So, due to no particular demand whatsoever, I’m embarking on a second Nerd Triathlon. In case you missed the first one, this is a semi-regular feature on T of V. (Well, I’m making it one anyway).
Check out the first event here.
The Nerd Triathlon begins when I select three topics of interest to the genre-loving folk. The cosplayer type. The fanboy or fangirl. In short, the nerd. Then, I rant briefly on each topic. That’s the running part, the only running this large body of water ever does. Let’s go!
Doctor Who’s Fiftieth Anniversary
I don’t feel especially qualified to illuminate this corner of geekdom, but I do have one or two strong feelings and opinions on the phenomenon of the time-traveling doctor from Gallifrey.
The Fiftieth Anniversary special is set to air this month, to be simulcast I believe in the UK and the US in order to avoid spoilage. The program will introduce a new doctor. The twelfth to ever play the part, which, by the series’ mythology, would be the penultimate incarnation the doctor could enjoy. I’ll wait while you google the word “penultimate”.
One of the questions in my mind is: Are we soon to see the last gasp of the Doctor? Will the character be allowed to end? Dude’s been around fifty years, for Davros’ sake, and would probably enjoy retirement if he were real. I may be different from a lot of fans, maybe even the majority of them, but I don’t mind when things end. Seems natural to me, and closure is a good thing.
I’ve been a fan of the Doctor and his show for a long, long time. The original ran from 1963 through 1989 and holds the record for longest running continuous program. The update has been running since 2005. The reason I said earlier I may not be that qualified to talk about the current series is that I haven’t seen all of it. I liked the first season with Christopher Eccleston playing the role. Didn’t care much for David Tennant, so I’ve seen few of his episodes. I like Matt Smith quite a bit, though, and have seen most of his run.
That’s anti-climactic, sorry, but I guess that’s really all I have to say.
Pacific Rim Rips Off Decades of Mech-Anime
Well, yeah. I won’t argue that Guillermo del Toro’s mech-gasm of a film doesn’t owe a lot to what anime has been doing for decades. But it beat the hell out of the Transformers movies. And at least he didn’t put children in the evas….gundams….gears….I mean Jaegers. The child aspect is probably why we don’t have a live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion. Seeing children go through torment and violence is somehow more palatable when they’re animated.
Pacific Rim came out on DVD last month and it’s cool as fuck, but it doesn’t quite overcome the cliches of the genre. I won’t name them, but they are there all through the film. I don’t think they hurt the coolness of the film too much, but it does fall a bit short of classic status. The style del Toro brings to the party and the serious commitment of the ensemble of actors does a lot to keep up interest in the predictable story, though, and I love how they skip the origin film and go directly to episode two as it were. I wish more films would forego or condense the origins when they could. Origin stories are awfully boring sometimes.
So I am recommending this one if you missed it. The action is amazing and the acting is solid. Anyone who’s seen anything in this genre will be two or three steps ahead of the plot most of the time, but Pacific Rim is still a lot of fun.
I love some of the fan-memed alternative names for the Jaegers. They’re even funnier when you’ve seen the movie, but here are my favorites.
The triathlon is kicking my ass. Last topic!
The New Dracula
This new series premiered on NBC a couple weeks ago. I’ve only seen the pilot so far, but the typical Dracula scenario is shaken up just enough to intrigue even those with Vampire-fatigue, as it were. And, much to my delight, it seems to bear no resemblance to the Twilight or Vampire Diaries style of vampire.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the Count this time. In the pilot I kind of thought he acted like he had a stick up his ass, or stake maybe, but I expect him to loosen up as the show continues. There’s a rooftop, Matrix-type duel that comes off a bit silly, but other than that, the pilot was solid, atmospheric, and teeming with menace. Interestingly, Dracula is pushing an alternative energy in his “human” aspect and marking Big Oil magnates as enemies. These enemies are part of something called The Order of the Dragon, an organization that the Count and Dr. Van Helsing are out to destroy. Yeah, Van Helsing is presented as an ally just to add a twist. I hope it doesn’t stay that way.
This version of Dracula still has the persona of a seducer of prey, but he doesn’t toy with his foes. He takes them out quickly and mercilessly, sending one guy’s head in a box to the Dragon Order. There’s even a desperate undertone to the character that hasn’t been explained yet. As the show unfolds, we’ll see if these new elements add up to a satisfying retelling of a very-familiar tale.
That’s all I’ve got for this running of the Nerd Triathlon. Look for the next one when I’ve rested up.