Archive for March, 2010

Vast Return – JanuaryFebruaryMarch 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

vastreturnYes, we’ve been persuaded to Return! And as the caption says it’s a vast one, a full three months’ worth. Of course we won’t be covering it all in minutiae because not a lot happened really – thanks to the new Production team’s rather better secret-keeping skills perhaps. And of course because nothing happened. Except for a few things…

There’s a new series on the telly you know! Even in our fair isles. Well done Prime for getting it screened so quickly again – you’re on a roll (love the channel promos too, by the way)! So local fandom is also reinventing itself, addressing the changes, meeting to talk about the new series, that sort of thing. Oh hang on, is it? What about the fanzines? Nothing yet…?

Never to mind, because in all but name we know that local zines have changed too – courtesy of local reportage again they’ve gone tabloid! Who needs TSV and RTP when you can have ace reporter Al ‘Scoop’ Hughes (covering Cribbens, McGann and Killan in six short weeks) turning Fairfax media into NZ’s newest, most-widely distributed local DW fanzine? Go Al!

Elsewhere off the printed page (a dot matrix printer in this case, apparently) Big Finish continued their releases of the ‘Lost Stories’ of the Colin Baker era. In January this meant Christopher Hamiltron Bidmead’s The Hollows of Time, once thought to be aka Pinacotheca, but now apparently not. And it’s a tricksy beast due to its mysterious villain ‘Professor Stream’, whose name was likely once a wheeze of an anagram but due to edicts from Cardiff remains an enigma deep fried in mystery and the true identity of the malignant mister a lingering question which hangs in the air long after the story’s closure like a visit from a chain smoker. Just who was that mysterious man? We DON’T CARE! We’re still wondering why you bothered to put Tractators (including a Gravis) in your story and not utilise them effectively either! And as for the trick of a seasoned actress voicing a twelve year old boy… or is it another sleight of hand, a clever trick? Or IS it? Or is it? Oh we give up. We’re still asking what you did to the story, pal (and what we did to deserve it!)

Barely six months on from The End of Time and the Tennanth Doctor’s next US-based opportunity has been quietly rested. Not good news for the man of last year’s hour when conventional wisdom would be for him to sell sell sell while his stock is high. There’s his much-lauded turn in the Danish play of course, but let’s be honest: after seeing him everywhere last December it’s unnerving to have young MacDonald absent from our screens for so long. We wish him all the very best for opportunities ahead, we really do.

Also Stateside is the recently newish venture to launch Torchwood for an Amurkin audience. A bit odd for a programem based around an institute set up by Queen Vic, especially from an entertainment industry committed to the mental image of England as being bowler-hatted frights sipping tea through bad teeth, but hey ho. It was all set for Murdoch-owned Fox, so at least with an Australian owning the network you could imagine some understanding of the complexities of Her Majesty’s service, maybe. Hmm… Fox handing Who property. What does that remind me of…?

Never mind. We see it’s been recently ‘rested’ as a project after “disturbing” rumours of attempts to iron-out sexy flexy Captain Jack and some of the fans haven’t been keen about that (memo: calling yourself “Woodies” in a US context might not help your bargaining position). For the moment, file under US Projects (pending) in the T section, after “Tennant”…

Now, we’d not be so uncharitable to suggest that the Tenth Doctor himself is yesterday’s man, but it is 2010 now and time’s winged chariot has marched. Oh but some have found it hard. Very hard indeed. It’s cheering to hear the younger generation (he was born after Hartnell’s debut, you see. Unlike … er, not very many of us at all) and for this Tennant’sDoctor(heart) the parting has been such sweet sorrow. Can he find it in his (heart) to forgive Matt Smith? We’ll see. In the mean-time, oh the anger, the regret, the ridiculously large embedded image in local PC caches now everywhere…

Might be time to make a few changes to that sig file, don’t you think buddy?

Still, some Who-related spinoff success from LA it seems, as Rusty has written for the Sarah Jane Adventures. An episode featuring the new Doctor saying hello to her again after having just said goodbye a couple of times in his last body (Too Soon!) So that’s worked out well, hasn’t it? And it’s got Jo Grant in as well, which is nice. Although at the current rate of the SJAs acquiring Who nostalgia we fear it won’t be long before that long-clamoured for McGann return gets shunted there as well.

mcgann_facepalmSPEAKING OF MCGANN…
Wasn’t it nice of Neville to give Paul a great local welcome down in Christchurch? That’s our boy!

And so to the new series and the first return of old nasties (must we? Oh alright then). And if it’s a visual spoiler and if it’s Daleks then you can count on the Radio Times again to provde the necessary illustration for the story in question’s gasp-inducing sequence of images – to this end, teletubby Daleks. Talk about being spoiled in six different colours. Wouldn’t the mock-up ‘ironsides’ propaganda poster have been more fun and more collectable? Ah, but it just had the one version, didn’t it? That’s not going to make the fanboys buy six different covers now, is it?

Spoilers for Ep 8 & 9 follow… (more…)