Wednesday, 31 October 2012

"Can I be very cryptic?"

Happy Hallowe’en!

To celebrate in a completely unconnected way, SFX spoke to Matt Smith (and friends) about the Doctor Who Experience, Jenna-Louise Coleman, and his dream anniversary episode.

“I would fly the crew to somewhere exotic! Do an episode in Peru going on the Inca trails. And there’d be some brilliant, exotic monster... and we’d shoot for six weeks... And I don’t know what the story would be, but it would involve another trip to, ooh, Australia, and involve... possibly Atlantis, the lost city.”

Some of that answer might be wanting a working holiday, I think. But The Inca trails and Atlantis? We could do that...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Russell T Davies on Wizards Vs Aliens

SFX talks to RTD about WvA

Including who he would have cast as the Rani (Ruthie Henshall, who we get to see in WvA so we can see what he had in mind) and why they dropped a time travel episode.

Happy birthday, Doctor

The Doctor is thirty! ... Wait, only thirty? I thought he was a thousand!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Warren Ellis, Doctor Who Idea Factory

Since the comments here I have been considering this.

I am a Warren Ellis fan and I want a Warren Ellis episode of Doctor Who. This is rooted in his SF and adventure stories more than his superhero work, which still has plenty of spare ideas. His dialogue would be an added bonus, I think, but it’s the ideas that really work.

A lot of it straddles the line of cyberpunk and transhumanism, very much depending on what people have done to them and how they feel about it. That doesn’t fit the Whoniverse very well so what else would? (The Cybermen don’t work with it, and there isn’t much transhumanism on display aside from throwaway lines in Utopia: “Oh, you might have spent a million years evolving into clouds of gas and another million as downloads, but you always revert to the same basic shape. The fundamental human. End of the universe and here you are...”)

Individual issues of Transmetropolitan contain the kind of mad societies that would suit a single episode of the Doctor and companions solving their core problem. The Revivals, an underclass of people brought back from cryogenic suspension and then abandoned to go mad in a future they can’t deal with. The Reservations - experimental archaeology taken to its ultimate extreme, entire cultures recreated in isolation to see how they work, and including some for creating possible futures.

Planetary, likewise, could fuel episodes with oneshots like a group breaking quarantine to enter Monster Island, or the secret history of cannon-based space travel in the 1850s. Or the final issue’s concerns about turning on humanity’s first time machine and it being the earliest point time travellers could come back to and uncertainty becoming certain and the room therefore filling up with them immediately...

Roughly every other issue of Global Frequency (probably not the one about the massacre or the Simon Bisley one) contains an idea that would unpack neatly into a Who or Torchwood episode. A Cold War psychic spy whose powers are breaking down. A sound that makes people serve it. A bomb on the wrong side of the city in rush hour. A database that contains every secret.

Orbiter, where a space shuttle disappears... and returns ten years later loaded with alien technology.

Ocean, with the discovery of stasis pods in the waters of Europa, and a corporate space station run by people whose minds run on company software for the duration of their contracts.

Frankenstein’s Womb (which directly influenced the Mary Shelley episode of The Door In Time) has Mary enter Frankenstein Castle on her way to the Villa Diodati and there see the Creature, her own future and the future her writings create.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Alphabet Of Fear

The new Doctor Who Magazine is out!

(Which is not normally newsworthy, as it’s lovely and reliable, but the issue before last was a week late and the last issue didn’t turn up in many places and it was all a bit worrying, especially as I really wanted to see the comic as I wanted to see Amy and Rory having another adventure...)

Anyway, a few things worth chatting about. A nice big interview with Karen Gillan, and another retrospectively with Mary Tamm. A feature about Wizards Vs. Aliens. A “Battle Of Wits” debate about the Doctor using violence, mostly triggered by Solomon and Kahler-Jex in the last few weeks.

And The A To Z Of Dread, an alphabetical-ish list of scary Who things. Alphabetical-ish because it follows things like “D is for Daleks” with “E is for Evil” - and then “O is for Oh Dear God, Those Eyes”, which I think could have been E.

Still, flicking through it is liable to give a Whovian GM ideas. I’ve barely touched on Automatons or Possession, or Oh Dear God, Those Eyes for that matter...

Okay, letter at random...

“X Is For X Factor”.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Whose Who’s Stories

The full writer and almost full director list of the 2013 Smith and Coleman majority of the current series is online, including Neil Gaiman’s new episode.

Almost everything is filmed, it seems, except Mr. M’s finale, episode two, and Mr. G’s penultimate one which we know next to nothing else about.

The new name on the list of writers, with two episodes, is Neil Cross, creator of Luther as well as writing for Spooks and The Fixer. Whether this means his episodes will be over-the-top conspiracy thrillers set in rainy moodily-lit London is another matter. Luther was in its own ways as absurdist as Doctor Who...

Hopefully neither of them will be an “evil gamers” episode...

Alpha Centauri 1

An Earth-sized planet orbiting our next nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

Don’t pack your suitcases just yet, it’s too close to its sun to support life, but where there’s one there are often more...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Have some quotes.

Toy Compression Eliminator

News has reached me that Doctor Who figures will be 3 3/4” scale from now on. The Classic line will apparently remain at 5".

So we’ll get Jenna-Louise in Star Wars scale rather than the scale used by the Who line since 2005.


Monday, 15 October 2012

The Planet With Four Suns

Discovered by ‘armchair’ astronomers.

The bright new world, almost 5,000 light years away, is believed to be six times the size of Earth. It orbits one pair of stars and is in turn circled by a second pair, meaning four stars light up its skies.

That’s one more than the planet in Pitch Black!

In Dreams

Today’s Google Doodle is a huge beautifully animated pastiche of Little Nemo In Slumberland.

A much-loved early masterpiece of comics art, it’s also an example of the topsy-turvy logic of dreams and surreal flights of fancy, as one might see in the Land of Fiction or the Celestial Toyshop.

And a lot of falling.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Doctor Who: Century House

Century House trailer

We never finished episode three of the Doctor Who Series A play-by-post RPG, but this was the next episode in the queue, based on an unmade script by Tom MacRae for Ten and Donna in 2008.

The Doctor goes live with a ghost-hunting TV show to solve the mystery of the haunting...

Doctor Who Down Under

Australian MP launches an online campaign to make it happen!

Where else should the TARDIS go?

Peter Jackson has already said he’d be happy to help make or even direct one in New Zealand...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 127th birthday of Niels Bohr, a major quantum physicist, contemporary and friend of Einstein, who I must admit I am aware of only by reputation. I do like his quotes though. Some of them are decidedly Doctor-y.

“We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.”

Adventure hooks? Possibly... fleeing the Nazis and working on the Manhattan Project seem like good places to start.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Hide Your Eyes

I saw someone in town today wearing a “Keep Calm And Don’t Blink” T-shirt, and briefly considered doing a Weeping Angel mime. I decided against it as that’s rather intrusive, but it got me thinking...

What if people started acting like Weeping Angels? Still, silent, hands over their faces? What might that mean in the Whoniverse? Are they holding the image of an Angel, or trying to avoid their attentions, or...?

(And what was the little girl doing covering her face at Winter Quay..?)

Five rounds rapid!

Defending The Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook preorder

Now the DWAITAS line’s first sourcebook instead of a box set.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today

We’ve done the Beatles, right? It’s the 50th anniversary of their first single.

I had them in the background of an episode of The Door which you’ll get to read one of these years...

SteveD included them in his Kinks-inspired adventure brainstorm (threatened by Carrionites as lyrical genii tend to be) and it would be easy to go a lot further. A title-based adventure hook brainstorm, for one.

Monday, 1 October 2012

So therefore...?

John Seavey at MightyGodKing considers The Angels Take Manhattan.

He asks the obvious first question, and comes up with a reasonable answer.

He asks the episode’s last question, and comes up with an answer which is rather interesting and plotty.

But I mostly draw your attention because of the middle question, which I hadn’t worried about, and comes up with an answer which is hilarious.

(Probably not in keeping with the tone of the episode, but still.)