Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Middle Earth Comes to Calgary

To continue my recap of the Calgary Comic Expo at the end of April, I recount what might possibly have been my favourite bits: Billy Boyd (Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and three of the dwarves from the Hobbit. Jed Brophy (Nori) Dean O'Gorman (Kili), and Mark Hadlow (Dori) were the dwarves who came, with the bonus of Jed's son Sadwyn Brophy, who played Aragorn and Arwen's son in the Return of the King.

Billy Boyd was HILLARIOUS. SO FUNNY. If you ever go to a Q and A and get a chance to ask him a question, start by telling him your cat/dog/hamster/whatever is named Pippin. Apparently he gets that a lot. :)

Billy's interviewer was a lady called Greendragon, a moderator of the biggest LotR fansite, The One Ring. I forget her real life name, but she moderated all of the Middle Earth panels, and she was fab. Kirsten, maybe?

My brother getting a henna tattoo, in Elvish.

The Being Dwarvish panel. It was SO MUCH FUN.
Sean Astin

Sean's panel turned into a bit of a bummer, because somehow the topic got onto bad experiences he had working on the films, and it was a bit depressing!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any good videos of any of the panels, but I assure you, Billy and the dwarves were a barrel of fun. (Ha!) My only disappointment was that because of the special Middle Earth super-panel that you had to pay extra for, Billy wasn't allowed to sing at his Q and A, and at the dwarvish panel, the actors didn't want to re-tell stories that they'd already told at the super-panel. It's one thing to sell tickets for this extra-special multi-media event, but another thing to take away from the main event to do that. So that was sad.

The only thing missing was Martin Freeman, who'd been in Calgary filming Fargo for most of the winter, and who left just weeks before Expo started. So sad! Depending on how the season of Fargo ends, maybe he'll be back next year...hint, hint...

Ok, I think that's it for my Comic Expo re-capping this year - we also saw Garrett Wong, Adrian Paul, and Tom Felton, but alas, my memories are fading and I'm not sure I have anything to share at this point. It was nice that Tom finally made it to Expo though! :)

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Doctor Who Comes to Calgary

Doctor Who has been on my to-watch list forever, and in January this year, thanks to a gift of season 1 and 2 on DVD, we finally got started with the ninth doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, and now we're into season 6 with the eleventh doctor, played by Matt Smith.

Well, we started with Eccleston, but couldn't really get into it, so we skipped ahead to David Tennant. I already knew him as my favourite Hamlet - he's a fantastic Shakespearean actor - and it was an excellent strategic decision. Then we went back and watched Eccleston once we cared more. I have a lot of feelings about Doctor Who now.

David Tennant as Hamlet. Patrick Stewart co-stars as his dead father/crazy uncle.

The tenth Doctor is definitely my favourite, although I do also like the eleventh. The ninth; not so much. His habit of calling people "stupid apes" really got on my nerves.

I've been applying serious effort to choosing a favourite companion, but I can't decide - I like them all! I really ship Rose and Ten, and I related to Martha. Donna and Amy are both so spunky and outgoing and totally unlike me, so that I enjoy watching them do crazy things I would never do, and living a bit vicariously. I love Mickey, but he doesn't really count as a companion. Amy's my brother's favourite, so I can't decide - maybe it'll be Clara when we get to her?

And in April, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan were at Comic Expo! We hadn't gotten to their time on the show yet, but we went to their panel anyway. They were so fun - it made me not dread quite so much the transition from the tenth to the eleventh doctor that I knew was coming. I still bawled like a baby when it happened, but that's beside the point. Trevor said that Matt and Karen basically spent the whole panel flirting, which I think is an accurate depiction of their relationship. It's sort of bad form to ship real live people, but I don't think that either of them is in a romantic relationship with anyone else, so I totally do ship them.

Anyway, here's a video of the Q and A portion of the panel, if you're interested.

Bonus Lego Dalek

Matt and Karen being ridiculous.

Epic backdrop for the panel

Here's another video, it's part one of four of the whole panel, which is nice, so I can relive the memories. :)

Here's a Twitter roundup from someone who live-Tweeted the panel:

Anyway, it was a FAB panel, even thought a lot of the references went over my head. Even just six weeks and a whole season and a half of Doctor Who later, now that I'm re-watching the panel I'm getting more of the references. Hopefully we'll see more Doctor Who guests at Comic Expo in the coming years...hint, hint! :)

I can't quite put my finger on what it is about the show that I love so much - it must be the characters and the character-driven story lines. And I LOVE the episodes set in the past, like the one with Agatha Christie, and the one with Shakespeare. I'm also entertained when I notice guest stars that I recognize from somewhere else - the episode we watched tonight guest-starred the Earl of Grantham from Downton Abbey as a pirate captain. So if the estate goes bankrupt, he can always turn to piracy. Arrr!

Yesterday we watched the arc with the Silence and I realized why cats always seem to stare at random things that no one else can see...it's because THEY can see the Silence! That realization creeped me out. I'm also now wary of garden statuary. It's such a good show - if you like Firefly, Stargate, Star Trek, or Star Wars, and haven't watched Doctor Who yet, than what are you waiting for? Allons-y!