December 2014 in Review

This is an index and summary of the things I’ve talked about over the last month. Links for multi-post subjects go to the first post (even if it’s before this month), you can follow the internal navigation links from there. (TV shows without full posts will not be linked, but will be listed.)


“Times of Transition: Herihor and the High Priests of Amun at the End of the New Kingdom” Jennifer Palmer – talk given at the December meeting of the EEG.

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Doctor Who: Last Christmas.

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Doctor Who: Last Christmas

The blog’s on a little bit of a hiatus at the moment – as might’ve been apparent. A combination of being very busy in December and wanting to get some posts written so I have a buffer between writing and posting! It will return properly in a couple of weeks or so. However, I wasn’t going to not write up and post about Doctor Who in a reasonably timely fashion! We watched it on Christmas Day at J’s parents place – the toddler in the house kindly (well …) let us have the telly before he went to bed 😉

SPOILERS AHEAD! Hover mouse over text to read, or read on entry page:

I liked the episode a lot – less cutesy than the Christmas episodes often are, whilst still being Christmas themed. And even quite dark in places, with an unsettling ending. I did find the comedy elves tedious, tho – particularly the “that’s (not) racist” string of jokes.

Having the film references be not just obvious but also part of the storyline was quite cool. I’ve seen someone elseweb say they didn’t like the reveal at the end of Shona’s film viewing list for Christmas Day as they thought it was too heavy handed, but I thought it was a nice touch – another reinforcement that everything before was part of a shared dream state. I found the references particularly fun this time too as we’d just finished watching Tomorrow’s Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction (an interesting series, recommended) which had talked about the isolated-science-base-wakes-something-horrific theme in science fiction as one of its topics.

Of course the film reference they didn’t explicitly mention was Inception, which wasn’t so much a passing reference as the underpinning of the plot (tho I haven’t seen Inception to really draw parallels I just have a pop-culture awareness of it). Not just with the popping in and out of dreams within dreams, but also the ways you know it’s a dream – Santa obviously was one here, but also the orange which we see again at the end … That and the whole “second chances being rare” thing do make it a trifle unsettling at the end. I’m again wondering about the dreamlike/fairytale nature of some of the stories from last season – but again I don’t think they’d actually go there. Probably.

The return of Danny worked for this episode – but hopefully that’s done, bringing him back over & over would cheapen the ending of the previous season. Another thing I saw in passing elseweb was someone noting that the Clara/Danny relationship worked better in this episode than it often seemed to in the previous episodes – perhaps a sign it was always better in her dreams than the reality (and hence the constant lying). It was also an interesting counterpoint to the Amy/Rory relationship – Amy’s choice in a dream where Rory died was to die herself; Clara’s dream resurrection of her boyfriend had him persuade her to wake up and live.

Long wait till the next season now!