Robyn of Whood

BBC have shed some light on the incoming episode -> SPOILERS? (not really).

What I already like about the episode is this scene, an obvious reference to a line from the second best rendition of the legend*.

What was kinda unexpected, however, was this.

As much as comments below this news reveal, the beheading scene was played for laughs there, hence the decision. Since I do not know what really happened and whether the scene was really too direct to show at this time, or they just played safe, I will not comment, but it might be good to remember that avoiding a topic hardly makes it go away.

To sum it up: Robin Hood & Medieval times are a meh topic for me, but I will still watch the episode**, because Gatiss is a good writer and Capaldi is an excellent actor.


*) number one is, of course, this gem of cinematography

**) and whine about it mercilessly


Much Ado About Nothing?

Last weekend brought us another leaked photos scandal.

This article sums up the whole thing nicely, but I would like to present my hastily processed thoughts on the subject nonetheless.

Many people have proposed theories, some jokingly, some #forscience!, on why we start to behave in a rather peculiar way when behind safety of one-way mirrors that our computer screens are.

Just search for phrases ‘anonymity’ and ‘Internet’ put together and you’ll get millions of hits on various points of views on the subject. Ranging from psychological and social analysis to praise and advice on how to stay hidden.

Are we, as species, hardwired to seek excuses to stop being nice? And the whole complex system of society is merely a thin film on our aggression and distrust for others? Fortunately, there is evidence that suggests otherwise.

So what is going on? Why has a rather significant part of the Internet responded with criticism, mockery and even enjoyment when some women were denied their rights to privacy?

Victim blaming is an ancient and overused trick to quash our own sense of guilt or shame. “She shouldn’t have worn such a short skirt!”, “It was stupid of you to go there at night.”, “Well, next time read the contract more thoroughly.”

Why do we do this? We simply feel better. We boost our ego with such statements, because, obviously, we would have never done, said, or reacted like the people we accuse of not being wise or careful enough. We are the brightest gem in the whole pile.

We also like to find a quick solution or explanation for things we see or experience. The easier the reason, the better, because thinking actually hurts and exhausts us.

So, when faced with a bunch of celebrities having their private data clouds anonymously hacked into, it is less strainful for us to point a finger, exclaim that nude pics are bad, and move on.

We can even upgrade our social status (or we think we can) by posting a witty remark. We simply divide our social circle (people who observe our behaviour and interact with us) into those who would criticise us, and those who would laugh. If the latter group is (according to our subjective judgement) larger or potentially more beneficial, we decide to become an insensitive clown.

And it seems to be a subconscious thing. Even people that you respect for their sound beliefs and previous behaviour may surprise you with making a joke before thinking. And then not being able to admit they’ve made a mistake. Here’s looking at you, kid!

Do we really need to lower esteem of others in order to promote ourselves in a group? I hope not, but this might be a vicious circle indeed.


Where to, Missy?

My previous ramble about Doctor Who, and a really nice blog which has recently tackled a similar issue, made me think about the future of the series.

That’s fine, I’ve said to myself, thinking is great.

Still full of optimism, I’ve researched teh Webz and come across a valid and deep analysis of the state of the show after the RTD era. There’s actually a second part, focused more on how gender and minorities are currently portrayed in DW. I recommend you read them both, they are worth it and are a real eye opener.

I dread the series finale now. I can see the pattern that somehow cannot be unseen. This will be the same water coaster as last summer, but the crew of the amusement park will place fake landscapes in different places. A spaceship here, pirate cove there. And perhaps a castle with none other than the sheriff of Nottingham himself.

While we are riding, we pass various billboards and posters. Small at first, they get bigger later on.They all say: “Something unexpected at the end of the ride!”, “Are you prepared?!”, “HUGE MYSTERY AHEAD”, etc. So we start paying less and less attention to the current views because, hey, there’ll be something better!*

We are given occasional sights of Missy welcoming people that die for, or because of Doctor in her ‘heaven’. (those are those metaphorical posters, wink, wink). And the final stop is Doctor & Clara (Will he allow Danny Pink to enter TARDIS? Oh, the uncertainty! Yup, he will.) coming to some place that Doctor recognizes he has seen before. And there is TROUBLE. And we gaze at the havoc in sheer amazement.

And the Missy turns out to be: Master/River/Death/Tasha Lem/Amy/Clara/Future Doctor/some_random_mcguffin. SO UNEXPECTED, MUCH WOW!

But it won’t matter since she will be a hollow mannequin, a character we will not have enough time to get to know. Another kaleidoscopic villain. A final boss battle. End of season. SPLASH!

And if friends ask us how was it, we will wonder for a moment. Possibly scratch our heads here and there. And then we will describe this amazing, witty, clever, unexpected SPLASH! we experienced at the end. It was BREATHTAKING! So cool! Much better than the last one, I cannot wait for the END of next season!

Oh, you mean the ride itself? The views? Not bad, not bad at all. But the SPLASH!

Sometimes I wonder if I overthink.


*) I reread those words and realized that this is actually a nice metaphor for religion and how it makes us forget our life and concentrate on future ‘reward’. I might elaborate on that so dibs on that idea, folks!

Get your SI units right, Doctor!

Just watched the latest Doctor Who episode – Into the Dalek.

I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong. A big, avid Whovian. But, boy, this episode did make me boil with moderate rage. Not much, but enough to write this little note.

I will not give full details on the whole episode. See it for yourself, it’s quite OK. I will focus on one thing that I found rather disturbing. An obvious sign of writers’ ignorance of science.


Doctor, Clara and couple of soldiers from spaceship Aristotle (whose apparel seemed somehow familiar) venture into a closed tank-body of a Dalek.

It is obviously different from other hating and loathing representatives of the species by seeing how wicked they are and wanting to destroy them all. Could it be a chance to learn how to turn all Daleks from the Dark Side? Can they be good and stop being a constant danger to the Universe? Probably.

It’s a nice idea for an episode, but somehow reeks of a reheated meal.

Anyway, I mentioned venturing. How to examine a Dalek and find out what’s wrong (or right) with it?

“Well, the logical solution would be to miniaturize some people and send them inside…”

“Oh, yeah, what a brilliant… wait, WHAT?!”

“We shrink a few blokes and inject them into this alien tank to study how it operates.”

“Is this how we conduct medical procedures now? Surely, we have some equipment that was invented in the ancient, 20th Century and has since been upgraded, updated and finetuned? This is the Advanced Tech Future, right? We have spaceships and stuff?”

“Yeah, but we only have this MOLECULAR NANOSCALER on board!”

“What? This IS the hospital, right? Not a battleship? Are there no other devices here? Not even one small machine?”

“Nah, we don’t need hospitals now. Daleks don’t leave any wounded, and we don’t take any prisoners.”

“Oh, so you need hospitals ONLY TO TREAT WOUNDED? Have you heard about those little things? Or perhaps, those, would come in handy from time to time? Or at least you could accomodate some space here to perform these? And what is this crap about prisoners? You need prisons for them, don’t you?”

“But, but… we only have this MOLECULAR NANOSCALER on board!”

“All right, tell me what exactly does it do…”

“Well, it miniaturizes a van-sized capsule full of people to become about three centimetres wide and seven centimetres long.”

“Great! But surely you did not mean centimetres, right?”


“You call this machine a NANOscaler! You know what nano means?! ONE BILLIONTH OF A METRE! That’s the scale of atoms and molecules! If you scale something from less than 2 metres down to 2cm, it’s not even micro. It’s still THE MACROSCOPIC SCALE! You. Can. Still. See it. With. Naked. Eye.”

“But we need to enter this Dalek and examine it! Its eyestalk is around 8cm in diameter, so we only need people to be an inch in height.”

“Oh, shut up!”

Yup. Maybe not the exact word for word transcription but this is what I saw in my mind when I tried to figure out the reasoning behind this particular part of the plot.

And don’t get me even started on the way they healed/repaired the Dalek.

Kind of disappointed with another #badscience SF episode. Next one is a medieval one, so… meh

DISCLAIMER: I do understand that Doctor Who series is meant to be funny, easy to follow and enjoyable. It’s entertainment, all right. It’s aimed at both adults and younger viewers and sometimes a plot too complicated might not be a good idea. I just can’t understand how one cannot check one’s facts before writing them down. This world is already full of mistrust towards science and widespread ignorance, Let’s change that.


It’s the freakiest show…

May contain trace amounts of spoilers. And plot holes.

I’ve just seen Life on Mars. The UK version. Both series in one go.

Oh, boy. Where to start?

I like it and I hate it at the same time.

I love the basic premise. Such a concept! Well done there, no doubt. I really enjoyed the ride.

However, I just cannot stand some things.

First of all, the beginning. The whole idea is that Sam is not sure whether he died, is in a coma, or simply mad. During the series he has hallucinations that imply that he’s, in fact, lying in a hospital, and the whole 1973, A Division, Gene, Ray, Chris, Annie and others are just a dream. Or a nightmare.

He is constantly doubting everything and treats the ‘reality’ he wakes up in as temporary and mirroring his own unconscious.

However, we, the viewers, KNOW THIS ALREADY. We’ve all seen episode one. He IS a police oficer in 2006, he WAS hit by a car, he IS comatose.

We expect him to wake up. And this, of course, happens in the end. Surprised? Not really.

It’s like a bad magician trying to impress us with an egg appearing suddenly in his palm. Only the whole show we were able to spot a bulge in his right sleeve.

How better the series would be if the first scene we see were his waking up in the 70s and rambling about ‘being from the future’? And halucinatory whispers from TV, which are full of medical jargon and ‘Sam, we miss you, wake up’ crap, were being toned down a bit? How about something not so obvious, perhaps?

Just wondering.

Secondly, there’s the finale. Seriously? This is the best you could do?

We follow Sam for sixteen episodes during which he constantly expresses his wish to return to the present Manchester, he complains about the gritty era he has to live in and whines about Hunt’s unethical policing methods.

And then, when he gets back, he discovers that he no longer enjoys 2007. He just ‘can’t feel it.’

So, what is the natural thing to do when you’ve come back to you senses after desperately clinging to your life for a year? After you’ve fought the imaginary Test Card F girl (show’s apotheosis of incoming Death) many times and repeated countlessly how you want to go home?

Well, you commit a suicide apparently. In a rather gruesome fashion. Six storeys down from the roof style.

Because events, environments and people you know well ARE JUST A BYPRODUCT OF YOU MIND BEING SUPRESSED INTO SENSORY DEPRIVATION are more interesting and vivid to you than THE TANGIBLE, REAL WORLD.

Because fuck you, common sense, fuck you, logic.

Because apparently, for a few minutes before dying, Sam’s consciousness can seemingly provide him with ANOTHER and CONTINUOUS vision of the same 1973 Manchester.

Because screw you, Sam’s mum. Annie is in danger. Annie who? Oh, you know. Annie. My IMAGINARY GIRLFRIEND.

Because so many people have spent so much time taking care of Sam while he was lying in a comatose state, helpless. Way to thank them for doing their job. Nicely done, dr Morgan. Too bad you patient dies after all. What a waste of NHS money.

Ok, ok, I’m fine now. Breathing deeply.

To sum it up, it was a nice idea, good execution and not so great ending. We’ve all seen worse series in our life, right?


I also checked out show’s continuation, Ashes to Ashes.

Abysmal Ashes to Ashes.

Oh, my.

They played the religious card. The dreadful mumbo jumbo card.

Gene is a psychopomp. All detectives are dead and as lost souls hang out in some Limbo. Totally Lost type shit.

And the worst abomination of them all. They changed the time period to the Eighties.

Bugger me. I’ve had enough. I’m off.

See ya next time.


PS. It turns out the US version went more SF and it was all a dream of hibernating astronauts. Not sure about that either, although at least it’s not afterlife crap.

Revving up!

First post to write and nothing comes to my mind. Typical.

So why not start with a blatant generic statement?

I’m going to write about rationality, scepticism and, most of all, about SCIENCE.

Be scared. Be very, very scared.