Thursday, 28 December 2017

Is it dusty in here?

A young fan’s father shares Peter Capaldi’s letter to his son about regeneration, loss and renewal.

Well done, Doctor.

(And, amazingly, some nice things in the comments too, like a memory of meeting Tom Baker out riding.)

Friday, 15 December 2017

More Doctors Heading Into The Vortex

Tim Knight flagged up the following news: Doctor miniatures selling in packs of three, somewhat oddly distributed - 1, 4, 10 and 5, 11, 12. Nice new 12, certainly.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Paul Cornell's Twelve Blogs Of Christmas

Starting today with the announcement that he and Liz Myles are launching Hammer House of Podcast, in which they plan to talk about every Hammer horror film of the classic run.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Trips not taken

I had heard of most of these unmade modern Doctor Who episodes, as they came from the Davies era and were discussed in The Writer’s Tale. Indeed, I’ve swiped a couple as adventure ideas. And the near-miss 50th anniversary special is pretty well known too. But the idea of a prequel to Sleep No More was news to me.

Space Opera

Space Opera is the result of Catherynne M. Valente taking up the challenge to write an SF novel based on the Eurovision Song Contest. She attempts to explain the event to American readers in this introduction.

Here, of course, we know its mighty power already.

Thanks to Randall on for the link.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Happy 54th anniversary!

And the 2018 run will air in the autumn, so I expect them to do something for the 55th anniversary this time next year. Probably not an epic 3D cinema showing, but something...

Friday, 17 November 2017

Twice Upon A Time: Children In Need preview

Now online.

“World War One?”
“Judging by the uniform, yes.”
“Yes but... what do mean, One?


Monday, 13 November 2017

Beautiful Anomalies

A new Doctor Who FATE game run by Rose Bailey. Actual Play posts as and when. The first includes the dialogue note “Doctor is lying.” which should be recommendation enough.

Friday, 10 November 2017


A new time travel thriller by the director of TimeCrimes and Colossal, based on a comic series I have never heard of! The hook is a group illegally using time travel to save people from untimely deaths, particularly loved ones of clients who can pay through the nose...

Thursday, 9 November 2017

New Doctor, new outfit

A first look at the Thirteenth Doctor in costume and yes, she has a big long coat that will flap when running. That’s what really matters. Also statement earrings, a somewhat Mork And Mindy rainbow shirt and braces combo, and a slightly 80s vibe all round. I imagine it will vary episode to episode, especially after Twelve had that flashy coat he hardly ever wore.

Just a few weeks until the Christmas special... and hopefully a trailer to follow, though probbaly not a big one as the series returns in the autumn.

In the meantime, there is already fanart from comics creators and other artists.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Monday, 23 October 2017

Rose Bailey's Doctor Who gaming goodness

Rose Bailey (Cavaliers Of Mars, Vampire: The Requiem, Changeling: The Lost, and more) is planning out a Doctor Who game. So, among other things, a revival of her 2009 thread taking entire game settings and turning them into Doctor Who adventure hooks, in this case hitting Malcolm Craig’s Cold City.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

A Google Doodle today honouring the birth, 107 years ago, of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, founder of astrophysics.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


A new time travel show on British TV! Timewasters is a comedy about four modern Londoners going back to the 1920s - and not feeling very welcome.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Fibreglass Saucer Invasion

Fifty years ago tonight, southern England was invaded by flying saucers! Made of fibreglass and flour.
“We thought the government should have some sort of plan if aliens did land. So we gave them a chance to try out whatever plan they had - but they didn’t have one.”
Chris Southall, one of the masterminds of the hoax.
David Clarke, media law expert at Sheffield Hallam University and a consultant and curator for the National Archives UFO project, believes the response to the hoax was flawed.
“One of the saucers when they actually drilled into it, because it was full of this compacted, sort of papier-maché mess, actually exploded and showered the police officers with this stuff. If it had been some kind of radiation hazard, how would they have dealt with that? It would have been a disaster area. And what did they do? Just washed it down the drains.”
This is the kind of thing that gets you thrown out of UNIT.

Thanks to Robin Low on for the link.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby was born 100 years ago today. Known for designing a massive chunk of the Marvel universe, his work at DC creating the Fourth World in the early 1970s is most directly relevant as a huge over-the-top space opera of human-ish space travellers fighting across the universe coming to Earth and pulling ordinary people into their adventures.

It features, among other things... an exiled son of Apokolips hiding on Earth with human companions, a heroic escape artist who is essentially a mythic take on the Houdini idea of escapologist as symbol of hope, a not-exactly-neutral observer in a time and space chair, accidental time travel, deliberate time travel, sufficiently advanced technology even by spacefaring alien civilisations, an artificial planet built for war, an undersea culture with a mix of enemies and allies, unwitting human underlings for alien invaders equipped with unearthly technology, a loch monster, a miniaturised planet with a society based on Universal horror movies, a thing called The Lump who is surprisingly amenable to conversation, superhuman propaganda, a robot boxer with a convenient off switch, a Metropolis cop defeating an alien champion with a weapon using the city’s entire power grid...

Monday, 24 July 2017

How do you design a Doctor Who adventure?

Rose Bailey (Chronicles Of Darkness, Cavaliers Of Mars and much more) offers some suggestions in the Sell Me On Or Off Doctor Who thread on

If I were going to write a Doctor Who adventure design guide, it would go something like this.
You have a setting, which can be space station or a place in Earth history or whatever.
You have a doom, which is how a lot of people in the setting are going to die if the PCs don't do something.
You have locals, the people in the setting that the PCs will meet and immediately become entangled with. They have at least one human complication, a relationship issue which impacts their ability to work together in the face of the doom. Parent/child conflicts are often good, so are struggles between morality and expedience, and distrust between coworkers is surprisingly effective.
Your doom has one or more minions. Minions usually have a distinctive look and kill or otherwise harm people in a distinctive way. You can't stop the doom by killing the minions, but the minions do most of the harm and present the most frequent threats to PCs and locals over the course of the adventure. Minions will often spend the early part of the adventure killing off locals one by one.
When the PCs fail, the consequences usually fall not on them but on the locals.
Finally, after the first few scenes, the story takes place as a crisis, encouraging or forcing the locals to work with and place trust in the PCs when they ordinarily might not. Locals are most often suspicious of PCs at the beginning and toward the end, while accepting them in the middle.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Trust Me

Before Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker stars in Trust Me, playing an identity thief in, hey, Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Humble Bundle of C7 Doctor Who PDFS

Humble Bundle of C7 Doctor Who PDFs starting with the current rulebook, three adventures and the First Doctor sourcebook for $1.00, aka 77p! And that includes a 30% off coupon at the C7 online store! In aid of Children In Need!

The Doctor's Daughter

Georgia Moffett is to star as Jenny for Big Finish. Sean Biggerstaff is apparently set to play a companion type.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor

Jodie Whittaker is the Doctor!

13 questions at the BBC site.

Roll on Christmas!

In the meantime, I recommend Attack The Block, as I did when John Boyega was cast in Star Wars. :)

Terrible pencil and ink sketch by me!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A Wrinkle In Time

The first trailer for Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time, which as I have previously noted features an alien threat opposed by the trinity of Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and, yes, Mrs. Who.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Bill Potts era

Might be a little early for a retrospective, but what the heck.

The Doctor Falls

Meanwhile, in a country idyll...

It’s half past 12.

Planet 14? Marinus?!

“Doctor... did you do something?”

Saturday, 24 June 2017

World Enough And Time

“I’m Doctor Whooooo.”

A creepy old-fashioned hospital and masked people shifting in unison, a callback to The Empty Child?

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Empress Of Mars

“It’s a movie. You’d like it too. Everybody dies.”

Slightly disappointed that it's 1881, not Space: 1889. :D

Friday, 9 June 2017


Tonight is the tenth anniversary of Blink. It is often used to sell viewers on Doctor Who, but often sells them on Sparrow And Nightingale instead...

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017


“Particle physicists and priests. What could scare them both?”
A new Dan Brown novel?

Monday, 8 May 2017

Big Finish audio adventures on Spotify

Thirty hours of Doctor Who, among other things, now free to listen to on Spotify, including their first Eighth Doctor story Storm Warning and the classic The Chimes Of Midnight.

Thanks to Steve Ironside for the link!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Choose Your Own Doctor Who Skype Adventure?

The Saviour Of Time, with a chatbot Peter Capaldi written by Joseph Lidster guiding you to find the pieces of the Key to Time... on Skype.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Thin Ice

“I told you, you don’t steer the TARDIS, you reason with it.”
“Unsuccessfully, most of the time.”

Saturday, 22 April 2017


“You don’t steer the TARDIS, you negotiate with her!”

Great use of a really striking location, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

Cute/creepy robots.

“Is this Bloke Utopia?”

“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too.”

“Is there Scotland in space?”
“All over the place, demanding independence from every planet they land on.”

The Doctor marches for science!

And Malcolm Turnbull swears for it.

Happy Earth Day!

Today I march FOR SCIENCE!

And I remember The Earth Day Special, which was... a thing that happened in 1990, some parts of which could not be broadcast now.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Exterminate! The Wargame

The first Doctor Who boxed miniatures game from Warlord is Exterminate! with a skirmish force of Cybermen versus... you can probably guess...

Also coming soon, Davros, Sea Devils, Vashta Nerada astronauts, and Ogrons at the back.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The City & The City

The City & The City by China Miéville is on its way to BBC 2, in a four-part adaptation starring the Next Doctor, David Morrissey.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Miniature gaming thoughts

Starting (link removed three years later) with following posts discussing appropriate off-brand models, plastic Dalek scaling, and how to create a stone circle and paint Gel Guards.

Friday, 17 March 2017

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day again! In the five years since my last post on the subject, Doctor Who still hasn’t had an episode set in Ireland. Boo.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Thirteenth (Fifteenth) Doctor

Peter Capaldi has revealed that he is leaving in the next Christmas special.

The floodgates have opened for Next Doctor opinion pieces, betting odds and polls.

This will be the first Doctor for the Chibnall era, and most of his work outside the Whoniverse has starred David Tennant so that’s no help. Olivia Colman, on the other hand...

Class: The Lost

April has a nice singing voice.

Class: The Metaphysical Engine

... or What Quill Did

The flipside of Detained has Miss Quill going off on her own mini adventure.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Class: Detained

The almost inevitable “detention” episode of a school-based show manages to avoid any overt references to The Breakfast Club by becoming the classic “everybody is trapped in a confined space” bottle episode, a bit of an “everybody acts out of character” episode and the “everybody confesses their dark secrets” episode. And a Doctor-Lite episode where Miss Quill is absent for most of it.

I liked the characters taking a moment to figure out whether it was an asteroid or meteor.

The secrets being revealed helped make this feel like a balanced “young adult” show rather than something that would be kid-friendly apart from the swearing and gore.

Class: Brave-ish Heart

I appreciate the candour of making a Frodo joke as two characters clamber through a volcanic wasteland to battle a dark lord...

The Shadowkin planet is called the Underneath and is supposedly at the bottom of the universe, which adds to the king and the burning shadow swords that slash portals to make them feel like a classic fantasy monster rather than a science-fantasy one.

Killer petals - still not scaring me.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Class: Co-Owner Of A Lonely Heart

Between A Monster Calls, the veiny-tree-like things in the previous episode and the killer cherry blossom this time, is Patrick Ness scared of plants?

Anyway, they’re a subplot that will take centre stage next week, because this week, earlier than I’d anticipated, April sharing her heart with the king of the Shadowkin gets addressed. Her eyes glow ragily and she manifests scimitars of darkness, while he (in an amusing and very Buffy moment) wants a cuddle after the first time April makes love.

Oh, and her terrible dad appears, one episode after being established in dialogue. Was this show meant to have a couple more episodes?

The subplot also brings in the new headteacher.

Tanya stands up for Miss Quill. Yay!

And we also find out how the cabinet works. That may be an issue later on.

Class: Night Visitors

It’s the classic “ghosts of past regrets” episode with the classic “ghosts are really aliens” twist. With past regrets from before the series as the aliens imitating ghosts go for the nearest and dearest, and only three episodes in, so only one of them is someone we’ve seen die in the show itself, and they actually get the least to do.

With some turning to dust rather than gore (for those keeping track, Ram doesn’t get blood all over his face!) it’s the least needs-to-be-after-the-watershed episode of the first half of the run. It could have been a Sarah Jane two-parter. Apart from Miss Quill stabbing her visitor in the hand.

(And she essentially saves the day and gets no thanks for it. Bloody kids.)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Class: The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo

Class gets its first monster of the week episode, and it lets Ram integrate a bit more with the group and deal with the trauma of losing his leg and girlfriend. (Although Ram getting blood all over his face is in danger of becoming a running gag.)

The gore quota gets ramped up quite a bit with some gratuitous bloody skinning.

Meanwhile, Miss Quill has to deal with an OFSTED school inspector. Which is funny, but I think might have been funnier after a couple more episodes showing her terrible teaching style.

Class: For Tonight We Might Die

Class starts with Miss Quill being mysterious and fighting a shadow...

Then a credits sequence which is a bit Doctor Who and a bit Seven Nation Army.

Not sold on a bouncy poppy show choosing a bouncy poppy theme song (Up All Night by Alex Clare) with lyrics about boredom, “watching my youth slip away” and how “we go on and on and on and on...”

We meet our assorted heroes as they arrive, then find they’re all being subtly pursued by shadows.

April, the kind helpful girl next door.
Charlie, the terribly polite and slightly confused guy who is, as April points out, rather obviously an alien. (The biggest laugh of the episode is April asking if they look human naturally or had to change - cut to them in monster makeup and back saying “... No...”)
Matteusz, his boyfriend.
Tanya, the socially awkward three-years-ahead genius.
Ram, the jock.
Miss Quill, the snarky alien ninja teacher.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Seven plots from David Bowie's Blackstar

From the song titles from the album of the same name/symbol. That one is in the bag already...

25 Adventure Ideas Inspired By David Bowie Albums

No Plan, an EP and video from David Bowie, from the musical Lazarus, released today on his 70th birthday. “This is no place, but here I am...”

One of my sources of ideas is X Adventures From Y Song Titles, and Doctor Who adventures from Bowie titles would be a gimme, having done Blackstar at length... and as noted on the crosspost, Kammerice has done this one already.

He released twenty-five albums, so...

Friday, 6 January 2017

Class Programming

Class gets its terrestrial premiere on Monday on BBC One, starting at 10.45 p.m. Seems like a good time to start talking about individual episodes.