Posts Tagged With: christmas

A Trumpmas Carol

scrooge

You know what’s great about Christmas? Ghost stories.

I had a story I’d planned to share with you – it stars the Third Doctor and a familiar-looking Santa Claus creating havoc at a Christmas party – but I haven’t had time to finish it. Still, that’s OK, because Josh has stepped into the breach. His school project this term was to produce something in the Dickens vein – a stage adaptation, a graphic novel, a contemporary retelling, or a fact file about the man himself. After a brief family discussion, he opted to retell A Christmas Carol (chiefly because it is, as you may expect of a boy of eleven, the only one he really knows well) starring you-know-who.

It’s been done before. But this is his version, and he’s proud of it, and I felt it warranted sharing. I get the feeling that this is the only year I’d get away with printing this here – while Donald Trump is, as we go to press, still President Elect instead of President. I wonder if, a year down the line, it might be something we no longer want to talk about – or perhaps the miracle will happen and there’ll be no need. In any event you will forgive the inevitably unrefined political views therein, coming as they do from a first-year secondary schoolboy (who is, nonetheless, rather wiser than his years, and I suspect wiser than many of the electorate). It was done with minimal help from us – a few creative nudges aside, the ideas and the story are by and large entirely his own. I cleaned up the grammar and punctuation a little but didn’t touch anything else, restricting myself instead to the Photoshopping (with the exception of that image at the top, which I nabbed – and you can tell, because it’s the only one that’s wholly successful).

Take it away, Josh. And incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home.

A Trumpmas Carol

The day Donald Trump was elected great cheers erupted from his supporters. He grinned and made his speech: “Fellow Americans, to celebrate my victory I will start building this great wall to stop Mexicans entering our homeland, our country, our city!” More cheers. “I will start building it on Christmas morning, 8:00 AM to be to exact, also all Mexicans who happen to live in here will be thrown out back into Mexico!” At that exact point every Mexican in America sighed dismally but the ones who sighed the most were the Gonzalez family as they sat in a house the size of a shoe box right next to the Whitehouse.

Months passed as Trump got his blueprints ready for the wall and on Christmas Eve he had just arrived home to check the blueprints and as he was looking at them they shifted around to form Margaret Thatcher’s face. Donald Trump suddenly dropped the blueprints into the fire. They burst into flame but Margaret T was not done yet. From out of the smoke arose her ghost and she said in a grave, gravelly voice “Donald Trump, you will be visited by three Mexicans at midnight!” before drifting off into the night air…

trump_thatcher

Donald Trump could not sleep, every time his eyes closed fear and anxiety twisted his insides violently, forcing him to stay awake. All was silent excluding the large grandfather, “Tick Tock Tick Tock!” it screamed. “Oh great,” he muttered. Tiredly he walked towards the door but the door slammed shut before he got to it. The clock chimed midnight. The room went cold. Very very cold. Very very very cold.

Suddenly through the (locked) window came a small Mexican girl. She grinned and took out a list of her and started reading the list, her eyes scanning down it, “T… T… T… Thomas… Thompson… whoa you Americans have some funny names, aha Trump. Oh my name’s Maria by the way” she said as she pulled him out the (still locked) window.

Whilst in flight Donald Trump spent most of his time picking glass off of his dressing gown while Maria kept apologizing, “listen Donald I’m sorry, okay. I forgot about the mortals can’t fly through windows rule.”
“Whatever, just wondering what’s that big blue light?”

Maria looked off into the distance. “Ladies and gentlemen you reached your destination, please fasten your seat-belts and hold on tight!” then… silence… nothing… they were blasted into an icy cold void.

trump_flying

“Yay, let’s do that again!”
“No let’s not!” Donald Trump had nearly fainted and also dripping wet. While Maria observed the area, “Look Trumpy a fight! Who is against who? Look Trumpy you’re fighting someone!!… soon punches were being delivered by either side. Then with his last burst of strength Donald Trump pounded the other kid to the floor. Then there was a bright flash of white light and the ghost, the school field and the school where he grew up in faded away.

Somewhere in the distance a clock chimed one o’clock.

Donald Trump was back in his bedroom when a cry like thunder shook the room making him jump. “HELLO AMIGO MY NAME’S PABLO!” said a big booming voice…

Donald Trump gaped as a massive bulk of a man came crashing through the roof almost crushing the enormous four-poster bed, which moaned and groaned as he plunked his heavy backside on it. This big bulking figure made Donald Trump look like an ant. In one hand he was holding a mug the size of a barrel full to the brim of beer. In the other hand he was holding a ripped untidy list full of names in scratchy untidy handwriting. He took a sip of beer and burped loudly. Then he grabbed Donald Trump by his shirt collar and lifted him off the ground…

Donald Trump was not aware were they were going nor did he know what travelling by giant was like but he soon found out the answers to both of these questions. First off travelling by giant was absolutely preposterous. He settled down on a comfy spot (as comfy as sweaty matted hair can get) and tried to get some rest but soon discovered it was impossible to rest when head-lice the size of horses are chasing after you.

Answer two: the Gonzales family house. “Why are we here?” asked Donald Trump. “Why won’t you shut up!” shouted the giant. Then he bent over and shook Donald Trump off his head. Even though he was only a couple of metres off the ground when he landed he felt a searing pain in his left leg. Donald Trump looked at the cracked shards of glass that they called a window. The children were tying pine-cones onto some string as they were too poor to afford real baubles.

trump_present

“Santa will love these I hope I’ll get another bag of cheese crisps, they lasted for months,” said the youngest, “mummy do you think Santa will like my decorations?”
“I’ll bet he will Antonio” said Elisabeth Gonzales. “Now why don’t you get to bed and maybe…” There was the sound of church bells chiming and all was still…

There was a looming menace in the air as a ghostly hand drifted through the key hole and ushered him out of his bedroom and towards the graveyard. “Where are we going?” The streets were full of people going around shouting “HE’S DEAD YESSS HE’S REALLY DEAD”. Donald Trump stared at these strange people. “Who’s dead?” The hand said nothing…

The graveyard was an unpleasant place filled with unpleasant corpses in unpleasant and rather ugly graves while he was there he saw one gravestone that caught his eye: RIP the Gonzales family: died of hypothermia. A tear welled up inside his eye as he respected those people, those good good people but there was no time to lose the hand dragged him on to a shallow grave already with a gravestone: RIP Donald John Trump: the nightmare is over then in his own handwriting was written “No, it’s only just beginning”…

Donald Trump was falling… falling… falling… down… down… down… into a bottomless pit falling… falling… Then he landed in hell’s fiery depths. It was so hot in there that I’m rather surprised these pages weren’t scorched to a crisp. But like it said on the gravestone the nightmare was only just beginning. The devil walked up towards him, a permanent sneer was fixed on his face. Then he said two words. “You’re fired!”

Suddenly Donald Trump found himself tied to a large wooden catapult, like the ones they used in the middle ages to catapult rocks at a wall. This was going to be used for a far more grisly use. Before he knew it he was strapped on to this big lumbering beast then was in a room full of speakers. Soon the theme tune for The Apprentice filled the room. Then the wall of speakers directly ahead of him burned and was soon filled with shards of glass then he was catapulted toward them as two words came out of the speakers: his own voice said “You’re fired!” He screamed.

trump_hell

Donald Trump woke up screaming with pain, surprisingly he did not wake up buried alive in a coffin but in his own bed in his own house in his own street in his own city in his own country, yes he was Donald Trump and he ruled the country. He looked over at his alarm clock, 7:30. Unless he wanted to end up in hell’s fiery depths again he would have to change quickly. Donald Trump smiled. Today was going to be a good day.

8:00 AM, that is what it said on the clock. His butler walked in “Excuse me mister president but it’s 8:00 AM,” Donald Trump looked over at the clock. “Yes yes, indeed it is, do you have the blueprints?” The butler nodded. “Here they are Mister President,”

Donald Trump looked at them then ripped them up into tiny little pieces. The butler looked astonished. “Mister President are you feeling oka…” Donald Trump laughed “Yes yes I’m feeling fine,” then he leaped out of bed and made a bolt for the door then he walked slowly back in. “Oh by the way is my car in the garage?”

Mexico was now one of the richest countries in the world now thanks to Donald Trump he told his chauffeur to drive around Mexico’s streets at 300 MPH (so it didn’t take too long). Then he attached bags of money from the wall building profit then a couple of hours later he was back and Mexico was rich as a fruitcake but Donald Trump still had one big bag full to the brim with bars of gold. He scrawled a quick invitation and stuck it on to the bag: Dear the Gonzales family you are invited for a Christmas party in the Whitehouse – Donald Trump…

Donald Trump was now poor, but he was also loved, and that’s what Christmas is all about.

The End

Epilogue

“Hank! I owe you 50$,” shouted Frank towards the vague direction of the kitchen. Hank walked in. “No you don’t.” Frank pointed at the headline. “He didn’t build the wall.” Hank shrugged. “Who cares. It’s Christmas!”

trump_mexico

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A magnet hung in a hardware shop

I’ll just leave this here, shall I?

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That centrepiece is a pepper mill, and no, it wasn’t bigger on the inisde. And yes, it’s all gone now. Sorry.

I’m an easy person to buy presents for, because if you stick a Doctor Who logo on it, I’ll lap it up. This year, my parents got me a sweatshirt emblazoned with ‘CLASS OF GALLIFREY 1963’ or something similar. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law gave me a lenticular jigsaw puzzle, and a set of Dalek fridge magnets. And here they are.

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The lighting isn’t brilliant (despite my best efforts) but there’s Davros, second along, and that’s the weird one from ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ on the top row, sandwiched between the Pertwee Dalek and the Ironside model from ‘Victory of the Daleks’. Bottom row there are a couple of sixties classics, a 2005 contemporary design, the stupid New Paradigm one and – holy smoke, it’s a Dalek with legs.

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Those of you who know your Fourth Doctor will recognise this from ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. The dynamite attached to the exterior is a dead giveaway; it comes from a sequence in which the Daleks wander round a quarry and then explode. It is not a great story, renowned perhaps more for the debut of the second Romana (and that notorious regeneration scene) than it was for anything of any substance. Terry Nation was quite the one for bombs and twisted ankles but he didn’t like to see his creations mocked, and I never did find out what he made of the scene in which the Doctor climbs up into an air vent, before taunting the disgruntled Dalek that’s pursuing him with the words “If you’re supposed to be the superior race in the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us?”.

Small wonder that Douglas Adams (who, as I understand it, did the lion’s share of the rewriting) gets screen credit. ‘Destiny’ is the first story of Adams’ reign as script editor, in a series that also includes ‘City of Death’ and ‘The Horns of Nimon’, about which I blogged extensively a while back. Still. Legs? On a Dalek? What’s going on?

Well.Gareth searched, and found this.

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It looks like the sort of silliness you’d get in a Spike Milligan or Victoria Wood sketch, but it’s definitely a production still. “On rough terrain,” explains a person in a Doctor Who Facebook group I frequent, “this was the only way the people inside could maneuver them, the camera angles tried to hide it.” It’s certainly true: if you watch the story, the moving Daleks are typically shot from one of the quarry’s lower levels, hiding the fact that they’re actually waddling along the sand. Location work is all very evocative, but it’s a pain in the arse if you have wheeled vehicles, which explains why K-9 was always down for maintenance.

That’s all very well, but it doesn’t really explain why it’s featured on a fridge magnet. Was it an in-joke? Someone who put it in because of a secret love for ‘Destiny’, something that’d get the fans talking and people like me blogging? That would be nice, but the truth turns out to be as ridiculous as a simple production error. The owners of The Who Shop (Barking Road, Upton Park), whose integrity is apparently beyond reproach, have this to say: “We pointed it out to the production company when these were released, that it was from a rehearsal shot but ‘since it was from an official BBC source it must be correct’. In short, they couldn’t care less.”

So now you know…

 

 

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Christmas, Doctor Who style (part two)

At that time the Emperor Rassilon ordered a census to be taken throughout Gallifrey, and every Time Lord had to register in his own home town, which for most turned out to be the citadel. So each returned to the place of his birth. And lo, there was much confusion over what ‘birth’ actually means and whether Time Lords actually have parents or are extracted from one of Andrew Cartmel’s genetic looms. But there was an elephant in the room, or rather a donkey.

And meanwhile there was another decree from Rassilon that all the newborn babies should be killed, except they weren’t actually killed, but rather plucked from the moment of death by a time scoop and then dumped in the back room of a stolen TARDIS. And Clara’s waitress uniform did cause the wet dreams of a million fans. But the wise men returned to their land the long way round, having been warned in a dream not to go back to Rassilon. And Rassilon was so angry that he hit his head on the windowsill and regenerated, probably into a six-year-old girl.

And so it was that while the Doctor was wandering in the desert, he ran across a 2010 BBC production of the Nativity, and thought “Hmm, this chap looks awfully familiar.”

And it was a coincidence. But it came to pass that this was not so, for impossible it is to appear in Doctor Who twice in different roles, despite it happening to Colin Baker. And thus there was a convoluted explanation about chosen faces, and thus did the Doctor rail at the heavens “I’M THE DOCTOR, AND I SAVE PEOPLE!”. And the heavens did reply, “We heard you the first time.”

And then eventually, this happened.

Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home.

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Christmas, Doctor Who style (part one)

This? Well, I just think it’s a better title.

[Coughs]

It’s late December, which means the usual selection of Doctored Christmas images. I did a little Photoshopping yesterday and came up with this.

Capaldi_ChristmasCarol

I don’t know, there are only so many times you can stick a Santa hat on top of Michelle Gomez, aren’t there? It sort of works, except that the three ‘ghosts’ are all from the Doctor’s past. And while I like the juxtaposition of the Twelfth Doctor with Sarah Jane, the Pirate Captain and the deformed Master, it doesn’t fit the Doctor’s timeline – they were just the most appropriate choices I could think of. So I did this instead, which works a little better.

But I really like that Twelfth Doctor photo. So imagine, if you will, that it’s Christmas 2014, whereupon this makes sense. Pick your favourite.

Coming next time: hybrids…

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A plethora of Who-related goodness (2014 edition)

If you’ve been here for a while, you will remember that I while ago I wrote a less-than-complimentary piece about the new range of Doctor Who action figures – a creative move to a smaller size that results in set incompatibility with the larger figures (unless you want to do some sort of Hobbit story, or a stop-motion adventure about a shrinking Doctor), not to mention colossal loss of detail. On the one hand it’s great, because I no longer spend cash we don’t have on the new stuff. On the other hand I don’t have a Twelfth Doctor – or a Clara, for that matter.

Still. Who’d have thought there were so many five-inch figures we didn’t have from the original waves that I actually wanted?

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The games and books all came from other people, but we bought the figures. For the boys. Honest. Unfortunately I took this in a hurry and you can’t see Lilith, the Carrionite from ‘The Shakespeare Code’, nestling behind Brannigan, the cat person from ‘Gridlock’. She has a little difficulty standing upright, and is thus supported by the television set containing the Wire, which came along with the faceless grandmother. The Smiler’s head rotates, and Doctor Constantine’s changes altogether. Oh, and the Daleks are, from left to right, the Emperor’s Guard Dalek from ‘Evil of the Daleks’, the Supreme Dalek from ‘Day of the Daleks’ and the Saucer Pilot Dalek from ‘Dalek Invasion of Earth’. (Gareth will tell me if I got that the wrong way round.)

Full-size figures aside, Thomas got the Doctor Who Adventures advent calendar this year, which came in handy when we were decorating the Christmas cake.

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“We should have used a larger TARDIS,” Emily said, “except it won’t fit now. You’ll have to get in quick next year and stick it on as a centrepiece before they can put other things on.” Honestly, she’s obsessed.

The full line-up, if you were interested, is here.

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The Weeping Angel and Silurian at the back weren’t part of the calendar; they were two of those build-it-yourself monsters that came with a previous issue, and that I always dread opening because I can never get them to stay together, and you always lose bits. Nonetheless the effect here is rather like one of those photos of colossal families, the sort that the Daily Mail love to hate, unless they can’t actually find anything bad to say about them.

Anyway, this – and the Minecraft stuff – kept them quiet for a couple of days while we drank port and caught up with Holby. After the first lot of festivities was over and I’d managed to weasel out of showing the boys ‘Last Christmas‘ by telling them it was “too complicated, too scary and you don’t really learn anything new”, we high-tailed it down to Shropshire for New Year. The previous week my mother-in-law had showed me a wonderful hand-knitted Nativity (knitivity?) set that a friend of hers had produced, all featuring brightly-clad characters, including a wise man who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Sixth Doctor.

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So while we’re on that, I should also mention that my brother-in-law and his family and also gave two of us cheese bakers this year, and I have accordingly named them Tom and Colin.

The rest was Muppets and jigsaws and dried fruit, so I leave you with something not entirely Who-related: a joint of beef we ate on New Year’s Day that I thought looked a little like an Arrakis spiceworm, which led to this.

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I’ve only seen Dune once, but it’s a David Lynch, and therefore it resonates. It resonates to the extent that the last time Joshua watched Rango I had an eyebrow-raising moment when we heard Ned Beattie’s ancient turtle explain to Johnny Depp that if you “Control the water, you control everything”. To which I distinctly remember thinking “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the spice…”

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Merry Christmas from the Doctor

We’ve still got a few days to go before the indulgence and excess kicks in properly, but just in case any of you happened to be looking for Doctor Who Christmas-themed wallpaper, here are my seasonal offerings for this year.

(The rather splendid original for this one, bereft of Santa hats and poorly Photoshopped tinsel, is available here.)

Next, this deleted scene from ‘Day of the Doctor’.

 

(Given Peter Capaldi’s involvement in The Nativity this really ought to have featured the Twelfth Doctor somewhere, but any excuse for John Hurt.)

Finally, something that took me all of two minutes. I can’t embed it, but here’s a still.

Card

Curious? Have a look here. And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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A plethora of Who-related goodness (2013 edition)

When it comes to Christmas and birthdays, I’m pretty easy to buy for, really. I have a wish list the length of a small novella, and if all else (or Amazon) fails you can always buy me chocolate. But generally speaking, my family know that if you slap the Doctor Who logo on something and stick it in a box, I’ll be pleased with it.

With that in mind –

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The TARDIS-shaped USB hub (centre) was a particular find and as soon as I’m finished here I’m going to try it out. Also amusing was the fez rendering of the Eleventh Doctor, which I didn’t even know existed. I wonder if they do a stetson version?

When it came to buying for Thomas, we plumped for these, among others.

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The one on the left was a do-it-yourself thing. The December issue of Doctor Who Magazine came with a set of collector’s cards, which I assembled in an A5 folder with a homemade cover. He loved it. We were worried about the board game, after our experience with the 24 board game (which is dreadful), but the reviews were good. It’s for the kids. Honestly.

Finally, we had a visit a couple of days ago from a friend of mine who worked on the set of series 7, and who gave me his complimentary fleece. This went well with the jumper I’d bought Emily, shown below.

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Never one to mince words, her reaction was “Why have you got me this?”

“I don’t know. I just thought it looked fun. And you look nice in just about anything.”
“It does look warm. I imagine it’s bigger on the inside.”
“It might be a decent camping jumper,” I said.
“Just as long as you don’t expect me to wear it in public.”
“I won’t.”

She did anyway…

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Christmas, Doctor Who style

So, you know. You have the seed of an idea. And a copy of Fireworks. And a stack of ironing that you’d really rather not start this evening.

 

And then – and then – it all gets a bit silly.

It’s a little early to be saying ‘Happy Christmas’. But that’s time travel, so Happy Christmas!

 

 

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Poster art

This month’s Doctor Who magazine contains a large double-sided poster. On one side is a last hurrah for the Eleventh Doctor, full of Cybermen and Angels and Silents. The other side is far more interesting, containing a complete list of every single episode, along with its title (so the First Doctor episodes are listed by individual title, rather than by collected story). The upshot of showing all eight hundred (if you include the upcoming ‘Time of the Doctor’) in sequence is that it shows you how comparatively little Who there’s actually been in the past eight years. Each episode / story is an event, for certain, and it’s a little under twice its standard length in the 1980s, but it seems as if the BBC would rather skimp on the number of different stories they present, choosing instead to pool their resources to deliver a smaller number of higher quality stories – along with ‘Nightmare in Silver’, of course.

Showing this to someone like Thomas – whose obsession with individual episodes and sequencing knows no bounds – is rather like giving a ball of string to a cat. As you can see below.

Poster

(Seriously, he’s been there two days. At some point I really ought to move him.)

Meanwhile, I’ve had the boys produce a series of Christmas pictures for their grandparents, with the intention of hanging them in pouch pocket gift sets we’re preparing. And I thought I’d share this offering from Joshua, because it strikes me that it’s what ‘Fear Her’ could have been like in more capable hands.

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Happy Advent!

 

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“Or, as I know him, Jeff.”

Over dinner, Emily and I were discussing the logistics of Father Christmas’s December 24th operation with Thomas. We established that Santa is an ageless figure who has apparently lived for centuries, whose transport of choice is a flying craft that is presumably much bigger on the inside; that he is apparently capable of being in two places at once (as you can visit him in one grotto and then find him in another down the street two minutes later); and that he manages to deliver a multitude of toys on a single night, using what we can only surmise must be some kind of time travel.

You can see where this is going.

Matt in a Santa Hat

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