John Barrowman sings

jb_frontWatched him on Thursday’s Paul O’Grady show. Can I just say again how much I love him? He is such a funny, cool person. With such an infectious laugh.

And he has a lovely singing voice. He sang the new single from his latest album (Music Music Music, which was released on Monday), called “What About Us?” (written by Gary Barlow of Take That). The album isn’t available on iTunes Canada. Too bad, though having heard some of the songs on the album already, I suspect that “What About Us?” owes most of its charms to Gary Barlow’s writing skills, not John’s singing. Don’t get me wrong. He has a nice voice, but it’s a very ordinary, lovely voice when he’s singing covers, which is what most of his albums are. It’s a Broadway musical voice that is only elevated when he’s singing something original.

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Oo arr oo arr ay

Waaaaaayyyy back in the 70s, when I was still a kid living at home, my parents used to listen to what we called “The Old Fogies’ Station”. It featured a lot of Zamfir and Nana Mouskouri and the like. Its only saving grace is that it also frequently featured hits by those marvels of West Country charm and talent, the Wurzels. Thirty years later and I can still remember the words to some of their songs (Dad had/has a copy of The Combine Harvester album and I later bought him a “best of” CD) — I Am a Cider Drinker, The Blackbird, Combine Harvester, Keep Yer ‘And On Yer ‘Alfpenny — and I’ve been known to occasionally break into song (complete with accent) if someone says they’ve never heard of the group.

I Am A Cider Drinker (Top of the Pops 1976)

Combine Harvester (Top of the Pops 1976)

Maybe that explains why I just adore archeologist Phil Harding on Time Team.

And then, just to underscore the beautiful, wandering maze that is Youtube (like Wikipedia), searching for the Wurzels ultimately brought me back to another fave, John Barrowman, on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (see? all roads lead back to Doctor Who and Torchwood).

Die, Rose, Die (or wishful thinking for a Doctor Who finale)

Naw. Wishful thinking, that. When I first heard rumours that a companion was supposed to die in this finale, I was hoping for it to be Rose. I’m annoyed at the whole Doctor/Rose romance and would love to see it squashed forever. Ah, well, in my dreams.

I’ve just spent the last week watching *all* of the previous Doctor Who new series episodes courtesy of Youtube (a tip if you’re to do that: watch them in sequence, which is not the way I did it), and I’ve learned a few things:

  • Billie Piper’s overbite seems to have gotten worse over the years;
  • I would have liked Rose but the thing with the Doctor just changes everything (have I mentioned that I’m really annoyed by the whole Doctor/Rose star-crossed lovers thing?);
  • I really, really like Captain Jack (and, knowing the prehistory in Doctor Who now, I appreciate Torchwood even more. Time to watch season 1 of that, I suppose — yay for Youtube);
  • Martha Jones was a fairly ineffectual Companion (or perhaps Freema Agyeman just isn’t a very good actress); and
  • I really don’t like Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor at all — not just because of his idiocy in quitting before it started but because he just really sucked. Kind of wishy washy, kind of meh. (Best thing he ever did for Doctor Who, quitting.)

Having gotten that sneak peek at some of what was going to happen in this episode after watching those few seconds of Confidential, I knew that my wish for Rose to be dead wasn’t going to be fulfilled. In fact, in a way, the Whoniverse made sure that the complete opposite occurred. I mentally prepared myself while I waited, worrying that I’d be even more disappointed than I was expecting…

It was fucking brilliant.

So absolutely brilliant that I will forgive them for making Rose and the Doctor happy in the end. The creation of the ultimate Doctor/Donna makes up for everything else. Have I mentioned before how much I love the Doctor and Donna together? This is even better — a smarter Donna and a less timelordy Doctor, even ignoring that they gave the quirkier Doctor to Rose. Awesome.

Favourite parts of the episode:

Donna hitting on Captain Jack (\
Donna hitting on Captain Jack after the doctor heals himself without regenerating (“You can hug me if you like.” “No, really, you can HUG me.”) and the later pushing aside of Sarah Jane in order to actually hug him. Now *that* would be an interesting match. Could be the one woman who could send him running in fear for his manhood. 😉

Daleks floating over the German countryside, speaking German (They\'re saying \
Daleks floating over the German countryside, speaking German. They’re saying “Exterminieren! Exterminieren!” but as far as I can see, that’s not a proper translation of “Exterminate!” – an Anglicized form or auto-translator mess up? (Edited to add link to Dalek Caan’s Doctor Who news base, which offers translations of the German that is spoken in the episode as well as some additional facts.)

Captain Jack allowing himself to be “killed” by the Daleks and then crawling out of the incinerator.

Awesome One-hearted timelord/Donna Noble mix (“Oy, watch it spaceman.” “Oh, watch it Earth girl.”)

“Well, isn’t that wi-zard.”

An absolutely brilliantly evil Davros

What a clever Earth girl/timelord.

Bye bye, Daleks

What everyone needs, a TARDIS tow truck

Then they fucking blew it to shit, turning Donna back into plain old, “Donna the temp”, with no memory of the Doctor and no recognition of her own self-worth, and leaving the Doctor alone, yet again.


A bitter, desperately unsatisfying resolution all around, to everything, to all of the lead up throughout all of the new series.


I’m pissed.

Makes me glad that Doctor Who is on semi-hiatus next year, if Donna Noble isn’t a part of it. Much as I like David Tennant, I’m not sure I want to watch it.

So, a really good finale. And I hated it.

If you want to check it out for yourself, it’s already on Youtube.

Edited to add a link to the post on Of Code and Cats — “To see my wonderful, fierce, smart, brilliant Donna returned to the shallow shell she used to be is awful. “Eternal death” indeed.” Indeed. Glad to see someone else whose fave companions were Donna and Ace.

You can see other Doctor Who-related posts here.