Saturday, 24 September 2011

Jim Henson

Today's Google Doodle marking Jim Henson's 75th birthday with digital puppets created by the Henson Company.

I don't have an adventure hook in mind that would suit him, but in his life and legacy there are plenty to be found.

Farscape alone looks to have had some influence on Doctor Who returning in 2005 - just look at the logos, and the colour schemes for Moya and the TARDIS.

Or consider the collaborations with Neil Gaiman...

Or The Storyteller could fuel an entire series, m'dearios.

And let's see...

A sinister mythic figure steals a child, and the travellers have just until midnight to find him.

A world ruled by gnarled, hateful creatures, with a circle of wise old seers as their only rivals... and each is an aspect of the other.

But those are obvious. How about...

An underground colony of two species living (more or less) at peace, with a third race in the land above who hunt them for stealing from their gardens, not understanding all they do for their world.

A succession of peculiar circumstances leads to the travellers having to put on a variety show with a horde of strange alien performers...

Friday, 23 September 2011

What is this show anyway?

From "Sell Me On Doctor Who" this is me:

"Since it's run for thirty-odd series over forty-eight years, Doctor Who is many different things. You might love one episode and hate the next. You might find the current format doesn't work for you and the classic does, or vice versa, or neither. There's probably a story out there you'd enjoy, but how to find it...

The current Moffat run is a comedy-horror-fairytale, with each episode leaning more towards one or other of those poles. The Davies era was more a comedy-romantic-adventure, with individual horror episodes mostly supplied by Moffat. The classic series could mostly be split up by Doctors and/or executive producers, like the Tom Baker years being split between Robert Holmes pastiching horror, Douglas Adams being Douglas Adams and Christopher Bidmead trying to make Proper Science Fiction."

And this is prisoneroffantasy:

"Doctor Who has everything. The trouble is that most folks don't like everything, they only like *some* things. It can take a bit of patience to find those Doctor Who stories which are meant for you, but for me it's been well worth it."

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Docteur Qui?

In other news, not dropping all the spoilers I've heard for the Christmas Special (like when and where it's set) I'll just say... BILL BAILEY! About time!

The God Complex

International travel prevented this entry until now. Which is good, probably, because I was in a big beige all-the-same sort of hotel...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Non-Celebrity Historical

A completely gratuitous post today, as my hotel does not have BBC America.

Yesterday's Google Doodle was about Albert Szent-Györgyi, who I had never heard of. Wikipedia informs me he discovered Vitamin C, and "was also active in the Hungarian Resistance during World War II and entered Hungarian politics after the war." Which is very cool. But still, I'd never heard of him. Likewise, I'd never heard of Henry Avery (or Every) until The Curse Of The Black Spot. Where it didn't matter, because it was a story about PIRATES! (And interdimensional holo-nurses.) Liberties were there to be taken. But ultimately you don't want to offend people unduly.

So how do you treat real people who aren't that famous? Give the portrayal a bit more leeway, or treat them as important figures that the audience (the players) are just learning about?

Or how about treating a "Who's Who" level character in an unexpected way? In The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon, Nixon sided with the heroes to help a frightened child.

When I ran a one-shot set during the Cortez campaign, I kept the man himself off camera as I didn't know who at the table would know the history or might have a strong opinion about it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Doctor's Wife, among other things

To mark 250 posts, Neil Gaiman Talks With Audrey Niffenegger. Specific Who talk starts around 30 minutes in.

Direct mp3 link thing.

Character Building

As launched with Doctor Who, the Lego-compatible Character Building line now branches out into something not unlike Lego's Minifigs, generic figures. Initially a box set, but I would guess they're looking at the Minifigs market as they already have individual figures in bags for two quid a pop in the Who line.

Astronauts, soldiers, knights, builders, F1 drivers, footballers, ninjas and zombies. Obviously.

All very nice. But how much I'd like generic realistic 5" scale action figrues as well. After all, they've never given us, for example, a UNIT Soldier.

They have made two generic Roman soldiers, one for The Pandorica Opens causing the start of two years' grumbling about the lack of a Rory figure, and one for The Fires Of Pompeii in which IIRC no soldiers actually appear.

So yes! Give me astronauts! Soldiers! Knights! Admittedly not so much the builders or F1 drivers or footballers. But I'm sure the ninjas and zombies would sell too...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Girl Who Waited

Minimalist, trippy, wistful and sad. Nice stuff.

Who is the Thirteenth Doctor?

I dunno, I'm just doodling.

Also, yes he is. ;)

Miracle Day

No spoilers. Well, not really.

Now that it's all over, in the US at least, this has happened and that has happened and I'm not sure that was a good idea and I can imagine new viewers being rather perplexed by the "oh and by the way he's immortal" thing.

Well, it was certainly interesting. Could have been tighter all round, ten episodes feels like two or three too many. Would make more sense putting outside of the Whoniverse at this point, though.

This thread about alternate "miracles" got me thinking about broad sweeping setting-altering events, particularly ones that affect humanity itself. Hooks like Miracle Day that would certainly work in-Whoniverse. Say as Big Two-Parters on the level of Army Of Ghosts, rather than whole series on their own.

This got non-Who-specific, so it went over here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Doctor Who by Mister Mercury

It's been two and a half days since the latest highly strange Google Doodle to celebrate Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday, and I don't have a plot idea that would suit him.

So I thought I'd do the old "adventure hooks based on song titles" trick instead.

Which took two days, hence the delay here.

Since I'm making this list myself, let's go with one track off every album. The first? (looks at track list) Make it the third. "Keep Yourself Alive" gives me an idea of trying to stop your own assassination in the past, but it means I can dodge having to do something for "Tie Your Mother Down".

This misses some of the most immediately appealing titles, like the Richard Dadd reference in Queen II, but hey, it's a challenge.

My "We Will Rock You" idea would have involved aliens threatening a meteor strike... and with an extra day's thought, "Fat Bottomed Girls" would have been about the bustle making a surprising comeback.

Monday, 5 September 2011

From Mark Gatiss's Twitter

Tick tock, goes the clock, and what now shall we play?
Tick tock, goes the clock, now summer's gone away?
Tick tock, goes the clock, and what then shall we see?
Tick tock until the day that thou shalt marry me.
Tick tock goes the clock, and all the years they fly
Tick tock and all too soon, you and I must die
Tick tock goes the clock, he cradled her and he rocked her
Tick tock goes the clock, even for the Doctor...


Friday, 2 September 2011

News from the front

Short version: The Core boxed set had to be redone and rebranded for the Matt Smith era.
The other supplements were delayed until the core box got redone.
The One Ring took up more time than expected.
C7 have brought on more staff to help out (including yr. humble correspondent), so things are moving along again.

Currently, the core box is nearly regenerated. The Time Traveller's Companion is in layout. UNIT got a rewrite and is in editing. The GM's guide is being written, and several supplements to follow that are in development. We're nearly back on track. Ish. Fingers crossed. All going well etc.

Gar Hanrahan, here

And isn't that a great title for the query?