Thursday, 25 October 2018

Evil Of The Daleks, Unbearable Lightness Of Friendship.

Was gifted this wonderful cassette recording by my chum Jamie. Treasure hunting on Ebay revealed this masterful reading by Mister Tom Baker (with a full cast episode recording). It was intended as a get well gift after some recent surgery I had and I can already testify to its healing properties.
             Its a holy relic.

View From The Bush Of Ghosts.

Glenn Fabry just back from a trip to a con in the former colonies, the US of America. He managed to avoid drive by shootings and muggings but managed to find the only slippery grassy patch in a great concreted city-scape and fell breaking his collar bone. Glenn is one of the greatest artists the comic book industry has ever been lucky enough to have yet has learnt one of life's great lessons; You can love gravity all you wish it will never love you back. Hes a hardy gent though and has bounced back talent and good humor intact.

The Haunted Book Shelf 2018.

The year is 1954, a returning army veteran attempting to reconcile with his estranged father (They fell out over the young man's decision to join the army as his father felt he was wrong to fight for the interests of a country that was still denying them so many of their civil liberties.) In order to find his father Atticus Turner goes off on a road trip that will take him into the dark territories of Lovecraft country. And while there are certainly monsters to be found there he and his friends must confront the equally terrifying monster that is race prejudice. It is a gripping read from beginning to end with believable and relatable characters and horrors both real and imagined.
The King In Yellow is a collection of short stories, interconnected and woven about a mysterious and forbidden  play which induces madness in its viewers. To anyone coming to this book for the first time The King In Yellow could well serve as a gateway drug a life of weird fiction. The doors of perception once opened never quite close again. This work by Robert W Chambers has influenced writers of different generations and genres, most powerfully recently in the first season of true Detective. Its dark stuff, its a dark time of year.

Just about one of my favourite stories from my favourite show, classic era or new. Talons Of Weng Chiang has so much to recommend it. Ancient Chinese Gods, killer homunculus, giant rats in the sewers of London and Leela proudly declaring she is no lady. Terrance dicks did a fantastic job of adapting this epic story into such a slim edition of a book. Very much rooted in the tradition of Sax rohmer and the pulp stories of that era, it is a perfect read for this time of year and a reminder of Tom Baker's Doctor in his pomp. It was also the story which introduced me to the characters Jago and Litefoot, whos series from Big Finish Audios is for me their Jewel In The Crown.
                                                 Best Of The Season to you, old chap.

Years And Years; All For You.

Olly Alexander and Years and Years have released another video to go along with the latest track from Palo Santo to be released as a single. The track is All For You and it sort off picks up from where the last one left off. This one is slightly darker and suggests more complex themes as the lead characters humanity in the robot city either slides towards duplication or replication. I have heard it said that copying is the highest form of flattery but a logical extension to copying is questioning the need for an original once a copy exists, with replication on a massive scale a logical conclusion. Would an artificial lifeform attempting to replicate an emotional response feel an emotional attachment to anything it could do for itself..
             Its a great track, Years And Years making it all seem so easy at this point. Creating music that resonates on different levels. Ollys voice continues to mature as does his mastery of lyrics. Realistically playfull and emotional at the same time. He makes me feel like a hand made man learning to appreciate emotions.
              The world of Palo Santo reminds me of the world of David Bowie's Diamond Dogs. I know they are musically worlds apart as are the decades the respective music was created in, yet I find myself loving both for almost the same reasons. Olly alexander is like the young David Bowie in so many ways. He is a multi talented performer, he sings and writes and plays his own music, he acts and moves like a professional dancer, with the amorphous ability of the self taught.
                He is a bright light shining in a dark old world.

If It Should Rain On You I Will Be Your Brolley.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Made Of Stardust And Such.

Was gifted a copy of the latest Starburst magazine which has an amazing variant cover by mark Reihill. The special edition all art covers are a subscribers exclusive and in this case a Who collector's treat. Mark is a busy man, between traveling between here and the Americas promoting his comic Off Girl and his truly stunning menus for The Dead Rabbits Bar in New York.
            I remember when he drew the Peter Capaldi cover for the same publication (Wow, that seems so long ago.) We had no idea of the many chilling tales ahead for his Doctor and the stellar changes to come. I still think Jodie Whitaker looked great running about in the tattered Capaldi ensemble and I have no doubt her own choice will grow on me in time. It fits where her personality is coming from and that after all is the best possible start.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

How Many Times Does An Angel Fall?

In the song Blackstar David Bowie asked the question "How many times does an angel Fall?" and the answer it would appear, for now, is thirteen. The many times The Doctor has fallen, nearly always in battle and never ever really knowing what you are gonna get. Well this time we got Jodie Whitaker and this angel has taken wing. She is great and I imagine this is what she did during her auditions for the part. I say auditions as I have heard she had to do more than one.
              Anyway, there she was at Christmas, oh yes, Christmas night last seen falling from an exploding Tardis, clutching desperately, trying in vain to close the distance between herself and the thing she loves and needs. Hows she going to get out off that one! We now know she did not, crashing through the roof of a stalled train, presumably protected from going splat by the residual energy of her recent regeneration. fortunately she landed on a sheffield bound train and not on the Belfast to Dublin line. Or perhaps not so fortunate, I have no doubt she would have found herself in a tricky situation of some sort, just not one involving alien tech. Probably.
             She hit the ground running did Our Jodie (And doesn't that feel natural already). Only born and already trying to save innocents from a fate worse than Casualty. It was a strange story to kick off with, a predator inspired hunt I suppose, with an alien entity that felt more like a creature from Torchwood than Doctor Who. Although they do occupy and share the same continuity, just a human tooth clad creature..ugh. She was fortunate enough to find great company straight off the bat to share her adventure, both in the industrial underbelly of the city and the green open spaces overlooking it. A great juxstaposition both visually and in terms of telling the story. One being part of the other.
              No Tardis yet, no Unit to check out the alien incursion, no sentient puddles...I think at least two of those things are sure to reappear at some point. I really liked seeing this new incarnation running about in the tattered remains of her previous incarnation. I had hoped the ramshackle but well equipped workshop she built her new Sonic in was going to be her regular workshop. Goggles and torch in gloved hand she looked every inch the cyberpunk inventor.I love the idea of The Doctor building magical things out of junk. It so speaks to the heart of why I love this show so much. And with everything else going on it might have been easy to overlook, or not quite hear, the amazing new soundtrack provided by Segun Akinola. He had such huge shoes to fill who would have blamed him from shying away. He did not though and we were rewarded with an atmospheric soundscape that really held its own with the bold new visual direction.
              Nine more weeks off this..
              Its enough to make one believe in magic.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Easy Like Sunday Evening.

                                            New Day. New Time. New Doctor. New Who.
                                                                   Same Hero.