Seasonal Area October 2012 and Doctor Who

After leaving university last summer, I was invited down to Cornwall again by some friends that October. They were fairly busy with stuff, however, so I mingled an entertaining social break from jobhunting (after a particularly successful week) with a couple of long trips out.

One of these trips took me to the Looe Valley in the mid-flush of Autumn on a warm but damp day. Much of it – the mud, the bright leaves and the grey sky – remains fresh in my mind. Getting off the train at Sandplace in the mid-morning provided the picture which makes this month’s Seasonal Area.

The holiday did not inconvenience the jobhunting, for anyone concerned about such things – technology means that you can take calls from the Jobcentre while sat 200 miles away from home and follow up the leads they suggest over the next day or so. The week leading up to the trip saw four applications produced, one of which landed me my job. (Hence particularly successful.) Since my rail ticket offset Government revenue support to the train operator and my friends provided accommodation, the total cost to the taxpayer of that photo was absolutely nothing.

Just to prove it is possible to live on a budget…


So, the BBC’s famous time-traveller has said farewell to another companion. It’s been an interesting little series (apparently that’s it apart from the Christmas special, though I had an idea that next spring we were due a few more episodes). There was a good Dalek episode, two fairly small but not wholly unmemorable stories, a story which could have done with being a two-parter (come on, UNIT and a mystery box in a one-part story, what were they thinking of? It was too quickly resolved, what happened to the drawn-out writing that pulled The Daleks’ Master Plan out to 12 meandering episodes?) and a rather sad finale to Amy and Rory in the TARDIS.

Afterwards I pootled off to watch The Space Museum (Season 2) and experienced its weirdness instead.

Being someone with a leaning towards entertainment with humour in it, I was left feeling after this latest series of Doctor Who that, while good in itself, it didn’t quite draw me into watching it again – barring the silly robots and the soufflé that was “too beautiful to live”. Although the ending did take me back for a moment to those heady days in 2010 when I was finishing my second year at University, watching Ashes to Ashes on the side, betting on a plain Tory Government with a certain lack of certainty and cycling through Skenfrith on a particularly weird railway-chasing cycle (obtaining pictures for the Monnow Valley Railway feature) unaware that in a couple of weeks Skenfrith would obtain world fame as Lower Leadworth in the episode Amy’s Choice.

Instead it got me murmuring about the soon-to-return Merlin and it’s taste in easily rewatched giggles – varying between Arthur offering a meal to a visiting princess with the description “It is destiny, my love – destiny and chicken” to Merlin’s lovely expressions on realising that a book he wants is on a top shelf of a very high bookcase and the short-lived Mrs Pendragon turning back into a troll before ripping a door off its hinges – something which rather impresses Uther…

Only question with Merlin is what will happen at the end of this series, long billed as the last. Robin HoodMerlin‘s predecessor, finished itself off by killing Robin (seemingly with the producers betting that this wouldn’t actually finish off the show). Arthurian legend does not make a habit of finishing the story happily either.

On the plus side, some films have been mooted and doing in Merlin may reduce the market.