Friday, February 3, 2017

And now I'm just dating myself

The Things I carry: White Dwarf

This one is a little literal for this year's theme of things that I carry with me. I've been doing a little Winter Purge, throwing out stuff that has hidden in corners and collected dust and just not been very useful.

I was cleaning out my VHS tapes. Yes, I HAVE been carrying around VHS tapes with very specific movies that I taped when I was in high school until I found DVDs of their contents. That's how much these movies were part of who I am and the stories that I tell.

Upon those VHS were three of my favorite movies taped from FOX: Generation X (a miniseries of junior X-men complete with Jubilee), Newsies (which i was able to get on DVD- no one can resist a singing Christian Bale), and White Dwarf.

Ah White Dwarf. How do I describe you? It was sort of like Northern Exposure in space. Now, how was that for dating myself? It was about a fancy city doctor who was sent to a planet at the edge of nothing for his service year before he could go back to the city and live the fancy life. Pretty simple concept.

But there were aliens, and Typhoid Mary, and red oceans. There was a boy who had shifter sickness, and a prison, and creepy twin girls who aged at different rates. It was crazy and I understand why it might not have been the most popular thing on the planet. And I was pretty sure I was the only person in the world who saw it, but then I found this.

I think it was the world building that really captured me. This planet did not rotate on its axis like earth and as it orbited its white dwarf sun, one side was perpetually light and the other perpetually dark. The light was civil and there was a princess and the technology was on that side. The dark side was unknown and the people were seen as savages and there was a constant war between the light and the dark.

And then, it caught you with a right hook when the spirits of the planet, Lady Light and Lady Dark, appeared to the young doctor to help heal the divide of their people.

Bam. Story. Done.

I loved it. I still love it and have maybe watched the pirated version on YouTube. I still think about the planet and its people, and the main characters arc that is so simple but perfect for the world it was placed in. The characters were like nothing I'd seen before and I wanted to be on that planet exploring with that doctor. Sounds like maybe another doctor that I love now who travels in his big blue box.

So I carry it with me that even simple can be elegant, even with terrible production values. You don't need a lot of bells and whistle to resonate with a story teller decades later.

And if you find it on DVD, let me know.

Until Next month...


Amanda Arista,
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther

1 comment:

Helen Lowe said...

Hey Amanda, I love the stories that endure (despite poor production values.) Now you have inspired me to hunt out a copy of White Dwarf (most likely from Alice In Videoland):-)