Thursday, 30 January 2014

Happy New Year Of The Horse

Cute Google Doodle for the Chinese New Year of the Horse.

A quick look around Wikipedia on the horse in Chinese history and mythology and we find...

Zhang Qian, a diplomat and explorer who brought strong horses and alfalfa seed for fodder back to early imperial China in the mid second century BC - a vital development, and one of his many achievements and discoveries, along with the development of trade with the West that would become known as the Silk Route. Without him, China might have remained isolated and impoverished for decades, and it would be easy for someone wishing to so alter history to waylay him on his travels. And the Doctor loves meeting fellow explorers...

The War of the Heavenly Horses a few decades later, a historical event grown to myth about massed battles to seize the greatest horses in the world. Who would control the steppes if history was rewritten? Would China be wildly different - or even there at all? Would the Mongols run wild over the world even more freely in the centuries to come?

Ox-Head and Horse-Face, demon guardians of the underworld, enemies of MONKEY! - who also travelled with Tripitaka’s dragon-turned-horse - and the sort of monsters often seen in the Davies era of Doctor Who. What might bring these nightmare images to life?

Have a good day and a good year!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Look Of The Future

I find it highly unlikely anyone here will not have seen this already and will not want to, but I’ll put it behind a cut anyway. Peter Capaldi in his new costume as the Doctor.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

"Look, it says "Quiet". Be QUIET."

Doctor Who won best drama at the National Television Awards, and Matt Smith won Best Actor, with this acceptance speech again demonstrating that some of it was Matt just being Matt. Or possibly just being the Doctor.

(Arthur Darvill picked up the award for him, and is keeping it safe...)

The unexpected heroes of the robot invasion

From concept artist Eduardo Peña.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

JMS on DW?

J. Michael Straczynski would like a crack at writing Doctor Who. While I am not a fan of Babylon 5, I can certainly believe that he could produce an interesting episode. Just maybe not forty episodes in a row.

Star Wars scaled Peter Capaldi

Character Options do some action figures - mostly slight variants apart from Twelve, and a Zygon. Clara gets an entire new sculpt in the same outfit, so she now looks more like... Jessica Hynes...

Titan, meanwhile, make a load of characters I would want as those weird vinyl chibi things. Damn it.

I actually really like getting early figures like newly-regenerated Doctors. Plenty of time for kids to imagine adventures in the Maybe before they air. This can lead to things like Boba Fett fandom, of course...

And, fair play, the Dalek fighter ship thing would be a bit big in 5” scale.

And now also making retro figures in the new scale. Not just Ten and Amy, but as far back as Genesis of The Daleks. Which is changing their minds, I think for the good. The previous plan to only make classic figures in the old scale and new in the new seemed unduly divisive. Let fans of both scales have toys! (Hilarious use of a Peter Capaldi shot from The Thick Of It there...)

"Why not this one?"

A girl and her medbot discuss the viability of reviving the dead, as she was dead herself when they met.

(What ever happened to the Raston Warrior Robots anyway?)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Happy 80th birthday to Tom Baker, the Doctor of my childhood.

It’s also Martin Luther King Day and Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. Quite a day for my heroes.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

THE OBJECT Is... a bit of pipe.

Following previous amused reports of exaggerated freakouts, it turns out that THE OBJECT that stopped the five-storey drill in its tracks is... an eight-inch steel pipe. Which suggests an issue with the drill, really.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

More Doctor Who fanart by Peter Capaldi

Yes, I said more Doctor Who fanart by Peter Capaldi.

What are the odds we see this image recreated in the show?

Time Trips

More ebooks, for various Doctors and companions, from some pretty literary names. AL Kennedy, Jenny Colgan, Nick Harkaway, Trudi Canavan, Jake Arnott.

Check out the blurbs for adventure hooks even before the books arrive. A golf club in the 70s, a planet that should not exist, a hole in time, future Australia, John Dee's Angelic Conversations.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Tales Of Trenzalore

One of the gaps in our knowledge of the Doctor's life to come from the anniversary year is about to be partially filled, with the ebook Tales Of Trenzalore showing four of his adventures in the centuries defending Christmas town.

Like the UNIT years, it parks the Doctor in one time and place (for a lot longer from his perspective but only one episode from ours) as he defends it from a higher-than-average number of monster invasions, and could be the basis for a more grounded game than the usual weekly jaunts across all of reality.

Still no Monoids, though.

Anybody in NZ?

Fifty: an adventure at Kap-Con, Wellington NZ this weekend, by Morgan Davie, with a disarmingly frank description:

It is also the Moffatiest adventure I could come up with... Oh, and I have no idea how to end it...

I’m sure it’ll go well anyway. Morgue is that good. (Damn him.)

Particularly amused that Doctor Who is also listed as genre and style.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sherlock, secrets, and Sherlock secrets

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss on how Sherlock works. Whacking great spoilers for that other show they make, but also some handy observations about how to foreshadow twists.

Dian Fossey

A Google Doodle honouring zoologist Dian Fossey, who would have been 82 today.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Worlds In Time out of time

The multiplayer puzzle game thing launched around Christmas 2011 is to close in March, and stopped accepting further payments today. As a thank you, it gave subscribers a 10% discount at the BBC Shop.

I was not keen, although I did like the Clockwork Spaceships. If nothing else, it produced this fanart from Regenerated artist Girl On The Moon.

The British Museum

A Google Doodle reveals this is the 255th anniversary of the British Museum. Which is, obviously, great. And rather Who-ish, being a huge collection of historical artefacts across a vast range of subjects bang in the middle of London.

It has never appeared as itself in the show, but in plenty of spinoff stories. In the parallel time created by the stars going out, the National Museum took its place. (It did appear as itself in Primeval.)

It’s also home to one of the Tenth Doctor banknotes from The Runaway Bride. Which were never meant to be looked at too closely in the episode, but I always thought could kick off a story hook of their own...

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Beatles, National Health spectacles, and fog

New DWM, and yes, Peter Capaldi IS The Doctor!

“I was five when the show started. I don’t remember Doctor Who not being part of my life, and it became a part of growing up, along with The Beatles, National Health spectacles, and fog. And it runs deep. It’s in my DNA.”

So, to honour our new Doctor’s recollections, any ideas for an adventure hook about the other things in that list?

I Saw Her Standing There

April 30th, 1964, and the Beatles are on tour, playing at the Odeon Cinema in Glasgow. They were lucky to make it across from playing Edinburgh the night before, because there’s a hell of a fog coming in...

And a few people, with bad eyesight, swear they can see shapes moving in the mists. It just so happens they all got their prescription glasses updated by the same Doctor. And after someone bumps into him in the mist, perhaps on purpose, John Lennon cracks a lens and needs a new one...

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Simone de Beauvoir

First non-New-Year Google Doodle of the year goes to the 106th birthday of French feminist writer, editor, world traveller and activist Simone de Beauvoir. Brave, sharp-witted and not one to take guff from anybody.

“I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.”

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Day Of The Dredlox!

That time Power Man and Iron Fist fought off-model Daleks escaped from a play written by an off-model Doctor based on his adventures.

This never took off, unlike that other cult British TV knockoff the Hellfire Club, now a more important group in the X-Men than the original one-shot villains they lifted from The Avengers. (That’s Steed and Peel, not the Marvel superheroes, to add to the general confusion.)

According to this they did actually appear at least once more, apparently in an Avengers story (the Marvel superheroes this time!) named after the original title of City Of Death and co-written by noted Whovians the Lofficiers...

Point in their favour, the Dredlox have different arm attachments and weapons arrays, which if nothing else is toyetic.

And it’s also unconnected to the times the Doctor has been part of the Marvel (UK) universe due to licensing - some of which you can see in the DWM Seventh Doctor reprint comics A Cold Day in Hell, like the time he shrank Death’s Head down to human size with the Master’s Tissue Compression Eliminator and the time he was TARDIS-jacked by the Sleeze Brothers.

Of course, they were hardly the only ones. Getting stuck in unreliable time machines was a common problem for British comic superheroes in the 60s and 70s for some reason...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It begins...

Peter Capaldi’s first day of filming, still in The Snowmen onwards Matt outfit. No new costume pics yet.

“New job, first day, slightly nervous. Just like the Doctor, I’m emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.”

And a new DWM on Thursday, with the traditional Peter Capaldi IS The Doctor! cover feature.

Here we go!

DWA Monster Build figure kits

Doctor Who Adventures is currently giving away the Monster Build Kit pack. Four snap-together plastic figures - Vastra, Strax, a 2013 Cyberman and a Weeping Angel.

And now an unnecessarily thorough review...

They’re not remotely miniatures scale. Which may make the rest of this post redundant.

Micro Universe Dalek and new action figure Clara for scale comparisons. Nor are they in scale with each other - Strax is as tall as the others, which makes him huge. And his head is too big for his body...

Being snap together, they are (apart from Strax) also somewhat mobile at the shoulder and neck. (And the thighs in the case of the Cyberman, making it as articulated as an original Star Wars figure if you take it off the base - the prongs are in the feet, though, so it cannot stand without it.)

A bit too much flash off the sprues, the Weeping Angel needs ears and a bit more back of the head (and can raise her arms to grab but not to cover her face) and the Cyberman’s proportions look a bit funny.

But still. Quite nice once all snapped together.

Oh, and if you’re a kid, or have kids, this is the first issue (of three) with tokens to win the life-size replica Dalek. You know you want to.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Boudicca, Hypatia, Aethelflaed... eyeliners?

Possibly the strangest source yet for a list of Celebrity Historical candidates - Ignis Antiquita, an indie line of makeup named for great women of classical and mediaeval history. Click on each picture for a short introduction to the namesake.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Doctor goes to... Australia

One byproduct of having an Australian sister-in-law is often getting calendars from her family at Christmas. Hanging above the computer now, as of three days ago, is this sometimes terrifying Australian Weather calendar, replacing last year’s series of legendary images from The Dreamtime. So naturally, looking for a source of adventures, my eye is drawn to the image for January. And I am reminded that Doctor Who has never really visited Australia.

The role of Australia was played by Littlehampton in The Enemy Of The World, and there it was just a Bond-style Exotic Backdrop anyway.

So what would a Doctor Who story shot on location there be like? What would the crew have to include - Sydney Opera House, Uluru and a kangaroo?

What would a suitable historical event be?

I could ask an Australian correspondent here, as I know a DWAITAS writer who shares a home town with Tegan...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014