Anniversary Bonus Episode: A Little Unclear About Some of the Themes

In this special bonus anniversary episode, we take some time to discuss some of the larger themes that we don’t have time to talk about during our normal weekly episodes.

Discussion Points Include:

  • Serial vs. anthology storytelling
  • Visual vs. narrative criticism
  • TV as a writer’s medium
  • The validation of stories and imagination
  • Expanded universes and the question of canonicity

Links:

Next time: Buffy 3×18 Earshot and Doctor Who 4×10 Midnight.

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About Katherine Sas

I graduated from Messiah College in 2009 with a B.A. in English Literature. I'm a student of all things arts and humanities, in particular Tolkien, the Inklings, and the fantastic and imaginative tradition in storytelling.

4 thoughts on “Anniversary Bonus Episode: A Little Unclear About Some of the Themes

  1. Oh no! Now I feel like I’ve created an ‘interesting’ complex…!

    This was a very interesting (ha!) discussion, especially in regard to the anthology vs. serial concept. It hadn’t really occurred to me, before. I’ll be intrigued (I nearly said, interested) to see whether your opinions on this front change as we move into the Moffat era as I think there’s a big swing from character focus to story arc focus as part of the change-over.

    As someone with a literature background myself (degree in English Lit, with Middle English focus) I really hadn’t noticed a lack in terms of discussion of camera work etc. It seems to me that, whilst obviously relevant, this is something that will go largely unnoticed unless you are a film student. I find that if I’m noticing the camera work, it’s usually for the wrong reasons (it’s intrusive, or there is so little going on, on screen, that I’ve got attention to spare).

    I guess I’ll have to finally get around to watching Angel, now, if you are going to include it in the commentary. I watched the first season and wasn’t hugely impressed so I’ll see what I think it of it this time around. I did also watch the final season, but only for a specific reason (spoilers!) and I think I missed a lot of background.

  2. Thanks for the comment, and sorry for the delay in response! I do think noticing the specific techniques of filming can be very difficult for those of us (all three of us included in this discussion) who are trained primarily in literature and not visual storytelling. As much as I think we all favor language and character and structure to mise en scene, I do think it is important to try to pay attention to these things, especially if noticing them doesn’t come naturally. But I won’t deny that it’s something that I have to constantly remind myself to do.

    Yes, I’m sure we’ll talk about character vs. plot with the Moffat era, although I should come clean and say that I am not a Moffat-basher. I hope everyone will be open to all sorts of interpretations of his era!

    We’d love for everyone to watch Angel with us, too. I have it on good authority that the series is good, so even if the start is a little rough hopefully you’ll stick with us.

    Thanks again for listening and commenting! I love hearing that we have an audience out there.

    1. Hmm, well. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a ‘Moffatt-basher’, because I don’t just ‘bash’ for the sake of it, or even entirely. He has some very definite plus points, and as a writer, he’s written about half of my very favourite episodes. I do however have a number of issues with his tenure aside from the character vs. story arc we’ve already mentioned (not least his interpretation of the role of the companion, and his view/treatment of female characters) but I will enjoy hearing what you and Curt have to say about it and whether or not it’ll change my mind on some things!

      1. Fair enough, and I didn’t mean to imply that you would bash. I just know that Moffat’s tenure does come under a lot of criticism. I’d love to hear your thoughts as we go through his tenure.

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