Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fanfic Review: KIM POSSIBLE in "A FAIR TO REMEMBER" by Richard Smyers

WTFB co-alumnus Richard Smyers is back with yet another pop-culture mash-up featuring Kim Possible... and, since the karate-kicking WDTVA heroine has already starred in a much-loved direct-to-video movie on the subject of time travel, we probably should have seen this one coming a mile (pardon, a kilometre) away.  Rather atypically, Richard doesn't spend much time scene-setting or background-infilling, but instead cuts straight to the good stuff.  Ducking into a strange-looking phone booth to escape the rain at the Middleton Mall, Kim and Ron Stoppable find themselves inside Doctor Who's TARDIS.  (Don't bother asking me which "version," or "life," or whatever of the Doctor is on display here; I'm hardly the person to ask.  In his story notes, Richard hints that those who are familiar with the Doctor Who series should be able to dope out the answer.)  The "original DW" takes Kim, Ron, and Rufus on a journey to the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, where the teens get to dress in period-appropriate clothing, experience the first Ferris Wheel and the original Midway, unwittingly give a not-yet-famous author the idea for his best-loved story...  and, needless to say, participate in a couple of rescue and crime-busting operations along the way.  When another TARDIS is stolen, however, the "sitch" gets trickier, and we close with the Doctor, Kim, Ron, and Rufus preparing to pursue the thief "somewhere and somewhen."  Stay tuned.


Richard is already one leg up on the Internet's most notorious exemplar of a Doctor Who crossover, simply because he doesn't succumb to the temptation to explain the wonkier aspects of one "universe" in terms of the effects of the other.  Then again, I wouldn't expect him to.  I am, however, curious as to why he chose the 1893 Exposition as the setting for his story.  Could it have something to do with the fact that a major bestseller of the recent past also told an intertwined tale set at the fair?  (If reading that book sparked this idea, then all I have to say is:  Richard, I'm so glad you didn't try to make your crossover a "three-way.")  I don't know enough about Doctor Who to judge the quality of Richard's characterization of same, but the dry humor and quirkiness that one would expect of a classic British TV production are certainly present from the off.  There are guest-star turns by several characters who I assume made regular or semi-regular appearances on the Doctor Who series, and it would have been helpful had we gotten notes on where these folks originated, but their presence doesn't severely impede the progress of the story.  The action sequences are few in number but well-done, with Richard making the standard point about the dangers inherent in trying to change historical events, even if it is for the greater good.  Richard could probably have made a bit more of the contrast between the teens' 21st-century-style empathy and the Doctor's "above-it-all" view of the various follies, triumphs, and crimes he's witnessed in his travels, but he does at least touch upon it.

Richard promises to post the sequel to this story soon.  If you're a Kim Possible fan, a Doctor Who fan, or a devotee of well-written and well-thought-out fan-fiction, then you should check out both this tale and its successor.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, Chris, how did you do it? You posted a picture of Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) in your review, and that's exactly who Kim, Ron and Rufus meet up with. Drax is from the TV story "The Armageddon Factor" and Borusa appears in a number of Doctor Who TV stories.

Actually, the 1893 World's Fair suggested itself to me because of an excellent historical DVD narrated by Gene Wilder on the Exposition. The fact that I live only thirty miles from Jackson Park, Chicago, which is where the Fair was held, and have visited the Museum of Science and Industry there many times may have had something to do with it.

As to historical persons Kim, Ron and the Doctor might have met, the following were also at the 1893 Exposition: Scott Joplin, W. C. Handy, John Philip Sousa & his band, Buffalo Bill Cody & his wild west show, and on one day, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. (What if they told him to "Stay away from Sarajevo" and he did? No World War One, maybe?)

Thanks for the compliments and general nice things you have posted. I hope to start posting the next story in this arc in September.

Richard Smyers

Chris Barat said...

Richard,

Picking that version of the Doctor was pure chance. I simply used Google Images and picked a pic that I liked.

I should have realized that you might have an interest in the Fair because you live so close to Chicago!

Looking forward to reading the follow-up...

Chris