Archive for the ‘Rumor’ Category

A Case Against Helen Mirren as Doctor Who [Opinion]

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
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Helen Mirren says she wants to play Doctor.

Not a “sidekick” but a proper Doctor, what with a screwdriver and everything. Everyone thinks this is a great idea. So what’s the harm at letting such an accomplished actress spend a regeneration zipping across time and space as the first Timelady in this venerable franchise?

Well, the following for starters:

It’s a gimmick An aged science fiction franchise will never be the permanent home for Helen. Although a one season run as the last child of Gallifrey isn’t the worst thing in the world, the greatest heights reached by the current incarnation of the series has come on the backs of two actors for whom the Doctor was the biggest stage they’ve reached. Both Matt Smith and David Tennant saw the massive opportunity of a beloved character became the Doctor.

This will simply be the next in a line of great roles for Mirren.

skitched-20111222-193820.jpgIt’s an unnecessary complication for an already too complicated premise There is already so much baked into the concept of DW. Each episode deals with time loops and collapsing realities and the rules of a ever shifting timeline that either can or cannot be changed depending on the whims of the writer’s room. So we really need to add a massive gender identity complication for our central character who doubles and the expert in every situation no matter how muddled?

It’s a young role Can Helen, who turns 67 in 2012, shout “run!”, clasp the hand of a companion and hightail it out of danger whilst Dalek laser fire peppers the wall behind her? Yes. Would it be as visually dynamic as an actor a third of her age? No. DW as we know it today is an action series relying on a spry hero.

Hollywood folks like to classify young actors by asking if they “can hold the gun.” Meaning, if they were cast in a action movie would they be believable as the good cop who’s in too deep and has to shoot 14 drug dealers to escape an abandoned marina?

Although Hellen has played an action role as recently as last year’s Red, I simply don’t think it would hold up over the length of a season.

Let me wrap this up by saying that Mirren’s quote was an off handed comment and likely nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. However, with Matt Smith creeping up on Tennant’s episode number whispers about a new Doctor are only going to increase and we are going to find ourselves thinking about who “can hold the sonic screwdriver” more and more.

Bedeviled: How New Jersey's Criminals Used Their Native Monster To Scare Cops

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
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img src=”http://weirdthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/skitched-20090818-194920.jpg” alt=”skitched-20090818-194920.jpg” border=”1″ width=”212″ height=”286″ align=”right” hspace=”10″ vspace=”10″/>While families and merchants kept their distance from the sandy, devil-beleaguered expanse of New Jersey forest known as the Pine Barrens, deserting soldiers, runaway slaves, moonshiners and fugitives adopted the land as sort of a misanthrope’s Eden.

Along with the motley assortment of local outcasts and reprobates, the American Revolution found rogue British loyalists, known as Pine Robbers, taking up residence in the Barrens and banding together with other social malcontents to conduct violent, fiery raids on surrounding towns.

To civilians, the criminal element alone was enough of a reason to avoid the shadowy bowers and acidic sands of the area, but law enforcement wasn’t discouraged that easily.

Cue the Jersey Devil.

Once the criminals and recluses began to understand the enduring power the folktale still held over New Jersey, they began to actively propagate the legend, spreading horror stories about bizarre disappearances, grisly murders and repeated devil sightings whenever they encountered outsiders. As the image of the devil became clearer, and its existence realer, to the people of New Jersey, its wings and hooves manifesting out of the fir needles and sand like some hysteric collective fever dream, the odd patchwork of wanted outlaws and undesired tramps also began to solidify into its own insular community, surviving on fish and the sale of sphagnum moss and pine cones. Among regular society, these bucolic, devil-guarded misfits became known derogatorily as “Pineys,” a moniker they soon came to embrace and, like the stories of their unholy protector, whisper proudly out into the American air.

In the early 20th century, after years of spreading tales of the Jersey Devil, the Pineys themselves became a fixture of New Jersey lore. Dr. Henry Goddard used the genealogy of a Piney family as the basis for a massive eugenics study, concluding that the Pine Barrens’ checkered history had led to a genetic line of feeble-minded idiots, proving that (according to Goddard) idiocy is, in fact, a hereditary trait. Using the study, which, after being published in book form, became immensely popular among the public, Goddard campaigned for the forced isolation of people shown to have the supposed idiot gene.
Eugenics would go on to die an ignoble death, regarded as a misguided pseudoscience, while, among the fir trees and cedar water marshes of the Pine Barrens, the Jersey Devil still stalked and snorted and flexed his leathery wings.

Friday: The devil today

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Weird Week: Dover Demon, David Berkowitz, Chatty Ghosts, Lonely Bigfoot Hunters

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Previously, this week, on Weird Things.

D555F7C5-E569-406C-B159-E9456C8BD1FA.jpg• A few tips for the novice Bigfoot hunter.

• Could the Son of Sam, a UFO investigating Air Force base and the birth of popular science fiction have helped create the Dover Demon?

• Michael Jackson may be dead, but his ghost is on a world tour.

• What happens, when myriad ghosts, have chosen to haunt a house, stop beings polite and start getting real? They say some really kooky stuff, that’s what.

Rhode Island has never had a Bigfoot sighting, but that might be about to change.

Enjoy the weekend, as always, send weird photos, stories, sounds and happenings to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail.