Tag Archives: Tardis

The End of the Tenth Doctor – SPOILERS

27 Oct

Last night I watched the end of the David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who. I was a mess. And by mess, I mean I was worse than her:

And I still don’t have a Tardis cookie cutter or blue icing. Though I didn’t think his forehead was too big (that line was hilarious) but I did describe his face as “all lumpy” which was a bit harsh and I’m sorry Mr. Smith.

So I’ve spent today reading about the doctor’s death because it bothered me so much. He didn’t want to die. His parting words of “I don’t want to go” ripped my heart out. A lot of people think that Tennant was too “human” but really, he just loved life. And as he said about his regeneration “Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away. And I’m dead.”

I came across one video that argued that the doctor’s death alienated viewers and made Matt Smith’s job even harder. Never has the doctor not wanted to die. All the previous incantations always faced their regeneration with a certain about of bravery…not a plea to a godless universe. And there is a lot in that argument that I agree with. [See my above comment about lumpy heads].

But then I found this gem in the commentary section from Joe England.

Many other Doctors end on an up-note… serene or thankful or gently irreverent, or they rest in quiet surrender. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that. But really, most people don’t die that way. Because we cling to our lives, because we love living. And never has there been a Doctor who clung so tenaciously, who loved life so much that he railed so fervently against its end, even if it was merely the end of this version of himself. A man who lives in such a way would live forever if he had the chance, and if not, he would fight to live even to his last second. There is no crime in this. There is nothing selfish in joie de vivre. To love life is to love all things in it. It makes his sacrifice all the more noble, since it is perhaps harder for him than for any of the other Doctors.
And you know, I think he did accept it, at the last. And in the midst of this acceptance, his final words are even more a fitting declaration. He does not want it to be over, he wants to keep going, he wants to have fun and adventure and explore and show off. With his last breath he tells the universe that he still wants to be him, that for all his mistakes he still loves who and what he is and that he would go on if he could. He says that he is still alive, still embracing life even to the very end.
What could be more inspiring?

So maybe all my tears were just a sign of a healthy fear of death. When Nora Ephron died, I read her list of things that I’ll miss and won’t miss and remembered thinking that yes, waffles! What about waffles? And no more Paris? No next year in Istanbul? No next year at all.

Maybe it’s cause I’m so afraid that my final thought will be I don’t want to go. Or that it was the final thought of the people who I loved who’ve died. That maybe it is the only final thought anyone could ever really have.

Maybe I just miss my little grey cat.

I don’t know. I guess it’s pretty silly to get so worked up over a television show but hey, I’ve always been a nerd at heart. And I guess we get our hearts broken over the death of The Doctor.

So here’s to Mr. Smith (even with his lumpy head). You’ve got big shows to fill. Don’t mess up. Allons-y!

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New York Comic Con and the Author Meeting That Changed My Life

15 Oct

There’s a cause I can get behind

This weekend was New York Comic Con, the second biggest meeting of Nerd Culture in the country (the first being San Diego’s Con or what I call The Big Show). This wasn’t my first Comic Con but it was the first one I went to on the non-professional day, i.e. on Saturday with all my geeky brethren.

So here I am, geeked out:

I’m wearing matching purple tights and my docs but you can’t see those.

Just kidding. I wear that Sandman t-shirt all the time.  So we headed through the trade floor, checking out all the Spidermen and Wolverines and Banes and Batmans. I counted at least 7 Banes and a surprising number of Zeldas. And of course, The Doctor with his Tardis:

Brilliant!

And his most feared enemy:

Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

There was a ton of stuff for the Walking Dead (which I need to read) including a mob of zombies that tore through the trade floor so quickly I didn’t have time to snap a picture (Sorry, Rob!)

Brains!

I’m not really sure who these guys are but Jay photo-bombed them like a Boss.

One of these things is not like the others.

There were cars…like the DELOREAN and the freaking BATMOBILE!

When this thing hits 88 miles per hour you’re gonna see some serious….

Holy Vintage, Batman!

And yes, that is Marty McFly in the background.

So we headed off the trade floor, down to the Artist Alley because Fiona Staples, who draws for Saga one of my favorite comics, was signing and drawing. As we were waiting in line, I noticed another table to my right. A name. An image. And just like that I was 10 years old again, laying down on the carpet, a bowl of popcorn in front of me, my best friend Dan with me, staring up at the television watching a movie that would become so familiar to me, so ingrained in my very DNA that years later, I would recycle themes, images…harpies….for my own writing.

It was Peter S. Beagle. The man who wrote The Last Unicorn, a book I adored as a child and the impetus for a film that I watched repeatedly:

And there he was, just SITTING there like a mere mortal. I pointed it out to Jay as we were waiting in line.

“Go,” he said. “I’ll save your spot.”

“I can’t….I”ll cry.”

“Well don’t do that. He’ll think you’re crazy.”

Time passed. The line didn’t move. I watched people go up to Mr. Beagle and shake his hand, talk to him.

“Go,” my husband said.

I shook my head. I couldn’t. I couldn’t move. See the thing is to me Mr. Beagle was C.S. Lewis. He was Jim Henson. He was Madeline L’Engle. He created something that shaped my entire childhood, something I still carry with me, all these many years later. And he was just SITTING there.

“Go.”

I shook my head. My line still hadn’t moved.

“Come on,” Jay said, taking my arm and bringing me over to the table. There were two girls in line already. I got in line. I got out. I got back in. I could feel the tears creeping up. I told myself to calm down. I told myself it would be fine. Deep breaths. Tell him what he means. Tell him thanks.

I spoke with his agent. Had I known, I would have brought my old old old copy of the book. (See photo above). Why didn’t I read the program? I thought cursing myself.  I bought the graphic novel for him to sign. I stepped up. I put out my hand. I said:

“Hello, Mr. Beagle. It’s an honor to meet you. I can’t tell you what your story has done for me. I just recently got my first novel published and it was your book that made me want to tell stories. It was that film they made of it that made me believe. Why the Red Bull, Mr. Beagle? Why Schmendrick? Mr. Beagle, thank you. If it weren’t for you, I don’t think I would be a writer now. I hope you know how many lives you have changed.”

Except I didn’t say any of that.

I said this:

“My name….Ally….*sob*…I wrote….published…*sob*….first novel…if  it weren’t for you….your book….*sob**sob*sob*

Yup.

And the amazing Mr. Beagle, took my hand in both of his and he told me about the first time he met a  writer he loved and how he fell apart. He told me what it was like writing The Last Unicorn, how many times he nearly gave up, how his wife pushed him to finish and then I cried some more, thinking of all those nights on the couch, after all the rejections, how Jay just kept telling me to finish Lizzy’s story.  No matter what, finish her story.

He commented on my Sandman t-shirt. Told me that Neil was lovely. That it had been a long time since they had seen each other.

I nodded. I wiped at tears. I just kept saying “thank you.”

And I don’t know if I’ve ever meant those two words more. This man, long ago, wrote a story, that resonated with a little girl, that planted a seed, a desire to be a storyteller too. I’m not there. I know that. I’m just starting out. But it’s a path that Mr. Beagle set me upon long ago, when with a flashlight under the sheets, I read all about the Last Unicorn.

So even though I could barely speak then, thank you, Mr. Beagle. You changed my life.

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