28 July 2010

Donna Noble: Companion Extraordinaire

I've just spent the majority of my summer watching the last four series of Doctor Who. I have trouble accepting Christopher Eccelston as the Doctor -- so I haven't really seen much of the first series and I have seen nothing of the original series. Even so, I want to dedicate this post to my favorite companion of the Doctor. She's a force of nature with a gentle heart. Although she doesn't think much of herself, she really is brilliant. Sounds like any other companion to the Doctor, you say? Then I am missing the key feature which marks her as remarkable: she's not in love with the Doctor! I am talking about Donna Noble.

The first episode I truly saw with David Tennant was the episode where the Doctor becomes a physics teacher in a school and Rose works as the lunch lady. Sarah Jane Smith makes a guest appearance in this episode. Wouldn't you know, Rose and Sarah Jane have a jealousy-fight. Who does the Doctor like the most? I think I might have face-palmed. Really? I thought, I'm not watching this show for the romance. I want to see some aliens!

I wound up warming up to the Doctor and Rose as a couple. And it did break my heart when she gets trapped in another dimension. It really did. Then the Doctor meets Martha, and I thought it was kind of cool in the beginning. The Doctor is lonely and, in a way, tricks this young woman to travel with him. Martha falls for the Doctor, doesn't realize that he lied to her. I have to commend her, though. I like Martha because she stands up for herself. She was the one that said "I'm not going anywhere with you until we've had a proper chat and you tell me about yourself." At the end of her run, she was also the one who said, "I'm getting out of this relationship." Because she was in love with the Doctor, but he never gave her a second glance. Kudos go to her for doing the right thing, but there was still the companion in love with the Doctor. Was this show going to have anything that wasn't related to romance? I thought.

And then there is Donna. Donna who suddenly appeared in the TARDIS, who tracked down an alien corporation making little Adipose out of human fat, who packed the trunk of her car with trunks of clothes in case she ran into the Doctor again. I find it funny when the Doctor lays down the ground rules and says "I just want a mate" and she freaks out. "You're not mating with this one!" That seemed to settle things: they would be nothing more than friends. And I just loved their interactions. Both agreed that they weren't a couple when asked, but both weren't hurt by it. In fact, Donna falls for another man in the episode sequence "Shadow in the Library/Forest of the Dead". That was sweet; it really was.

I loved Donna from the beginning. She was really enthusiastic about traveling through time and space. Her heart was in the right place; in fact it was always in the right place. During "The Fires of Pompeii", she's the one that pleads for the Doctor to save someone. In "The Doctor's Daughter", it was Donna that taught the Doctor how he could love Jenny. And, I don't think I will forget this one, she was the one who shouted at the human CEO in the episode "Planet of the Ood": "Of course they'll trust the first creature they see! They're born with their brains in their hands!"

And not only her heart, but her attitude in general. I mostly see it during the episode "Turn Left". When we see her initially make the decision, her mom tells her that she's a temp, temporary, and the big businessmen of London will move onto another girl by the time she's done. Donna originally responds with, "Yeah, well they haven't met me." Later in that episode, while walking to their new house in Leeds, Donna yells at someone in another house. Her grandfather tells her she can't change the world by shoutin' at it. "No, but I can try," she mutters. Do you see why I love it? She's just awesome, plain and simple.

Donna also has some of the best episodes of the New Doctor Who. There's "The Doctor's Daughter" which I don't fancy too much, but I can see where it can be revered as great. Donna and the Doctor meet Agatha Christie in "The Unicorn and the Wasp". How many Christie titles can you find the dialog? (No searching Wikipedia) Of course, the entire sequence of "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" was amazing. It introduces River Song, a companion with a mysterious past in the Doctor's future. Hello sweetie, spoilers. And then we have a few of my personal favorites. "Midnight" explores the Doctor alone on a bus with several other tourists when a strange creature steals a passenger's body and, eventually, the Doctor's voice. It's intense. Go watch it even if you don't like Doctor Who. Following that is "Turn Left", which explores what would happen if Donna didn't met the Doctor. That one is intense too. The series ends with "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", which had me at the edge of my seat the entire two episodes. It brings together everyone who was ever associated with the Doctor across the multiple shows that make up the Doctor Who Universe. And the ending is just heart-wrenching. I might go cry again.

So there you have it. In my opinion, Donna Noble is the best companion the Doctor ever had since the series' revival. She's the Doctor's best friend, she has the best plot lines, and you can't help but fall in love with her. Her attitude is just so awesome.

I'm sorry for the long post. You'll get a short one on Monday.

26 July 2010


I was going to have a long essay about either lame excuses for bad guys or why Donna Noble is so awesome. But I found this instead. You'll have to click on the link because it won't embed itself:


19 July 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan

Somehow, I managed to drag somebody to see the latest and greatest movie release last Friday. Dad and I saw it in its Ultra Screen glory, and it was beautiful.

It’s a fairly simple movie. In terms of characters and their goals, everything is announced at the beginning. Corporate big shot Saito (Ken Watanabe) wants an idea planted in his competitor’s head. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) wants to return to his family and see his children’s faces. Ariadne (Ellen Page) wants to help Cobb get over the death of his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard). And everyone else wants to get the job done without a hitch.

This is not a movie where you can leave to refill your popcorn bowl. You miss a scene, you’ll be lost for about an hour. Each line of dialogue is carefully placed at exactly the right moment. There won’t be entire scenes explaining a simple piece of technology; it’ll be a sentence or two and then the movie moves on. I recognize this trick in a few televisions shows I’ve seen such as Angel and Doctor Who. You have to pay attention in those too.

The movie isn’t trying to outsmart you with complicated twists. Instead, it’s leading you through a plot reminiscent of the old films of yore. It does have that old-time movie feel. Here is the character, here is his trouble, this is his goal, now watch as he attempts to accomplish that goal.

It’s amazing how Nolan managed to fit some pretty sweet action and a really cool story into one two-and-a-half hour movie. My only qualm against it was the seeming lack of an arc with nearly all the characters. Cobb and Mal were the only ones who started at point A and ended up at point B in terms of character development. But other than that, this movie is great!

My favorite scene (and this would be my favorite scene) was when Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Ariadne were sitting a building with the projections looking at them. Arthur attempts to fit into the crowd with a kiss from Ariadne, but it didn’t work. His comment was “Yeah, it was worth a shot.”

The favorite character was Eames (Tom Hardy). His sense of humor and light-heartedness was a great addition to the cast.

Overall grade: A+

15 July 2010

This Week at The Library:


Checked out two books.

- 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clark

- American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Placed on hold two books:

- Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

- Grave Peril by Jim Butcher


I expect to see Inception this weekend, so keep a watch for my thoughts or what it made me think of.  According to the reviews, this movie is really good, well-made, well-written, directed with a sharp eye.  Based on these, I am super excited to see this movie. 


That is all.

12 July 2010

2001: The last time I saw that movie


This blog has been on haitus since I started questioning the nature of it.  But now I’m back.  And I’m going to talk about something that terrified me as a child:


2001:  A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick


When I was a kid, I was scared of regular scary things like monsters and things that didn’t look natural.  There used to be a tree outside my window with branches that grew long enough to touch the house.  One night, I was sitting in my room, minding my own business, probably lost in a writing project somewhere, when something tapped my window.  I looked up and jumped because I saw something reaching towards my window.  It bounced like it was a live.  An adrenaline shot later, I realized it was the tree outside my window.  I never really liked that tree.  I thought it was an alien.


When I say I believe in aliens, I mean that I believe in the aliens you come across on Doctor Who, the kind of beings that leave Earth alone for the most part.  They can live at the same time we’re living, and maybe hover in orbit from time to time, but I don’t believe in aliens abducting humans for their own experiments.  I don’t see the point in that because we’re an advanced life form not so different than those guys in flying saucers.  We’re just grounded for a bit.


But what if aliens helped to shape our current society and technology?  What if they just had a hand in pushing us towards the right path of evolution?  And what if they did it with slabs of rock holding an unknown nature?  Of all the things that scared me as a child, those giant monoliths and HAL scared me most of all.


First off, those monoliths were accompanied by some creepy music.  Giant slabs of rock or no, the right music to a generic something makes a world of a difference.  Case in point:

Normal chipmunk, right?  No!  This little guy is dramatic!


Normal piece of rock?  No.  The music tells you otherwise.


The second thing that scared the living lights out of me was HAL 9000, supercomputer on board the space ship Discovery.  What was so scary about him?  He had a calming voice and interacted nicely with the crew.  And then he started to go crazy, but he kept that calming voice.  But you couldn’t trust the calming voice of the supercomputer.  Nope.  Can’t trust the system that runs the entire ship.  A supercomputer goes crazy.  Growing up where computers don’t even think for themselves, it’s a scary thought.  [I continue to be frightened of this during The Matrix and iRobot, who explore robots taking over humanity further.  Don’t ask me about  The Animatrix, I never got through it.] 


I managed an attempt to get over the fear of the movie by reading the book.  It made sense if you could follow along.  Now I think I’m ready to try watching the movie again after ten years of avoidance.  Let’s hope I can still get to bed the same night.


*Fun Fact*

Both Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick wrote the screenplay, but Arthur C. Clark wrote the novel as an explanation for the movie.  I call this the first book/movie pair in history to have the movie before the book.


Other things that frighten me:

- rotating helicopter blades

- popping helium balloons

- being in the ER alone