Archive | May 9, 2010

Another Gift From IP

Doctor Who 1996 tv-movie

From an info page about the 1996 Doctor Who tv-movie:

Due to complicated licensing and ownership of the telefilm, no North American (a.k.a. Region 1) home video release has occurred in either VHS or DVD formats as of 2009, and no such release is expected in the foreseeable future. Ironically, several of the featurettes on the UK DVD were produced specifically for US audiences.

In fact, to compound the irony, the entire movie itself was specifically geared toward American audiences – which, incidentally, was one of the reasons it wasn’t as good as the recent BBC revival. Still, I imagine American Who fans would buy it if they were allowed to.

Chocolate Jelly Baby

There are some interesting similarities between Doctor Who, the benign but playfully eccentric genius who travels around in a flying police call box, and Willy Wonka, the benign but playfully eccentric genius who travels around in a flying glass elevator.

Each was created independently (Doctor Who premiered in late 1963 and the first Wonka book was published in early 1964), so there’s no initial influence either way. But the Doctor’s characterisation in Doctor Who gradually becomes more Wonka-like over time, suggesting the possibility of influence from the book (and later, the 1971 movie) on the series. (Tom Baker, arguably the most Wonka-like Doctor to that date – both in personality and in candy fixation – took over the role in 1974.)

And the second Wonka book, published in 1973, and featuring Wonka and his elevator traveling into outer space and fighting creepy aliens called Vermicious Knids, quite possibly shows influence in the reverse direction. (Certainly no British children’s fantasy author in the 1970s would have been unaware of Doctor Who.)

Willy Wonka

Point Man

An English translation of individualist anarchist Anselme Bellegarrigue’s 1848 work To the Point! To Action! is now available online (see parts one, two, three, and four), thanks to the efforts of Shawn Wilbur, Robert Tucker, and Jesse Cohn.

Incidentally, I see from a websearch that the photo of Max Nettlau at the top of Nettlau’s Bellegarrigue bio on the Molinari website has been widely mistaken for a photo of Bellegarrigue. Sorry, no.

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