Half A Decade

Up until a couple of days ago, I had completely forgotten that August 12, 2017 marks five years of blogging on The Life of a Thinker. Whilst I remember being shocked and annoyed at myself when I realised that there was an upcoming milestone, now I’m unsure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Good because it is such a big achievement, bad because you should never be so obsessed with statistics and numbers as a blogger.

Gone are the days of my blog logo being a weird rock. The Life of a Thinker has become more professional and I’ve never been happier with the direction in which it’s headed. Photo: Frances Batchelar.

As I write this, I’m inclined to think it’s the former. To say I’ve come a long way since August 2012 would be both blatantly obvious as well as horrendously cliché. Yet, when you consider the fact that a piece on ‘funny pub signs’ was my first proper blog post on this site, you can understand why I’m glad I’m no longer an incompetent and pretentious 15 year old.

I don’t know the exact date I made this decision, but there came a point when I decided to abandon the lifestyle aspects of my blog in favour of a journalistic style of writing. Cue opinion pieces and more reviews and the abandonment of guest blogs. However selfish it may sound, I decided that I wanted all content on my ‘online portfolio’ to be written by me. I took time to change The Life of a Thinker‘s style, which saw me leave the blogging community for a little while. Whether I’m now back as an active member of the community again is a different story for another day.

I’ll be honest: casting my mind back over what has happened blog-wise since August 2016 is hard. It’s only when I quickly search through my archives that I notice that I was Highly Commended in the Midlands Student Media Awards in October 2016 (which doesn’t feel like a year ago – it feels longer). The entry was my blog post on the first series of Channel 4’s Humans – a 1,000 word article which demonstrated the more formal writing style I mentioned previously. It was certainly a benchmark for what followed.

I was still getting advanced readers’ copies (ARCs) of unpublished books from publishers, my Friday Article opinion pieces grew from strength to strength, and I received my first review copy of an upcoming album (that being Frances’ Things I’ve Never Said). More recently, my feature on the Italian singer Ginny Vee saw me adopt a more professional interview style when compared to the Liam Interviews series I had on the blog post many years ago.

It’s these types of improvements which I’ve certainly noticed over the past few months. My music reviews are no longer focussing on the technical aspects of songs, more on the emotional, lyrical elements in a more informal tone. I’m continuing to develop my own voice in my opinion pieces and as for features, I’m looking forward to doing more of them on The Life of a Thinker when I can.

Looking ahead to the future of this blog, I’ve certainly got a strong sense of pride in it. Amazing PR opportunities have come my way through what I share here and occasionally, the odd blog post does really well on social media. After researching and hearing talks about ‘the exposure debate’ and paid freelance work, I’m now more inclined to ask for payment for PR posts on here now, as opposed to a younger version of me who would probably take it just because of the exposure. Now, it depends.

Nevertheless, it’s been half a decade since an excitable teenager created The Life of a Thinker on a beach in Cornwall and I remain thankful to anyone who has stopped by this little corner of the internet during this time. Here’s to the next milestone!

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A Little Blog Update…

OK, so as the month of August approaches, I’m a little bit excited as it means that on August 12th, I would have been blogging for 2 years!

Already, I have over 17,000 views, which is crazy when I think about it! Over that time, thousands of new opportunities have come up, blogger friends have been made, and, if you Google “The Life of a Thinker”, I’m the first result!

So it’s fair to say that I’ve learnt a lot, and have definitely improved my writing skills. As for how I’m going to celebrate the milestone on the blog, I’m not sure… If you have any suggestions, comment below!

Liam

Thoughts on ‘The Day of The Doctor’ (Review)

I have no doubt that numerous other bloggers and TV critics will jump at the chance to review this. But still, I’m going to review the episode anyway.

First of all, the episode contained a rather large amount of kissing. Don’t ask me why I noticed that, but with the Zygon having a poisonous tongue, and there being a lot of romance with the Doctor and Clara. Also, the mentioning and inclusion of some past regenerations and episodes (in particular, the rather sneaky, but relevant, appearance of Peter Capaldi, and the appearance of the legendary Tom Baker as a curator). As well as that, I liked the tiny reference Tom makes: “Oh, if I could be you.” – Brilliant!

Anyway, to the plot! It sees Queen Elizabeth become confused with a Zygon before they deal with Time War nonsense. Firstly, on the matter of Joanna Page’s portrayal of the monarch. Despite Joanna being of Welsh nationality, her attempt at an English/royal accent was brilliant! Also, it did help to clear up the mystery that was the 10th Doctor’s affair with Queen Elizabeth.

Then, the next subject of the episode. The Fez. Of which I have no doubt that the hat will become a key motif of the series. Oh, and let’s not forget the predicted return of Billie Piper/Bad Wolf. To be honest, this was where I was a bit put off, as there was a lack of interaction with the Doctor, and she didn’t really contribute as much. Shame.

However, I did love the banter between all three. The comparison of screwdrivers and TARDIS’ were great!

But as a Whovian that thoroughly enjoyed the whole episode, I’ve forgot most of it because I enjoyed it so much, and my head hurts a little. Well done Moffat!

So lastly, let’s look forward to the Christmas special, about Trenzalore… This should be interesting…

Liam

The Day of the Doctor: Final Predictions (SPOILERS)

So after more teasers and promotional material have been released, I thought I would have a final chance at trying to predict the plot and basis of the episode. The final teaser video I have seen being the following:

So here’s what we can conclude, or at least predict…

1. It will inevitably involve the Time War:
OK, so a simple one to start with. Through pictures, posters and trailers, we know that the Daleks are back, and that the Time War will probably follow. Simple. This should be interesting…

2. Rose Tyler will either look into the TARDIS again, or return from the parallel universe she is trapped in.
This idea comes from the trailer. For a brief moment, a clip of Rose’s eyes glowing are shown, and they are similar to that of when she looked into the TARDIS (in the Bad Wolf episode, I believe). What relevance this has to the Time War, is unknown, but it may be linked to the chaos and craziness associated with the Time War, perhaps?

3. John Hurt’s Doctor is the one involved in the Time War:
It has been said that John Hurt’s Doctor does something evil/wrong that shames the Doctor and “breaks the promise” (as mentioned in The Name of the Doctor). This wrongdoing is likely to be something in the Time War (it may even be the crystal as seen in the trailer).

4. The 10th Doctor and Queen Elizabeth I have a bit of romance:
It is mentioned in a Doctor Who blog post on the site that there were romantic scenes between David Tennant and Joanna Page (who plays Queen Elizabeth I). But this could be relevant, as there are parts of the episode with William Shakespeare (the one with the witches, can’t remember the episode – dammit) where at the last minutes, Queen Elizabeth walks in and sees the Doctor, and orders his execution, of which the Doctor doesn’t understand.

The reason for this might be because of the 50th anniversary, where the Doctor loves up with Queen Elizabeth I, and something goes wrong which angers her. Then, in the Doctor’s past, in the Shakespeare episode, the future Queen Elizabeth sees the past Doctor, and orders his death because of it. Basically, a scenario similar to that of River Song, or what is known by Whovians as “wibbly wobbly timey-wimey”.

5. The 10th Doctor must be the human Doctor that lived with Rose after the “two-way biological metacrisis”
Of course, it would be very difficult for a past regeneration of the Doctor to appear back on the show. Therefore, the writer’s may have used a loophole of using the human version of the Doctor to reintroduce David Tennant’s role. If this is true, then this may be how Rose is reintroduced.

6. Queen Elizabeth I sees or has links to Galifrey/the Time War:
A teaser video released by Doctor Who shows the unveiling of “Elizabeth’s credentials”, which apparently is a picture of Galifrey on fire. Obviously the Time War, so how does she know?

7. UNIT and The Zygons return:

Lastly, a plain fact to finish off with. Although the reason for the Zygon’s return is unknown, it is obvious that UNIT are involved, as they often do get involved when something big in Doctor Who goes on. Also because the above video sees the head of UNIT (as she appeared in the recent Cybermen episode) in a shot, as well as the Zygon, they’re both back!

Looking forward to it now! Only 15 days left!

Liam

Doctor Who 50th Trailer (REVIEW)

After it was released on Saturday, the trailer for Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary episode, entitled The Day of the Doctor, has created some excitement. However, a few fans have been left confused and annoyed at how the teaser video has done little to reveal what the teaser episode involves.

The video, seen above, shows a collection of villains throughout the 11 doctors. So, with that in mind, is the video more of a flashback than that of a teaser?

First of all, when it comes to the pictures that Doctor Who on Twitter released in previous months (which I mentioned in this post), is there anything that can be suggested which coincides with this?

As well as the team at the BBC releasing the trailer, they later teased further by writing a post on their site which showed 11 things they noticed in the trailer (which, after searching for reference, appears to be no longer available). From memory, there are 4 things they mentioned which are of interest and may feature in the episode.

1. The Tardis Key:

According to the comments on the BBC link, back in previous episodes of the programme, the key would signify when the TARDIS has fully repaired itself. How this could be related to the 50th anniversary episode is through a rumour that the episode could span back to individual episodes. In particular, one question was raised about the episode going as far back as to the Pandorica episodes, and about why the Tardis was destroyed in that episode. Could it be that the key prompts this?

2. A Dalek Spaceship:

The Daleks already being confirmed as appearing on the episode, with a nod to the Time War. But what else could be suggested from the trailer is that London will be involved. Since the Dalek ship can be seen hovering around Big Ben, it could suggest that previous filming around Trafalgar Square and the image of the Shard in the trailer could be linked. Also, after Daleks were around Big Ben earlier this year for a special occasion (though I don’t know what), perhaps it could be that the Daleks take a visit to London perhaps?

3. The Master’s Screwdriver:

Once again, this could either be for flashback purposes, or a hint at the anniversary, but could The Master possibly return? Or, at least, could the screwdriver make a return?

4. The Fob Watch:

A subtle prop that has been appearing every so often is that of the fob watch. Seen in the episodes where the Doctor becomes human (named after his alias John Smith) to protect himself from an enemy. In this episode, entitled Human Nature, the Doctor’s memories and Time Lord self are stored in the watch. As well as that, The Master also uses the fob watch to create his own human version of himself, known as Professor Yana. Despite the actor that portrays The Master, John Simm, denying that he will return in the anniversary episode, could the prop return, as well as the Master?

So one again we are left rather clueless as to what the 50th Anniversary special will involve plot-wise, but we may have a small idea as to what will happen. As for the video, I guess it has done nothing more than tease Whovians worldwide.

I guess all we can do is wait for the 23rd November…

Liam

Dr. Who: 50th Anniversary Predictions (SPOILERS)

So, this year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, woohoo! Now, as a Whovian (the term given to fans of the show), I’ve put my thinking cap on as to what the celebratory episode could involve…

Billie Piper/Rose Tyler Returns:

Now, we all know the current situation with Rose Tyler. After getting involved with Torchwood, she ended up falling into a parallel universe. It was a bit sad, the Doctor said “Rose Tyler…” and she never found out the end of the sentence.

Until she came out of the parallel universe two more times. One of them was in the episode with Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who made a mistake by “turning left” instead of right at a car junction, which lead to history being changed… Rose encouraged her to change it back, it worked, and at the end, Rose gave Donna a message to pass on to the Doctor (“Bad Wolf” – a little phrase they exchange between each other which basically means everything has gone horribly wrong).

Later on in the same series, the Doctor and Rose actually meet, and at the end of the episode where the Daleks return, the end of the sentence is revealed (not directly to the viewer, but we believe that it is “Rose Tyler, I love you”). They kiss. Aww… But due to Donna doing something dodgy surrounding the Doctor’s regeneration process, they create a “two-way biological meta crisis”, which basically means “two doctors”, one with 900 years to his belt and two hearts (the normal one), and one that is human like. The human version of the Doctor stays with Rose in the parallel universe, since they do love each other, after all…

David Tennant/The 10th Doctor Returns:

Which leads us onto David Tennant’s return as the 10th Doctor. Now, how can he return, when Matt Smith is the current Doctor and has regenerated? Simple. He returns as the human version that lives with Rose Tyler in the parallel universe.

John Hurt’s Appearance:

Now, this isn’t really significant in the fact that John Hurt hasn’t appeared on Doctor Who before, but what has been helpful is that he accidentally let slip some key bits of info as to how he would be involved. Apparently, he is playing the actual 9th Doctor (which initially was Christopher Eccleston, but since he refused to partake in the episode, Moffat has now come up with a clever way of editing the story around it). The reason for this being that The Doctor supposedly forgot about the 9th version of himself due to the “shame surrounding the Time War”. What this means is that John Hurt’s character slides in and makes Christopher Eccleston the 10th Doctor, David Tennant the 11th, and the current Doctor Matt Smith, the 12th.

This is also important, as it means that the Doctor is nearing the end of his days (possibly), as he only has a maximum of 13 regenerations, and he’s on his 12th… Uh oh…

The Return of Queen Victoria I

Another rumour is that Joanna Page (another confirmed actress that will star in the episode, seen above on the left) is playing Queen Elizabeth I. Images from the location where the episode will be filmed shows that Joanna was wearing an Elizabethan-style dress, similar to that of the previous Doctor Who episode with Queen Elizabeth I in, where she spots the Doctor and Martha in the Globe Theatre with Shakespeare and orders her men after them. So basically, something must have happened that made her do that…

Maybe this could explain the meaning behind the order that Queen Elizabeth gave when she saw him last, or am I missing something? It would be interesting to explore this, as I think this may be a future storyline…

The Return of the Zygon:

I’ve only watched Doctor Who since 2005, so won’t know much about these creatures, other than the fact they are Zygons… How they will be involved, I do not know…

So that’s it! I guess all we can do know is wait and see what Moffat has done to celebrate the occasion.

Liam