Jodie Whittaker is amazing, but why do you have to ruin the surprise?

I’m excited that a woman will be playing the Doctor. Jodie Whittaker looks like a perfect fit. Her eyes are intelligent, mysterious, and otherworldly. She’s so Doctorish. I’m glad the show is moving in a new direction.

I’m also happy Chris Chibnall is taking over as showrunner. The program has grown a little bit stale over the last few years. Steven Moffat isn’t a bad writer, but his episodes feel like reheated leftovers to me. And most of his season finales left me more confused than satisfied.

(But I did love the 2015 season, especially the finale. Heaven Sent and Hell Bent were solid gold masterpieces. My heart rate surged when the Doctor finally returned to Gallifrey. He stood the desert, squinting his eyes. He bent down and told the little boy, “Go to the city. Find somebody important. Tell them I’m back. Tell them I know what they did. And I’m on my way. And if they ask who I am, tell them I came the long way round.”)

I don’t have a problem with a woman playing the Doctor, but I do have a problem with the BBC announcing the new actor ahead of time. Don’t tell me what’s going to happen. Don’t tell me who the next Doctor will be. Surprise me. That’s what good TV shows are supposed to do.

I was nine years old when I first saw the Doctor regenerate. I had no idea who the next Doctor would be. I didn’t even know he was going to regenerate. In fact, I had never even heard of regeneration. I was sitting in my dark living room floor on a Saturday night, staring up at the TV screen. I watched the Doctor run through a bleak wasteland carrying Peri in his arms. He staggered into the Tardis and dropped her. He slumped over the console and hit a few buttons, wheezing and panting. Then he collapsed on the smooth, white floor. He closed his eyes. Then his face began to glow. Psychedelic colors and lights flashed and swirled around him. Visions of his old companions appeared in the air and circled around him.

When the Doctor sat up again, he had a new face. And curly hair. It wasn’t Peter Davison anymore. It was Colin Baker.

I ran into the kitchen and told my mother that the Doctor had just turned into someone else. She laughed. The next day, a friend of mine explained what had happened.

It would be nice if the Doctor’s regeneration still came out of the blue with no warning at all. It would be nice if the BBC didn’t ruin the surprise for me.

***

You can click here to check out my latest book on Amazon. Drake Novak is a malevolent alien who draws his energy from the pain and suffering of other life forms. He comes to Earth in a stolen ship, takes over a factory, and keeps all the workers in abject misery. He soaks up their sadness the way a plant absorbs sunlight. Then the Galactic Precinct sends a young rookie cop to arrest Drake Novak. But when Malpheus Mallock arrives on Earth, his tracking device stops working. He lands on the front lawn of an elderly couple named Carl and Christine. They feed him fried chicken and mashed potatoes. They show him baseball games on TV. The whole time, Malpheus struggles to find Drake Novak. 

Advertisements

Star Trek: The Pajama Party

Here is a stripped-down version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Because of their strange uniforms, I like to call it Star Trek: The Pajama Party. I like the way the visual style differs from the TV series and the subsequent films. This movie is the redheaded stepchild of the Star Trek franchise. (Please note the cell phones mounted in their bellybuttons. Gene Roddenberry was a true visionary.)

Something else from the sketchbook

Image

I’ve had a wicked sinus headache all day, but I thought it was time to go ahead and write a new post. Lately I’ve been working diligently on my new novel and cleaning the house. I use the word “clean,” but I suppose the more accurate word would be “purge.” There’s something so glorious and satisfying and cathartic about walking through the house with a big plastic garbage bag, grabbing up handfuls of things I don’t want anymore and shoving them into the bag without mercy. It feels lovely to hurl one bag after another into the dumpster, freeing myself of all this stupid, needless clutter.

I’ve also been watching old commercials on YouTube the past few days, one of my favorite pastimes. The other day, I discovered some 1970s Burger King commercials that were designed for Saturday mornings, when kids were watching cartoons. They’re a lot of fun … in a grotesque, disturbing, psychedelic kind of way. I remember my cousin Troy telling me a long, long time ago that one of his friends had horrific nightmares about the Burger King mascot. Now I can see why.

The picture above is from my sketchbook. I drew it during Memorial Day weekend, in the middle of my epic Vsauce binge. This is supposed to be a picture of Michael Stevens. When I first drew it, I wasn’t happy with it. I thought it looked like the product of a genetic experiment involving James Lipton and Steve Jobs. (No disrespect to either one of them.) However, when I flipped through the sketchbook the other day and looked at the picture again, I decided I liked it after all. So here it is. Enjoy.

***

You can click here to download a copy of my science fiction novel, Under the Electric Sun.