NEW Doctor Who Filk Song! “My Friend the Doctor” for the 50th Anniversary

Bret and I have been slaving away in the filk mines to bring you this wee gem. We wrote the lyrics based on the song “My Friend the Doctor” originally sung by Anthony Newley in the musical Doctor Dolittle by Leslie Bricusse. The music here is a cover by Bobby Darin.

We hope you enjoy it!

As we’re both fans of Anthony Newley, we were disappointed that we had to use the Bobby Darin music because the Anthony Newley recording couldn’t be “karaoke-ized.” Apparently Newley was recorded in front of a live orchestra, which meant the second track (or whatever it is that Audacity and other programs would normally invert) wasn’t even there.

But this version grew on us. It’s lively like The Doctor.

Why I Painted a Cool-Ass TARDIS Dress

This last weekend, my beloved and I journeyed to Santa Barbara to celebrate our 4th anniversary. Because he’s the most extraordinary man in the world, he indulged me when I asked if we could take a painting class at The Painted Cabernet, where you drink wine as you copy a pre-selected, super girly painting under the instruction of a real artist. As soon as I saw the TARDIS blue of this last Saturday’s picture to copy, I had to go dip a brush in that luscious paint.

I didn’t paint this. It’s the original painting we were to copy.

I’d never painted before. I spent a year in a Disney workshop with Bob Kato learning how to draw mostly by osmosis from the Imagineers and other artists, although Bob took pity on me from time to time and taught me stuff, but that involved mostly pencils and some charcoal scribbling. My sketches survived only because I managed not to bawl on them over my comparatively incompetent doodling.

When we arrived in the painting class, I felt weirdly confident that whatever strayed from my brush tips wouldn’t make me cry. Maybe it was because Mickey’s yellow shoe wasn’t crushing my self confidence. Or maybe it was the dearth of Imagineers. I’m not sure. My Evil Plan propelled me fearlessly toward the canvas. Our instructor Amelia gave us smocks. I got her favorite smock, upon which a friend of hers had painted a heart on the chest one day to heal her broken one during a rough breakup.

I now had two hearts. Oh, yes.

I listened carefully as Amelia gave us the download on brushes, paint and…other stuff I can’t remember because I stopped paying attention as soon as she pumped a wad of that heavenly blue on her palette. I was hypnotized by that color. It evoked visions of Nine in his leathers, Ten in his tennies, and Eleven in his bowtie. Bowties are cool. Blue is cool.

TARDIS dresses are cooler.

As soon as I started making noises that I was enjoying myself far too much–and not just because I was drinking champagne–Amelia came over and cast a somewhat puzzled look at my swishes and swashes, but continued to make encouraging noises. (She was actually a very good teacher.) As soon as she left, Bret leaned over for a look.

“AWESOME!” he said.

TARDIS dress

My 1950’s TARDIS Dress

By the end of the two-hour class, I was thrilled. Behold: a 1950’s TARDIS dress! I added numerals 1 to 11 in the background and gave her a necklace with the key to the TARDIS.

Bret and I were beside ourselves with fan joy. I was particularly pleased with my subversion of the class and my triumphant first painting. Poor Amelia, though, squinted at the thing as we chattered and asked, “Will more than a few people get the reference?”

Something broke in my head when she asked that question, dampening my excitement a bit as I realized I was really in another world. We then explained that, in fact, lots of people in science fiction fandom would get it and shared with her the goodness of The Doctor.

Me, Two Hearts and a TARDIS dress

Me with Two Hearts and a TARDIS dress

Now, if only someone would make me this dress…

Narrative Interaction, Fandom and Christianity

Cover of the WyrdCon Companion Book.

The WyrdCon Companion Book has been published! It’s free, fully interactive and includes my paper that takes on Henry Jenkins, Harry Potter and 2000 years of Christianity. It’s called, “The Greatest Story Ever Interacted With.” Not for the easily offended…

Download the book PDF here.

Check out an excerpt from the first half of the paper:

Narrative Interaction: Filling in the Gaps

Narrative interaction entails the myriad ways in which audiences contribute to and celebrate their favorite stories. Fan fiction—defined as the fiction produced by fans based on a popular novel, movie, TV show or other franchise—is one of the best known forms of interacting with a narrative. According to scholar Francesca Coppa, fan fiction “fill[s] the need of a mostly female audience for fictional narratives that expand the boundary of the official source products offered on the television and movie screen.”[1] Transmedia storytelling pioneer Henry Jenkins says, “Fan fiction can be seen as an unauthorized expansion of these media franchises into new directions which reflect the reader’s desire to ‘fill in the gaps’ they have discovered in the commercially produced material.”

Fan fiction is only one type of narrative interaction or what Jenkins calls “participatory culture.” He explains, “patterns of media consumption have been profoundly altered by a succession of new media technologies which enable average citizens to participate in the archiving, annotation, appropriation, transformation, and recirculation of media content. Participatory culture refers to the new style of consumerism that emerges in this environment.”

But “participatory culture” didn’t begin with the emergence of new technologies.  Participation in the narrative of Christianity—including annotation, appropriation, transformation and recirculation—has been ongoing for centuries. The practice of storytelling to fill in the gaps predates Christianity itself.

[1] Bacon-Smith, Camille (2000). Science Fiction Culture. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0-8122-1530-4.

Read the whole paper now!