(I don’t still have a head injury, of course, though there’s still a dent in my forehead. But it is why I’m so behind on my work and running on so little sleep.)

Live-blogging Doctor Who Season Five: "Vampires in Venice"

Posted 4944 days ago in by Catriona

I wonder what this episode can possibly be about?

And I wonder if I’ll finally remember to use Time and Relative Dimension in Sexiness in this live-blog? Unlikely: I’ve not remembered to use it yet, despite promising to use it in every live-blog this season.

We open in Venice—“Ah, Venizia!” says Nick, who has never been to Europe and can’t spell—in 1580, where a man in his best clothes, who says he’s a boat builder, is offering his daughter to a signora in terribly fancy clothes.

The signora says that she’s touched by his care for his daughter: she believes that caring for the future is a sacred duty.

He tells the signora that his daughter is his world.

“Then we’ll take your world,” she says.

She tells him to take his leave of his daughter, which he does. The signora and her son circle the girl, and she asks Francesco if he likes her. He says he does—and bares his fangs.

Then we’re in Rory’s bachelor party, where he’s leaving a drunk message for Amy, until the Doctor jumps out of a giant cake, and we get this:

DOCTOR: Rory! I thought I’d jumped out of the wrong cake. Again. That reminds me, there’s a girl standing outside in a bikini. Can someone let her in, give her a jumper? Lucy. Lovely girl. Diabetic. Now then, Rory. We need to talk about your fiancee. She tried to kiss me. Tell you what, though: you’re a lucky man. She’s a great kisser. Funny how you can say something in your head, and it sounds fine.


The Doctor explains to Amy and Rory that the problem with time travel is that it will create inequality in their relationship. So he wants Rory to travel too, to make sure that their experiences are equal.

DOCTOR: Think of it as a wedding present, because, frankly, it’s this or tokens.

He starts to explain to Rory why the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, but Rory’s been reading up on it.

DOCTOR: I like the bit when someone says “It’s bigger on the inside.” I look forward to that bit.

He tells them to pick something marvellous to see and do, but they just gasp a bit, so he picks for them. Venice.

DOCTOR: Casanova doesn’t get born for another 140 years. Don’t want to run into him. I owe him a chicken.
RORY: You owe Casanova a chicken?
DOCTOR: We had a bet.

A man checking their passports explains that the Contessa keeps the city sealed, because outside the city, the plague keeps the streets piled high with corpses.

Rory is more worried that the psychic paper has described him as Amy’s eunuch.

As they look out over the city, they see beautiful, pale women with veils over the faces come out of a large building. The boat builder from earlier comes up to them shouting for “Isabella!”, but his daughter doesn’t recognise him, and the girl who pushes him away shows her fangs.

The Doctor, naturally, pursues the boat builder, and Amy and Rory head off in another direction.

Inside the imposing building, Francesco comes up to Signora Calvierri, who says, “Mummy’s hydrating.” She’s certainly sucking something down, out of an elaborate goblet. Francesco is worried about the slowness of their progress: he says they have enough girls for his brothers. But Signora Calvierri says they follow the plan.

Amy and Rory, wandering the streets, have an awkward conversation about what she’s been doing, which Rory cuts off to ask if she missed him, and then find Francesco feeding off a flower seller. Amy chases him and though he seemingly disappears, we see someone looking up at her from the canal.

At the Calvierri residence, the boat builder distracts the guards, while the Doctor sneaks in through a back gate. He’s caught by five creepy girls with no reflection, and tries to distract them with William Hartnell’s library card.

No, seriously.

He legs it after they refuse to tell him their whole plan (“Some day, that’s going to work,” he says), and bumps into Amy. They reveal they’ve both met vampires, and jump up and down in excitement.

“Come and meet my new friend,” the Doctor says.

In the boat builder’s home, they quickly realise that they need someone inside if they’re going to get in the back route that the boat builder discovered, because there’s a trapdoor you can’t open from the outside.

Amy volunteers to try and attend the school.

DOCTOR: We’ll say you’re my daughter.
RORY: What? No!
AMY: Daughter? You look about nine.
DOCTOR: Brother, then.

Amy says that he can pose as her fiance, which annoys Rory and, as the Doctor points out, it doesn’t help when the boat builder says that he thought Amy was the Doctor’s fiancee.

That’s all right, Amy says: Rory can pretend to be her brother.

In Casa Calvierri, after some awkward banter about how Rory is a gondalier driver, Amy is accepted into the school and makes the acquaintance of Isabella, who is clearly herself but undergoing some kind of odd change.

Outside, Rory, the Doctor, and the boat builder move into location, the boat builder wearing Rory’s cute bachelor party T-shirt, with his and Amy’s portraits on it.

RORY: You said she kissed you!
DOCTOR: Now? You want to do this now?
RORY: I have a right to know! I’m getting married in 430 years.

Amy explores, unlocking the trapdoor.

The Doctor explains. Badly.

DOCTOR: She was frightened. I was frightened. But we survived. And the relief of it. And she kissed me.
RORY: And you kissed her back?
DOCTOR: No, I kissed her mouth.

Inside, Amy is caught by the Contessa, who recognised the psychic paper, and demands to know where she got such a thing in a world of savages. Amy refuses to answer seriously, so the Contessa bites her on the neck.

And yet they’re not vampires, apparently? Look pretty vampirey to me. Reminds me of a book I read where a teenage girl insisted that her boyfriend wasn’t a vampire even though he was mysterious, immortal, super strong, and she once caught him drinking her best friend’s blood.

Some serious denial going on there.

Rory tells the Doctor that he’s dangerous because he makes people want to impress him, which makes them take risks. Luckily, they’re caught by some vampire girls before the argument can really get going.

The Contessa explains to Amy that they’re going to drain her dry and then replace her blood and fluids with their own, which will destroy her humanity.

AMY: And if I survive?
CONTESSA: Then there are ten thousand husbands waiting for you in the water.

Amy kicks her, disrupting some kind of device that she has under her skirts—which flickers and reveals her as some kind of, I don’t know, piranha. That’s the best term I can think of. A bipedal piranha.

Amy is rescued by Isabella, comes up to the Doctor and Rory, and they all four leg it—but Isabella can’t get out into the sunshine, and she’s dragged back into Casa Calvierri, with the Doctor electrocuted trying to pull her free.

Elsewhere, the Contessa and Francesco preside over Bianca’s execution, throwing her into the canal. She says, scornfully, that she’s Venetian and they can all swim—until she’s dragged under water by something.

The Contessa kneels down the canal.

FRANCESCO: Mother, change your form. Or my brothers will think they’re being fed twice today.

When the Contessa heads back inside, she finds the Doctor waiting for her, revealing that he knows what species she is and where she’s from. She and her sons fled the silence, the cracks in the world (some of them tiny, some of them as big as the sky) by passing through one of the cracks, which closed behind them. Now she plans to make the Earth into her own version of her world.

And she wants the Doctor to help her.

(There’s a bit about how the perception filters work in here, but I didn’t have time to cover it.)

DOCTOR: Where’s Isabella?
CONTESSA: Isabella?
DOCTOR: The girl who rescued my friend.
CONTESSA: Oh, well, deserters must be executed. Any general will tell you that.

She tells the Doctor that he can help her in any way he likes, but he demurs.

DOCTOR: I’m a Time Lord. You’re a big fish. Think of the children.

Then he tells her that he’s going to tear the House of Calvierri down stone by stone, because she didn’t even know Isabella’s name.

The Contessa heads outside, to tell Francesco that the storm is coming. Then her perception filter flicks on and off, frightening the staff. She says Amy must have damaged the filter.

In the boat builders’ house, the Doctor fits together the Contessa’s plan to sink Venice, but Rory says she can’t repopulate the city just with women.

DOCTOR: She’s got ten thousand children swimming around the canals, waiting for them to make them some compatible girlfriends. Ew. I mean, I’ve been around a bit, but that’s . . . ew.

The vampires crowd around the house—and I know they’re “fish from space,” not vampires. But “fish from space” takes too long to type. (Though I do like the Doctor’s line, “Fish from space have never been so buxom.”)

Either way, the girls have completely changed, and the Doctor pushes everyone out of the house—except the boat builder, who lures the girls back in, shouts, “We are Venetian!” (which Nick doesn’t even flinch at, when he’d normally be shrieking, “This is Sparta!” at that point), and ignites the barrels of gunpowder that I didn’t have a chance to mention before.

(But though I didn’t mention them earlier, I note that they were presented on stage in the first act and used in the third act, so that’s all right by Chekov.)

The Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS, but they’re intercepted by Francesco.

The Contessa begins her plan to burn the skies. The Doctor points out that the girls are all gone, so she might as well spare the citizens of Venice, but she refuses.

Francesco corners Amy in an alleyway, until Rory distracts him by saying, “The only thing I’ve seen uglier than you is your mum.”

Francesco is stunned: “Did you say something about Mummy?”

(I secretly kind of love his spoiled, public-school boy persona.)

Rory tries to hold him off with a broom, with some success, I must add. But Francesco pins him down, flicks off his own perception filter, and is about to eat Rory, when Amy burns him to death with the mirror in her compact.

[For the sake of my pronouns, action scenes should only happen between people of opposite genders.]

She snogs Rory, then says, “Now we go help the Doctor.”

NICK: Ah, the dilemma of the companion’s boyfriend.

The Doctor’s a bit annoyed about Rory and Amy following him, but what with the storms, earthquakes, and tidal waves, there’s not much he can do about it. He tells them to tear all the controls out of the Contessa’s throne, which will re-route power to the secondary control hub, which should also be the generator.

This leads to the Doctor climbing up the side of a clock tower, where he finds a lovely steam-punky control, and turns it off.

Well, that was a bit easy, eh?

Blue skies come back, and there’s much indiscriminate cheering.

Outside, the Contessa walks—well, staggers, really—towards the canal. Her perception filter whirs and squeaks—and then dies, locking her in human form. She strips off her skirts and corset, and walks towards the edge of the canal.

The Doctor runs towards her, but she just says that one city wasn’t much a price to pay for a whole race.

The Doctor tells her that she can’t change time.

CONTESSA: Can your conscience carry the weight of another dead race? Remember us. Dream of us.

And she leaps into the canal, where her children devour her.

Outside the TARDIS, the Doctor offers to pop them back at the registry office, but Amy doesn’t want to. Fine, says Rory: drop him back, and he’ll say she changed her mind.

Amy says she could come with them, and the Doctor says it’s fine with him. So Rory gleefully agrees.

AMY: I’ll pop the kettle on. Look at this! Got my spaceship. Got my boys. My work here is done.
RORY: We are not her boys.
DOCTOR: Yes, we are.

As he and Rory follow Amy into the TARDIS, the Doctor says, “Do you hear that?”

Rory says all her hears is silence, and we fade out on the Contessa’s voice describing the cracks that destroyed her world.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Three

Posted 4946 days ago in by Catriona

Reverse psychology:

NICK: How do you like my new stripy boxers?
ME: Very nice, darling. You should go to the shops in those.
NICK: Don’t tempt me!
ME: Why not?
NICK: Okay. I won’t.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Two

Posted 4947 days ago in by Catriona

From an IM conversation (which also included this. OMG!):

ME: Retweet that picture! Other people need to see that!
ME: I should go. I have a list of things to do. The last one is “totally panic.”
NICK: Cross that one off then.
ME: And that’s only re. my MS. Well, one of my MSS. Cross it off?
NICK: Cross off “totally panic”.
ME: It’s the only one I’ve achieved!
NICK: Well, there you go then.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and One

Posted 4947 days ago in by Catriona

ME: So this is how you choose to spend your evening? Bringing mathematics to the pixellated Greeks?
NICK: Everyone needs a mission. A hobby, if you will.
ME: Adding “if you will” after a perfectly normal noun doesn’t make it portentous.
NICK: Does it not?
ME: No. And neither does messing with the syntax.


Posted 4951 days ago in by Catriona

We’ve only a little house, and we’ve already filled it to the brim. Yet we keep buying things—not bulky things like furniture (at least, not often) but books and prints and the like.

And we’ve finally run out of room for them.

After buying another set of three prints.

So I’ve been wondering how to husband a little space for the new prints (which turned out to be bigger than anticipated), and I decided to hang my old family photos (only half of which I could display in the old location, anyway) down the spaces where my hallway bookcases meet.

I strongly suspect I stole this idea from somewhere, and I think it might have been the Canadian adaptations of Nero Wolfe, but I’m not certain any more.

I’m unconvinced by the result, myself. On the one hand, I like having them where I can see them as I pass . . .

But on the other hand . . . actually, I’m not even sure why I object to them. I think I think they make the shelves look rather crowded, but perhaps it’s just the shock of the unfamiliar?

Or perhaps it’s the head injury? (Yep, not done milking that just yet.)

As Nick suggested, I’ll leave them a while, see if they grow on me. I hope they do, but I’m still not sure.

Live-blogging Doctor Who Season Five: "Flesh and Stone"

Posted 4951 days ago in by Catriona

You may be surprised to hear this, but this is actually the first time I’ve ever live-blogged with a head injury. Considering how often I fall over, I consider this a win.

You might also think that I’m really milking the “minor head injury” angle by this point, and you’d be right. But then again, it’s not often I fall down half a flight of stairs and smack my head against a wall. Twice. So, yeah, I’m going to keep milking it until this dent in my forehead goes away.

Too much information? I admit, the wine’s been hitting me harder since I hit my head. Probably should stop drinking it, eh?

Kidding aside, I do have a headache (which I’ve had since Thursday), so there might be some lagging and a number of typos in this live-blogging.

We were to have a guest for this live-blogging, but she’s been called on to cook a roast instead. I can’t argue with that logic.

ME: Honey, I could do with some Diet Coke. I realise you’re unlikely to want to get it for me . . .
NICK: Then let me surprise you . . . Oh, god! Why did I move? The pain, the pain!

Previously, River falls on top of the Doctor, demands he follow a ship, introduces him to some Clerics, and this all somehow leads to him shooting a gravity globe.


What, no teaser? Oh, wait: the whole previous episode was a teaser. Fair enough, then.

Still hate the new music.

When we return, the Doctor is telling everyone to look up. Amy’s asking where they were, and River says they’re exactly where they were. But the Doctor tells them the ship crashed with the power still on, so what else, he asks, is still on?

The artificial gravity, of course. The camera pans around, and they’re suddenly standing upside down on the ship’s hull. The Doctor opens a hatch, and leaps inside, to Amy’s distress. But in a gorgeous shot, the Doctor, standing sideways in a corridor, explains that the gravity orientates to the floor.

But then the hatch at the end of the corridor closes. The security protocols are still in place, so they can’t open the hatch.

DOCTOR: There’s no way to over-ride them. It’s impossible.
RIVER: How impossible?
DOCTOR: Few minutes.

The angels make their way into the corridor. Everyone stares at them, but to open the hatch, the Doctor has to over-ride the power. Including the lights—while the angels are still in the corridor.

BISHOP OCTAVIAN: Do you trust this man?
RIVER: I absolutely trust him.
OCTAVIAN: He’s not some kind of madman?
RIVER: I absolutely trust him.

The Bishop tells the Clerics to open fire continuously while the lights are off, and tells Amy to give the wheel four turns.

“Ten,” says Amy.

No, four, says the Doctor, and Amy says, yes, she heard him.

They make it through in a burst of gunfire, but though Octavian magnetises the doors, the wheels keep turning slowly. They’re surrounded, and stuck in the flight deck.

The Doctor says they have five minutes, max. “Nine,” says Amy. No, five, says the Doctor, and Amy says that she heard him.

Nevertheless, the Doctor has a way out. He says it’s a sealed unit, but they must have installed it. And sure enough, the whole wall is on clamps.

Amy wonders what’s through there. And so do we.

It’s a forest. And an oxygen factory. And a forest.

“Eight!” says Amy.

River asks what she said, and Amy says, “Nothing.”

The trees are actually borgs (but, thank goodness, not Borg) but I don’t have time to cover that dialogue about how they work. I suspect it was technobabble, anyway.

DOCTOR: A forest in a bottle in a spaceship in a maze. Have I impressed you yet, Amy Pond?
AMY: Seven.

Then Angel Bob communicates with the Doctor, telling him that the angels are feasting. He tricks Angel Bob into saying “We have no need of comfy chairs,” but his gloating is cut short by Amy saying, “Six.”

He demands to know what’s wrong with Amy, and Angel Bob says she has something in her eye. What’s in her eye? the Doctor wants to know, and Angel Bob says, “We are.”

AMY: What’s he talking about? Doctor, I’m five. I mean, five. I mean, fine. I’m fine.

But there’s something more important the the Doctor’s missed, says Angel Bob—and turning, the Doctor sees the same crack as we saw on Amy’s wall. Everyone else flees, but the Doctor stays to investigate the crack.

Turning, he finds himself surrounded by angels. For a brief moment, he can sneak past them as the catch each others’ eyes, but then one snatches him by the back of his jacket.

In the forest, Amy falls ill.

Among the angels, the Doctor tells them they can’t feed on that energy, but while he’s talking, he manages to slip out of his own jacket.

RIVER: Now, if he’s dead back there, I’ll never forgive myself. And if he’s alive, I’ll never forgive myself. And, Doctor, you’re standing right behind me, aren’t you?

He is, but he’s distracted by Amy’s illness.

AMY: What’s wrong with me?
RIVER: Nothing. You’re fine.
DOCTOR: Everything. You’re dying.
RIVER: Doctor!
DOCTOR: Oh, yes, if we lie to her, she’ll get all better.

What’s wrong with Amy is that she stared into the angel’s eyes, and now there’s an angel in the vision centres of her brain—and we can see it, in the pupil of her eye.

The Doctor tells her to close her eyes. She says she doesn’t want to, but the Doctor says that’s the angel inside her. So she closes her eyes, and her vital signs stabilise.

The angels are closing in on them.

Amy is too weak to move. She wants to open her eyes, but the Doctor says that she’s used her countdown up: she can’t open her eyes. But the Doctor has a plan.

RIVER: There’s a plan?
DOCTOR: I don’t know yet. I haven’t finished talking.

The Doctor wants to leave Octavian and the Clerics with Amy, while he and River go and find the primary flight deck. But Octavian insists on going with them—he says that he and River are engaged “in a manner of speaking.”

The Doctor tells Amy he always comes back, and leaves.

But he comes back to tell Amy that she needs to start trusting him. Oh, but this is interesting—this Doctor is wearing a jacket.


Amy can’t see this, because she still has her eyes closed.

He tells Amy that she has to remember what he told her when she was seven, kisses her on the forehead, and leaves.

Near the primary flight deck, the Doctor taunts River about being engaged in “a manner of speaking,” and River says that she’s a sucker for a man in uniform. But Octavian says that River is in his personal care: she was released from Storm Cage Containment Facility four days ago, and will remain in his care until she’s earned her pardon.

Back with Amy, the angels are grouping, and shutting down the tree-borgs.

At the primary flight deck, the Doctor and River are trying desperately to get in.

DOCTOR: What did you say? Time? Time’s running out?
RIVER: I just meant . . .
DOCTOR: I know what you meant. Shush.

Back with Amy, the angels suddenly disappear in response to a blinding light. Marco sends Crispin and Philip off to check out what’s happening.

At the primary flight deck, the Doctor is fretting about the possibility of time running out.

DOCTOR: How can there be a duckpond when there aren’t any ducks? And she didn’t recognise the Daleks.

Amy is freaking out about the curtain of light. She convinces Marco to let her open her eyes and see the light—and it’s the same shape as the crack on her bedroom wall. The remaining soldier asks Marco if he should get a closer look at the light, and Marco tells him not to get too close.

Amy asks him why they don’t wait for Crispin and Philip to come back, but Marco says that there never was a Crispin and Philip on this mission.

Amy says no: before he sent Pedro, he sent Crispin and Philip.

And Marco asks who Pedro is.

At the primary flight deck, the Doctor is raving about a CyberKing walking across Victorian London and no one remembering it. Octavian asks if they can worry about the angels, but the Doctor says the angels are the least of their worries.

Octavian begs to differ, but then an angel has him around the neck.

OCTAVIAN: I will die in the knowledge that my courage did not desert me in the end. For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety.
DOCTOR: I wish I’d known you better.
OCTAVIAN: I think, sir, you know me at my best.
DOCTOR: Ready?
OCTAVIAN: Content.

Hokey? A little. But I do love Iain Glen. And I think he pulled it off. (And, yes, there’s probably a bad angel pun I could have made there.)

Amy makes contact with Marco, but he disappears off the comms almost straight away. Then the Doctor pops up on the communicator, while River (in the background) is faffing with a broken teleport, which the Doctor tells her will never work, and tells Amy that she has to walk.

Amy can’t open her eyes. But the Doctor tells her to turn until the communicator makes the sound of his sonic screwdriver and to keep walking. If the light reaches her, she will never have existed—at least the angels will only kill her.

But the angels are fleeing from the light, and so the forest is full of angels. Amy needs to walk as though she can see, to fool the angels. She doesn’t really understand what this means, but the Doctor tells her to just walk.

He tells River that the light needs to be fed a big, complicated, space-time event—like him.

In the forest, Amy is surrounded by angels. She needs to keep walking as though she can see them—the Doctor says they won’t be paying much attention to her, because they’re scared and they’re running. But she must walk as though she can see.

She tries, guided by the beeps on the communicator, which give her the proximity to the angels.

Then she trips over a root, and drops the communicator.

As she calls for the Doctor, the angels realise that she can’t see. For the first time, we actually see the angels moving—because our sight doesn’t count, apparently, and the only character on-screen has her eyes closed.

Just as an angel reaches for Amy, River gets the teleport to work, and snatches Amy off to the flight deck.

DOCTOR: River Song, I could kiss you.
RIVER: Well, maybe when you’re older.

But the power is failing, and the shields are failing. The doors slide open, to show every angel on the ship standing outside. Angel Bob is in the forefront, with the communicator.

The angels want the Doctor to throw himself into the time rift, and he seems vaguely swayed by the idea that he can save his friends.

River says she could substitute for him, but the Doctor says the angels are more complicated than her and it would take everyone of them to close the rift, so she should get a grip.

She protests, but he says, no, seriously: get a grip.

Because with the power gone, the gravity goes. As the camera inverts and the Doctor, River, and Amy all cling to handles, the angels are all pulled into the rift.

On a beach outside, the Doctor explains that the angel in Amy’s eye never existed, so she’s fine. And River, hand-cuffed, prepares to be beamed back up to her ship, hoping she’s done enough to earn a pardon.

DOCTOR: Octavian says you killed a man.
RIVER: Yes, I did.
DOCTOR: A good man.
RIVER: A very good man. The best man I’ve ever known.
RIVER: It’s a long story, Doctor. Can’t be told. Has to be lived. No sneak previews. Except this one. I’ll see you again quite soon, when the Pandorica opens.
DOCTOR: The Pandorica? That’s a fairy tale.
RIVER: Aren’t we all?
DOCTOR: I’ll see you there.
RIVER: I remember it well.

River disappears, and Amy says that she wants to head home. She says that the Doctor’s running from River, and she wants to show the Doctor what she’s running from.

Her wedding, basically.

Oh, wow: this is the most awkward and embarrassing seduction scene in the entire world.

Amy tries to explain this to the Doctor verbally, but he’s a bit thick on this subject, so she just snogs him.

DOCTOR: I’m 907. Do you know what that means?
AMY: It’s been a while?
DOCTOR: Ye . . . No.

The Doctor does just kiss her back a little (wait for that joke to come around again), but then he realises that Amy is the centre of all the odd things that have been happening.

DOCTOR: The single most important thing in the whole universe is that I get you sorted out right now.
AMY: That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.

But that’s not what the Doctor means. He throws Amy back into the TARDIS, and stares at her clock radio—which shows the same numerals that we saw ticking down before, when he was explaining to River that time is running out.

Oooh—story arc! I love those things!

Next week: vampires! In Venice!

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred

Posted 4953 days ago in by Catriona

NICK (in hallway): What time do you want Mum round tomorrow?
ME (in the shower, gingerly avoiding various bruises and contusions): What?
NICK (in hallway): I said, “What time do you want Mum round tomorrow?”
ME (in shower): Are you on the phone right now?
NICK (in hallway): What?
ME (in hallway): I said, “Are you on the phone right now?”
NICK (in hallway): No. Text message.
ME (in shower): Then it can wait till I’m not naked.
NICK (in hallway): What?



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