Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Michelle Gomez was on top of her wicked game. I can barely see anyone else when she is on screen. No bad thing when Missy is around. And Pearl Mackie was just special as the tragic Bill. Oh how could they do that? What a dark mind Stephen Moffat has.
You have to ask yourself though; Why do you love something that breaks your heart with such regularity. I suppose in order to feel real affection for a thing you have to risk that most precious of emotions.
But to begin a story with The Doctor kneeling alone in a snowy waste screaming..
And to end that story with a tearful nightmarishly transformed Bill..
Its enough to make a fellow build a wall around his heart..
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
The sight of her grave filled me with sadness.
The sight of her body filled me with horror.
I have seen sketches of Jack The Rippers victims and even photographs of the worst of them, poor Mary Kelly. Elizabeth Shaw's body looked as though it had fallen beneath the hand of the Ripper. Butchered, robbed of vitality, robbed of even the dignity that comes with death. It was a jarring shocking sight in a film loaded with jump scares and elemental body horror. Prometheus had wrong footed me and surprised me as a science fiction film that was not afraid to ask some primal questions. covenant wrong footed and surprised me by not being the film I expected it to be. Sure, this time it came cloaked in what one would expect from an alien movie but what I was not expecting was a meditation on the dreams of a fallen angel.David, the fallen favorite of his creator plays creative games of his own. Possibly using the only person he had ever held in high regard. Tearing and disassembling and rewriting the imperative to survive at all costs,"not minding that it hurts." It was one of the most credible studies in evil I have ever seen in a film. Yes, it is quite possible that David did care for Doctor Shaw, that he would even weep at her loss, while not hesitating for a moment to use her person as a template for atrocity. The tears of a fallen angel, how they would burn.
Walter is a mirror to David's distorted passions. a calm reasonable entity who understands his purpose, who does not rebel against his established programming. Heaven had its rebels, those who would not bow before the forces for order, who sought to rebel and embraced chaos and reaped the whirlwind. They prefer the certainty of ferocity uncomplicated by notions of morality. There was poetry in their fall but words could not prevent nor slow their descent into the abyss.
Where a face hugger sits coiled and waiting.
Before I left the house this morning there was an article on the news suggesting that five skeletons found in Africa may indicate Homo-sapiens have been around a lot longer than previously understood. Were they the product of humming stones?
It is a beautiful film but I do not pretend to understand it all. It seems to make sense to my eye but not my brain. Dug out my old original soundtrack for the movie and got an Arthur C Clarke book expanding on his initial story from Atomic Collectables. I do not know if I want to have the events in the film explained. I quite like the air of mystery. Understanding the cosmic scale of events might well diminish their wonder.
I am only a partially evolved ape after all.
Shaking bones at the sky and shouting "Stay Away From My Watering Hole.".
Whilst constantly attempting to remain thoroughly modern off course.
The story, as far as The Doctor and Bill are concerned begins in a forest, a spooky forest at night. We are talking the full Fetch Priory woods here, a classic Tardis location. The Tardis team find themselves pitched against the ancient form of magical science which lies at the heart of most folk tales. The Shining Men reflects a new suspicion among modern Fortean investigators that phenomenon such as demonology , UFO sightings, even Slender Man stories are in fact old enemies of mankind hiding behind new hideous faces. The suspicion that there is in fact nothing new under the sun and that these are old foes allowing themselves to be seen in a modern context. That malicious demons are playing a sly game of "you only thought you knew us."Cavan Scott does a great job as the regular scribe on The Ninth Doctor title published by Titan Books and his book makes a worthy addition to this trilogy of new books which will probably be the last Doctor Who books to be published while Peter Capaldi occupies the Tardis bearing his face.
Hard to believe that era is drawing to a close.
And how appropriate is the title of this book.
It could well refer to Peter Capaldi himself who shines in the role he has waited so many years to perform.
Saturday, 17 June 2017
The most recent story I listened to Visiting Hours was one of the most raucous and outrageous and very very funny stories I have heard to date. Kai Owen and Nerys Hughes are just fantastic, like two badly behaved but very endearing children who find themselves in a desperately dangerous situation. Even the extras are a hoot. Loud and loony and a joy to listen to.
Also out this week was the truly amazing 3RD Doctor collection Heralds Of Destruction. It is written by the immensely talented Paul Cornell with artwork by Christopher Jones/ ably assisted colour-wise by HI-FI. A lovely ode to a period past, an era remembered with much love and affection by not just those who lived through its original transmission but a legion of fans for Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning and the much missed original UNIT family. There are other familiar faces in the story and some genuinely unexpected twists and turns. Its cheeky, irreverent and full of life.
Just like Doctor Who at its very best.
Sunday, 11 June 2017
Could we be returning to Peladon in the near future?
Another wonderful moment in a really great new series.
Saturday, 10 June 2017
They were not around for very long but I loved Haysi Fantayzee. Punky Victorian waifs dancing and singing dirty songs. Dreads and hats and skanky dance moves. When I try to explain why I like things I sometimes proceed straight to boobie-babble but thats okay. People speak it more than they know.
This novel is by Jonathan Morris who is no stranger to the worlds of Doctor Who past and present. He brings an assured hand to things and even a dynamic familiar to us now watching the new series. Which is remarkable given that he must have written this book way way before anyone really knew how things were going to play out. Even access to a script bible would only have given him a bare bones to the way characters would have interacted. There is so much alchemy which only comes out in the playing. The Doctor is just words until the actor does his magic thing.
The new series has been a delightful series with a renewed joy and freshness. Maybe its the power of having an end in sight that motivates all involved to give it everything. The Tardis team are warm and endearing with Bill establishing herself as a worthy best friend to The Doctor quite quickly. There were some lovely moments in The Pilot. And I gasped with disapointment when I saw Nardol laying apparently dead on the floor of the Tardis in the second most recent episode and I found myself asking "When did I start caring so much about Nardol?". Matt Lucas has won me over as I feared goofy extremes which would distract from good storytelling.
Plague City is one of three new Doctor Who titles released by BBC books.I went for this one first as it was set in a period which interested me, the time period and whatever. With an amazing city like Edinburgh in one of its darkest periods.
One of my favorite moments is a sequence Jonathan Morris comes up with(SPOILER!) when the Doctor does a pied piper, using his guitar instead of a James Galway tube, playing a selection of some of the very best tunes written by a couple of the best British bands ever, to effect a rescue.
Oh yes, the devil may have all the best tunes but The Doctor knows how to play them.
Timeless space and time tales.
There are many disparate elements to this strange little tale of advanced evolution and a talking monkey, Hurrah! Oh yes, a talking monkey, whats not to like about that. The young guy who plays Franklyn, for that is the monkeys name, really goes for it and I guess his performance and the enthusiasm he endows it with seems to have positively impacted on the more seasoned performers he is surrounded by. It all holds together very well and boy does the story fly by. Mind you, I am such a sucker for a charming monkey that I am probably building up his part. Mind you, even The Doctor falls under his spell. The writer, Adrian Poynton, tells an epic tale with a small main cast, exploring themes such as scientific hubris and stone cold revenge. With characters who are by turns optimistic and brave and nihilistic and bitter. These are two very human traits which do not sit well together, diametrically opposed, they are the stuff of great stories.
Thank Heavens The Doctor is around to save us from ourselves.