Tag Archive: doctor who

R.I.P. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

Strangely post on February 23rd, 2011
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

R.I.P. Actor Nicholas Courtney

Actor Nicholas Courtney as The Brigadier

Actor Nicholas Courtney as The Brigadier

So farewell Brigadier!

Many a time you and your UNIT chums saved the world from horrible alien monsters.  It wasn’t always “The Doctor” and your calm panic and belief in the Doctor’s powers (despite himself) always pulled us through.  You acted with just the right amount of authority.   Saturday tea-times were never the same once you “retired” and Doctor Who was pulled from the schedules….

And as you said many times,

RIGHT!  Lets get on with it!

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Dr Who and the Death of Self

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Each one of the fuzzy white bits in the photo above is a galaxy containing billions of stars and thus many, many life-forms, all at various stages of evolutionThis statement is derived from the work of thousands of intellectuals using the powers of observation and deduction available to us all.

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Tonight there was a show highlighting bits of the top BBC show, Doctor Who.

It was a reminder, for me, of the most cataclysmic scene, from the final (proper) episode called Journey’s End, where “The Doctor”  has to wipe the mind of Donna, his companion, to save herself from going mad.  (this was because she’d inherited his Time-Lord powers in the picture here, which are too much for a human).

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

This scene I can fully empathise with because of my own experience of an under-active thyroid gland which removed my powers of intellect and concentration, and almost removed my concept of “self”, before I was diagnosed.  At the time, when I was recovering, I called it my “Flowers for Algernon” experience.

“Flowers for Algernon” is an all-time great science fiction story.  Charlie Gordon, the story-telling diarist, like Donna Noble in Doctor Who, and like myself earlier, we were all crushingly aware of the powers we once had, but now were losing, visibly.

Socrates

Socrates

In many respects, it’s much worse than death.  People sometimes worry about death and try not to think about it, hoping it will go away.  Myself, I’ve always pondered it, sometimes to gloomy distraction.  It’s like the great unknown.

Socrates said;

Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.

With this, I fully agree, and can thus explain away my gloomy dallyings with the words of one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Nichiren, the Buddhist monk of a later age said;

Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena. To be awakened to this principle is itself the mutually inclusive relationship of life at each moment and all phenomena. – WND page 3, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

I think that with this in mind, for my next existence I’ll go somewhere different to this Earth….

Since I’ve been born I’ve always felt ‘old’, as if I’m returning here to ‘fix’ something, a devoir-faire.

Maybe I’ll be in these red centres of creation, a truly glorious image emphasising the hydrogen clouds.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars.  The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars. The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

It’s truly a great privilege to be able to go out on an evening and stare at our night sky and the Milky Way, pondering on the gems that must exist, both in front of our eyes and those ones hidden by vast distance.

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

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Delia Derbyshire – my hero

In the news again (see Lost tapes of the Dr Who composer), is Delia Derbyshire, creator of the Doctor Who theme.  One particular characteristic of the sixties, apart from the fashions etc, is the “sound” behind all the films and of popular music at the time.  However, getting past the cheesy flower power and merseybeat type sounds, and the standard film music usually heavy on the trombones,  was another flavour that had two basic strands.  One was the Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett sound which has continued to the present day in one way or another.  The other was the creepy spacey sounds coming from Delia Derbyshire’s experimentations, which had lost favour until recently.

She was carrying on a tradition to which I was introduced at school called “musique concrete” from the French.  There were several exponents of it and initially, it’s fairly easy to do – anyone can do it – with a bit of practice and manual dexterity in tape handling.

However, Delia did it extremely well.  Listen to the samples on the links above and you’ll see the flavour that made several ordinary or avante-garde shows, extraordinary.  In fact, the whole genre of other-worldliness is captured in the sounds, some of which was captured in such epics as The Martian Chronicles and the early Star Treks.

The Hamlet performance lower down on the first link above is especially noteworthy, although it’s very similar to the verbal intro on Amon Duul 2’s Apocalyptic Bore so we know where they got that from!  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7512496.stm

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Tape Cutting, Radios & Doctor Who

This site, by Mark Ayres, gives a description of the Doctor Who theme as it was created by Delia Derbyshire from the Ron Grainer score.

In conversation with Paul yesterday, I was recalling how I started music by recording short or medium wave radio tuning, heterodyning and interference sounds onto a cassette and then chopped and spliced the tape up in various ways to make “music”. This was basically atonal and without much rhythmic structure, but would have made good backing material. I also mentioned my use of ring modulation later with my Crawling Chaos work. If one reads this article then you’ll see that it is actually part of the (super) heterodyne principle but used at audio frequencies instead of generating an intermediate frequency prior to demodulation.

The Doctor Who theme was made in a similar way. Apparently they had loads of little bits of tape spliced together, one tape for an “instrumental” line. They didn’t have multi-track – what they had was lots of mono tape recorders that all had to be started at the same time! Synchronisation problems led to an empirical development of the tune with much re-editting to get things right! This is possibly the earliest sound-video there is; considerably longer than most modern show intros …
It took ages by all accounts and the BBC has still got most of the original bits of tape!

Brian Hodgson 1

Brian Hodgson 1

Brian Hodgson 2

Brian Hodgson 2

Still on Doctor Who. I remember vividly the incidental music and effects that appeared in the early Hartnell shows especially. Check out “Dalek City Corridor” say….

https://youtu.be/C9n5Aa44C2Q

This is what contributed greatly to the shows initial success I think, as the whole feel of the show was influenced by these other-worldly sounds. This is another bit I’ve found on YouTube. There are some large libraries dotted around the net – I’ll have to look them up!

The incidental weird sounds kick in at about 2:40  Not too long after this series, the use of weird sounds disappeared to be replaced by more “conventional” orchestrations and sound effects designed to sound something like the visual.  Until then, sound effects were just plain weird and disconnected, which, as I’ve said, enhanced the other-worldliness of the shows.

Rees

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