Monday, 30 September 2013

The sonic screwdriver's "Plot Importance Inhibitor" setting

Steven Moffat talks to Nerd Cubed for half an hour, and perhaps lets the odd hint out.

Mostly about what Jeff was watching online during The Eleventh Hour.

As well as talking about how the Doctor can know everything this week and nothing the next, the TARDIS’s master plan (or lack thereof), the Doctor’s gender, the Silence fighting the Silurians and looking forward to seeing the Weeping Angels return after he retires.

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Rain Gods

Unrelated to the waters of Mars, a mini-story by Steven Moffat Neil Gaiman for the new box set, based on the bit cut from the start of The Doctor’s Wife and demonstrating that the Doctor doesn’t always manage the best plans ever.

Today’s Google Doodle is for, well, Google. Very nice, but I think we’ve covered the story possibilities of Google already. Is there a plot hook in pinatas? Not sure...

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Waters Of Mars (are more abundant than thought)

Mars Curiosity Rover has found more water bound up in surface soil than expected.

Which I am sure will be fine for future colonists to drink as long as we all remember to standardise measurements for the filters.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Your ideal Doctor Who game...

And after that:

Please describe your ideal Doctor Who game. (Unfortunately technology currently limits us to developing games that are feasible in this space/time dimension so please bear this in mind when you’re answering.)

We are interested in things like:
• The characters you would include
• The genre of game e.g. first person or trivia
• What kind of tasks/rewards you’d like to have
• The most important things we should include
• How true the game adventures track with actual show episodes

My response:

An adventure game with little or no “twitch” gameplay, with a heavy story focus. The longer of the first run of the Adventure Games for the PC and Mac, like City Of The Daleks and Blood Of The Cybermen, were close to my ideal.

I’d feature the current Doctor and companion(s) by default, although adventures for previous TARDIS crews could be a lot of fun.

I’d suggest locations across a few time periods, popular monsters (that you can argue with by suitable dialogue choices) and if possible no timed jumping puzzles...

Looks like they may have something in mind:

“For the first time ever fans of Doctor Who will be able to interact with fifty years of beloved adventures, allies and enemies. Travel backwards through the Doctor’s timeline to face his deadliest foes and meet his most memorable companions. Through this epic adventure you will build a formidable army of companions, allies and past regenerations to take down a foe whose actions threaten to rip the universe apart.”


What a companion needs

A new Doctor Who survey at the BBC, asking about favourite Doctors and companions, brings up an interesting question:

What are the five qualities you think are the most important for a Companion to have? Please indicate at least one quality before proceeding.

My answers, in order:

To be entertaining, relatable and sympathetic, fun to watch.
Something to do besides ask the Doctor what’s going on.
The ability to ask the Doctor what’s going on without sounding like an idiot.
The ability to RUN!
Making Daleks seem scary by their reactions.

And the next question after that:

Choosing from amongst the monsters shown below, which two monsters would you most like to see fight in a battle?

The Judoon might be able to capture the Master (particularly with the Doctor and friends’ help) but they couldn’t hold him. What prison can?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Yo ho ho!

... Or does nobody actually say that?

It be Talk Like A Pirate Day but I shall try to keep it to a minimum.

The series has of course had pirates. Regular pirates, space pirates, undead space pirates and normal space pirates in the same animated special, and the Corsair was not a pirate but apparently really liked the style. See last year for discussion. Not so much modern pirates (like on the Somali Coast) because they’re rather less fun.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Todays interactive Google Doodle returns to non-significant anniversary form, marking Léon Foucault’s 194th birthday with a playable Foucault Pendulum.

The Earth going round the sun is pretty generally accepted nowadays, but that kind of thing always makes me wonder what we’ll be regarded as idiots for not knowing in a couple centuries’ time.

It also looks like a great centrepiece for a TARDIS console.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Scream Of The Shalka is out now on DVD, and writer and creator Paul Cornell reflects on its creation, its reception and Shalka fandom.

It’s a great example of restarting Doctor Who, creating a new Doctor and companion (whose ongoing relationship is very New) and bringing in new monsters as well as a twist on an old enemy.

The Doctor who’d rather not be there is a particularly interesting spin on the character, a bit of Hartnell’s bristling at having to deal with these things mixed in with Pertwee’s cultured showing off. Mark Gatiss did something similar when he played the Doctor for three minutes, while Richard E Grant’s only live-action performance as the Doctor played up the dashing charmer side, which might have emerged in this Ninth Doctor as he warmed up.

And the TARDIS mobile is a great little gadget.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Day Of The Doctor

Now with title and poster. Let the Wild Mass Guessing begin in earnest once more!

Blood Of The Robots

Following the mention in DWM, SFX asked author Simon Clark about this Shalka sequel that almost was, and he revealed a bit more than was already known, including a character I'd have to add to it if I ran an adaptation...

Thursday, 5 September 2013


It’s Google’s 15th birthday, marked here by a doodle for... English cricketer John Wisden’s 187th birthday. Why 187? Unusually there’s a good reason, he played 187 first-class cricket matches for Kent, Middlesex and Sussex, before creating Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

Feels like a candidate for a Fifth Doctor story to me... or possibly The Krikkitmen, although that was for Four.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Doctor Who figurine collection


On the left is the preview release, on the right is the national release. It’s less terrible than the original. Still a weird choice of pose, but at least he doesn’t look quite as much like Steve Buscemi this time.

Nice if expensive range for those who want figurines in roughly the scale of the new Star Wars sized action figures. 1/21st is close enough to 1/18th that a big Silence or little Sontaran will work reasonably well, for example.

Of course, if someone started a partwork making unmade characters in a scale close enough to the abandoned 5” line...