Monthly Archives: September 2011

A “Doctor Who” wish list…

Over at the Tor Books blog, there’s a fantastic post pitching five writers who should write for “Doctor Who”.  As for the suggestion that “30 Rock” creator and awesome nerd genius Tina Fey should take a crack at an episode – yes, yes, YES!

This. NEEDS. To. Happen.

My own, humble suggestions for hypothetical “Doctor Who” episode writers?

1) Dan Abnett.  He’s written “Torchwood” and “Doctor Who”  novels, surely this is just a matter of time.

Novelist, 40K mainstay, comics creator and bloke who should write "Who"

2) Jasper Fforde.  As we’ll never see a “Thursday Next” film, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what he could do working in this universe, and utilising his love of literature in the service of the Doctor’s adventures.

Creator of "Thursday Next" and fantastically imaginative heir to Douglas Adams' tradition of witty, absurd SF fantasy

3) Audrey Niffenegger.  Author of “The Time Traveller’s Wife”, “Her Fearful Symmetry” and compadre of Neil Gaiman.  I’m just saying…

Unashamed Sci-Fi author, visual artist and ace Q & A-ist...

Your list, perhaps?

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“Doctor Who” – ‘The Wedding of River Song’ – spoilers!

SFX have only gone and done another one of their excellent, slightly maddening, question-inducing spoiler-free previews for this Saturday’s season finale.

Image via Pizquita.com

As ever, the non-spoiler preview does a great job of giving you out-of-context info, asides and speculation and letting you go wild with it as you will.

I’m going to guess that the nature of the eye-patches above is dealt with – I have a theory – and that the remark in Dave Golder’s “SFX” preview which relates to some seriously impressive visual effects stuff might refer to the world created in the US press release for the episode, which is so fricking spoilery that I’ll not tell you where I read it, just in case.

Seriously, stay away from the US press release if you want to go in blind.  You’ll thank me.

 

 

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Karl Urban in “Riddick 3”?

More news from the “Riddick” verse – Horror blog Bloody Disgusting reports that Karl Urban may be about to return in “Riddick 3” as Lord Vaako, the sort-of-bad-guy he played in “The Chronicles of Riddick”.

And I ask you again, milady - what the frak happened to my chuffing hair?

Not a confirmed return yet, but a welcome one, should it actually happen.  As Empire’s story notes, it’s good to see that Universal, David Twohy and Vin Diesel don’t appear to be ignoring the second movie entirely with this reboot and are keeping continuity in play.

Bad ass mother trucker or Oakley spokesmodel? The eternal debate.

With the rejuvenated success of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, a third “Riddick” movie and a potential third “XXX” actioner, does anybody else feel like they’ve woken up back in the early part of the Noughties?

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Baubles to Xmas

Being one of those entirely disreputable and untrustworthy types who doesn’t believe in omnipotent, vengeful, invisible people in the sky, the prospect of Christmas drawing ever nearer is not one which fills me with joy.  Another December where I spend a disproportionate amount of time re-explaining to people – folks who also heard this a year ago – that I don’t celebrate Christmas, send cards, buy presents or participate in the festive season.

Your high street. Soon. Be very afraid...

At a push, I’ll have an internal appreciation of colours, lights and decorations.  There’s something slightly pagan about those aspects of the Christmas holiday which transcends the virulent commercialism, high pressure selling tactics and hypocritical religious sentiments that so irritate me about that time of year.  That the nicest colours and lights of the season are to be found in commercial institutions like the department stores and malls is an irony not lost on me – if you want your pretty-pretty lights, you’ve got to have to deal with margin-conscious, sales-hungry store staff trying their hardest to get you to buy something, buy anything, buy – buy – buy!

The transition towards not celebrating Christmas is a lot easier for me, I realise, as I’m not a parent.  I don’t have children and I don’t have to try to explain why their friends are celebrating a holiday which they don’t and why they are different to their friends.  All that I have to do is get up on December 25th, take my lovely dog for a walk, help Mrs Rolling Eyeballs to make lunch and enjoy my Christmas “Doctor Who” without any of the pressure.

Reality. Why not try it some time?

It’s a lot easier to enjoy the end of the year when you don’t have to run around like decapitated poultry for a month buying lots of things for people who don’t appreciate it, going to parties that you don’t want to go to and putting yourself in financial dire straits until the Spring – is any of that stuff worth it?  Sustaining an economy based on unreasonable, profligate spending which is induced by guilt, advertising and the fear of disapproval by your peers is no way to live a life, surely?

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“Doctor Who”: ‘Closing Time’ episode review

Stormageddon. Toy shop. Name badge. Papoose. Cybermouse. First word.

Oh, you want a review.  That’s cool. SPOILERS commence herein...

This was another episode in the Moffatt era which took a pleasing digression away from main Arc business and told a sweet, uncomplicated story about normal folk intersecting with the Doctor, reintroducing James Corden as Craig Owens from last season’s “The Lodger”.

The name badge - a sight gag for the ages.

If anything, this episode was even less concerned with science fiction storytelling than its predecessor, being quite happy to relay an amiable tale of an odd couple, the baby they have to look after and convincing an uncertain new father that his new-found responsibility might actually be the making of him.

When typical “Who” business happens along throughout the episode – the plot driver being a rogue unit of crippled Cybermen kidnapping unaware staff at the department store built atop the site of their crash-landed ship and turning them into Cyber soldiers – it felt really quite jarring and not really necessary.  Sort of like another show invading the one that you’re watching (a point somewhat conceded by Moffatt and episode writer Gareth Roberts in last night’s episode of “Doctor Who Confidential” on BBC Three).

That’s very weird to write, of course – protesting about the Sci-Fi aspects of a “Who” episode is like watching a Simon Cowell show and complaining about all the MOR variety acts.  It raises the question – are we at the point where a show like this can comfortably break format and tell stories which occur outside the remit of the “Who” universe or do we need to come back to the comforting familiarity of Cybermen, Daleks and, yes, Weeping Angels?

What we had here, then, was a quite touching and often hilarious tale of a new father being undone by misplaced lack of confidence in his own capability to care for his new son – I’ve never had to look after a demanding new baby whose every cry is a wrench to the soul, but I have taken care of an occasionally truculent terrier, and let me tell you that taking care of a pet who wants something and can’t communicate it is no picnic. No two AM feeds, but I have had more than my share of three AM doggy comfort breaks – and being sleep-deprived is a feeling which transcends species.

Two Cybermen walk into a pub...or is a Dalek and two Ice Warriors? I'm rubbish at jokes.

An intriguing ending, too, which went to some oddly melancholy places, a motif which is becoming the hallmark of the Moffatt era – we had the Doctor facing his inevitable end with quiet resignation, making good with friends from the past and present (a lovely little cameo from Amy and Rory earlier in the episode, the Doctor watching them from afar, seeing his companions getting on with their lives – Amy’s now a successful model. Figures).

What about that moment before the climax, with River Song tracked down by Madame Kovarian and the Silence and locked into the space suit from “The Impossible Astronaut”?  I guess we have been able to guess that River might have killed the Doctor at least since the events of “A Good Man Goes To War”, which seemed to hint that either Rory or the Doctor were for the chop.  And as this is still nominally a family show, I doubt that BBC higher-ups would have wanted to go with a storyline where a daughter murders her father.  All very Greek and tragic but not exactly what the Saturday night, post tea-time audience are going to go for.

What's with the eye patch? That's got to be a thing, right?

River’s trapped in Lake Silencio, the Doctor’s heading for certain death and I genuinely have no idea how Moffatt’s going to sort all of this out in “The Marriage of River Song” next week.

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“Star Wars: The Old Republic” release date announced

BioWare and Electronic Arts’ attempt to carve out a chunk of the MMO space, “Star Wars: The Old Republic” now has a release date.

Hmm, your anger betrays your focus, oddly cute Jedi padawan...

Announced during Eurogamer’s London Games Festival, the game is scheduled to debut in the US on December 20th and in Europe on December 22nd.  Each retail copy of the game will ship with a 30 day subscription that can be continued via an array of subscription plans.

Will this game persuade some of the 11.1 monthly subscribers of “World Of Warcraft” to try a new game or will it draw new players to the MMO genre?  Time will tell, but if any property has a universe expansive enough to appeal to a wide variety of players, it’s this one.  Mind you, it’s not the first time we’ve had a “Star Wars” MMO…

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Women in the “40K” universe – when did this happen? Why wasn’t I informed?

Via the magic of Google Fu comes a blog-post book review of a “Warhammer 40K” series that I wasn’t aware of until now – featuring a central female protagonist.

There's no gender divide on stomping down heretics, last that I heard...

I know, I know – What the actual Frak?

Arthur B over at Ferretbrain has more on Matthew Farrer’s ‘Enforcer’ trilogy.

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