Thursday, 29 September 2011

Is It All Falling Apart?

SEASON 6 REVIEW/DISCUSSION (pre season finalae!)

Time Lords. You sort of wish they were still around really. Yes, they were a bit boring, but they sort of did some useful things - you know, keeping an eye on the laws of time, and, most importantly (from our perspective) keeping Time Lord time-streams in line with each other.

For example, in the ‘classic series’, the Doctor could never cross time lines with another Time Lord – they would always meet in a linear time stream – no bumping into the Master in his earlier regenerations for example, not like this River Song stuff. Say, for example, the Doctor did bump into a younger Master, and killed him, then what would happen to the older Master? I suppose it would explain his obsession to try and kill the Doctor. But surely he would disappear ‘and none of it would have happened’. A classic time-travelling story-telling loop-hole which we know can’t happen – more than a paradox, it’s a flippin’ “I woke up and it was all a dream” joke at our expense.

In the ‘new series’, our latest megalomaniac (hey, I am one – I know one when I see one!) producer, the Moff, has been flying dangerously close to this ‘don’t even go there’ scenario. In fact he’s probably pinned a tail on it and called it name. Yep, it’s more than wibbly-wobbly!

With just a day or so left until the final episode of this season, I’m having a good old think about what we’ve seen so far in an attempt to prepare myself for what is undoubtedly going to make me, and all of you out there, go… ‘What the f…? b.. bu. but he can’t do that!’. Without doubt I'm confused already.

And whilst I’m gonna keep most of my musings to myself, I can’t help but wonder about our lovely Amy and her plastic-fantastic lover. At the beginning of the Impossible Astronaut, we find Amy and Rory in a nice new house, the Doctor having disappeared to play silly buggers all over the place (shouldn’t he be trying to find baby Melody or something?). Invitations arrive and off they go to catch up with the Doctor in the good old’ US of A. But this Doctor is an older Doctor (despite the fact he decided to put one of his ‘younger’ jacket on – perhaps he thought someone might be watching), and he promptly gets himself killed. Then up pops ‘our’ Doctor, or, more to the point, ‘their’ Doctor, and off they go on a new series of adventures.

Now the other week, ‘our/their’ Doctor drops them off at a lovely new home, which they'd never seen before, presumably with the mortgage paid for (lucky buggers), and leaves them to it. Last week he pops into see his old mate what’s-his-name (I’ve tried to block it out of my Whoniverse, as I found it softer for than a gang of adipose), and pinches some envelopes – which he then uses to invite everyone to the little jolly at the beginning of the season.

So… what can we conclude from this? Well, at some point, obviously, ‘our’ doctor becomes the later Doctor, and a couple of hundred Time Lord years have gone by. Great. No problem there. And the Doctor we’re watching now is the ‘older’ one who we saw getting himself blasted at the beginning of the season… which again, I fine. [Although I’m still a bit confused as to how he’s converted the date of his death (in ‘Earth’ terms) with his timeline/age, if you know what I mean, so as to be able to know that its coming up soon… that would require some sort of Time Lord like relative time, which now they’ve all gone and been flushed down the toilet of the universe is a bit tricky…]

But… doesn’t this leave Amy and Rory in a bit of a time-loop, starting off in their lovely new home, catching up with the older, and then younger Doctor, who then, after the usual fun and games, drops them off at their lovely new house which they’ve never seen before…

Something’s wrong somewhere (probably in my head, but I know that), and I doubt the Moff is silly enough to try and pull the wool over our eyes – or perhaps he’s even confused himself? Not only have we been watching fake plastic Rory’s, fake flesh Amy’s, and divergent Doctors, but he’s been weaving a web of time-lines so complicated that it really does make one wish that those oh so boring Time Lords were still here. At least we new what was going on then!

Personally, I think we’re going to be presented with something so convoluted that it won’t answer any of these questions and will just leave an even bigger continuity hole for the Moff to try and dig himself out of next season. And we thought old RTD was making it up as he went along…

Wibbly Wobbly, timey wimey indeed...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

It's RT cover day...

Eye-patches. No doubt they're cool...

As ever, Combom has all the scanned pages here.

Target Artwork Origins

I was really interested to find this, the blog of Paul Scoones, whose currently putting the final touches to his Who book, 'The Comic Strip Companion 1964-1979' (tip of the hat to Combom once again!). Now I love the early comics, and have a nice collection of scans of many thanks to the online Who scanners and uploaders. And I also dig the artwork, another one of my interets.

So I was pleased to find this cool graphic, illustrating Target artist Chris Achilleos rather direct influences for his first cover, The Daleks.

I'd known about this before, and even mentioned it on this blog way back towards the end of 2009 (here), where I posted:

"The now classic cover illustration was by Chris Achilleos, who has acknowledged the influence of Ron Turner's artwork for The Dalek Chronicles comic published in TV Century 21 (more about that soon!), in particular the two Daleks were modelled from Issue 60 (The Rogue Planet, part 2) and the title graphic from Issue 76 (Legacy of Yesteryear) onwards."

So a bit surprised to find that Paul didn't know about this, or indeed many folk at all. Now unfortuantely I can't even remember where I got this information, but when I find out, I'll update and link on this post. I obviously had more info, as I promised a follow up post on it!). I guess it must have been an old interview with Chris, probably in DW Monthly or some other mag of the period. (Anyway, I'm looking!).

I see nothing wrong in Achilleous being inspired so directly from the comic artwork of Ron Turner, or his strong influences from Frank Bellamy. I think it continues a proud and original style of artwork which became a huge attraction in itself, and a huge part of the early magic of Who for many.

Here's the Day of the Daleks cover, again with Daleks inspired by Ron Turner's artowork.

Thanks Paul for the images, and can't wait for the book...

Spoilers? No thanks

Spoilers. They spoil it a bit don't they? I've gone through phases of both following seasons in production (and obviously finding out all about it) and not knowing a thing (as I'm often in remote parts of the world for long periods without internet!).

This second half of season 6 has been my first 'live' who watching since I don't know when, and I really thought I would have followed its every move online after I'd caught up with the first half. But for some reason I found myself avoiding those blogs that so well document every snippit of information which leaks from the beeb. And I can honestly say it's better without the spoilers. And it's also my excuse for a lack of activity on this blog!

In fact I've watched all of season 6 without access to any prior knowledge, and it's been it's saviour for me. With 99% of the cat out of the bag, and only the season finale to go, I've just done a huge wade through one of my favourite blogs, Combom, to try and catch up with everything, and I really think if I'd known all the spoilers this whole season would have been rather flat and unsatisfactory. As it is there's been some dodgy episodes, as always, and I've got some serious issues with some of these storylines and archs, but I'm gonna sit it out till the end before I comment. Mind you, even reviewing episodes once they've been shown can be spoilery for folk who haven't seen them yet, but then, you shouldn't be reading reviews!

But as ever, I’ve still got loads of catching up to do on what’s been happening in the world of Who that tickles my fancy, so watch out for a few back posts as I slot things into their correct time-streams – Radio Times covers on their date of publication and boring stuff like that.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Reign of Terror DVD Animated Preview

Nearly missed this - there's an advanced preview of the forthcoming Reign of Terror DVD release, with animated sequences replacing the lost episodes (as with The Invaision). Looks pretty damn cool...

It's a dodgy vid of the clip - hopefully we'll get a proper version soon.

Watch it here...

Friday, 23 September 2011

Invasion of the Dinosaurs DVD update

Here's another story which needs doctoring... after the Day of the Daleks 'Special Edition', with new fancy-dancy CGI scenes, some fans have wondered if we would get an updated version of this story... sadly not. Or perhaps not so sadly.

The missing colour version of Episode 1 has been recreated, but not with great success, and the release will include the black and white print as well. But no CGI dinosaurs. Can't say I blame them realy... lot of work for a naff story. I'm hoping the guys are saving the money for more animated recons of missing episodes from classic stories rather than fiddling around with something which, let's be honest, is always going to look a bit poor. If only we could go back in time and swap these tapes for a story worth saving...

Due for release early 2012...

[Thanks Combom]

Monday, 12 September 2011

Day of the Daleks 'Special Edition' DVD release

It's here - 'with new special effects and sounds',the re-jigged SE version of Pertwee's first encounter with the Daleks... (original version is also an option on the DVD, as is standard practice, so you really can throw away your VHS collection...)

Does it do the job? Only you can tell...

Combom's got a great review of whats new here.