Sunday, 15 May 2011
at the end of the universe
I spent Saturday evening watching television, right from the excellent tea-time frolics of Doctor Who all the way through to the alien adventures of Eurovision.
One of the shows was set in a kind of space station at the end of the universe. It resembled a late 20th Century dance club. The other show moved it on into something a little more 21st Century.
In the case of Doctor Who, there were plenty of references to other space and sci-fi series in the script as well as self references to old-school Doctor Who. Even a retro control room.
Pleasingly, the characters had a kind of Amanda Palmer meets Danger Ensemble look about them. Not surprising with Neil Gaiman as the writer of the episode.
Gaiman took the Doctor to a Neverwhere outside of the Universe. The Doctor even commented that it was somewhere he'd never been, which is fairly unusual nowadays.
It gave a chance for the plot to move up a level, presumably breaking through a few sealed doors along the way. Once a new piece of fundamental Who-history gets written there is no turning back because the fan-base will have it recorded for all time.
So the Star Whale type construct of riding on a bubble on the edge of the Universe permitted the humanisation of a slightly delirious TARDIS. She (The TARDIS, excellently played by Suranne Jones) then had to rapidly make up for 'lost time' whilst hurling some great one-liners into the script. She simultaneously channeled Queenie from Blackadder whilst stating "Biting's like kissing only with a winner."
And we got a good backstory about the theft by the TARDIS of the Doctor "Back in the Day". I'm a great believer in Time stopping everything happening at once, so it's probably fortunate that most of this happened outside of the main Universe.
That way we didn't all suffer from a catastrophe that would create tears before bedtime. Although, it has to be said that the end of the episode created a tear-jerking morph of TARDIS back to being the soul of the machine.
The tears in the following programme were somewhat different as we watched the transition of Europop to европоп.
Yes, the Russian bloc have it.
My own more trippy tastes were towards Moldova's Zdob şi Zdub or even the Irish Jedward entry, both of which featured Pop, strange headgear and whirly lights. Instead, after hours of sonics and two many Screwdrivers, we had a largely forgettable win from that epicentre of pop culture Azerbaijan. At least they dressed up.
I decided to clear my mind of all of this today and took out on my bicycle, finding myself in a Forest by a River. There was a Pond as well.
I may need help.