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My Doctor Who Series 8 anticipation

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is 10 days until Series 8 airs, and all around the world Whovians are counting the days until Capaldi’s Doctor brings his own take to the Doctor. But how much do we know about the series? Well, unlike last year where returning monsters and plots were revealed months in advance, this series has done a great job of keeping everything from storylines to monsters to episode titles away from the public. So what DO we know? We know it’s going to be darker, more character driven and more intense and scary. But as for episodes, well, here’s all the information I have gathered so far about all the episodes.

Doctor-Who-Capaldi-feature-220x220

As I have not read the leaked scripts or seen the Cardiff premier of episode 1, there are no spoilers, just information made by the BBC. But if you want to remain completely spoiler-free, I recommend waiting until the series starts. But for those who want to stay, here’s the official trailer for Episode 1 to start off…

  • Episode 1

Well this one we DO know a lot about, because it’s the first episode. The episode is called Deep Breath (no, I have no idea why it’s called that. Maybe the villain steals people’s lungs or something). Being a regeneration episode, this 75 minute long opener needs to establish the new Doctor’s personality and quirks, which I felt was masterfully handled in the Eleventh Hour. It also needs to establish the story arcs and running themes through the series. Not to mention, it has a T-Rex.

The episode will take place in Victorian London and judging from the trailers has an exploding T-Rex and a Jack the Ripper like character. It looks amazing, and the early reviews from the Cardiff premiere have been positive. 10 days to go!

  • Episode 2

With the rumored title of Into a Dalek, this episode sounds pretty interesting. This episode sounds like the episode where the metallic voice in all the series teasers come from, which makes me think this will have the Doctor question his own personality (which might link in with the “Am I a good man” idea this series seems to be going for) as well as providing awesome Dalek action, as the episode is apparently set in a Dalek-human war. I’m excited for this one, but not as much as…

  • Episode 3

HOLY COW! This episode sounds great. Why? It’s the Doctor… meets Robin Hood! This episode is set in medieval England with swordplay, archery and robots! Rumoured title: Robots of Sherwood. I have a feeling this will go down like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, in which the episode is just so fun and action-packed that you can’t find any flaws. Did I mention the Doctor meets ROBIN HOOD?

  • Episode 4

While Episode 3 is my most anticipated episode, this episode comes a close second. How awesome of an episode does the rumored title Listen sound? Let’s not forget a truly intriguing plot point: When you talk to yourself, what happens if the person you’re talking to isn’t really you? This sounds fascinating, and coupled with the fact the Doctor will allegedly have a mental breakdown makes me yearning to see this one.

  • Episode 5

Time Heist. Just repeat that. Aliens jumping through time and stealing artifacts. That… is almost unbelievably awesome. While the episode hasn’t got a synopsis, the fact that it has been confirmed as a heist episode and the fact that the rumored title is indeed Time Heist makes me excited to see where this goes. Could the villains capture the Tardis and use it as a weapon? I can’t wait to see this one.

  • Episode 6

Rumored to be called The Caretaker, this episode will take place in Coach Hill School (the place where the First Doctor’s granddaughter was in the first ever episode) and have a robot (my money’s on the owl robot seen in the trailer). This one will be funny with dramatic moments, and will be similar to the Lodger, which I think is a very underrated episode. This could be good, but let’s find out.

  • Episode 7

What’s this? Kill the Moon? What a weird title. Anyway, this episode has been described as intense, scary, dramatic but most importantly of all packed with ideas. My favourite Doctor Who episode dealt with strong ideas and complex themes, as do my favourite movies. This episode will remind us that the Doctor isn’t a hero every day, which makes me desperate to find out more about this episode.

  • Episode 8

Okay, take out your time machine. This episode will feature a callback to Matt Smith’s first series, with the rumored title being Mummy on the Orient Express (seriously, they should keep these titles). I am anticipating this one, not only because the setting would be visually unique but because it has the Doctor brawling a Mummy (not his mummy, an Egyptian mummy)

  • Episode 9

Reportedly one of the scariest episodes this series, this story is rumored to be called Flatline and has people going missing, graffiti appearing on the wall and the Tardis shrinking. This episodes monster is apparently so scary the trailer couldn’t put it in.  Okay, prepare to have nightmares. This sounds great, and this could end up being one of the best episodes.

  • Episode 10

Heavily rumored to be the Doctor-lite episode (Blink, Turn Left), this episode features child actors and was the last to be filmed. The episode has a great main visual idea to it and is beautiful and poetic. There have been rumors of a musical episode this series; could this be it? Episode 10’s are great (most of the time) so this one seems interesting.

  • Episode 11/12

A two-parter? Finally! The epic finale has UNIT versus Cybermen, a Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere and has a spectacular cliffhanger to round things off. The Cybermen are some of my favourite villains in Doctor Wh0  and to see them invade Earth will be stunning to behold.

Well, that’s it. 12 episodes, each one sounding unique. I’m glad we’re finally getting a medieval episode and the rest of the episodes seem great. Get your hype counters at the ready!

Guardians of the Galaxy review

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I just got back from a camping holiday on the Isle of Wight with my friend and his family.

During that time we saw the newest superhero movie from Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy. So here’s my spoiler- free review -

220px-Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_logo

Plot of the movie

The whole film revolves around a bunch of oddball characters which include the thief Star-Lord, the genetically engineered assassin Gamora, a talking raccoon named Rocket and his tree buddy Groot (whose only vocabulary is “I am Groot”) and Drax the Destroyer, who is seeking vengeance after his family was killed. All five of these characters end up breaking out of jail and try to figure out the significance of a mysterious orb which the villain, Ronan the Accuser, is after. Many space battles, plot twists, comic book references and hilarious comedy ensues.

Characters

The best thing about this movie are the central characters. Each one of them are unique and interesting with their own quirks. If there’s one thing I love more than team-ups, it’s team-ups where the team are so different from each other and each have their own personal gains. The Avengers had characters which were different from each other, but they all wanted to save the world and stop Loki. In this movie, the characters don’t care about what happens to the orb. Rocket and Groot want to make a quick bounty, Star-Lord has been sent to steal the orb by his boss, Gamora is after the orb as she has been hired by the Collector (briefly seen in Thor 2) to get it and Drax just wants revenge. It’s great seeing these characters work together to get out of the situations and work together to fight Ronan.

These character interactions not only make for great dramatic scenes, but brilliant character driven comedy. I won’t give away the jokes but the funniest characters are Rocket, Star-Lord and Drax, even though Drax is the most serious character with the darkest backstory. You’ll see how he’s funny if you watch the movie.

guardians of the galaxy

The movie does a brilliant job of establishing a tone. It’s not deadly serious like the X-Men movies nor is it a comedy like Monty Python. In fact the opening of the film is very different from the rest of the movie and has a very serious tone, but the rest of the movie doesn’t forget that one of their characters is a raccoon with a machine gun and provides many silly yet exciting moments while having genuinely great dramatic moments (despite only saying three words, Groot adds a lot of emotion into the film).

Conclusion

The galaxy in this movie is brilliantly realised. Every planet and location is unique and the monsters and aliens are very diverse. It didn’t feel like a comic book superhero movie, as these characters don’t start off as heroes, but it feels like a fun and original sci-fi movie, which are some of my favourite kinds of movie.

Overall this movie is superb. Even if you haven’t read a single Marvel comic or seen any Marvel movies, it is still stand alone with its own story. The only parts of the movie with references to the wider Marvel universe are the scene with Thanos, who is going to be the big bad of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe and whose inclusion into this movie was his second appearance after a small cameo in the credits of the Avengers. The other scene is a scene where the Collector explains to the heroes the significance of the orb and that the orb, the Cosmic Cube from the Avengers and the Ether from Thor 2 are three of the six Infinity Gems needed to take control of the universe (the six items which Thanos sent Loki and Ronan to collect for him). Even so, the movie still functions as a standalone action movie with fantastically diverse characters and an intriguing story. It makes me confident that Marvel can now do anything and makes me more excited for Avengers: Age of Ultron next year.

An eventful day to Shakespeare’s Globe

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So it’s the summer holiday with my most anticipated movie of the year (Guardians of the Galaxy) days away and my favourite TV show (Doctor Who, like you didn’t know that) 28 days away, it’s pretty much confirmed that this holiday will be awesome.

Yesterday the awesomeness started when we went to London for a pretty eventful day.

The main reason we went to London was to see Julius Caesar at Shakespeare’s Globe. It is the second Shakespeare play I have seen on stage as I saw Macbeth last year at the Globe too. The play was great with a lot of history behind it, but there was a mild problem beginning with something called RAIN.

Before the show started, two actors entertained the Groundlings with a puppet show about Julius Caeser.

Before the show started, two actors entertained the Groundlings with a puppet show about Julius Caeser.

The day started very hot and sunny, so mum, the weather expert she is, said (in a huge exaggeration) “OH, it’s going to be sunny ALL day. You don’t need a COAT or LONG TROUSERS”. (Like I said, it was a huge exaggeration). So I went to London with shorts and without a coat.

Then, about a quarter of the way into the play, it started raining. Very, very hard. Luckily Mrs. We-don’t-need-coats got the Globe’s rain ponchos to protect us from the rain, but underneath us at the groundling the floor was getting flooded. The actors even acknowledged this as one line was “You meet us on this happy day,” which caused everyone to laugh and applaud.

At the Globe yesterday, my mum bought two of these rain ponchos for us to wear during the show.

At the Globe yesterday, my mum bought two of these rain ponchos for us to wear during the show.

After the play there was another “event” which was unique. We went to Waterloo train station only to find that many trains were delayed or cancelled.

angry doctor

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…except I didn’t react like that. But thanks for the input Tennant. So we waited until another train came except this one was crowded. Really crowded. Jam packed in fact. So we waited again for another half an hour before we could get on another crowded train.

The reason for all this was lightning strikes which affected the signal box (as the obviously automated voice over the speakers said). The story was reported in the news later.

So that’s a day in London, pretty eventful. My next blog post will be a review of Guardians of the Galaxy, then Doctor Who stuff followed by reviews of Series 8. Incidentally, here’s a teaser trailer:

History: The TV Show Part 2

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So in part one of my History: The TV Show, poor King John had just given power to the barons and the people. So, what’s next?…

Episode 6- Everybody hates Edward I

After the long and fairly uneventful reign of Henry III, Edward I becomes King of England and instantly starts to attack Scotland and Wales. Scotland is in a bit of a pickle after the infant heir to the throne, Margret, dies on a boat trip to Scotland.

After Edward declares himself King of Scotland, both Scotland, led by William Wallace, and France decide to fight off Edward, but they failed and Edward took over. And that’s not even mentioning the invasion of Wales…

King Arthur's round table is inside the Great Hall in Winchester.

King Arthur’s round table is inside the Great Hall in Winchester.

Episode 7- The Black Death

After Edward II is murdered, Edward III takes over and begins the not really 100 years war. England is also struck by a deadly disease called the bubonic plague where a third of the population is killed.

Edward’s dealings in France aren’t helping the situation either, while in England he recreates King Arthur’s Table, all the while being King of a slowly dying country. This looks like the job for…

The Round Table of Arthur, at the Great Hall of Winchester.

The Round Table of Arthur, at the Great Hall of Winchester.

Episode 8- The fall of the Plantagenets

King Richard II takes the throne at 10 years old after his father, the Black Prince, dies and is immediately throne (hahahahahha, gettit? No, fine…) immediately THROWN into a huge situation with Wat Tyler’s Peasant Revolt, which Richard cleans up.

After that though, he starts going a tad nuts, prompting Henry Bollingbrook  to launch an invasion while Richard is in Ireland. And now…

Episode 9-The War of the Roses

Henry VI

Henry VI

Yes, I know skipping over the battle of Agincourt was bad but lets keep the posts to five episodes each. Henry VI is a bit mad, so mad that he has caused a war that involves both him and Edward, his rival.

They are split into York and Lancaster, one with a white rose, and one red. Henry and Edward are thrown back and forth off the throne, until Henry dies. Edward is King BUT…

Episode 10- Concerning Richard

OK, this one will be tricky. After the War, Edward IV is now undisputed King, until his heir, Edward V, mysteriously disappears in the Tower of London. The blame is placed on Richard, Edward’s brother, and people start dropping like flies.

Richard III

Richard III

Richard is still believed to be responsible for these deaths, but he nonetheless becomes King and improves England’s writing and creation of books (yes, he did actually help Britain) until the Battle of Bosworth Field, where the young Henry Tudor defeats him and thus… the age of medieval England is over.

History: The TV Show

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Mum and I were in the car yesterday listening to Shakespeare (we were going somewhere, we weren’t just sitting in the car), and she asked “What episode of history is this play based on?” This led me to think of a TV show where every episode is based off an important event in history. So here we go…

Series 1- Box set title- Lots of murder

Episode 1 - 1066 Part 1 Edward the Confessor dies and names Harold his heir (Main titles). The rest of the episode focuses on all three main characters, Harold the Saxon, William the Norman and Harald the Viking, focusing on why each character wants the throne. The episode ends with the Battle of Stamford Bridge and Harold preparing to take on William

Harold dead bayeux tapestry
Episode 2 - 1066 Part 2 The first half of the episode is a huge fight for the English throne, aka The Battle of Hastings. The second half focuses on William building castles and setting up the Domesday Book, before it ends with William II getting shot in the eye and the throne passing over to Henry I. The episode then focuses on Stephen and Matilda, which leads into…

Episode 3 - Matilda 3: Matildas United

Yes, during King Stephen’s reign there were three Matildas- his mother, his wife and his cousin, who is trying to seize the English throne as she has a claim to it. They fight and the country is split in half. Matilda proclaims herself Queen but Stephen gets it back, causing Matilda to leave. Unfortunately, Matilda’s son Henry arrives on the English shore, and he becomes King after Stephen’s death, which leads to…

Episode 4 - Thomas Becket

Henry gets into religious arguments with Becket, his Archbishop of Canterbury, and their friendship falls apart. After Becket seizes control of the Church, Henry gets angry and four knights proceed to kill him. The second half is about Henry’s wife and children betraying him and Richard seizing the throne of England.

Episode 5 - Poor Old John

Richard the Lionheart, King of England, is killed in battle, leaving his brother John in charge and being King of England. With John giving money to barons and making many people angry, a war starts and John is forced to sign the Magna Carta, a document which gives more power and freedom to the people. The reign of absolute power is over…

Phew, history is complicated. Let’s take a short break and wait for Part 2…

Why are superheroes so popular?

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This weekend I hope to watch X- Men: Days of Future Past, the third superhero movie released this year so far. The first was Captain America 2 (which was awesome) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which I haven’t seen). In August we’re getting Guardians of the Galaxy (squee!) and next year we’re getting Avengers: Age of Ultron (double squee!), Fantastic Four and Antman. Not to mention last year we got The Wolverine and Thor 2 (which were awesome) with the new Superman and Iron Man 3 (I want to see Iron Man, not really interested in Superman).  This led me to think; why are superheroes so popular? In the past decade they have dominated cinema non-stop and don’t show any sign of stopping. So why do people dressed in leather and spandex provoke so much love?

Well perhaps it’s best to look at the origins of superheroes. Arguably legendary characters like Hercules were the first superheroes as he had super powers, but I’m talking about the pants-on-outside kind of superheroes even though a) hardly any heroes wear pants on the outside and, b) there is a Marvel hero called Hercules. The first superhero of the “classic” kind was the Phantom, who debuted in 1936 but the first iconic hero was the pants-on-outside guy himself: Superman, who appeared in 1938, followed by Batman in 1939. Superman was created as a character to stand up to the American way and was basically war propaganda until the 80’s when all comics got darker. Marvel’s answer to this was Captain America who appeared in 1941 and in his debut issue he did this on the front cover…

Captain America punching Hitler. Image by Rick Marshall via Flickr.

Captain America punching Hitler. Image by Rick Marshall via Flickr.

This is the first reason as to why I think superheroes became popular in the first place. In the first Captain America movie it showed a world where Captain America was a beacon of hope and he took part in many propaganda shows. This shows what an impact characters like Captain America and Superman had and were ways to tell people that America will defeat the war and inspire people to fight. There’s also the fact that in the 30’s and 40’s people hadn’t grown used to superheroes and these early heroes helped usher in others.

Another reason is that superheroes can be used to comment on society. Despite there being 5 X Men and 2 Wolverine movies, the X- Men were made in 1963 as a metaphor for the racism in America and the African-American civil rights movement. As mutants the X- Men were treated like monsters and the team’s main enemy Magneto (who is awesome) was a survivor of the Holocaust and had suffered discrimination like the mutants were going through.

Other characters also became metaphors for the real world, especially the Cold War. Iron Man and Hulk were created to comment on the threat of nuclear attack in the Cold War and one of Wonder Women’s enemies was called Egg Fu and was a Chinese Communist shaped like an egg. Don’t believe me?…

Egg Fu - image by Jamie (jbcurio) via Flickr.

Egg Fu – image by Jamie (jbcurio) via Flickr.

But what about Batman or Spider-Man? Well Batman is unique because he is the definition of a superhero without powers, as he was originally designed as a detective. Spider-Man is a teenager who turns into a superhero. People love Batman because he is so knowledgeable and strong without powers and people love Spider-Man as the majority of comic readers in the 60’s were teenagers and seeing a teenager becoming a superhero would have been very relatable.

So superheroes are used for symbols of hope, symbols of encouragement and symbols to make political statements. But what about now? Why do characters like the X-Men, Captain America and Superman continue to be popular. Some could say the X-Men movie in 2000 reinvigorated interest in the whole genre and, well, that’s kind of true. Let’s see…

5 X-Men movies + 2 Wolverine movies + 3 Spider- Man movies+ 2 Spider- Man reboot movies+ 3 Iron Man movies+ 2 Captain America movies+ 2 Thor movies+ 2 Hulk movies+ The Avengers+ 2 Superman movies+ 3 Batman movies+ 2 Fantastic Four movies+ 2 Hellboy movies+ 2 Ghost Rider movies+add whatever other superhero movies= A lot of spandex.

But if the X-Men movie wasn’t a success then superheroes wouldn’t have lasted and we certainly wouldn’t have the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Why are they still so endearing? I think it’s because the themes and ideas behind the superheroes still remain. Iron Man is still relevant because the threat of nuclear attack is still around. There are still racial problems around the world, making the X-Men still seem relevant. Children still look up to Spider-Man, Batman and Superman and the second Captain America movie dealt with the idea of a propaganda symbol like Captain America being stuck in a world with conspiracies and cover-ups, which is a concern in the real world. Superheroes are still relevant and they are still hugely popular. But is it becoming a problem with all of the movies coming out?

Well, that’s a post for another day…

UPDATE: Now I’ve seen Days of Future Past. So, review in one paragraph… go!

Days of Future Past (yes I know that title makes no sense) is set in the future where mutants are being hunted by giant robots. The surviving mutants send Wolverine back in time to the 70’s to change the future (it’s all I can reveal without spoiling). The movie is an incredibly well-made and action packed movie which is surprisingly dark and deep. It fixes the continuity flaws made by the other movies and shows some awesome new characters with interesting powers (the most awesome are Quicksilver and Blink. If you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about). All the characters get at least one awesome moment, Magneto is still as awesome as ever and both the future and the past are incredibly detailed. It’s also funny and clever and manages to wrap up many story arcs. The villain is interesting as he isn’t the conventional villain and every action scene is spectacular. I recommend you see it but watch the X-Men trilogy and X-Men: First Class before you see Days of Future Past.

What a 13-year-old would like to watch

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So, I’ve casually referenced about how I feel current television is at the moment. Now it’s time for the actual post.

About two years ago I woke up on Saturday mornings to watch TV. I still do that, but I mainly watch Doctor Who DVDs because, quite frankly, nothing good is on telly anymore. And with 4 months until Doctor Who Series 8, and over a year for Sherlock Series 4, I feel that people like me need good quality entertainment.
sherlock-holmes

With the exception of Doctor Who and to some extend Sherlock, most BBC programs are strictly for adults or aren’t my type of program. The heavy dramas, crime programs and all that. But as a 13 year old, I want programs, not necessarily about aliens or monsters, but programs which any person of any age can enjoy.

There are plenty of children channels, like CBBC and Cbeebies. Well, I used to love both but since Cbeebies is for very young children, I started to watch CBBC. Then the good programs stopped and now nothing is on telly.

So, how to make a good television program which appeals to everyone? Well, I have several points-

  1. Have stuff for both kids and adults. This is the kind of entertainment I love. A movie like Toy Story is primarily for kids, but has themes and messages for adults. Making something just for kids makes it seem stupid for everyone else, and having something which is just for adults means children can’t watch or understand it.
  2. Keep it simple. Having too much stuff going on will confuse younger children and maybe even adults. Have a simple story and write characters and ideas around it. For example…
    • The God Complex. The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrives in a strange hotel and have to escape while trying to avoid getting eaten by a minotaur. That’s a very simple idea, but the ideas, characters and themes in the episode make it great for people like me while still being entertaining for small children.
    • Vincent and the Doctor has quite possibly the simplest story that you could have: a monster is running around and the heroes have to stop it. That was enough to entertain me when I first saw it, but only now do I notice the deep emotional core of the story.

tyrannosaurus-rex

OK, that’s enough for Doctor Who. How about movies? In Jurassic Park, a billionaire clones dinosaurs and they break out. Up’s basic story is about an old man flying his house to South America. Star Wars is about people with brightly coloured sticks slashing at each other. All of those movies are entertaining enough, but they each have great characters, amazing themes and subtext, a wonderful script and fantastic dialogue which makes them good for all ages as there is something for everyone.

Lego Starwar

That’s how entertainment should be done. Have something for everyone and not just be for one basic audience, as those are the shows and films which sell. Why is Doctor Who one of the most iconic shows ever? Why were Star Wars and Jurassic Park the highest grossing movies of their time? Because they had things which appeal to everyone of every age. That’s what I want, and is probably what everyone wants, as those are the best kind of entertainment.

 

 

 

Shakespeare and EastEnders

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A very late happy birthday to William Shakespeare, who is 450!

We're going to need a bit more candles...

We’re going to need a bit more candles…

Today I will be talking about my favourite Shakespeare play, Macbeth.

macbeth

I think this is my favourite Shakespeare play because it was the first one I learned about. I learned about it in Year 6 and I bought the play in Singapore that same year. Knowing the story helped me read it faster and understand the text.

The story is about a Scottish noble called Macbeth who is told by three witches that he would be King of Scotland. He proceeds to murder the King and he eventually becomes King, kills a few more people and goes mad. So yeah, typical Shakespeare story.

Today in English we were getting ready to start our Shakespeare topic and the teacher showed us half of EastEnders. She said that we were going to watch EastEnders to compare EastEnders and Shakespeare.

EastEnders is literally one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Today I watched it for the first time. I haven’t laughed this much since I heard one of the singers in mum’s Les Misérables CD squeak at the end of a song. Everything in EastEnders is hilarious. It’s either spoken in a bland tone or shouted at in exaggerated facial movements. The apex of the humour comes at a part when a character is literally DRAGGED BY A CAR ALONG THE ROAD WHILE HE’S TRYING TO OPEN IT! No, I’m serious.

But onto the link between Shakespeare and EastEnders. There’s quite a lot of similarities between them actually. Both have lots of talking, lots of conflict, lots of plot lines and TONS of characters. This is how Shakespeare has influenced writing, as his stories and ideas have become standard writing styles now. What do you feel about that, Mr Shakespeare.

shakespeare

Um, um, um, um, um, um, um…

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. I got to see it in London last year in the Globe with my parents. That’s nice and all, but what’s not nice is the amount of people Shakespeare kills off. Decapitation, poison, suicide, stabbing, drowning… everything (especially suicide). How about we finish things off with a Shakespeare body count quiz?!

 

Who embodies the nation?

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The Sunday Times had an interesting article last week about a survey. Young people were asked: Who embodies Britain?

There are some pretty interesting choices, some obvious ones and some questionable ones. Let’s take a look…

The person who embodies the nation the most is, of course, the Queen. 63% of young people thought she embodied Britain perfectly, followed by the Duke of Cambridge and Richard Branson at 57% and 45%. It really shows how influential the Queen is when her grandson is 6% lower than her in the chart.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Other notable people on the list are J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Mo Farah, Benedict Cumberbatch and DAVID TENNANT! All are great choices, but one person seems to be missing: what about Sir David Attenborough? Surely as the controller of BBC 2 and as someone who has inspired many people to get interested in wildlife and the world, David Attenborough should be on the list.

This led me to think that if people like David Attenborough aren’t on the list, and young people (18-24) are voting, does that mean that they are voting for people who they knew and grew up with? After all, if an 18 year old voted David Tennant, chances are that as a 10 year old, they saw him as the Doctor in 2006 and therefore have grown up with him.

I was surprised that David Attenborough wasn’t on the list. My prediction was that people just don’t watch or appreciate nature programmes and are more used to people this generation rather than last generation.

But anyway, my list of the people who have embodied Britain are:

1) David Attenborough – Because he’s DAVID ATTENBOROUGH!!!! In all seriousness, David Attenborough is a huge influence on me, as I grew up watching his nature programs, with my dad such as Life on Mammals and Planet Earth. I have seen all of the Life series and many other of his programs.

2) Stephen Fry –  He’s a great presenter and is an influence on comedy. I love watching his show, QI.

3) Rowan Atkinson – For playing not one, but two, iconic British character, Mr Bean and Blackadder. Blackadder is a smart character who is surrounded by idiots in various historical settings such as Tudor England, Georgian England and World War I. My favourite episode is the pigeon episode, where Blackadder is put on trial for shooting a messenger pigeon.

4) The Queen – She can parachute into an Olympic stadium. That is awesome! (Of course she didn’t really).

5) JK Rowling – For writing a global phenomenon, Harry Potter, which I have read, watched and listened to, with the audio books read by Stephen Fry.

So these five influential people would be on my list as the people who embody Britain today, but there are other people in history I think represent and embody Britain too -

William Shakespeare, Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, HG Wells and Elizabeth I just to name a few.

So who do you think embodies Britain?

A word on game shows

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Today I got back from my grandparents’ house where I stayed for a few days. I did lots of exciting things but the highlight was discovering the weird world of game shows.

You see, there was a time where channels like CBBC would show programs which can be enjoyed by younger and older children, such as The Sarah Jane Adventures (which is one of the best spin offs of Doctor Who ever). But ever since the show stopped, CBBC turned into CBeebies and started showing shows purely for the younger children, leaving a mature 13-year-old like me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to resort to game shows. But, to my surprise, they are some of the most entertaining yet silly types of show ever.

So what is a game show? Typically a host (someone who I’ve never heard of) gets 2-4 celebrities (who I haven’t heard of) or 2-4 random people (who of course I won’t know) and have them fight (metaphorically) their way to a cash prize to either a charity or to themselves in either general knowledge questions. So what is so inherently fun about them?

Well, it’s partly because I know a lot of the answers. Sports, music and most of science I have no idea but geography, history and film, yeah, I know quite a bit. I also learned a few things about general knowledge from them.

Which leads me to my second point: it’s so fun when you know something and the person being questioned doesn’t know it. Then you can laugh when they get kicked off the show for getting an answer wrong. I know I shouldn’t but it’s hilarious.

I counted 47 rounds of applause in an hour-long game.

I counted 47 rounds of applause in an hour-long game.

But there’s one thing which intrigued me was what happened in Golden Balls TV Show. The aim of the game is to get people out and then work with your partner to get money hidden in balls. But here’s the thing… the audience keeps on clapping. I mean it. Every time a number higher than £950 was mentioned, their was a huge round of applause. I counted around 47 rounds of applause in an hour-long game. Seriously, it’s like in Blackadder III when Blackadder annoyed those two actors by saying Macbeth and they had to do a dance every time! Every time a high number was mentioned – clap clap clap clap clap!

What about you? Do you enjoy game shows?

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