The Silver Chair Announced As Next Narnia Movie

I got excited when I saw the announcement that The Silver Chair was going to be the next Chronicles of Narnia to be released.  This is one of my favorite books in the series and it’d be awesome to see this book come to life in a big way.  I don’t know about the rest of you , but The Chronicles of Narnia were a big part of my childhood. My parents read us the books, we watched the cartoon and we owned (and watched repeatedly) the BBC movies.

The BBC movies had their issues admittedly. The people in animal costumes, the horrible casting of Lucy, and the special effects in general.

They grew and learned (some) from their mistakes. Granted the special effects by the time The Silver Chair was made weren’t much better. The owls were very odd and the serpent at the end with the purple blood was not very believable. The really good bad thing was definitely the earth men jumping down into the lava. I laugh every time I see that sequence. They did, however, do a much better job casting Scrub and Pole and the biggest, most amazing thing they did was cast Tom Baker as Puddleglum.

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I can’t say that I had really understood his character before or appreciated the humour behind it until Tom made him come to life. The dry, straightforward delivery is genius. I can’t re-read this book without Tom Baker as my Puddleglum in my imagination. All the other characters change and evolve, but Tom Baker IS Puddleglum.
So here’s my request/hope/desire please, please casting people recast Tom Baker in this role.  If he could revisit this character again with a larger special effects budget it could be epic.  Or if Tom is too old or not what they are going for visually I really hope that the person cast in this role will watch how Tom plays it and take notes.

Most importantly I hope that Hollywood doesn’t feel the need to add a new plot line to this awesome story like they did with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (which admittedly is one of my least favorite of the books).  I do believe Dr. Jon Sprinkle summed it up best when he said:

“I’m glad they’re making it, because what we’ve had too much of in Hollywood lately is bobance and bounce and high spirits. We’ve got to learn that life isn’t all fricasseed frogs and eel pie. We want something to sober us down a bit.

Now a movie like this — an adaptation that will be compared to a version shown chiefly on VCRs, with actors who will mostly be in front of a green screen, shot in 3D for its limited run in the theater and filled with action sequences that aren’t in the book — will be just the thing. If that doesn’t steady a chap, I don’t know what will.”

(Who is Dr. Jon Sprinkle?  From UA’s website: Dr. Jonathan Sprinkle is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. In 2013 he received the NSF CAREER award, and in 2009, he received the UA’s Ed and Joan Biggers Faculty Support Grant for work in autonomous systems. Until June 2007, he was the Executive Director of the Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests and experience are in systems control and engineering, through modeling and metamodeling, and he teaches in controls and systems modeling.—- and he’s also my brother, but doesn’t all that other crap sound more impressive?)

Remember, “many fall down, but few return to the sunlit lands.”

Here’s a clip from the BBC version to leave you with:

The 12th Doctor!

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Photo released by the BBC

My exclamation point there isn’t genuine.  I am not excited about the 12th Doctor.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not upset that Matt Smith is leaving and I am not upset that Peter Capaldi has been cast as the new Doctor.  I’m a little surprised with the choice just because he was on Torchwood and I would think that would mess with the canon of the show.  Not crazy surprised though, just a little.  I’m also a little surprised at his age.  I didn’t expect someone as young as Matt Smith, but I did expect more of a David Tennant age.

So why am I not excited by all this news?  I wish I didn’t know that there was going to be a new Doctor in December.  Imagine:  all the excitement leading up the the 50th anniversary, followed by the excitement that always surrounds the Christmas special and then BAM! the Doctor dies.  THAT would surprise me.  THAT would excite me.  I understand that Matt leaving would be a huge secret to keep, but it would be amazing to have that kind of genuine shock in Doctor Who.

I see it as when I first got hooked to Doctor Who, Supernatural, Smallville (I’m still watching that one so shhhhhh), Sons of Anarchy, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, etc.  I came to all of those shows late in the game so I was able to watch multiple seasons without seeing the spoiler-y articles, without knowing when a particular actor/actress was quitting or seeing articles saying how much the show was going to suck because [insert actor] was leaving/staying/etc.  I formed my own opinions, I was surprised when Jenna was killed, when Donna saved the world and then was left behind, when Sookie was a faerie (OK that was a crappy surprise), I didn’t know when the 9th Doctor was leaving and even though I knew David Tennant would leave I didn’t know when or how (come on they really drug out his death) and I could keep going.

I also hate the speculation and the lack of feels surrounding the change over.  First there was the initial announcement that Matt was leaving followed by posts of “Great!  He was a horrible Doctor” or “NOOOOO I’m never watching again!  Matt Smith is MY Doctor!”  Then we got used to the idea and we now get to have months of speculation of how great/horrible/bland/amazing Peter is going to be.

I would love the continual excitement that I experienced when catching up on the shows I joined mid-stream.  I had surprises in every episode and just wish that shows stepped back and instead of leaking a bunch of stuff to create hype (Sons of Anarchy I’m looking at you) they would be mysterious.  Let me come up with huge theories that are completely wrong.  That’s half the fun!

Just think.  We could have been enjoying our Christmas Day excited for the Doctor Who special, snuggled down after a day of high calorie food and present opening to have our emotions rocked by the death of The Doctor and our mind whirling at the thought of a new (impostor) Doctor trying to worm his way into our hearts (NEVER! OK well at least not for a few months).  Think of the feels that we are giving up.  Come on BBC I’m disappointed in you.  I expected you to be able to ruin my Christmas Day completely, not this half-assed attempt at emotional destruction.