Silliness Makes DOCTOR WHO Go ‘Round

Can it be? Do people criticize The Doctor for being silly? When that’s what makes him bearable to some, and lovable to so many? Silly critics.

This isn’t silly. It’s smut, I tell you. Smut!

Doctor Who: a celebration of silliness – by Andrew Blair

*This article contains Doctor Who spoilers (and one about the result of the Trojan War).*

“Doctor, as I remember telling you at the Academy, you will never amount to anything so long as you retain your capacity for vulgar facetiousness.” – Cardinal Borusa, The Deadly Assassin (1977).

Borusa is, of course, dead wrong. It is said propensity that makes the Doctor who he is.

Mention silliness in the context of Doctor Who and there is a danger of incurring wrath. Burping wheelie bins, having the loyhargil, Tom Baker yelping “My arms! My legs! My everything!” all leap to mind. Occasionally, the programme can go too far, and the result? Bewildered viewers.

Sometimes you have to explain to a child that the concrete paving slab and the man are just kissing. Sometimes you have to explain that, even if the Doctor has just done it, it is best not to blow into any stray phallic appendages you may find on other lifeforms (reactions in such circumstances vary). In extreme cases, you might have to explain that reading slash fiction – “Turlough eased open the roundel, and watched…” – is not the sort of thing you gave your offspring permission to use your forum account for…

If you aren’t used to it, Doctor Who can seem silly, but that’s missing the bigger picture. That scene in Love & Monsters is simultaneously an insight into the narrator’s character, a fun moment of silliness, and a meta-reference aimed straight at the people who dismiss it as idiotic. If you don’t like one, there are two more options to choose from.

It’s entirely worth having the occasional moment of excess silliness so that we can revel in the rest of the ridiculousness. You’re allowed to have fun and take Doctor Who seriously. Indeed, that is rather the whole point, which seems as good a time as any to end with this quote from The Time Warrior.

Sarah-Jane Smith: Are you serious?
The Doctor: About what I do, yes. Not necessarily the way I do it.

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EDITED BY LB TO ADD: It’s definitely worth going to the source of this article and reading the bits munchman and his minions edited out. The only thing the writer says that I don’t totally agree with is his analysis of Tom Baker. What I remember from my youth is that Baker’s Doctor drove me crazy because, yes, he looked silly as hell, but he acted, not silly, not even intense, but angry, regardless of what the writers had written.

And that, to me, is just silly.

BLAKE’S 7 Reboot Heading for U.S.? What’s BLAKE’S 7?

Don’t you just hate it when people talk about “cult hits” that you’ve never heard of? It makes us feel so, so…feeb…

Not the cast in the version we’ll see

Blake’s 7 Reboot Coming to U.S. Television? – by Charlie Jane Anders

The British show Blake’s 7 is one of those TV series that has a small cult following — but a huge impact on the history of science fiction television, with its morally gray, arc-based storytelling influencing a whole generation of creators. There’s been talk of a new Blake’s 7 series, either a reboot or a sequel featuring Paul Darrow as Avon, for a decade — but now, there’s a brand new deal to make it happen. On American television.

All the previous notions of reviving Blake’s 7 were supposed to be on British television, probably a satellite TV network. But according to Deadline, Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Green Lantern) has gotten involved in a bid by Georgeville Television to create a new Blake’s 7 series that reinvents the show from scratch — and Campbell is signed up direct the pilot. The script will be written by Joe Pokaski, who wrote for Heroes. Andrew Sewell, who was behind all the previous attempts to bring the show back, will be on board as an executive producer.

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Oh thankgod thankgod thankgod this says “small cult following.” Now we aren’t nearly so ashamed.


Want to Kickstart Your Teleplay or Video? Try This Strategy

Of course, it turns out to be what every salesman has to do in every medium because, dammit, there really aren’t any shortcuts, are there?

How I Launched a Successful Kickstarter Campaign – by Sarah Gilbert

“You can always back out,” a dear friend who had successfully completed a few Kickstarter campaigns told me a few days into my own campaign. “You just have such a short timeline.”

“You probably aimed too high,” said another, just beginning her own campaign, having carefully lined up a roster of advisers and marketing backers. “Next time, shoot a little lower.”

“Let’s try for $6000,” said one of my partners when I said $8000 was really the minimum sensible goal. Then, a few days before the end of the campaign, “If we need to, we can contribute more to unlock the Kickstarter piggybank.”

“We can do it!” I said, over and over. “We will do it.”

And you can do it too. If you’ve ever wanted to create something — a magazine, like mine, or a documentary video or a line of handmade jewelry or the next thing in pooper scoopers (I will not divulge my b-school friend’s Big Idea on this topic here) — but don’t have the money, crowdfunding is a fantastic way to do it.

Are you sure?
This is what my friends kept asking: “Are you sure?” They wanted to make a backup plan in case we didn’t reach the funding goal (which, for the record, is a smart idea). In Kickstarter — as in most crowdfunding sites — you have to reach the full funding goal to get any money at all; your friends and new fans won’t be charged if and until the campaign successfully ends.

I was sure. Part of this is my sunny optimism and part of it was just…my certainty. I knew this project (a literary magazine for parents) was a winner. I’d spent my life doing (informal, social, and honestly quite lovely) “user analyses” for the product. I knew what my market wanted and I knew I could sell myself as the person who could deliver. The thing is that you have to be sure, at least in your interactions about the campaign; like any small business, you need to be your biggest cheerleader and your biggest fan.

Very few goals are truly out of limit. I’ve seen campaigns succeed from $235 to $200,000. And part if it is just that people enjoy being part of a winning campaign. As Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler said, he didn’t know what was the reason, but 90% of campaigns that get to 30% funding eventually succeed. I think it’s because everyone believes if the central figure in the campaign believes — and that’s critical mass.

This is the really key thing. You have to believe, and you have to love the product you want to produce in a way that is very much like a mother loves her child, and you have to believe you can do it better than just about anyone. You have to believe all that (and be ready to tell everyone else that, too).

Find your choir
The best thing I did with this project was to assemble a choir to whom to preach. From my Twitter and Facebook pulpit I announced my idea and I had more of my team sign up to support me with a couple of 140-character tweets than any long eloquent blog post. (I hope they were eloquent.) Getting an editorial team behind me was integral.

The platform of the crowdfunding model is star-based. One person has her name and profile attached to the campaign; typically, it’s hard to fit a bunch of voices into a one- or two-minute video. But I may not have achieved this on my own.

My editorial team (and even my logo designer) had a vested interest in getting this project funded. We put a bunch of time and effort into creating the campaign, launching a web site, writing essays and stories and spending countless hours reading and editing submissions. Everyone wanted to see this be real. A partner’s dad was the one who made that contribution to send us to 100% funding. Another partner’s friends began contributing and encouraging still other friends to contribute. My husband posted about it, and his cousin gave a generous donation. I would see a donation come in from someone I’d never met, and someone would say, “That’s my high school friend!” or “That’s my uncle!”

You need to preach to your choir, and your choir has to sing it. You probably can’t do it all alone, so line up talented friends who are willing to go to bat for you simply on the promise of eventual, possible payment. What I discovered? The love of their family and friends will be so greatly felt that they probably can do without money for a while.

Get so excited, you just can’t hide it.
One day when we were nearing 100% funding, I was very literally so excited that I could not hide it. I downloaded the song on iTunes and played it over and over at top volume, dancing in my kitchen. That was me, when my friend’s dad contributed, screaming so loud all my neighbors could hear.

And I spent two weeks (the maximum time I thought I could conceivably spend constantly promoting myself) dancing, literally and figuratively, singing the praises of my project. I posted, sometimes, four or five times a day on Facebook and Twitter. I sent emails and direct messages to friends. I went up to strangers or bare acquaintances at coffee shops and parks to tell them about my project (only if they said something that seemed to connect them to, as I saw it, my customer base). I posted photos of my project on Instagram and left fliers at ice cream shops and only avoided Pinterest because I didn’t get around to it.

Every day, from the day you make your video to the day you complete the campaign, you are going to have to be amped up! This is something you should prepare for and something that should guide the timing of your campaign.

Be strategic. Be calculating.
I didn’t go to business school to avoid doing math when it came down to it. Nor did I forget any of my marketing lessons. Here are a few practical things I learned:

  • Guess at the monetary size of your friend base. You’ll need at least five times the amount you’re shooting for in “capacity…”
  • Facebook, by the way, is it… 
  • Give and ye shall receive…
  • Add up the cost of your promised rewards. Be practical here… 
  • Give people rewards they might want even if they’re not your friend...
  • Make a short video. Be adorable...

Read it all (including the details we left out!)

Dan Harmon is Back With a New Pilot Deal

Fresh off his big score on Kickstarter, Dan the Man hits it again:

Report: Ousted Community Creator Dan Harmon to Create Multi-Camera Comedy Pilot for Fox – by Kimberly Roots

Ousted Community creator Dan Harmon is very close to sealing a pilot deal with the network, TVLine has confirmed. (TV Guide first broke the news.)

The yet-unnamed, multi-camera comedy would be Harmon’s second project in the works since being bounced from Community in May; he’s also got an animated pilot called Rick & Morty in the hopper for Adult Swim.

Harmon’s worked with Fox before. In 1999, he co-wrote a Jack Black/Owen Wilson-starring, Ben Stiller-directed comedy/sci-fi mashup called Heat Vision & Jack. The avant garde project didn’t make it past the pilot stage.

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Ooh, multi-camera comedy. First created for I LOVE LUCY. So 2012 is the new 1951?

DRACULA Coming to NBC…

…In the person of that scariest of scary Mofus – Jonathan Rhys Meyers:

“I’m ‘Enery the 8th, I am…”

NBC Orders 10-Episode Dracula Series Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers – by Natalie Abrams

NBC is getting into the vampire business.

The network has given a 10-episode series order to Dracula, a series inspired by the classic Bram Stoker character starringThe Tudors‘ Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular character, NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews.

The series will introduce Dracula as he arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he’s seeking revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There’s only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife…

Based on a script from co-executive producer Cole Haddon…

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Okay, so he doesn’t look like that anymore. But he should, dammit. He should. Especially since the only reason we can think of for the existence of this series is to feature Rhys Meyer’s sorta-dangerous sorta-sensuality.

Because what else can any version of Dracula give us that’s new? This one, when you get down to it, sounds a hell of a lot like the original, TV version of DARK SHADOWS, with Drac replacing Barnabas, who originally existed to replace Drac.

Which makes us realize how much we’d love to see a however-long-it-takes serialization of the actual, you know, Bram Stoker book…the one that scared us bloodless when we first read it at about 12.