Saturday, 30 August 2014

Monday, 25 August 2014

Nyssa's Master Plan

Charlie Jane Anders at io9 argues for the greatness of this companion little used in her day. I have a sneaking affection for her as one of the earliest companions I clearly remember and the one Big Finish used as a writing test for the first open call I tried. Is her Master Plan viable? No less than Turlough’s...

Clara figure in proper scale

Character Options changes its mind and releases The Impossible Set. It’s Oswin rather than a regular Clara, but the head exists and that’s the most important part for a custom figure.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Deep Breath

“Here we go again...”

Or if you prefer... “I’m Scottish, I can complain about things!” (Biggest laugh in the cinema in Edinburgh, naturally.)

Thirteen Australian Doctors

Via Australian DWAITAS adventure author Steve D:

What If Doctor Who Had Been Australian This Whole Time?

This may not crop up as often as the American version, but damn, some of these choices are awesome. I guessed 8 and felt slightly smug about it. (The David Wenham Photoshopping works particularly well.)

Warren Ellis on watching Doctor Who


“And that was it. That moment. In those five seconds, a key piece of British culture had gloriously returned.”

It was always around when I was a kid. I must have established at some point that I liked it, or maybe my brother did that first, as the toys arrived when I was (I think) four and a half and he was seven, and I have some of the original Doctor Who Weekly comics in well-read-by-kids battered state. I can remember Logopolis, probably a repeat, clearly, but obviously knew it before that. And even when it was a mess, it was still a must-see. But I don’t know who turned the TV on in the first place when I was in the room for it...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

You Only Know The Names

The new Radio Times is out with Peter Capaldi looking sternly out above the strapline I Am The Doctor. And the big preview of the season includes the now traditional rundown of episode titles, writer and director credits, and rather vague descriptions. SFX has the titles and credits here.

And because it’s always fun, taking each title and thinking of an adventure hook, deliberately not based on anything I might know. I have a pretty good idea what episode three is about, but no idea about episode four...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Taking an idea and running with it

Jamie McCrimmon was an inspiration for the book and TV series Outlander. Just another example of the kind of ideas the Whoniverse includes in passing that could spin off to entire sagas on their own.

This one is probably the bestselling leading example of the time travel romance sub-genre, and the time travel romance with Highlanders sub-sub-genre. Which other sub-sub-genres could become adventures or provide characters? Sub Dan Brown conspiracy theory pulp adventures? Medieval detectives? Ninja comedies?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Diana Wynne Jones

A Google Doodle marks what would have been the 80th birthday of an author best known for children’s fantasy, influenced by studying under J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis at Oxford, and influencing the likes of Neil Gaiman in turn.

On complaints about her work being complex:
This is ridiculous, I mean, wholly ridiculous. It never did any child any harm to have something that was a tiny bit above them anyway, and I claim that anyone who can follow Doctor Who can follow absolutely anything.
She also wrote The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, a satirical sourcebook for bog-standard fantasy.

Some of her work and its adaptations are also distinctly relevant here:

Archer’s Goon concerns a small town where a strange family rules in secret through a variety of powers... including time, as one of them lives in the past and commutes to the present. It was adapted by Children’s BBC during the Who-less years in 1992.

Howl’s Moving Castle (also adapted, fairly loosely, by Studio Ghibli) has an ordinary young woman swept up in the wake of a mysterious man who lives in a castle with a door that opens sometimes in one place and sometimes another...

The Homeward Bounders sets a child adrift across a variety of universes which are, in fact, games played by higher beings.

A Tale Of Time City has its young hero kidnapped because certain individuals think she is... The Time Lady...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Robin Williams would have made a great Doctor.

He largely did so already, of course, in Mork And Mindy, which like plenty of Tom Baker Doctor Who stories was largely a space for the star to be strange and funny. I grew up with it as much as Doctor Who, so my view of alien visitors is probably a bit skewed towards lovable eccentrics with dubious taste in clothes. The braces were totally Doctor, for one thing. Exiled to our world by his wise fancy-hat-and-robe-wearing superiors, a seemingly human alien befriends a very down-to-earth young woman...

Robin Williams, 1951-2014

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Thirteen And One Faces Of Doctor Who

Morphing plus mathematics equals... uh... it looks kind of like David Bradley. Unlike the last version also linked there that looked a hell of a lot like Ben Daniels. The modern Doctor results are a bit skewed by a beard and the hair is a strange blur. But I can see... someone looking back.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Look up.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is at hand, as a lovely Google Doodle reminds us, this year with a supermoon to light up the sky with it. Not that I’ll be able to see anything with these rain clouds.

But somewhere above them, the Doctor leans out of the TARDIS and watches with a smile. Then, knowing him, has to steer it out of the way of a meteor while holding on to the side of the rotor.

Of course, looking up at a meteor shower is also how Day Of The Triffids started.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tech Level moves pretty fast

Have you ever stopped to consider how much technology has changed in your lifetime? Allow Joan from Mad Men to demonstrate Tech Level 4 versus 5 after being brought to the present. (Maybe a Weeping Angel with a reversed polarity did it.)

We live in a future few could have imagined when Doctor Who started in 1963.

When An Unearthly Child first aired, mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction, even the regular depiction of Star Trek’s communicators were still a few years off. When it paused in 1989, they appeared irregularly in popular culture, mostly as a sign of a character being Rich and/or Important and/or Arrogant. “Look at me, people need to call me when I am away from my desk!” Within a few years, they were vital to Mulder and Scully in The X Files, but not really addressed when Doctor Who returned in Enemy Within in 1996. Now they mean something different. By Rose in 2005, they were pretty much omnipresent, a teenage shop assistant on a housing estate has one, uses it in her first adventure, and the Doctor upgrades it as soon as he takes her to another time so she can phone home across billions of years. By then, the horror trope of establishing that mobile phones don’t work is pretty well established, but it’s not one the show makes much use of, because the characters split up so often and need to talk to each other, much like Mulder and Scully. (Pet peeve about that trope - I’ve never seen someone check again after initially establishing no signal at the start of a horror movie, even after running miles from the monster chasing them.)

We’re still a long way from moon bases, but we have an International Space Station.

Where will be in another fifty years?

Monday, 4 August 2014


Cute Google Doodle today for John Venn’s 180th birthday. As an academic best known for a helpful design, not a lot of adventure hooks offhand...

It’s a year to the day since Peter Capaldi stepped out on stage. And nineteen days to go until his first episode.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Cinder (The War Doctor's companion)

Paul Hanley illustrates the companion from Engines Of War based on author George Mann’s ideas. So unless someone adapts it, this is what she looks like!

(And I’m cool with the imaginary casting having borrowed the same person to star an imaginary Buffy series played very slowly through RPGs..)