joy magnetism: The readiness is all

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The readiness is all

Magnet #301 - BBC

So, yesterday, we did the BBC Tour, where I’ve pictures with a TARDIS (yay!) and a Dalek (boo!) and I bought tons of swag (yay, again!).

I also learned a ton. Or rather, a tonne:

Apparently, the BBC World News that we get in the States on BBC-A or on PBS has never been seen by the folks on UK soil. It's not permitted to transmit here, which makes me wonder all sorts of conspiracy theories. What are they showing us, that they can't show their people here at home? Hmmmm.

When asked why in the heck Auntie Beeb schedules their programming in such odd increments and times – like 39 minutes at 7:28 or 58 minutes at like 6:40, or whatever – there was no standard answer aside from “Who says that on the hour/half-hour programming has to be the standard? Why does that make it right? C’mon, we’re a kooky little island, haven’t you learned that by now?”

The BBC hires real-live certified meteorologists (which means my Dave Price, the Early Show weatherman who “only synthesizes the weather for us” couldn’t get a job there) who aren’t on state wages (whoa, does that mean David Tennant’s a civil servant?), but who get a clothing allowance (which explains the weathergirl in the silly capris with kitten heels I saw yesterday morning – who knows what the weather report was, it was freezing, and the weathergirl was in capris! Capris!). Also, there was a look of sheer bewilderment from our guide when asked if they have a dedicated weather channel, followed by a slightly disdainful, “Uh, no? Because we don’t like our weather as much?”

Oh. Ohhhhh. Maybe you’re looking to know how Edward Bennett’s Hamlet was. Well, during the fairly entertaining Q&A session afterward with some of the cast (including a very energized, but slightly frustrated Patrick Stewart), Edward Bennett said, “Look, you’re either ready to play Hamlet, or you’re not.” And, as my post title says, the readiness is all. Yeah, he was ready.

I agree with many critics that you can see where the production was slightly tailored to David Tennant, and you could almost see how Tennant would have interpreted certain lines and gestures. But, Edward was fabulous, if a little understated. Patrick Stewart was amazing. The rest of the cast were pretty darn great, too.

The whole production, with its Spartan, but well-executed against sets was fabulous. I can see why David would be devastated at having to drop out of the show. There’s a tiny part of me that’s glad he did, though. I hate seeing physical altercations, and this production (I imagine with all of them, actually), has several pivotal ones. But it’s the two superintense scenes with Hamlet, where he pretty much assaults Ophelia, and later, Gertrude, that were disturbing for me. I don’t think I would have liked to see David be so ruthless and borderline misogynistic.

Oh! But dudes – Patrick Stewart would like to add “coughing” to the list of things you turn off at shows, along with cell phones, etc. I dunno how you do that, but it seriously screws up a play when people are coughing throughout the whole thing. He was livid, and almost distraught, at how bad last night was – and I quote: “it almost made me want to give up.”

So, if you have a cold, don’t go see a show. Or you darn well better bring some Halls (other cough drops are available).
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The Geek said...

Seriously, when you get back state-side and have a moment, you've got to watch the Extras episode with Patrick Stewart. I've only laughed that hard a handful of times in my entire life. :-)

Anonymous said...

The BBC tour guides are like mean third grade teachers. Other than that, the tour was interesting. Also, get better swag BBC, I was looking to spend a lot more money there.