28 November 2013

Charts, Infographics, and Scholarly Papers.

Now that the 50th anniversary episode has aired, Jürgen and I are on our way to do the Doctor Who network analysis paper. We needed to wait until the last episode aired in order to have a complete network. And no, the Christmas special won't be completed as it is actually in the 51st year. I know, semantics...

In our initial discussions, and reviewing some past networks, it appears there is a large difference between the pre-Moffat and the post-Moffat networks. Jürgen thinks this might be a good comparison to focus on. Another point might be the classic vs. new or the classic vs The entire 50 years. We're not sure yet and talks are still under way.

But for now, the research into actual scholarly papers is underway. This is the first thing Jürgen says needs done. You want to know what's out there already before we decide on our final course. So I'm plugging my way through tons of Google and Yahoo searches looking for any and all papers and essay written on the subject of Doctor Who. And believe me, it's probaby more than you'd think. I even found a woman in Australia who did her thesis on the Doctor.

We're also looking over journals to submit the article to. It won't be a pop culture article so Jürgen doesn't want to be constrained with doing a pop culture pieces. He wants to create a serious analysis of the show. And that's fine with me. Doing the Whotopia pieces are great but being part of a scholarly work on Doctor Who was something I originally didn't think about.

But Wait, There's More...
But the 50th anniversary also brings to a head another dataset. I will be finishing up the 50-year dataset of sonic screwdriver uses. That one will be more for the pop culture scene with accompanying charts and infographics.

I also hope to have the d3.js moving along and be able to put the material up as a interactive web page.

It all boils down to time. I'm still looking for either a full-time job or getting my freelancing started. Which ever comes first I guess.

24 November 2013

Why You Can't Trust On-Line Polls

I understand why web sites do these but honestly, you can't take them seriously. No matter how many well-meaning fans vote, there's always a group of people that think it would be funny to get the dark horse... not, the horse that shouldn't even be in the race over the finish line first.

And so it goes with Doctor Who TV's Your Ultimate Doctor Revealed Poll

Let's forgo the total list and take a look at the winner and the runner-up. This tells the whole story in a nutshell.

 photo Idonttrustpolls_zps4a539f33.jpg

Yes, that's Peter Cushing from the two movies beating out Tom Baker. Seriously, there's only one way that could have happened. A bunch of fanboys thought it would be funny if Peter Cushing would win this poll. Thinking this, they needed to garner a lot of assistance from friends and egged those friends to get other friends to vote and so on and so on and so on...

Cause really, isn't the funniest thing you can imagine on the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is to see the non-canonical Doctor, an Earth man who invented a TARDIS in his garage, win the ultimate Doctor poll? And from the comment above his picture it appears that the surge of votes came late in the day to push him over the finish line first.

No, never trust polls on-line as there are most certainly people who would love to see something funny happen and see the impossible happen.

That's why we can't have anything nice...

20 November 2013

Dr. Seuss, The Doctor Who Edition...

And a quickie art piece before bed time. I ran across this during a web search and and instantly I read the title wrong. That meant I needed to actually make the new cover.

 photo AreYouMyMummy_zpsf6a33d17.jpg

16 November 2013

Doctor Who Friends, Family, and Best Enemies Network

 photo 07a71d98-281e-4527-87ff-1c799d0421bc_zps0ffb737a.jpg

Key :
Light blue : Doctor
Red : Companion, Companion-Lite, Associate, Family
Green : Story
Orange : Villain
Brown : Time Lord
Magenta : Famous people/God-like beings [yea, I lumped them together for this graph]
Teal : waffle [were either villain of associate depending on the episode]

Before we get to the 50th anniversary episode, I decided to do a quick preview on the network as it stands. This one charts the main characters connections to the stories they appeared in, not the connections of each character to other characters. That will be coming later. Jürgen will be creating that graph when he starts the analysis.

What You Immediately See
The above network shows just what Steven Moffat's writing has done to position his Eleventh Doctor creation directly in the middle of the entire network. He has connected to nearly every facet of the Doctor's history and that has pulled the Eleventh Doctor, as well as all involved with him, to be the center hub of the Whoniverse. The large blue circle represents the Eleventh Doctor and the large red circle represents Clara. Much of this centralization can be, even without a full analysis, chalked up to events in The Name of the Doctor when it was revealed that Clara went into the Doctor's time line and met all his previous incarnations. For the sake of brevity, as well as sanity, I made connections from Clara to the story events I saw on the screen. That pulled Clara to the center of the chart and since she is closely connected to the Eleventh Doctor, pulled his hub to the center. Thus, the Eleventh Doctor is the center of the Doctor Who network.

Moffat Now The Center of the Whoniverse?
Now some people may think that's great as it unifies everything together. Others will think that's horrendous as, well... they just don't like the man very much. Here, we are mostly interested in how all the connections fit together. And as it's known I'm not a Moffat supporter, I do enjoy the program more than any other. And the motto goes, Any Doctor Who is better than no Doctor Who...

I'm in the stretch of final tweaks to the current network waiting for the 50th episode to air. All the work from the past two years will be put into use. As others got to post week after week about the show, we had to wait till the the 50th episode airs. But I hope you think it will be worth it...

15 November 2013

Little More Than A Week Away

Next week begins the countdown to the 50th anniversary shows. And with that, the last of the changes to the Doctor Who Network and the Sonic Screwdriver Usage Dataset. When those are complete and settled, the analysis will begin. The last tweaks are now deciding if anymore of the characters listed in the dataset should be removed from the ultimate Friends and Family network.

Currently, the sonic screwdriver network contains almost 900 uses of the screwdriver. I expect it to crest 900 after the 50th anniversary special. The Night of the Doctor added two more uses that I wasn't expecting.

So I'm going to post what my criteria are and if anyone has any suggestions on this, I welcome the input.

  • All the Doctors are separate nodes in the network, even when he seemingly met himself. This makes many more Doctor nodes that you might expect but it assists in keeping the networks tied together correctly.
  • People who are friends are divided into three categories :
    1. Companions : People who had one of more adventures with the Doctor and traveled with him in the TARDIS. In the Classic series it was much easier to discern. In the new series, there was more margin of error.
    2. Companions-Lite : People who had one adventure with the Doctor with or without traveling in the TARDIS. Some of the one-shot companions never saw the inside of the TARDIS but that doesn't mean they don't qualify to be a companion. A term I use is One-Off Companion. [i.e., Jackson Lake] Entries describing this term is at This Entry and That Entry
    3. Associates : People who were involved with the Doctor but not intimately even if they did travel in the TARDIS. [i.e., Madame Vastra]
  • For the most part, famous people have been excluded except if the appeared in more than one story [i.e., Albert Einstein].
  • Villains who only appeared once were automatically excluded. They were considered unimportant in the overall scheme of the network.

This is a fairly subjective list and I took many liberties in the categorizations.

If you're interested in seeing how the Doctor interacted with everyone over the past 50 years, and help me get this dataset finished, then please, drop me a comment.

14 November 2013

Night of the Doctor

 photo EighthDoctor_zps2fab12d9.jpeg

By now I figure everyone has seen this minisode. But this means much more to me in regards to the Doctor's Friends and Family Network and the Sonic Screwdriver Usage dataset.

What This Minisode Means To The Datasets
First, it adds uses to the Eighth Doctor's smattering of uses... make that one use, of the sonic screwdriver. When the network is sized by uses, it's difficult to find the Eighth Doctor on the network. At least now, he'll be slightly larger on the screen and in the metrics.

Second, if connects another classic group, The Sisters of Karn, to another Doctor. Each time a new connections is made, the network pulls ever so slightly tighter. When Jürgen and I did the first network in 2011, both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors clusters were very visible. At present those two clusters, though still separate, show signs of being pulled closer to the main body. And knowing that the Zygons are in the 50th anniversary, there's another link helping to tighten up the network.

The 50th Anniversary
After the showing of the anniversary special I will clean up the dataset and send it to Jürgen and he will decide what the best set of metrics will be for an analysis.

The Final Analysis
I will be posting selected parts of this analysis as he would like to turn this into a paper for submittal to a respectable journal. I like that idea but that also means I will be unable to let loose the full analysis till after we get it published [if at all].

13 November 2013

BBC Challenged over ownership of TARDIS

Such a grand idea to endear yourself to the fans of the show by demanding payment of every use of the blue box since your father's death in 1977. The timing of this is nothing short of a grandstand for attention. Two weeks before the 50th anniversary, the family of Anthony Coburn are now demanding to be paid for every use of the BBC should stop using the image.

I believe the London Metropolitan Police attempted this same maneuver back in 1998—and lost and even after the appeal ended up paying the BBC for court costs.

Not that I wish the family ill, but with the self-centered timing of this demand may they understand the possible consequences both legally and how much the fans will really, really, dislike them from now on...

Doctor Who News.

10 November 2013

I Got Accepted to...

...be a contributor to WhatCulture.com. Most of my time lately was cleaning up the article I submitted for review. That article has been accepted and I then got to work making it presentable.

So What Does That Mean?
It means that some of the essays I would have posted here will end up on the WhatCulture site. With time constraints, it's difficult to produce enough for two sites.

Will There Be New Material Posted Here?
Yes, I will still be posting stuff to this site as well as links to what I'm writing on other sites. The material posted here will be material that is in a format different than what they like. They prefer those lists of things style posts rather than long, involved essays.

Why Post On WhatCulture?
It's mainly for the exposure. I can usually get one to three hundred reads on my blog. There should be quite a bit more on a site like WhatCulture. SInce I'm not really planning on making a living with this, it doesn't matter where I post it. So going over to a higher traffic area makes sense.

05 November 2013

Damn That's A LopSided Chart...

Something interesting I just found out about coding with d3 on a blog. You have to remember to rename you svg container to a new name or else any other entries looking for the same ID will stick their code in all of them. Got so confused I accidentlly overwrote the last entry and had to delete it. Now there's a lesson learned...

After a little work I have gotten the interactive sonic use chart to a usable condition. Click on the buttons atop the chart and it will display the number of uses for each Doctor. Click the All button to show the entire range. Each of the Doctors are colour coded and the translucent chart in the background shows the entire chart as you transverse the individual charts.

Things still in the works are the TV Movie both the Seventh and Eighth Doctors used the screwdriver. I'm investigating the creation of a stacked graph for that season.

Any Analysis Here?
There is no analysis of the chart currently. Time was spent on the learning of d3 and getting the proper numbers of the dataset into the code. Now that the code is working, I will be checking with my colleague and figure out some interesting metrics to run.

Doctor Who Sonic Uses

Click a button—Choose your Doctor

About This Chart

When you click a button, the chart will transition all the bars except for the Doctor chosen but it will leave a translucent background image. Since it is a comparison chart, the background image will give you a point of reference. The chart is also set up for the 50 year period, not per Doctor and not per season. For this chart I had the years start out, more of less, on the 23rd of November [The date of the first episode]. But sometimes the year started sooner— and sometimes later. The years marked with 0 mark the years which the screwdriver was not used during the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctors.

And other inconsistencies include David Tennant's third season which consisted a full set of 13 episodes and a Christmas special and the four specials done in the following year. In this chart, these specials were separated into their own grouping as they all were shown in the succeeding year. Likewise, Matt Smith's season occasionally straddled more than one years and his three seasons ran from April 2010 to December 2013 [a total of 44 months].

Still a Working On...
Clicking on the Seventh and Eighth you will see a single use in 33. That is The TV Movie where both the Seventh and Eight Doctors had one use each. Clicking the All button will display a 2 for that year [Correction: it only displays one after the revamping of the data structure]. Attempting to locate coding for stacked bar charts.

That Bar Chart Certainly Makes It Clear...
By far the most noticeable item is the disparity between the uses in the classic time and the uses in the new series. Everyone knew it was used more in the 21st century but the chart really show how much more. But when you look at it on this bar graph, it's a little more heavy-handed than originally thought.

Future Improvements
One addition item I'm looking at is turning the buttons into toggles.