It’s Red Nose Day on Friday 13th March so look out for face painting from 10.00-12.00 in the Information Store entrance from our fabulous face painter Avril, and check out our Pinterest page featuring the best of British comedians.
Our DVD review this week is a bit of an odd one – one of my favourite Red Nose Day memories was the ridiculous and brilliant Doctor Who parody from 1999, “Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death”, starring Rowan Atkinson, Julia Sawalha and Jonathan Pryce as well as a host of other cameos. So we’re featuring Classic Doctor Who and Rowan Atkinson’s famous turn as Mr. Bean.
One of Britain’s best science fiction shows is Doctor Who, the story of a Time Lord adventurer who travels through time and space in a blue police box and has starred in more than 800 episodes of the internationally-known TV series. He’s an alien with two hearts, a sonic screwdriver and a know-it-all attitude. Often accompanied by companions of all ages and even including a robot dog called K9 (of course), the Doctor also regenerates when he would otherwise die, meaning that to date he has been played by 12 actors as part of the main continuity and regeneration cycle.
We have DVDs of some really classic Doctor Who from the original series that ran from 1963-1989, including ‘The Keeper of Traken’, ‘City of Death’, ‘Logopolis’, ‘Castrovalva’ and ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, as well as the tenth anniversary special that brought together the first three doctors from the series, ‘The Three Doctors’. The format of bringing together as many of the recent Doctors as possible has been repeated many times since, including in the new series (which started in 2005). Catch up on some classic Who!
For more of the Doctor’s antics, check out our dedicated Doctor Who section in QUICK READS. You can tell which books they are because they have a ‘?’ on the spine!
Rowan Atkinson is best known for two comedy shows: Mr. Bean and Blackadder. Mr. Bean is probably his most famous role internationally (mainly because most people don’t realise that he voiced the hornbill Zazu in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’!), and has been expanded into two films, an animated series and books. You may also recognise him from the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony! Mr. Bean lives with his teddy and drives around in a mini, trying to live an ordinary life, but somehow things always seem to go wrong. He is always cheerful and always trying to make the best of things, though! Mr. Bean is a tribute to Atkinson’s comedy brilliance as he rarely speaks in the series and uses a lot of physical comedy influenced by silent movie stars like Jacques Tati. Considering Rowan Atkinson is also famous for his witty character Blackadder, and most modern comedy is focused on quick-fire banter, Mr. Bean is a hilarious exploration of how slapstick and physical humour can still be funny in the hands of a great comedian. I loved watching Mr. Bean when I was a kid and it’s still great fun now!
Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death
While we don’t have a DVD of ‘Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death’, Comic Relief still has all of their old sketches from past Red Nose Day events on their Youtube page. Relive years gone by with these sketches, and while you’re there, watch Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death. It’s actually quite significant in the chronicles of Doctor Who, as it was the first Who-related credit for the current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, it features the final Dalek performance of Roy Skelton, the longest-serving voice artist for the Daleks across the show’s run, and Richard E. Grant, who provided a cameo as a regeneration of the Doctor, later played the Doctor in a flash-animated series commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the series. Richard Curtis, the executive producer of the sketch, was one of the founders of Comic Relief (along with comedian Lenny Henry), and anyone who’s been longing for a female Doctor Who, rejoice, because in ‘Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death’, there’s a cameo that suggests Steven Moffat might not be as against the idea as people assume!
Watch it here on the official Red Nose Day Youtube page.
Learn more about Comic Relief and the great work they do for charities around the world on their website and in Comic Relief by Julia Brown (BOOK ZONE 361.7632).
Drop in to the Information Store from 10.00-12.00 to have your face painted!
Don’t forget to watch the Red Nose Day TV special this Friday on BBC1 and catch up on Red Nose Day activities and programs on their website: http://www.rednoseday.com/