The Love Child of Joe Pasquale and Elvis CostelloMature

This is from my new blog:
where you can listen to my rare but fun rants.

Before I start, can I introduce myself as Daniel J McLaughlin? No, I can't. Why not? I have already started thus renders the prior statement contradictory. Oh dear, I am stuck in a time/space continuum. My head is spinning around and I feel like I am at a wacky party where even Charlie Sheen says to me, "Look, Daniel. I want to go home now." I can hear the lyrics from The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds" floating around me. The world around me simultaneously implodes and explodes and only I can stop it. But how? I just look away from the lava lamp.

My name is Daniel J McLaughlin. Well, technically it is Daniel Jude Anthony McLaughlin but how dull does that sound? I write and direct shows for Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre and I am a mentalist - performing psychological illusions to the amusement and bemusement of others. I am also a student. Or a thieving layabout to the Tories (oh, the irony!).

So what is my rant going to be about today?

Doctor Who.


Because last night's episode was genius. Really. It was. It was all timey-wimey and paradox but that was brilliant. Yes, I was confused at some points but for me, that made it excellent television. We spend time watching utter garbage like 'reality' (in its loosest term) shows and stuff with vampires which do not deserve memory space in my brain. So when we inhale this bile, we become...well...stupid. What is challenging about an Essex girl flashing everything she has got to an equally dumb Essex lad? Nothing. And it isn't very attractive, either.

We need to challenge the audience. "But what if they don't want it?!" I hear you shout. Don't shout at a computer screen; you will look demented. My answer is simple and blunt: Tough. We are being force-fed crap so why don't we force-feed intelligence? My example is Doctor Who under Russell T Davies. He is a very clever writer because he put social realism in a sci-fi drama. He infiltrated the media and made issues like homosexuality acceptable to a young audience; as it should be. He challenged the audience and got results by forcing it to the audience.

We do not want to be a brain-dead society. It is all too easy watching a TV programme, film or live theatre with predictable jokes like "Oops, there goes my bloomers!". Many plays and sitcoms follow the rule: Joke - Punchline - Laugh. The joke may be outdated and not funny but the audience feel they have to laugh because it is their cue. If we change this and make it more clever, the audience will, of course, react differently but will get an experience in which they have chosen for themselves. A subjective experience, if you will. Wouldn't this be fantastic?

Where does this rambling lead to? I write and direct productions at Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre. I want to change audience's perception of the arts and I feel I can do this so this is a prophecy: Watch this space.



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