Sesame Street. Arguably the greatest educational tool of my life. The songs helped a great deal. You don’t have to agree with the order, you just have to love remembering the songs themselves. Good times.
C. L. J. Dryden
Deaths are not unusual.
Reliable sources have informed me that everyone who has ever lived has died. It’s fair to point out that the outpouring of grief about the death of celebrities can come across as somewhat over the top. Sometimes the virtual deification of regular human beings can be off-putting.
This tribute to Sir Terry Wogan is not to place him as a person who evidently went beyond all humanity and deserves months of mourning and the like. This entry is as much about me as it is about him. In fact it’s a lot more about me than it is about him.
Sir Terry Wogan was a radio and television personality. My awareness of him was firstly through his stint as presenter of Blankety Blank. All I have known of him is from his displays on television and on radio. I have not been a keen follower of everything he has done. I am not a TOG or a TYG.
The case, however, is that I have been interested in the media for a long time and back in the 80’s and 90’s in particular I consumed a lot of television. My sense of humour was largely informed by what I saw on television. There were things I enjoyed and would feel very comfortable with. One of those was the amiable wit of Wogan on Blankety Blank. The role of the presenter is one I admired and Wogan was consummately at ease with it. He fitted the show and the show fitted him. I wasn’t aware at the time that a lot of what was going on was fairly cheesy and cheap. Some of the in-jokes went over my young head. Yet there was enough in his style and conversational manner with the celebrity guests to give the impression you were at home in his company.
Getting people at ease was something I saw in his talk-show as well. Apparently people though it was a flop – certainly the producers did who axed it. I rather enjoyed it. Again I saw Wogan endeavouring to help his guests feel at ease. The term self-deprecatory was something I saw in him and it was an endearing quality.
One of the activities I got into when I studied at university was the university radio station. Listening to some of Wogan’s stuff influenced me significantly in how I would come across when I got the chance to do some stuff on air. It also allowed me to appreciate what a gift Wogan evidently had for communication, because the elements required to be an effective broadcaster are not things to be sniffed at.
What I particularly love about the Wogan legacy is the principle that in broadcasting, effective communication makes the listener appreciate that you are just talking to them. Even with an audience of thousands and millions to know that you are talking to me as though it’s just me is what is warming and that which puts us at ease. Wogan did that in a way that appeared effortless and enriched the entertaining experience because of it.
So his passing away yesterday matters to me not so much in terms that I’ll miss him. More in the sense that it highlights just what a great contribution his career has made in a lot of what I’m interested in when it comes to media and communication. It’s another opportunity to express gratitude for the mark he’s made.
It’s clear by the reaction that his mark has been indelibly left in the media landscape of this country. That’s a sign of just what a gifted and treasured broadcaster he was. That’s why it matters.
C. L. J. Dryden
The statement was made lately that there are major changes taking place in the world of Dr. Who.
No new series in 2016 and only the Christmas special at the end of the year will be new Dr Who television this year. Moffat will do series 10 in 2017, then Chibnall does series 11 in 20018. That’s pretty good planning ahead.
Reading this release, though and the reasoning for leaving series 10 until 2017 is a bit naff. Just because there are events going on in 2016 is no good reason to postpone the series until next year. Also they have set themselves up for greater expectations when the Doctor returns. The problem is there’s little that can be done that will truly live up to that level of hype. It’s not to say it’s impossible, it’s merely stating that scope of the programme under Moffat places heaps of pressure on all concerned to live up to their own expectations. That’s not necessary.
It is too early to write the closing chapter on the Moffat years seeing as though he has just under two years left. It’s also way too early to consider what Chibnall will do in taking over the show.
What that means as well is that BBC will have a job to do in attracting interest again in the programme. It will be particularly odd because that would work if you were getting the new head writer, that works as a refresh and reboot of the programme with all things new. As it is this is acting more as a return to finish off something – build up to complete the trilogy of the Capaldi years.
I would be very surprised if Capaldi stays on for Chibnall’s first season in charge. It just feels right to have a fresh start with everything as it made sense to have a fresh start with everything when Moffat took over from Russell T. Davies. As I discover all too often, however, just because it makes sense, doesn’t mean it will go that way. As I sense though, it would be a bit odd for Capaldi to stay in the role for what would be going onto five years. It would be odd and I don’t see it happening.
This is one of the small advantages of the wait, though. It gives plenty of time for speculation for those interested. Speculation on the direction of the series under Chibnall. Speculation as to what Moffat could possibly do to end his tenure well. Speculation on how they could possibly pitch the Christmas special in 2016 to attract interest from people who have been starved for a year. Speculation on the new companion and if that person will be a crossover companion or a one season wonder. Lots of things to keep those interested looking at things to keep themselves entertained for the year.
What I do hope the BBC do in the meantime is effectively fill that year gap with more developments on the programme and particularly getting series 8 and 9 up on Netflix in the UK quickly.
In the meantime for lots of interesting Dr Who related videos I recommend TARDISArchives to you.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden
So much has changed over the years of blogging on Among Friends and so much has remained the same.
Things that have changed include the sort of YouTube channels I enjoy. This year sees the 10th anniversary of Among Friends and in that time I’ve come across fascinating, interesting channels. In fact even over the last year my interest in YouTube football channels has increased considerably. It’s not unusual now for me to be subscribed to fan channels on Everton, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal as well as my beloved Liverpool.
These channels have deepened my love of football. They give a perspective on football that other aspects of the media fail to reach. I am not just reading what a broadsheet says, or some middle-aged journalist who is full of himself to believe he’s an authority on the game. To get the biased and considered opinions of the people who love the game and love their club just adds such richness to following the game. Hopefully in the weeks and months to come I will get to share some of the insights from those channels.
A major development over the last year as well has been my interest in the work of Hank and especially John Green. I can’t tell you where I got into him, but I know once I watched an episode of Crash Course US History which featured John Green, I was sold on the guy. That then morphed into loving the Vlogbrothers channel and the dialogue that takes place there. Then there was the interest in Crash Course US Government and Politics which features a witty character called Craig aka Weezy Waiter. Lately I’ve caught up with what that channel is all about and it is hilarious!
I still watch Dr. Who. As series 10 begins its development in the next few months it’s worth sharing my views on how things have progressed over the last series or two. In as much as I am not put off watching the show and it’s certainly capable of very good stories, I have to say the last series was … Well I’ll write about that, hopefully, and share that soon.
Super heroes!!! Wowsers there has been an explosion of super hero related programmes and movies in the last year or so. Compared to ten years ago the super hero scene on TV and cinema has exploded. There’s much that I could write about the Daredevil series one especially with series two around the corner. There’s also the Jessica Jones series to get into as well, which is worth a comment or two. This week in particular is a huge one if you’re a fan of DC comics as Arrow and The Flash return for the second half of their seasons. Also coming up this week is Legends of Tomorrow, which again is a fascinating development that should be worth a comment or two. All of these are of interest to me.
There’s all this and so much more (movies, music, books, funny stuff, etc.) in the pipeline that I could write about and share here. This is the place to explore all of those things and more. As the last few years would have indicated, I’m not always able to post on here as regularly as I’d hoped. Ideally I would post something on here once or twice a week. With the range of interests I have it wouldn’t be a problem – but it’s all about the time! So as time allows I’ll share the videos that I’m interested in as well as continue to share my views on these cultural matters.
That’s all to look forward to, for the time being, thanks for the visits to the bits and bobs on here, that I’m happy to share among friends.
C. L. J. Dryden
I have not ignored the celebrations of the ten years since Dr. Who returned to television.
There have been some outstanding videos posted in tribute to this and it has been beautiful being reminded of the journey from Eccleston and Piper to Capaldi and Coleman.
This is just one of those superb videos – the colour effect is excellent and the flows from one scene to the other is masterful. Enjoy.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden
I was told about the epic part of the Genesis of the Daleks story, but I thought it was over-hyped. Until I watched it.
It’s always good to come across something that meets the expectations given from others raving about it. It helps that you have the best fit for the role pulling off an aspect of his character requiring a degree of angst and conflict rather than the jovial approach for which he was known.
It’s really clever slipping in this piece of philosophy and thought in a programme watched by children as well as adults. Good writing and well portrayed.
C. L. J. Dryden
A couple of months ago I posted a blog on a very entertaining exploration into the average face of the Doctor.
So it’s fitting that the maker of that has popped up again with another consideration of what the average face of the Master (including the recent incarnation as Missy).
They have surpassed themselves again offering both a non-crispy version and a crispy version of the Doctor’s nemesis. Enjoy.
C. L. J. Dryden