The blog of a Sci-Fi Geek

Fri 26 November , 10

How to Regenerate a Time Lord

Filed under: TV — Tags: , — SFG @ 12:39

Thanks to BBCAmerica for informing me that today is The Doctor’s 47th Birthday.

In 1966, William Hartnell stepped down from the lead role in the beloved science fiction series, ‘Doctor Who’. Rather than simply recast the part, the production team came up with a solution that would ensure the series would run for years to come.

The Changing Face of Doctor Who

Here’s to another 47 years.
Happy Birthday, Doctor Who.

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Thu 23 September , 10

Doctor Who : Season 32 [news roundup]

Filed under: TV — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 17:03

This is just a small collection of news tidbits and rumours from around the web.
Some may be spoilers, some may be conjecture and fan wishlists.
I make no apologies for the veracity (or otherwise) of these comments.
So what do we ‘know’ so far?
The season will be split in two, taking a summer break to return in the autumn.
The Sun reported that Amy Pond will be the big cliffhanger to the first part of the season, but then The Sun has probably reported on the death of every main character since RTD brought the show back.
We’ll find out just who River Song is.
River Song could actually be Amy Pond.
Amy Pond could be River’s and The Doctor’s child.
Neil Gaiman has written an episode.
Let me just say that again … Neil Gaiman has written an episode.

So, is there anything that I’ve missed?
If so leave a message in the comment section below.

Sun 8 August , 10

Blake’s 7 Remake Scrapped

Filed under: DSV-1, TV — Tags: , , , , , — SFG @ 16:23

Sky1 has abandoned it’s plans to bring back Blake’s 7, according to the Media Guardian and other news outlets.
The Media Guardian quotes “Following the development process we have decided not to produce Blake’s 7. However, Sky continues to invest heavily in original drama and it remains at the heart of our plans,” said a spokeswoman for Sky1. “We have just announced an extended run for the second series of Chris Ryan’s Strike Back and we’ll soon be unveiling a new long-running series for prime time.

This both saddens me as well as cheers me.
This is quite possibly my all-time favourite science fiction TV show, and as such I wouldn’t like it to make a come-back and be derided. It also means I’ll not see an inferior version of the greatest space ship design ever (in my opinion).
It saddens me because it means the door has now closed – for the time being – on any possible greatness that a remake could have achieved – think the recent “re-imagining” of Battlestar Galactica.

I do still hope that this show will one day make a triumphant come-back and be as much loved again as the recent Doctor Who is now. I guess I’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.

Wed 30 June , 10

Depp as Who?

Filed under: Film, TV — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 23:16

Okay, so you may have heard the rumour that Johnny Depp is to play Doctor Who in a new American feature film.
No? Oh, well here’s the link.

I’m very unsure about this.
There’s obviously scope to do things right, and if done right it could certainly add longevity to the character. Remember that The Doctor only gets 12 regenerations, so there’s only two more incarnations left to come – this is assuming they tie in any possible film with the canon of the the TV show.

There’s nothing to say that the TV show hasn’t shown us all the Doctor’s versions and we are currently on the final one in TV land. Depp’s Doctor could be the version where we finally get to see the time war in all it’s big-screen glory.

It’s nice to speculate, but at the moment this is all just based on a rumour. It’s likely a rumour set in motion by someone at a big Hollywood studio just to gauge the reception a likely film may get. Johnny Depp may just be a name that’s thrown out there as he’s a popular actor of the day.
Who knows?

(8+)

Fri 25 June , 10

Doctor Who : The Pandorica Opens [REVIEW]

Filed under: TV, TV Review — Tags: , , , , , , , , — SFG @ 16:40

The beginning of the end of season 31, and what a beginning it was.

This was always going to be a confusing episode, simply because of everything that has gone before it.
Time travel can be a difficult subject to broach at the best of times, but when you’ve a whole season of jumping backwards and forwards (not necessarily in chronological order, I might add), with cracks appearing all over the universe, people seemingly being erased and then suddenly popping up as programmed Autons and a hitherto never-to-happen unholy alliance of every foe that The Doctor has ever (?!?) encountered, well then, it’s going to make for a very fast paced, confusing story.
Hooray, we weren’t disappointed.

There’s a lot going on in this ep. so if you don’t think I’ve done it justice by the end of the review please tell me in the comments box.

Where to start?
Exploding TARDIS!
This has been building to a climax and the audience has had enough time to prepare for it but did we really have to see another exploding TARDIS? The season opened up with the TARDIS crash landing back on Earth do we really need to end the season with another wrecked blue box?

Auton Rory seemingly killed Amy, who incidentally remembered everything that had been wiped from her head previously. Is Amy dead? If so, well, we now know that time can be re-written, so if she is dead now who’s to say she’ll be staying that way for very long. Will Auton Rory be the catalyst to bring the alliance of The Doctor’s enemies crashing down? Speaking of which …

The unholy/unusual/unlikely alliance that every alien race in the Whoniverse that’s ever had a run-in with The Doctor suddenly starts working together in a bid to trap The Doctor?!? What the what.
If we forget for a second that the Daleks and the Cybermen almost annihilated each other in a previous season of the show, and we put aside the many times that The Doctor has snatched victory from the jaws of failure on any number of occasions that these evildoers have tried to take over the universe, not just Earth, the very first time all these alien races get together is actually to save the universe?
I’m not buying that for a second.
Which race decided that this was a good idea? Which race was responsible for creating this alliance? Which race/s are powerful enough to draw all those thousands of different ships together to converge in that one point in space and time?

When the Pandorica first opened and we heard the disembodied voice my very first thought was of Davros. That turned out not to be the case (unless Davros is inside one of the new super-Daleks) but I think it would take a singularly dastardly brain to come up with a plan like this to trap The Doctor.
Then again, River Song (*sigh*) said about the Pandorica “A box, a cage, a prison. It was built to contain the most feared thing in the entire universe.” Even she doesn’t know what it is exactly, and something being built “to contain” something doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing, it could actually be used to protect it’s contents from destructive outside forces.
This is what I suspect it really is for. If the universe is going to go bang what thing would you want to preserve? The one thing that could possibly put it all right once the big bad thing has happened. That would be The Doctor.

Of course, this is just all speculation. There’s a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey constant flux in Doctor Who, but one thing’s for certain, whatever happened in this episode regarding the Pandorica, it’ll have to be dealt with in the next and final episode of the season. Even if that means repercussions in future episodes a resolution will have to be proffered of some sort.

I can’t wait.

Thu 10 June , 10

Torchwood 4

It’s been confirmed, Torchwood season 4 is go!
This makes me very happy.
It was looking decidedly unlikely that Torchwood would get comissioned for a fourth season after the very well received season 3 ended on the 10th of July 2009. The fact it’s taken quite so long (almost a full year) to get to the point where the BBC is comfortable enough in announcing the fourth season is a go is a good indication that a lot of backroom dealings have likely taken place to get to this point.

No matter. I’m just really pleased that Torchwood will be making a return to our screens.

It’s had a very impressive career as a show, first premiering on BBC3 for it’s first season, then moving to BBC2 for it’s second and shifting to BBC1 for it’s five night Children of Earth season 3. Now  we’re told that season four will “see storylines widen to include locations in the U.S. and around the world.”.

This show just keeps going from strength to strength and moving from primarily U.K. based stories to be more inclusive of the rest of the world is a natural progression. After all, Torchwood is a global organisation, so why not show some of the other operations from around the world.
Let’s also not forget that the show has very strong relations with Doctor Who. Could we see The Doctor , Amy (or whatever companion The Doctor has at that time) and the TARDIS  land in America for a cross-over? Who knows!

Links
Torchwood returns with international flavour
International partnership secures new series of Torchwood

Sun 25 April , 10

Doctor Who : The Time of Angels [REVIEW]

Filed under: TV, TV Review — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 13:07

S. 31, Ep. 4.

What a wonderful episode.
New Doctor. New companion. New ‘big bad’. River Song. It would’ve been sheer incompetence if this episode had failed, but that’s okay, because it didn’t.

It’s interesting to note that this was Matt Smith’s first episode to shoot and I think it benefited greatly from this.
This is a story that calls for more drama from the actors rather than mania. The Doctor has always been able to dial back the mania when the story requires but the youthfulness of Matt Smith made the mania almost appear to be effortless in the first three episodes. The gravitas that this episode required really let us see that Matt Smith is certainly not the wrong choice to play this character.

During this episode it becomes clear that Amy Pond is in her first spot of real peril as a companion, and it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with this. There’s a scene where she’s interacting with an Angel on a video monitor and without trying to give anything away Amy Pond proves that she’s every bit a worthy companion.
It’ll be interesting to see further interaction between her and River Song.
It was fantastic to see Amy getting a brief education on Gallifreyan history from The Doctor.

The Lonely Assassins (or Weeping Angels) are the crowning glory of this episode.
They’re not new-new villains – having previously been introduced during the last Doctor’s tenure – but these are the modern day equivalent of the Dalek as far as I’m concerned.
The tension of the episode is perfectly punctuated by the genuine menace that these statues-that-aren’t-statues bring to the mix. To say any more would spoil it for those that haven’t yet seen the episode, so I’ll stop here.

River Song makes a very welcome return in a way that only River Song could.
I initially thought The Doctor and her would rendezvous in a slightly different manner but that would have dispersed any tension that would have created between River and Amy.
River’s knowledge of The Doctor and what he’s likely to get up to in the future is a definite draw for the audience but there’s a secret she’s keeping and it really is only a matter of time before The Doctor (and the audience) finds out.

Overall a brilliant episode and I’m very much looking forward to the second part.

Mon 5 April , 10

Doctor Who : The Eleventh Hour [REVIEW]

Filed under: TV, TV Review — Tags: , , — SFG @ 18:50

This review contains spoilers

A resurrection at Easter?

Dangling precariously from the architrave of his TARDIS whilst being erratically hurtled towardsthe St. Stephen’s Tower, we are finally formally introduced to the 11th Doctor.
In what is rapidly becoming typical Doctor Who fashion the world was in peril and it was down to the Time Lord to save it from destruction. I liked this story, but for me this was about introducing new characters and new actors playing old, familiar characters. That being said, this is an entirely new Doctor, and as such the writing and story should be at its very best, and whilst I enjoyed the episode, I feel it could have been so much better if a little more attention to detail had been paid.

I’ve got nothing bad to say at all about Matt Smith as The Doctor or Karen Gillan as the new Companion (even though she really didn’t have very much to do in this initial story). I have reservations about this being the lead episode of a new season as well as being that of a new Doctor. The pacing was totally wrong for a season opener too – actually, the pacing was just wrong full-stop. You can’t start the episode running then break in to a sprint after 15 minutes and not have any breaks from then on. You have to give the viewer time to catch-up and absorb facts and details without requiring repeat viewings of the episode.

I like the fact that The Doctor has seemingly learned his lesson from the end of his previous incarnation and once again realises that he needs company. As Amy states she thinks this is because he gets lonely but it’s really because he needs a moral compass to stop him from going off at the deep end.
The Doctor also has some bridges to build with Amy too. It seems that their first encounter and subsequent 12 year break has left her somewhat broken.
The producers also decided to break that iconic theme tune, but have counteracted it with an incredible Time Vortex opening sequence. I may have to mute it and watch the opening titles in silence for this season.

Overall, a good – but not great – episode. It did what it needed to do but it could’ve been, and done, so much more.
Every time The Doctor regenerates there’s doubt and uncertainty about the actor stepping in to the TARDIS and on the whole each and every time those doubts have been cast aside after the first couple of episodes. I think it’s the same thing happening here.
DT was an extremely well liked Doctor at the end of his stint in the TARDIS, only time will tell if Matt Smith is as well liked a few years from now.

Sat 3 April , 10

11 Days of The Doctor

Filed under: Fun, Geek, TV — Tags: , , , , , — SFG @ 15:15

I was sent a link by my mate Alex on Flickr of a set of images, some of which are reproduced below (with permission).
The Flickr profile in question isn’t a Pro account, which means they have limited bandwidth so hotlinking to their images really wouldn’t be a good thing.
To view the original images please go to this link : TheBritishBafoon on Flickr.
I’ve added a couple of images after the jump.
All this in in celebration of the return of Doctor Who this evening on BBC1 at 18:20.

(more…)

Who’s Back …

Filed under: TV — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 06:26

It’s about time.


Image source

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