Tag Archives: David Tennant

How I got over myself and learned to love River Song

River Song is coming back to Doctor Who for the Christmas special this month and I’m over-the-moon ecstatic to see her again! I’ll admit, however, that I hated her when she first showed up in the Library and claimed to be married to the Tenth Doctor.

Nuh uh. If anyone’s gonna marry the Doctor (especially David Tennant), it’s gonna be me! (Yes, I’m in my fifties, but I can still squee like a fangirl).

river i hate you

So, yeah, it took me a while to warm up to her. I think the first time I felt a glimmer of respect was when she marched down the corridor of a space ship in those incredible shoes, the kind in which I’d surely break an ankle.

river shoes

Even so, I still resented her. I mean, she was not a standard beauty. She was older and didn’t fit into the normal mold of leading ladies. And she was kind of pushy. Who did she think she was?

And that’s when I had my “Aha!” moment.

I hated her because she represented everything that the patriarchal aspects of society had trained me to loathe about myself, as a woman. And here she was, spitting in the face of convention!

Think about it. River Song was the ultimate bad ass witch. She was:

river regen

  • Insanely sure of herself
  • Full bodied and rippling with power
  • Beyond intelligent—as clever as the Doctor
  • Fiercely loving and compassionate
  • Courageous
  • Oozing with sexuality
  • The Doctor’s equal

So why on earth did I hate her? Because she reminded me of everything that I could have been but chose, out of fear, not to be.

Now, why do I love her? Because she reminds me that it’s never too late to choose again.

river kiss


lisa author shotLisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author and editor/manuscript doctor (and former stand-up comedienne—is there anything she can’t do???). Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first in the series is Be Careful What You Witch For!, a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife, mom and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her.

Looking for Experts: Sponsorship

I’ve reached a point in planning this trip where I am ready to take the next step: looking for sponsors. I’ve done a lot of research into “who” and “why”, and I have a pretty good list of the kinds of companies to approach. What I need from the experts is advice and/or assistance in “how”.

What I’ll be pitching:

WHO: I am a best-selling author of four books and part of my planned “Bucket List” trip to the UK is to do research for two (or more) upcoming books. My husband Jeff and I are both former standup comedians, and we make great traveling companions and story tellers. You can read one of our month-long adventures beginning with this blog.

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall.(zpqt)

Tintagel Castle (Photo credit: Bob Linsdell)

WHAT: We’re planning a summer-long trip to the UK in 2014. We will be exploring Arthurian legend sites, tracking Doctor Who shooting locations, visiting ancestral sites (we both have extensive and interesting ancestor stories from all over the UK), interviewing the occasional celebrity that we’ve seen on BBC America (we’ve already successfully started booking interviews), taking gorgeous nature walks, blogging and writing restaurant reviews. The pinnacle of the trip, for me, will be to face my intense fear of heights and take a photo of the sunset over the Irish Sea from the top of the Blackpool Tower.

English: Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE: England, Wales, Scotland and possibly Ireland.

WHEN: We’re shooting for next summer, from the start of June until the end of August. We’ve been invited to a Druid Solstice ritual shortly after we arrive, and we’ll spend June in southern England and Wales, exploring Camelot and Avalon, and Jeff’s ancestry and Doctor Who locations.

In July, we’ll spend time in Liverpool, because we’re Beatles fans, then head to Janet’s Foss, a waterfall in central England where the Queen of the Faeries is supposed to have lived. Along the way, we’ll be taking long nature walks to see the beauty that is the United Kingdom. Then we’ll head up to Scotland for a visit, to find where my ancestors ranged from dirt-poor coalminers to ancient royalty.

English: Janet's Foss

Janet’s Foss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In August, we’ll still be in Scotland and possibly Ireland, but then we’ll come back south in time to spend a week in Blackpool during their annual Illuminations celebration. We’ll be tracking down shooting locations for the incredible BBC miniseries, Blackpool (starring David Tennant, Sarah Parish and David Morrissey). We’ll wrap up the trip in London and head home.

WHY: Why not? Life is short and the world is waiting.

Regarding sponsors, I have a list of several companies to approach. I’ve already started to build a platform. I have very good reasons why each of these companies may be interested in trading goods/cash in exchange for shameless pluggery. We’re going anyway. They may as well come along for the ride.

So … now what? How do I make this happen? What kind of presentation should I create? How do I pitch this? Do you want to sponsor us? Do you want to help us find sponsors in exchange for sponsorship? Your expertise is requested and appreciated. Fill in the form below, or email me at lisa @ lisabonnice.com.  Meantime, I will continue to plug away with research.

Follow my progress on GiveIt100.com!

First responder: “Blackpool” actress, Sarah Parish!

Part of our planned travel-blog trip to the UK next summer is to interview as many of my favorite actors from BBC America as I can. British television is so different from TV in the US (it’s not all just Doctor Who over there!), and I look forward to helping to introduce sarah parishthe American audience to some of these people. As the BBC series Blackpool is the original impetus for our trip, I started first by contacting those actors. And Sarah Parish, the actress who artfully played the female lead, Natalie Holden, has said yes!

Readers in the States may not know who she is. I didn’t, until I saw Blackpool. But she’s been a working actress for about twenty years, and played Hannah in the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law/Kate Winslett film The Holiday. She also played alongside Kevin Costner in the Golden Globe winning mini-series, Hatfields & McCoys.

Doctor Who fans will know Ms. Parish as the Empress of the Racnoss (in Donna Noble’s first episode, The Runaway Bride). I had no racnoss toy2idea they were the same actress until I looked her up on imdb.com and saw that role listed among her extensive acting credits. But better yet, she even has an action figure! Now that is impressive. 😉

Because a lot of British programming isn’t available in the US, it’s difficult to find video of many of her roles, except on YouTube. But what I’ve seen shows exceptional acting ability, and I’m really impressed with the way she throws herself into whatever role she’s playing, even if it’s a spider queen, a troll (as Lady Catrina on Merlin) or the queen of Atlantis.

Sarah Parish with her two love interests in Blackpool, David Morrissey and David Tennant

Sarah Parish with her two love interests in Blackpool, David Morrissey and David Tennant

Atlantis premieres on BBC America on November 23, right after the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. I’ll be watching both!

I’ll keep you posted as any other British thespians agree to meet with me. I’m thrilled to be able to say that my first to say yes is one that I respect so highly.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to talk to a woman who got to make out with David Morrissey AND David Tennant, even if it was just on film! Even at my age, I can’t help squeeing with envy, like a fangirl.

By ‘eck, that’s good beer!

As you know, if you’re a follower of my blog, my husband Jeff and I are planning a fun-filled trip to merry ol’ England (and Scotland) next summer so I, in typical anal-retentive fashion, am researching every aspect of it.

You will also know that one of the main reasons I am so obsessed with doing this is because of a mini-series I saw on BBC America, Blackpool (called Viva Blackpool in the States). It starred David Tennant, Sarah Parish and David Morrissey (among many other well known British actors–at least, they’re well known there: I’m learning about them as we go).

The mini-series portrayed the city of Blackpool in such a fascinating way that it lit a fire under me to go visit and find out if it’s really like that. And, while we’re on the other side of the world–no small effort–we might as well see the rest of the island.

Anyway, as part of my obse … I mean … research, I was reading the imdb page for Sarah Parish, and saw this:

Although Sarah was born and brought up in Yeovil in Somerset, an appearance in a cult advert for Manchester-based Boddingtons Bitter in 1994 (as Vera, who likes nothing better than “a good rub down with chip fat”) led to a series of roles as northern women (Dawn Rudge in “Peak Practice” (1993), Allie Henshall in “Cutting It” (2002) and Natalie Holden in “Blackpool” (2004)), causing many people to believe that she is a native of the north-west.

Well, you better believe I went out of my way to see what the heck that means.  Wouldn’t you love that on your headstone?

Here lies Vera.
She loved a good rub
down with chip fat.

Anyway, that’s how I found this:

And then, of course, I had to watch all of their ads. They’ve got a great sense of humor, and I learned a little bit about some local assumptions, i.e. the residents of the Manchester area considered to be “cheap and cheerful”, so the ads are a spoof of that. Please note that the Sarah Parish ad ends with a shot of the Blackpool Tower.  😉

boddingtons etc 137Next thing you know, I’m sending Jeff to the store to see if they sell Boddington’s. It turns out that they do! So, today, October 10, 2013, Jeff and I both tasted our very first sips of The Cream of Manchester. I gotta tell ya, I’m not much of a beer drinker, but by ‘eck, that’s gorgeous! Looks like I already know what I’ll be ordering in the pubs.


Jeff posted this photo on his facebook page, saying:
“My wife has been obsessed with everything English these days. Today she suggested we try something called Boddingtons Ale. Each can comes with a small explosive device designed to shoot the beer out of the can, like dropping Mentos into Diet Coke. Allow me to reiterate: It’s designed that way. This was just what I could get into the glass. The rest is on the wall, and the ceiling, Lisa’s hair…”

And I’m not obsessed. That’s just how I get things done. I focus and focus and focus and focus and don’t think of anything else until I get my way.

Nope. Not obsessed at all.

Added to the itinerary: “Broadchurch”

I just watched the final episode of Broadchurch on BBC America. Even though Broadchurch is a fictional town, the shooting location is now on the list of “things to see” that BBC America has shown to us because of this:

West Bay Beach and East Cliff (photo from the Daily Mail)

The show was mostly shot in West Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. That’s where these cliffs are. Here is an article from the Daily Mail, telling how the filming of this show has brought in a bunch of tourists:


Olivia Colman and David Tennant
in Broadchurch
(photo from the Mirror Online)

It looks like we’re going to be some of those tourists! We wouldn’t have seen these gorgeous cliffs if not for programming on BBC America.

I watched Broadchurch because it stars David Tennant, who I think is a terrific actor, Arthur Darvill (who was such fun as Rory Williams, Amy Pond’s husband, on Doctor Who) and Olivia Colman. Also in the cast is David Bradley, who was in Blackpool, Doctor Who and the Harry Potter movies.

Ms. Colman was also on an episode of Doctor Who–Matt Smith’s first. If you haven’t seen Broadchurch yet, be prepared for a tour de force performance on her part, especially in the final episode. WOW! That woman is an incredible actress.

Anyway, we may make the Jurassic Coast our first stop, after landing in London and spending a few days there. Then we’re thinking about heading north toward Cardiff, stopping a few places on the way. After finding some ancestral spots in Wales, we’ll buzz up to Liverpool to see the standard Beatles sites, then head up to Scotland for more ancestral spots. We’re saving Blackpool for last.

This itinerary isn’t set in stone, but it’s a start. I’ll be tweaking the details as the plan evolves. Meantime, I’m researching the best travel sites/apps and the best mobile phone service providers for our purposes. I have a lot to do before next summer to make something of this magnitude happen!

Wish me luck.

Here’s you a dog. (This little fella did NOT like me walking past his yard this morning!)

Okay, this is getting weird

Ever since Jeff and I have decided to make this trip to the UK actually happen, things have been falling into place in fun and bizarre ways. Here is the latest:

In a scene from the BBC mini-series Blackpool, David Tennant‘s character, DI Peter Carlisle, interviews Hailey, the prostitute, (played beautifully by Lisa Millet) about the murder of Mike Hooley. The interview takes place, I’m assuming, in the famous Blackpool Ballroom, with the also famous Wurlitzer organ being played in the background. Carlisle is interviewing all of the local hookers, and has invited them to neutral ground and supplied a nice tea.

Lisa Millet, as Hailey, and David Tennant as detective Peter Carlisle, having tea and questions in the Blackpool Ballrom

Lisa Millet, as Hailey, and David Tennant as DI Peter Carlisle, having tea and questions about sex and death in the Blackpool Ballroom.

One of the things we (well, I … Jeff doesn’t know it yet) intend to do while in Blackpool is have tea and pastries, like Hailey and Carlisle, at the Blackpool Ballroom, hopefully sitting in the same spot and getting a picture or two.

Because having tea in England is not like it is here (usually at a McDonald’s drive-thru) I have no idea of the proper etiquette and I’ve been doing some research so that I’ll know how to behave. 😉

Here comes the amazing synchronicity. Last week, a friend asked me to meet her for lunch somewhere in Mesa, a city about 45 minutes away from here. Because it’s a long drive, I plugged my iPod into the car speakers and listened to a playlist. Yep, I played the Blackpool soundtrack (obsess much? you betcha!). One of the songs is “I Second that Emotion”:

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the place we were meeting, and that song–which I haven’t heard, aside from the soundtrack, in many years–was playing on the radio.

But wait! There’s more!

My friend, who has no idea that I’m planning this trip, had a surprise for me. It was an English-style tea party, complete with manners and etiquette lessons. Let me reiterate that she had no idea that I was wanting to learn this very specific and unusual thing.

Boom. Out of the blue. Just like that. I now know how to not embarrass myself once we hit the shores of a country where drinking tea is like breathing.

And I learned that I love Earl Grey tea!

Psychic Dreams

My most recent blog, about our planned trip to Blackpool, England, has indirectly caused me to realize that this trip will be the fulfillment of a longtime series of very specific recurring dreams. I’ve been dreaming about Blackpool for years, but didn’t recognize it!

I used to dream about Florida, long before Jeff and I ever thought of moving there, and once we arrived I was able to recognize scenes from various dreams as they were happening in real life. It’s so weird to have them come true like that, when I didn’t even know what they are showing me. I remember a Florida dream about a garden near a swimming pool, with statues and spiritual symbols in it. It turned out to be a serenity garden in which Jeff and I got married.

laserium control console

The control panel in my dream looked a lot like this one. Image Source: http://www.patrickmccray.com/2015/01/

The first psychic dream that I can remember coming true took place in approximately 1989. I had a bizarre dream that took place in a darkened room, where there was a big, black control panel and weird geometrical shapes of light in the air. Because I had never seen anything like it before, it was kind of scary and I thought I was nuts. Why on earth would I be dreaming about something so alien?

Then in the mid 90s I started working for Laserium and my boss was Ivan Dryer, the pioneer in the laser concert industry, who performed the very first laser show at Griffith Observatory in the 70s (you can read all about it by clicking the link under the photo of the control panel). Ivan asked the laserist in the studio to give me a demonstration of what they do. It didn’t take long for me to  recognized the laserist’s control panel and the geometrical light shapes in the air!

I’ve also dreamed a lot about New York City and somewhere in Great Britain. The New York dreams are coming much more frequently lately, and I have a feeling I’ll be there before the end of the year. For what reason, I do not know.

The exciting thing to me, now, is the dreams of the UK because a puzzle piece has just fallen into place. The dreams never told me exactly where they occurred. I have just been shown that someday I’d be there, near the water, and Ireland entered into it somehow.

But get this. In most of the dreams about the UK, I always saw something unrecognizable embedded into the ground, like tiles or patterns in concrete. Weird dreams. These tiles were set into a circular pad of cement. I could always sense waves nearby and I knew that Ireland was related somehow. I’ve never been able to pinpoint what the dreams were about, but they definitely included this water’s-edge, weird-patterned tilework.

Comedy Carpet viewed from the top of the tower - Picture of Comedy Carpet, Blackpool

This photo of Comedy Carpet is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Well, I’ve just discovered where in England those seaside tiles are–in a town I’ve only recently heard of, Blackpool. In my research about the town, in an effort to manifest this trip, I just happened to stumble upon this photo.

The tiles (which aren’t really tiles, it is a concrete and granite installation which features catchphrases and jokes by more than 1,000 comedians and writers)  are called the Comedy Carpet.  (More irony: Jeff and I met when we were both professional standup comedians.) You can see the circular cement pad, and the waves crashing onto the shore. And, Blackpool is on the Irish Sea.

I am blown away to finally learn where in England I’ve been dreaming about for so very many years, and that I was unintentionally planning a trip there! Wow!!!

Oddly, the Comedy Carpet wasn’t installed yet when the movie Blackpool (the inspiration for this trip, starring David Tennant–the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, Sarah Parish and David Morrissey) was filmed, so I wasn’t aware that there was a connection to my dream tiles when I saw the movie and began to plan this trip. In fact, I’d been having dreams about the “tiles” for many years before they existed.

I wasn’t even thinking about these dreams when I started to plan our trip to Blackpool recently. In fact, I had completely forgotten about the dreams until I saw photos of the Comedy Carpet. I can’t help thinking that there is a much bigger purpose behind this trip than Jeff and I just having a fun lark-about abroad. I can’t wait to find out what it is!

Next on my Bucket List: Blackpool, England

In which author Lisa Bonnice sets her intention for her next goal: a lengthy visit to the UK, with the pinnacle of the trip being a photo of the sunset over the Irish Sea from the “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower.

Sunset over the Irish Sea, and the Blackpool Tower. (from the Blackpool Tower facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackpoolTower)

I just completed the first major item on my lifetime Bucket List. I have officially become a best-selling author. Boom. Done.

So now what? I didn’t really make any big plans beyond that, because it’s taken 52 years to accomplish this one. It’s sort of been an obsession, so I didn’t make a bucket list beyond that one thing. But now that I’ve achieved that goal, I want to make the next one fun and easy.

Our plan (my husband Jeff and I) is to indulge some of our curiosity about the UK from what we’ve seen on BBC America and our love of the Beatles. We’re going to visit some of the Doctor Who sites and museums (including Cardiff), then go to Liverpool to visit the Cavern Club and do whatever Beatles site-seeing is available, and finally head to Blackpool.

Why Blackpool? A British friend of mine asked that very question. “Why Blackpool!? It’s the Coney Island of the UK!”

I responded, “That’s exactly why. I love kitsch.”

But there’s more to it than that. The BBC aired a mini-series a few years ago filmed in and entitled Blackpool. Through a long and winding trail of links about David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) I found a bunch of YouTube videos that allowed me to watch the whole thing (all six hours, ten minutes at a time).

Watch Blackpool

Your mileage may vary, but I found this miniseries to be one of the most well-written, well-acted and well-executed productions I’ve ever seen. And it made me fall head over heels in love with the town of Blackpool! I simply MUST BE THERE!

I must step foot inside the arcade where Ripley Holden’s life began to unravel. I have to walk along the Promenade where DI Peter Carlisle wooed Natalie Holden. And (he doesn’t know this yet) Jeff and I will have tea, and then dance in the famous Blackpool Ballroom!

The Blackpool Ballroom, with its famous Wurlitzer Organ. (from the Blackpool Tower facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackpoolTower)

We’re shooting for summer of next year, 2014. We’re intending to align our visit to Blackpool with their annual Illuminations festival. We have a year to make this happen, and I’ve already started the process.

And … go!