Saturday, 29 April 2017
Especially the adaption of his novel Love And War from the McCoy era of the show.A full on high church adaption by Big Finish that just about delivers on every level and which is one of the best Doctor Who stories in any medium.which technically I listened to that rather than read it, it being an audio drama but I did get to read it shortly after it was published in another century.Er, that is not as long ago as it sounds.
I was under the impression, for some reason I cannot remember now, that I was about to read a fantasy novel that would have something in common or at the very least be atmospherically similar to the stories I remember from my own school age, particularly television series like Children Of The Stones, The Changes or one of Alan Garners mystical tales. it turned out, however, more James Herbert than Herbert g Wells. It has between its covers some terrifying scenarios that quite easily could have played out in some urban nightmare of a school disco, feral places that they were. school bullies really can be the stuff of nightmares, engendering memories that can haunt and last a lifetime.
I say this as someone who was dangled out a school window above a killer drop supported only by an untrustworthy grip on my skinny wee ankles. The only thing stopping me from a fast track to Valhalla, or Elysium or some other fictional waiting room before eternity.
The school disco and the music referenced is just right on the money for the period ( a bit odd to remember any days of ones life as a "period." Remembrance of days past and all that.) i could not help but wonder if the young Paul Cornell kept lists of the British charts. Actually this book left me wondering about a whole lot of things.
It is not a story for the fainthearted.
Very few realistic school stories are.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Or something like that.
Mister Wilmer's Holmes is a most endearing Holmes.Even though he is quick to smile in a way that Conan Doyle would never have intended. I treat different actor's interpretations of Holmes in the same way I approach different versions of the Doctor in that every version is one of a character I admire and trust to the integrity of the performer. I was reminded of the warmth and wisdom displayed by Christopher Plumber as Sherlock Holmes. in the seventies classic movie Murder By Decree. Again, it was not a performance that portrays Holmes as a human calculator and some die-hard Holmes fans have been known to get a bit sniffy but in the context of the various productions they work.
The game is afoot and what a pleasure it is to follow in his footsteps from foggy old Baker street to the wind swept Cornish coast.All in glorious black and white. Crime never looked better.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Dan Starkey , Strax the Sontaran butler, does the vocal duties for Field Marshall Lenk and Sargent Major Stem. Which is acutally quite a plausible thing given that the Sontarans are a clone race which would suggest that they all pretty much look and sound the same. As always the Sontarans spend quite a lot , if not all, of their time trying to kill their enemies as horribly and violently as they can or else they are looking forward to dying as horribly or as violently as they can. This preoccupation of theirs could get old very quickly(actually the average lifespan for a Sontaran is six years, not awfully long.They are the fruit flies of clone races.Although I would strongly suggest never saying this directly to one of them.They are gong to try killing you anyway but why bother encouraging them to get inventive.) and it could sound wearisome if the action and dialogue were not delivered with an eye, and an ear, for spirited aplomb. Their monotone verbal predictability makes me believe that Strax would have travelled well with Tom's Doctor. But then I would say that. I used to play a little game upon discovering interesting new characters measuring their suitability as travelling companions for Tom's Doctor. The game was called; "They would have travelled well with Tom's Doctor."
Mind you, I have never heard anyone I know say this out loud so I suppose it never made it beyond the waiting room next to my cerebal cortex.
It is the second story into Season six of this run and it is a completely different turn from#6.1. This is one of my favourite aspects of following the Doctor on his travels. You can turn up almost anywhere and any time.
Lalla Ward's incarnation of Romana has been afforded such a rich and strong new lease of life in her time with Big Finish across its ranges. The classy aristocrat Romana sounds so lofty next to the verbal blimpisms of the Sontarans endless thirst for violence which baffles her. And Tom sounds so re-energised on this one.
Which is amazing given that he is a hundred year old Liverpudlian.
This is also the most accessible of Peter Ackroyd books I have read in some time. It is probably looked askew upon for that reason in more literary circles. I suspect as much as I managed to read a review of it in one of the on-line book review sections of a self-regarding newspaper where they were a bit sniffy. A Tesco value pickle in the hors d'oeuvre? Oh vicar you jest!