Monday, 21 December 2015

Thursday, 17 December 2015


Apparently Beethoven wrote his Fifth. But according to this cute Google Doodle game for his 245th birthday, a horse tried to stop him...

Changing the history of SF and fantasy

Tonight a new Star Wars film opens. (You may have heard...) The series has affected Anglophone popular culture (including Doctor Who) immensely for decades, and it might not have happened without George Lucas getting in a car accident and deciding to get serious about filmmaking...

Of if he had managed to get the rights to make a Flash Gordon movie like he wanted...

Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek while working on other pitches, like a cop show called Police Story that was never picked up for series. What if it had been?

GURPS Time Travel mentions a parallel world lagging decades behind ours in technology due to the loss of a major SF magazine editor...

And of course, the Doctor has met Mary Shelley and various monstrous creations of science...

Marcus L. Rowland wrote a Time Lord RPG adventure about changing history to stop John Wayne becoming President and starting a third World War - it’s a great example of how culture can affect the wider world.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Faces Of The Doctor

Paul Cornell begins his annual Twelve Blogs Of Christmas by wondering where the Doctor gets his faces from, pointing out that Twelve is the second Doctor to have met someone who looks just like him before, and One and Two had lookalike humans as well...

Monday, 30 November 2015

Peter Jackson, another Peter, another Jackson

Sir Peter Jackson indicates he might be directing a Doctor Who story in an unusual manner. Bonus points for heading off the inevitable jokes about it going on too long.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Heaven Sent

Is it me, or was the music riffing on Beethoven’s 7th? (Not his 5th, as one might think.)


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lucy the Australopithecus

Google Doodle today for the 41st anniversary of the discovery of Lucy the Australopithecus, the oldest hominid we know.

Doctor Who started with troublesome cave people, and Primeval did the obvious adventure of a time-travelling villain targeting humanity’s earliest common ancestors, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. And not just because I want to see mammoths and smilodons.

A bit further forward, you could use some of the prehistoric adventure hooks from this RPGnet thread. The secret of fire gets a mention in the sixth hook.

An Australopithecus on the TARDIS might be trouble...

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Zygon Inversion

Are bleak but ultimately hopeful UNIT stories going to become an annual event around Remembrance Day? I’m okay with this.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Zygon Invasion

Happy Hallowe’en! Although the found footage Mark Gatiss episode which sounds like it would have been perfect for the evening is in two weeks.

Zygons invade! Or do they...?

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Tenth Doctor and Donna at Big Finish!


Already orderable.

Three to begin with - a modern fear in London, a big SF adventure, and a Donna-centric complete with her obsession with finding Mr. Right.

The Eighth Doctor returns to comics

This is where he had some of his greatest adventures, so I am quite curious to see what Titan does. Here’s a preview of issue one... a likely new companion, an artist whose fantasy paintings feature some... familiar figures...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

So many bodywarmers...

There sure are a lot of people cosplaying Rory today. I don't remember him using a skateboard though.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Plague Of The Spambots

In future, when a spambot (for sport, no less...) decides to infest one of my posts here I will, sadly, lock comments on that post. Just did that for Under The Lake.


Monday, 12 October 2015

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Lego Doctor Who

This is happening.

A very good starting set too - two Doctors, Clara, the TARDIS interior and exterior, two Daleks and a Weeping Angel. (Based on Time Of The Doctor, which is a bit oddly specific, but hey.)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Thursday, 1 October 2015


A new spinoff! Eight forty-five minute episodes! Set in Coal Hill School!

“No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain - but with monsters!”
Steven Moffat, introducing the series and its head writer, YA author Patrick Ness, previously one of the writers in the Eleven Doctors, Eleven Stories book.

The announcement includes comparisons to Buffy The Vampire Slayer as well as The Hunger Games, which is a high bar to aim for. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Witch's Familiar

Missy is the Witch, one presumes...

Happy Stanislav Petrov Day!

On this day in 1983, Stanislav Petrov correctly concluded that an ICBM warning was a false alarm, and therefore prevented the launch of what would have probably been an apocalyptic counterstrike at some sunlight reflecting on some clouds.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Magician's Apprentice

This might qualify as a tenth anniversary special of the revived show, taking in as it does some of the greatest hits of the Davies era as well as revisiting some of Mr. Moffat’s own additions.

HERE BE SPOILERS. Step carefully.


Bit excited.

In the meantime...

You’re always making jokes. You never sit still. Like a man in fear of days to come...

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Impossible Girl

I’ll be sorry to see Jenna Coleman go as Clara. To celebrate her long (and for a while infinite) companion run, check out my daft idea for all the stories she could share with every Doctor.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Doctor Who Game Maker

Coming soon.

How does this work? I do not know. I MUST KNOW.

The second Elizabethan age

Today Queen Elizabeth the Second (or First in Scotland) becomes the UK’s longest reigning monarch, having been there longer than Victoria. (For value for money, queens are much better than kings.) Her time has brought us Doctor Who, Quatermass, The Avengers, The Prisoner, and some historical events as well.

The previous Queen Elizabeth, of course, was briefly married to the Tenth Doctor. These things happen.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Joan Aiken

New Google logo, day four - it has been replaced by an image of a haunted forest with children being pursued by wolves.

That’s better. Much less disturbing. 

Okay, this is actually the first Google Doodle since the change in logo, to celebrate what would be the 91st birthday of Joan Aiken, best known for her children’s chiller The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase. Set in an alternate 19th century with a different royal family, a Channel Tunnel, and wolves stalking the forest, the series gives a creepy spin on Victorian stories of adventurous orphans.

It’s the kind of sinister and off-kilter version of the past the the TARDIS tends to land in. My first historical episode of The Door In Time may owe a bit to it... and I could see an adventure wondering what inspired her to chart such an alternate history.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

5" Twelfth Doctor figure

Introducing the Collector Series with a Twelfth Doctor figure. Apparently it’s limited edition, but technically everything not infinite is. Not the best likeness, but let us rejoice at its mere existence a year after it should have happened.

And coming soon, Clara and Tom Baker as The Curator, complete with a very neat lenticular "moving" Gallifrey Falls painting accessory. They look like pretty good likenesses, too! Not a surprise after the Oswin figure meant a Clara head in this scale existed, but still a relief for someone as cack-handed when it comes to customising figures as I am.

And Sherlock!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Monday, 24 August 2015

Duke Kahanamoku

Today is the 125th birthday of Duke Kahanamoku, the Big Kahuna of modern surfing among his many other achievements, a world record breaking and gold medal winning swimmer who helped introduce the sport in the US and around the world, as well as saving lives at sea with his skills. He would make a surprising addition to a 1920s or 30s adventure.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Beyond The Gates Of Antares

To mark the announcement of the Doctor Who Miniatures Game from Warlord Games, I’ve been looking at their other lines. Their biggest creator-owned non-historical line is an SF wargame by Rick Priestley, Beyond The Gates Of Antares.

“In the Seventh Age of humankind the ancient Gates of Antares link or isolate worlds across countless galaxies. The evolved panhuman races wage unending war to control the technology of the Gates and the undiscovered systems beyond.”

It looks to be a setting with its share of heroes, villains, smirking superior types in need of being taken down a peg or two, and so on. Somewhere to pencil in a visit to once the Doctor, Clara and the TARDIS are available as minis...

Doctor Who Miniatures Game

The Doctor Who Miniatures Game. Coming soon from Warlord Games, producers of the Judge Dredd and Terminator Genisys games as well as historical and genre miniatures in plastic, resin and metal - characters the Doctor could meet!

The Mundaneum

A Google Doodle today celebrates Paul Otlet, co-creator of one of the net’s predecessors, the Mundaneum, “an institution set up in 1910 which had the aim of trying to gather all the world’s knowledge and index it in a vast bank of drawers.” Its index card system is still used in libraries, and its guiding principle that everyone should have access to the sum of human knowledge is still something to aspire to.

And there has to be an adventure hook in there - aliens trying to steal it? The sum total of human knowledge in one place has to be useful for something. These days they’d have to go for one of those purposely anonymous server farms dotted around the world, like one owned by Google itself, and a chase through corridors lined with index card drawers sounds more fun...

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Mission Dalek

Want to make a fan film with the Twelfth Doctor and the Daleks? The BBC want to see it.

If nothing else, this is a great chance to grab some footage and audio. :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Hayley Atwell Is (Interested In Playing) The Doctor

YES! (From a Q&A on her Twitter account asking if she wanted to be in the show.)

The form of episodes to come...

Some purposely vague teasers for the new series from Steven Moffat. About the only new thing here is that Rufus Hound is appearing at some point... although what he appears as may explain something else people have been wondering about. Anyway, tread lightly if ye be wary of spoilers.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Casting news

Bethany Black moves from the Cucumber universe, joining Reece Shearsmith in the Mark Gatiss episode.

Indru Netru Naalai

Indru Netru Naalai is a Tamil time travel movie, with a mix of adventure and comedy (note the song about taking a selfie with Gandhi) in which “someone from the year 2064 decides to send a time machine back to 2015 as an experiment, and predictably it gets misused by everyone who comes into contact with it.” The machine itself refers back to The Time Machine with its seat and dish at the back, while it collapses into a more easily carried box.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Doctor is neither 100% male nor female - like all of us

Steven Moffat adjusts his answer to the question of a female Doctor in a rather interesting way.

“In my head, rationally, it seems to me - you know how human beings are never completely male or female; you’re mostly a woman, I’m mostly a man? - that maybe a male Time Lord is someone most of whose regenerations are male,” Moffat continued. “Maybe he’ll have a couple of female ones. The science-fiction of that would make sense to me. Otherwise I think life might be a little bit complicated on Gallifrey - or would it? I don’t think they’d care.”

Friday, 31 July 2015

Happy 50th birthday to J.K. Rowling, who helped Martha help Shakespeare save the world, nearly wrote an episode and was nearly the star of a Christmas special!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Titan Doctor Who 9.2 writer's commentary

Writer Cav Scott explains the story behind the story of issue 2 of the Ninth Doctor serial from Titan Comics. Contains ALL THE SPOILERS. ALL OF THEM. :)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Doctor's hopes and fears

Talking to io9 at Comic-Con:

Peter Capaldi feels that the Doctor has “a complicated moral position, in that he definitely wanted to help people, and wanted to save the universe, but often there would be a wake of suffering and pain. And he thought, ‘Can I live with that? Am I responsible for that?’ And eventually, he realized that is who he is.” But now the Doctor has realized what a gift he has, because “the universe is mine to play in,” says Capaldi. He can “range all the way in time and space.” And even though the Doctor is 2,500 years old, “life is still short.”

Steven Moffat adds “I don’t think the Doctor ever stops asking the question, ‘Am I a good man?’, because that’s what good men do.”

Michelle Gomez talks about making Missy likable, and Jenna Coleman about Clara going headlong into adventures.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Doctor Who Series 9 Trailer

Stop what you’re doing and click this link. CLICK IT. Unless you want to avoid spoilers, of course.

Dimensions In Lego

Peter Capaldi as the Lego Doctor in the Lego Dimensions video game, as he and Clara team up with Batman, Gandalf and Wildstyle. And Doc Brown. And Homer Simpson. And...

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

One Minute Time Machine

Like a save point for the real world - a time machine that takes you back one minute, and no further. Far enough to redo an awkward conversation, for one thing. NSFW language. (Coming from Jimmy from NCIS of all people!)

See also Life Is Strange for a more serious examination of the issues and possibilities such small-scale time travel can bring up.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Third Doctor and Ultraman

Today is the birthday of Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor, and as a big interactive Google Doodle celebrates, and Eiji Tsuburaya, special effects master of Godzilla and creator of Ultraman. (And also Rose Bailey, sometime contributor to this blog and the Doctor in a PBP game I once ran!)

I suspect that the Third Doctor and Ultraman would have gotten on pretty well. Both great scientists using their advanced knowledge - and martial arts skills - to defend the nations they lived on from a variety of terrifying and somewhat rubbery monsters.

For instance, this handsome devil is Mefilas, whose motive for invading Earth is to show other aliens that he can do it better than they can. Now there’s a UNIT story waiting to happen. And his plan was to trick a representative human into trading the planet away, which sounds better than many. The original episode title The Forbidden Words would totally work too...

Friday, 3 July 2015

Back To Back To The Future

Back To The Future was first released thirty years ago today. Of course, the most significant date in 2015 is October 21st, when Doc and Marty arrive to help his not-yet-conceived children and he acquires a hoverboard. (Still waiting...) Anyway, the original is pointedly filled with 1950s nostalgia while also undermining plenty of it, while the 80s still looks fairly normal apart from the bodywarmer. Compare retro-80s stories being made now. And plenty of then-modern 50s films, for that matter. How do you evoke an era without overdoing it?

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Big Finish Classic Doctors, New Monsters... and River Song!

Big Finish brings the Weeping Angels, Judoon, and Sycorax (and the new Sontarans) to face Five, Six, Seven, Eight!

The pairing of the Judoon against Six seems like a comfortable fit - shouty and authoritarian versus shouty and anti-authoritarian. The Sycorax have the right creepy vibe for Seven, although the Weeping Angels were my choice when I imagined such meetings five years ago(!) - they might be tricky in audio, however...

And... River Song as well. So yes, their licence has changed a bit.

I imagine David Tennant is waiting by the phone.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015


Two hundred years ago, the Napoleonic era ended pretty decisively. The Telegraph describes the Battle of Waterloo as it happened in this timeline.

The Guardian counts down the top ten fictional characters taking part in their own versions from Byron’s Childe Harold just a year later to Jonathan Strange causing the rain ten years ago and on TV last Sunday.

The Doctor has met various people involved but so far stayed off the battlefield himself.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Magna Carta

Today is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the first bill of rights, a sufficiently big deal that there are events marking it, an animated Google Doodle (I would totally watch this cartoon), films on the subject, and the Master tried to steal it.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

A photo of the cast shooting for the new series inspires a joke

I will place said image behind a spoiler wall though it spoils little for it is still a vision of the future.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Women's World Cup 2015

A new Google Doodle shows the start of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, hosted in Canada, while FIFA is in... some trouble. This is a less commercially overblown show than the male equivalent, so it could generate some good publicity.

Football’s main effect on Doctor Who was usually an overrunning Grandstand delaying the occasional episode, until Matt Smith took over the role. Having been near a professional football career himself, his footwork in The Lodger was all him. (This was after the Tenth Doctor did it in the DWM comics, and that in turn followed The Nightmare Game for the Eighth Doctor being influenced equally by Roy Of The Rovers and The Thing.)

Still, the Doctor likes a big show. A Worlds Cup wouldn’t seem out of place.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Steven Moffat on changing the Time War

New DWM! And comments from Steven Moffat getting into the genre newsfeeds, such as io9.

“My defence, however feeble, is that given the chance, the Doctor would do exactly that.”

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Explain this crossover

The real explanation that Karen Gillan was a guest at a convention this weekend is of course too easy.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Sally Ride

The Mary Sue discusses the Google Doodle celebrating Sally Ride, NASA pioneer, the first American woman in space among her other achievements.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Four Doctors preview

The first six pages, a prologue, to the multi-modern-Doctor crossover comic written by Paul Cornell.


Friday, 15 May 2015

"That's the way Doctor Who works"

Steven Moffat on Doctor Who, childhood fears, female Doctors, the awkwardness of stars going to make movies and more at the ten years of new Who Q&A.

“That’s the way Doctor Who works. It’s all about the childish terrors and it’s all about being quite positive about them because we fill our show with monsters but the show is about a man who can fight monsters without becoming one.”

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Rory travels in time again!

Arthur Darvill plays time traveller Rip Hunter in DC TV series Legends Of Tomorrow alongside Brandon Routh as the Atom, Caity Lotz as White Canary, Ciara Renee as Hawkgirl, Franz Drameh as, er, someone, the guys from Prison Break as Flash bad guys and Victor Garber as half of Firestorm.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

At The Earth's Core

An animated Google Doodle celebrates the 127th birthday of Inge Lehmann, the Danish seismologist who figured out the way the core of the Earth actually works. To this day alien invaders in the Whoniverse keep trying to steal the core, which seems rather unsafe for all concerned.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rose - I'm coming to get you!

Ten years ago, Doctor Who hit the Game Station, and the Doctor and companions stumbled into various BBC series and also (then) Channel 4 hit Big Brother. Now, a mere decade later, Big Brother (now on 5) runs with the idea and uses a time distortion gimmick. The house, sadly, is not bigger on the inside. I think one of the contestants may be an Auton, though.

Friday, 8 May 2015

V-E Day

Today is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. The sort of thing the Doctor would go to several times - looking in on Churchill, dancing with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, that kind of thing...

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Lusitania

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, a change in the way that wars were fought as well as the history of the First World War in particular. Time travellers including the Doctor tend to end up on the Titanic instead, of course.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Bartolomeo Cristofori

Google informs me that this is the 160th birthday of Bartolomeo Cristofori, inventor of the piano, with a Doodle showing the playing from piano (soft) to forte (rocking out).

It also mentions May The Fourth Be With You.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Free Comic Book Day

... includes a Titan Doctor Who sampler, with Ten, Eleven, Twelve and a hint of the Paul Cornell crossover Four Doctors coming soon...

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Penny Black

It’s May Day, but also as noted by Google Doodle, the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black and the start of the modern postage stamp. This may not seem like a source for a thrilling adventure, but it had a widespread effect on communication, and its size and value makes it a perfect choice for time-travelling thieves...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Google Vs. Nessie

I don’t believe the current Google Doodle takes the famous Loch Ness Monster photo entirely seriously. I’m sure the Zygons will have something to say about this.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

India as a setting

After posting about Dr Ambedkar, I thought a bit further about the Indian independence movement as a setting for an adventure, and further about India as a setting at various points in its history.

The end of the colonial era and the independence movement is the part of Indian history you’re most likely to see in British media. Consider colonial nostalgia in modern Britain, for example. Britain’s relationship with India remains complicated, more than most former colonies. With a large Indian descendant population in the UK, the connections are still strong.

We should also think about how the Doctor and companions’ “Britishness” might lead people to make assumptions about which side they’re on if they visit during the colonial era.

Going further back, the religions most popular in India could be a source of characters, but give careful thought to how how they are portrayed. (For example, 18 Days from Graphic India, Grant Morrison and Mukesh Singh, is a superheroic SF retelling of the Mahabharata, intended to entertain an English-speaking audience while respecting the source.)

Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar

A Google Doodle today for the 124th anniversary of the birth of BR Ambedkar, one of the leaders of the independence movement in India, who was in charge of the drafting of the constitution of the Indian republic and who fought for the rights of people on the outside of the caste system. As the Guardian article linked to notes, “He worked with Mahatma Gandhi to ensure all people were treated as equal parts of the electorate and was asked to be the first law minister in the newly independent country.”

Sunday, 12 April 2015


(“Let’s go!”)

Happy Yuri’s Night!

Do I have the right?

In amongst all the “ten years since the show came back” reminiscences - this week, the Slitheen! Well, they were good in that Sarah Jane Adventures two-parter...

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the final episode of Genesis Of The Daleks. We met Davros, saw that the Daleks could be different, and the Doctor was struck by guilt over whether he could wipe out a species that will, through its reckless hate, bring so many others together...

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Return Of The Dream Lord... and Fenric... and...

10 Doctor Who Villains That Really Deserve To Make A Comeback according to io9. Of course, the Rani, Wirrn and Krillitane have popped back up in Big Finishes and books and the like, but yes, more Fenric!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

They look familiar...

Always a delight to find an unexpected new Crooked Dice miniatures set. Like the Scientific Advisors.

(Now, if only the official toys would ever make them.)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Five more years

Steven Moffat on the foreseeable future of Doctor Who at the Radio Times site.

“Ten years on, our ratings are pretty much the same. Actually, internationally, bigger. No show does that! You’re meant to go down! Doctor Who just stays. It’s extraordinary!”

Monday, 6 April 2015


Weeping Angel nightlights.

Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington, English debutante turned Parisian surrealist turned Second World War escapee turned Mexican political activist turned co-founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement, has what would be her 98th birthday marked by a Google Doodle.

Her life is appropriately storied for the Doctor to look in on her, even if crocodiles punting isn’t an issue.

I’m pretty sure he’s met these guys as well.

The above are an example of using art as inspiration. Surreal figurative art makes a particularly smooth transition to the screen - Id make the above pair an alien ambassador and her translator, for example.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

News designed to mess with geeks

Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in Game Of Thrones) is to guest star in Doctor Who this year, and the press release included this photo...

... which is a classic “I’m the Doctor” shot if ever I saw one.

I’m sure she isn’t as she’s a bit busy, but wouldn’t she be great?

In related news, Catherine Tregenna is returning to write for Doctor Who after writing a chunk of good early Torchwood including Hugo nominee Captain Jack Harkness.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


io9 on how important, how different and how great the Ninth Doctor was.

Do you wanna come with me?

Cubicle 7 reflect on DWAITAS on the 10th anniversary of Rose.

Ten Years

Rose aired ten years ago today, ushering in a new era of Doctor Who.

Where were you that evening? I was in the Sports Bar at the University of Edinburgh’s Teviot union, watching it on a big screen with fifty or so other Conpulsion attendees.

I remember seeing this on a big billboard and thinking "this could work..."
Peter Capaldi on watching Rose.

SFX quoting lots of interviews with lots of people involved.

It’s been quite a ride since then, hasn’t it?

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Eclipse

As Paul Cornell has noted in the past, the planet is perfectly lined up for eclipses every now and then:

“the apparent size of the moon is exactly the apparent size of the sun (so much for Earthly ordinariness, total eclipses from a planetary surface would make us a galactic tourist destination)”.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Anna Atkins

Google Doodle for Anna Atkins, the botanist and photographer born 216 years ago, believed to be the first person to publish a book illustrated with photography. What else might have appeared in the frame of her botanical images?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Happy Pi Day

It’s 3/14/15 9.26.53. This is far as the numbers on a calendar clock will go towards Pi, the ratio that never ends. I can see it being the kind of date that the Doctor gets excited to visit and companions remain nonplussed.

It’s also Einstein’s birthday. Many happy returns!

Friday, 13 March 2015

TimeWatch, Spanish Division

An RPGnet thread informs me of The Ministry Of Time, a Spanish time travel TV series about public service workers looking after a building where the doors open onto different points in history.

(Caveat: largely family-friendly, but includes a topless sex scene in episode two.)

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The most watched programme on the BBC, after the news, is probably ‘Doctor Who’. What has happened is that science fiction has been subsumed into modern literature. There are grandparents out there who speak Klingon, who are quite capable of holding down a job. No one would think twice now about a parallel universe.
Sir Terry Pratchett

Sunday, 8 March 2015

International Women's Day 2015

Happy International Women’s Day 2015. See previous adventure ideas.

The Mary Sue picked up the #FilmHerStory hashtag for women in history whose achievements should be better known. See also the FHS Pinterest. Why hasn’t there been a Harriet Tubman film yet? Or an Ada Lovelace episode of Doctor Who? (Especially with the Eighth Doctor adventuring with Mary Shelley.)

Friday, 6 March 2015


Another Google Doodle, to celebrate Holi, the festival of colours that marks the start of spring in India.

Definitely the kind of thing the Doctor and companions would go to enjoy - and might then end up going into an adventure with disapproving officious types without washing it all off - or spot something that the pigments stick to that is otherwise invisible...

Thursday, 5 March 2015


Gerardus Mercator was born 503 years ago. Now then Google, you were around three years ago. As the Independent article linked shows, his map was highly useful, influential, but also created and enforced biases - think how many times you see Earth from space is SF and the north is on top. Of course, from where he was based such biases were natural - how would he be influenced by seeing Earth from space at a different angle?

GM's Day - treat yourself

GM’s Day, a 7000-strong 30% PDF sale at DriveThruRPG, and it includes C7 books up to including the brand new Eighth Doctor Sourcebook!

Even if you aren’t picking up the other Doctor books, this one is worth a look by GMs as it’s almost entirely brand new adventures. Pirates and Sea Devils! 60s-style 21st century space explorers! The Brigadier and the Master! An impossible city in the Void! The Mara! Telepathic snails! Battlefield Knights! The Patchwork Man! The Gamestation! A frozen world! Weeping Angels! The Time War!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

101 SF game pitches, planets and stations

For my 1138th post, a list of SF campaign hooks which could easily be places for a group of time and space travellers to visit, as well as a list of that selfsame thing.

He doesn't want to go.

Big Chief preview a new Tenth Doctor figure with a headsculpt showing his angstier side.

Normally one hugs toys because they’re cuddly, not because they need a hug.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy has died. He will be remembered for the role of Spock, a defining alien character who let us see ourselves as others see us, as well as the kindness and wisdom he showed in life.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Clanbook: Gallifrey

On yon other blog, I was thinking about who to use as a photo reference for Tremere, a major Vampire: The Masquerade NPC, founder of one of the thirteen modern vampire Clans. I have now decided on Paul McGann.

Which, naturally, lead me to think which Clan his Doctor would best fit into.

And then which Clan all the Doctors would best fit. Of course, he’s really a Son of Ether. Or a True Fae.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Time on a bookshelf

Ten time travel books that should be filmed according to io9. Or, hey, ten time travel books worth checking out. I would not be surprised if The Shining Girls reaches cinema screens someday, for one. Doomsday Book and its sequels could follow Outlander into TV, perhaps?

Happy New Year Of The Sheep

This year is the Chinese year of the Sheep, as the cute animated Google Doodle shows. Compared to the horse there aren’t many good adventure hooks here...

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


A Google Doodle to mark the 270th birthday of Alessandro Volta, a key figure in the science of electricity. And an obvious target for time travellers looking to screw up human development!

Sunday, 15 February 2015


As noted by Ian Watson, Fifty years ago today, this great symbol was first unveiled and made official. Happy anniversary to the Maple Leaf.

A fiftieth anniversary seems a fitting time to look at Canada in the Whoniverse once more.

Noted commentator Derek lives in and blogs about the Mysteries Of Montreal, in a level of detail that you could set a game there (quite possibly a Call of Cthulhu game) as well as dropping in briefly. (Edit: a new post on the flag!)

Born and raised Canadian Siskoid has commented at length about representation of Canada in various settings, like national superheroes and teams.

Thoughts on a good moment in Canadian history for the TARDIS to visit?

Friday, 13 February 2015


Another anniversary today, another Friday the 13th... the 45th anniversary of the release of Black Sabbath, the first album by the band of the same name, and the birth of Heavy Metal.

Which may not seem like a very Doctor Who subject, but bear with me. Metal has a strong association with horror, fantasy and SF, going right back to the beginning - Black Sabbath refers to the title of a Mario Bava film.

So... time for some album title adventure hooks, drawn from assorted top ten lists as well as some personal favourites...

Thursday, 12 February 2015

New core rulebook!

Cubicle 7 reveals the cover and updated contents for the Capaldi Edition.


Looks like it will be a book rather than a box set, which means kids will have to locate d6s and make character sheets themselves, but much as I like box sets for players just starting we managed back in the day. Fingers crossed the adventures and characters will be available separately, like the Tennant and Smith Edition adventure books.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Kate Stewart's UNIT from Big Finish

News here of the first audio, starring Jemma Redgrave. Kate first appeared in a video spinoff before being brought to TV, but this is still rather big news - the first New Whoniverse BF audio.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Little House In A Big World

Lovely but inexplicable Google Doodle for the 148th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, creator of the Little House On The Prairie book series, based on her own experiences growing up in rural 19th century America. Her early life before their success was quite tumultuous, and her stories of life at the edge could inform some adventures in the period.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Titan's Three Doctors in the UK

In an anthology comic collection which will be available all over, instead of just at Forbidden Planet. 84 pages per, so presumably a full issue per Doctor, which will be pretty good value.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Langston Hughes

A Google Doodle for the 113th anniversary of Langston Hughes, poet and author, best know for I Dream A World. He had his share of adventures, speaking out for equality and civil liberties, visiting the Soviet Union and influencing the Harlem Renaissance.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Time Travel movies - which are worth your time?

The writing staff at io9 attempt to categorise and rate every time travel movie they can think of. It really shows the breadth of the genre. (I disagree with certain ratings, but this is inevitable.)

And it shows how often time travellers fall in love with Rachel McAdams. Seriously, let her play a time traveller herself!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Practical advice for time travellers

Dress plainly and do not show off the gadgets.

The Twelfth Doctor has taken to wearing a hoodie as of Last Christmas, although he never put it up. Otherwise, he may not be the most practical of time travellers...

Monday, 19 January 2015

Ivar, Timewalker issue 1 free online

Here, on io9. Part one has already been previewed, followed by the rest once the issue itself comes out. Which is nice of them!

Part two!

Part three!

Well, based on this, one way Ivar differs from the Doctor is that he’s rather... ruthlessly expedient.

“You have failed to grasp the basic concept of ‘fleeing’!”

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Ninth Doctor miniseries

More from Titan Comics, an interview with writer Cavan Scott about the miniseries featuring Nine, Rose and Captain Jack.

Also this week, in the Tenth Doctor series we have Weeping Angels. DWM has never tried in a full-length story with them, so I’m curious to see if they follow the once-broken rule of the viewer counting as an observer with the gaps between panels like the changes between shots on TV. I imagine that would be rather difficult to sustain as in comics everyone is still in-panel.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Titan Comics editor Andrew James on Doctor Who

He discusses the ongoing series for Ten, Eleven and Twelve, creating new companions for the first two, carrying on alongside an active Doctor, miniseries starting with Nine, and the core appeal of the setup:
Historical, science fiction, fantasy, kitchen sink drama, procedural, etc. "Doctor Who" slams a big blue box down into any genre you fancy and documents the results. So it's a lot of fun, and it gives us so much latitude to play with. It's almost like a sketch show, in some respects. If there's a time period or story you're not too keen on, just hang tight -- there'll be another one along in a minute!
Sounds fair to me.

"Shut up!"

As catchphrases go, the new one is quite simple.

Friday, 2 January 2015