Did a word count on the unfinished first draft of the thesis thus far, and it's currently on about 12,000 words, minus the conclusion, which I won't write until everything else is completed. I feel like I'm in a good place at this point, with a little less than three months to go. I know what chapters need the most work, and where I can elaborate. It's just a matter of fighting off writer's block and staying on track. Think I can have the first draft of the methodology/scholarship chapter done by Wednesday, which means the basic first draft will be done, and I can start fixing up everything for a new and improved second draft. I'm feeling rather encouraged that I'm ahead of the schedule in this aspect.
Also, I really need to do something about getting a flight and accomodation in Sydney for My Fair Lady. Not too concerned with that though, since it's still a while away. Even though I'm going about a month before the thesis' due date, I'm not too worried. It's three days, and by that point I should be starting to finalize everything and going over it with a fine tooth comb.
In other news, I ended up buying the dvd of 'Ancient Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire' off eBay from a seller in Thailand. I took a bit of a gamble considering his feedback wasn't great, but it seems to have paid off, because both discs are in fact all regions and work on the dvd player. Will probably watch a couple of episodes this week, since the Olympics has meant that there's pretty much nothing worth watching on commercial tv at the moment.
But here are the weekly reviews for what I am watching at the moment...
Well, it was about damn time we saw an orgy in Rome. Now this show can be considered on an equal foothold with I, Claudius! Agrippa is still a wuss though, no matter how noble and in love with Octavia he is. Maecenas, on the other hand, is ok by me. There should be more Maecenas in this show.
And more Lepidus, for that matter. Way to get shunted, and what a pity, considering it's Ronan Vibert filling out the Roman army uniform (and I totally did a double take when he first appeared, because I swear he looked just like Ciaran Hinds!). They've just turned him into this easily-bullied posh guy. He was Caesar's friend! Not to mention Brutus' brother-in-law. He deserves more action.
Cicero got pwned badly in this episode. :( He went to the trouble of supporting Octavian and giving him a big intro into the senate and Octavian's like 'Whatevs. My intimidating army: let me show you them.'
Pullo and Vorenus' plotlines are still kind of meh. I feel bad for Vorenus that he's trying so hard to win his children's trust back without much success. To be honest though, I kind of wish they'd put him and Pullo back in the army. Vorenus as a crime lord with Pullo as his deputy just isn't the same.
I loved the end scene with Antony and Octavian embracing. It just felt right. And Atia's fur cloak was seriously pimpin'.
First off: CICERO. :'-( *CRIES* And Tiro waving the sword thinking he could stop Pullo and that whole scene was just....*TEAR* I'm so glad Pullo didn't just go in there and do it in cold blood, and that he talked to Cicero and stuff (yeah it's inaccurate, but I don't care, Cicero deserved a good long death scene). BUT STILL. I think that could've been Cicero's son that was playing chess with him too. The kid was definitely too young to be Cicero Minor (he would've been in his twenties by the time of his father's assassination), but it's plausible, right? Maybe? They've taken liberty with the ages of other characters, so why not him?
What the fuck, Octavian? Punking out and sitting back and not actually fighting in the Battle of Philippi?! Ok, so out of the Octavian/Agrippa/Maecenas OT3, Agrippa is the career soldier, but Octavian commanded forces against Antony in Gaul and now he doesn't feel like getting his hands dirty? And I wish they'd shown Brutus and Cassius committing suicide rather than bravely dying in battle. I suppose that the depiction Brutus' death scene in particular is a deliberate echo of Caesar's: see how he's thrown about by the soldiers so that each takes his turn to stab him. Exactly like Caesar in the senate. They even used the overhead shot to show it.
And while I'm at it: Agrippa is such a pussy in this series, with all the mooning and sulking over Octavia and none of the kickass military leadership. And now Octavia decides she does love him? I can't buy it at all. Luckily, it looks like Octavian's going to marry her off to Antony in the next episode, so this wishy-washy love story can be ended, or at least be reduced to lingering, angsty glances. The only entertaining bit was Atia picking up on the relationship pretty much as soon as Octavia came running to say goodbye to her brother.
Pullo's reaction to Eirene's pregnancy was funny too. She's sitting there crying on the bed and he's like 'No wai! :D'.
Ooooh, this was fantastic! Favourite episode of series four so far, but then I LOVE 1920s murder mysteries like Marple/Poirot or The Mrs Bradley Mysteries and Gosford Park. Rather like The Shakespeare Code in that there's lots of refs to Agatha Christie and her works being dropped throughout the narrative. In fact, even the plot device where the author saves the day is borrowed from that episode (and the Carronites were cameoed at the end). Not surprising since Gareth Roberts wrote both and he could be accused of slightly recycling the plot of the TSC, but then this episode was so much fun, I can forgive him that. Donna was rocking the 1920s look too, I loved her dress.
So: anyone not surprised the vicar did it? The moment I saw him appear, I knew he'd be the villain. Maybe because the actor just had that look about him, a sinister undercurrent, if you will. The funny thing was that the same actor was in this tv movie that was on after Doctor Who too, and he played a sort of comic loser character and did it rather well.
Don't know about the Ten/Donna kiss. At least she obviously isn't interested in Ten, but Doctor/Companion kisses as plot devices are getting awfully tired in New Who.
Taking advantage of Agatha Christie's missing ten days was good plotting. Agatha Christie would just make an awesome companion with Ten and Donna. I love Fenella Woolgar to bits as it is (apparently David Tennant recommended her to play Christie after co-starring with her in Bright Young Things!).
I will try and get around to reading the story about Charlemagne too, since it's on the BBC website. That scene of Ten stalking through the forest with a bow and arrows was so Robin Hood.