We went to the Doctor Who premiere, in the theaters, where the episode was preceded by a half-hour of eight trivia slides repeated, something we'd have liked to have known about because it'd have made the days's schedule easier if we had an extra twenty minutes before the film. But it also started with a short film that, based on the reviews of the episode, must not have aired on TV and apparently hasn't been put on the Internet anywhere, more amazingly.
The form is of Strax, the Sontaaran warrior-nurse, making a blog entry from aboard a spaceship about to crash into London. While he eagerly awaits that, Strax reports what he's learned abut the Doctor's various ``degenerations'', and he proceeds to describe in uproarious and kind of fan-servicey fashion the past incarnations of The Doctor. (I've found that late last year the BBC posted a webisode of him reviewing the Doctor's various faces. This is not that video. I promise you, this is different. If it doesn't start with Madame Vastra and Jenny demanding Strax stop wasting time blogging it's not the right one.)
He explains, for example, the First Doctor as an aged crone with ``completely implausible hair'' (I'm approximating the quotes; I was busy laughing and figured, hey, this has got to be easy to find online). He went on to be killed and degenerated in an attempt to save his life, and showing the Second Doctor, Strax says, ``the attempt failed.'' The Second Doctor was put on trial by his people and sentenced to a fate worse than death: the Third Doctor. The Fourth Doctor attempted flamboyant colors in an attempt to fill the room he was in with personality, unsuccessfully.
The moment when I thought bunny_hugger might explode was when Strax explained that ``The Fifth Doctor managed to perfect the art of camouflage by having no distinct features whatsoever''. (The Fifth was the kinda-nice-looking one who dressed kind of like a cricket batsman and wore Time Celery on his collar for some reason.)
It goes on, in Mad Nasty File fashion: the Sixth Doctor ballooned up and killed himself in his first attempt at exercise. The Seventh Doctor was considerably smaller than the Sixth, implying he might be hiding much of his matter somewhere, and this should be sought for. The Eighth Doctor attempted a new stage in the Doctor's lives: Puberty. (I thought that was a killer line, too.) I forget which Doctor was described as an experiment, half-man, half-granny. Thinking of the Eleventh Doctor causes Strax to crack himself up just over his chin. ``Why am I laughing? Chin. I'm not even making a joke. Chin. Chin. Chiiiiiiin.''
If you did not see this video, I am sorry, because you missed maybe the five funniest minutes of the Modern Era of Doctor Who, and I cannot figure out why this isn't the most popular thing on the Internet right now.
And then over on my humor blog this week the major piece is ``The Journey, By Train '', in which I spoil a cute little bit of whimsy posted around these parts. Some stuff that's run over there since my big essay of last week, ``When I First Knew It'', have been:
- Can I Believe In Iowa? which is based on the strangest Star Trek-related flame war I've seen in quite a spell.
- Some Comics, Plus A Confession, mathematics comics in this case, and the confession is about Ziggy.
- The Harshness of Sidewalk Nature, and a sad scene we saw on that strip of land between the sidewalk and the street.
- Apartment 3-G Has Just Stopped Existing Or Something, which is just me complaining about a story strip that's got even less story than story strips normally have.
- Statistics Saturday: Battle of the Network Starship Captains, which I thought people were going to like more, counting the number of times actors who played starship captains were also in command of their Battle of the Network Stars teams. Possibly this is something that could only interest me.
- Happy Hooligan: A Trip To The Moon, a cartoon featuring one of the oldest cartoon stars out there.
Trivia: The nickname of ``Peanut'' for General Chiang Kai-Shek originated as a code name for use in secret communications. Source: Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911 - 1945, Barbara W Tuchman.
Currently Reading: Empires Of The Word: A Language History Of The World, Nicholas Ostler.