Category: Doctor Who

From the Reading Room – Booming Bookazines, New Novels, and Hot-Wired Histories

From the Reading Room – Booming Bookazines, New Novels, and Hot-Wired Histories

Greetings, fellow bookworms! I have a little secret to share. It’s about “The Reading Room.” At nine-years-old, I was introduced to the first novel in a series from one of the world’s greatest thinkers and authors. The book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the author was C.S. Lewis.

From that day until now, I have collected over 1,000 novels, histories, devotionals, biographies, and children’s books. All ultimately resulting in the creation of the Reading Room. And British authors, past and current, have written nearly half of the books included in my library. To share and review them with my friends is my intent.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the latest category to Mary Loves the UK: The Reading Room!



What to Read for the Upcoming Quarter

To provide my readers with some topic range within my upcoming blog posts, I have chosen three different reading materials to review within the next three months. These materials include the following:

  • Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia, a historical novel
  • Roy and Lesley Adkins’s Jane Austen’s England – Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods, a history book
  • BBC’s The Essential Doctor Who – Adventures in Space, a bookazine, printed in the UK

 

My Californian readers can find British reading material like these at local bookshops, such as the Avid Reader in Davis, or at club stores, such as Sam’s Club in Vacaville. If anyone has the will to join me in reading one (or all three!) of the above, please do! I would love to review these books and magazines as a group.

How to Join in the Discussions

To join in what I hope will become future book discussions, I recommend that my readers who have any interest follow these steps:

  1. Follow me! Located on the bottom right-hand corner should be buttons where my readers can follow my blog, or me, on social media.
  2. Choose the books of interest. No one needs to read every book with me. But, if any of my readers have a preference in the books listed to read, then please let me know!
  3. Read every blog post on the books. I will attempt to write a thorough review on each chapter or section in the reading materials. Hopefully they will assist my readers in the discussion.
  4. Answer the questions at the end of the blog posts. No one can have a discussion without questions! Therefore, though I cannot promise the best or most essential discussion questions, I will try to include some for every chapter to encourage discussion.

 

Have I managed to pique anyone’s interest? I hope so. Reading these British books is a treat I cannot deny myself, and one which I wish to share. But, please, if anyone has a preference as to which book or bookazine I should start reviewing in the Reading Room, let me know in the comment section below!

Doctor Who – We Will Miss You, Bill Potts

Doctor Who – We Will Miss You, Bill Potts

Spoilers! Discontinue this blog post if you have yet to view Doctor Who’s latest episode! Aired on June 24, 2017.

The skies loom dark…and smoggy…in the latest Doctor Who episode. In this 11th episode of season 10, viewers will mourn for Bill Potts, the fun and quirky companion. For in this episode, she meets an unexpected villain…and an unhappy end.

Why We Loved Doctor Who’s Bill Potts

As a member of the primitive human species, I had my doubts about a lesbian companion. However, my doubts disappeared after season’s 10 first episode. Bill Potts’s energy and enthusiasm found a secure place in my heart, and I looked forward to her adventures with the Doctor.

Pearl Mackie, who played Bill Potts, seemed to have a certain chemistry with Peter Capaldi. Representing two strong and independent personalities, they could sit and discuss differing opinions, yet relate in their social relationships. They were the quintessential friends.



What Bill Potts’s Ending Means to Me

Despair and horror may adequately describe how I feel about this episode’s conclusion. In his usual talented writing style, producer and writer Steven Moffat first charmed the viewers in the life Bill Potts’s lived in the spaceship’s bottom, then he brought in the villains.

With the Master converting Bill into a Cyberman and recruiting Missy to join his evil plans, the pain is real upon seeing and hearing Bill Potts reach out to the Doctor from her side among the villains. The fun and carefree adventures have come to an end. Now comes pain and misery for the Doctor…and the viewers.

The Hope to Which We Cling

Two Doctor Who characters have transformed into Cybermen, Bill Potts and Danny Pink. Both exhibited despair at their mortal flesh’s end, creating an interesting twist to the traditional Cybermen with their ability to feel. Nevertheless, this unexpected twist brings hope to the viewers for their beloved fictional friends.

If the Master has truly brought back the Cybermen, then the Doctor may have the ability to turn the Cybermen into good guys. Or, at least, bring back the characters whom we loved. If Bill and Danny came back, then maybe there is hope for some of the Doctor’s companions.

Will We See Bill Potts Ever Again?

Please answer us, BBC America! We feel like we have lost a good friend in Bill Potts, and we want her back. Please make it so our beloved characters can come back from the dark side and join ranks with the Doctor once more. Show that good can triumph over evil.

Thank you for reading. Please share your favorite memories with Bill Potts below. Take your time, though. I myself may need to watch the season again before I can adequately answer that question.

Pearl Mackie Shines in Doctor Who’s “The Pilot”

Pearl Mackie Shines in Doctor Who’s “The Pilot”

“A homosexual companion!” cried the Christian-conservative woman. “Doctor Who is ruined!”

Many conservative Americans felt this way about their beloved BBC America show Doctor Who. They whined and complained and said they would never watch the newest companion. However, the tenth series first episode finally arrived. And every Doctor Who fan sat down to watch.

Actress Pearl Mackie proved the American conservatives undeniably and irrefutably wrong.

Introducing Pearl Mackie as Doctor Who‘s New Companion

Knowing the new companion to be homosexual, I expected a very extroverted, flamboyant and lovable character. Someone like Ezra Miller’s character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Pearl Mackie’s character, named Bill, is someone wholly different.

Pearl Mackie as Bill and love interest Heather.

Bill smiled at the mysterious and the unknown. She pursued people who interested her, predominantly blonde young women. Courage and curiosity convinced her to chase down the mysterious Doctor and the odd Nardole. She worked in the cafeteria, and she portrayed confidence in her own person.

Ezra Miller played a lovable character, but Pearl Mackie captured the screen. Bill was down-to-earth and easy to relate to. The Doctor asked her to his office almost in a way to offer friendship, for she had few friends. To state simply, Pearl Mackie played Bill as a typical and likable person.

Why Pearl Mackie Fits Perfectly as the Doctor’s Companion

Jenna Coleman played Clara as the Doctor’s potential love interest. When River Song said goodbye to Matt Smith’s Doctor, Clara turned into the confused companion who didn’t know whether to act like a love interest or a standoffish friend. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor solidified Clara’s role as nothing more than a friend.

New companion Bill and the Doctor

Pearl Mackie played Bill as a young woman only interested in other young women as love interests. Therefore, her role immediately solidified as the Doctor’s friend and nothing more. Different than Jenna Coleman, Pearl Mackie adds an edge to her new companion role with her character’s quirks and boldness. She played – and she will continue to play – someone whom the Doctor can have fun with.

What American Viewers Hope to See in Upcoming Doctor Who Episodes

Series nine definitely had a serious and somewhat morbid tone. The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas episode changed the tone completely with its American superhero. I, along with my friends and family, hope this lighthearted change will continue. After all, we thought the British viewed this wildly popular show as something for children. So shouldn’t it be lighthearted?

New companion Bill in the TARDIS

Pearl Mackie has brought a lighter tone to the series. Though she acts well in dark circumstances, her courage and talkative nature stand out starkly to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. A change that the show badly needed to keep their viewers interested. If only they can look beyond her love interests.

One thing is for certain: I will gleefully watch Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Pearl Mackie as the new companion as the new series unfolds. New writers with new characters will grace the screen with new adventures. And as long as American fans can keep open-minded, then they too will love the newest season of the best BBC America series.

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

“Jelly Babies were Tom Baker’s favorite!” exclaimed my fiancé. “I’ve been wanting to try them for ages. I think David Tennant likes them, too.”

What are Jelly Babies?

For those who’ve lost touch with popular British television, Tom Baker and David Tennant are the two most favored Doctors known in the over-50-years-old BBC television series called Doctor Who.

Gerrit J. Verburg Jelly Babies

Jelly Babies, self-described on Gerrit J. Verburg packaging as gourmet English style sweets, are jelly candies that come in various bright colors and fruit flavors, such as orange, lemon, and grape.

A Short History on How I Learned about Them

Alex, my soon-to-be-husband, told me about these colorful candies early on in our relationship, an icebreaker for our anxieties and common-ground for our self-declared loyalties to Doctor Who.

When Alex and I stumbled across this candy, my fiancé positively jumped for joy and immediately began talking about how for years he has visited stores without ever spotting a single bag of Jelly Babies. Never, until that day.

But before I disclose the stupendous store that carries this coveted candy, allow me to provide a short background on how Alex and I ended up at this store:

To celebrate my upcoming marriage, a friend from work collaborated with my maid-of-honor in throwing me a bridal shower. The theme was a tea party, or simply phrased, afternoon tea.

Double Devon Cream and Jelly Babies

“Oh, so the hostesses tried to resemble a British tea party with Jelly Babies,” one might think. Nope! The hostesses introduced something different to me that day: clotted cream, a luxurious and delicious blend from a nearby tea house.

My mother and I came home from the bridal shower raving about the clotted cream. In fact, I enjoyed the clotted cream so much, I searched the Internet to find a nearby store who carried the product. We avoided the tea house, for it exceeded our budget.

The Big Revealing

Wishing to try this new food product, Alex drove me to the store to buy the cream. The store carried only Double Devon Cream that day – which I will speak more on in a later post – but at Cost Plus World Market, we found Jelly Babies!

Tea, scones, and Jelly Babies for two at home.

That’s right, Cost Plus World Market carries the classic British candy. The market sold the Gerrit J. Verburg brand, where the chews come in a resealable bag. Although, be warned, the seal may separate from the bag. To solve this issue when it happened to me, I used a chip clip.

Everyone who wishes to experience a little British culture while confined in the States should try this delectable treat. Albeit, the brand sold at Cost Plus makes the product in and sells from Fenton, Michigan, but as a girl who can only dream about visiting the United Kingdom, they do just nicely.

My Opinion about Jelly Babies

Oh! And my opinion about their taste is chewy, yet satisfying. They look like little gummi bears, but they have a slightly tougher consistency. Sugar abounds in this small treat, yet the fruity flavors give the candy its true pizzazz. And the candy design? Adorable!

Rose Tyler and How She First Appeared

Rose Tyler and How She First Appeared

Screenwriter and producer Russel T. Davies created a Doctor Who character worthy of some love and attention: Her name was Rose Tyler. Throughout the first two series of the reemerged BBC America television show, Rose grew immeasurably as a companion and an individual. The first episode, titled “Rose” and aired on BBC One in year 2005, portrayed her as a simple shop girl. Her true character bloomed under the Time Lord’s influence.

Listed below are the three characteristics which viewers can identify in Rose Tyler as she first appeared in Doctor Who. Watching through the first two series again will reveal how these characteristics grow and mature in this intelligent, witty, and loving young woman.

Compassionate Toward Her Loved Ones
Rose Tyler and Autons
Rose trapped in the department store basement with Autons.

Rose exhibited great compassion and maturity in her dealings with her mother. Nearly escaping death from the Autons the night before, she patiently tolerated her mother’s remarks on her need to quickly find another source of income. At only 19 or 20-years-old, she worked to help support her and her mother’s humble living arrangements. This showed her love for her mother exceeded any sense of personal gain and entitlement.

During the final scene in the first episode, Rose made an admirable comment in needing to look after her boyfriend. Mickey Smith had acted cowardly throughout the attacks and the danger, and he certainly seemed like he needed a lot of love and attention, unless there was a televised game at the pub. Nevertheless, Rose had loved this young man enough to give him emotional support and ego boosters despite her own lowly position in life, until she met the Doctor.

Quick to Solve Problems and Make Connections

Immediately following the explosion at her store was Mickey. Rose wanted to do nothing but lie about at home after the awful ordeal and recuperate. Her boyfriend had other ideas, and he firmly stated his belief in her need of consuming something stronger than tea. When he suggested going to the nearby pub, Rose knew the real reason why. He wanted to see the televised soccer game, and he eventually admitted to wanting to watch the game when she confronted him about it.

Any proper girlfriend would have been distraught if her boyfriend had turned into an Auton, but few would have had the wits to rescue him. Rose quickly understood that the only way to save everyone and end the immediate threat was to go with the Doctor. The Time Lord identified the threat as the Nestene Consciousness, but he failed to identify where the aggressive alien was located. He described to Rose where the species normally resided. Observing her surroundings, Rose almost instantly found the creature’s hiding place.

Brave and Daring When Presented with Adventure
Rose Tyler
Rose as she decides to join the Doctor on his travels.

Everyone balks when they first see inside the TARDIS. Rose responded similarly. However, when others would have tucked tail and run, regardless of their living plastic boyfriend chasing them, Rose accepted the extraordinariness of the TARDIS being bigger on the inside. She accepted the Doctor being an alien. And not only did she accept them, but she traveled in the TARDIS and worked alongside the Doctor to save the world. This young woman had guts and brains.

After saving the world, the Doctor offered to take Rose with him on his travels through space and time. Rose could have easily gone back to her simple means of living. Her first thoughts were of her loved ones, and how she had responsibilities to attend to. Her adventurous spirit got the better of her, though, and she and the Doctor whisked away in the TARDIS, leaving Mickey alone in the London alleyway.

Rose Tyler and How She Grows as a Companion

Rose started off the series strong, but she only grew stronger from there. The Doctor easily recognized her compassion, intelligence, and bravery and stole her away for many adventures in the unknown. They would both grow as individuals, as friends, and as a couple.

Davies excelled in creating a character for viewers to love. To him, all Doctor Who fans owe a certain degree of allegiance. Because of one hardworking screenwriter, Rose Tyler came to life and wowed the wide viewing world.

More articles on Christopher Eccleston’s first Doctor Who episode can be found here.