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I watched The History of Tom Jones a Foundling yesterday, which is one of those mid-nineties BBC costume dramas that the BBC has placed in truly dull DVD packaging that in no way captures the spirit on the programme to scare off any potential viewers. Contrary to the packaging, it is quite fantastic, with an excellent cast and a brilliant sense of humour and considerably more debauchery than the average costume drama. Tom Jones (the gorgeous Max Beesley), a gentleman, bastard and foundling is of course after the love of his life, Sophia (Samantha Morton), but there are quite a few villians in the way, in the forms of James D'Arcy (who doesn't do much, but looks damn good doing it), Lindsay Duncan and Peter Capaldi (both in Dangerous Liaisons mode) and Frances de la Tour and Brian BLESSED (who are hilarious as very loud siblings). Actually, as likable as the heroes are, its the villains that make this prefect. And basically, it's one to track down and watch.

That's great news about Neil Gaiman writing a Who episodes. Not only does the show get some big name actors, it gets the big name writers. Next there will directors lining up.

Having quite a bit of free time at the moment, I've got so many fandom related projects on the go, which would be great if I could seem to focus on one for more than half an hour. There's a picspam for [livejournal.com profile] halfamoon, a TW:CoE vid which is way beyond my skills as a vidder and may take forever, zombie!crack TTOI fic, a TTOI/Doctor Who crossover fic, and a post-EoT Donna fic.

At least I completed one thing and changed my LJ layout, as I was bored with the old one. I went for a TTOI theme, partially inspired by the whole 'Vote Labour, Save Malcolm' thing (the fates of my favourite fictional characters are riding on Gordon Brown winning an election – I'm screwed) Although, I may yet tweak the colours.

Finally, is anybody else having trouble with LJ loading? For a couple of days it's not been loading the blue-sidebar thing, userpics or those little tiny icons by usernames and it's so slow. I'm having the same problem in both Firefox and Safari and I'm trying to locate the source of the problem, me or LJ.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragdoll.livejournal.com
Is that the Tom Jones that also had Roger Pack Lloyd in it? I remember seeing one in the 90s on Masterpiece Theatre that was really really good and went way beyond the 60s film (which I do love).

Obviously I'm over the moon about Unca Neil writing for DW even if it was the worst kept secret in Whodom. I've got every confidence that it will be good.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
Yes, it is that version. It's also got Sylvester McCoy in it actually, in another bit of casting win.

I'm really curious as to how he will do it. I don't associate NG with science-fiction, he's a lot more urban fantasy, but then stuff like the Weeping Angels was also very urban fantasy like anyway, so maybe it won't be different.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragdoll.livejournal.com
Its been a long time since I've seen it so I don't even remember Sylv being in it. LOL For some reason *just* Roger Pack Lloyd.

Neil has written some science fiction over the years, but definitely more in the science fantasy vein than anything hard core or high tech. I can't even remember *what* to be honest, other than his script for Babylon 5.

Dr Who isn't hard-science fiction either so it should be a good match. Neil is great at character-driven stuff and there's a lot of DW technobabble which might as well be magic (including meeting Satan, dealing with witches etc.) so it's easy enough to tweak. And N's a huge fan of the show so it's all good. :)

Date: 2010-02-07 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
He is fantastic at the character stuff. Dreams final conversation with Death in Sandman was one of the highlights of the things I read all of last year. I'm really looking forward to it. Damn 14 months wait!

Date: 2010-02-07 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragdoll.livejournal.com
I've been a fan of Neil's work for 20 years. I started out with the first year of Sandman quite by accident (a friend gave me a big box of books and comics when he was clearly out his apartment and they happened to be in there. I just sat down and started reading it without having any clue as to what they were about -- said friend kind of wigged out shortly after he gave me the stuff so we hadn't talked about what he'd given me). I've stuck with him ever since.

It's really odd reading wanky stuff on [livejournal.com profile] doctor_who right now as some people's views on his work and Neil as a person are just kind of mind boggling. (He's one of the most self-deprecating people I've ever met and one of the nicest guys ever in terms of how he treats his fans. So to read that he's supposedly this over rated egotistical wanker is just...wtf?)

Date: 2010-02-07 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
You know, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly some Doctor Who fans can jump on an announcements with hate and declarations that it is the end of Doctor Who, and worse is the fandom can be quite nasty and personal. I stopped reading [livejournal.com profile] doctor_who around the time of the great Catherine Tate bitching storm of July 07.

Date: 2010-02-07 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragdoll.livejournal.com
Ive just seen a lot of Neil bashing today which just sucks. I don't care if people dislike him, but the personal insults and the ignorant comments ("He writes kids books and comic books") just piss me off. It's not just Dr Who fandom that does this, of course, but right now they're the ones pulling this crap and I want to smack someone up but good. Grr. Argh.

I hope that like the Catherine Tate Bitch Storm of 07, by the time S6 rolls around and No-Longer-Called-"The House Of Nothing" airs, the large majority of these idiots are eating huge helpings of crow. (The same goes for the people who have to find fault with anything and everything Matt Smith does because he's Not-David-Tennant. One of the dumbest comments I saw today..."Oh, why couldn't Neil have written for David Tennant? That would've been so much better!" GAH!)

Date: 2010-02-07 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] britfan1013.livejournal.com
Safari kept crashing on me. But Firefox seems to be working fine.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
I've just been told that apparently it's a problem users in New Zealand are experiencing. Thanks for checking it out :)

Date: 2010-02-07 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artic-fox.livejournal.com
I totally remember seeing Tom Jones forever ago - I think it was the first time I ever saw Max Beesley in anything, and it made me take notice of him. I don't really remember a lot of what happens, but I remember it being good.

I read from someone else on my flist that there are problems on LJ for those in NZ? I'm not sure why? Some server thing? Causing things to be html-like?

Date: 2010-02-07 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
It does seem to be a NZ issue! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. At least I know it's not me. Now only if it would be fixed. Five minutes to load my flist is insane.

I'm surprised I hadn't come across Max Beesley before watching in him this actually. He's very good looking but also really charismatic and charming.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artic-fox.livejournal.com
I know he is mostly known for the series 'Hotel Babylon' which he was on for a long time. He does ads here for some job employment site *shrugs*, but I do like him.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adroidmortox247.livejournal.com
Has Gaiman writing been definately confirmed? If so, that's brilliant.

Date: 2010-02-07 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragdoll.livejournal.com
He just confirmed it himself today at a UK convention. It's for series 6 so (in NG's words) we'll be seeing it in about 14 months time. It's been rumoured forever. Prolly one of the worst kept secrets in Whodom, but I'm glad it's now official.

Date: 2010-02-07 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airie-fairy.livejournal.com
Is this another version of the Tom Jones story that Albert Finney was in in the sixties? It sounds like the same character. XD

"That's great news about Neil Gaiman writing a Who episodes."

Omg I hadn't heard! Yay! I'm a little pouty he never got to write for Ten, but we will always have that sample ramble XD and it's proof enough that he gets the Doctor's ridiculousness.

Isn't the Thick of It prime minister fictional anyway? They can just stay Labor on the show! No need for Malcolm to lose his job 'cause of a parallel reality.

Date: 2010-02-07 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
Yeah, they're both adaptations of the same book. I haven't seen the 60s version, but I've read the 90s version takes good advantage of its much longer running time.

The Thick of It likes to stay very close to reality, particularly since it gets a lot its plotlines ripped from the headlines. It even had two specials airing that covered the PM standing down and being replaced by a new PM at the same time as the Blair-Brown handover. If it didn't change it wouldn't be as relevant and lose a lot of what makes it a brilliant satire.

Although, it would be the end of the world and the re-occurring opposition characters are just as funny, dysfunctional and well drawn as the regular government characters, so a change of government wouldn't be too bad. It's just, I'll miss the current regulars terribly (even if they show up every now and again in reoccurring roles - although I doubt Malcolm would become a re-occurring character, Peter Capaldi seems intent on him going out with a bang, preferably being carried out of Downing Street in a stretcher). And the opposition doesn't have a Malcolm (in that none of the characters is particularly iconic or stand-out) so the show may suffer (They introduced a Malcolm-esq character belonging to the opposition in the last five minutes of the third season finale, the Fucker, but he just served to illustrate that their is only one Malcolm Tucker (which I believe was intentional) and also (and unfortunately for Tom Hollander) there only one Peter Capaldi).

Hmm. Sorry, you got an essay for an answer :) I can love TTOI and could write about it all day.

Date: 2010-02-07 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airie-fairy.livejournal.com
"two specials airing that covered the PM standing down and being replaced by a new PM at the same time as the Blair-Brown handover."

Was that about Hugh stepping down? 'Cause didn't that have to do with the actor's legal troubles?

"Fucker"

Is that short for Fake Tucker? I ask because I just read Juliet, Naked and there was a character named Tucker and he had a friend who pretended to be him and ended up being nicknamed Fake Tucker and eventually Fucker and Malcolm has a convenient last name for this analogy.

Date: 2010-02-07 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meddow.livejournal.com
No. Hugh was 'in Australia' for the two specials and was referenced a lot, the intent was that if the actor was found innocent, he could return to the show. He was written out in a line in the first episode of series three. The PM who resigned we never get to meet (we never meet any of the PMs or the leader of the opposition).

He's called 'The Fucker' by all the characters in the show (real name Cal Richards) probably in reference to the fact that he tends to yell 'fuck' very, very loudly (which coming from pint-sized Tom Hollander is actually quite funny).

Although, I wouldn't be surprised if something along the lines of Fake Tucker was the thinking behind the character. He's kind of a less articulate, less charming, less charismatic Malcolm and generally what Malcolm would be if the writer's didn't bother giving him dimensions. I'm starting to wonder if he's a spoof of general perception of Malcolm.

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