Friday, August 09, 2013

In civilized life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face. To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same judging all his mother’s utterances with the fullest and most over-sensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of thing: ‘I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.’ Once this habit is well established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offence is taken. -- The Screwtape Letters

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Lewis or Pooh?















The following quotations are widely disseminated on the interwebs.

Some of them are attributed to the Cambridge Professor of Medieval and Renaiscance Literature, where some of them are attributed to a Bear of Very Little Brain.
  
Can you spot which are which?

And for extra points, can you work out their actual sources?


"You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream."

"You're braver than you believe, and stronger then you seem, and smarter than you think."

"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."

"Life is too deep for words, so don't try to describe it, just live it."

"The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

"Resolutions are real things. They are things that, when you make them, you hope they will make you a better person in the future"

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different."

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

"We are what we believe we are."

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!"

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."

"Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours."
 


Monday, August 05, 2013

Hello I Must Be Going (5)

Go back and watch the final seconds of Name of the Doctor.

It's rather good.

 
We see the Mysterious Figure, from behind.
 
Clara asks who he is.
 
The Doctor says that "he is me"; but then says that although he is me, he is not the Doctor. 

Clara faints.
 
We hear the Mysterious Figure's voice, saying that what he did, he did without choice, in the name of sanity, and that some day soon, you too will have to make a choice, young Warlock. (I may have made some of that up.)
 
The Doctor says "not in the name of the Doctor".
 
The Doctor turns his back on the Mysterious Figure, and (after the Doctor has gone) the Figure turns around, and looks at us.
 
We see his face for a second—old, beardy, rather weather beaten: a hermit, or and old old soldier, possibly from World War I.
 
And at that precise moment an on-screen caption tells us about the actor. "Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor" it says. At the same moment we meet the character we are told about the actor playing the character

We've always had a certain amount of interest in The Making of Doctor Who, haven't we? Geeky men making sound effects involving piano wires and Vaseline; anecdotes involving eye-patches and trousers. But this is the first time the meta-narrative has folded into the main narrative to this extent.


Not "Gosh, there's an extra Doctor" but "Gosh, it's the one from the Elephant Man and Alien."


Shortly after Matt Smith's departure was leaked to the press, Stephen Moffat issued a press release.


"Of course, this isn't the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! "


A search begins?


A life is going to change?


Is that all it is? Is that really what Doctor Who has become? Another version of the bloody X-Factor?


It isn't about whether a science fictional character with an odd life cycle is going to regenerate into a female form, and what effect that will have on the fictional character's life. It's about whether girls get their fair turn at "being" the Doctor. It isn't about what the personality of the new Doctor will be, it's a back stage soap opera about how joining in the magical special nauseating Doctor Who Family is going to change an actor's life.


And that, in the end, is why I have become disengaged from Doctor Who.

It's not about the stories any more.

It never was.

This essay is going to form the epilogue to the next volume of my collected Doctor Who essays, tentatively entitled "The Viewers Tale vol 4." 

The book will also include the long essay on different approaches to Doctor Who, the essays about season 7 that have already appeared here, and the unpublished essays on The One With The Daleks, The One With the Dinosaurs, The One With The Cowboys, The One With The Cubes, The One in New York, and The Christmas One. 

The book will be avaiable, on Lulu and Amazon in due course. 

In the meantime, the complete text of this essay and the unpublished reviews are available as a PDF, Epub and Mobi in return for a suggested donation of £2. Like Kickstarter only without the grief. 

People who have previously sent me money should already have recieved the PDF and are not allowed to donate again.










Sunday, August 04, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going (4)

Please understand I respect and admire the frailer sex
And I honour them every bit as much as the next
Misogynist
        Jake Thackray



Actually, the prospect of a lady Doctor doesn't bother me at all. It's the endless discussion about whether or not there should be a lady Doctor that I find so dispiriting.

You might be okay with the idea of the Doctor being a woman; on the other hand you might think that that would be a step too far from the "Edwardian English Gentleman" persona. We could have an civilized chat about that. You might, for all I know, think that the Doctor ought to shed, once and for all, the nerdy image and become a tough edgy gangster who thinks with his fists. We could have a civilized chat about that, as well. But the question is in danger of being co-opted by a quite separate discussion about equality and gender; about rights and morals. The next Doctor ought to be woman; anyone who thinks that the next Doctor shouldn't be a woman obviously hates women. People who ought to know better are saying things like "It is not fair that my young daughter is going to go through life knowing that she can't ever be Doctor Who" or "Saying that girls can't be Doctor Who is like saying that they can't be doctors or engine drivers or in particular Church of England Bishops." Some people even said that it was like saying that gay people couldn't get married, although that was mainly because the Matt Smith story broke on the same day there was a more than usually fatuous debate in the House of Lords. 

No, Mrs Worthington, of course your daughter can't ever "be" the Doctor. The Doctor is a made up character in a story. If you do decide to put your daughter on the stage, then she will not be able to play the role of, for example, Harry Potter, any more than your son will be able to play the role of, for example, Hermione Grainger, because the one is a dude and the other is a dudette. But even supposing that your son does become an actor rather than a nurse or an air-steward, he will still not be able to "be" Harry. When we were very young, many of us imagined that acting was like playing soldiers and Dungeons & Dragons. You pretend to fly the TARDIS, and you pretend so hard that is is almost practically real until you take the costume off and go home for tea. Now we are six we understand that acting is a very skilled and exacting (and often quite boring) trade involving moving your eyebrow at exactly the right time towards exactly the right camera and getting your breathing exactly spot on and then doing it six more times exactly the same. Most of us couldn't do it and wouldn't want to. That is why actors get paid such a lot of money. If your actor becomes a daughter, then of course there are roles that she could play and roles that she could not play. And of course it would be a good thing if there were more and better roles for women actors; and of course it is a good thing that there are, although still not enough. But saying that the roles of Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Superman ought to be taken by women so that little girls who don't yet understand what acting is can aspire to cast magic spells, travel in time and space and break the necks of supervillains is simply nonsensical. I submit that there is ontological conclusion going on between the process of regeneration and the process of auditioning

That's the answer to the Black Spider-Man question, by the way: more black superheroes, better black superheroes. Superheroes whose whole back story is tied up in the their African heritage; superheroes who live in New York and Cardiff and who just happen to have dark skin; everything in between. And then turn some of them into movies.

continues

This essay is going to form the epilogue to the next volume of my collected Doctor Who essays, tentatively entitled "The Viewers Tale vol 4." 

The book will also include the long essay on different approaches to Doctor Who, the essays about season 7 that have already appeared here, and the unpublished essays on The One With The Daleks, The One With the Dinosaurs, The One With The Cowboys, The One With The Cubes, The One in New York, and The Christmas One. 

The book will be avaiable, on Lulu and Amazon in due course. 

In the meantime, the complete text of this essay and the unpublished reviews are available as a PDF, Epub and Mobi in return for a suggested donation of £2. Like Kickstarter only without the grief. 

People who have previously sent me money should already have recieved the PDF and are not allowed to donate again.










Saturday, August 03, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going (3)

This particular night, an usher overheard an audience member say: "I'm enjoying it, but I can't work out how a black man could have a white daughter." Funny, that, I remember thinking: they didn't seem worried by the talking polar bear.
                       David Harewood, on playing Lord Asrail in "His Dark Materials."


So: what are we asking when we ask if Doctor Who could be a woman, or black, or a black woman?

We aren't asking whether he could have been a black woman in 1963: obviously, he could not have been. The Original Doctor was an archetype, and the Old Crazy Science Guy Archetype is an old grey haired white male. (Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.) The BBC could have created a series involving time travel in which the main character wasn't an Old Crazy Science Guy—but that series would have been a different thing from Doctor Who.

We aren't asking whether a black man or a woman could pretend to be one of the white male Doctors: if we could recreate the Fourth Doctor in a flasback, but have Tom Baker played by Lenny Henry; if Dawn French should have been considered for the role of William Hartnell in the forthcoming film about the early days of the series. That would obviously make no sense at all. Don't know why I even mentioned it.

I think the question we are asking is closer to "Could a black man, or a woman, or a black woman do the Doctor's job".

The process of regeneration is pretty vague. Sometimes it seems to be conceived as a very radical form of cosmetic surgery; sometime it seems to be a kind of metamorphosis; sometimes it seems to be more like Hindu reincarnation. When the Time Lords turned Doctor Pat into Doctor Jon, they talked in terms of changing his physical appearance. When Doctor David turned into Doctor Matt, he seemed to be genuinely sadas if he was leaving something behind. When different versions of the Doctor meet up—most recently at the end of Name of the Doctor—they regard themselves as different people, not merely "myself when young". I therefore conclude that, in modern continuity at least, regenerating is more like "a new person taking over a job" than "a new actor playing the same character". "Could there be a black Doctor?" is much more like asking "Could an hispanic boy take over the job of Spider-Man?" than "Could a one-legged man play Tarzan?"


So all bets are off, and anyone can play the Doctor, regardless of age, hair colour or shoe size, right?


If you want to carry on believing in James Bond, you have to pretend that "James Bond" is a nom de guerre which has been used by a number of British spies and assassins over the years. The same individual can hardly have been expelled from Eton in 1932 and have pushed the present Queen out of a helicopter during the 2012 Olympic Games. But it doesn't follow that anyone could do the James Bond role—that it could be a scruffy Welshman who prefers Guinness to Martini or a celibate Frenchman who doesn't approve of gambling, or a wheelchair bound professor of espionagoloy. There's a sort of essence, involving smart suits, baccarat tables, fast cars, beautiful girlfriends and expensive cocktails that makes Bond Bond.

I submit that there has to be some essential quality somewhere that makes the Doctor the Doctor. I submit that that that essence of Doctorness is more important to Doctor Who than the essence of Bondness is to James Bond. Replace Daniel Craig with a Chinese martial artist and you still have fast cars, stunts, scripts and villains with ridiculous plots, clever gadgets, sick jokes. "That was obviously a James Bond film" you might say "Even though it didn't have James Bond in it." But Doctor Who, the character, is literally the only thread connecting all the disparate bits of TV that make up Doctor Who the TV series together. Doctor Who without Doctor Who in it is like Hamlet without the Hamlet; like Garfield without Garfield.

If Peter Davison had been a woman, it would have made very little difference, except possibly to Sandra Dickenson. Tom Baker correctly said that the Doctor didn't have romantic emotions—that was one of the things which made it an interesting role for an actor to play. The Tom Baker Doctor wasn't especially macho, and when he was joined by a Lady Time Lord, she wasn't particularly feminine. There was very little sexuality to the show: a little flirting when Tom Baker and Lalla Ward were romantically involved in real life, but no sense that it could ever go anywhere. If Tom had grinned and passed the torch to, say, Joanna Lumley, I think everything would have carried on as before :a fairly non-gendered character played by a man becoming a fairly non-gendered character played by a woman.

Since then, we have, of course, discovered that Doctor Who is almost entirely about flirting. Tom Baker's remarks about the Doctor being asexual were hallucinated by a sexually dysfunctional fan-base. New Who is about a Doctor who falls in love, gets married, (sort of) and on whom all the female companions have crushes. That's the whole point of the show.

The last time we had this discussion, Russell T Davies remarked that if he cast a lady as the Doctor, parents up and down the land would have to field the question "Mummy, does the new Doctor have a willy?" I think he had a fair point, however badly he may have put it. New Who is adult enough that any Male to Female regeneration would have to be addressed in terms of transexuality and gender reassignment; it is enough of a children's programme that those subjects could probably not be handled, or not handled well. In the old days, we could happily have had a scene in which the Doctor indicated that he now had a female shape and that it made no difference; now we would have to deal with the fact that he is married to River Bloody Song and that Wonderful Clara either does or doesn't have a crush on him. The femininity of the Doctor would become what the series was about.

The race thing, on the other hand, is very nearly a non-issue. When the 1996 American TV reboot was under discussion, there were vague suggestions that the Doctor should be a stereotypical urban American black guy. And that the TARDIS should sing rap music. The name of Eddie Murphy was uttered. This would, of course, have been appalling. The Doctor's Englishness, or at any rate Britishness, is much more part of his essence than the shape of his genitals, which I hope and believe will never appear on screen. But there are plenty of ways, interesting ways, in which a character can be English and Asian or English and African at the same time. Yes, a version of Doctor Who in which every bloody story was about race, racial identity, prejudice and people treating you differently when your skin changes colour would be terribly, terribly, boring, but I think that could probably be avoided. Matt Smith is the youngest actor to play the role, and the whole series hasn't become about his youth.

"Edwardian English Gentleman With Dark Skin", "African English Edwardian Gentleman", "Asian English Edwardian Gentleman" are all perfectly imaginable. "Lady Edwardian English Gentleman" starts to set off warning bells, albeit quite quiet, tinkly ones.

continues...

This essay is going to form the epilogue to the next volume of my collected Doctor Who essays, tentatively entitled "The Viewers Tale vol 4." 

The book will also include the long essay on different approaches to Doctor Who, the essays about season 7 that have already appeared here, and the unpublished essays on The One With The Daleks, The One With the Dinosaurs, The One With The Cowboys, The One With The Cubes, The One in New York, and The Christmas One. 

The book will be avaiable, on Lulu and Amazon in due course. 

In the meantime, the complete text of this essay and the unpublished reviews are available as a PDF, Epub and Mobi in return for a suggested donation of £2. Like Kickstarter only without the grief. 

People who have previously sent me money should already have recieved the PDF and are not allowed to donate again.










Friday, August 02, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going (2)

"Now, Mr. Spigott, you, a one-legged man, are applying for the role of Tarzan -- a role which, traditionally, involves the use of a two-legged actor....And yet you, a unidexter, are applying for the role. A role for which two legs would seem to be the minimum requirement."
                                        Not Only...But Also
 
Could Spider-Man be black?
 
This is a meaningless question.
 
Spider-Man is a fictional character, with a background and a history. As a matter of fact, that character is a white, teenaged, male New Yorker, born around 1948. (Or "about 25 years ago" if you believe in Marvel Time, or "In 1986" if you prefer the Ultimate version.) I suppose there could be a storyline in which someone injects him with a magic potion and his skin went black. A good writer could write a good story based on that premise, and a bad writer could write a very bad one. 

But that isn't what you are asking, is it? You are asking "Could Spider-Man have been black?"
 
To which the answer is yes, of course he could have been. Steve Ditko and his very talented scripting assistant could perfectly well have told a story about an African American teenager who was bitten by a radioactive Spider and learned that with great power must also come etcetera etcetera etcetera. 


Would that have made a difference to the story? Yes: in the same way that it would have made a difference if Uncle Ben had been Peter Parker's natural father, or if it had been Aunt May who had been shot by the burglar. Change any part of the story and you change the story. I suppose that, in 1963, even in New York, it would have been relatively uncommon for people of colour to get science scholarships to major universities or work in photo-journalism. I imagine that the bullying of Peter Parker by Flash Thompson, or his hounding by J Jonah Jameson would have felt different if it had been white guys picking on a black guy. Could a story have been written along those lines? Yes, emphatically. Would it have been such a good story? Steve Ditko was a genius at the the top of his game working with the best dialogue-writer ever to work in comics, so yes, I imagine he would have produced a good story on any subject he felt like. Would Spider-Man have still been basically the same character? It depends what you mean by "the same". Is any character who can stick to walls and shoot webs essentially Spider-Man, or is it all the little details that made Spider-Man who he is?
 
If you take the former line—if it's the costume and the powers that maketh the hero, as opposed to the specs and the over protective aunty—then being Spider-Man is a job and that job could be done by someone other than Peter Parker—black, female, disabled, gay, a born-again Christian or an alien from the planet Zog. In the Ultimate universe, Peter Parker is currently spending a year dead for tax reasons and the "job" of Spider-Man is being performed by an Hispanic youth. It works fine.
 
But that isn't the question you are asking, either.
 
The question you are asking is "Could a black person pretend to be Spider-Man. In, like a movie or a TV series."
 
And the answer is—well, maybe.
 
Probably.
 
Almost definitely.
 
If we were talking about legitimate theatre we wouldn't even be asking the question. Everyone—everyone except Quentin Letts—accepts colour-blind casting. If the director casts a black man as Macbeth, it wouldn't occur to us to think that Macbeth actually was a black man—that there were African noblemen in tenth century Scotland. Theatre is all about suspension of disbelief. The cut-out tree in the middle of the stage doesn't look like a tree; it's an instruction, saying "please imagine that this scene is taking place in the forest of Arden." Eke out our performance with your mind, as the fellow said. It's fairly common for female actors to play male roles. No-one claims that Richard II really was a woman or Juliet was really a man. We just pretend.
 
Movies are a bit different, because the whole fun of movies is that you don't have to use your imagination. What we see on the screen is what the pretend people on the screen can see. If a character looks black or female or disabled, then we take it for granted that they are black or female or disabled in the story.
 
So, the question you are asking is "Does it matter if the character we see on the screen doesn't look like the character we see on the page of the comic book?" Does it matter if Peter Parker has light skin in the comic and dark skin on the screen? Would it be okay for Mary-Jane, who has long red hair in the comic, to have short black hair on the screen? Can blonde comic-book Gwen become brunette movie Gwen? Does Prof X need to be bald? Could we cope with a ginger Lois Lane? Why do all the good examples I can think of involve hair? 

Ditko's Spider-Man was a science nerd, and "science-nerd" is a much more irreducible part of Spider-Man's fictional DNA than "white New York male". In the original comic, this nerdiness was represented by test tubes, microscopes, museum exhibitions and piles of books. In the movie, and in modern comic book versions, the chemistry equipment is replaced by computers, the internet, the internet and computers. Because that's what 21st century nerds play with. "Changing things" is, in this case, the only reasonable way of leaving them the same. Changing "radioactive Spider" to "genetically modified Spider" for the benefit of modern kids is no different from changing "spider" to "araigne" for the benefit of French kids. 

Peter Parker, as created by Steve Ditko, grew up in the 1950s. He called women "gals" and Russians "commies", wore a waistcoat on informal occasions and thought "I bet you're still wearing a Vote for Dewey badge" was a clever topical reference. Yet many of us seem to be able to accept that the young man who remembers the Beatles and lost friends in the Vietnam war is the "same persion" as the young man who was a teenager when the World Trade Center was destroyed; but somehow think that if his hair or his skin is the wrong colour he is just not Spider-Man. 
 
In 1963, Peter Parker's Aunt May was already a Very Old Lady, prone to have heart-attacks at the drop of a pin -- in her 70s, or even older. A New York lady who was born in the 1890s is very likely to have been an immigrant. I think everyone now agrees that Peter Parker was -- like Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and the guy who wrote the words --  a second generation immigrant, say of Austrian or Czech  Jewish heritage. This is why Peter Parker is rejected by his peer group, and bullied by Flash Thompson. He's a foreigner; an outsider. 

It follows that movies which represent him as an all-American white kid are just as false as the ones where he plays with a microscope rather than a computer. If you want to set Spider-Man in the 21st century and remain remotely faithful to the original, you'd have to make him the kid of some refugees who came to America in the 1990s; non-religious himself, but greatly influenced by Uncle Ben's Somali Muslim or Punjabi Sikh heritage.


(I'm serious, by the way.) 
 
(Continues)


This essay is going to form the epilogue to the next volume of my collected Doctor Who essays, tentatively entitled "The Viewers Tale vol 4." 

The book will also include the long essay on different approaches to Doctor Who, the essays about season 7 that have already appeared here, and the unpublished essays on The One With The Daleks, The One With the Dinosaurs, The One With The Cowboys, The One With The Cubes, The One in New York, and The Christmas One. 

The book will be avaiable, on Lulu and Amazon in due course. 

In the meantime, the complete text of this essay and the unpublished reviews are available as a PDF, Epub and Mobi in return for a suggested donation of £2. Like Kickstarter only without the grief. 

People who have previously sent me money should already have recieved the PDF and are not allowed to donate again.








Thursday, August 01, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going (1)


In the future, everyone will be Doctor Who, but only for fifteen episodes.

I have become disengaged from Doctor Who.
 
Don't worry, this is not going to be one of those "I swear on Uncle Ben's grave, never again shall I watch this travesty" essays. I am sure that fourteen months from now I shall still be going on and on about how Patterson Joseph is not as good as Matt Smith.
 
But right now, I don't care, although I care very much about not caring. It no longer matters, but it matters that it doesn't matter. I imagine that this is what divorce or loss of faith would feel like. It doesn't, I am happy to say, feel anything like grief.
 
Matt Smith was what was keeping me watching; and Matt Smith is going. So we will have months and months of speculation, and two massively over-hyped specials. Then we will have a new series, though not for a year, in which yet another new actor has yet another go at figuring out what the new show is all about, and then quits when we have barely had time to get used to him.

*

When we hear that a comic or a book or a TV show which we quite liked is going to be turned into a movie, we go through three stages.  

Stage 1: Faith
 
The new movie is going to be the Exact Same Thing as the book or comic we loved so much, with the pictures we made up in our head magically translated onto the big screen. "Will Benedict Cumberbatch be playing that extremely obscure character that only fans remember?" we say "I wonder how he will deliver that particularly special line we love so much?" The answer always turns out to be "No, of course he won't" and "They not only cut that line, but cut the whole chapter and replaced it with a fight scene." But we still go through the "Faith" stage next time around.

Stage 2: Revulsion 
This stage is often very brief; no more than a momentary flinch or shudder when we realize that, in fact, the movie is going to take a sledge hammer to the book or comic we love so much. Arwen is going to wield a sword. Lois is going to know Superman's secret identity from the beginning. The Doctor is going to be Rassilon’s illegitimate son and the TARDIS is going to be a rap singer. They are taking out Captain Kirk altogether and replacing him with James Dean. We sometimes get angry at this point and say that no-one should be allowed to touch the icons of our collective past. We used to say that bad remakes and disappointing prequels were like "someone raping our childhood" but in the light of what has happened to the whole of 1970s popular culture, that analogy no longer seems in particularly good taste.

Stage 3: Retrenchment  
Once we reach this stage, we claim it is the only reaction we ever had, or anyone could ever have. We never remotely expected the movie to be anything like the book. Anyone who did expect that is a colossal geek. Just because Tom Baker didn't play the Doctor as a US marine with an assault rifle it doesn't follow that no-one can play the Doctor as a US marine with an assault rifle. You have to put all thoughts of the original book, comic or TV show out of your head and ask "Was it or was it not a good movie?" And if you reply "No" then that also proves you are a colossal geek.
 
And, indeed, there are no hard and fast rules, about turning books into movies or anything else. Maybe you can re-imagine Hamlet as a ninja and make it work. People have successfully turned samurai into cowboys and back again. But if I am excited about the idea of a new Star Wars movie (and, with a hundred yards of reservations, I really am) then I'm excited because I want to see X-Wing Fighters, lightsabers and Luke Skywalker's kids. If I find they've cut out all the space ships and lightsabers and replaced them with bum-jokes and flirting then I have the right to become disengaged. "But was it a good movie in its own right?" is a non sequitur. I wasn't promised a good movie in it's own right. I was promised a sequel to Star Wars.

So.

As we go through the triennial "could the Doctor be black" argument, many of us are getting are our retrenchment in first. Don't ask how an ethnic minority Doctor, or a female Doctor, or a female ethnic minority Doctor might be consistent with or inconsistent with what Doctor Who has been up to now. Ask only if it is a good TV series in it's own right.




continues 



This essay is going to form the epilogue to the next volume of my collected Doctor Who essays, tentatively entitled "The Viewers Tale vol 4." 

The book will also include the long essay on different approaches to Doctor Who, the essays about season 7 that have already appeared here, and the unpublished essays on The One With The Daleks, The One With the Dinosaurs, The One With The Cowboys, The One With The Cubes, The One in New York, and The Christmas One. 

The book will be avaiable, on Lulu and Amazon in due course. 

In the meantime, the complete text of this essay and the unpublished reviews are available as a PDF, Epub and Mobi in return for a suggested donation of £2. Like Kickstarter only without the grief. 

People who have previously sent me money should already have recieved the PDF and are not allowed to donate again.