January 31st, 2017


Mist In Art

Who was the first artist to paint mist and fog? Caspar David Friedrich? Turner? Someone less well known of the same generation? I can't think of earlier examples. Friedrich loved it because it was moody, Turner loved it because it diffused the light. Before the romantics came along landscape painting was mostly about topography- and mist was simply this annoying thing that got in the way.

Once the barrier had been broken artists couldn't get enough of it. The impressionists were crazy for it. Writers too began to exploit it symbolically and atmospherically-  and realised it was good for having characters suddenly loom out of. You don't get mist in 18th century novels but Victorian ones are full of it...

A Regeneration Is Pending

The Smith era tried my patience and the Capaldi era broke it. My quarrel wasn't with either actor, of course, but with the head writer/showrunner. What finally killed my loyalty was the episode where the Doctor spent several billion years knocking down a wall of some substance harder than diamond with his bare knuckles in order to secure a few more years of human existence for Clara Oswald. At that point I felt cleverness was not only winning out over intelligence but positively stamping on its head.

But the news that we're going to be getting a new Doctor to go with the new showrunner revives my interest. Chibnall has already written for the series- and not very well- but Broadchurch was excellent and I'm willing to give him my attention- at least to begin with. The hoo-ha surrounding the appointment of a new Doctor is always fun- and- as with Prime Ministers- you can be pretty sure the front runner isn't going to get it. David Tennant- the definitive modern Doctor- was on Radio 4 at lunchtime and gave his vote to Olivia Colman. Oh, how I wish...