[identity profile] jjpor.livejournal.com
Story: Self-Made Man
Author: vvj5
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 1,012
Author's Summary: JOSEPH: "Close to the Kandyman, were you?" / GILBERT: "I made him." Gilbert M and the Kandyman.
Characters/Pairings: Other Character(s), The Kandy Man
Warnings: None

Recced because: I can't shake the feeling that there have been few stories in Doctor Who history more unfairly maligned over the years than The Happiness Patrol. It started almost as soon as it first aired, and continued, with what is in reality a deceptively smart, subversive and brutal story about how oppressive regimes work and ways they can be resisted becoming instead Exhibit A whenever any discussion turns to Doctor Who being "too silly." And no aspect of the story came in for more of this sort of thing than its most iconic figure, the infamous Kandyman. It didn't help that the character visually resembled a famous British advertising mascot of the day, but it does irritate me intensely that one of the more compellingly unpleasant villains in 80s Who became a poster child for its supposed decline and fall on a decade or more of "I love the 80s" type television programmes. The irony being that most of those leading the mockery either hadn't seen the story itself, or hadn't understood it, instead judging it purely on its dayglow sugar-coated visual fa├žade, one of the things the story itself was arguing against.

Enough ranting from me. Instead allow me to recommend this fic which goes a long way towards redressing the injustices I outline above. Starting from the television story, and riffing on the extra backstory for the characters described in the really rather good Target novelisation, the author paints a vivid picture of the monstrousness of the Kandyman himself, who is at once a tragic and horrifying figure, and the strange, abusive co-dependency he has with his creator/sidekick/prisoner/husband Gilbert M. The story itself is told from the point of view of Gilbert himself, and really gets inside the head of this weak, fearful, morally malleable character, the sort of person tyrannies like the one on Terra Alpha cannot function without, simultaneously a victim and an enabler of its terror and repression. And like all of this author's stories, it is very well-written indeed.

This author is no stranger to this comm, and for a very good reason. If you are at all appreciative of the Seventh Doctor and his era, go and read this story now. You won't be disappointed.

An Excerpt )
[identity profile] bunnyinnatardis.livejournal.com

My last recommendation of the week comes a bit late, but partly that is because I was debating which one of several to choose.  I'm an unashamed fan of the Tenth Doctor, but seeing as so many stories about him are recced, I turned my attention to earlier eras in search of great tales.  In fact, I looked in categories that don't get as much traffic, hoping to bring to light some real gems that the average reader might have passed by.  After careful consideration I end my week here on Calufrax right where I began: with another story by the very talented Shinyford.

Title: The War of Jenkins’ Ear (and Other Stories)
Author: Shinyford
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 7147
Author’s Summary: An old enemy encounters the Doctor, and regales him with stories of his life. With liquorice.
Characters: The Kandyman, The Seventh Doctor, Mel
Warnngs: none

Recommended Because the author manages to turn one of the most ridiculous foes of the Classic Era not only into a real villain, but a real character that you will both love and hate.  And he does so with delicious ease.

As with Anagram of the KaledsJenkins’ Ear is a tasty treat from beginning to end, beautifully crafted, technically a joy, and darkly funny.  That would be dark chocolate, to be precise.  To quote a review I saw of this story on another forum, Jenkins' Ear is "a love letter to the unloved."  The author mixes his ingredients with the confidence of a great chef, spices it full of imagery and metaphor without the story—or the antagonist—ever becoming too saccharine.  Not only do we get to see the Kandyman the way he should have been, we get to be properly scared of Vervoids.  Honestly, for a fan of the Classic Era, what could be better?  Shinyford takes a Classic enemy and a Classic Doctor and proceeds to tell a rich story (really a series of stories) that will leave you wanting more.  The narrator is wickedly funny, the Doctor is devilishly well-characterized, and the word play you’d expect is all there.  Old School Who fans will love this story.  New Era fans who haven't quite connected to the original series may find this to be their ticket in. Go ahead.  You know you want it.

They really don’t get much sweeter than this.


Our current reccer is [personal profile] clocketpatch.

May 2017