Finished Book 1 of The Kingkiller Chronicle

Last night I finished The Name of the Wind, Book 1 in The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss.  And what a great way to leave me hanging until the next book.  I was actually expecting to be left with a huge cliff hanger, but instead, Rothfuss dangled relatively small yet important pieces of information in front of me.  Information that immediately started to swell in my mind, wondering where it would lead the story next.

There were little bits of information, such as Kvothe declaring to his friends that Denna is best left as a friend for now, for fear of scaring her off.  We finally get to see Kvothe break into the Archives, however, we won’t know until the next book what he might find in there.  And biggest of all was that even though he has recently risen in the ranks of the University, Ambrose will calculate his revenge soon enough which will result in Kvothe leaving the University.  All information that has me truly curious as to what is in his path next.

Rothfuss’ last chapter in the book finally gives a little insight into Bast, a character that has, until now, remained a huge mystery.  Bast gives us a hint of insight into the current state of Kvothe’s psyche when he warns Chronicler as to what he should and should not say in front of Kvothe.  It will be very interesting to see just exactly what has led Kvothe into his current state of depression, and whether or not he will break free from that.

I’ll be getting book 2, The Wise Man’s Fear, today and after starting it tonight I plan on having many updates as I read on.

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Does being a fan of the show make for a superior Doctor?

When I was writing the post about anxiety over a new Doctor I did a bit of reading on the actors, Chris Eccleston and David Tennant.  Let me refresh you on my feelings towards that specific changing of the guard.  I was uncertain at first how I would like a new Doctor because I had grown accustomed to Eccleston and to my virgin Doctor Who eyes, he was all I knew.  However, once I got a few episodes in to season 2 with David Tennant, I soon realized that, at least to me, he was a superior Doctor.

Now, let me be clear.  I understand that the overall concept of the Doctor requires and allows for a change in personality as well as the obvious physical difference, which allows the show to have such a long run with new actors.  That being said though, I started reading some information about the actors specifically that lead me to wonder if the actors as people affect their ability to play a great Doctor.

When Eccleston left the role after only one season there was speculation over the reasons for his exit.  When asked if he enjoyed his time with the show he responded saying “Mixed, but that’s a long story.”  Another person claimed that he left because he was overworked and exhausted, which Eccleston later stated was untrue.  In 2005 it was released that he wanted to leave the role because he was afraid of being “typecast.”  However, the BBC later revealed that it was an incorrect statement.  Finally, in a 2010 interview, Eccleston revealed that he “didn’t enjoy the environment and the culture that the cast and crew had to work in.”  To me, this is a person who, although did a good job in the role, didn’t have his heart in it.

Now, moving on to David Tennant.  At only 3 years old, David declared to his parents that he wanted to become an actor because of his interest in the show Doctor Who.  He watched every single episode of the original production while growing up and it was his dream to one day play the Doctor.  In 2006, his dream came true as he became the tenth Doctor.

It’s my opinion that David brings so much more to the table as the Doctor.  I can’t help but wonder how much of that is just acting skills alone and how much also lies with the fact that this role, this show, was David’s dream job.  He was a die hard fan of the show his entire life.  Don’t you think that love would be the catalyst for clinging on to the role with everything you have?  I think so.

Despite the popularity of the show within general public, it’s still a cult followed, genre show.  The type of show that creates a certain type of following.  So when you cast someone who is right in the middle of that following, you may just have a recipe for the perfect Doctor.  Of course, now that I’ve put so much backing into David as the Doctor, I’m most likely setting myself up for disappointment when I reach the end of his era and it’s on to Doctor 11.  Until then, long live David Tennant!

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The Doctor gets Emotional: Part 2

Just when I’m thinking to myself how great it was to see an emotional plot line within the School Reunion episode, I continue on to watch The Girl in the Fireplace and realize that the bar was pushed even higher with this episode than on the last.

While in School Reunion you are shown some of the emotional downfall of traveling with the Doctor, The Girl in the Fireplace dared to get even more vulnerable and express love.  The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey find themselves on a ship 3,000 years in the future.  Soon after boarding the ship the Doctor discovers time windows between the ship and 18th century France.  He also finds a girl on the other side named Reinette who is in fact Madame de Pompadour, and is in danger from clockwork androids.

Each time the Doctor crosses over to Reinette, months or years have passed in her time, while only a few minutes apart for the Doctor.  He looks into her mind, and she in turn looks into his.  They uncover each other’s secrets, and eventually fall in love.  Ultimately, the Doctor saves Madame de Pompadour and asks her to pack a bag, look into the sky and pick which star she would like to travel to.  However, when he returns through the fireplace for her, six years have passed and she is dead.  She left him a note, in which she refers to him as her love and her lonely angel.

The Doctor is left broken hearted, and is shown in a most vulnerable state, all of which seems to be a little hard for Rose to take in.  Perhaps she is upset seeing him so clearly love someone that was not her.

I was already informed that season 2 would hook me in stronger than season 1.  But I did not expect to see this type of emotion so delicately expressed in a science fiction show.  If is this is any indication of the direction that the writers took the show, then I am beyond enthusiastic to watch more.

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The Doctor gets Emotional: Part 1

The last two episodes of Doctor Who that I watched really pulled at my heart strings.  Those episodes were School Reunion and The Girl in the Fireplace.  I’m going to split this topic into two posts, one for each episode.  Up first, School Reunion.

As I said before, I am starting my Doctor Who education with the current BBC production. So when Sarah Jane made an appearance at the beginning of the episode, I wasn’t really sure what was happening, however, I quickly caught up to who she was.  I was first struck by the Doctor’s level of enthusiasm over seeing her again.  And later when Sarah Jane discovers the Tardis and truly reunites with the Doctor, the episode took on a tone that I hadn’t really seen yet in any other episode in the series.

In the episodes I had seen so far, the story seemed to follow the same course.  Travel to a new place, uncover a problem, save the world in the face of total destruction, hop back in the Tardis and leave for the next place.  But all of a sudden, with Sarah Jane back in the picture, you finally see a different side to the characters, you see a little into their hearts.

Sarah Jane felt abandoned.  She had waited so many years for the Doctor to return for her. She was confused and unable to move on with her life without knowing any answers.  Her heart was broken.

On the other end of it, you get to see how immortality plagues the Doctor.  He tells Rose, while she can spend the rest of her life with him, he cannot spend the rest of his life with her.  No matter how attached he may get to a companion, he knows it eventually must come to and end, but that he will continue on.

This is something that had crossed my mind earlier.  I wondered how long Rose would stay with him.  Wouldn’t she eventually grow old and no matter how close they may get, it can’t last forever.  It was refreshing and a bit sad to witness the outcome of that issue.  To see that while the adventures are exciting and invigorating, they cannot exist without emotion.  I’m glad that the writers addressed this.  And while bitter sweet, I’m glad that Sarah could finally get some closure… (and eventually her own series)

 

 

 

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The Name of the Wind

Recently, my friend Tim suggested I read The Name of the Wind (NOTW).  He mentioned it awhile back when book 2 in the series came out, saying that it had been awhile since he was this excited for an installment of a book series to be released.  Soon after I was preparing for vacation and decided to load it on my kindle for the trip.

It had been awhile since I read anything in the serious fantasy genre and what really struck me at first was how modern the writing was and how quickly I was pulled into the story.  It is told as a split story, first in the current time where Kote is running an inn, and second as Kote is recalling his story as a child, Kvothe, to the Chronicler.

Another thing worth mentioning is the difference in which magic is used in this story.  In Harry Potter, the characters are wizards with magical powers.  There is no explanation as to where that magic is conjured from.  However, in NOTW, magic is scientific.  All “magic” can be taught and all magic comes from logic and energy.  It’s an interesting and refreshing perspective on a concept that used so often.

At three quarters my way through book 1 I can honestly say I have not only enjoyed the story but get excited about reading more. I will have much more to come on specific NOTW topics and can’t wait for book 2.

 

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Adapting to a new Doctor

As I reached the end of season 1 of the new production of Doctor Who, I was a bit upset.  Here I was, 13 episodes in to a show that I was quickly falling in love with, and now I need to adjust to a new Doctor.  I know what you’re probably thinking… there have already been nine regenerations of the Doctor, so get used to it already.  But I started my Doctor Who journey with Chris Eccleston, so to me, he IS the Doctor.  (note: I fully intend to backtrack when I complete the current 6 seasons)

It also didn’t help where at the end of the episode they showed the regeneration to David Tennant.  It’s silly, but I had an issue with the physical differences.  As they say, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”  I should have taken this advice.  Instead I spent the first episode with David Tennant dwelling on the fact that he simply looked different.  When instead I should have been realizing how great he is as the Doctor.

Now, only 3 episodes into David Tennant as the Doctor and I can’t imagine anyone else.  He’s perfect.  I find myself diving deeper into each plot line, appreciating a more emotional approach.  I realize that this may not have happened if he hadn’t taken over.  Of course, I know I’m just setting myself up for another roller coaster of possible disappointment followed by hopeful acceptance when the time comes for Tennant to take a bow and make way for Doctor number 11.  In the meantime, I shall savor each Tennant episode.

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Better Production Equals A Better Doctor

Let’s face it, the bigger your budget, the better your show is going to be.  The latest production of Doctor Who is no exception.  While the tone of each story is relatively the same, the increase in production quality from season 1 to season 2 really allows the characters to go from cheesy to compelling.

I’ll start with my very first introduction to Doctor Who with the episode “Rose.”  Aliens in this episode are walking mannequins and the hungry trash can that kidnapped Mickey.  In the episode  “The End of the World,” the steward of Platform One looks like a member of Blue Man group wandered on set wearing a robe and hat.  The aliens were a bit silly and made for a lighter feel for each episode

Now, fast forward to episode 2 of season 2, “Tooth and Claw.”  The Doctor and Rose travel back in time for an accidental visit with Queen Victoria and must save the group from a werewolf.  In the next episode, “School Reunion” where they must save the school from an invasion by the Krillitane’s.

Right off the bat you can tell that the production budget for season 2 was much larger, probably because of gained popularity of the new show.  This allowed not only for the technology to be greater, creating better aliens, but also allowed for the show to get a bit darker, a bit scarier, and definitely more addicting.

 

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Introducing The Doctor

Growing up, I had no idea who Doctor Who was, nor did I understand just how long Doctor Who had been an important part of the Sci Fi genre.  In fact, just the other day the topic of Doctor Who came up in conversation with my mother and she had no idea what I was talking about.  So much of what you are exposed to as a kid depends on your own parents’ interest.  Which is why I grew up knowing lyrics to Phil Collins songs instead of the time traveling adventures of the Doctor.

Eventually, my knowledge of the Doctor went from completely nonexistent to at least knowing that it exists and that it’s a thing.  And my knowledge remained that vague for quite some time.  One day, I found myself browsing through the Netflix watch instant choices for TV and stumbled upon it.  I added it to my queue as a “one day I’ll get to it” option.  Finally, after a period of time in which I really started to grasp my love for Sci Fi and fantasy genres, I introduced the Doctor into my life.  The rest is history.

My best friend informed me that the first season might feel a little slow, or a little silly, or however he tried to explain it to me.  And that if I held on until season 2 it would really start to sink in.  However, I didn’t need to “hang in there” for the first season.  I was right on board after episode 1.  Sure, it is a little silly at first, and the production quality is much lower at the beginning, but I didn’t need high quality production or complex relationships to hold my attention.  The premise of Doctor Who, alone, is what pulled me in.

Here I am, a few episodes into season 2 and I finally see what people were talking about.  The tone of the show changes as is to be expected with a new Doctor.  But also the production quality rose as the show gained momentum.  It’s a little darker now, and David Tennant isn’t quite as goofy as season one’s Chris Eccleston.  All of which is increasingly hooking me into the series.

For all the veteran Doctor Who devotees out there, don’t worry, I am well aware that while this series is labeled as season 1 and 2 etc… it’s actually starting with season 27.  I am not forgetting that the original existed and I fully intend to view every single Doctor Who installment and promise to document it all as I go.

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