The Reading Hour – 10 (un)easy questions for Alisa Stern

Hello Stonehenge!

We don’t say it often but having a blog is a fascinating thing. It truly changes the way you look at things, people and the whole world around you. You are no longer going somewhere just to have fun, meeting your friends or simply hanging around. Now you are on a mission. Wherever you go, you carefully observe the entire place looking for hidden clues, things that you have not seen before. You read every street sign and commemorative plague, you study the faces of passer-by’s. You are becoming a hunter for something new, something interesting, something worth sharing with others and worth writing about. You turn into an artist, a journalist, a social commentator, a political expert or even a fashion critic.

Doctor Puppet - The Adventure in Time and Space

Doctor Puppet – The Adventure in Time and Space

Doctor Puppet by Alisa stern

Doctor Puppet by Alisa Stern

There are millions of personal blogs online, millions of opinions, million voices waiting to be heard. When we started Vanadian Avenue, nearly 4 years ago, we have never thought that we would talk to rock legends, published authors, translators, Star Wars comics writers and our childhood heroes. We never dreamt of 30 .000 readers and subscribers. It was just our small project that grew more and more. New columns were added as time went on and before we knew it – our small project grew into something significant.

A similar thing happened to our today’s guest – a talented animator Alisa Stern, the creator of mega popular “Doctor Puppet” show. From humble beginnings as a simple picture blog to international sensation that has been featured in press, radio and TV around the globe. Alisa is a life-long nerd and fan of cartoons. Her hobbies including walking around NYC, hiking, jewelry making, and eating falafel. A graduate of Pratt Institute in (BFA with honors in Traditional Animation), she lives in Brooklyn with a black cat named Beryl.

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor Puppet

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor Puppet

And Matt Smith as 11th Doctor Puppet

And Matt Smith as 11th Doctor Puppet

In recent months we have extensively covered a lot of Doctor Who related events. We have written about Steven Moffat’s visit to Hay on Wye Festival, Doctor Who Season 8th premiere in Cardiff and reviewed our visit to Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. When one of our readers contacted us with an idea to speak to Alisa about Doctor Puppet, we didn’t hesitate for a single second. It was a true pleasure to chat to her about the show, the ongoing IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign and her plans for the future. Ladies and gents – please welcome Alisa to Vanadian Avenue!

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                              Interview with Alisa Stern – the creator of Doctor Puppet

Alis and Peter Capaldi Puppet

Alisa and Peter Capaldi Puppet

Vanadian Avenue: Doctor Puppet is taking the World Wide Web by storm. Can you introduce us to the team behind the newest Internet sensation?

Alisa Stern: Doctor Puppet is truly a team effort. We’re all professional artists and musicians outside of Doctor Puppet. Rachel has done a lot of stop motion, but also contributed props, sets, and background paints. Erin has also done a lot of stop motion as well as storyboards. Shelby is the engineer and figures out how to build the technical stuff, like the TARDIS and sonic screwdriver. Amanda sews the costumes and somehow finds a way to squeeze all the detail into them. Isam paints backgrounds. Scott composes the music, narrates, and is the resident Doctor Who expert. Phil orchestrates the score for live instruments. Then there’s a whole group of extremely talented musicians in England who bring the music to life. I make the puppets and write most of the scripts and make tea for the others. Of course everyone contributed to the stories and adds their ideas.

The 12th Doctor Puppet visiting the Cardiff Rift during  Doctor Puppet World Tour 2014

The 12th Doctor Puppet visiting the Cardiff Rift during Doctor Puppet World Tour 2014

Clara and The Doctor  during their visit to the Tower, please understand the UNIT didn't allow any more pictures.

Clara and The Doctor during their visit to the Tower, please understand the UNIT didn’t allow any more pictures

Clara,the 12th Doctor and The Tardis stopping to greet the fans

Clara,the 12th Doctor and The Tardis stopping to greet the fans

Vanadian Avenue: Where the idea for an animated Doctor Who series came from? Do you have any professional experience in animation or puppet making?

Alisa Stern: Doctor Puppet cme about whilst I was teaching a stop motion animation class actually. I needed to make an example puppet for my students, and I though Matt Smith’s Doctor was already so puppet-like, that he seemed like a good choice. I began posting pictures of the puppet on Tumblr, and everyone really like it, so that eventually became the series on YouTube. I’ve been a professional animator and puppet maker for about 7 years. My background is mainly in stop motion TV commercials and preschool TV. Actually, I met Erin while we were working on a Nick Jr. show called “The Wonder Pets.”

Vanadian Avenue: Your videos are receiving rave reviews not only from fans of the TV series but also from mainstream media such as Huffington Post, BBC UK and BBC America. What equipment is being used during the production and how long does the post production take to make a single episode?

Alisa Stern: We used a Canon Rebel T1i camera and Dragonframe software to capture the stop motion frames. It’s all composited in After Effects with backgrounds make in Photoshop. An episode takes 2 – 4 months to produce. Pre-production (storyboarding, sets, props) takes about a month, or more if the set is complicated. Stop motion animation itself takes about a month. Post-production (compositing, music, sound) takes a few weeks. Every episode has gotten progressively more complicated to make.

Clara and the Doctor re-visit a location featured in "Rose" - the first episode of the reneved Doctor Who series. We are sure  Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper where somewhere close

Clara and the Doctor re-visit a location featured in “Rose” – the first episode of the renewed Doctor Who series. We are sure Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper where somewhere close

The Doctor Puppet wants you to Listen. thank you for your attention

The Doctor Puppet wants you to Listen. Thank you for your attention

Clara and the Mini TARDIS

Clara and the Mini TARDIS

Vanadian Avenue: There are six main episodes available online at the moment and we have to admit the story is very intriguing. The mysterious door in “The Sign of Four”, disappearing previous reincarnations and the sinister laugh. Can you tell us who is responsible for the script? Was the inspiration drawn from any particular sources outside of The Doctor Who Universe? Favorite books or movies maybe?

Alisa Stern: When I wrote the first episode, I also I wrote an outline of the whole story, from beginning to end. I’m so glad that you’re intrigued by it! As we’ve make the episodes, the story has changed a bit, mainly because the others have given their input. I always brought the scripts to Scott because he knows Doctor Who better than anyone I know. So he adds many of the Doctor Who references, and also makes sure that the script isn’t too American. He’s caught some of my Americanisms, especially in Episode 5, which was set in London in the 80s. I don’t think there’s a particular influence outside of Doctor Who – it’s influenced by all kinds of stories I love, specially serialized stories.

Vanadian Avenue: “Doctor Who” series is owned by The BBC. Did you have any contact with them? If so, what was their reaction to “Doctor Puppet”?

Alisa Stern: Yes, I’ve had some really nice interactions with the BBC. They enjoy what we do, and have given us some nice press. We’ve been included in the BBC America blog a number of times, and had episode clips air on BBC America. Also, I was interviewed for a documentary about Doctor Who fans. The documentary crew was able to record Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, and so Erin got to animate the puppets speaking with the real voices! She did an incredible job. The documentary is called “Earth Conquest” and will be included on the Series 8 DVD, so be sire to watch it!

Mauve alert - the universally recognised colour for danger. The 11th and the 4th Doctors are having some bad luck!

Mauve alert – the universally recognized color for danger. The 11th and the 4th Doctors are having some bad luck!

The danger is averted - but we have lost all jelly babies!

The danger is averted – but we have lost all jelly babies!

5th and 6th Doctors are shopping for sweets in the 80's. Piece of cake  if you have a time machine.

5th and 6th Doctors are shopping for sweets in the 80’s. Piece of cake if you have a time machine.

Vanadian Avenue: Let’s talk about the puppets. You have created Clara, all previous incarnations of the Doctor and even some of the most famous monsters like Zygons. Do you have a favourite puppet? Any new creations in the works? The Ponds, Sarah Jane or River? We have to say we love the 80’s version of Clara! She’s looking very New wave-y.

Alisa Stern: I love Eleven because he was the first I made. My favorite at the moment is probably Four though. I’m so pleased with how he came out I have a few more puppets planned. (Not saying who!) 80s Clara was especially fun because we could do anything we wanted to with her.

Vanadian Avenue: We have mentioned the New Wave so let’s focus on the music for a moment. The soundtrack is one of the strongest points of the series. You even had an entire choir singing carols in “Time Lord Christmas”. Do you have a professional composer working for you?

Alisa Stern: Yes, I do! Scott Ampleford has composed everything you’d heard in Doctor Puppet. He’s written all the original music and the songs, plus the lyrics. Also, he sings the songs. And he narrates. He’s a bit prolific. I love how he’s created a unique musical style for nearly every episode. The first few episodes are pretty standard orchestra, but Episode 4 is all synth. Episode 5 and 6 both have scores that sound like the music from those Doctor Who eras. He did an especially fantastic job capturing Dudley Simpson’s 70s era music for Episode 6.

The Fourth Doctor on the set - Anybody wants a jelly baby?

The Fourth Doctor on the set – Anybody wants a jelly baby?

The Third Doctor is ready for some action!

The Third Doctor is ready for some action!

Clara and The Doctor are learning their parts. So much to remember!

Clara and The Doctor are learning their parts. So much to remember!

Vanadian Avenue: You are currently using IndieGoGo, a popular crowd-funding website to collect funds to make a Christmas Special. What can fans expect for backing up your cause?

Alisa Stern: There are a lot of cool perks being offered, including an exclusive thank-you video, behind-the-scenes updates, music, your name in the credits, and chances to meet the crew and puppets.

Vanadian Avenue: 2013 and 2014 were highly successful years for Doctor Puppet. Next year, what can we expect from you guys? Where will the Doctor go in 2015?

Alisa Stern: In 2015, we hope to wrap up the series. There are 2 episodes left in the Eleventh Doctor’s story. After that… I’m not sure. We want to do more Doctor Puppet, as well other projects.

The Eight Doctor looking very romantic

The Eight Doctor looking very romantic

10th and 11th reading the scripts

10th and 11th reading the scripts

The 9th Doctor went for a walk  - after whole day of shooting it's nice to stretch your legs

The 9th Doctor went for a walk – after whole day of shooting it’s nice to stretch your legs

Vanadian Avenue: What are your plans for the future outside of Doctor Puppet? Are you involved in any other projects?

Alisa Stern: We all have other things going on, and I hope we can do more projects together outside of Doctor Puppet. We’re a great team and I hope we can stick together for a while!

Vanadian Avenue: Thank you for your time Alisa. It has been a real pleasure.

Alisa Stern: Thank you!

If you’d like to learn more about the Doctor Puppet please use the links below.

Doctor Puppet links:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HelloDoctorPuppet
http://doctorpuppet.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheDoctorPuppet
https://twitter.com/TheDoctorPuppet

Alisa’s website:
http://www.mon-alisa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/alisasternart

Please help The 12th Doctor and his team to create the best Christmas Special yet.

Please help The 12th Doctor and his team to create the best Christmas Special yet.

IndieGoGo campaign:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-doctor-puppet-stop-motion-christmas-special

After the interview was conducted, we have received a note from Alisa with excellent news: An exclusive animated Doctor Puppet clip using the real voices of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman was featured in “Doctor Who: Earth Conquest”. The 45-minute documentary about the 2014 Doctor Who World Tour was broadcast on Canadian SPACE channel. “Earth Conquest” will also be available on the Series 8 DVD!

An exclusive promo picture has also been released! Congratulations to the entire team!

Doctor and Clara in the Madison Square Park

Doctor and Clara in the Madison Square Park

Official SPACE channel website: http://www.space.ca/
You can pre-order 8th Season DVD here: http://www.bbcshop.com/science-fiction/doctor-who-series-8-dvd/invt/bbcdvd3935

Please do not forget to help Alisa and her friends to collect enough funds to produce the awaited Christmas special! If you cannot donate, please spread the word. It is worth it!

Have a fantastic Day and thank you Alisa! You are the best!

Geronimoooooo!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

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Kill the moon review

Vanadian Avenue blog presents:

“Kill the Moon” review
(a horror in time and space in one act)

Screen title

Screen title

Dramatis personæ:

Malicia (as Statler)
Rita (as Waldorf)

Peter Capaldi (as 12th Doctor)
Jenna Coleman (as Clara Oswald)

Samuel Anderson (as Danny Pink)
Ellis George (as Courtney Woods)
Hermione Norris (as Captain Lundvik)
Tony Osoba (as Astronaut Duke)
Phil Nice (as Astronaut Henry)
Christopher Dane (as McKean)

Peter Harness (as scapegoat)
Steven Moffat (as it’s all his fault)

With special appearance of Invisible Booing Choir

Time: 45 minutes (of pure torture)

Date (of crime): October 4th 2014

Promotional image #1

Promotional image #1

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Curtain!

Rita and Mal sit un-comfortably on their sofa staring blankly at the TV screen in front of them. You can see popcorn and sodas on the table in the distance, but the food is untouched, clearly both reviewers lost their appetite quite suddenly. Rita and Mal appear pale and shaken as if coming out of traumatic shock.

Rita: Welcome dear readers of our blog to the exclusive review of “Kill the Moon” episode. We have been writing about Doctor Who series regularly, but we have never done a review of a single episode. So, this is a first!

Malicia: And since the episode in question was very specific, we will do the review in style of Eurovision commentary to keep up with the kitsch and lack of any standards.

Rita: It is not confidential that Steven Moffat is very creative when it comes to bringing to life scary monsters. Think Weeping Angels. Think Clockwork Robots. Those were terrifying!

Malicia: But after tonight, you should be really quaking in your boots. Steven Moffat just introduced us to one of the rarest and most terrifying creatures in the multiverse!

Rita: A monster native to the realm of Developer`s Hell that makes even seasoned viewers cringe and scream. And the worst thing about this new monstrosity is that it can be encountered in real life!

Episode poster

Episode poster

Malicia: Like on Saturday evening when you are all ready and set to watch your beloved show. Please meet our Monster of the Week: Writer Debutante on an Established TV Series – Mr. Peter Harness.

(Invisible Booing Choir: Booooooooooo!)

Rita: To be fair, Mr Harness has an impressive resume: he is a theatre actor, writer and producer. He worked on critically acclaimed series: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Wallander and Case Histories.

Malicia: We have seen his bio on Wikipedia before the show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Harness) and it looked quite promising.

Rita: Unfortunately, our hopes for a good story were as short lived as the lifespan of Mr Harness’ Twitter account (@mrpeterharness). Once the episode aired and people started to ask inconvenient questions, the account was taken down completely. Pity, we had several questions ourselves.

Malicia: I don’t think we would be able to ask about anything, even if we could type at the speed of light. Mr Harness (or whoever was behind that Twitter account) simply ran away, not wanting to deal with the audience. That’s the impression that I’ve got.  

More promotional material - the only good thing about this episode

More promotional material – the only good thing about this episode

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Rita: So, Mr Harness, this is why we do this review. And we are truly not sorry for tearing your script to pieces, as you have left us no other choice. But no hard feelings, we are just cruel to be kind.

Malicia: Let’s get down to business – spoilers! Be my pal, sister and give us a short summary of the “story” behind “Kill the Moon”.

Rita: Doctor and his companions Clara and Courtney crash-land on a space shuttle en-route to the Moon. This is not a usual moon landing. It is a suicide mission (nuclear missiles et all) to blow up the Earth’s natural satellite. It turns out that Moon is really a huge alien egg that is hatching and the entire human population is at stake. More over, the surface of the enormous egg is populated by spiders that kill all males in the party, leaving only females to decide the fate of the human race and the hatching alien. So instead of helping, Doctor leaves the issue to Clara, Courtney and Lundvik – the captain of the shuttle – and buggers off. He shows up at the end to pat his companions on the back for saving the day – meaning the alien. In the meantime, Earth hold a tele-con on extinction while three females discuss having children.

Clara gives a warning. Run!

Clara gives a warning.
Run!

Malicia: As you can see dear blog readers – the story makes as much sense as Daily Mirror in the middle of cucumber season. In an interview with CultBox, Peter Harness mentioned that he came up with the idea of moon being a giant egg the night before meeting with Doctor Who crew – it came to him while travelling on the plane. You can see the whole interview here:
http://www.cultbox.co.uk/interviews/exclusives/doctor-who-interview-peter-harness-kill-the-moon

Rita: We would love to blame the lousy story-telling on the eleventh hour and pressure, only that would be not seeing the forest for the trees. The reality is much more unnerving and once you start seeing “Kill the Moon” for what it really is, you get rightfully furious.

Malicia: In case you haven’t guessed by now, the whole affair with hatching alien is just a smoke screen for abortion issue. “Kill the Moon” is not a science-fiction story – it is very poorly disguised “pro-life” propaganda written into your favorite TV show. And it is the foulest, most barbaric and misogynist type of propaganda you can imagine. Calling it anything else would be an understatement.

Rita: Doctor Who has been running for 50 years. It started in the early 60`s – not the best time for being a female on TV. Doctor’s companions were often lowered to being scream queens, silly blondes or fashion accessories. That is why Carol Ann Ford (who played Doctor’s grand-daughter Susan Foreman)left the show.But never in the history of the series, was somebody’s personal agenda written into the episode, especially when this agenda is so incredibly sexist.“Kill the Moon” is unique in this regard.

Malicia: Let’s be rotten feminists and point out few things that Mr. Harness put into the script. First and foremost – all male characters were removed from the episode like red shirts in Star Trek. Besides Captain Lundvik, the space shuttle has two male astronauts: Henry and Duke.

The (impossible) astronauts

The (impossible) astronauts

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Rita: And they both die within first ten minutes, having uttered few one liners, which is criminal! Tony Osoba who portrayed Duke was a member of Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared on the Who series twice before (“Dragonfire” and “Destiny of the Daleks”). Phil Nice (Henry) is widely recognized actor working on small screen for the last thirty years. Shame to treat actors this way!

Malicia: Just think of it – the whole surface of the moon is covered with lethal spiders and for some reason only male members of the expedition are getting eaten. Of course it would be fun if the spiders were black widows, but male actors are written off to make space for actresses – and their entertaining dialogue about reproduction.

Rita: Doctor himself gets removed too. He jumps into the Tardis and disappears as soon as a choice between the life of hatching alien and the human population on Earth below is to be made. But not before he utters this charming and very memorable line to Clara and Courtney: “It’s not my moon, women-kind”. Even babies in the nursery know that human kind consists of men and women in rather equal parts and it would be rather logical to have some men included in the decision making process. But no, Mr Harness turned all men into spider’s buffet.

Malicia: Escape of the Doctor made me furious because Time Lord would never leave his companions or Earth alone. He is strict, aloof, deceiving but he has never been an asshole. In Mr Harness` script Doctor staged out the most common stereotype – that all things related to pregnancy, having children and caring for the vulnerable are female problems only.

The Doctor being "pro-choice"

The Doctor being “pro-choice”

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Rita: And this is a very dangerous stereotype because men walk out in drones at first sight of problems.

Malicia: Exactly! If Mr Harness would like to check how this stereotype looks in real life and paid a visit to a website called Institute for Women’s Policy Research (http://www.iwpr.org/) he would discover for example that only 5% of disabled kids in US live with a father. Divorce rates for couples with disabled children stand at 85 % and only around 25% of fathers decide to stick around if a child requires additional assistance. Numbers in Europe are similar. Mr Harness could also read Wikipedia and see the profile of statistical carer of the elderly:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly_care.

Rita: Do you think Mr Harness cares for social data? This is boring stuff. Can’t you find him something – umm- more dramatic? Something that would make a good story for example on the big screen?

Malicia: Actually I can. How about a story about Kelly Stapleton? A woman who was left to her own devices when taking care of severely autistic daughter? Imagine: insurance stops rehabilitation of a minor (too expensive), husband is making a professional career and is never around, relatives do not care. It goes to the point where a mother is so desperate and alone that she tries to murder her autistic daughter. She gets 25 years in prison. Best bit is when father gets custody: miraculously the relatives start to care, money is found for rehabilitation, he gets volunteers to help and every one is praising him a hero – even if he doesn’t do any of the job himself. In the meantime his wife is in jail with PTSD. NYT had a nice story on it, if you are curious how a life of a woman left alone to care for a disabled child looks like outside the silver screen:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/10/kelli-stapleton-issy-stapleton.html

Rita: Woman does the hardest part until she breaks, while the man’s basking in the glory of a hero.

Malicia: Doesn’t it remind you how Mr Harness portrays the Doctor?

Rita: Yep, 12th Doctor reacted like a typical male and took an easy way out, leaving the problem (aka the alien) to Clara. That puts a new meaning to Clara’s being Mrs. Carer so the Doctor doesn’t have to care!

Malicia: Pure sexism but it doesn’t end here. Oh now! Let’s now have a look at what we are left with when all the men either ran away in a time machine or have been consumed by spiders.

Rita: Demographics. I have been making notes: a woman in the 50s (Captain Lundvik), a woman in her late 20s (Clara) and a teenager (Courtney). Three generations of women have gathered on the moon.

In space no one will hear you scream

In space no one will hear you scream

Malicia: And see what they are discussing because this is very interesting. Captain Lundvik (who is too old to have any more children) is worried about grandchildren. Clara (who is here regarded by Mr Harness as a person of “child bearing age”) is asked if she plans to have a family and Courtney is looking all scared, when she is not babbling about cute little aliens.

Rita: Another interesting bit about female demographics. Did you know that unplanned pregnancy is twice as likely to happen to a teenager of color or to a young female of minority? Is this the reason why Courtney has been added to the episode?

Malicia: The whole concept that three females are stranded in space and they spend their time asking each other about family planning is outrageous. Mr Harness, this is Doctor Who not Rush Limbaugh show!

Rita: I believe Peter Harness reflected on how anti-women his script was and tried to add some desperate measures to cover it up by stating that Courtney Woods will become American President in the future. Woman of color being a president of USA – very progressive indeed only completely unrealistic. You need to be born on American soil to become president. Courtney is British. Mr Harness – you are not fooling anyone!

courtney for president

Malicia: The script is a complete train- wreck. Hermione Norris is a fantastic and established actress. Jenna Coleman is as iconic as Elisabeth Sladen. And Ellis George is keeping everyone buzzing. This is the most striking new actress we have seen in a long while. To have such a cast and force them to act out propaganda is a sin.

Rita: I have found something very cool the other day. Geena Davis (#GeenaOnGender) recently spoke about how badly females are portrayed in the movies. And she showed some powerful examples – I want to share the hands outs now with the readers because they seem to be very poignant now that we are discussing “Kill the Moon” and its use of female characters.

Malicia: (looking at the hand outs) Only 27% of characters in movies are females. And here we had a female strong cast acting out somebody’s private (im)moral views. Such a wasted opportunity for a valuable show! Does that constitute a crime against humanity? A severe breach of viewer’s rights? Can I sue?

#GeenaOnGender hand out #1

#GeenaOnGender hand out #1

#GeenaOnGender hand out #2

#GeenaOnGender hand out #2

#GeenaOnGender hand out #3

#GeenaOnGender hand out #3

Rita: I think you would have to sue a lot of people because women are mistreated in the film industry on a regular basis. They are basically non existent on all levels! Here is BBC reporting on the same issue, with more shocking findings. Only 16% of script writers and directors in the industry are females. Apparently, situation in the UK is even worse. When did you last see a female script writer on Doctor Who?
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20141007-where-are-the-women-in-hollywood

Malicia: So, that is why you get such dreadful scripts like “Kill the Moon”. Do you think Peter Harness is aware of the situation?

Rita: I am sure Mr Harness would stumble upon the data we are quoting on social media, had he not ran away from Twitter like… um a Time Lord from an alien egg…

Malicia: Ah, never ending sexist stereotypes, derogatory use of female cast, views out of the dark ages. Mr Harness will have a lot of explaining to do in front of his mother come next family gathering. I would like to stop a bit on the message behind “Kill the Moon” because we haven’t touched upon this aspect yet.

Rita: The “pro-life” message. The whole episode is full of dreadful wording that could turn your stomach around. Doctor preaches about “making the right choice” and “moon putting on weight”, Courtney proclaims that a planet is “a baby” while Lundvik and Clara ramble about “having babies” and “killing babies”.

Malicia: We have a collection of screens documenting the level of propaganda that Mr Harness serves us in “Kill the Moon” just below. Please grab a paper bag…

Bad wording

Bad wording

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Rita: And this is our favorite screenshot – the close up of a monitor showing the moment when Clara stops the bombs. In case, you were dumb enough not to notice that the show is about abortion.

Very subtle message by script writer...

Very subtle message by script writer…

Malicia: It makes me want to swear in some really creative way…

Rita: There was a very good line in “Girl in a fireplace”. You can quote if you are Tennant fan-girl.

Malicia: Mr Harness – “you are brilliant, you are the best, you know why? Cause you’re so thick! You’re Mr. Thick Thick Thickety Thick-face from Thick-town, Thickania”.

Rita: Feeling any better?

Malicia: A lot.

Rita: Next to awful wording on the show, we have questionable actions. Since no compromise was reached between Captain Lundvik and Clara on what to do with the hatching alien, an appeal was issued towards Earth. Humans would vote to either let the being live or to kill it. If the alien was killed, the moon would remain intact and the Earth would not be exposed to a cosmic apocalypse. If the creature would hatch, there was a risk that the Earthlings would be devastated by the monster and the remains of the moon itself. Humans obviously decided on self perseverance yet in the last moment Clara stopped the bombs and allowed the creature to hatch, against the wishes of her entire kind. That was applauded by The Doctor once he arrived in the last minutes of the show.

Malicia: Or to put it in plain English: one “unborn” is much more important than any fully formed being already alive, even a whole planet with an entire species. Terrible message hammered bluntly into faces of millions of viewers.

Rita: Mr Harness wanted to create the ultimate moral dilemma: one life versus many. Only he failed miserably.

Malicia: Firstly because, when a child is being born (or in this regard – hatching) it is too late for abortion. Such procedure would kill a woman instantly. It is called infanticide and it is illegal. In a country that allows a choice, 90% of medical abortions happen in the first trimester when we deal with cells rather than fully developed fetus. If a late abortion happens it is mostly due to some traumatic occurrences. The most common – woman had been denied the access to safe and early medical procedure. Opponents of abortion love to paint a picture that abortion is a Babies Slaughterhouse nr 5 but the reality is so much different. Mr Harness yet decided to use this stereotype to his advantage.

Rita: Secondly, situation where you have to sacrifice one life to save many others is a well known ethical meta-model. And like every other philosophical meta-model it is very rare. Most of us will never face such choice in our life time. This meta model is also considered to be a paradox. Whovians love paradoxes – the impossible occurrences, the series is full of them. One life vs. many is a “lose-lose” scenario, you cannot find a way out, without a defeat.

Malicia: But Mr Harness serves us a sappy “happily ever after” at the end of the episode. Earth is saved and the alien flies away leaving a new egg in place of the moon. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so cruel. When you have to choose between one life and another, it should be left to those involved only. You cannot force a resolution on somebody without making much more damage. It is very curious that “pro-life” activists always try to make martyrs and survivors out of others, but not themselves. Perhaps Peter Harness would talk to real women who were forced to carry unwanted pregnancy to term and see what a happy ending they have. He could even write some real script about it. But why bother, so much easier to evoke a dilemma with no solution and trivialize it.

Rita: Exactly. Peter Harness shows us in “Kill the Moon” that there is only one solution to abortion: to carry pregnancy to term. After that, you are guaranteed a fairytale solution to all issues that may have arisen.

Malicia: In the name of this solution millions of women suffer. 800 women die every day due to lack of safe and standard medical procedures such as abortion, number of women affected by mental and physical scars in unknown. Mr Harness, two sources from WHO (World Health Organisation) and Amnesty International. This is how your cherished “pro-life” solution looks in practice:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/women-s-silent-killer-sexual-health-policies-found-lacking-worldwide-2013-02-13
www.amnesty.org/en/news/sexual-and-reproductive-rights-facts-and-figures-2013-02-14

Rita: Women rights are violated so often world wide that there is a term for fighting for it: reproductive justice. Bet you dear readers that you didn’t know that. We even bet your school sexual education (if you had one that is!) never mentioned it either. Why for? This only concerns half of the entire planet population. Who cares?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_justice

Malicia: What Mr Harness did with his “Kill the Moon” script was basically delivering a huge slap into women’s faces. Another reminder that females don’t matter: either as an actress, as a human being, as a person. They are just baby making machines who can be hurt or tortured and denied basic rights like right to self governance and the right to medical care. We don’t matter Mr Harness – only the fetuses matter (until they are born). Pretty much like the human kind didn’t matter in your story – just the alien in the egg.

Rita: Mr Harness you should be also aware of the fact that you have been discussed across extreme right blogs (we won’t mention them not to give them any web traffic, but surely you can Google one rightly wired or another). Well done here, Doctor Who is now being recognized as a political tool, especially in the US. No more science fiction – now we have Tea Party followers watching the show…

Malicia: And we are sure you will be delighted that the new fan base you brought into the series is having really humane approach to life. For example one blog that hailed you a “pro life fighter”, also advocates Amendment 67 in Colorado. It will not only ban all abortion in the state, it will also sentence women who had miscarriage to jail for a murder. Your version of the Doctor would definitely approve. Some reading:

http://www.voteno67.com/index.php/faqs/faqs
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jen-caltrider/hello-america-its-me-colorado_b_5870476.html

(good news here – it didn’t pass)

 Rita: Come to think of it, I believe Peter Harness took Doctor very seriously. He may be under the impression that he was a medical specialist, most likely a gynecologist.

We will now move to other aspects of the show, but our Choir wanted to voice their disapproval for the writer again.

Invisible Booing Choir: Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Rita: Thank you, Ladies.

Malicia: Leaving the propaganda aside. There are some ground work rules for writing. The first rule would be: Your story must be believable. It doesn’t matter where the story is taking place – it has to be logical and harmonious. A reader should believe everything that is happening in the story, it has to feel real. If the readers are asking questions (why? how?), the writer has failed and the universe he created has logical or scientific faults.

Rita: The story of “Kill the Moon” was killed (or should we say butchered?) by scientific mistakes the size of the moon itself. Since something as obvious as research before writing isn’t apparently so obvious, we recommend The BBC to hire a scientific adviser for the series. Brian Cox would be delighted, we are sure about that.

The Doctor Who couldn't count

The Doctor Who couldn’t count

#2

#2

 

#3

#3

Malicia: Let’s take a closer look at the scientific and logical errors in the episode.

Rita: The Doctor’s age – The Doctor in series 8 is, as he says in the trailer, over 2000 years old. He has been traveling for two millennia throughout the time and space, has seen the universe born and die; visited parallel words and the nothingness among the realms. He has become a legend, something of a (lonely) god. He is also a genius, an alien of knowledge and science, who adopted Earth as his second home.

Malicia: So, it is simply impossible that The Doctor would not know/not realize that the Moon is an egg. We have seen him on the moon with Martha Jones in “Smith and Jones”, but we can logically assume that he has been there many times before and knows it like the back of his hand.

Rita: If the episode was taking place somewhere else in the universe (or even in Earth’s alternative time line), we could have believed it, maybe. The Doctor is not a fool – he would have known long time ago if the moon was a giant egg. Please note that we don’t want to say that the Doctor is not capable of making a mistake. He is, but not an elementary mistake like that that because it borders on ignorance…

Malicia: Even if the Doctor is wrong, there’s always  a trusted companion he has, that can set him onto the right track.

Rita: Aye, The TARDIS. Doctor’s marvelous time machine has been referred to as the most powerful piece of technology in existence. Let’s say that the Doctor really made a mistake and never realized the moon was an egg. Errare Time Lordum Est. What about the TARDIS? Can the machine be fooled as well? With her powerful scanners and other timey-wimey unearthly equipment? Even less possible!

Malicia: Don’t forget about human technology. Humans are curious and have their own gadgets and ways to investigate the mysteries of the universe.

Rita: Good point. We might be just children compared to other races, but Humanity has enough knowledge not to mistake natural satellites for an egg. The moon’s structure has been checked multiple times and the results are easily available on the Internet:
http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/moon_core_chat.html#.VDqVrKJoFCU

Malicia: Denying climate changes or evolution these days will make you look silly. Some ideas, doesn’t matter how colorful or shocking, will always sound stupid. Egg as the moon is one of them.

Rita: Another aspect of the story that is absolutely Looney Tunes: the moon is gaining mass. This has to be one of the most ridiculous concepts introduced in the episode. The egg has been dormant for billions of years and suddenly it starts to grow. How it is gaining mass is never explained. During pregnancy, the baby is connected to the mother, is fed by her body and that’s how it grows. The embryos in normal eggs feed on the nutrient fluids inside the shell; they also need the right temperature and humidity to hatch. The moon is a planet; there is no warmth, no mother, nothing. We could say that this is an alien egg after all and maybe it is being fed by cosmic dust or it doesn’t need to eat at all, but again, it would have to be somewhere else in the universe and not our moon.

Lights are going out

Lights are going out

Malicia: I have an explanation for moon putting on the weight!

 Rita: Oh, really?

Malicia: Peter Harness not only skipped sexual education at school. He also failed basic maths, sciences and biology.

Rita: Then perhaps he should educate himself. He can for example start with this blog:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/10/06/slate_plus_doctor_who_podcast_episode_7_kill_the_moon.html

Malicia: ATalking about maths, the age of the moon is another faux pas of the episode.

Rita: Our Time Lord has some problems with basic counting. The moon is not 100 million years old…rather 4.5 billion years old. Wikipedia to the rescue, author dear…

Malicia: And how did you like the spiders? They were supposed to be the Classic Who monstrosities.

Rita: Bacteria in the form of carnivorous spiders – the egg is hatching and the bacteria feeding off the alien baby are running loose on the moon’s surface. I am not going to criticize the fact that the alien bacteria look like giant earth spiders and act exactly like them (i.e. create cobwebs to catch prey). What I truly find hard to digest is that the whole concept of spider bacteria is so cliché: they are not scared of humans (who are largely the same size or bigger), attack the characters on sight and eat human flash.

Malicia: The cherry on the top of the cake – you can kill them with any random cleaning detergent.

Rita: Imagine the same concept in other s-f classics. Ripley should have been given a bottle of Domestos instead of a gun. No Alien would survive.

Courtney kills 99% of bacteria

Courtney kills 99% of bacteria

Malicia: You know what irked me besides the abortion issue? The whole rescue mission with nuclear missiles. A group of astronauts, Earth’s last chance for survival arrives to an old abandoned space station with nothing else but nuclear missiles.

We have got WMD

We have got WMD

Rescue mission - blow it up!

Rescue mission – blow it up!

Rita: Their mission was to blow up the moon. It’s the lazy writing striking again. Middle grade school question: what happens when the moon is ripped to millions of pieces? In short – we are still doomed and blowing up the moon has not helped us a tiniest bit. It’s not a question of do we kill the poor alien or let it live. The effect of moon hatching or being blasted into oblivion would still be the same.

Great article on this question can be found here:
http://www.spaceanswers.com/solar-system/what-would-happen-if-we-blew-up-the-moon/

Malicia: And there was the light – this poor old abandoned space station should seriously consider suing Paul Harness for defamation. The writing is so illogical here it truly physically hurts when you are thinking about it. Group of astronauts enters a deserted, non operational space station and after a decade, just like that, they switch on the lights. There is no need to fix anything, replace the parts – you press the button and let there be light. Brilliant.

Lights on, common sense off

Lights on, common sense off

Rita: Did we mention the cliché interior design?

Malicia: I nearly forgot: Mexican flag, some tribal rags, a poncho…cultural sensitivity like in a Lidl hand-out when they have a Mexican week: http://euroviv.blogspot.com/2012/05/perks-of-shopping-lidl-margarita-recipe.html

Rita: Because Latin culture has nothing more to offer that few overused items. I have seen less stereotypes in Escrava Isaura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escrava_Isaura_(1976_telenovela) and María la del Barrio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_la_del_Barrio).

The Mexican space station was set up in 2039

The Mexican space station was set up in 2039

The Mexicans are not coming - they have been eaten

The Mexicans are not coming – they have been eaten

Space station (derogatory) interior

Space station (derogatory) interior

Malicia: It could have been a great opportunity to introduce some Latin actors in this episode. If Mexico was the last country to have a space mission on the moon and all the crew was feared dead or hurt, it would be logical to send somebody who was from their country or at least who spoke Spanish. Just in case if the was a need to communicate with the survivors in their mother tongue. But why bother with the details…

Rita: The script is full of such nonsense. Another example is the teleconference with humans on Earth. We see the Earth voting – Clara asks humans to make a decision: kill the creature or not. Then she sets up the rules. The Earth will vote by turning off the lights (to kill) or leaving them on (letting the alien live).

The voting

The voting

#2

#2

#3

#3

#4

#4

Malicia: And our impossible girl is standing by the window of the space shuttle for 45 minutes and … Well nothing!

Rita: To quote NASA: “The moon orbits the earth with a period of four weeks (a month) and during the orbit it always has the same side facing the earth.” It means that we can only see the only side of the moon during the lunar cycle. If we were standing on the moon, we could see only half of the Earth, not the whole planet and even then, we have to stand on the side of the moon that faces the Earth. If we were on the dark side of the moon (not visible from the Earth), we wouldn’t be able see our planet at all.

Malicia: Watching the Earth revolve in 45 minutes and seeing the lights going out is impossible, even for the impossible girl. Not to mention that half of the Earth is sleeping while the other one is awake and you will not be able to see the lights on that side of the globe from the space…

Rita: Clara would have to board the TARDIS and fly around Earth to see the entire planet. But as we could see, Doctor escaped from making the life changing decision and took TARDIS with him leaving Clara on the noon.

Malicia: One more thing, the first time we meet Clara in “Asylum of the Daleks”, she is portrayed as extremely smart girl, a genius. She was so smart that Daleks did a full conversion on her, instead of turning her into simple puppet. We wonder where that smart Clara is now as she is having problems with rather elementary geography and physics.

Clara stops the vote

Clara stops the vote

Rita: I believe we can give Clara a hand in here. NASA has a project called “STAR CHILD” dedicated to passing elementary knowledge about space to kids: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question58.html

We can also use the BBC archives to learn about Sun, Moon and rotating:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/9_10/earth_sun_moon.shtml

Malicia: Yes, that would definitely be very helpful, even for some script writers…

Rita: Let’s talk now about the egg itself and what’s inside. After ignoring the democratic vote she has proposed herself, Clara is saving the egg and lets it hatch. The egg breaks open and the shell miraculously disappears after the alien creature is out. The Doctor explains that the rest of the egg (or the moon) has just “disintegrated” but what he truly means is “disappeared into thin air”. The debris is just vanishing, like magic – again without any sensible explanation.

Malicia: Some commentators mentioned that it could have something to do with the creature blowing us a raspberry but we would rather not get into that discussion, thank you.

Rita: The baby alien has a nice pair of wings. Why it would need a pair of wings in space, is beyond our understanding.

The birth

The birth

#2

#2

#3

#3

#4

#4

Malicia: It is also very kind. It flies away in peace and leaves a new moon behind as a parting gift for the humanity. The new egg is identical as the old moon – it has the same shape, the same mass, is left in exactly the same places and even has the same surface.

Rita: Also, the new moon is created under 10 seconds – a new galactic record we are sure…

(Malicia and Rita look at each other in sudden silence. They look exhausted and given up. The Invisible Booing Choir would  like to add another Booooo but they also give up)

Malicia: Did we ever review such a mess before?

Rita: Once. Remember “The Dark Water” by Hideo Nakata?

Malicia: It was such a dreadful waste of public money. But “Kill the Moon” beats the juvenile mass murderer in a yellow raincoat in all departments. Congratulation Mr Harness, we haven’t reviewed such a crap program in twelve years.

Rita: We truly wish we could say that the crew, producers and fans were all happy and “Kill the Moon” became an instant classic. Unfortunately, while the newspaper papers and fellow reviewers gave it a healthy 7 stars out of 10, the viewers and scientists have panned it to Gallifrey and back. This episode has set the lowest scientific and story telling standards for the new series and it will take a long time before it is forgotten…

(There is a sudden ring of the telephone in the back ground)

Malicia: Hang on, dear readers. Somebody’s on the line.

(picks up the receiver)

– Hello? Yes, this is Vanadian Avenue. Who’s speaking?
– (…)
– No, no there must be some misunderstanding. We do not need a doctor; we are in excellent health…
– (…)
– What do you mean The Doctor? Doctor Who?
– (…)
– Ah I see… his Eleventh reincarnation… Where are you calling from?
– (…)
– Trenzalore? But how?
– (…)
– You reversed the polarity of the neutron flow? That sounds very wibbly – wobbly to me…
– (…)
– No, he is not here, but you can leave a message. We will pass it on.
– (…)
– Right, thank you Doctor. Just… don’t travel alone.

(puts the receiver down)

Mr Harness, the Doctor just called from Trenzalore. He wanted to tell you that leaving after one episode is good, but never coming back to the series is better.

So basically,
Run.

 Epilogue:

Hand on the heart – we hope this is the last time we had to deal with dubious morality on the show. Having strong views is one thing, turning Doctor Who into propaganda machine is another. There is time and space to discuss birds and bees, aliens and eggs, female reproductive rights but Saturday evening on BBC is not one of them.

Morality that kills, wounds and maims millions of women world wide is not moral at all, on any level.
Dear script writers – if you plan to use eggs in the future episodes of the series, kindly stick to using them for soufflés.
We want to leave you dear readers with two great articles that would make much better story line than “Kill the Moon”:

http://www.iflscience.com/space/who-owns-moon
http://www.iflscience.com/space/what-if-moon-was-disco-ball

Thank you for reading.
Mal and Rita

Curtain falls. Invisible Booing Choir continues to boooo.

SuperMoon that went viral

Ahooy!

We don’t usually believe in horoscopes, but 2014 is a very strange year. The Year of the Horse in Chinese astrology has been anything but boring – from Olympics in Sochi, unrest in the Middle East, Palestine-Israeli conflict to ebola outbreak in Africa – for the last ten months, we have been sitting on edge, hanging onto our seats and trying not to fall off.

A lot has been happening on Earth and even more has happened around us, in the universe. This past summer has been truly extraordinary for the stargazers. With three super moons in a row (July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th) and  Perseids Meteor Shower (12 and 13 of August) this astronomical year will be a year to remember.

You don’t have to be a NASA member, or a proud owner of a big telescope to enjoy some spectacular views. All you need is a good lens and a Canon camera. Promise, a few skilled shots and your vision of the Moon may  go viral.

Malta seems to be the new Internet hot spot. Whatever happens on the island is quickly photographed, described, shared and is taking the Internet community by storm. Just few days ago, we have posted a big selection of screens from Gostra competition that went viral for the second time in just 11 months. Today, we want to show you the pictures of three super moons taken by Darrin Zammit Lupi. We don’t know how to explain this phenomenon, but Darrin’s shots of Maltese sky were described as the most striking and were published in every respectable magazine. Do you know that some photographers have to wait years to be considered for a double spread in Time Magazine? Darrin didn’t have to wait even half  a day! Time Magazine’s editors decided to print the pictures straight away upon seeing them – it is a huge and once-in-a-supermoon honor.

Previous pictures that went viral:
Gostra 2013: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/when-a-photo-goes-viral/
Gostra 2014: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/when-the-picture-goes-viral-again-gostra-competition-2014

We wanted to include all websites that mentioned Darrin’s photographs, but  there are thousands articles out there! Please take a look at the most prestigious media that once again helped our little but beautiful island to  become a center of attention. Have fun!

Super Moon entire gallery was published at Photoshelter – Darrin Zammit Lupi 18th of August 2014:
http://darrinzammitlupi.photoshelter.com/gallery/Supermoon-and-Fireworks/G0000HpFtOFuCZjk

Darrin Zammit Lupi Photoshelter-Supermoon and Fireworks 18th of August 2014

Darrin Zammit Lupi Photoshelter-Supermoon and Fireworks 18th of August 2014

Reuters Story Shooting the Supermoon:
http://widerimage.reuters.com/story/shooting-the-supermoon

Reuters Wide image - Shooting the SuperMoon

Reuters Wide image – Shooting the SuperMoon 18th of August 2014

Reuters Full Focus: August 15th 2014:
http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2014/08/15/editors-choice-53/#a=13

Reuters Full focus 15th of August 2014

Reuters Full Focus 15th of August 2014

Reuters Pictures of the Week:
http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR42K2V#a=13

euters-com-news-pictures-slideshow 17th of August 2014

Reuters Pictures of the Week  17th of August 2014

Reuters Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Reuters/photos/a.363265930360436.87264.114050161948682/795626700457688/?type=1&relevant_count=1

Reuters Facebook 11th of August 2014

Reuters Facebook 11th of August 2014

Reuters on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/498838253739708416/photo/1

Reuters on Twitter, 11th of August 2014

Reuters on Twitter, 11th of August 2014

Times of Malta- Photos of the Week:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140816/pictures/photos-of-the-week-times-of-malta.531839

The Times of Malta - Pictures of the week 16th of August 2014

The Times of Malta – Pictures of the week 16th of August 2014

Times of Malta – A moon with a view:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140812/pictures/A-moon-with-a-view.531527

Times of Malta  - A Moon with a view 12th of August 2014

Times of Malta – A Moon with a view 12th of August 2014

Herman Grech on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Earthling70/status/500947864760369152

Herman Grech Times of Malta President on Twitter 17th of August 2014

Herman Grech Times of Malta President on Twitter 17th of August 2014

Time Magazine (picture number 10):
http://time.com/3099968/supermoon-astronomy-earth/

The Time Magazine 11th of August 2014

The Time Magazine online 11th of August 2014

The Time Magazine spread - printed version

The Time Magazine spread – printed version

Wall Street Journal (pictures 6 and 12):
http://online.wsj.com/articles/photos-a-super-moon-rises-1407709530

The Wall Street Journal picture 6  11th of August 2014

The Wall Street Journal picture 6 11th of August 2014

The Wall Street Journal picture 12, 11th of August 2014

The Wall Street Journal picture 12, 11th of August 2014

The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/gallery/2014/aug/10/supermoon-skies-perigee-around-the-world-in-pictures?CMP=fb_gu

The Guardian - Supermoon lights up the skiesaround the world in pictures 10th of August 2014

The Guardian – Supermoon lights up the skiesaround the world in pictures 10th of August 2014

And another article from the Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/11/in-praise-of-supermoons

The Guardian - In praise of ... supermoons 11th of August 2014

The Guardian – In praise of … supermoons 11th of August 2014

Telegraph (pictures 19, 20, 21):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/picture-galleries/11025235/Supermoon-Photos-from-around-the-world-of-the-full-moon.html?frame=3002210

The Telegraph  - Photos from around the world of the full moon 11th of August 2014

The Telegraph – Photos from around the world of the full moon 11th of August 2014

The Telegraph  - Photos from around the world of the full moon 11th of August 2014 page 2

The Telegraph – Photos from around the world of the full moon 11th of August 2014 page 2

The Telegraph - close up 1

The Telegraph – close up 1

The Telegraph close up 2

The Telegraph close up 2

The Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2721605/Once-supermoon-Skies-world-lit-night-largest-moon-20-years-reached-closest-point-orbit-Earth.html

The Daily Mail  - Once in a supermoon 11th of August 2014

The Daily Mail – Once in a supermoon 11th of August 2014

Newsweek Technology:
http://www.newsweek.com/quora-question-who-controls-real-estate-moon-and-other-planets-271630

Newsweek Technology - Quora Question: Who Controls Real Estate on the Moon and Other Planets? 21st of September 2014

Newsweek Technology – Quora Question: Who Controls Real Estate on the Moon and Other Planets? 21st of September 2014

Sky News (picture 5 and 9):
http://news.sky.com/story/1316230/supermoon-lights-up-sky-in-stunning-space-pics

Sky News  - Supermoon Lights Up Sky In Stunning Space Pics 10th of August 2014

Sky News – Supermoon Lights Up Sky In Stunning Space Pics 10th of August 2014

BBC News (video slide at 0:50):
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28748915

BBC News 11th of August 2014

BBC News 11th of August 2014

BBC News close up 1

BBC News close up 1

BBC News close up 2

BBC News close up 2

NBC News:

NBC News - Summer's Biggest, Brightest Supermoon Lights Up the Night , 11th of August 2014

NBC News – Summer’s Biggest, Brightest Supermoon Lights Up the Night , 11th of August 2014

NBC News Science:
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/month-space-see-supermoon-other-super-sights-n192001

NBC Science - Super moon and other super sighs 31st of August 2014

NBC Science – Super moon and other super sighs 31st of August 2014

NBC News Pictures on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/NBCNewsPictures/status/506049752228962304/photo/1

NBCNews on Twitter - 31st of August 2014

NBCNews on Twitter – 31st of August 2014

ITV News 9th of September:
http://www.itv.com/news/2014-09-10/from-heathrow-to-istanbul-supermoon-lights-up-the-night-sky/

ITV News 10th of September 2014

ITV News 10th of September 2014

CBS News (picture 12):
http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/august-supermoon-wows/12/

CBS News  - Supermoon lights up the night sky 10th of August 2014

CBS News – Supermoon lights up the night sky 10th of August 2014

ABC News:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/spectacular-photos-supermoon/story?id=24926198

ABC News 11th of August 2014

ABC News 11th of August 2014

Al Jazeera (picture 10, 18, 23, 26, 27):
http://aljazeera.com.galleries.newscred.com/gallery_slideshow/950fae7869237f3e7bc1cf0c59b4dfdf?width=1025&disable_link_to_hosted_page=1&height=771&show_related=0&style_id=1305214650909

Al Jazeera News published 11th of August 2014 picture 10

Al Jazeera News published 11th of August 2014 picture 10

Al Jazeera News picture 18

Al Jazeera News picture 18

Al Jazeera News picture 23

Al Jazeera News picture 23

Al Jazeera News picture 26

Al Jazeera News picture 26

Al Jazeera News picture 27

Al Jazeera News picture 27

Arab News (via Facebook page):
https://www.facebook.com/TheArabNews/photos/a.10152672611302125.1073742028.10250877124/10152672614577125/?type=1

Arab news via Facebook 11th of August 2014

Arab news via Facebook 11th of August 2014

International Business Times:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/supermoon-best-photos-around-world-space-station-1460636

International Business Times - Supermoon: The Best Photos from Around the World - and the Space Station 11th of August 2014

International Business Times – Supermoon: The Best Photos from Around the World – and the Space Station 11th of August 2014

Metro (three pictures):
http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/10/gallery-supermoon-pictures-from-around-the-world-4827372/

Metro UK - Gallery: Supermoon pictures from around the world 10th of August 2014

Metro UK – Gallery: Supermoon pictures from around the world 10th of August 2014

Metro picture 1

Metro picture 1

Metro picture 2

Metro picture 2

Metro picture 3

Metro picture 3

Irish Times (two images):
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/views-of-the-supermoon-1.1893557

Irish Times - Views of the supermoon 11th of August 2014

Irish Times – Views of the supermoon 11th of August 2014

The Irish Times picture 2

The Irish Times picture 2

Go Metro Ireland:
http://gometro.ie/2014/08/the-supermoon-in-pictures-around-the-world/

Go Metro Ireland - The supermoon in pictures, around the world 11th of  August 2014

Go Metro Ireland – The supermoon in pictures, around the world 11th of August 2014

The Globe and Mail (picture 11):
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/multimedia/camera-club/in-photos/the-best-images-from-the-past-24-hours/article19983781/

The Globe and Mail - The best images from 10th of August 2014

The Globe and Mail – The best images from 10th of August 2014

Paris Match (pictures 1,2,3,6,13):
http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Environnement-et-sciences/En-images/La-super-Lune-illumine-la-planete-579649#

Paris Match  - La

Paris Match – La “super Lune” illumine la planète 11th August 2014

El Periodico Spain:
http://www.elperiodico.com/es/galerias/sociedad/asi-visto-superluna-mundo/73771.shtml?12#

El Periodico - Así se ha visto la superluna en el mundo 11th of August 2014

El Periodico – Así se ha visto la superluna en el mundo 11th of August 2014

Metro Gazeta Wyborcza Poland (pictures 2,3 and 4):
http://metro.gazeta.pl/Lifestyle/5,135320,16458926,Wyjatkowy_Superksiezyc__To_wlasnie_teraz_jest_najblizszy.html?i=1

Metro Gazeta Wyborcza Poland - Wyjątkowy Superksiężyc. To właśnie teraz jest najbliższy Ziemi, największy i najpiękniejszy 11 August 2014

Metro Gazeta Wyborcza Poland – Wyjątkowy Superksiężyc. To właśnie teraz jest najbliższy Ziemi, największy i najpiękniejszy 11 August 2014

RT News Russia:
http://rt.com/news/186332-red-harvest-supermoon-september/

RT News  - Red Harvest Supermoon 9th of september

RT News – Red Harvest Supermoon 9th of september

Buzzfeed (pix 23):
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/stunning-pictures-of-the-supermoon-from-around-the-world?bffb

BuzzFeed - 24 Mesmerizing Pictures Of The Supermoon From Around The World 11th of August 2014

BuzzFeed – 24 Mesmerizing Pictures Of The Supermoon From Around The World 11th of August 2014

Totally Cool Pix (pictures 10, 24, 25, 26):
http://totallycoolpix.com/2014/08/an-awesome-supermoon/

Totally Cool Pix 11th of August 2014

Totally Cool Pix 11th of August 2014

The Atlantic:
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/08/supermoon-2014/100791/

The Atlantic - In Focus  SuperMoon  - 11th of august 2014

The Atlantic – In Focus SuperMoon – 11th of August 2014

The Atlantic Close Up

The Atlantic Close Up

Red Eye Chicago:
http://photos.redeyechicago.com/chi-supermoon-around-the-world-photos-20140810/

Redeye Chicago Supermoon around the world photos 10th of August 2014

Redeye Chicago Supermoon around the world photos 10th of August 2014

Chicago Tribune:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-supermoon-valletta-wre0021049571-20140908-photo.html

Chicago Tribune - Supermoon in Malta 9th of September 2014

Chicago Tribune – Supermoon in Malta 9th of September 2014

Boston News 11th of August 2014:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2014/08/supermoon_photographs_from_around_the_world.html

Boston.com - The Big Picture: Supermoon photographs from round the world 11th August 2014

Boston.com – The Big Picture: Supermoon photographs from round the world 11th August 2014

Baltimore Sun (pictures 3, 10):
http://darkroom.baltimoresun.com/2014/08/supermoon-seen-around-the-world/#3

Darkroom at The Baltimore Sun  - Supermoon seen around the world 10th of August 2014

Darkroom at The Baltimore Sun – Supermoon seen around the world 10th of August 2014

Toronto Sun (pictures 5, 10, 22, 23, 24):
http://www.torontosun.com/2014/08/11/supermoon-and-meteor-shower-set-to-light-up-sunday-sky

Toronto Sun - 11th of august 2014

Toronto Sun – 11th of august 2014

Toronto Sun picture 5

Toronto Sun picture 5

Toronto Sun picture 10

Toronto Sun picture 10

Toronto Sun picture 22

Toronto Sun picture 22

Toronto Sun picture 23

Toronto Sun picture 23

Toronto Sun picture 24

Toronto Sun picture 24

LFPress Canada 11th of August (picture 1,5, 10, 22, 23, 24, 25):
http://www.lfpress.com/2014/08/11/supermoon-and-meteor-shower-set-to-light-up-sunday-sky

LF Press  - Supermoon lights up the sky 11th of August 2014

LF Press – Supermoon lights up the sky 11th of August 2014

CNews (pictures 1,2,6,11,23,24,25):
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Microgalleries/2014/08/11/21865691.html#1

C News Quebec Amazing photos of the supermoon 11th of August 2014

C News Quebec Amazing photos of the Supermoon 11th of August 2014

C News Quebec picture 1

C News Quebec picture 1

C News Quebec picture 2

C News Quebec picture 2

C News Quebec picture 6

C News Quebec picture 6

C News Quebec picture 11

C News Quebec picture 11

C News Quebec picture 23

C News Quebec picture 23

C News Quebec picture 24

C News Quebec picture 24

C News Quebec picture 25

C News Quebec picture 25

Times of India:
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-photo-blog/35-stunning-pictures-of-the-supermoon-from-around-the-world/

Times of India - 35 stunning pictures of the supermoon from around the world, 11th of August 2014

Times of India – 35 stunning pictures of the supermoon from around the world, 11th of August 2014

The Daily Star Lebanon 10th of September 2014:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/PhotoGallery.aspx?id=1223#axzz3GJUYfq4p

The Daily Star- Lebanon 10th of September 2014

The Daily Star- Lebanon 10th of September 2014

Inet Detik interview with Darrin Zammit Lupi:
http://inet.detik.com/read/2014/08/20/094028/2667084/1277/fofografer-kawakan-pun-gugup-saat-motret-supermoon

Fofografer Kawakan pun Gugup Saat Motret Supermoon - 20th of August 2014

Fofografer Kawakan pun Gugup Saat Motret Supermoon – 20th of August 2014

More information about Detikcom:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DetikCom

IEYE News Cayman Islands 11th of August 2014:
http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/supermoon-photographs-from-around-the-world/

Ieye News Cayman Islands - Supermoon photographs from around the world- 11th August 2014

Ieye News Cayman Islands – Supermoon photographs from around the world- 11th August 2014

Just to remind you dear readers, Darrin is working on his new project called Islelanders. Please use the below links to spread the word and support one of the most talented photographers we have.

Darrin Zammit Lupi:

Official website:  www.darrinzammitlupi.com/
Reuters blog:      http://blogs.reuters.com/darrinzammitlupi/
Facebook:            https://www.facebook.com/darrin.zammitlupi
Portfolio:             https://www.facebook.com/DarrinZammitLupiPhotography
Twitter:                https://twitter.com/darrinzl
Instagram:         http://instagram.com/darrinzl

Islelanders project:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/islelanders
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/islelanders

There is not much else that can be added really – pictures like those are not worth just thousands of words, but millions.
Share them with your friends and let the tourists know how beautiful the night skies look like in the Mediterranean.
Have a lovely evening and we shall see you soon! New Season of Doctor Who is going strong as well and you can expect some  very fiery statements from us soon!

Sleep tight and dream of the moon!
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

******UPDATE 15.12.2014*******

As the end of the year is approaching quickly, the media are working on their top 10’s, 20’s, 50’s and 100’s of the most fascinating and the most interesting things of the last 12 months. Time Magazine is the first one to introduce a list of the best pictures of the year and guess what – our Maltese Super Moon has been featured at number 8!

Darrin’s photographs are featured here every year so it’s not a big surprise. It’s just good to see the moon going viral…again.

Time Magazine editors present an unranked selection of the best 100 images of the year:

http://time.com/3599787/top-100-photos-of-2014/

Time magazine selection on 15th of December 2014

Time Magazine selection on 15th of December 2014

Bigger version can be seen here:

Supermoon over Malta - picture number 8 in Time Magazine

Supermoon over Malta – picture number 8 in Time Magazine

Have fun!
R+M

******UPDATE 01.08.2015*******

It`s August already, and we thought a small update was in order. If you were waiting for August Moon ball 2015, look above! Earthlings are about to enjoy a rare, second full moon in a month or so called Blue Moon. The views will be stunning, so do not miss it! Unfortunately we are not sure if this year we will have any photos going viral. But do not despair. Our Super Moon from 2014 is still making rounds.  If you don’t believe us, look to the screenshot below.

Tweet by Ashley Byford-Bates, July 13, 2015

Tweet by Ashley Byford-Bates, July 13, 2015

This is a tweet from Global Head of Reuters Pictures and Archive Products Mr. Ashley Byford -Bates. What a surprise to learn that  photo taken exactly one year ago, is now an archive favorite among Reuters clients! If this is not a thing to boast about in your resume, then we don’t know what is!

Old newsroom saying goes that you can sell your photos three times: right after taking the image, a week later and as a part of newspaper`s archives. And we cant find a better example how true old journalistic sayings are.

We will investigate if there were any other mentions of the Super Moon from last year, but for now we will lie under the moon and dream.

R+M

When the picture goes viral again – Gostra competition 2014

Hello dear readers!

It’s hard to imagine, but a whole year has passed since Gostra- man has taken the virtual world by storm! So much has happened since then – Mr Daniel Caruana has seen his face published in the most popular newspapers in every corner of our globe, has been featured on BBC News, radio talk shows, various TV programs and in a corporate calendar. The picture taken on 25th of August 2013 has become a legend – in the future Darrin Zammit Lupi’s picture will be exhibited as one of the most iconic images of this decade. And Mr Caruana’s children and grandchildren will be remembering how proud he was feeling on that day.

If you’d like to see the international coverage for the Gostra competition from last year, please see the link below.  It is still one of our most popular blog entries written and literally thousands of people have stopped by to look at the gathered screenshots:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/when-a-photo-goes-viral/

For his contribution to promotion of Malta on the international scene, Mr Caruana should receive the National Order of Merit – the highest decoration of the Republic. Not only has he popularized the oldest sport in the Mediterranean, but also brought the attention to the smallest state in the European Union.  We have spoken to many visitors in Malta and in the UK – some especially booked their holidays to see the Gostra competition – this is the power of one single shot!

Twelve months later, the Gostra pictures are striking again. Darrin Zammit Lupi  has been covering the competition this year as well, and the international press have picked up his pictures straight away. Here we go: from Europe to China, from The Middle East to Australia – Gostra 2014 has gone viral all over again.

Should we be surprised? Not at all – great quality will always be appreciated.

Here is the collection of screens we have come across this year. We have skipped many others as it is impossible to collect everything – but please enjoy this small selection!

Reuters News:
http://pictures.reuters.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=2C0408WRGGEEL

Reuters News 24th of August 2014

Reuters News 24th of August 2014

Reuters Gallery:
http://www.reutersgallery.com/?mode=view&id=8718

Reuters Gallery 25th of August 2014

Reuters Gallery 25th of August 2014

Reuters Japan:
http://jp.reuters.com/news/pictures/rpSlideshows?articleId=JPRTR43MR7#a=7

Reuters Japan 24th of August 2014

Reuters Japan 24th of August 2014

Reuters on Twitter 24th of August 2014:
https://twitter.com/reuterspictures/status/503749880645316609

Reuters re-twitted a link to the picture  on  24th August 2014

Reuters re-twitted a link to the picture on 24th August 2014

Time Magazine Pictures of the Week (photo number 4):
http://time.com/3269104/pictures-of-the-week-22/

The Time Magazine -Pictures of the week 22nd - 31st of August 2014

The Time Magazine -Pictures of the week 22nd – 31st of August 2014

Times of Malta:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140830/pictures/photos-of-the-week-times-of-malta.533517

The Times of Malta  - Photos of the week 30th of August 2014

The Times of Malta – Photos of the week 30th of August 2014

Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/day-in-photos/2014/08/25/c31a5fbe2c4c-11e4-9b98-848790384093_gallery.html#item0

Washington Post 25th of August 2014

Washington Post 25th of August 2014

Washington Post  – close up at the picture at Pictures of the Day gallery

Washington Post  - Picture of the Day Gallery

Washington Post – Picture of the Day Gallery

CBS News (picture 35):
http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/photos-of-the-week-aug-23-29/35/

CBS News 29th August 2014

CBS News 29th August 2014

The Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/theweekinpictures/11077024/The-week-in-pictures-5-September-2014.html?frame=3022783

Telegraph UK 5 September 2014

Telegraph UK 5 September 2014

Yahoo UK and Ireland News:
https://uk.cars.yahoo.com/photos/alien-creature-mystery-solved-in-south-africa-1373865179-slideshow/man-slips-off-gostra-pole-covered-grease-during-photo-040746254.html

Yahoo UK and Ireland News on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo UK and Ireland News on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo News International:
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/man-grabs-flag-slips-off-gostra-pole-covered-photo-212956252.html;_ylt=AwrBEiLJcPpTO04A1QXRtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTB1MWRmOTQyBHBvcwMyBHNlYwNpbWFnZQRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–

Yahoo International News on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo International News on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo India:
https://in.finance.yahoo.com/photos/humpback-whales-at-the-uramba-bahia-malaga-natural-park-slideshow/man-slips-off-gostra-pole-covered-grease-during-photo-040746254.html

Yahoo India on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo India on 25th of August 2014

Yahoo Sport News UK:
https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/photos/man-clutches-flag-falls-off-gostra-pole-covered-photo-194358947.html

Yahoo Sport News August 31st 2014

Yahoo Sport News August 31st 2014

The Independent (Ireland):
http://www.independent.ie/incoming/the-world-in-pictures-30550800.html

The Independent (Ireland) 5th of September 2014

The Independent (Ireland) 5th of September 2014

Voice of America News:
http://www.voanews.com/media/photogallery/august-25-2014-day-in-photos/2427522.html

Voice of America News August 25 2014

Voice of America News August 25 2014

The Atlantic:
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/08/photos-of-the-week-8-24-8-29/100801/

The Atlantic - In Focus 28th of August 2014

The Atlantic – In Focus 28th of August 2014

The Week:
http://theweek.com/article/index/267316/the-weeks-best-photojournalism

The Week - Best Photojournalism 29th of August 2014

The Week – Best Photojournalism 29th of August 2014

Business Insider:
http://www.businessinsider.com/opening-bell-august-25-2014-8

Business Insider 25th of August 2014

Business Insider 25th of August 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald:
http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/national/clique/best-of-the-world–august-26-2014-20140825-3eapi.html?aggregate=&selectedImage=3

The Sydney Morning Herald 25th of August 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald 25th of August 2014

MSN News:
http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/topstories/best-pictures-of-the-week-september-5-2014/ss-BB1t20L#image=15

MSN  - Best pictures of the week 5th of September 2014

MSN News – Best pictures of the week 5th of September 2014

The Christian Science Monitor (picture 17):
http://www.csmonitor.com/Photo-Galleries/Photos-of-the-Day/2014/Photos-of-the-day-08-25#849462

Christian Science Monitor 25th of August 2014

Christian Science Monitor 25th of August 2014

News Austra:
http://www.news.at/a/bilder-26-08-2014/5057496

News Austria 26th August 2014

News Austria 26th August 2014

Europe 1 France:
http://www.europe1.fr/international/monsieur-pleine-lune-fait-le-menage-et-un-drole-de-jeu-maltais-2216105

Europe1 (France) 29th of August 2014

Europe1 (France) 29th of August 2014

Liberation France:
http://www.liberation.fr/photographie/2014/08/25/regardez-l-actualite_1086404?photo_id=671904

Liberation France - Photographie 25th of August 2014

Liberation France – Photographie 25th of August 2014

Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) Belgium:
http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/9097/Wereld/photoalbum/detail/2022997/1437752/1/Maltesers-beklimmen-de-gostra.dhtml

HLN Belgium 28th of August 2014

HLN Belgium 28th of August 2014

El Mundo Spain:
http://www.elmundo.es/album/internacional/2014/08/29/53fdb35822601dab348b4573_5.html

El Mundo 28th of August 2014

El Mundo 28th of August 2014

Tumbl Hot Search of the Day: Gostra
https://www.tumblr.com/search/gostra

Tumbl Hot Search of the Day: Gostra - 1st of September 2014

Tumbl Hot Search of the Day: Gostra – 1st of September 2014

Tempo Indonesia:
http://www.tempo.co/read/beritafoto/20241/Gostra-Lomba-Panjat-Pinang-di-Eropa-Selatan/3

Tempo_Indonesia 25th of August 2014

Tempo_Indonesia 25th of August 2014

Sindonews Indonesia:
http://photo.sindonews.com/view/8695/lomba-panjat-tiang

Sindonews Indonesia 1st of September 2014

Sindonews Indonesia 1st of September 2014

Merdeka News Indonesia:
http://www.merdeka.com/foto/dunia/perlombaan-unik-panjat-pinang-ala-eropa.html

Merdeka News 31st of August 2014

Merdeka News 31st of August 2014

Economic Times India:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/slideshows/day-in-pics/august-25-2014/a-man-slips-off-the-gostra-a-pole-covered-in-grease/slideshow/40862822.cms

Economic Times India 25th of August 2014

Economic Times India 25th of August 2014

Jackarta Globe India:
http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/multimedia/eyewitness/gostra/

The Jakarta Globe 26th of August 2014

The Jakarta Globe 26th of August 2014

South China Morning:
http://www.scmp.com/photos/recent/all/1580787

South China Morning News 26th of August 2014

South China Morning News 26th of August 2014

China Daily:
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014-08/25/content_18482325_3.htm

China Daily 25th of August 2014

China Daily 25th of August 2014

Trade Arabia:
http://www.tradearabia.com/news/PIC_264223.html

Trade Arabia 25th of August 2014

Trade Arabia 25th of August 2014

If you have been mesmerized by Darrin’s beautiful images, soon you will have a chance to see more of his excellent photos. He is currently working on his latest project called Islanders – a photo-book summarizing a decade of his life spent documenting the struggles and plight of immigrants and asylum seekers. The project is supported by the Malta Arts Fund, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Avantech – Canon and M.Demajo Group.

Darrin Zammit Lupi:

Official website:  www.darrinzammitlupi.com/
Reuters blog:      http://blogs.reuters.com/darrinzammitlupi/
Facebook:            https://www.facebook.com/darrin.zammitlupi
Portfolio:              https://www.facebook.com/DarrinZammitLupiPhotography
Twitter:                https://twitter.com/darrinzl
Instagram:           http://instagram.com/darrinzl

Islelanders project:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/islelanders
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/islelanders

Please come back soon as we have some seriously unearthly images to show you!
Malta is on the roll – it’s not only Gostra that recently went viral!

We won’t say anything more, you will have to come and see for yourselves!
Have a splendid day!

Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz