On The Sofa (8)

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    DalekTor @dalektor


    Seeing yourself being born would be disturbing on so many levels.

    thehumantimelord @thehumantimelord

    @winston That would be so cool to see all your family history, especially since mine took place in Ireland and I think I have a bit of viking in me. haha

    ichabod @ichabod
    ichabod @ichabod

    Just realized — I’d want to go see Vienna in the 1890’s, the world my mother’s family came from (though I’d have to learn German first, though having a time machine might help with that?  Apparently I had a relative who traveled the back roads of the Empire collecting stories from villagers as part of his linguistics studies.  Interesting, though maybe the bedbugs and food poisoning, not so much; they were a tough breed, the travelers of those days, let alone in days much longer ago than that . . .

    Anonymous @

    Hi, everyone! I need your help with a big project (unfortunately not entirely Doctor Who related). I usually stay in the shadows here, but I am hoping that using your brilliant minds and what you have learned from watching Doctor Who you can help me with this.

    For a very, very long time, I have tried to write an original novel, but I have written and rewritten it so many times that all I am left with is an imaginary world with many developed characters…and no plot.

    I’ve tried and succeeded with moving on to writing other stories, but this world that I have created means a lot to me. I hope to make it into something that I can share with other people.

    I need you all to help by giving your advice on how to build up an entertaining story from this world. If you aren’t a writer, you can help by telling me what elements of story telling you like that are used in Doctor Who or other stories.

    Thank you all!

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros


    Hello sounds like a big task, writing can be so hard sometimes and I’m not the best at it! I’ll try help but could you perhaps give us some more details on the characters and the world you’ve created to give us an idea of what kind of story you’re trying to create, just vague sketchy outlines of the characters would be fine.

    I’m just going to sleep now but I’ll think it over once you’ve given us some outlines, I might not be able to get back to you soon though as my posting has been few and far between lately!

    You could tell us some of the other plots you’ve discarded and perhaps we could just offer slight improvements or a few more ideas to your plot, good luck with it anyway! I’m sure there’s lots of more talented writers here than myself that will be willing to help.

    Anonymous @


    I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a fantasy story, like Narnia or Lord of the Rings. It’s about a world of mythical creatures – dragons, unicorns, centaurs, werewolves, elves.  Many of the creatures were human but we’re changed by the evil queen of the land with her magic. The only humans besides her are two girls, 12 years old in this book, who accidentally discover this magic land.

    Today, I tried going back to the basics of the story like why the queen is the villain and that has helped. At least I’m getting somewhere with it.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @theconsultingdoctor   I can offer a thing a friend of mine does when she’s stuck for plot: take one of your strongest characters, by whatever standard you choose, and write yourself a letter from him or her (or it!) to you (as the story’s god) or to another character, about what’s important, what’s hoped for, and what’s feared.  Sometimes you get some ideas about the “life” of this character that hold good plot hooks; sometimes it’s just getting the voice of the character going in your head.  You may end up throwing most of the results away, but who cares, if this device works as a kick starter for you.

    Just a thought.  I’ve found this helpful a couple of times.  Maybe it can be useful to you.

    Anonymous @


    Thank you so much for the advice.  That is a good idea.  I think that will help a lot!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @theconsultingdoctor  You’re welcome!  Good luck, and have fun — writing fiction, for the most part, pays miserably, so it had better be fun in the doing.

    Anonymous @


    Yeah, sometimes I need a bit of a reminder to write for the fun of it. I write because I like to.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @the consulting doctor  It’s a serious issue, particularly, I think, among older writers; we actually had one of our SFWA members (that’s, Science Fiction [& Fantasy] Writers of America, our pro organization) start up a older writer’s version of the “starting out” panels that the bigger conventions run, for fans who want to get published and new writers who are still getting a feel for the business end of things.  The bookend session was for veterans with careers winding down or tapering/broken off for many different reasons.  I remember one colleague of many years asking, with tears in her eyes, “But where has the *fun* gone?  It used to be so much *fun*!”  I think for women SF/F/H writers, part of the lost “fun” is having been part of this irresistible wave of young women surging into these genres on strong feminist awareness that gave us some serious “sisterhood” to balance the inherent competitiveness of all fiction fields, and finding great mobs of women *readers* who’d been looking for work like ours for years.  That time is over; the new “wave” is POC and self-idenfitied queer folks riding in in a similar way (and meeting, and overcoming, the same sort of resistance).  Maybe some of the lack of “fun” we complain of now is about accomplishing your revolution — *as much of it as was possible at this stage* — and dealing at the same time with the backlash (and we have one, disruptive again at the World SF Con in Kansas City this month) and with no longer being in the vanguard any more, but in the van, cheering on our successors and replacements.  That’s just not as much “fun” to write about, maybe; along with the regular health obstacles of aging, and an ever shorter shelf-life.

    Odd; isn’t that what a certain segment of unhappy DW fans say, too?  “Doctor Who just isn’t *fun* any more!”  Are we all just feeling the loss of youthful playfulness, or a time when you really didn’t have to be rich to enjoy a rewarding life, or the strain of over-population plus a heating planet and the scary future that’s already here for so many?  When I as a kid, it was fear of the Russians and of polio — now we’re back to fear of Russians/N. Koreans, and pandemics of Zika or maybe zombies.

    Maybe “fun” is a function of youth — energy, lots of fascinating new things in every direction, and (if you were lucky in your childhood) a tendency toward optimism and hope.  For most, it can’t be held onto even if you avoid growing up internally (Peter Pan syndrome, and something analog0us in some older women).  Not that depression is mandatory — but it sure is common.  I hope I get past sleeping all the time as this thyroid system recovery completes itself; maybe then I’ll start writing stories again, and finding it FUN!

    Anonymous @


    You said “watch the coffee can”

    Did he KILL TEDDY?

    He strangled him!!  Oh my!

    He…he …no! ????



    Anonymous @


    Ah, the coffee and the…erm, erm…. OK, so he was in  a chokehold not strangled….

    Still, I wonder…

    Missy @missy

    @dalektor: True, hence my change of mind.

    @ichabod: Re comments. Love them. thank you.

    @theconsultingdoctor: My advice to you, is just write it, then sit back and read it out loud.  It sounds interesting, so good luck. One thing, it should be fun, and if it stops being fun – it stops.

    EndermanOfGallifrey @endermanofgallifrey

    just joined wanna talk Dr who am 14 have’nt seen pre gap shows please respond if u wanna  talk

    Anonymous @


    Hi there, I’m 14 too. Welcome and all.

    I haven’t seen much BG Who at all. I’ve found the recent series much more entertaining -again, that’s just me.

    I think, being Friday night here, I’m off to watch a film -not the Dr Who one 🙂

    “enderman” reminds me of something familiar. Not sure what.

    Thank you

    Puro’s Son

    DalekTor @dalektor


    Hello! I’m the other new (well, new-ish) person around here. Have some new member questions, in no particular order!

    -Who’s your favorite Doctor, and why?

    -Which episode’s your favorite, and why?

    -What’s your favorite villain?

    My answers are:

    -Eleven, because he’s the one that got me interested in the show,

    -I… actually don’t know, let’s go with Dalek, because when the Dalek proceeds to just fly up the stairs you can almost see its smirk even though it doesn’t have a face,

    -And the Daleks, because the entire reason I started watching was because I wanted to know why the big saltshakers were supposed to be scary. Also, because you have to respect something that looks that ridiculous and still manages to make you hide behind the sofa.

    thehumantimelord @thehumantimelord

    @endermanofgallifrey Welcome! relatively new too

    Missy @missy


    Hello there and welcome. My favourite Doctor is 12, and creatures Cybermen.

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    ichabod @ichabod

    Read this in the NYT today at the coffee shop, and suddenly I realized where I’ve been hearing this melancholy, slightly embittered and resentful tone lately.  You all will recognize it too — and look at the elements that the author cites as the causes of his discontent:


    How much to they apply to the long saga of The Doctor, do you think?


    Missy @missy

    @ichabod: Who nose! Not heing a fan of Star trek or Star wars, I care little.

    I did however quite enjoy Babylon  5 and then they took it off?


    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  I liked Bab-5 too, very much, and was sorry to see it go.  Thing about the columnist’s slightly bitter nostalgia for “original” Star Trek is that he’s objecting to increased commercialization of the show in more recent times (spin-offs, dolls (“action figures”, for boys, cuz gods forbid etc.), novelizations and books, more $ and polish in production, and so on), as a loss of its earlier slap-dash, improvisational qualities (those salt and pepper shakers Bones used) that made ST this precious, secret joy to only those viewers clever and passionate enough to glom onto it — I mean, see its reckless, generous, idealistic heart.

    He doesn’t like sharing ST now, in so many (perhaps attenuated and compromised) forms with so many newer fans, although he knows it’s “either share it or lose it” in an era dominated by mass marketing values.  Isn’t that a lot like what we hear from the self-identified fans of DW who nonetheless moan constantly about how “terrible” it’s become lately?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Been lurking, but came across this today:


    I have never really known what to make of Eccleston’s departure and subsequent attitude. If he really felt he was developing light comedy skills, well he was certainly given a chance in the 50th, but no. And perhaps it is revealing that he was noticeably absent from Peter Davison’s wonderful “Five(ish) Doctors” where everybody was doing light comedy.

    Or am I being too harsh?

    todeledo @todeledo

    The Swedish netflix has series 5-9!



    I did however quite enjoy Babylon  5 and then they took it off?

    Erm, no – it finished. It was conceived from the beginning as a 5 season story. Alas, the seemingly inevitable machinations of US network TV meant a) a big falling out between Claudia Christian and JMS and b) the 5th season getting badly compromised (partly as a consequence of a).)

    But it was never intended to go longer than 5 seasons. Crusade was supposed to be its sequel, but it never got past the initial 13 ep order (and even they got dicked around by the network).

    (Interesting tidbit I only heard recently: Michael O’Hare (Sinclair) left after one season and was replaced by Bruce Boxleitner as Sheriden. It was not known until O’Hare’s death (because JMS agreed to keep confidential until then) that he left because he was finding impossible to control his schizophrenia – and he refused point-blank to allow production to be halted while he received treatment, since that would put his cast-mates’ job at risk.

    Not all changes are network politics. Sometime they are humanitarian and stem from one person’s fundamental decency in the face of terrible hardship.)


    I tend to be a bit sceptical of CE – he is a fine actor, but his track record is a bit, shall we say, luvvy. He’s and actOR.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Thanks for the info about B5 — that’s some story . . .

    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant Thank you for that information re’ Michael O’Hare. I did not know but I guessed that there was no ill feeling on either side about his leaving, hence his guest appearance in season Three. Also thanks for explaining the five year arc. I did type out a long post on the subject a few days ago but my Laptop ate it and I never got round to re-typing.

    JMS was inspired by shows like Blake’s Seven and really introduced the concept of a fixed arc to U.S. sci fi series. It was that which made B.5 stand out for me. (That and the politics, the wonderful characters, especially Londo and G’Kar and some pretty cool scripts,)

    I believe he pulled the plug on Crusade because the network wanted to turn it into a cross between Baywatch and World Federation Wrestling. I was sorry because although it certainly had plenty of weaknesses I felt it was beginning to show some promise. (Incidentally we have two friends who met and married through a Crusade/technomage inspired website.)




    Anonymous @


    I know nothing about B5 -so, now I do. Which is good

    CE: me too. “Actorr”. Still, Leftovers was a brilliant performance though a tiny bit over the top -or not?

    Wrong thread.

    I am amazed I have internet. A hot water pipe burst in the wall two days ago and there this was this thundering sound as the electricity responded. All the emergency switches worked which is good.

    I hate electricity. I don’t understand it.

    Anyway, CE, yep, I re-watched ALL the 9th episodes and I liked ’em. The stories were so very good  (Not at all of them-farting aliens etc) that it carried CE and Rose was simply terrific.

    ichabod @ichabod

    Something from BBC news, about what all the Doctors have to know how to work with — since the Doctor so seldom uses weapons:


    The article made me think of them, and how Directors use this too, to convince us that the Doctor is *powerful* without making a physical threat.

    Missy @missy

    @ichabod: I loved it. Watched some on Youtube recently. do you rememebr The Shadows? Like big black spiders, they still make me shudder.
    @blenkinsopthebrave; I read an interview with CE yesterday. He regrets not doing a second series. He would like to have developed the character more, but it seems that the writers wanted him to play it their way, so he left. Such a pity, I preferred him to Matt Smith, who could be just plain daft at times.<
    @pedant: All right ‘picky’ my mistake. *big grin* such a shame either way, I keep hoping the TV staions will re run it.

    Janette: I too enjoyed Blake’s Seven, until I watched an episode on Youtube. It has become really dated, unlike B7.



    Anonymous @

    Janette: I too enjoyed Blake’s Seven, until I watched an episode on Youtube. It has become really dated, unlike B7.


    Unlike B7 or like B7 or unlike something else?


    Son of Puro

    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy — “. . . unlike Babylon 5”?  I tried B7 too, some time ago, and didn’t care for it; “dated” sounds right, but I can’t remember enough about it now to recall in what ways I found that too.

    I don’t recall “the Shadows” — but I tend to blank out anything about spiders.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @missy, @Puroandson and @ichabod

    Yes Blakes 7 really has dated, those wonderful 70s costumes, wobbly sets and even wobblier acting, and beyond series 2 it was pretty much unwatchable even at the time. Those first two series however still have some strong points.

    While talking of other shows I see that Red Dwarf is soon making  welcome return to our screens. Something to look forward to.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Red Dwarf. It has to be one of the most brilliant shows ever. With perhaps my favourite sketch of all time:

    Lister: Cat.
    Cat: Mmm?
    Lister: Did you ever see the Flintstones?
    Cat: Of course.
    Lister: Do you think Wilma’s sexy?
    Cat: Wilma Flintstone?
    Lister: Maybe we’ve been alone in deep space for too long but every time I see that show, her body drives me crazy. Is it just me?
    Cat: I think in all probability, Wilma Flintstone is the most desirable woman who ever lived.
    Lister: That’s good, I thought I was goin’ strange.
    Cat: She’s incredible!
    Lister: What do you think of Betty?
    Cat: Betty Rubble? Well, I would go with Betty…but I’d be thinkin’ of Wilma.
    Lister: This is stupid. Why are we talking about going to bed with Wilma Flintstone?
    Cat: You’re right. We’re nuts. This is an insane conversation.
    Lister: She’ll never leave Fred and we know it.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave  @janetteb  RED DWARF yes yes yes yes yes yes . . . what’s the keyboard symbol for “infinty”?


    @theconsultingdoctor @puroandson

    (Moved from ep discussion)

    It appears to be an IP address block, rather than username (I tried setting up a new name and got the same message). A work-around is to use VPN to log in. But both @craig and @jimthefish seem to be busy elsewhere (real life, huh?) – need to wait for them to confirm.



    That is also my personal favourite of many, many Red Dwarf scenes. That and “Everybody remembers where they were the day Cliff Richard was shot”.

    Missy @missy

    Son of Puro: Unlike B7 or like B7 or unlike something else?

    I meant B5. *blushes profusely*

    @ichabod: Spiders terrify me.

    Janette: Oh, the Red Dwarf, superb series.

    @blenkinsopthebrave: I remember that conversation – insane, but funny.


    winston @winston

    @pedant  I have been blocked from logging in for a couple of days. Tonight I tried clearing my cookies and internet history and then I tried again and ……well here I am. I don’t know if it was something I did or not but people could try it and see if it works.

    @blenkinsopthebrave  That scene is so funny , thanks for that. It makes me want to watch Red Dwarf again  and strangely the Flintstones.lol



    Ah, that might be why my VPN login workaround …er… worked.

    Missy @missy

    I keep being prevented from logging on here. It’s damned annoying.

    Who ar these SURE SUPPORT people?


    ichabod @ichabod
    Missy @missy

    @ichabod Thanks for that. Enjoyable and interesting read.


    Craig @craig

    Hey everyone, I’m open to suggestions on how to handle “Class” as it’s not going to be shown at the same time around the world.

    I can set it up so each episode is treated like the Spoilers topic. Seems the best solution to me. But if you have better ideas please let me know.

    By the way @lisa has posted the three trailers released today in the BBC Approved Spoilers thread – two for “Class” and one for the Doctor Who Christmas special. Check them out if you don’t mind a mild BBC spoil. They look great.

    Anonymous @


    thanks for posting the trailers -the Puro family as been pressing “replay” dozens of times.

    @janetteb I have had no luck locating Class in Australia? Unfortunately beyond the ABC I don’t watch much up to date telly! Do you happen to know when Class will air here? If at all?  Others may have asked this question so apologies if so.

    I can’t locate it anywhere on Google Australia  -nor on any back door. 🙂

    @craig generally most people are great when it comes to not reading something if and when they don’t wish to be spoiled. I remember avoiding any and all comments about Buffy when I watched it for the first time (whole other discussion) and I know that others have done the same when Who started a week early in the UK and so simply stayed away from any written reviews until they’d caught up. Considering the Australian contingency is much smaller than the UKs I think you should go and ahead and set  up a page for comments. I’ll just ‘blink’ an awful lot.

    Craig @craig

    @puroandson I know you’re all great, because you’re here. Of course you are! But Class isn’t going to be shown in the US until roughly the same time as Doctor Who in 2017 (or so I hear). So that’s a long time.

    The upside of that is the US is much more likely to be spoiled by the rest of the internet than by this site as I will try my hardest to set up warnings etc. The downside is I have to work out how to set it all up so that people that like using this site (because I love you all) aren’t spoiled.

    Maybe instead of an episode title and a description I just put “Class – Episode 1 (spoilers)” and continue that way. Will be a bit boring but will keep everyone happy. I’m just thinking out loud. I’ll work it out. 🙂

    Anonymous @


    “of course you are.”

    Now, that’s a cue for a song -with long rows of ladeez high kicking and trilling: “You’re all great, you’re all here, and we did it ourrrrr waaaaay”

    @arbutus or @whisht will have a song for this f’sure.

    I agree (back on topic, cough cough)  that “Episode 1” would work. No title either. As titles can lead people to thinking…..and then pressing that darn “open page” tab. 🙂

    Anyway you do it will be terrific.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    A regal welcome back to our emperor.

    I was a trifle concerned that you might have disappeared into e-space, but it is good to know you have returned…the long way round.

    Anonymous @


    I think if you make a separate place for Class, I will just know to avoid that section of the forum until it airs here in the U.S.  If you feel you need to, you can warn people that there are spoilers for the series there.

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