Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page
The first episode is “Silence in the Library”. The Doctor takes Donna to a planet that is one after my heart – it is a library planet. Every book ever written and even some yet to be written are there. Only one problem – no people. Aside from our two travelers the place is completely deserted. So who summoned them there using the Doctors psychic paper? The information nodes in the library are rather unnerving – literally human faces. One node tells them to watch the shadows. It is then that the Doctor and Donna notice there are shadows that shouldn’t be there. The lights start going out. Running from the shadows, the Doctor and Donna run into a group lead by River Song. River Song knows the Doctor very well. She even has a diary with her exploits with him detailed and has a sonic screwdriver of her own. However, her past is the Doctor’s future so he doesn’t know her at all. River is very cagey about things not wanting to ruin what has happened/will happen. The one thing they can find is a record of how many people were there and that they were all saved but there are no survivors. Meanwhile we see a girl with a man acting as a psychiatrist. The girl sees the activities in the library and the psychiatrist is supposed to tell her it isn’t real, but he tells her that the library is real and what she thinks is her life is a lie and the people in the library need to be saved. These creatures materialize in shadows and latch onto living beings to eat them. One member of River’s party wanders off and only bones are left. A shadow latches onto another member. The Doctor tries to save him, but the shadow ends up animating his spacesuit after killing him instead. The Doctor tries to telaport Donna to the Tardis but she doesn’t materialize there . . . Later he sees her as an information node. The Doctor ends up trapped between the shadows and the spacesuit . . .
The second episode is “Forest of the Dead”. Fortunately the Doctor is too clever to be easily trapped. While evading the shadows, the Doctor and River come to realize that the library was built by the grandfather of Lux, the guy who hired River, for his daughter who suffered an incurable disease so she could spend eternity with the books she loved watched over by another program. Only one problem – the paper used for the books was taken from trees where the shadows lay their eggs. The eggs were hatched and started attacking people so the girl and the program who watches over her turned all the people into memory to be saved in the computer. The Doctor guesses that is what happened to Donna. Indeed, Donna is living a seemingly perfect life complete with a guy she loves and two beautiful children. This is disturbed when one of the crew eaten by the shadows appears and proves to Donna that all is not as it seems. The Doctor makes a deal with the shadows: in return for allowing him to rescue everyone he will allow them to live undisturbed on the planet after. They agree to give the Doctor one day. The Doctor and River create a device that will allow the Doctor to stabilize the computer long enough to get everyone out, but as it will cost his life River tricks him and takes his place. Everyone indeed is rescued and the owner of the library makes preparations to get everyone off the planet as agreed. Donna is reunited with a distraught Doctor. There is a faint electronic echo of River left in her sonic screwdriver which she said she got from the Doctor, so he inputs her into the computer for eternity which she can share with the girl, the psychiatrist, and the crew who were killed. He leaves her diary in the library.
This volume has some very interesting episodes: “The Long Dark” by Scott Frost, “Soul Mates” is one of my favorites by Peter David who also did “There All the Honor Lies”, “Gropos” and “Knives” by Larry DiTillo, and of course “Day of the Dead” by Neil Gaiman. Peter David describes how “Soul Mates” wouldn’t come right at first – until he got Londo’s wives right, and then they wouldn’t leave him alone and how “Soul Mates” lead into “There All the Honor Lies”. He also describes the teddy bear prank with JMS and how it got a little out of control. Larry DiTillo tells how he wrote the part of Franklin’s father in “Gropos” for James Earl Jones and while that didn’t work out they found another wonderful actor and the brawl flop. He also tells how baseball was included in “Knives”. JMS himself gives a wonderful introduction to “Day of the Dead”. There are footnotes that share Neil Gaiman’s comments on the scrip. And as a bonus we get a small encyclopedia describing the alien races in the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and a brief glossary of Narn, Centauri, and Minbari words.
Yep, the movie that started everything. We meet Jack O’Neil and Daniel Jackson for the first time. It is interesting to see different actors play those two characters. There is some lovely cinematography, some cheesy lines, even a few touching moments. In short, this is a must see for any fan. Oh Daniel, you have great heart and are brilliant, but you really are naive in some areas.