There are some new things in WordPress that I’m learning to work with, but on the whole, things are moving along. And I might start writing more than just a small handful of articles (the pictures issue just was soooo disheartening). Maybe even videos! I have a camera or three that I have been fooling with.
There is just so many ideas and thoughts that just sit in my head, and real life has had a way of wearing me down to the point that I lacked the motivation and energy, but it’s going in an upswing now 🙂
Ah, the year 1986. A big year that became very influential in my life. I hope to write an entry for each one (I already wrote about how I got introduced to Sherlock Holmes), but here’s a summary (in no real order):
Disney’s Dreamers and Doers
The Disney company here in Florida (for a few years) picked someone from each county in the state from elementary, junior high, and high school as someone showing the “4 Cs” – curiosity, confidence, constancy, and courage. And somehow I was picked for the junior high level for Volusia county! It was one of the most exciting days of my life! And I still have my medal, hangs in my living room. May 2 is the anniversary 🙂
Thanks to reading the classic Hound of the Baskervilles story in my 8th grade English class, I got hooked on the adventures of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s famous detective. Not because of the mystery genre, but in the characters of Holmes and Watson and how the stories were written. I found, and still find, that endlessly fascinating! And for the last few years I have basked in the glow of it being a big thing with the help of the Robert Downey Jr movies, and BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary tv shows.
The Smothers Brothers
Fate has a wicked sense of humor, and so it introduced me to these guys, by accident. And, boy, I had no idea what I landed myself into. My poor family somehow put up with me either listening to or watching this harmless looking comedic brother duo – a lot. I also got really interested in classic comedy due to these guys (Thanks Tom and Dick!), along with history (particularly the 1960s), folk music, and being politically involved.
A guy that traveled in time and space in a spaceship disguised as a British Police Box. And he’s not always able to control where or when his ship ends up.
That’s how the show was described to me by a couple classmates in school. And I was curious. And the first episode I watched was the very first episode from 1963, An Unearthly Child. And I have stayed curious for the last 30 years. And I still haven’t used to the idea that Doctor Who is a big thing now. I love it, it’s just weird.
Highway to Heaven
The Summer of ’86 introduced me to this show. I have had a long interest in the nature of God and religions in general, it did not really take off until I happened upon this show by accident. Starred the late Michael Landon as an angel, and Victor French as a former Oakland cop (hence the Oakland A’s baseball cap), driving around the country on assignments from “The Boss”. Had a lot of heart and some laughs.
Okay, maybe not, but it’s my first vlog. I did something a little different than most. I just shot some of my books (yes, it’s just a part of my book collection), along with some of my DVD/Blu ray box sets, and a Smothers Brothers record album.
What’s shown ranges from childhood (Snoopy!) to recent loves (Warehouse 13! The Fault in Our Stars!), and some are childhood loves that I recently acquired (Dick Van Dyke Show! Mork and Mindy! Doctor Who!)
I also used this video to experiment with a few things. Some of my goals that I met are:
muting the sound of the video
having music not start at the beginning, but a few seconds in
just basic editing of the video clips and putting them together in the right order
just making the thing and uploading it and not letting fear from keeping me from doing so
Those may seem like small things, but it’s all a learning curve. And a good healthy dose of confidence.
What I liked about it:
the accidental recording that I ended up using at the beginning. When I loaded all the bits into the editor, I saw that and thought “I could use that!”
that I did the thing! YAY!
It’s not the greatest thing ever, but I’m glad I did it, and looking forward to all the things I will learn from it :).
So what have I got for the future? Taking on the Doctor Who Tag started by YouTuber Luke Spillane. That was one of the things that got me going on finally making a vlog. And I also plan on talking about Sherlock Holmes, having been born with a cleft lip and palate and all that it entails, and whatever else I come up with.
Oh, and I have another channel as well. A gaming channel where I have begun to play Assassin’s Creed (the first one). I love the series and thought why not start off with the first one?
So it’s Christmas time once again, and I thought I would share some of the things I like to watch around this time of year. In no real order. Except Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown always comes in first!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
What is there not to like in this classic 1965 cartoon? Everything is so perfect that I can’t imagine it any other way. The characters, the wonderful, upbeat music, how just about every line is quotable.
Added bonus – If you are as old as I am, you might remember the special being preceded by this CBS intro
The Blue Carbuncle
The beautiful Granada series that starred Jeremy Brett and David Burke as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in this wonderful story set at Christmastime. Ah, a Victorian Christmas! This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. Back when VHS reigned supreme this was the only episode I bought (they cost $15-20 each back then!)
This is based off the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story of the same name (text from Wikisource; audio part 1 and part 2 from Project Gutenburg, a fantastic reading!)
Mork’s First Christmas
From the Mork and Mindy tv series, this one has recently been added (though I have seen it at least a dozen times since August). Mork finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is (not a horrible plague…watch to find out his telling of his first encounter with Christmas) And what a sweet ending!
The Greatest Gift
From one of my favorite scifi shows, Warehouse 13 (I miss that show! 🙁 ), this is their Christmas episode from season 3. Something happens to Pete where he wakes up as if he never was born. The story and title comes from the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern that led to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Unfortunately, I am not able to find the full episode, so here is a clip from near the beginning:
(Another tv episode that was inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life was also from Mork and Mindy, “It’s a Wonderful Mork“, but it’s not a Christmas episode so I don’t really include it in this list. But it’s really good, and a bit of a tearjerker due to recent events).
It’s a Wonderful Life
There was a time when I was growing up that this movie would be on a bunch of channels, sometimes at the same time. You turn to one channel and it would be at one scene, and go to another channel and it would be at another scene. And it remains and endearing movie, full of heart and makes you realize how much you can make a difference to someone else, even if it’s a small one.
A true classic starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Henry Travers.
The Gold Rush
Not exactly a Chistimasy type of movie, but it takes place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This 1925 silent film by Charlie Chaplin is considered to be his best. Charlie, as the Little Tramp, goes to the mountains in hopes of finding gold. He encounters a friend. and enemy, boils and eats a shoe, does a dance with rolls, and falls in love.
The below version is the 1942 (tweaked) re-release with Chaplin’s own narration (in place of the typical silent film title cards) and musical score. While I like this one better overall, I like the story of the original better (mostly the same version, just a couple important cuts that Chaplin took out)
A Christmas Carol
Take a classic Charles Dickens story, and the 11th Doctor, and you get Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas episode (my favorite Who Christmas episode so far, though I didn’t quite understand the whole thing about the fish and shark). And there is the absolutely beautiful, operatic song, “Silence is All You Know”
As with Warehouse 13, the full episode is not online for free (that I can find), so below is a trailer and a clip.
This episode is on Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, and a few other places.
So it was about this day 7 years ago that I was visiting one of my favorite sites, YouTube, and on their front page were featured videos, for that day and the few previous days. And I saw one that had a young guy with glasses on and the video was titled: “July 18: Accio Deathly Hallows (no spoilers)”
Now, I wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan. I did like the movies, and a I had a few of the books and (I think) began reading “Sorcerer’s Stone”, but not much beyond that. But the video title intrigued me and so I clicked on it….
…. little knowing what kind of magic door I was about to step through
I had landed in NerdFighteria!
Hank Green’s video is now legendary in the land of Nerdfghtearia, and it’s hard to say how many ripples it has cast.
I don’t remember if I watched any of their other videos that night, but the first one of his brother John’s I first watched–
July 25: Brotherhood 2.0’s Youtube Comments Are Answered!
or July 27: How Nerdfighters Drop Insults
Not sure. If I knew where my TARDIS is, I would take a step back in time, but I don’t have one handy :/ But it turned out to be a very helpful, and in some ways therapeutic, discovery. A couple days after I first watched Accio, I discovered that my then-husband was having an affair. John’s Shakespearean insults was a humorous way of my dealing with my intense anger and bitterness I had at that time (“carcass fit for hounds” (Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 1)…. bwahaha!).
Back then I was working a late shift, ending at midnight, and what I would look forward to was watching Hank or John’s video from that day (Back then, they did one every weekday, alternating days). And that was a great help, one of several during that time in my life. I have always liked how they balanced their subjects of their videos varying from humrous vlogs, to educating their audience about world events/issues, sharing their traveling adeventures, whatever came up was well worth watching for me.
Silent Scream, parts 1 & 2 Written by Tony Lee Illustrated by Al Davidson
A few days ago, Humble Bundle was having a major sale of dozens of digital Doctor Who comic books.with part of the sales going to charity (Sorry, so sorry, it’s over now 🙁 ). The max payment tier was just $15 for over 80 digital issues. I have been interested in getting the digital comic books, particularly interested in the Silver Scream issue since it first came out in 2009 (I have enjoyed the few paper DW comics that I have) but never (though close) got around to buying it. And in the spirit of Chaplin’s 125th birthday, 100th anniversary of his films, and the excellent price, I snagged it!
At the end of series 4 episode, “Journey’s End” of Doctor Who, Donna makes a request to meet Chaplin, just as she is having a mental breakdown due to her mind melding with the Doctor’s. (And I’m just re-watching on Netflix. Oh, the feels!). And in this issue, the Doctor “helps to finish her last wish”.
Summary (no spoilers!)
The Doctor arrives in 1926 at a Hollywood party hosted by Archie. Two things brought him here: last request by his now departed companion, Donna, and a mysterious static point in space and time. A bunch of bad things are happening. So the Doctor can’t help but investigate it.
So why isn’t it actually Chaplin?
So, as you can see by the cover art, it’s not exactly Chaplin. It turned out that near the end of working on the issue, IDW (comic book publisher) was not able to work our an agreement with the Chaplin estate. So they had to make some changes to the name, Archibald Maplin, and his mustache, hat, and cane.
While the artwork was pretty good in the beginning, it had some room for improvement towards the end. But there were a number of things that impressed me about the story. When I first heard about this, I was just expecting the Doctor to pop-up and share some sort of adventure. I was not expecting Mr Lee to be familiar (or well researched?) with Chaplin’s life, specifically 1926.
So how many names changed?
So due to there being no agreement between the Chaplin estate and IDW (Boo on the CE…. ((don’t hurt me!)) but they missed a great opportunity of properly introducing him to Whovians and comic book fans), a number of things had to be renamed. Here’s all the ones I noticed, in order of appearance
Future Times – Modern Times (1936). Chaplin’s comedic social commentary on the growing machine age.
United Actors – United Artists. The film company co-founded by
Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (all pictured left) in 1919 to give them the freedom to make movies they way they wanted. “The inmates have taken over the asylum”
United Actors Studio – There was no actual “United Artists Studios” during this period, but there was Pickford and Fairbanks’ Studio, nicknamed The Lot (part of it was torn down just a couple years ago 🙁 ), and there was Charlie Chaplin’s Studios (still standing! Mostly :D)
The Fun Fair – The Circus (1928). As the Doctor tells Archie this film “will be one of your best films ever.” It certainly is.
In real life, Chaplin was making The Circus in 1926. Just as Archie tells the Doctor, the set burned down twice, and there was a really nasty public divorce battle between him and his second wife. It was so stressful for him, that his hair went white.
The photo to the right is one of my all-time favorite photos of Chaplin. It’s of him with his (first? second?) burned down set. His face says it all.
And after reading the comic, now we know the *real* reason why he was having all those problems! As with the Great Fire of Rome (64 AD) and London (1666), the baddies were trying to take over and the Doctor had to stop them. And fires broke out.
“They named a pub after you in the Elephant and Castle though. No, wait, That was for the other guy. The one in the bowler hat” – The only time Chaplin himself is referred to. And yes, there is a pub in Elephant & Castle named after him. I’ve been there quite some time ago (but that’s another story). Even Chaplin had visited it.
Mentioned were the Keystone Kops, Rudolph Valentino, Harold Lloyd (as well recreating Lloyd’s famous stunt as the Doctor and baddie hanging off a giant clock), and Douglas Fairbanks who was a big silent film star and Chaplin’s best friend.
Cameos For these pictures, I found photos that were very close to how the real counterparts looked like around the time of the story.
Toraichi Kono (renamed Kato, you can see him on that sample page) who was Chaplin’s chauffeur/secretary/ bodyguard/confidant. Kono immigrated from Japan to the US and after being in the US for a few years, applied to be a driver unknowing for Chaplin in 1916. He became in the close circle of Chaplin’s associates. It got to the point where if you wanted to communicate with Chaplin, you went through Kono. Image to the right is of Kono and Chaplin, circa 1932. Interesting info about a documentary of him here.
Buster Keaton (using his real name!), one Chaplin’s major comedic (friendly) rivals and, to many fans, his equal.. Just as he and his cameraman witness the Doctor yank Archie into the cutout window of a falling front of a house which inspires Keaton this famous bit from Steamboat Bill Jr (and,no, it’s not a stuntman, that really is Buster):
Laurel and Hardy (maybe?). In the footage that
Keaton shoots (cleverly drawn in black and white, with subtitles), we see the Doctor and Archie chasing the baddie on a motorcycle, and they encounter two gentlemen who closely resemble Stan and Ollie, with goatees, carrying a ladder. They would later appear in an actual episode of Doctor Who, series 6, “The Impossible Astronaut”. The three of them dance 🙂
My brief review Pros – The Doctor and a Chaplinesque character! Good story (I always liked it when the Doctor arrives in Earth history), great nods to not only Chaplin but silent comedy in general. Fun cameos (KEATON!)
Cons – IT’S NOT CHAPLIN! I mean, seriously?!? (but they did give it a honest go at it). Could have done away with the stereotypical person tied to the train tracks. Ahh well. Drawing was a bit off in the second issue. IT’S NOT CHAPLIN! (did I mention that already? I did?)
Orverall — Despite the major flaw, I really liked it. I might just get it in it’s physical form!
Where to get it? Amazon currently has issue one for the Kindle and Kindle app, as well as the full volume of Fugitive (includes the 2 parter Silver Scream as well as following 4 issues) The Fugitive is the first in 3 volumes (I am in the middle of the second volume, Tesseract),a big story arc involveing Emily Winter and Matthew . If you check out the Fugitive on Amazon’s site, you can get a sneak peak at several of pages.
And of course, I put links for The Circus DVD and also Streaming on Amazon or Hulu Plus. The music, BTW, is composed and opening song sung by him :).
Extra Links Just a few places (of many) to go for more info
Silent movies/comedy Silent Era – One of the longest running sites dedicated to the silent film era Movies, Silently – awesome blog containing review and information, and provides great info for those just getting interested in silent movies. Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more) – similar to Chaplin Then and Now, shows present day locations of Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd films. The Silent Clown Film Series – If you are in the New York City area, this group play silent comedies at various time of the year. Admission is free! Nitrateville – Forums discussing both silent and talkies. Silent Comedy Mafia – active forum focusing on silent comedy Golden Silents – info on famous stars of that era, and a messageboard
William Hartnell (most famous for playing the first Doctor), became inspired to become an actor after watching Chaplin.
The original cover artwork for the issue, before things had to change around
Time to change gears to another one of my interests, though somewhat related: Doctor Who. I have loved Doctor Who for as long as Holmes and Watson (about 25 years now). And as with Holmes, I have enjoyed watching what fans did with the Doctor, both the original and newer series.
First off, if you haven’t already seen it, check out the Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover video, “A Study in Time” that I posted earlier. Totally brilliant!
Doctor Who – Tenth Doctor Tribute – Fireflies
There are a bunch of videos using Owl City’s Fireflies song to clips of the Doctor. This one and the nest one are my favorites. This one is a shortened version of the song, but still fun to watch. Stars the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and his various companions.
Doctor Who – Fireflies
Most of the fanvids that used Fireflies used the Tenth and (since it aired) Eleventh Doctors. A few brave souls man one using almost all the Docs, such as this one:
CSI: Gallifrey (DW/CSI Miami Parody)
I don’t care for any of the CSI shows, but have seen enough to ROFL whenever I watch this video.
Since restarting this blog, there has been a new Sherlock Holmes series, called, simply. Sherlock (Original, right? LOL!). I will post my review of it here (I have it posted somewhere else at the moment). But I wanted to show some brilliant fanvids here.
A Study in Time
Oh My Gosh! This video just blew me away. It’s done like a BBC trailer for a show (even has the BBC One logo on the bottom), combining Sherlock and Doctor Who (BTW, both shows are written and (in the case of Sherlock) created by (Steven Moffat (head DW writer) and Mark Gatiss). Unfortunately, Moffat has said that he will never combine the two on one show though I think he should for charity like Big Nose Day or Children in Need. Anyway….
Short explanation of the Sherlock show. Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) are brought up in present day instead of Victorian England. If you haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favor and watch it! Acting, writing, sets, etc., top notch! The song is Cracking the Code by PostHaste Music.
Sherlock Holmes: The Boys Are Back
I found out about this video from the Baker Street Blog (a great blog to find out news from the world of Holmes and Watson) a while back. This includes 5 different sets of Holmes-Watson teams: Rathbone-Bruce, Brett-Burke, Basil-Dawson (from Disney’s Great Mouse Detective movie), Downey-Law, and Cumberbatch-Freeman. Note that in different clips Holmes is playing the violin during the guitar solo…. nice touch!
Sherlock – ‘tick, Tick BOOM’
A short one. And loud music. Probably will attract attention if you play it with people around. Tick Tick Boom by The Hives.
Sherlock – Life in Technicolour
Life in Tecnicolour ii is one of the best songs by Coldplay, so put together with one of the beat teams of Holmes & Watson, it’s hard to not like it :). But it’s a short video :(, still brilliant though.
In my last (regular) post, I talked about the official video for “Discombobulate”, the main theme for the recent Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. (Hans was robbed of an Oscar! Shame on the Academy!!)
One thing I have become a fan of are fan-made music videos. To keep in line with my last couple posts, I list below some of my favorite Holmes related ones:
Sherlock Holmes Symphony
First up is a great medley of Holmes from various films, TV, and animation (even some anime!) done to The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. Opens with scene from CSI’s “Who Shot Sherlock?” episode (which happened to air on what would have been, if he existed, Sherlock’s 150th birthday), along with scenes (not listed in order) from Jeremy Brett (but of course!), Star Trek: The Next Genereation (loved the “Elementary, My Dear Data” episode!), The Simpsons, Daffy Duck & Porky Pig, Michael Pennington (from the very enjoyable TV movie “Return of Sherlock Holmes” where Holmes wakes up in 1980s England by Watson’s great granddaughter), Peter Cushing, Ronald Howard (an overlooked actor. Played the Great Sleuth back in the 50s on TV. Minus having blond hair, he made a great Holmes!) Basil Rathbone (another “but of course!”), shot of Laurel & Hardy wearing deerstalkers, Buster Keaton (from his masterpiece “Sherlock Jr”), and many others.
Last night I found this great video. From the title I was afraid it was going to be another slash vid, but it turned to be really really good. I watched it numerous times in a row, even getting a little choked up. Stars fast clips from the Granada series with Jeremy Brett, David Burke, and Edward Hardwicke. And with a sweet ending! The song is “Read my Mind” by The Killers. Great video on a greater friendship:
Sherlock Holmes, “Tubthumping”
Next is a very good vid taken from scenes of the Robert Downey Jr. movie. What makes this vid really interesting is that it was made before the DVD/Blu-Ray release. Clips were taken from already released scenes on the ‘net and trailers. Song is the 90s hit “TubThumping” by Chumbawamba:
Sherlock Holmes Featurette (Brett & Downey Jr>
This one combines both Brett’s and Downey’s Holmes with the song “All the Strange Strange Creatures” from the new Doctor Who series (season 3). One of the best songs from the new series (IMHO, of course). Anyway, it’s a very good combination! I’ll later post my favorite Doctor Who fan vids.
Sherlock Holmes video – Rocky Road to Dublin
And in honor of today being St. Patrick’s Day, below is also from the recent Sherlock Holmes movie. “Rocky Road to Dublin” by the Dubliners. While the song was in the movie, it’s not on the soundtrack 🙁 (whose brilliant idea was that?)