Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Rachel Louise Carson

One of the founders of the environmental movement, the author of Silent Spring which lad to the banning of DDT, Rachel Louise Carson is marked by Google on her 107th birthday.

“And in no small way, her work helped save millions of birds, giving spring back its song.”

Be brave. help save the world.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mary Anning

A break from the usual Google Doodle plot hook police, brought about by Mary Anning, our greatest fossil hunter, being a perfect Celebrity Historical for Primeval instead.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Rubik's Cube is 40

Today’s Google Doodle provides the potentially infuriating timesink of a virtual Rubik’s Cube to mark its invention four decades ago. Since then, it has been a puzzle, a fad, a piece of 80s nostalgia as it grew to fame after about a decade, a visual indicator for “this person is smart”, a prop in Doctor Who and a reference in The God Complex in particular, and, um, a cartoon.

“One night Carlos, Reynaldo and Lisa Rodriguez stumbled on a secret that would change their lives. They rescued a colorful cube and solved his puzzle, setting him free. In this one act the kids had made a friend for life. His name is Rubik.”

Well, as author of a blog for roleplaying about a two-hearted alien who travels through space and time in an old police box I shouldn’t really be surprised.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

How to choose a Doctor

New Radio Times day! With a BAFTA special and as a result a fairly gratuitous Peter Capaldi Doctor cover and Steven Moffat reflecting on the award-nominated Day Of The Doctor and the requirements of casting the key role, something he has now done three times, albeit once for one night only.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Dorothy Hodgkin

Today’s Google Doodle marks the 104th birthday of Dorothy Hodgkin (nee Crowfoot), the only British woman so far to win a Nobel Prize for science due to a lifetime of study and breakthroughs in chemistry and establishing protein crystallography.

Plot hook? One obvious one: her expertise could be vital in battling a crystalline alien. No doubt with some stuffy male disapproval to fight as well.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Douze Points!

I was going to create adventure hooks from Eurovision, but found Effie’s player and her husband, arguably bigger Whovians than me, have already done so. So I republish their efforts with gratitude.

They won’t all work as adventures for Doctor Who (some would work for Fiasco) but have been included for the record.

As well as the full-on-Who (check out the blue swirly vortex) they also nod to Lord Of The Rings, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Frozen, DC Comics, and Austria’s winning crossdressing Bond theme.

Matthew and Edith present Eurovision 2014: Adventures In Time And Space!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

One for the record books

The Four Minute Mile by Sir Roger Bannister was sixty years ago today, with a fair wind and a track modern elite athletes wouldn’t want to have a go at. A milestone in human physical achievement that was well publicised and so drew a fair crowd, something time travellers could sneak in to... and like the scaling of Everest or the first flight of the Montgolfiers, something time travellers seeking to squash a moment of pride could easily disrupt.

And you could probably put together a fake Doctor Who episode trailer from Matt Smith’s role in Bert And Dickie. Why is the Eleventh Doctor making sure Britain wins a rowing medal at the Austerity Olympics? Makes a change from Ten lighting the 2012 cauldron, the big showoff. ;)

The 2012 torch relay crossed through Holy Corner here, past the Eric Liddell Centre honouring Edinburgh’s greatest sporting hero, who had a remarkable life on and off the track with just the first part shown in Chariots Of Fire.

Which record or achievement would you like to see the TARDIS land in? We’ve dropped the travellers in horror and SF and war, why not a sports biopic or true-life Ripping Yarn? It could be anything from the labours of Hercules to the first Olympic event on the Moon. (And I say this as someone who might watch some of the Olympics and that’s about it sports-wise.)

Something with room for adventure like the first car race across America, or Nelly Bly testing modern transport against Around The World In Eighty Days.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Onze Points!

New Doctor Who Magazine!

Exciting and slightly alarming comic adventure, big article about how the Seventh Doctor era was a partially-successful attempt to modernise the show (scuppered by being opposite Corrie), Marcus Wilson, Christopher Barry, confirmation of a War Doctor novel, lots of plugs for the collected Ninth Doctor comics (and Steven Moffat prose story) The Cruel Sea which I have all of but will still be getting in heftier format, Mona Lisa like picture of India Fisher on the back cover whose expression seems to change with the angle you look at it...

... and a big bit in the back about the Eurovision Song Contest. “Eurovision condenses an entire season of Doctor Who into one single, delirious Saturday night - precisely the same fan rituals - The embrace of camp, the delicious thrill of possible disaster, the air-punching moments of triumph. And the ever-present chance that, just like Doctor Who, the proceedings will be interrupted by Graham Norton.”

I haven’t been in a proper scoring-so-well-I-was-told-to-stop-drinking Eurovision party since the heady days of The Watch House, not least because that one nearly killed me, and there was the possibility that Lordi would appear as special guest NPCs for one episode.

But to this day the weird mix of styles and presentations does have me thinking of adventure ideas and there will be the occasional visual that suggests a scene or a monster. Any similarly random collection of art could of course have this effect, but this one is on BBC One on Saturdays, occasionally knocked Doctor Who off the schedules by a week, inspired the Big Finish adventure the DWM article refers to (as well as a legendary episode of Father Ted) and does tend to feature shiny surfaces, flashing lights and wind machines in its effects repertoire.

So if twenty adventure hooks with onomatopoeic titles appear here at the weekend, you’ll have some idea why...

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Silver Surfer issue 2

... presses the new book’s built-in Doctor Who buttons even more than issue 1.

Above the title we have the tagline “Anywhere And Everywhere - Hang On!”

“Earth. It’s always someone from Earth.”

The Surfer is a bit more casual than the full-on portentous dialogue he often comes with. Likewise, the Incredulous Zed is very much a funny villain.

The Queen Of Nevers is the current ultimate threat - and I could imagine an on-screen version of the Couldhavebeen King having the power she uses.

Dawn’s actions in the space prison are pure catching-on-quick companion.