As many of you know, my favorite television show of all-time is Doctor Who. A British program centered around the titular character who travels in time and space via his time machine known as the TARDIS, the show has been on the air, on and off, since 1963.
I became a fan of Doctor Who during the early 1980s, when the local PBS station aired it Monday-Friday at 10pm, and on Saturdays at 6:00pm and 6:30pm. I stumbled upon it by accident one night, as I laid in bed and mom stood there, changing the channels on the little black & white TV in my bedroom, until something looked interesting. I saw a man with curly hair tripping over a long scarf, and the rest is history.
I thought it would be fun to pick my 10 favorite Doctor Who stories, spanning 1963-2013. Probably should have done this in November of last year, when it was the show's 50th anniversary, but I didn't, so oh well. Without further delay, here, then, are my favorite Doctor Who stories, in chronological order:
I don't know exactly how to write this entry, except to start off with the fact that I miss Roger Ebert.
It's difficult to put into words, mostly because Mr. Ebert is a man I never knew personally. Our physical paths crossed a time or two during his annual film festival in Champaign-Urbana, but we never spoke, we never e-mailed, we never directly communicated in any way. My relationship with him was as a kid watching him spar with Gene Siskel on an old TV in my bedroom, engrossed in their conversations about movies. And then, as an adult, enjoying his written film reviews, his tweets, and his blog entries.
2013 was a good year for music. True, the Top 40 Singles and Hot 100 Albums charts were filled with a lot of crap, as usual, but if you just take the time to look, you'll find some hidden gems. So much of the best music out there these days doesn't chart as highly as other stuff (or at all), so a little exploration can be a beautiful thing.
Here, then, are my picks for favorite tracks of 2013 (granted, two of them come from a # 1 album, but then there always exceptions to the rules):
I first became aware of British actor Roger Lloyd-Pack several years ago when the local PBS station began running the popular Vicar of Dibley sitcom. Airing from 1994-2007 (with, in my opinion, ever decreasing returns), the program revolved around a progressive, female vicar in the small, conservative town of Dibley. The townsfolk were a colorful lot, among them farmer Owen Newitt, played by Lloyd-Pack, his catchphrase being, "Shame," delivered with the plummy tone that could only emanate from his voice.
Regrettably, Roger Lloyd-Pack died two days ago from pancreatic cancer, aged 69. It's a bit odd to say about someone you've never met and who lived thousands of miles away, but I will miss him. You see, the actor had a habit of turning up in quite a few things over the years, and almost always in something good. I also appreciated his deadpan delivery, his voice, and his choice of projects. Knowing that he will no longer be around, popping-up in this or that product…
No doubt the title of this post is slightly provocative. I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it, so, there you go. If it's any consolation, I don't think that atheism matters, either. Belief, or lack thereof, in a particular god or spirituality is often beside the point. This is something I've been thinking about recently, and wanted to express here, where most of my thoughts end up for better or worse.
The topic of religion, and how it affects people, has been tossing about in my head of late, not least because of the Phil Robertson kerfuffle. The patriarch of the Duck Dynasty reality series was quoted saying some unfavorable things about homosexuals, but couched it in religious terms (both as his reasoning and his excuse), and so many folks have said it's ok. I tend to disagree, but to each their own.