liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
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Red Dwarf, Brooks and Reiner, and "Living History"

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Red Dwarf Series III and IV on DVD is at long last in my hot little hands! Spent last night going through all the cool extras and attempting to find the easter eggs on Series III. By the way, what is the deal with easter eggs? It's annoying as hell trying to find them. I need to dig up a "cheat site" for this. I was only able to find two and I know there's at least two more.

As for cast commentary (on every single episode!), it's almost as good as the Series I and Series II sets. It's such a blast listening to the actors talk about the experience so long after the fact. The distance of something like 10 and 12 years means they're out-and-out honest about the good and not-so-good. I was actually pretty fascinated in listening to the commentary during the Series II sets where the actors admitted that they didn't actually get along and that there was some serious competition to one-up each other for laughs. This is the kind of commentary you can only get when there's some serious distance between the actual filming and the DVD release.

It's especially interesting to hear what their favorite episodes and their least favorite episodes are. 'Marooned' in Series III was roundly cited as a favorite episode in the whole series. Meanwhile, 'Backwards' is cited as an episode they weren't crazy about, even though it's a fan favorite.

And, of course, no commentary is complete without Craig Charles insulting the Red Dwarf fans. Heeee! Sure, it's somewhat insulting, but I can see his point since it's very clearly aimed at the obsessed set. (Obsessed? Moi? Just because I was part of Red Dwarf internet fandom back in the pre-Web days and wrote Red Dwarf articles for now-defunct online Britcomedy Digest doesn't mean I'm obsessed. Does it?) He's probably had to deal with some scary fans in his time, although he seems to take full advantage of the travel/pay opportunities convention speaking gives him.

I kid because I love.

Much as I'm digging the DVDs, still not sure how I feel about the "reimagining" Red Dwarf will be undergoing with the film. Supposedly (what little I've heard) it's actually based on one of the books set in Series I and II. If they're going to do that, I'm not sure whether it's wise to stick with using the significantly older original cast. *shrug* I can't seem to get excited about it one way or the other.

Okay, serendipity that I got my Red Dwarf goodies this week, especially since I'm still in the midst of writing up Living History. Well, most of it actually is done, just some sections still need to be written and the written sections need to be polished.

For those who are checking in and don't know, Living History is a BtVS fic I've been working on since (checks date) since July. *yikes!*

It actually started as a challenge fic, but sadly, it was one of those challenge fics where the intent was pretty clear: None of the Scoobs mean squat except for Xander; people from the future practically worship the ground he walks on, but have no clue who the others are; must take place within six months after "Chosen;" etc., etc., etc. In short, the classic Scoob-bashing, Xander-worshiping crap.

Now don't get me wrong, Xander remains my fave Buffyverse character, but challenges and/or fic stories like these from a certain corner of Buffyverse fandom? Makes me cringe in a huge way. Also makes me want to beg certain Xanderfans to PLEASE DON'T HELP ME!

So I sabotaged it. In a bigger way.

At first I was going for the Pratchett. Then my Type A obsessive personality took over and I started thinking about all those dangling issues that the Scoobs must be dealing with. Next thing I know, my attempt to poke holes in the challenge turned into a full-on hijack that in no way, shape, or form looks anything like the original challenge. *heh*

Even more disconcerting, it took my attention off the Where Fools Go series I'm working on and has literally taken over my hard drive. Thank god I had backups when my computer decided to spectacularly crash, forcing me to reformat the hard drive. Otherwise you would've heard me waaaaaaailing in Hong Kong.

So what does this have to do with Red Dwarf and Brooks and Reiner? Well, the Red Dwarf bit is the time travel concept. I borrowed heavily from several episodes, most notably 'Cassandra,' 'Time Slides,' 'Tikka to Ride,' 'Ouroboros,' and 'Future Echoes' and reworked it slightly with a twist.

In short, it's not what you know, it's you don't know that'll get you.

As for Brooks and Reiner? You gotta get your hands on their 2,000 Year-Old Man recordings. All of them. Classics. Reiner's unflappable reporter meets Brooks's insane characters, including a man who claims to be 2,000 years old. According to the 2,000 year-old man, the greatest invention evah? Saran wrap. Seriously. I can't listen to my box set and do anything else because I'm laughing waaaayyyyy to hard.

*checks length of post*

Oh wow! This is huge.

Ummmm, anyway, if you made it this far, if you want to read Living History and haven't yet, you can check it out here.

FF.net is updated to Part 38.

Here's Part 39:

"Xander?" God knows where Willow came from because she's watching him call up the city's official Web page and mumble as he ran his finger underneath the lines, stopping just long enough to make note of another capitalized word, and then navigate around the interactive city map.

"Did you find the Arrow?" Willow hopefully asked. "You figured it out?"

Xander's path ended right where he suspected it would: Erie Street Cemetery. 

Okay, overreaction here. Maybe this isn't so much how to get to the grail because everyone says that it's in Moscow. Everyone, that is, if you call Xander 2008 and Future Space People "everyone." So maybe this is where our map is?

Why didn't he think so?

"Wills," Xander said quietly. "I need you break the spell lock on that journal."

"What? Why?"

Xander threw the book a fearful look. "Honestly? I'm not sure."

"But..."

"Do it."

She continued to hesitate, no doubt thinking of Temporal Prime Directives, Xander-style.

"It's important," he added.

Whether it was the tone of his voice or the look on his face, Xander wasn't sure, but Willow immediately got down to work. While Willow did her hoodoo, which involved mucho research in her computerized spell database, he was busy running around the house fetching spell ingredients as she asked for them.

God knows how many times he dashed out of the library to grab supplies for yet another attempt or how many spells she cast. All he knew was that he felt like he'd run a marathon before two hours was up.

At the end of two hours, Willow slumped in a chair, her headache now doubled in intensity because of the magical effort, and the book still firmly locked. "One more try and this is it," she growled.

"Fair enough," Xander nodded.

"Right," Willow huffed. She began with the Latin chant, threw a handful of leafy green things at the book, waved stick incense that smelled like patchouli over the business, and dropped a crystal on the leather cover.

Nothing happened.

"Well, we tried," Xander shrugged.

Which was apparently the cue for the book to begin vibrating and spewing smoke.

"What the..." Willow began.

"It that book catches on fire we are sooooo very dead," Xander said as he slowly backed away.

"Correction, I'm dead," Willow yelped as she stepped forward to try and stop the book from exploding.

The book apparently decided that it wasn't going down without a fight because it flew off the table, smacked Willow in the chest, and skidded across the floor, pages waving merrily at them as it tried to make its escape.

Good thing a wall was in the way to impede its progress, because Xander figured that losing the book would've been second only to burning the book if Catherine wanted to make a case for justified Willow-cide.

Willow was hacking and coughing as thick white smoke swirled around her, muttering vague threats against the very obviously evil witch that cast the spell on the book.

"I guess you're okay then," Xander remarked as he reached into the obscuring, Willow-shaped fog.

"I think I've been bruised."

He hauled her out and began, "Yeah, well..." and stopped, clamping his jaw shut as his eyes grew as large as an anime cartoon.

Willow looked up at him. "What?"

Both of Xander's hands flew up to his mouth and he began making hacking sounds. "Are you sure you're okay?" he sputtered.

Willow scrunched her face and rubbed the center of her chest. "I've been assaulted by a book, but nothing's broken."

Hands turned to fists as teeth bit down on knuckles. "B-b-b-b-but y-y-y-y-y-y-y-you're, ummmm, heh, not f-f-f-f-f-feel...I mean, oooooo-k-k-k-k-kay?"

Willow's eyes narrowed, "Yes, I'm just fine," she said in a throaty growl.

Which pushed Xander right over the edge. "BWWWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..."

"What?" Willow asked.

Xander dropped to the floor, clutching his stomach as he howled, tears streaming down his face, lungs struggling to draw in enough air to keep his higher brain functions working.

"WHAT?"

"Y-y-you've b-b-b-been th-th-th-thinking y-y-y-you...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Xander knew he was annoying Willow to no end, but he couldn't help it. "Heeehehehehehe, ummmmmm, wantanewlook?" Xander was off again on into uncontrollable laughter land.

Willow's forehead wrinkled in confusion as she looked down and saw that her hands were..."BLUE!" She ran behind the empty Xander-built bookshelves to the tiny bathroom to check herself in the mirror.

As Xander forced himself under control using an effort that would make He-Man, Master of the Universe proud, he could hear Willow hyperventilating in squeaky bursts.

"I'm blue! I'm blue! I'm blue! I'm blue!"

"You're navy blue," Xander managed to wheeze out of his abused lungs as he got to his feet.

"Not funny mister!" Willow stormed back into the library. "When I said I was thinking of a new look, I was talking about a haircut!" she raged at him. She held her blue hands in front of her blue face. "Not change color!"

"Are you all blue?" Xander was staring very hard at the ground to avoid looking at her. If he looked at her...

Willow pawed at her clothes, peaking down her sweater, looking down her sleeves, squeaky hyperventilation now hitting a register that would make a Wolfy Oz howl in protest. "I've been smurfed!"

"Smurfs aren't that blue." He bit his lips so hard that he knew he was going to leave a bruise.

"I can't believe this! How am I going to explain this?"

"It could be worse."

"Worse? HOW CAN IT BE WORSE?"

"Your hair could be blue, too. At least it's still red." Xander took a chance, saw her eyes narrowing, blue-blue face scrunching in frustration under her red widow's peak over his lack of empathy, and immediately looked away because he knew he'd just make her even angrier by again collapsing into hysterics. Even though he knew he was about to say something really evil, he simply couldn't resist. "Are you sure all your hair is still red?"

"XANDER!"

"Would you like me to get Kennedy so she can check?"

"XANDER!"

"That would be a no, then."

She marched over to him, stabbing a blue finger into his chest with such force that Xander had to step back with each jab. "This," poke, "is," poke, "all," poke, "your," poke, "fault!" poke-poke-poke-poke-poke...

"Now that I think about it, you look more like Veruca Salt."

"AAAARGGHHHH!" Willow threw herself in a chair and dropped her head in her hands.

Xander fought to keep his face straight. "At least you feel okay, that's the important..."

There was a distinctive sniff of the 'I'm going to cry' variety.

"Oh, wow. Hey. I'm sorry," Xander uncomfortably shuffled. "You'll be able to fix it, right?"

Willow made a weepy sound.

Guilt now finally kicking in, Xander crossed over to Willow in three steps, kneeled down, and engulfed her in a hug.

"What am I going to do?" The question was rendered in a mix of sniff, sob, more than a few tears, and a certain amount of snot.

Willow. Crying. Must-Comfort-Willow. Programming. Engaged. "We'll figure it out," Xander soothed, feeling like the ultimate ass as he patted her back.

"When?" Willow sobbed into his ear.

Xander winced as Willow gave a loud sniff that seemed to echo through his head. "Ummmm, soon? I hope?"

This resulted in a wail as Willow hugged him tight.

"Say, we'll get Giles right on this, hunh?" Xander said as he delicately disengaged from the bone-crushing hold. "Plus, I'll get Buffy and she'll figure something out make-up wise to cover up..."

"Not funny," Willow cried.

Xander shoved his hands in his pockets as his posture folded in on itself. "Not trying to be. Look, let me go get Giles, okay?"

He was rewarded with the sight of Willow wiping at her eyes and working herself up into a wounded-but-brave face.

"Stay right here. I'll be right back." As Xander turned, he caught sight of the book, freed pages sticking straight up in an effort to remind him why Willow got whammied in the first place. Xander glared at it. Great. Willow's not going to be the one who has to deal with the classic you-are-an-idiot looks from Giles. I will. Right. Like that's ever going to change because we all know that I'm the dumb...

His mind froze in its tracks as he realized something: the book was opened at a spot that was significantly closer to the back cover. Xander's eyes widened. Willow did it! The newly freed pages fluttered tantalizingly as they stuck up out of the open book. "Wills..." he began.

"What?" the witch sniffed as she looked sadly down at her bright blue hands.

"Look. The journal."

Willow's gaze followed the line of his pointed finger to the floor. Her eyes grew large as saucers when she saw the temptation dancing in front of her eyes, her new skin color momentarily forgotten.

The pair remained frozen a few moments before they both dove for the book. Since Xander had a head start and was taller, his hand reached it first. He snatched it from under Willow's frustrated nose, stuck his tongue out for good measure, and turned away giggling like a loon.

"Let me see! Let me see!" Willow petulantly ordered as she hopped up and down behind his twisting back. "I got blued for this, so I think..."

"Nunh-unh. I wrote it. It's my book."

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeez!"

Xander wildly grinned as he looked over his right shoulder. The Willow-sized puppy dog eyes in that blue face was too much and he burst out laughing again. Between stomach-killing guffaws, he managed to get out, "Since you're so cute, I'll let you look."

Puppy Willow immediately turned into Kid-in-a-Candy-Shop Willow as she excitedly clapped her hands. "Goody!"

He put the book down on the table and tried to free a few more pages from the spell lock, but no dice. He wasn't as irritated as he should've been since there were a handful of new pages to look it. His grin widened fit to split his face. Messy handwriting in full force? Check. Careless grammar? Check. Writing style that actually sounded like him? Check, check, oh thank god, check.

This was more like it.

Willow whistled from her position leaning against his right shoulder. "Wow. We put one up on him didn't we?"

"Oh, yeah." There it was. A list that gave him the future updates.

Michael's coming in next week so Rona Lisa is all sorts of excited especially since he's a real candidate for becoming a Watcher. Robin has no objections because of his military training, as for me I just like the guy since he gets the difference between cracking the whip and working with people. It's trial run right now, see how he deals but it's looking good.

Giles is still on the ol honeymoon. Sly dog. OK, not too sure about the half-your-age thing but Zoe's a sweet woman with a spine of steel (big surprise since she's pretty much taken all of us in stride.) Should be interesting dealing with Rupert Giles, Family Man.

Buffy checked in from San Fran. The new Slayer there isn't exactly being accepting of destiny and duty. Normally Buffy'd just walk away except there's that damn prophecy Robin unearthed so she's got to stick around to make sure she doesn't get all kinds of killed.

Hunh. Who'd of thunk. Robin and Buffy are now a professional double act. Color me surprised. Given Buffy's romantic history, I'm just glad the two of them are keeping it professional. Not sure how we'd deal with Robin turning into bloody chunks, or evil, or going insane, or picking up a spare soul he doesn't need, or becoming gay...sooo not going there.

Willow's still in Devon with the Coven working on her Super Sekrit longterm project, which she's calling "Project Choices." She's pretty convinced it won't pay off for years. Willow. Patience. Hunh. Who knew? Anyway, not sure how much in a hurry she is to get back especially since I smell definite romance in the air with her.

Room's getting tight around the Mother House. Robin's spec'ing some property outside the city limits to set up a boarding school--which would include real classes like Math and classes in How To Kick Demon Ass 101--since he feels some of the girls would benefit from a well-rounded Slayer curriculum. At least I convinced him to let the girls who want to go to public school to at least have a choice in where they want to get their real world education.

Kennedy's dad is financing the boarding school and expansion of our living quarters with an endowment. Hey! Check us out! We're going nonprofit! Right. Like we weren't nonprofit before. Only now we won't have to pay the government when we buy that shiny new axe.

Andrew's still doing whatever he's doing in L.A. Thank god. Last I heard he'd opened a gourmet restaurant which is naturally a front ala Willie's. He insists that he's working for the Superteams (his words, definitely not mine) and that he provides a valuable service by sourcing out his info. Yeah. Right. I'm sure Angel is just psyched that he's got a budget line just for Andrew's "help."

Speaking of Angel. He and...nah...won't get into it. Never know who might be reading right? And some information might prove tragic if it fell into the wrong hands before someone was ready to hear it.

You follow what I'm writing Junior?

"Son of a bitch," Xander said quietly.

"Junior?" Willow asked.

"I think he knows some Xander between me and him was going to read this entry."

"Probably your few-months-earlier 2008 self, right? Look at the date. It's February 2009."

"Look at this," he pointed at the series of squiggles at the bottom of the page.

"Doodles?"

"Klingon."

Willow digested that a moment. "You're joking."

Xander frowned and concentrated. His Klingon was very, very rusty, which meant he was half-a-step away from giving up his membership card into the Trekkie Geek Club. He knew if he dragged Andrew in on the translation, he'd get something within five seconds, but there was no way in hell he was going to go there.

He tapped his fingers under the writing as he puzzled out the meaning.

"Xander?" Willow prompted.

"That bastard. That miserable, mean-spirited, son of a bitch," Xander bit as the squiggles reformed in his mind to make actual words.

"What does it say?"

"See this bit in English?" Xander asked. "He says that everything on this list is true except one thing. But he's willing to cop to one gimme: Michael makes it home a-okay and he really is up for Watcher."

"Well, that's good, right?" Willow asked. When Xander gave her a hooded look, she added, "About Rona's brother. Not about...um...would you really do that to yourself?"

"Also says he ain't giving any real information about me because, and I quote, 'that would be cheating.'" Xander's eye continued to scan the Klingon text as if he couldn't believe what he was reading. "And he keeps calling me Junior!"

"What's he supposed to call you?"

"How about not Junior?"

"I think you're over..."

"Oh, shit."

Willow cringed. "Now what?"

"He also says this: 'Funny how it all comes down to the backyard, right? But then, you already knew that when you booted up the city's homepage and checked the directions to you-know-what. Hey Smeghead, you've heard about Pandora's Box, right? Then again, maybe not because you're just not really up on mythology.' I don't believe this! I'm insulting my own intelligence!"

"Unh, Xander? Do you know about Pandora's..."

"Don't start."

Willow held her hands up as a gesture of peace. "Just checking."

"Check this out: 'You really didn't need to do this, but you did it anyway. So don't bother trying to free more pages, unless Wills wants tentacles to go with her blue skin.'"

"Remind me to kill you in 2008," Willow squeaked.

"'And tell Willow she'd have to kill both you and herself for our prank, especially since she cooked up the spell,'" Xander read from the book right on cue. "Am I allowed to hate this guy?"

"I'm pretty sure that means you need therapy if you do that," Willow said.

"Well, here's some good news. He was oh-so-kind enough to give us a counter-spell."

"On second thought, I love him. I want to have his babies. When you hit 2008, get ready for some Willow loving, complete with edible underwear, chocolate body paints, and a rip-away maid's uniform."

Xander gave Willow a disbelieving horrified look.

"Little thick?" Willow asked.

"I'm thinking Kennedy is really bad for you," he replied as he desperately tried to get the image Willow planted in his brain to go away. "Whatever happened to the Willow who thought playing doctor involved pretending to diagnose me with real diseases?"

"She had sex."

"Oh. Right," Xander numbly replied.

"Hey! I'm not the only one who's changed," Willow huffed. "Seems to me that someone learned to plan for all eventualities. I can't believe that you and me in 2008 came up with this scheme just in case something went wrong and our future friends took a wrong turn."

Willow's remark prompted Xander to look wide-eyed back at the entry as the one thought he was afraid of thinking locked firmly into place. No. I gotta be wrong. I have to be wrong. You bastard. How could you do this? How could you do this to me!

"Xander?" Willow asked, worry showing in her voice. "Xander, what is it?"

 

TBC...here

 

Whew. Off to dinner.

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