Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Thank you, Dr. Salk!

Google celebrates the centenary of Jonas Salk, pioneer of the polio vaccine, without whom the last century would have been very different. The story of the vaccine trial also involves HeLa cells, the March of Dimes and various Nobel prize winning research it has funded, and more.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Arrowdown free

Original box set adventure Arrowdown is now a free intro adventure (with the Eleventh Doctor on the cover instead of the Tenth). It’s not a quickstart (i.e. no intro rules).

Jamie Mathiseon and Mike Collins draw the Boneless

Mike Collins, frequent DWM comic artist, stepped up to storyboard Flatline. Now I know that I can rather see it - check out The Cruel Sea and its shattered faces and empty clothes.

Update: a look at the storyboards for the Crawling Hand sequence.

And writer Jamie Mathiseon sketched his idea for a Boneless face as well, for an earlier iteration which was yet more horrible.

And as he explains the episode (referencing both Hans Holbein the Younger and Wile E. Coyote) he evinces a certain glee in their reception...

Sir Christopher Wren is... 382.

Yes, it is indeed a random birthday Google Doodle.

Wren in fiction tends to lead to fantasy and horror about sacred geometry and Freemasonry and the significance of architecture and positioning, as in Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd.

But I’m sure something SFish could be done with all those significantly placed towers... and if something is, St Paul’s would still have to be the fulcrum.

(It also makes a great guest appearance in one of the Eighth Doctor DWM comics. You’ll know it if you see it and I won’t spoil it if you don’t.)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Sun Is Angry! Again.

New DWM day and issue 1 of Titan’s 12th Doctor comic, and, er, the comic stories both have basically the same cliffhanger. Which is a bit awkward.

DWM has part three of The Eye Of Torment, in which we discover that despair-inducing Skin Of Evil style oilslicks of evil have been imprisoned in the sun for billions of years, and it ends with them getting loose, as a mass hivemind monster.

Titan Doctor Who 12 issue 1 has a planet being terraformed to be a jungle paradise (six weeks after 11 issue 2 had a jungle paradise planet turned into a theme park) and revealed to be secretly the ancient prison of something distinctly orange and glowy that calls itself Hyperios.

Lots of nice creepiness in DWM and lots of nice snark in 12.1, but... yeah.

And it’s not like we haven’t had angry suns recently either.

It is an interesting case study in taking a setting and a monster and playing it in very different ways. What would you do with those ingredients?

(In other news, DWM mentions the Cubicle 7 Doctor sourcebooks in its news section, Hooray! Now how about some reviews...?)

Monday, 13 October 2014

For one night only... give or take.

Fables Of Forgotten Things has reappeared online, the short pilot for a fantasy series about a heroic time traveller played by, er, Paul McGann.

See also the episode of Sea Of Souls in which, a tad out of place in a low-key paranormal mystery series, he plays a mystical immortal hero with a tendency to fight extradimensional monsters, hang out in weirdly high-tech surroundings and get emotionally attached to adventurous young humans.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ivar, Timewalker

Valiant Comics has arisen, and one of its returning heroes is Timewalker, a time traveller who needs no vehicle, dashing around the timeline trying to fix things...

... and the new series has him meet someone and take her off on his adventures...

... and issue 2 is called Let’s Kill Hitler!

I think there might be a nod to an influence there...

Doctor Who Comics 11/2 and 11/3

As the 10th Doctor series spools out an ongoing story and the 12th Doctor is only in previews, 11 gets more-or-less standalone adventures, although it seems we have a Big Bad to deal with across them.

Issue 2 has the Doctor try to impress Alice by taking her to an unspoiled Eden of a world, only to find someone paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Issue 3 addresses the Robert Johnson story (and how David Jones became David Bowie, with serial numbers lightly painted over). Both features ServeYouInc,, a sinister future (and apparently time-travelling) corporation the monetises people’s fondest wishes. And makes them like zombies as well, because that’s not really scary enough by itself.

(Oddly enough, Silver Surfer issue 6 also has the hero take his companion to the most perfect planet in the universe.)

Monday, 6 October 2014

Thor Heyerdahl

A Google Doodle marks the 100th birthday of the anthropologist who went to legendarily dangerous lengths to prove the possibility of a theory about settling patterns in the Pacific, which wasn’t really backed up by genetics but we still admire the effort involved.

Plot idea? A crazily dangerous voyage with poor and outmoded equipment, with optional unknown island and giant statues. (Having the giant statues come to life optional.)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Kill The Moon

“It’s what you do with aliens, isn’t it? Blow them up.”

Ghost Light

Ghost Light is 25 today.


It’s a key part of the story of Ace, a rock-solid monster show, a satire on responses to evolutionary theory, an appeal to the value of chaos... we could have done with more like.