Saturday, January 13, 2018

Incident Report IBC-726A-39

FORMAL INCIDENT REPORT

SECTION ONE

Incident Date:___25th August 2436__ Incident Time:___22:30 hours approx___
Incident Location:_____Officer’s mess hall__________________________
Person/s Involved in Incident:___Colonel Cameron McAllister, Lieutenant Sebastian Rayne___________________________________________________
Damage to Property Y/N:__Yes__ Damage to Individual Y/N:_Yes___

SECTION TWO

Details of Incident:
______________________Lieutenant Sebastian “Seb” Rayne and I consumed a few too many beers while discussing a particularly shitful assignment Seb had just gone through. After most people had left the officers mess hall, Seb got hungry, so we went into the kitchen to make sandwiches, but then Seb decided he wanted a hotdog instead. Although I was aware we were both somewhat intoxicated, I couldn’t have foreseen that attempting to cook a single hotdog would result in an appliance exploding and a minor fire to break out. Or that when trying to put out aforementioned fire, a pipe would be damaged resulting in the kitchen flooding. Or, that in the ensuing chaos, Seb would slip over and give himself a concussion.

SECTION THREE

Statement of Culpability:

During the incident wherein the officer’s mess hall kitchen was simultaneously burned and flooded, I, __Colonel Cameron McAllister__ am hereby officially stating to the record that as a direct result of my actions of being intoxicated and thinking it was a good idea to go along with anything suggested by Sebastian Rayne_____, caused
Damage_X_ Destruction_X_ Injury_X_ Insult___ Grievance With___ Offence To___
Fellow members of my Team___ Unit___ Shipmates___ Soldiers_X_ Civilians___
and/or Property_X_ Buildings_X_ Vehicles___ Ship___ of which I should have more respect.
I am aware that my actions may be construed as Offensive___ Selfish_X_ Ignorant_X_ Short-sighted_X_ Insulting___ Insolent___ and wish to state that my intention was___to debrief and/or commiserate with a friend and fellow soldier_____, though I can see now that it may have appeared that I was__just getting wasted_.
Please accept my___sincere and now very sober apologies__. Moving forward I will attempt to____not do anything suggested by Seb, especially when drunk, even if it seems harmless.
I have made this statement__by my own free will_____ and I standby all details within.

SECTION FOUR
Additional Notes:___The fire and flooding of the officer’s mess hall kitchen was very regrettable, but this has brought to my attention that the set up of the kitchen before the damage was not conducive to reactions by personnel during an emergency. Lieutenant Rayne’s concussion may have been avoidable if not for the fact that someone had inappropriately stored a container of tuna which was knocked over in Seb’s haste to get some water. Not only did it cover him from head to toe in tuna chunks and oil, that is what he actually slipped on when he went to step away. On a side note, Seb is sitting next to me filling out his own report and still smells like cat food.




Available Now From Entangled Publishing: 
When one of her pilots is shot down behind enemy lines, Lieutenant Theresa Brenner will stop at nothing to save her before she’s captured and tortured, even if it means being part of the dirtside team led by Colonel Cameron McAllister. Bren might respect the way the colonel commands his men, but she’ll never trust Cam—no matter how charming he is—because he was responsible for her brother’s death. 

Colonel Cameron McAllister has a covert mission behind enemy lines to team with the Ilari rebels and overthrow the bloodthirsty dictator who’s torn their planet apart. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked searching for a downed pilot, especially since it means having Lieutenant Theresa Brenner tag along. Not only doesn’t the frosty pilot have the ground game to keep up with his seasoned group, she’s a potential distraction with all those gorgeous blond curls of hers—and she might be just like her brother, whose foolhardiness got his men killed.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Five Times The Doctor Wasn't The Least Bit Straight

The fandoms and parts of the internet have been buzzing on and off over the last few months over the rumours that it seemed Jodie Whittaker's incarnation of the Thirteenth Doctor was set to be bisexual. Much of this was based off the fact that the Doctor's companions are usually female, however, the gossip subsided a little when it was announced that Bradley Walsh was set to be the first of three new companions for the Doctor (with the other two being Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole).
However, before any new episodes air later this year and we eventually find out, I have to say that I think the idea of the Doctor being somewhat fluid with his/her sexuality has already been well and truly established. Hence, I give you five times the Doctor wasn't the least bit straight.

1) That Time Ten Got Flirty With Shakespeare

Ten spent his first season with eyes only for Rose. And on a side note, I have to say I really loved the Ten x Rose ship. They were just so adorable together. I love the fact that Rose (presumably) got to have her HEA with the metacrisis Doctor, or Tentoo as the fandoms like to call him. After losing Rose, he spent most of his regeneration getting over her... twice if we're being technical about it.
But there was this priceless moment in the episode The Shakespeare Code where he managed to catch Shakespeare's eye. Though Ten didn't exactly flirt back with him, I have to say, the two of them did have some interesting chemistry in this episode.

2) That Time Twelve Was All Like "Call Me Later." 

I actually have no idea what this was all about. Truthfully it was probably more like Twelve was impressed with Psi (played by the very talented Jonathan Bailey) and was indicating that if he ever wanted to go travelling in the TARDIS, then the offer was open. However it did come across very cute and flirty, and it seemed to me that Psi took it that way as well. Before this episode, I was still struggling with Twelve after loving Eleven so much (but in the same way, I'd loved Ten and struggled the first few eps with Eleven) but this episode and partly this moment was when I fell in love with Twelve.


3) That Time Nine Met Captain Jack Harkness And The Sparks Were Obvious.

Don't get me started on Captain Jack Harkness or we'll be here for months. Truly, I think anyone would have trouble resisting the charm-offensive that is Jack Harkness. By this point it was obvious that the Doctor was developing feelings for Rose, and was a little blase in the face of Jack's flirting. Partly it would have also come down to the fact that the Doctor realized very quickly that flirting was Jack's default setting. However, when Jack laid it on thick enough, the Doctor was happy to give as good as he got. The episodes with Nine, Rose and Jack are some of my favourites. I think its a pity they didn't introduce Jack sooner and give him more travelling time in the TARDIS with the pair. 

4) That Time Eleven Kissed Rory Williams 

Oh man, this moment. This moment does not need words. The dynamic of Eleven, Amy and Rory was always amazing. A lot of my favourite-of-all-time episodes feature these three. No matter what was happening, they were always so much fun. And it worked well with Eleven's goofy, dorky adorableness. Out of all the Doctors, I think Eleven was arguably the most flirty, except I don't think he really meant to be and was kind of oblivious to it half the time. I mean, there was that whole thing with Craig. But that's a story for another post. Though he met Amelia first as a child, there was no doubt that the Doctor had as much affection for Rory as he did for Amy. I think a lot of that came down to how much Rory loved Amy, and the fact he would literally do anything for her. But it was also Rory himself. I have to say, Rory is one of my favourite underrated characters of Doctor Who. He was always there, always reliable and when it came down to it, he could be a total badass.

5) That Time Jack Kissed Nine Goodbye

In this last episode for Nine before he regenerated into Ten, Jack was going to face the daleks and knew he wasn't going to survive it. He kissed Rose goodbye first, which wouldn't have been a surprise to anyone since he'd made it quite clear from the first moment he met Rose that he was attracted to her. But then (probably much to the utter stupidfication of many viewers) he kissed Nine goodbye as well. Nine didn't pull back or resist, he let Jack kiss him and was totally fine about it.
I always thought this was an amazing moment of TV, normalizing all things LGBTQ and taking an important step toward other sexual orientations besides straight couples becoming an every day thing in our society. 

So there you have it. Five times it can reasonably be argued that the cannon of the Doctor being bisexual had already been well established.

*all gifs sourced from scriptscribbles on tumblr

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Doctor Who Re-Watch - Top 5 Episodes of Season 1

What better way to start off a new year than with a re-watch of Doctor Who? It's summer holidays here in Australia, so I haven't spent quite as much time curled up on the couch watching TV (which surely isn't a bad thing) so the re-watch is going to take a while because I'm lucky to watch one ep a day at the moment. Lucky the seasons are only around 12 to 14 episodes long or this will end up taking me all year... although, a year of Doctor Who. Actually, that sounds kind of awesome!

Anyhoo, I have just finished re-watching season 1, from way back in 2005. Look, this first season is good, but if you compare it to what comes later, then you can see how it was a little rough around the edges. However, I think season 1 with the Ninth Doctor stayed true to what Doctor Who originally was--no big-budget special effects. The campiness of it (which, I think it still partly has to this day) the ridiculousness, the fun, the outlandish, it was all meant to be like that. Later, it was able to become a little more sophisticated, sometimes a little darker, the special effects on par with most of it's other contemporary sci fi shows.

So, yes, there was a lot to love about this first season. Getting Billy Piper to play Rose was just perfect, her on-screen energy was always brilliant no matter who she was acting with. But if we're being honest, my favourite thing about season 1 was and always will be the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness. He's probably one of my favourite TV characters of all time, and the fact he went on to star in his own TV show through Torchwood was just epic. Don't get me started on Captain Jack or we'll be here forever.

Without anymore blabbing, here's my top five favourite episodes of season 1:

5) Rose (episode 1)

Can't go past the first episode, when Rose finds her life going from ordinary to straight out bonkers. But as good as that was, I think what really made this episode was the creepy mannequins coming to life. Honestly, the reason it took me 35 years to finally watch Doctor Who, even though people kept telling me how amazing it was, is because when I was a kid, Doctor Who was on in the afternoon, right after all the kids shows I watched. Not sure how young I was (probably 5 or 6), but I watched an episode that scared the bejesus out of me so that was pretty much the start and the end of Doctor Who for me until I was a 35-year-old-grown-ass-woman and wondered since I started watching the X-Files when I was 12 and had been thriving on that and things like Supernatural ever since, what the hell was I so worried about?
Anyhoo, the mannequins in this first episode were creepy as hell, and I was like "no wonder this show scared me when I was a kid!" This time, however, I was old enough to love the hell out of it.

4) Aliens of London (episode 4)

There was A LOT of ridiculousness in this episode. Like the farting. I mean, was that script written by a ten year old? But the one thing I really loved about this episode was the introduction of Harriett Jones who would become a reoccurring character. I don't know what it is about Doctor Who and the show's ability to have these kind of silly, but important and so every-day-type-people characters. They really just make the show. I mean, what happened with Harriett Jones in the end when she and Ten came up against one another was a little sad, but in the meantime, she provided lots of entertainment.

3) The Doctor Dances (episode 10)

This episode will always be iconic for Nine's very quotable "everyone lives, Rose! Just this once, everyone lives!" The sheer joy of it was infectious. And it was great that for once, the resolution of the episode's storyline was that everyone survived instead of tens or hundreds (or sometimes thousands and millions) of people dying. This episode also had some very funny one-liners in it, and of course the fact that in the end, Jack Harkness takes a bomb, willing to sacrifice himself to save everyone, then in turn, Rose and The Doctor save him. The following episodes with Jack as Nine's second companion were just fantastic (the dream team, I like to call them) and part of me wishes he could have spent more time with them. But since he went on to have his own TV series, I'm definitely not complaining!

2) Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways (episodes 12 & 13)

Okay, yes I'm cheating because this was actually two episodes, but they're kind of hard to separate. The game show station. I mean, talk about mid-2000s culture snap shot. The Weakest Link, Big Brother, some Make Over show. The world was in love with reality TV shows because at that time, they were still a novelty and we hadn't been completely inundated by them. But of course Doctor Who takes it to extremes with the idea that the contestants don't leave or get voted off. No, instead they get brutally murdered. Meanwhile, we've got Jack in his element, not an iota of humility even when he's completely naked in front of millions of viewers, enjoying every second of it. And if all that wasn't enough, the revelation that the Daleks survived the Time War and are about to attack Earth was staggering for Nine. Then of course we've got all the drama of Nine sending Rose home and her attempts to get back to him, Jack going to face the Daleks even though he knows he's going to die doing it, ending with a twist I'm sure no one could see coming. To top it off, Nine regenerated into Ten, introducing David Tennant and the rest is history.

1) Empty Child (episode 9)

My number one episode out of this season for two simple reasons; one, the creep factor and iconic "are you my mummy?" and two, the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness. And yes, I know I keep going on about Jack, but culturally, I think he's historically going to go down as one of the most important characters on TV in this time. A big call, I know. But the reasons why are simple. Jack is bisexual or pansexual (depending on who you talk to) and this was presented as a simple no-big-deal fact. There was never an episode about his sexuality, the whys or hows. The writers never felt the need to justify it in any way, even once he went over to Torchwood. For the LGBTQ community, for out society, this was a huge fucking deal (excuse my language) because for the first time there was a man kissing another man on prime-time TV,
on a show that is an accepted FAMILY show and arguably is somewhat aimed at kids/tweens/teenagers. But not only was there a man kissing another man, there was also the same man kissing and flirting with women. Without saying the words, Jack's sexuality was there for everyone to see without a single bit of shame or homophobic slurs in sight. I'll stop now, because I could go on about this all day. But I'm one fan who will never underestimate or diminish the importance of both Captain Jack Harkness and John Barrowman both on and off the screen.

So, there you have it! The re-watch will continue, now heading into season 2 with David Tennant at the helm and the otp to end all Doctor Who otps. But that is a post for another day. In the words of Nine, this has been "Fantastic!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

War Games Release Day!

Just for fun, here's five rapid-fire facts about the release day for War Games!

1) It's the beginning of Summer here in Australia. The weather is hot, I'm wearing the required summer footwear of thongs (flip-flops if you're American) and as soon as I can, I'll be heading out to enjoy the sun.


2) Found a new song I'm really enjoying which is getting a lot of repeating playtime on my writing playlist. Girl Who Cried Wolf by Ashe


3) Today's tea of choice is called Geisha Getaway and is a green tea with mango and pineapple pieces. It's a perfect summer time tea! 

4) Today's chocolate of choice is a Cadbury dairy-milk with salted caramel pieces. 


5) Plans for the day include boring stuff like grocery shopping, cleaning and making dinner. More interesting stuff will include going to a local 20/20 cricket match with my family this evening and then probably watching a few episodes of Doctor Who when the kids go to bed tonight. 



War Games is now available from Entangled Publishing!

When one of her pilots is shot down behind enemy lines, Lieutenant Theresa Brenner will stop at nothing to save her before she’s captured and tortured, even if it means being part of the dirtside team led by Colonel Cameron McAllister. Bren might respect the way the colonel commands his men, but she’ll never trust Cam—no matter how charming he is—because he was responsible for her brother’s death. 

Colonel Cameron McAllister has a covert mission behind enemy lines to team with the Ilari rebels and overthrow the bloodthirsty dictator who’s torn their planet apart. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked searching for a downed pilot, especially since it means having Lieutenant Theresa Brenner tag along. Not only doesn’t the frosty pilot have the ground game to keep up with his seasoned group, she’s a potential distraction with all those gorgeous blond curls of hers—and she might be just like her brother, whose foolhardiness got his men killed.




Thursday, November 30, 2017

Torchwood: A Study In Fandom


Yes, my last Torchwood post was a little bit snarky, but I've calmed my rabid inner fangirl and given some thought to the unique entity that is Torchwood.
Contrary to my usual habits in TV series consumption, I didn't wallow in Tumblr gifs and youtube fanmade videos and then move on to get addicted to a new series. Oh, don't get me wrong. I totally went down a dark fangirl hole of janto gifs and fanvids that hurt me in the feels, but the moving on part failed to happen.
You see, Torchwood might not be on our TV screens anymore, but it's still rolling along strongly in the form of original cast audio drama produced by Big Finish audio productions. They made a really great mini series that fell between the end of season two and Children of Earth/season 3 called Outbreak, and also season 5 that follows on from Miracle Day called Aliens Among Us. But probably the thing that I've been enjoying the most is the fact they've been able to duck and weave back into the timeline of the show and slot in new "episodes" that feature Owen, Tosh and of course Ianto.
One in particular, titled Broken, runs alongside several episodes in the middle of season one, and deals with Ianto's personal fallout after the death of his girlfriend Lisa, while also filling in the gaps about how and when Jack and Ianto's relationship started, which was never explained in the actual TV series.
The Torchwood fandom is still alive, maybe not as strong as it once was when it was on TV, but new audiences are discovering the TV series all the time thanks to Netflix (among other things), creating new fans as the old ones slip away. It very much seems to be a shifting sands of fandoms that I've never seen with anything else. And a lot of these new fans seem happy enough to embrace the alternate media in which this series had continued to exist. Unfortunately, as the years go by, the fandom is shrinking little by little, and these days things like online petitions or sending packets of coffee beans to the BBC (in honour of Ianto being the coffeeboy) don't do anything to sway anyone.
Even with the considerable influence of John Barrowman wanting to get Torchwood back on TV, the chances of that happening seem minuscule at best.
But in all the fandom to-and-fro, the one thing that keeps coming up again and again, is the death of Ianto Jones. As new fans are come along, it creates a whole new group of people outraged over the character's death. This is fascinating to me from several different perspectives.
Look, I will never agree that killing off Ianto was the right move to make, just as I believe that the Torchwood writers and show runners will ever believe they made a mistake. Or, on the small chance they did decide it was a mistake, they'd never admit to it, anyway.
I think the fan backlash is exactly what tells the writers they did the right thing. The fact is that Jack and Ianto's relationship became that much more polarizing because of Ianto's untimely and sudden death. The tragedy of it makes the fans more invested, the wasted potential frustrates and upsets them, so in many ways, killing of Ianto worked fantastically for the series. Unfortunately, for the continuation of the series, not so much. There was a huge Ianto-sized hole in Miracle Day, and while some of the behind-the-scenes stuff I've seen and read about Torchwood, the creators/writers talk about Gwen being the heart and soul of the show (and in some ways was true) I think they completely missed the fact that Ianto was just as much this, if not more so. He was the warmth and comfort of the show, and without him, things just seemed kind of hollow.
With Torchwood continuing on through audio dramas, there's always going to be the possibility in the fandom's mind that characters can be brought back. In fact, for the next instalment of Aliens Among Us, the gossip on the internet is that Yvonne Hartman, who ran Torchwood One in London and was killed during the battle of Canary Warf, would be coming back. Of course, the fans will be all ready to jump on the "bring Ianto Jones back next!" bandwagon, but I think it would be a safe bet to say Ianto is the single character they will never, ever bring back, no matter what. Don't get me wrong. I'm right there with the bring-Ianto-back brigade, but there are any number of reasons I can see why the creators/writers wouldn't do it.
I've seen a few ideas floating around the internet about how Ianto could be saved or brought back. Probably my two favorite are one; having the 13th Doctor save or revive him somehow. Or two, after the BBC audio drama House of the Dead, (spoilers! Just skip ahead if you haven't got to this audio drama yet and don't want to know what happens) there were fan theories floating around that Ianto had actually been fully resurrected and wasn't just a ghost.
When he stayed behind to close the rift, he got sucked into it and is now trapped between worlds, or possibly got flung out again in a different time. There's even been some theories that this could make Ianto immortal like Jack from absorbing rift energy.
If they were going to bring Ianto back, I actually quite like this option, because I think it would give his character an extra dimension that would be amazing. He would still need to be the same Ianto, but his characters always did have those tiny hints of darkness, so you could only imagine that if Ianto did get spat out of the rift in a different time and was somewhat, if not completely immortal like Jack, he might have spent years or decades trying to get back, so his character could be a little edgier, a little darker. Plus imagine all the backstory of where he'd been and what he'd been doing for all that time that the writers could play with.
However, as wonderful as all that probably sounds to the hardcore #janto fans, if on the tiny, tiny chance Ianto did get brought back, I doubt the writers/creators would ever make him immortal, and it comes back to why they killed Ianto in the first place. Jack's immortality is meant to be a curse, and the writers have already stated that killing Ianto was meant to demonstrate this in a way nothing else ever had. To bring Ianto back would lessen the impact of this. To make Ianto immortal so he and Jack can be together forever? Yeah, not going to happen, because immortality no longer seems like such a curse. And I suppose that is where fanfiction will always fill the gaps. Go onto Ao3 and you can probably find any number of CoE fixit scenarios, or fictions where Ianto becomes immortal like Jack. But in the cannon of the the series still being overseen by Richard T Davies and being produced by Big Finish, sadly I feel Ianto Jones will stay dead and buried for good.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Torchwood - Killing Main Characters GoT Style Before That Was Even A Thing


I just finished watching Torchwood season 3/Children of Earth (mini series) last night, and while I know I've still got season 4/Miracle Day to watch, considering what I've heard about the BBC America/Starz production, I'm not expecting too much.
This isn't the first time I've tried to watch Torchwood. I started way back circa 2007 when it was actually still being produced and one of the larger TV networks here in Australia aired it. But Aussie TV channels are notoriously hopeless (unless we're talking reality TV shows. Those, they seem to be great at handling) and when the episodes were shown, I'm pretty sure they were out of order, plus the day and time kept changing so it was hard to keep track of when it was on. In the end I gave up.
But my recent Doctor Who binge (thanks Netflix) made me want to try again, because Captain Jack Harkness was one of those brash heroes you just know is going to do amazing things.
At the top of its game, Torchwood was a brilliant, shinning example of what a TV series can gift viewers with; brilliant writing and production, storylines that weren't bound or influenced by race, gender or sexuality. It was the heart and soul of people. People we could relate to. People we are. But it also gave us quirky humour, lots of tears, creepy scenes that made you think twice about watching it after dark, and never held back on the violence or sex. But none of it was gratuitous, it made you think about who we are as humans and what we're really capable of.
For a TV series that soared so high, maybe it shouldn't have been surprising that it came crashing down so spectacularly, the beginning of the end happening in Children of Earth.
The season 3 mini series got so much right. It was gripping, gritty, had the audience of the edge of their seats with each episode, building the tension like a rising crescendo. I felt every moment of angst over the children right along with the characters.
But then they made one fatal mistake. Its like a neon sign pointing straight to the pits of hell for the rest of the series. In a lot of ways, it looked like the creators were expecting Children of Earth to be the end, but even if it was, I still think they made some huge mistakes and went waaay too dark. Torchwood always had an element of darkness to it, but this plunged it into absolute despair that it was probably never coming back from.
And that simple, single, fatal mistake was killing off Ianto.
I've seen some statements certain people involved with making the show said about why they did it and how they didn't care what the few whinges on the internet thought, but those whinges are your commodity. They are what get shows made and keep them on the air. If you don't care about them, if you alienate them, then what have you got left? And while I don't mean to get on my high horse about it, if you don't care about your viewers, then what you end up producing smacks of ego and self indulgence. The most popular and successful TV series have huge fandoms. Those fandoms are a community. I'm not saying bow to their every whim because you can't make everyone happy and sometimes fans want things to happen that just aren't feasible. But you can have your cake and respect the fandom while you're eating it.
I'm all for killing off main characters. When they killed off Owen and Tosh, it was sad (I cried SO much) but I could accept it. However if a series is to endure after killing off main characters, then I believe there are two main elements to the show's continued survival.
One: some characters are like linchpins. If you kill them off, you risk completely destroying the very fabric of the show. Ianto was one of these characters, especially considering his character arc from the beginning, to his positioning at the end. At first, he was kind of in the background, but the growth he did became part of the heart and soul that kept the show grounded and vibrant. Same for Gwen, her being killed off would have undermined the overall path of the show. Obviously they're not going to kill Jack, especially since he can't actually die.
Second to this, the main characters you do kill need to eventually or gradually be replaced by new main characters to fill the void left. You can kill them as well in the long run if you want, but the audience will have grown to expect a certain kind of balance to the particular makeup of the world they're invested in, so if these characters aren't replaced, it never really has the same feel.
So to paraphrase, I think the two things that completely destroyed Torchwood in the end was the fact that two new main characters weren't introduced as part of the team to make it feel like things were evolving and would survive. And secondly, killing Ianto (especially the pointless, swiss cheese of a plot hole way he died) was like blowing up a support column on an unstable building.
Whatever form Torchwood took in series 4, I'm sure it was a shadow of its former self and can already see why it didn't last more than a season in the US. And honestly, I find all of this very sad, because some of the episodes of late season 1 and early season 2 are my favourite episodes of any TV show ever. Which, considering how much I love my TV shows and how many I've watched, is saying something big. Its always sad when a TV series ends, but seeing one completely destroy itself before that happens is so very disappointing. 

Incident Report IBC-726A-39

FORMAL INCIDENT REPORT SECTION ONE Incident Date:___ 25 th August 2436 __ Incident Time:___ 22 :30 hours approx ___ Incident...