Wednesday, July 30, 2008

TODAY'S TWD: ROSE & PROSE

This post has been slightly revised.....

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."

Thanks, Rob!
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.
BCnU!
Toby O'B

3 comments:

MediumRob said...

No high def, I'm afraid, plus Doctor Who isn't shot in high def (as Rusty requested). Just good old British digital TV, an Elgato DTT stick and my pointless attention to background detail. Plus I used to own the book so it stuck out at me (surprising amount of Lovejoy's girlfriends get beaten up by Lovejoy in the books. Even more surprising since Jonathan Gash worked for the police as a pathologist or forensic scientist, I recall! Back slap on the cheek, lock her in the bathroom, "Shut up you silly bitch! I'm talking on the phone about antiques!")

Lovejoy was a BBC show, not an ITV show, BTW and aired, I think, on Sundays in the evening, a traditional BBC timeslot for older, middle class folk to be watching television. 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. 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.

Toby said...

It was this Google search result on which I based my claim about ITV and "Lovejoy":

http://www.itv.com/Drama/family/lovejoy/default.html

What I should have done was consult my copy of 'British Television: An Illustrated Guide" where I would have found the BBC info under 1986.

I guess ITV must be running the repeats?

If it's okay, I'm going to revamp the post slightly to include a special guest appearance excerpt from you!

Thanks for clarifying that, Rob. I probably should have just stuck with the Toobworld musings and leave well enough alone with the Trueniverse!

MediumRob said...

ITV3 - aka "the sedate TV for older viewers who mostly like Poirot, Midsomer Murders, and other crime programmes" channel – shows Lovejoy repeats from time to time. However, that's a very rare and very surprising BBC repeat on an ITV channel. For any other show, that would have been a good call!

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