Last night, I made the mistake of watching The Chronicles of Riddick, which takes the perfectly fine Aliens knock-off Pitch Black and decides its sequel should be a ponderous bore of CGI and bad set design.

I posted some about it here, on Twitter, and I posted what I think is the film’s one genuinely good scene here on my Tumblr (my other blog). Actually, that scene comes in a stretch of the film that looks like it could have been decent, and one that at least feels like it’s in any way connected to Pitch Black. But overall, the movie’s pretty lousy. I don’t think Vin Diesel is necessarily to blame for this — which is why, lord help me, I’m still holding out some small hope for the upcoming Riddick — but it’s a very bad movie. People who try to tell you it’s underrated, and there are a few, are quite wrong.

This week’s Doctor Who wasn’t terrible, though. It was surprisingly not brilliant, either, given the meaty “journey to the heart of the TARDIS” plotline, but it was decent enough. This season — or this second half of the seventh season; and therein may be part of the problem — has been kind of hit or miss, I think. I genuinely like Jenna-Louise Coleman, so I don’t think it’s quite her fault. But I feel like the show lost something, maybe just a bit of its momentum, with the loss of Amy and Rory, and it hasn’t quite regained whatever it is, whatever it needs, to regain its footing. (Had Amy and Rory’s departure not felt a little rushed, or come at the end of the season instead of the middle, I might not feel quite the same.) Still, a decent enough episode.

And then today I wrote this:

“You think darkness is your ally,” the zombie said with a shiver.

“The building is on fire,” the professor said, rubbing her forehead.

“Would you two shut up out there?” said a third voice from within. “Some of us are trying to sleep.”

The zombie and the professor eyed each other, then the professor sighed, speaking softly. “I think my metaphor still holds.”

“The building, as you call it, is always on fire,” said the zombie. He was less concerned about waking their guest, but he too had begun to whisper. “That is the nature of buildings. They are built up only to be burnt. Your problem is you think the darkness within will save the edifice without.”

“You’re mighty philosophical for a man who hungers for human flesh,” said the professor. She had had this argument with the zombie many times, and it was late, she was tired, not thinking straight. She knew the human flesh crack was low, that if he was sensitive about anything it was that. But, rubbing her forehead again, the professor wasn’t so sure that she cared.

“Sorry,” she said anyway, knowing that if she didn’t they would never get any sleep. And then in the morning, when their guest awoke…

No, she had promised herself she wouldn’t even think about that now. It had been a stupid gesture to even invite him here, stupid of him to come, no doubt, to stroll right into the lair of his two sworn enemies, but even more stupid for either of them to have let him in, for any of them to think that some good would come of this foolish exercise. She would be lucky if she survived past the morning, and there was no way that would happen if she exhausted herself debating metaphors with a dead man long into the night.

“I think we just have to agree to disagree,” she said. She could tell he was hurt. The turning had left him undead, but not unfeeling, as he was all too fond of reminding her. He felt every death, and he had not killed in several months. Yet the hunger still remained. To remind him of that need — that had been truly stupid. She needed him on her side, now more than ever, and so she did not make a habit of rubbing salt in those old wounds. “We’re both tired,” she told him.

“I don’t sleep,” was all he said.

“You know what I mean,” she offered. She sighed, then added, “I didn’t mean anything by that, by what I said.”

“This is what happens,” the zombie said, slowly, softly, keeping his voice low but making sure she heard each word, “when you consort with the darkness.”

“Without the darkness,” she said, still arguing despite herself, “you and I would have nowhere to stand. That thing in there — “ and here she pointed to the tent “ — that man, he is of the light. His is the fire that burns down our buildings. His is the blinding and blistering flame that must, must be snuffed out.”

“I can still hear you both, you know,” said the third voice.

“I need to sleep,” the professor said to the zombie. “We can debate tactics in the morning. You have my word, darkness or no darkness, that I won’t try to kill him before then.”

It started with a kind of weird prompt: two quotes — I provided the second one up top — with the dialogue tags and characters added by someone else. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in this story, but I think there’s something.

3 thoughts on “Sunday

  1. I’ve really been enjoying this (half) season of Who a lot, but I think a lot of that might be the way it’s been successfully pushing a lot of my Classic Who Fan buttons along the way.

      • That was the most obvious one, but I think every episode so far since the last hiatus has had at least some reference, large or small, back to the classic series, and there’ve been a lot of elements that, for me, have managed to evoke that pleased, nostalgic, “Oh, yeah, this is why I’ve always loved this show so much!” reaction. For me, apparently that’s entirely good enough, even if the individual plots haven’t necessarily been all that strong, taken by themselves.

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