Thursday, 16 December 2010
Holiday Gift Guide: Doctor Who, Misfits and Sherlock
In the spirit of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, I'm including gift ideas for all three of my shows in one post. Sherlock represents the Spirit of Christmas Past (because of its Victorian origins), Misfits the Spirit of Christmas Present (because it's presently airing on E4), and Doctor Who the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come (because the Christmas episode is yet to air).
Of course, the real reason I'm grouping them together, is that I didn't quite grasp the concept of 'one show at a time'. Which makes the above explanation nothing more than a ruse designed to hide my shame. I made a mistake, okay? I just hope nobody noticed.
—For those who don't already own it, Russell T. Davies' 'The Writers Tale: The Final Chapter' is a must have for any discerning Doctor Who fan. It's a collection of emails between Davies and journalist Benjamin Cook, documenting the writing process, script development, and ups and downs of being Showrunner. Davies is surprisingly candid about his achievements. He's sometimes immodest, occasionally self-deprecating, but you can always count on him to be honest.
—Not a fan of Matt Smith? Whilst you sit there, wallowing in your own disgustingness, you could always kick it old school and bust out one of Big Finish's audio adventures. Is your favourite Doctor still Colin Baker? Did you stop watching when Peter Davison hung up his cricketing box for good? Fear not, because both Doctors are still out there having adventures. New stories. Old companions. It's like they never went away. Let's hope they all team up for a 50th anniversary special, eh? It'll likely be dire, but imagine the fun we'll have.
—For those of us hit hard by the recession (i.e. the known universe), how about making some Doctor Who gifts yourself? You've heard the axiom about home-made gifts showing the most love, right? Well, it's not true—it means you're cheap. But since cheap is the new charitable, you might fancy taking a gander at the numerous Doctor Who craft ideas out there. There are patterns galore on the internet for crocheted Cybermen, macramé Daleks, and cloth Adipose. Yes, a few are embarrassing, but some you could conceivably give as a gift without it seeming like a slap in the face. You may even have fun—which let's face it, is what it's all about.
—Yes, I know I've only just started reviewing it, but the series boxed sets are so cheap at the moment, you'd have to be a right Scrooge to deprive your nearest and dearest of E4's latest foul mouthed sci-fi offering. Beware you don't accidentally buy The Misfits, starring Clark Gable. It's a good film, but nobody has superpowers, and nobody craps in anyone's bed.
—Sherlock was the unexpected hit of 2009. The concept seemed dreadful, but it was so brilliantly realised and acted, that it totally worked. For those of you only recently acquainted with Holmes, there's a massive back catalogue of previous adaptations to choose from. The Ronald Howard (no, not the ginger one from Happy Days) boxed set is as rough as a roofer's glove, and should be avoided at all costs, but the Jeremy Brett boxed set is as cheap as chips and as good as any adaptation you're likely to see.
—The original Conan Doyle Stories are also bafflingly cheap. In fact, if you have a eReader, 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' is completely free. Even hard copies (that's books to you and me) of the full canon are just a few quid. A small price to pay for classic story telling.
—The BBC's audio adaptations (featuring Clive Merrison), are also worth a look (and listen). Merrison and Co. managed to record every story in the canon (and some that aren't). Ideal fodder for those cold winter evenings—when the powers of evil are exalted.
That's me done. Have a good one, folks!