I don't want to rush into discussions of "The Stolen Earth", because I'm somewhat hampered by the fact that the second half of the two-part finale for 'Doctor Who' has not yet aired in the United States. Certain elements that played out in the first half depend on the whole story for a full appreciation.
So we're going to take it slowly, just one element of this first episode each day, to be served up as the daily Tiddlywinkydink.
First up is a trivia detail sent to me by my tele-bloggin' buddy of the UK, Rob Buckley, the head MINEr of "The Medium Is Not Enough". He sent this picture of Rose Tyler in the home of Wilf Mott and his daughter Sylvia Noble. Rob directed my attention to the volume on top of the book-case:
And Rob wanted to know if this plays hob with the Toobworld concept, to have a picture of Ian McShane on a "Lovejoy" book.
I'm perfectly comfortable with the use of this book (shown here in full frontal glory from one of the many places online where you can buy it), because there's no mention of Ian McShane AS Ian McShane. For all intents and purposes, it's a picture of Lovejoy himself. This omnibus could be a collection of his own memoirs (written for him by Jonathan Gash), three volumes, detailing his life in the antiques trade. Therefore, there is no Zonk involved.
However, I do have to wonder why this particular book was chosen to be part of the Mott-Noble "library", both from within the reality of Toobworld as well as from the Trueniverse perspective.
O'Bviously there had to be a market for Lovejoy's memoirs, for there to be three volumes of them. So there had to be plenty of people like Wilf and Sylvia who bought them, even if they weren't particularly keen on antiquing themselves.
MediumRob has a theory on this:
"Ian McShane being something of a sex symbol in the 60s/70s in the UK, his 80s/90s Lovejoy appearances unsurprisingly seemed to draw in an older sort of woman."
So if the "real" Lovejoy is anything like the actor who resembles him..... "I'm thinking they're suggesting it's Donna's mum's kind of thing. It's quite a precise demographic placement - quite clever in fact, since it gives you an idea of the kind of woman Donna's mum is in just a flash."
As for why it was included from a production viewpoint, I'm wondering if there was some desire for synergy. At least over here in America, the series is finally coming out on DVD, and since "The Stolen Earth" aired around the same time as the 'Lovejoy' release, maybe somebody was hoping to promote it......
MediumRob also checked back in to let me know that 'Lovejoy' was a BBC production, so it looks like the synergy thing may be in play. (Definitely more subtle than the way 'Eureka' integrated the product placement of Degree deoderant last night - although that was funnier.)
By the way, that he should have noticed the book means that either Rob has high-def Television over there (and knowing him to be a techno-fan, I would not be surprised if he did); OR he's just very attentive to the background detail. If so, I think that's great, because set designers and decorators, especially the prop crew, put a lot of effort into making these small capsules of Toobworld to be as believable as possible. Their work should be noticed.