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Category Archives: Sci Fi

Sixth Time’s a Charm

I watched Doctor Who on TV religiously as a child. As a consequence this means that I’m more familiar with Colin Baker than Tom Baker, but it hasn’t stopped me from venturing backwards and forwards along The Doctor’s timeline over the years. It was a shame that Colin wasn’t willing/able to film his regeneration scene at the time, so I’m glad to hear that Big Finish will be producing an audio adventure in order to fill in the gaps leading up to Sylvester McCoy grasping the reins.

I don’t mind that it’s taken so long for this retrospective bit of story telling to be told. After all, I waited patiently to see Paul McGann become John Hurt so long gaps between points of continuity aren’t exactly new to the world of this time travelling face changer.

The Big Finish stories provide very high quality fan service, creating long story arcs and a focus on minutia that a 45 minute, prime time TV show isn’t really geared up for. Nowadays the personality of the grumpy Peter Capaldi isn’t all that different from the brash, arrogant Sixth Doctor but hopefully the show will keep it’s mainstream appeal. However, when I want to geek-out for a few hours, I can always pop my headphones on.

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Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Sci Fi, TV

 

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Still Forceful

I’m looking forward to the new Star Wars movies. Unlike some folks, I don’t feel that there was anything tragic about the three prequels that were released. I’ve sat through far worse movies and even if you don’t like the stories, you can’t beat the fabulous soundtracks!

Whether the new films and their spin offs will appease dyed in the wool fans of the original series, only time will tell. A new cast and new writers should ensure that, at the very least, the next few years will provide us with some exciting, sci-fi blockbusters. Oh, and lots and lots of promotional merchandise.

I remember when Return of the Jedi was released at the cinema. It was a long time before I saw it on the big screen, but I avidly collected a book full of stickers until I had my own account of the movie. It was the first sticker album I completed – even though I didn’t immediately realise they were self adhesive stickers, so I glued the first half of the album into the pages. Still, you live and learn…

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Books, Movies, Sci Fi

 

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Bugged

Unsurprisingly, a 60 year old railway carriage stood next to an open body of water is an inviting home for mosquitos and spiders to move into. Nobody seems to have taken the time to explain to them that this spot has been claimed by humans and they need to shift themselves down the shore to another place.

Generally speaking the spiders have the decency to stay smaller than the ones Doctor Who fought in the Jon Pertwee years. They haven’t demonstrated any psychic powers or plans for world domination either, so I reckon we can make this week work.

There is an old British Rail map of the network on the wall here though and I did have to do a double take when I saw a spider the size of Dublin crawling across the Irish Sea. Thankfully he allowed me to assist him on his way through the exit (scooped up in a cup and shaken out of a window).

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Holidays, Monsters, Outdoors, Sci Fi

 

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X Factor


Normally, if I were to ask to join the X-Men, the process would go a little something like this;

ME : “Hello Professor X, I’d like to join the X-Men please. Nice house, by the way.”

PX : “Thank you. Well, we’re always keen to welcome new applicants, what’s your super power?”

ME : “Here’s the thing, whenever I leave England, the weather becomes unseasonably warm. So, for example, if I take a holiday, it’s always lovely and sunny back home. Every time, without fail. Either my presence attracts overcast skies, or by leaving the country, the sun is compelled by my sheer will alone to blaze hotter than it normally does. Over England.”

PX : “I see…”

ME : “I thought, maybe I could be called ‘Fridge Doorman’ because the sun comes out, when I go. Like the light coming on in the fridge when you take something out. Do you follow me?”

PX : “Yes, I do…”

ME : “So, what do you think my chances of getting in are…?

PX : “Erm… just leave your details with Jean Grey on the way out and we’ll call you if we need you.

Imagine my surprise then, as this time it’s raining back home and gloriously sunny here in Finland!

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Holidays, Sci Fi, Travel

 

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507 Regenerations +1

The present series of Doctor Who has come to an end, leaving the audience hanging on until the 50th anniversary special in November. I’ve just about enjoyed the second half of this current run, but the 45 minute stand-alone episodes haven’t felt very… epic. Setting that right, The Name of the Doctor was the first episode to explicitly show previous Doctors interacting with the current cast (if you don’t count the Children in Need special with the 5th and 10th Doctors).

The story itself was just a prelude to the dramatic final scene when The Doctor and Clara wade into The Big Blue Squiggle of Doom and meet John Hurt, the long lost incarnation of our favourite timelord. I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of this story, even if it will be the Who equivalent of a STTNG Holodeck episode.

Whatever happens, whatever is revealed, after an hour(ish) of thrills and Time War flashbacks, the end of the story will conclude with The Doctor and Clara stepping out of The Big Blue Squiggle and everything will be in place for the Xmas special. Doctor Who always works better during those dark, Winter evenings anyway, so I can’t wait!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Sci Fi, Xmas

 

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Say My Name, Say My Name

As the BBC drip feed their audience with further information about upcoming episodes of Dr Who, they’ve been using these rather cool movie posters. It’s very simple but it does give the series more of an epic feel. Even if recent stories have been a little short on ‘big reveals’ they do help to build up the anticipation during the gaps leading up to each Saturday night’s tea time viewing.

It seems as though we’re going to be given The Doctor’s real name this year, but I must admit to feeling a bit underwhelmed by that. He might have a made up alien name like Kal-El, which could just sound silly (notice that even Superman never uses his real name much). He might have a very normal sounding name, maybe he’s been calling himself John Smith all these years because it’s true.

Then again, it could all be leading to a swerve. Just as ‘The Wedding of River Song’ and ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ didn’t really deliver what their titles suggested. I think this would leave viewers feeling cheated, so I’m guessing that the writers have something particular clever up their sleeves. Once it’s been revealed, there must be some terrible consequences for our time traveller, or why else would he have kept it to himself – and maybe River – all these years?

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Movies, Sci Fi, TV

 

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Reverse The Polarity


As we hurtle into the 50th year of Doctor Who, excitement levels amongst geeks like me are high and the expectancy for something special is even higher. The second half of the current series returned to British screens 3 weeks ago and I’m still waiting to see that something special arrive.

‘The Bells of St. John’ was the comeback episode and the idea that people could be beamed up into their WiFi connections struck me as something thought up by a writer who had never used a computer before. Maybe I found it hard to swallow as a tech geek, more than the sci fi nerd in me should have.

‘The Rings of Akhaten’ was hard to pronounce but looked better, with dozens of new alien races featured. Where it fell down for me was the reliance on the power of positive thinking to save the day. I’ve had my share of pseudo science and technobabble from The Doctor over the years, but it was particularly unconvincing for me here.

Last weekend we had ‘Cold War’ which saw the return of The Ice Warriors, well… an Ice Warrior really. It had many of the right components – dark corridors to run down, locals who are strangely accepting of blue boxes that appear out of thin air etc. Maybe I was spoilt by the previous Matt Smith episodes that were bridged together by a longer overarching story. Maybe the origin of his assistant isn’t compelling enough for me. Maybe I want to know the answer to the question, Doctor who?’ Maybe I’m still waiting to find out why and when the Tardis explodes.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Monsters, Sci Fi, Technology, TV

 

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