March 8th, 2021


Whoniversaries 8 March

i) births and deaths

8 March 1940: birth of Christopher Wray, who played PC Groom in The Dæmons (Third Doctor, 1972) and Leading Seaman Lovell in The Sea Devils (Third Doctor, 1973)

ii) broadcast anniversaries

8 March 1969: broadcast of first episode of The Space Pirates. Space Pirates are destroying navigational beacons; the Tardis lands on one and the pirates blow it up.

8 March 1975: broadcast of first episode of Genesis of the Daleks. The Time Lords send the Doctor, Harry and Sarah to Skaro, where Davros is experimenting.

8 March 1982: broadcast of first episode of Earthshock. Paleontologists disappear and the Tardis appears in an underground cave system, attacked by androids under Cyber-control.

8 March 1983: broadcast of third episode of Enlightenment. Turlough is rescued by the Buccaneer, whose captain invites the others over for a party.

8 March 1984: broadcast of first episode of The Caves of Androzani. The Doctor and Peri get poisoned, captured and (apparently) executed.

8 March 2002: webcast of "The Child, Part 1", fifth episode of Death Comes to Time. I'm just going to note the anniversaries to this in future, the plot is too peculiar to summarise.

8 March 2010: broadcast of Dream-Eaters, ninth episode of the Australian K9 series. K9 must figure out how to destroy an ancient alien weapon before everyone's dreams turn into a waking nightmare.

iii) date specified in-universe

8 March 1702: setting of Big Finish audio Phantasmagoria (1999)

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Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold by Māori Writers, edited by Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka

Second paragraph of third chapter (“Skin and Bones”, by Tina Makereti):
It was spring. He went about the place tilling and planting and from time to time felt an urge. He’d look down and see his own weighty erection and think What am I supposed to do with this?
This was a thank-you-for-volunteering from CoNZealand, last year’s Worldcon. It’s an anthology of both newly commissioned work and pieces published in the last forty years or so, addressing the core strands of Māori mythology. I confess I felt somewhat thrown in at the deep end; it was only as I reached the end of the book that I found quite a large and useful chink of explanatory matter that would have helped my appreciation of the stories. For once I would advise readers to start at the back.

At the same time, I’m very appreciative of this sort of effort. I’ve read an awful lot of adaptations of Celtic Myth, and the Matter of Britain has not exactly been neglected by recent writers either; the Matter of Aotearoa is important too. And even without the background knowledge of What It’s All About, these are generally good stories by names which are new to me - the only author I’d previously head of is Keri Hulme. I guess the ones that grabbed me most where those with links to cultural setups I already knew about - eg “Māui Goes to Hollywood” by David Geary, which mixes Māui the trickster with 20th-century mythical figures like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, or “Moving Mountains” by Clayton Te Kohe, which looks at shared history, culture and creativity through a music fan’s love for a long-since dissipated band. But they are all stimulating and I think I would like a paper copy of the book, to be able to riffle between stories and explanation more readily.

This was at the top of my pile of books by non-white authors. Next on that is Riot Baby, by Tochi Obyebuchi.