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25 March 2009 @ 04:42 pm
Reading Harry Potter  
Dear Captain Jack, A Question about Books. Have you read Harry Potter? I'd like to give it a shot if it's worthwhile.


tl;dr! I watched the movie instead. Moving pictures are one step-up from books.

Having watched the film, I'm fully qualified to give you an opinion on the book.

First thing you should know... Magic is Torchwood's weakness. It's Superman's weakness too, by the way. So I'm against it in principle.

Yeah we've got a library with books, we've got a Ianto with eyes, there's a copy of the bible under the shorter leg of the coffee table...But what good is all that without the training in the mystic arts you'd need to kill a Witchalock?

Last year the ghostly spectre of Death invaded the Hub for reasons too silly to investigate in my advice column. Really, that shit was nuts! What could we do about it? Practically nothing. Run around and shout mostly.

Being vulnerable to magic brings out my frowny face. I should get an amulet or bunch of dried weeds for under my pillow, huh? There's so little room under there already what with the guns and snacks.

Back to my man Harry Potter.

If we knew each other in RL, we'd probably get along. A childhood in Boe makes growing up in a closet under the stairs look like a holiday in St. Kitts. He had one crazy aunt in his house who yelled at him. I had three crazy staff sergeants in my pod who yelled at me.

Also, Harry's an orphan. Lucky!

He doesn't even HAVE a mother and father to disappoint by losing his little brother. Clearly I've beaten him on the traumatic upbringing scoresheet.

Harry also has a billion brilliant things happen to him in the movie. He gets invited by owl-post to go to Hogwarts Academy.

I got "invited" to the Corps when a robot with a net came sweeping through the colonies conscripting for the war.

Back to the film: At heart, Harry Potter is a story about growing up. It's about how shitty life is in those years before you can transfer out of the infantry and jettison your home system forever.

Harry always wants to say, "Fuck you, Diagon Alley!" but he has to wait until he's 18. :-(

Harry's best friends are Ron, Bella, Dumbledore and Robert Pattinson. Robert Pattinson and Harry are on the Quidditch team together. (A secret you learn about RPattz later is that he's a vampire. He sparkles by wand-light. I squee when it happens and you will too.)

Not sure what goes on in the middle part of the movie, other than Atreyu and Artax dying...

Atreyu and Artax
They die :-(

...So I'll just skip to the juicy parts.

In one chapter, Harry wakes up suddenly in his magical Gryffindor dorm-room. There's Robert Pattinson standing at the foot of his bed.

"I'm watching you sleep, Harry," says he. I must point out that this was extremely sexy.

It's the same situation when Captain Jack watches people sleep, ask anyone!

After that scene I got a malteser stuck on my back molar so I couldn't pay attention until the last and most bitchin' part... Harry finally proves why he is so awesome and worthy of you "reading" this book...He burns a guy to death with the power of love!


"Love" comes right out of his hands in a flaming ball of CGI and burns the extra face off the back of the villain's head. The music swells. Screaming occurs! Can you see why I woke up so abruptly during this scene?


I once had a whole year where I did nothing but watch movies that used to be classic works of fiction. Not only did this help me understand the 21st century, it also got me in the habit of putting Twizzlers in my mouth instead of cigarettes.

Very important when you're trying to quit because Alex is a bitch who thought second-hand smoke would give him cancer but instead he died of bullet-in-the-face, like most Torchwood employees.

I'm going to list my favourite movies that used to be books, so that when you're done with Harry Potter you'll have some great stuff to "read" next:

Captain Jack's List of Outstanding Books:

Jaws, Valley of the Dolls, Shogun, Flowers in the Attic, Under Siege, Jurassic Park, A Walk to Remember, The Postman, Cujo, Mother May I Sleep With Danger?, Moonraker, John Grisham's The Firm, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, and The Hunt for Red October.

Give those a "read" kid and get back to me when you need more recs!!!

Yrs helpfully,

Cpt. Jack Harkness

My 51st century feelings today : energeticliterary
ask_captainjackask_captainjack on March 25th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
I KNOW!!! Weary soldier mentions a longing for a place of his own. Pretty much marks himself for death. That's also how it happened in Sniper.

I tell the team, "if you have plans for after 'retirement', keep them to yourselves, don't share them."

Also, if you're planning to make it to retirement I'm so sad for you.

Months ago I said to Tosh, "HEY TOSHIKO your 5 year contract is almost up! Soon you'll be free!" I gave her the dazzle tooth smile and a thumbs up. WHY DID I DO THAT? I DOOMED HER.