(This article was originally published on the 10th of August 2013 at the now defunct website Eye of Harmony. It is not up to my current standard of writing, does not accurately represent my current opinions in places, and has not been altered in any way from its original state. However, it is the closest of all the Eye of Harmony posts to not being that way, as you would likely expect from the very last post. Although it is nothing more than an indulgently overblown State of the Site update, it is still strangely readable, even if there’s next to no point to it beyond re-establishing that I was still going to write for the site, with the implication that the childish smugness of The RTD Roundup and its ilk would no longer be part of my repertoire. It is preserved here for archival purposes only, and that should be taken into account before reading.)
A ‘clunk’ rings out throughout the darkness, echoing back off of untold emptiness unseen without a speck of light showing. That is, of course, when a sliver of light streaks across the muddy, filth-encrusted floor, accompanied by an unholy shriek of tortured, rusted metal. The door continues opening, spreading more and more light across the dozens of cobwebs strewn between every imaginable surface, before it halts suddenly with a short, sharp thud. Jammed solid.
The light vanishes for a brief instant as a shadow falls across it, appearing, passing through it, and disappearing again with only the sound of soft footfalls to give any indication anything was ever there at all. In the thick, oppressive silence, the soft padding of feet sound like monstrous thuds slowly moving across the barren husk of a building. The footsteps come to a steady halt, the utterly engulfing silence returning for a moment before another tiny noise is amplified in the vacuum of sound: a single, reedy ‘click’.
From far above, fungi-encrusted lights barely flicker to life, giving off just enough light to illuminate the overgrown plants hanging from the ceiling like living stalactites that surround the half dozen lightbulbs placed equidistant along the rectangular expanse, themselves hanging down from rafters some impossible distance above them, deep into the impenetrable dark. However, steadily more life comes to them, the light stretching out to push back the blackness. As it does, more of the room is revealed.
What was presumably once piles of paper lie scattered about the floor, turned to mounds of mush by the pools of murky water that dot the floor. From corroded metal beams and supports come steady drips of water, the moisture forming long streaks of mould draping down from cracks in the metalwork. In the middle of the room, a series of semi-circular desks line the centre of the room, each a little workstation with computer and other such amenities. The screens on some are smashed, others covered in a thick layer of dust and showing worrying brown patches of either rust or mould seeping out of corners and crevasses.
The lights now up to the closest approximation of full power they’re still able to provide, the silence is broken once again, this time by a word.
A dozen replies come back all at once, all of them the same: empty echoes of the call bouncing off the many surfaces across the wide, empty expanse.
Sighing, I make my way across the derelict room, passing the desks one by one, absent-mindedly noticing the little trinkets left behind. A little model of a Stargate here. A replica question-mark umbrella there. An aging synthesizer catches my eye, but my heart falls when I realise the circuitry within lies scattered in the shallow pool in which it rests half-in and half-out of, face-down in a disturbing approximation of a drowned corpse.
Finally, I arrive at a very particular workstation. I bend down under the table to grope at the space behind the CPU tower. Expecting to put my hand straight into some awful pile of rot and decay, instead I grasp a power lead, perfectly fine but for the coat of dust. Getting as much of it off the end as I can, I insert it into the slot in the rear of the tower. To my shock, a light nearby blinks on right away.
I immediately get to work. Powering up the CPU and the monitor, I begin dusting off the table, taking some cleaning fluid out of my backpack and scrubbing the worst of the muck lurking in the corners and holes. Righting the swivel chair from its position on the floor, and wiping as much of the mud off as possible, I sit down just as the computer announces its readiness. Reaching into my backpack again, I place two objects on the table around me: a statuette of an anime-styled ginger woman summoning a translucent ball of fire from one hand, and a super-deformed, bobble-headed figure of a baby blue pegasus with shocking rainbow hair. After that, I take a sip from a thermos, and when the computer finishes opening the program, I begin typing.
Wow. So then, long time. The internet can do strange things to you, but one of the strangest to behold is how it messes with your sense of time. Even though it’s only been about a year and a half (yes, I am aware of the inherent humour of calling something like the break between updating a blog “only” a year and a half), it feels like so much longer than that. Most of my posts from ‘back in the day’ feel like they were written by a completely different person, seeming more like those stupid things you make as a young teenager before you knew what the hell you were doing rather than something I did a few scant years ago, with the Soundtrack Mega-Review in this nebulous state of too new to be part of my flurry of activity back in 2011, but too old to be considered something I did recently.
But enough of reminiscing. As you are no doubt aware by the state of this site, things have changed. The few part-time article writers have long moved on to likely greener pastures, leaving only myself, Chris “HardWire” Adams and site-runner Danny Stewart behind, and with Chris focusing more on his animation and music work and Danny busy producing about ninety-three different podcasts at once, this site has gone a bit neglected as of late. As for myself, I’ve always had it in mind to produce the posts I promised some two, three years ago to do, then moving on to write the odd soundtrack review of whatever took my fancy at the time, but with college work, other personal projects and a healthy dollop of procrastination on top, it just got pushed down the to-do list. Hell, the only reason you’re reading this is my own tendency to have a spur-of-the-moment rush of ideas and enthusiasm that often ends up being very fleeting, coupled with my ability to spew out walls of text at a moment’s notice.
While I still intend to go ahead and do all of the above, of course it’s all subject to the problems I also listed above. I would play that clip from Twister where Bill Paxton returns to his old crew repeatedly telling everyone “I’m not back!” to pithily sum up the situation right now, but a) I doubt there’s a good quality clip of it on YouTube, and b) Twister sucks.
For now then, catching up time.
Torchwood coming to a listless halt. Sarah Jane Adventures ending for far more tragic reasons. Season Seven/Thirty-Three, depending on your worldview and outlook on life. Adventure in Time and Space. John Hurt. 50th Anniversary Special. Peter Capaldi. Things sure have been busy in the world of Who.
Of course, as with anything the reactions to all of the above have been all over the place. For every person like me thinking something like The Crimson Horror was a bizarre, muddled thing, thinking it was rather dubious in execution but will take an ambitious failure over a mediocre success any day, you had others decrying it as the coming of the anti-Christ that kills babies and ate their dog’s homework. For every Moffat fan declaring how ‘deep’ and ’emotional’ his writing is and how it gives them ‘the feels’, you have others screaming them down with complaints about how it’s feeling more and more like we’re watching poorly written Who fanfiction made on a million dollar budget. For every person raving about Malcolm Tucker in the TARDIS, you had a Tennant-Smith fangirl complaining that they couldn’t rub one out to some icky old man and thus the show was totes ruined forever now sadface.
What I find interesting is how rarely I come down on one side or the other. Often this type of thing is extremely binary, either something is amazing or utter tripe. More and more I find I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, finding parts of both arguments to agree or disagree with without entirely siding one way or the other. Whether that makes me balanced or indecisive is not for me to decide, but I do find it interesting when discussing these things with people on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Naturally, as human beings we tend to mould ourselves according to our surroundings, decrying intolerant assholes on a social network one minute then quietly sitting, smiling outwardly but sighing internally, as the two friends on either side of us trade xenophobic, homophobic and misogynist wisecracks back and forth in between obnoxious guffaws. However, it’s an altogether different experience to find oneself trying to be the voice of reason and restraint to someone bouncing off the walls with joy one minute, only to be trying to defend the exact same thing from a cynic to whom absolutely nothing could suffice to sway them from thinking it’s either utter shit or will be utter shit until proven not-shit.
I guess the point of this article (my random, overlong ramblings and an actual point in the same general area at once? HA!) is to establish going forward that what you’ll be getting from me won’t be from some drooling fanboy who declares that even when Who is at its worst, it’s still the best thing on TV bar none (PROTIP: it isn’t), nor someone who thinks absolutely everything about the new series from top to bottom is utterly irredeemable and will only give credit after being talked into it by five different people and with the utmost grudge while doing so. As the saying goes, opinions are like armpits, everyone’s got them and they probably stink.
All I can do is present you mine and hope you like it. I don’t look down on people who disagree, in fact I welcome people differing opinions. Except if you’re one of those snooty hardcore fans who don’t know shit and don’t get the show nowadays, bro / Except if you’re one of those filthy bandwaggoners stinking up my fandom with your enthusiasm and blind fervour *shudder* [delete as applicable], in which case go to hell!
So yeah. I’m not back. But I will be, soon.
(As you’ve no doubt guessed, the above-promised “return” never happened. I never got around to writing any more posts, and even if I had, by 2014 I had moved on both creatively and mentally from the kind of content I was putting out in 2010/11. It had always been the plan to finish The RTD Roundup – Rose, although I’d given up making it a regular thing not long after the second article, replay all of the Adventure Games and then write the 3-part finale, and review the newer Gold score releases. Once that was done, I would have moved on to doing general soundtrack reviews and other such things. I’ve long since abandoned my plans to follow up on my Eye of Harmony content, but doing reviews of the Gold scores after Christmas Carol? Other soundtrack reviews? It’s possible, I already have a shortlist of ones I could do. We’ll see. For now, this is the end of the Eye of Harmony era. May it rot in the ground, unmourned and unloved.)