Monday, 29 December 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who - 2008 Subscribers Special - Return of The Krotons

The dead planet Onyakis is being plundered by the last survivors of the human race, and their leader, Commander Cobden, will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Already there are rumours of those who stand against him mysteriously disappearing. But when the Doctor and Charley find themselves on the side of those trying to expose Cobden, they discover something far more sinister.

Deep in the mines of Onyakis, alien technology is reactivating. Power is flowing. Something is forming in the darkness…

This years Big Finish ‘Subscribers Special’ sees the return of classic Doctor Who monsters ‘The Krotons’!

The Krotons only appearance on television was in December 1968, in a serial that ran until January 1969 – exactly 40 years before the release of this audio. The Krotons themselves are a strange ‘crystalline lifeform’ that need people to use ‘learning machines’ to power them.

I would advise you getting hold of a copy of ‘The Krotons’ before listening to this. I believe it is available on VHS and on ITunes. Surely it won’t be long before a DVD release?

In the audio, The Doctor and Charley find themselves lost. Not for the first time, the TARDIS is knackered and they’ve been left with no clue where (or when) they are. It turns out that this story shares some nice parallels with the 4th Doctor serial ‘The Ark in Space’, which was about human colonies. The ‘ark’ that appeared in that story (Nerva) gets a couple of mentions, which should keep old school fans happy! The story does build up rather nicely but the finish is quite disappointing.

Overall, the audio is just a bit of harmless fun that offers a good insight into The Krotons. I was a little disappointed with the pace of the story, which as mentioned, built up very well but the way everything was resolved was disappointing. However, the performances of the actors (including the legendry Philip Madoc) really do stand out rather well.

2.5/5

Big Finish Doctor Who 116 - The Raincloud Man

Having just defeated the Krotons, the Doctor is treating Charley to a hearty English breakfast, when an intriguing mystery suddenly presents itself. And to solve it, they must plunge back into the criminal underbelly of Manchester, where an old friend is up to her neck in alien trouble.

But what seemed like a mere mystery ends up being a life or death struggle at the centre of an interplanetary war in which the stakes are so high, the Doctor or Charley must gamble and lose their identity. And throughout, the lone figure of the Raincloud Man may hold the key to success or failure.

The guys over at Big Finish bring out their final story of 2008, which sees the return of Manchester and DI Menzies (played by Anna Hope) in ‘The Raincloud Man’.

One thing I can say about it, is that it is pure classic Doctor Who! The story takes a while to get going but that really makes it all the better to listen to!

With it being set after ‘Return of the Krotons’ (the subscriber’s release which is reviewed here) The Doctor and Charley find themselves having breakfast in a café. But when Charley spots something strange, about false £1 coins and Manchester, The Doctor looks up an old friend.

This turns out to be the tireless DI Patricia Menzies, who apart from doing her day job is now taking care of the aliens who ask her for help, after the events of ‘The Condemned’. She agrees to help The Doctor, any way she can but she herself is busy investigating a number of strange deaths. When Charley accompanies her on a visit to an alien who can see the ‘possibilities of time’, she is told that she must tell The Doctor the truth about herself. But when the alien turns up dead, Charley is arrested for murder…

It’s another intriguing story that adds more mystery to Charley’s story. It can run the risk of being a little bit tedious but for how its okay! The audio also takes a nice twist after the second part and the story benefits from it.

Once again Anna Hope was outstanding and here’s hoping she can return again. Michael Fenton-Stevens also offers great support as the mysterious boat-owner, Brooks.

Overall it’s a very good story that is a little slow in places but still manages to make you listen to every word!

3.5/5

Next Time: It’s the start of ‘The Key 2 Time’ trilogy as the Fifth Doctor is joined by new companion Amy in ‘The Judgement of Isskar’

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 6

The final episode of ‘Survivors’ comes to a dramatic end, which may have repercussions on another television program close to my heart. But more about that later!

The ever-increasingly creepy government minister, Samantha Willis, appears once again, this time at the survivor’s house. She lets them know of her plan to restart the government from scratch, in her own way. In the meantime, she wants to note down the full names and occupations of everyone. To do this, she has employed the villainous Dexter, who last appeared in episode 2.

After doing nothing since her arrival, Sarah is busy this week. She gets a shock when she learns that her ‘boyfriend’ is still alive and well and Dexter says she must care for him. However, she lets slip that Anya is a doctor and she is taken instead. Furious, the men go after her whilst Abby realises that there is no turning back from here – they don’t want to be part of Samantha’s new regime. However, Naj doesn’t agree with leaving and runs away.

The boys catch up with Anya and her captors and manage to overpower them. However, Tom, with shotgun in hand, stays behind. The rest leave and Tom shoots one of the men dead and gives the other a warning to send to Samantha. Big mistake maybe?

The very rarely-seen scientists are busy trying to find Abby. With a helicopter combing the area and top of the range face-recognition software, surely it won’t be long until she is discovered?

Back at the house, Tom admits to Abby that he ‘had to’ kill the man, which he didn’t! Sarah also continues to be selfish, as she realises that Tom and Anya do have ‘a thing’ between them. Meanwhile, Greg admits to Abby that he has an ex-wife and children but she had ran off with his kids to America and he has no idea whether or not their alive.

Naj makes friends with a rather ill looking child who is a member of a scavenger gang, based at what seems to be an arcade, ran by a nasty bloke and his missus. Whilst the others are out looking for him, Naj becomes concerned at the bloke’s treatment of his new friend. Naj wants to leave when he sees that his friend is taken away in the middle of the night to whereabouts unknown. The nasty bloke takes Naj out the next day, where they run into Al. After a rather humorous confrontation, Al manages to get Naj back and break the man’s nose!

But they don’t arrive back in time, as Dexter finds the rest of the survivors and shoots Greg. Tom goes after him and a rather tense shotgun battle ensures. Meanwhile, the helicopter is coming in to land, as Abby and Anya try to treat Greg. Despite Anya saying Greg was ‘going to be okay’, it looks bleak for the survivors as Abby is snatched by armed men and dragged into the helicopter. Tom, stops his pursuit of Dexter to try to run and help them but he arrives too late, as the helicopter flies away.

It was a thrilling end to a decent series, which will be back for a second run in 2009 and quite rightly so! There is still a lot of story still left to be told, as we got a glimpse of Abby’s son at the end of the episode!

Regarding the shooting of Greg (played by Paterson Joseph), I wonder if he indeed will die as he is being heavily tipped for the role of the next Doctor in Doctor Who. He’s a great actor who hasn’t really be used as much as he should have done, in this series. Still time will tell!

8/10

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: CyberColin Undressed) - Episode 6

6 - The ‘and The Bells Were Ringing Out For Christmas Day’ Podcast

In this special Christmas edition, Colin brings podcasting to a new low as he chats about what's on telly on Christmas Day, covers the latest Big Finish release 'The Raincloud Man' and even lets loose his own short Christmas play - 'A Colin Christmas Carol'.

Oh dear

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Colin

x

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The IT Crowd Series 3 Episode 5 - Friendface

The IT Crowd lampoons social networking sites in episode 5 of series 3 –‘Friendface’.

With the majority of people, who are connected to the internet, having ‘profiles’ on sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, the episode does a great job of taking the mickey not just out of the people but the sites themselves!

Jen is hooked on the website ‘Friendface’, where she is ‘talking’ to friends from school. She ropes in Moss and Roy, who are only interested in the games! \it isn’t long though before Roy is stalked by an ex-lover – a girl who wears too much makeup or ‘The Joker’ as she is referred to!

Later, Jen feels a little put out when she hears what her school friends have achieved, so she first tries to ask Roy to be her ‘pretend husband’ at a school reunion but he’s seeing The Joker, thanks to Jen’s advice, so Moss steps in!

This is when the episode really gets funny as Moss, complete with cardigan and pipe, really gets into the part! He goes way OTT with talking about Jen’s achievements, their sex life and even says he’s a professional tennis player!

Roy isn’t having a great time while trying to let The Joker down gently. She’s clearly a bit insane so Roy pretends he already as a girlfriend – Jen! Roy and The Joker head down to the school reunion, where Douglas makes a cameo appearance and with Moss pretending to be her husband, a love triangle argument happens! It all ends up with Moss slapping Roy and then the pair go outside and run off!

It was another great episode that really compliments this series well. I really enjoyed the whole ‘social networking’ plot and channel 4 have even claimed the domain name, which you can visit here: http://www.friendface.co.uk/

With only 1 episode left, I do hope Graham Linehan has another series planned – I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t see things like Jen’ bad dancing, again!

8/10

Friday, 19 December 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who - The Stageplays - The Curse Of The Daleks

The space ship Starfinder is taking two dangerous criminals for trial on Earth. En route, they crash through a meteor storm and have to make an emergency landing on Skaro – the planet of the dreaded Daleks. But Captain Redway and his faithful crew don’t anticipate any trouble. After all, the Daleks were defeated fifty years ago and now they are completely inactive. But when a crate full of mysterious devices is discovered and the Daleks start to come back to life, it becomes clear that there is a traitor amongst the Starfinder’s crew… A traitor intent on reactivating the power of the Daleks!

Doctor Who: The Stageplays concludes with the Doctor-less ‘Curse of the Daleks’ and it’s just as good as the previous two!

Originally performed in 1965, the play is notable for being Terry Nation’s first attempt at performing 'live Daleks'. The original play was performance at the Wyndham's Theatre in London. Elements of this story were used in the Second Doctor’s first full serial - ‘The Power of the Daleks’.

Much in the style of the excellent ‘Dalek Empire’ series, we are given a tale of how a group of people are forced to land on a now-deserted Skaro. The Daleks are believed to be long dead, despite there still being Dalek casings scattered across the planet’s ruins. But when a mysterious crate is found on board the ship, it is long before the Dalek’s rise again. What is in the crate and who is behind the rise of the Daleks? Is it the two prisoners? The passengers? Or even the flight crew? Or is it the Daleks, up to their old manipulative tricks?

Despite there being no Doctor, the play is still as good as a normal Big Finish play. Linking narration is provided by Nick Briggs, who as always voices the Daleks. Despite hearing his voice again, Briggs’ is an excellent narrator and puts a nice touch on the play.

I especially enjoyed the performance of Michael Praed, who played the mysterious prisoner Ladiver. I thought his performance really held the play together and the whole thing certainly hinged on that!

4/5

Overall, I’ve been very impressed with this series of stageplay adaptations, I do hope that Big Finish will adapt more spin-off stuff. I would love to hear some of the Virgin New Adventure books, being adapted!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 12 - Our Father

A few of our heroes are no more after this penultimate episode of Volume Three: Villains, called – ‘Our Father’.

Following on from last week’s episode, Hiro and Claire are 16 years in the past, watching Noah who is handed baby Claire by Kaito Nakamura. Despite the language problem, Hiro and Claire decide to see their parents and we see for the first time, Hiro’s mother who is revealed to be the holder of the catalyst, which has been earmarked for Claire. But the grown-up Hiro manages to convince his mother that he is her older son and with his mother also having the ability to heal, she helps Hiro to get his memory back and gives him the catalyst. She then dies and an upset Hiro goes after Claire.

Despite being 16 years in the past, only Claire can be that annoying in both times! She manages to make friends with her mother and takes care of her younger self. In any other self-respecting sc-fi series this would be a paradox! But credit to Heroes for doing it different. Noah trundles in and at first is suspicious but Claire manages to persuade him that she’s no danger and he understands who she is.

Back in the present, Arthur is still getting things ready as Angela sends Peter and The Haitian to kill him. Yeah, thanks mum! Nathan has agreed to join Pinehurst but wants to run things ‘his way’. At first Arthur is reluctant but agrees, for now!

In New York, Matt, Daphne and Ando arrive looking for the last drawings of Isaac Mendez. After a run-in with the courier, they manage to get hold of the last sketches and learn that Hiro is ‘lost in time’. We rewind (or should that be forward?) 16 years ago and Hiro finds Claire and tells her he has the catalyst. They get ready to leave, when Arthur appears, takes the catalyst and Hiro’s ability and throws him off the roof. He also gives Claire a message to give to Angela, that he’s won and sends her on her way. Of course, Hiro isn’t dead – he’s stuck to a flag pole! But with no ability, he is indeed lost in time. Back to the future and the trio decide they must find the formula to try and get Hiro back.

Sylar, fresh from killing Elle and then acquiring another ability – a 'human lie detector', heads to Pinehurst to ask Arthur whether or not he is his father. Peter and The Haitian are already there and as Peter pulls the trigger, Arthur manages to overcome The Haitian’s power and stops the bullet in mid-air. Then, Sylar appears and asks Arthur the question. Of course, he lies and Sylar allows the bullet to kill Arthur. He then tells Peter he doesn’t need anything from him and proceeds to get himself more abilities. Peter sends The Haitian after him, to try and stop him.

In the lab, Mohinder is testing the formula, with the catalyst, on a group of Marine’s. He injects one of these, Scott and after a couple of moments, we learn that the formula has worked and Scott has gained the ability of super-strength.

It was easily a better episode than last week’s! It was nice to see the return of George Takei and Hiro’s back-story, especially with his mother. I’m disappointed to see the demise of Elle but isn’t it great to see Sylar back at his menacing best? I was also surprised to see Arthur killed off so quickly, I thought he was a great character. But in Heroes, the saying goes ‘Nobody is ever dead’!

8/10

Next Time: It’s the last episode for a few months, with brothers on opposing sides. Who’ll win the ‘Duel’?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 5

Even though this episode is an improvement, Survivors is getting worryingly slower by the hour. One episode left and it seems everything is going to get crammed in – the mysterious scientists are now after Abby and from the trailer for episode 6 – Dexter and Samantha re-appear. Surely another series is in the pipeline – there’s only an hour left!

In this episode our survivors meet a group of travellers, lead by a ‘preacher’ who believes he hears ‘god – every god’. Naj is instantly interested but the others, bar Abby, want them to go. But when one of them is revealed to be heavily pregnant and goes into labour – it’s Anya who is made to bare all.

So with Tom still transfixed with Anya, despite having his wicked way with Sarah, he is knocked for six when he hears she had a ‘relationship with a woman’. Although after a ‘heated chat’ with her, he seems to calm down. Anya’s other secret, her being a doctor, is also out in the open as she delivers the baby and saves the life of its mother, after she almost dies of heart failure.

While all this is going on, the leader is going increasingly insane and we learn later that he is ill, or psychotic, whichever side your bread is buttered. Anya tries to help him but he takes her and his group into a nearby church and holes himself up. Later the others arrive and Tom nearly kills the leader. Only a call from Anya stops him from stabbing him! Methinks Tom is as insane as his latest would-be-victim!

Back at the lab, which we rarely see, it seems that they are rounding up people to experiment on and they have got hold of the videos of the survivors, which Samantha’s bunker had filmed. The scientists’ interest is peaked when Abby flickers onto the screen and reveals she had the virus – but survived! Looks like we’re in for an ‘Abby Hunt’ in the final episode – but where do Samantha and Dexter come in? I have a fair idea!

It was a rather slow paced episode that did drag on quite a bit. Although the story was a lot better than last week’s, I felt that the tension wasn’t quite built up as well as it could have done. The characters of Tom and especially Anya have been given more outline and it should be interesting to see how this develops – if there is a second series!

6/10

Next Time: It’s the last episode of the series and will Sarah actually do something?

Monday, 15 December 2008

The IT Crowd Series 3 Episode 4 - The Speech

The IT Crowd continues to be brilliant as Douglas falls in love with a ‘He/She’ and Moss and Roy take a golden opportunity to wind up Jen, in episode 4 of series 3 – ‘The Speech’.

Jen is given employee of the month (and this time – she’s alive!) and lords it over the lads, who can’t believe how someone who knows so little about her job is given employee of the month!

Meanwhile Douglas is being interviewed by a pretty magazine reporter (guest star Lucy Montgomery) and asks her out. While on this date, the two get on well and Douglas offers her a place in his bed, as you do. His lady-friend agrees but tells him her dark secret – she was a man! Douglas doesn’t seem too bothered by this and they start a passionate but manly relationship!

Back at the office, Jen is told that she must give a speech to the shareholders about IT. What with Jen knowing nothing about the subject, she tries to hint to Moss and Roy to do it for her. Roy sees this as a perfect opportunity to get his own back and he and Moss agree. The speech is based on a black box, which Moss and Roy say is the whole internet! Jen believes them and it’s really funny to see their reactions in the meeting when all the shareholders believe her!

It seems Douglas had actually misheard his new lady-friend and thought she had said that she was ‘from Iran’! It’s actually an heartbreaking scene which culminates in a manly brawl, which just put the icing on the cake! The pair crash through a panel, where Jen is giving her speech and the ‘Internet’ is broken! Panic ensures, as people think that the world is going to end!

It’s another wonderful episode that sees the IT Crowd go back to what it does best – IT jokes! I also keep being impressed by Matt Berry’s (Douglas) performances, in this series. He is a lot calmer than he was in series 2 and he’s able to use that voice better, in the more comic moments. And for once, I also noticed what a good actress Katherine Parkinson is – surely she knew that the black box wasn’t the Internet!

9/10

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: CyberColin Undressed) - Episode 5

5 - The ‘If I Get Drunk Yes I Know I'm Gonna Be I'm Gonna Be The Man Who Gets Drunk Next To You’ Podcast.

In this edition, Colin presents clips recorded live at Collectormania Glasgow. Where he was foiled in his attempts at stealing Georgia Moffett's underwear and the awful recording device put paid to any decent sound.

Still, he had a good drink!

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Check out Colin's report, below

A Report From Collectormania Glasgow

Well what a weekend that was! I ended up making friends with the girl behind the bar (not sure what that says about me!)

I did nothing on the Friday, I was just a spare so I had a wander round and visited a local ship building museum! It wasn't worth the £4.25 admission and I was shocked that you had to pay! I've never paid to enter a museum in England! Back at the event, I did make up some guest boards and I was caught snogging Georgia's, thankfully the boss saw the funny side!

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I sat with the lovely Jacqueline Pearce on the Saturday, I'm sure anyone who's met her would agree how lovely she is. Although she did say 'Darling' quite a lot! Georgia turned up with black hair and gave us some great news - Spooks Code 9 has been shelved! Katy Manning was as daft as ever and couldn't keep still for five minutes! Nicholas Courtney even called me Sir! I think I’ll remember that forever!

More drinks on the Saturday night (until 4.30am) but I wasn't as drunk as a certain 'Lister from Red Dwarf', which I shall end at that before I get into trouble! (he turned up at 1pm the next day) Oh and Red Dwarf will be back for a couple of episodes, for those that are interested!

On the Sunday I was with the delightful Caroline Munro, who was just as nice as Jacqueline. I didn't realise she appeared in the Big Finish audio 'Omega' but she also admitted she would love to appear in Doctor Who. I'm thinking The Rani, for those that are so desperate for her to return!

Sadly I didn't have time to get any photos with anyone apart from Katy and Caroline, hopefully next time I will!

Overall, a quiet but good weekend! I love working at signing events!

Me looking slightly pale, not sure what I drunk the night before!

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Whoops!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 11 - The Eclipse - Part 2

Part 2 of ‘The Eclipse’ doesn’t really match up to the very interesting first part. We start with Sylar and Elle, who have obviously been ‘at it’ for quite a while. What the bloody hell has Noah been up to then, eh? He had them in his sights at the end of the last episode! Has he been having a quick ‘shuffle’ I wonder?

Meanwhile Claire isn’t well, her gunshot wound has got worse and we are treated to more tedious moments with her and her adoptive mother, moaning about Noah. Just sod off Claire!

Peter and Nathan are still stuck in Haiti and after Peter attempts a rather silly rescue mission and generally looks very silly, they all manage to get out alive. The Haitian even manages to sedate his brother, who has been in contact with Arthur Petrelli.

Daphne is still doing her best Davros impression and we are treated to a ‘lovely’ heart-to-heart with her and Matt. Meanwhile Hiro and Ando are still reading comic books with their new friends. It’s hardly the best use of actors I have ever seen, I thought the writers should have used Seth Green and Breckin Mayer more, to be honest!

Noah is still hunting down Sylar and Elle and after failing to nail them at a supermarket, the trio all end up back at the Bennet household and a shootout takes place. Just before this moment, all of out heroes get their powers back - as the eclipse clears. With Noah at his mercy, Sylar is denied by Hiro, who after reading he must travel back in time with Claire in his comic book, he teleports Sylar and Elle away and grabs Claire.

Things are looking up for Hiro as he and Claire arrive at the moment that a baby Claire was handed over to Noah. How this is going to help him – I’ve no idea! Back at the comic shop, Ando is told by ‘the two geeks’ that one last comic book, telling their future, does exist – but is more-or-less impossible to find.

It wasn’t the greatest heroes episode, in fact I would say it was the weakest of the series. None of the actors where used properly and I don’t understand why Sylar turned back into his old self, when he seemed to kill Elle at the end of the episode.

5/10

Next Time: Hiro finds out that he can’t be arsed with this saving the world shite and teleports back home and has a cup of tea.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 4

Survivors doesn’t quite match the quality of the previous episodes in this, the 4 instalment of the series.

With Abby heading off to the building in which Samantha Willis believes that a number of missing children are, the rest are left to their own devices. Tom, Sarah, Al and Naj all decide to join Samantha in her own private community. But it isn’t long until Tom upsets one of her henchman and Al starts to piss about!

Abby befriends a man who is being hunted down by a group of teenagers. We learn that he is the heir to the house that they are in and he’s just trying to get it back. Abby tries to reason with the kids and even thinks one of them is her son, Peter, but she is mistaken. After quickly forgetting about her recently deceased husband, Abby has her ‘wicked way’ with the man after a nice soak. She then helps to negotiate a truce between him and kids, but not before one of the lads is stabbed. Thankfully he recovers and they all agree to live together.

Back at the house, Greg and Anya are being terrorised by two men who try and break into the house. After a struggle, Anya manages to get the better of them and her and Greg leave them in the middle of nowhere. This plotline seemed a bit pointless to be honest and probably was designed just to give them something to do. Still it should have been a lot better.

Meanwhile, Samantha has had enough of Al and tells Tom to throw him out, Naj also wants to leave but he’s kept at the bunker. Angry, Al breaks back in and gets Naj away and later Tom would clash with his new ‘friend’ who happens to be an ex-policeman and could sense that Tom has been in prison. After being questioned by Samantha, they both decide its best for him to leave and Tom and Sarah quickly join Al and Naj back at the house - where they all make friends, quite surprisingly!

It was a lightweight episode that lacked any real ‘punch’ that the previous episodes have had. We didn’t even see the scientists in the lab this time and I wonder if they’ll already got a series 2 planned – I can’t see them explaining it in just the two episodes we have left!

5/10

Next Time: Looks like there’s plenty of action next week and after this weeks episode that can only be a good thing!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2 Episodes 11 & 12 - Enemy of the Bane

The second series of the SJA comes to an end with ‘Enemy of the Bane’, which has some rather interesting guest stars!

With Luke having nightmares about The Bane, who created him, his fears are realised when Rani’s mother is kidnapped and Sarah is left a message. It turns out to be from none other than Mrs Wormwood (played by Samantha Bond), last seen in the first SJA episode – ‘Invasion of the Bane’.

It turns out that Wormwood needs Sarah’s help to track down a mythical device, which would open a portal to another dimension. All this and she’s also being hunted down by her own kind.

Sarah needs help and there’s only one man to call upon, no not The Doctor – THE BRIGADIER! Now retried, the Brig is still UNIT’s special envoy and is in the middle of a meeting with a UNIT major before Sarah walks in. The Brig can’t wait to assist her and he helps Sarah and Rani get into UNIT’s high-security storage warehouse. But I don’t understand why they just had a card reader on the door, if it was so high-security!

It’s not long before they are caught, as the UNIT major is on the prowl but thanks to the Sonic Lipstick (Ahhh!) they get away and head back to the house. Unfortunately, Mrs Wormwood has been doing her best to er worm her way into Luke’s life and saves him and Clyde when they are infiltrated by a Bane.

For no reason at all, Kaagh (Anthony O'Donnell), the Sontaran from the first episode of the series, pops up and assists Wormwood. We learn that Kaagh is now a mercenary and is trying to steal the artefact for Wormwood. The pair make their escape with Luke, while the others are tracked down by the UNIT major – who happens to a Bane! But thanks to the Brig’s walking stick-cum-gun, he’s quickly dispatched. I won’t look at old people in the same way again!

With the Brig staying behind to clean up the mess, the others go off and try to find Luke, who has been taken to an ancient monument in which the artefact, The Tunguska Scroll, fits into and opens the portal. Luke, being the only human there, has to insert it and he does. The portal opens and after Luke runs to Sarah, Wormwood is furious but after being attacked by her earlier, Kaagh does the honorable thing and pulls her into the portal.

It was a so-so story with the only highlights being the Brig and Kaagh. It was great to see Nicholas Courtney reprise his role and I hope he still has something left in the tank to make an appearance in Doctor Who, I’m sure he has!

The plot of Luke/Wormwood played on the whole children’s problems with adoptive parents and I thought that was done well, as many children would be able to identify with that. But I just felt that story lacked that ‘killer punch’ that previous episodes had. Even a mention of The Doctor between the Brig and Sarah would have been welcome!

7/10

Overall, this series has been a massive improvement on series 1 and many elements of the stories could even stand up to those in Doctor Who! For a children’s programme, the production values are excellent and you have just got to look at the calibre of the guest stars to see why this series is so excellent – not many children’s programmes can boast that!

Next Time: No more Sarah Jane Adventures this year but don’t worry series 3 is on its way in 2009!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The IT Crowd Series 3 Episode 3 - Tramps Like Us

The IT Crowd continues to pull out the hilarious gags and set pieces in episode 3 of series 3 – ‘Tramps Like Us’.

The episode picks up from where series 2 left off, with Jen locking the door on Moss, Roy and a randy and drugged Douglas, who had tried to drug Jen. After being offered pitiful compensation and feeling unwanted by Moss and Roy, Jen applies for another job.

Meanwhile Roy gets himself into trouble when Moss throws coffee all over him and later, with no shirt on, he is asked to give his coat to the old tea lady who has collapsed. Then follows a hilarious run of events, which had Roy being thrown out of building, finding some scurfy clothes and begging for 50p for a phone call!

After accidently concussing himself, Moss is as strange as ever and when Jen asks him to help her answer a question for her job interview (What does IT mean?) he continues to act bizarrely.

Douglas has been given some ‘electric pants’ to help him quell those sexual urges but when they go haywire, he asks the concussed Moss for help. Well you can imagine what happened when a tour guide of the building took some religious persons into the IT office to see Moss, kneeled down, fiddling with Douglas’ undercarriage!

With Jen somehow being offered the job, she finds Roy on her way home and realises that the pair need her as she has ‘become one of them’. I wonder if she’ll regret it?

Another great episode, which I would have liked to have seen as the opening episode, as I didn’t really like this year’s opener! I loved Roy going topless and shouting around the building, the scene with Douglas and Moss and the ‘Windows Start-Up’ chime sounding when Moss regained his mind!

The writer, Graham Linehan seems to have a firm grasp on his characters and knows what to do with them – put them in strange and daft situations! Hopefully this won’t be the last series, as it can get even better.

10/10

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 10 - The Eclipse - Part 1

‘The Eclipse’ finally comes and the Heroes lose all their abilities but that doesn’t stop them from being as murderous as ever!

The only person who is fully happy with this latest development is Mohinder, who has lost all the scales and sticky stuff that he started to spawn. Arthur isn’t happy though and threatens Mohinder to try and get all their powers back.

Arthur’s wife, the dead-ringer for Cherie Blair, has sent her sons to find the Haitian, whilst Matt and Daphne try to look for Hiro. Well its Matt and Daphne who have the most luck - as Ando and the still 10 year-old Hiro, materialise in Matt’s dingy flat.

Peter and Nathan find themselves in Haiti after Nathan’s flying ability cut out in mid air, somehow they survived and landed in the right country! After bickering, over Peter’s visit to the future, where Nathan was on their Dad’s ‘side’, they are jumped by the Haitian, who only speaks for probably, only the third time in the entire programme. But their chat is rudely interrupted by the Haitian’s brother, Baron Samedi, who the Haitian had come to find – and arrest, as he opens fire on the trio. Peter and the Haitian get away but Nathan is captured and Baron Samedi explains that he’s been sent by Arthur and knocks Nathan out.

After another argument, Daphne takes off and Matt, Ando and Hiro teleport to her childhood home to find her. She’s there but her father won’t let Matt she her, it seems her terrible secret is about to revel itself. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like we were expecting - Daphne has cerebral palsy and it seems her powers had protected her from it.

Hiro and Ando materialise in a comic shop, with Hiro hoping that he can find the next part of their ‘quest’. They bump into the two shop assistants (guest starts Breckin Meyer and Seth Green), who become astonished when the two Japanese men in front of them look exactly like they do on the front cover of a comic their holding!

Meanwhile Claire is back under the protection of her father but after a training session in self defence – with a piece of wood (yes, I know) Claire seems to be softening up and opening up to her Dad. But they are interrupted as Sylar and Elle arrive and try to capture Claire. They discover that their powers have gone and Noah quickly takes advantage and despite losing his gun, violently attacks Sylar. But Elle picks up the loose gun and shoots but Claire jumps in front of Noah and takes the bullet. However she quickly realises that she can’t heal and horrified, Noah attacks Elle and picks up his daughter and goes home. Thankfully the injury isn’t that bad and Noah, with the objection of his wife, heads back to confront Elle and Sylar. As the pair share a kiss, Noah has them in his sights – of his sniper rifle….

Although not as free-flowing as the last couple of episodes, I still enjoyed this first part of ‘The Eclipse’. I think we’ve been left in no doubt that the eclipse does give people their abilities but precisely how and indeed why, I doubt even series creator, Tim Kring knows!

Despite not been as such a major player in this series as the previous 2, I’m beginning to like Noah more, which I couldn’t say in series 1! Everything is building up nicely and with only 3 episodes to go, a lot of things are still to be tied up.

7/10

Next Time: Matt challenges Daphne to a race – just to piss her off!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 3

Survivors continue to reach the high bar they’ve set themselves as we learn more about how the virus came about, in an episode which also sees the return of government minister - Samantha Willis (played by Nikki Amuka Bird).

Whilst Abby continues to search for Peter, she finds her way into an ‘Eco Bunker’ which is ran by Samantha and other survivors. With society having collapsed and being, probably the only MP left alive, Samantha tries to hold up the law.. It’s a rather interesting storyline, which concludes when she shoots dead a girl who had looted their medical supplies. Disgusted, Abby walks away but we haven’t seen the last of the murderous MP and her band of ‘hench-people’, who were in the trailer for episode 4, at the end of this episode!

Meanwhile, Tom and Greg go on a petrol run abs as they are getting into a lot of ‘male bonding’. However, it’s cut short when a firebomb is thrown at their jeep, when they arrive at what seems to be a disused farm. Of course the farm isn’t disused, it’s the home of a Dad (Neil Dudgeon) and his kids. It seems that the trio never had the virus and the Dad was pretty cagey about his kids going outside in case they caught the virus.

Later, the daughter sneaks out to talk to Tom and Greg, who when they return her home, her father believes that she is infected and refuses to take her in. But after Tom shows his softer side and gives a rousing speech from behind the backdoor, the girl is reunited with her family. It’s a very emotional story that showed the affects of the virus from the point of view from those that lived outside the towns and cities. There was also a little character development for Tom, who wasn’t his creepy self at all!

Its not as dramatic back at the house, as the rest have a laugh at Al after he attempts to build a pen for the chicken which Naj has ‘adopted’. He later redeemed himself by getting a flat-pack shed! Sarah also seems to settling in well but she seems too infatuated with Greg to really make a big impact. I expect to see a lot more of her selfish side soon!

In each episode, we have seen little snippets of two men in a lab, who are conducting experiments with the virus. In this episode, they get a little more development as the doctor tries to test himself with a vaccine but before he can, the manager of the lab overrules him and tests someone else – we dies rather horribly. I’ve not got a clue what’s going on but surely they’ve got to be behind the virus?

Overall, it was another good episode that could have easily made you slip into boredom but somehow, Survivors manages to keep you interested in listening to every single word!

8/10

Next Time: The gang go head to head with 'Team Willis' in a rather heated game of scrabble!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The IT Crowd Series 3 Episode 2 - Are We Not Men?

After being slightly disappointed with last week’s effort, I needn’t have worried this week, as the guys over at the IT Crowd delivered one of the best episodes yet! ‘Are We Not Men?’ saw Moss and Roy make friends with armed robbers, who like to watch a bit of footy! Meanwhile Jen has a date with a man who looked like a magician – which probably took less than half a day to film!

With the lads longing to be ‘real men’, Moss surprises Roy when he engages the office’s postman in ‘football talk’ - complete with an OTT cockney accent! Roy is interested, so Moss shows him a website from which you can download a number of sounds to help you to learn ‘football talk’. So while at a pub later, Roy and Moss make friends with a couple of ‘real men’ and the line ‘Did you see that diabolical display last night?’ (check?) never sounded more funny!

Meanwhile Jen, forewarned by Moss and Roy about the fact that her date looks ‘like a Magician’, is on a date with a man – who looks like a magician! Not one of your classic ones, who dresses well and wore top hats, no it was one of these Darren Brown-types who just looked weird and did things with their hands. Still pretty amusing though.

After a nice day out watching West Ham with their new friends, Moss and Roy are back at work, with Roy feeling the affects of a rather heavy night of playing poker. Because he has built up such a debt with the lads, Roy agrees to do some driving for them. But he doesn’t realise that they are armed robbers and he is the getaway driver! His moment of realisation is brilliant, as he tries to phone the police and says ‘Oh no, they’re coming this way’!

Later, after being phoned earlier by Roy, Moss turns up at the lockup, where the lads are and after being distracted by his obsession of counting things, Moss starts to count all the stolen money! The strong language brought out the best Moss line of the series so far ‘Watch your ruddy language – my ears are not a toilet’! It may not sound as funny when reading it but when said by Moss, anything could be funny!

Our heroes get away just as the police come and in order to prevent suspicion – Moss grabs Roy and kisses him – twice! It’s something that you’ll never expect the characters to do and it was hilarious to watch – and I don’t often say that about kisses between men! Of course Roy had to point out that they could have hid behind some nearby bins, which made it all the more hilarious!

Overall it was an excellent episode, let down by the lack of Jen – but that’s not nessaically a bad thing! It’s interesting to note that the episodes only run for 24 minutes, which is just simply not enough – even an extra 3 minutes could make the episodes even better. I quite enjoyed another ‘fish out of water’ scene for the boys, as it does bring out the best in Moss. And I’m not sure but was it Milk or ‘A White Russian’ that he was drinking in the pub? Either way, it’s brilliant!

10/10

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: CyberColin Undressed) - Episode 4

4 - The ‘We’re Not Gonna Sit In Silence, We’re Not Gonna Live With Fear’ Podcast

In this week’s stench of unprofessional rubbish, Colin reviews the BBC version of the Conan Doyle classic ‘The Lost World’, also reviewed is the latest adventure for The Scarifyers – ‘For King and Country’, starring Nicholas Courtney and Terry Molloy. And finally he talks about the upcoming Collectormania Glasgow event.

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Monday, 1 December 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 9 - It's Coming

After last week’s breathtaking episode, I was a little disappointed to see how easy Hiro get away from the clutches of Arthur but what made it interesting is that Hiro now believes he’s 10 years old!

Ando tries to jog his friend’s memory but it seems that Hiro doesn’t remember anything beyond his 10th year. After almost giving up, Ando manages to teach his friend how to use his powers – but they aren’t as effective as they where. Hiro manages to teleport them into a bowling alley and he waffles on about waffles, before teleporting them to a comic shop!

Elsewhere Peter and Claire are on the run from Knox and Flint and with Peter stripped of his abilities, its Claire who acts the ‘tough guy’. Peter tells her that he saw her kill him in the future but Claire dismisses it and even looks horrified at the thought. Wonder if that’ll change? With Peter running away, like the true Italian he is, we learn that their bumbling pursuers have been sent for Claire. But thanks to a gas pipe and Peter standing up for once and being a man, they escape after Peter goads Flint into setting off one of his flames.

Meanwhile back at Pinehurst, or ‘Arthur’s Grotto’ as I like to call it, the main man is buttering up Sylar by telling him that it’s possible for him to take people’s abilities without killing them. Oh and the ‘grey one’ also know that it was Sylar who slowed down Peter’s fall in the previous episode. So to test out Arthur’s theory (feeling empathy) Sylar goes to the cell where Elle is now chained up and this reviewer liked that scene! She takes her anger out on him (Sylar, not me) by blasting him with her uncontrollable lightening bolts. But after a bit of touching dialogue about himself and why Elle must forgive herself – Elle can now control her power and Sylar has gained an ability – without killing anyone! We are then treating to a scene, where it seems Elle and Sylar are getting as close as they did in last week’s flashback episode.

Nathan gets into Pinehurst to confront the father he thought was dead. After refusing to ‘hug’ him (well done Nathan!) Arthur tells Nathan that he is ‘destined’ to be the President and that they could rule together. Nathan isn’t sure and leaves to think it over but Tracy has other ideas and cuts a deal with Arthur to persuade Nathan to join him. She’ll need ‘protection’ though!

More people are getting close, Fatty Matt and Dodgy Daphne get into The Company and after Matt sees a vision of the now-deceased Usutu, the building seems eerily empty. Matt finds Angela (or Cherie, if you prefer - I do, so I’m using it), who is still in a coma and he realises he must go into her mind to rescue her. She’s been trapped in there by Arthur, who’s lurking somewhere and Matt learns of Daphne’s double-agent role, when she pops up and stabs him. Of course this isn’t really her it’s Arthur! The real Daphne is in the real world, looking on, very concerned at a bleeding Matt. Thankfully he’s been stabbed in the stomach, so it’s like a pinprick to a normal person! However, she manages to persuade Matt to let her into his dream and she ends up confessing all her love for the bulky copper. There’s hope for us all yet! Cherie manages to make this version of Arthur look at the love that Matt and Daphne share (YUCK!) and reminds him they where like that once. Arthur releases his wife and the three wake up back at Cherie’s bedside.

Peter and Claire find their way into The Company and after Matt mistakes Peter to be the one that sent him to Africa, he attacks him. But once everything is settled, all is explained by Cherie, that they need to stop Arthur from getting one last piece of the formula – a catalyst. Who hold this catalyst in their blood (as explained by Mohinder, earlier), nobody knows but Claire realises about her encounter with Sylar and how he had looked at her mind and said she was ‘something special’. We then cut to Pinehurst where all of, sod it I’ll say it – ‘Arthur’s Team’ are lining up, with Elle and Tracy being the latest recruits. Arthur is drawing a painting, similar to one which Usutu had drew – an eclipse is coming!

It was another fascinating episode that could explain why Claire is so critical to the show’s plot. But when this volume, or series is finished, I’m not sure where they can go with it. But for now – I’m really enjoying this top yank drama!

9/10

Next Time: With Law and Order getting its own British spin-off, maybe Tim Kring might consider selling the Heroes format to the UK, after all – you always copy our shows!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 2

Survivors settles down this week, after the mammoth episode last time, we only have an hour but it’s still as good as the first!

After getting themselves a nice house, our survivors go out hunting for food. But don’t worry, no animals were directly killed in the making of this episode – they just looted some shops!

Now, if I had the freedom of an entire town I would nick the most expensive and quality stuff, our survivors are not in that frame of mind though – as they try to get stuff from low-budget supermarket – NETTO! Oh dear!

But someone has already ‘claimed’ the supermarket and the leader, Dexter (played by Anthony Flanagan) is armed with a lovely shotgun! He threatens the survivors and tells them to stay away. But Abby can’t resist – as she believes she saw someone who looked like her missing son’s teacher, at the supermarket.

Meanwhile, Greg goes off on his own, searching and finds a massive warehouse. Unfortunately it’s already been taken by a bloke and his rather good-looking girlfriend/hostage, Sarah. After fatty hurts himself, Greg comes to the rescue and even refuses to ‘do the dirty’ with Sarah, who seems to be playing her ‘boyfriend’, in order to set up a profitable trading business with other survivors.

Al isn’t having a great day. After he ‘accidently’ killed an old shopkeeper, after he caught Najid looting it, he makes a drunken move on Anya, who we know - happens to be a lesbian! All seen of course by the murderous Tom Price, who as a thing for Anya and he later threatens Al.

Later the gang who ‘owned’ the Netto, found the warehouse and took it from Sarah, who joined the others back at the house. Meanwhile the gang found the injured man and took over the warehouse. Something tells me they’ll be back! Sarah’s character was portrayed as being rather selfish and she looks like she’ll be a great addition to this already bad and odd bunch!

Overall it was an interesting episode, which gave the main characters a bit of much needed depth and development, I can only see this series improving as time goes on.

8/10

Next Time: Will Al continue to pursue his lesbian love interest – and survive? That would be worth an episode all on its own!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2 Episodes 9 & 10 - The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith

The Sarah Jane Adventures continue to deify children and make the adults enjoy it even more, in this latest story - ‘The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith’.

Okay I still have the odd gripe, but you can’t deny that this series has been the most groundbreaking CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME for a long while. That’s what it’s supposed to be – a programme for kids! I wish I had something so spectacular when I was a lad! The ITV series ‘Knightmare’ was considered cutting-edge when I was young – it looks like an absolute joke now!

This story continued the high standard that this series has already set. As always, Daniel Antony (Clyde) was great and stole every scene he was in. Young Rani is looking every inch ‘a Maria’ and even Luke is looking - quite normal!

Even the writing on this series doesn’t ‘dumb it down’ to kids. We even have a returning character, created in the SJA universe – The Trickster, to deal with! The ugly one (as he’s known among kids – I think!), has to create a world of chaos, so he could feed upon it – but the only way to do that is to take Sarah out of time – again!

So that gives us the opportunity to browse, once again, into Sarah’s back-story. Orphaned as a child, we never really learned a lot about Sarah’s past life before The Doctor. We do here, as Sarah ‘gives in to temptation’ and goes through a ‘time fisher’ (created, of course by the Trickster) and tries to prevent her parents deaths.

When she does, the future changes but thanks to the ‘box’ which featured in the Series 1 story, ‘Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane’, Clyde and Rani where protected from The Trickster’s changing of history. Thankfully all is put back in the correct path, as Sarah’s parents – who quite quickly realised who the old Sarah was – corrected history.

This episode wasn’t without its great moments. For one, the appearance of the TARDIS, ‘The Doctor’s Theme’ in the background and Sarah’s running towards it – only for it to be an actual 50’s Police Box! Then there was her scenes with her parents – surely too much good acting for a kids show?

But here comes my main gripe – why does Sarah, a very experience time-traveller, who told The Doctor in the episode ‘School Reunion’ that ‘everything has its time and everything must end’ so quickly become very naive? I found it quite strange that she decided, so quickly, to break the rules of time-travel. Yes I understand the need to see her parents but Luke already warned it that it could have been a trap and she just dismissed it! I just found it very out of character.

Overall though, it was a good episode that I thoroughly enjoyed.

8/10

Next Time: I HAVE ONE THING TO SAY: BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG! BRIG!

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: CyberColin Undressed) - Episode 3

3 - The 'I Can't Decide, Whether You Should Live Or Die' Podcast

In today’s bucket of delights, I’ll saying a big happy birthday to Doctor Who by reviewing the audio – called, er Forty Five. I’ll also be reviewing the BBC three series ‘Funland’, which is a sick but funny thriller. And I’ll also be talking about the joys and frustations of buying stuff from Ebay!

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Thursday, 27 November 2008

The IT Crowd Series 3 Episode 1 - From Hell

I was looking forward to the brand new series of ‘The IT Crowd’ but after the first viewing of episode 1 – ‘From Hell’, I wasn’t that impressed.

So I went back and watched the episode again and I found it to be not as dull as I though it was! Jen was once again shown to be her usual naive self and I thought the whole ‘Builders From Hell’ worked really well but maybe would have been better with all of the main cast involved. It was also great to see a cameo from Chris Morris and his 'Hiltergram'!

I liked the plot with Roy, trying to get his £20 back and it was nice to see that Douglas seems to have ‘calmed down’ for this series. In fact I quite enjoyed Matt Berry’s performance - after watching Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, I knew he could be better from what he showed in the second series of The IT Crowd.

I did feel Moss was a little bit underused. I would have liked to have seen more detail about him being ‘bullied’ and I didn’t think the whole ‘I’ve got a gun!’ was as funny as the laughter track suggested. And what about that laughter track? I know The IT Crowd is filmed in front of a studio audience but the track sounded way OTT, like it was a yank ‘sitcom’, or something. Less of that please!

So after watching it again, I enjoyed it more but hopefully we’ll see an improvement in the episodes to come!

7/10

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 8 - Villains

What an episode of Heroes that was! I was arguing with myself to not give it 10 out of 10, but I thought - sod it! From the start of this episode, when the name of the program was changed to ‘Villains’, I knew we where in for something good. But I was still left shocked and surprised!

After eating Usutu’s paste at the end of the last episode, Hiro is now smacked up to his tits and presumably, the effects react with his time-travel ability to make him dream about Arthur Petrelli – 18 months ago.

We learn that Arthur was involved with Linderman’s dodgy dealings and it was he and not Linderman that tried to kill Nathan in the car crash that left his son’s wife paralysed. Nathan, who’s original profession was a lawyer, was investigating Linderman’s dealings, which would have incriminated his father and probably, The Company.

Speaking of The Company, Thompson, played by Doctor Who and Batman star Eric Roberts, isn’t dead yet and we see him tracking down Meredith and her brother Flint. If we step back (or is it forward?) into the time, in which a smacked-up Hiro is in, Flint is now part of Pinehurst and was sprung from The Company by Daphne in the episode ‘Dying of The Light’. Thompson manages to capture the pair and offers Meredith a job. But despite looking comfortable being an agent, Meredith escapes, along with her brother – with Thompson in close pursuit. After the pair set fire to a train, Flint escapes but Meredith is captured. However, Thompson releases her when he realises that she doesn’t know what really happened to her daughter, Claire. In a cruel twist, Claire is shown running into the same train, to save the survivors, seen in the first episode of Heroes – Genesis.

Hiro then dreams about Sylar, like so many fangirls do, or so I’m told! Horrified at the killings he did, Sylar tries to hang himself but he’s saved – by Elle. It isn’t that straight forward though, Elle is with Noah, who has been sent down to watch Sylar. Elle starts to build up a relationship with Sylar and later, brought another person with an ‘ability’ round to his house. All this has been planned by The Company though as Sylar can’t resist killing to steal abilities. It’s a rather harrowing plot by The Company, who are just interesting in watching Sylar at this moment in time and when Noah tries to reason with Elle, he tells her ‘we just take our orders’.

Hiro finally wakes up and realises he must tell Angela about the revival of Arthur but as Usutu is nowhere to be found and along with Ando, they look for him and find his body – minus an head. The poor man’s bonce is quickly found though but then a hand rests on Hiro shoulder and spins him around – it’s Arthur, who is poised to take Hiro’s ability!

It’s a very interesting episode, which gives us a lot of back-story on characters that needed a lot more explanation. It was good how they made certain characters look like they did in series 1 and even the way they interweaved the footage of past episodes. It’s was great to see Eric Roberts back and even a Christopher Eccelston (Claude) reference. Hopefully he’ll make a proper return to the series, soon! However, the cliff-hanger made the episode as fantastic as it was! Will Hiro survive? I honestly don’t know!

10/10

Next Time: Hiro manages to teleport Arthur into the body of Russell Brand. It’ll probably improve him and make him a better person, to be honest. And that’s Brand, not Arthur!

RIP Usutu

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Survivors (2008) - Episode 1

This could end up being one of the best television events of the year, or it could end up being a mess. But after watching the first episode of the new version of Terry Nation’s ‘Survivors’, I’m quietly confident this will be a hit!

Starring the cream of British talent, the show tells the story of a virus that has gripped Europe, and soon – the world. One day, only (much less than) 10% of world’s population wakes up – the rest have succumbed to this mysterious virus.

We follow a number of characters. Abby Grant (Julie Graham) contracts the disease and looks like she’s about to die. But when she wakes up, she finds that she’s well and her husband (Shaun Dingwall) is dead. She hunts for her son (who is away on a trip) but is unable to locate him, or indeed his body. She eventually meets fellow survivor Greg Preston (Patterson Joseph).

We are also introduced to Dr. Anya Raczynski (Zoe Tapper) who after her ex. Girlfriend is brought in by her flatmate, Jenny (Freema Agyeman), realises that the virus can’t be cured, at least not now. Later she attempted to take her own life, after Jenny also contracted the virus.

Meanwhile murderer Tom Price (Max Beesley) breaks out of prison when everyone in there dies, all expect for another prison officer, who he kills to get out. He would later meet up with Anya, after being thrown out of a car for threatening two more survivors he had befriended.

Rich playboy Al is forced to be responsible for an 11-year-old boy, after he finds him alone, in the street playing football. After travelling for a while, they eventually meet Abby and Greg on the motorway – just as Anya is treating the injured Tom. And after the others seem reluctant to stick together, Abby gives a rousing speech about how they must remain together in order to survive. And they do!

It was an excellent introduction to the series and easily justified it’s an hour and a half timeslot. The pacing was just right and the plot was set up well, as the various people met. I’m sure there’s plenty more to come, as we had a little look at who may be behind the virus, towards the end!

The acting was very good, I enjoyed Patterson Joseph’s short role and if the rumours of him being the next Doctor Who are true, I wouldn’t mind! But for me, Max Beesley stole the show as the creepy Tom Price. Although he’s a very violent psychopathic-murderer, I couldn’t help but take great delight in his performance! What does that say about me?

I was also surprised to see them kill off Shaun Dingwall’s and (maybe) Freema’s characters, as they where given a major billing for the series. That’s makes it all the more better!

9/10

Next Time: The Survivors start to work together but which way will Tom go? And will we find out more about Greg? I’ll be glued anyway!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Happy 45th Birthday Doctor Who! 23rd November 1963 - 23rd November 2008

45 years and still as good as ever. Doctor Who is not a television programme, it’s a hobby, a job, an obsession, whatever you want to call it. It has taken over people’s lives, their childhoods, relationships, marriages and children. Who would have thought that in 1963, a science-fiction educational program, aired on the BBC was going to turn into the huge fandom monster it has created? These fans could be anyone, mainly nutters but there’s always someone who can appreciate the production values of ‘Sliver Nemesis’. Or is it just me?

These fans kept the flame alight during the barren years since 1989 and are now reaping the benefits in this golden age for Doctor Who. The children’s educational program from 1963 is now the UK’s best loved drama.

Each decade of the programme has had a special anniversary episode(s). We’ve had the ‘Three Doctors’ in 1973, ‘The Five Doctors’ in 1984 and the unforgettable (in many ways) ‘Dimensions In Time’ in 1993. However, perhaps the most celebrated anniversary was the 40th. Just a month beforehand the fans received the best news ever – Doctor Who would be returning!

It isn’t just the television episodes that are eagerly awaited though, audio dramas, books, magazines, toys, conventions and many other things are at the top of any fans list. But for this particular anniversary, it is Big Finish who are celebrating with the release of their special audio, made up of 4 one-part stories, the mind blowingly named - Forty Five!


This audio sees Sylvester McCoy taking on four separate stories, following the releases of Peter Davison’s ‘Circular Time’ and Colin Baker’s ‘100’ (which was to celebrate Big Finish’s 100th Doctor Who release). Each of the four stories, in this audio, are linked by Forty Five or its numerical version. It becomes apparent, whilst listen to this, that it’s another example of quality planning by Big Finish and thier writers.

The CD kicks off with ‘False Gods’ where we meet Howard Carter in Egypt, some years before his major discovery of Tutankhamun. The Doctor, Ace and Hex are forced to materialise there, after they hit a time distortion. The trio land and soon encounter Carter and his students. But they are soon spilt up and divided in different periods of time. It’s a nice story that ticks along nicely but the last 10 minutes in particular are excellent.

Part two of this audio is the story ‘Order of Simplicity’, which sees the trio land on a windswept island in the year 3380 after The Doctor receives a coded transmission. He learns that a professor based on the island, needs help to crack a code. But something sinister seems to be behind it, what is the code really for and why is The Doctor so keen to crack it? This story is designed to be very creepy and the apparent 19th century décor in the professor’s house, for the year it’s set in, does seems a little strange! It’s an interesting enough story but its one of those that you’ll have to listen to carefully – it has a sort of ‘Ghost Light’ feel to it!

Part three is ‘Casualties of War’ and is the best 20-odd minutes on the CD! It’s VE Day but The Doctor is busy tracking the signal of an alien device. It seems that a local thief has got his mucky hands on a large quantity of alien artefacts and is already using one to great affect. The Doctor needs to find him quickly, apart from the device being dangerous, some ‘old friends’ from a couple of past Big Finish audios are on his trail and are determined to get back the artefacts, at any cost. This story sees Ace given more back-story and it also seems that the Hex ‘arc’ is getting ready to unravel itself. All in all, it’s a wonderful story that will leave you wanting more!

The final story of the audio is also as well delivered as the previous three. Although, ‘The Word Lord’ is the most strangest story I’ve listened to for a while, its well worth it just for the David Tennant impression – you’ll know what I’ll mean if you’ve heard it! The story starts with the trio under arrest for materialising in a high-security bunker, just when a Russian politician is murdered. But thanks to a UNIT link, they end up helping the people there but they have only – 45 minutes to do it. You probably can see where this is going but quite surprisingly, it doesn’t get annoying!

We may or may not see certain characters again, something which could be interesting next year, as each Doctor will have a trilogy of audio releases in consecutive months! As always, the pairing of the 7th Doctor, Ace and Hex remain one of my favourite’s and they pull each story off particularly well. I think we’ll be delving into Hex’s back-story soon but don’t hold me to it!

4/5

Next Time: It’s Christmas, so The Doctor and Charley are in – Manchester. Don’ worry, I’m sure the ‘Raincloud Man’ will be good!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who - The Stageplays - The Seven Keys To Doomsday

The series of Doctor Who: The Stageplays, continues with ‘The Seven Keys To Doomsday’, which stars Trevor Martin as the Doctor. Martin had previously played a Time Lord in Patrick Troughton’s last (regular) story – 1969’s ‘The War Games’, which was the first time we had learned (and saw) where The Doctor was from.

Originally performed in 1974, Jon Pertwee was originally going to play the role but Trevor Martin was offered it instead. Martin’s Doctor is supposed to be an alternate 4th Doctor but he doesn’t half remind you of Jon Pertwee’s incarnation, but I’ll talk about that later. Another interesting cast note is that Wendy Padbury (who played Zoe during Patrick Troughton’s reign as The Doctor) played Jenny, The Doctor’s companion in this story.

Martin does a wonderful job as The Doctor and I would love to hear from him again. True, he does remind you a lot of Jon Pertwee’s incarnation but that’s no bad thing! Perhaps the script was indeed written for Pertwee’s Doctor, rather than a brand new Doctor. However, what makes Martin’s Doctor so good is that from his first couple of sentences, you can hear the warmth and the ‘granddaddy feel’ that old-school Doctors had – something which we miss in this new era of Doctor Who.

The audio opens up, with surprise, surprise, Nick Briggs playing the injured and regenerating Doctor. Despite it only being a small role, I’m getting sick of hearing his voice! I don’t mind him doing the Daleks or the Cybermen, as he does a wonderful job but do we really need him playing in almost every audio? His voice is easily recognisable and you just think ‘oh, it’s Nick Briggs’ rather than the character he’s playing and it does throw you off your thoughts. Or is it just me?

Back on topic and the audio starts off rather nicely. Jenny (played by Charlie Hayes – the real-life daughter of Wendy Padbury) and Jimmy (Joe Thompson) are a couple who have gone to watch a play at a local theatre. But as they take their seats, a blue box materialises on stage and out steps a man, a dying man. Everyone thinks its part of the act but Jenny realises it isn’t and helps the man back into his box.

Of course this man is The Doctor and he regenerates into Trevor Martin. It seems that The Doctor is in the middle of a mission for the Timelords and takes Jenny and Jimmy along for the ride. We learn that The Doctor is trying to find seven crystals which in the wrong hands, could be the key to the destruction of the universe.

The plot is very much like The Key To Time series that was aired in 1978. Infact you could say that series took its inspiration from Seven Keys To Doomsday!

The story has been adapted well, even more so than ‘The Ultimate Adventure’. It’s a little short in running time but the CD’s are packed with extras, so you won’t feel disappointed!

As mentioned Trevor Martin does a wonderful job as The Doctor but credit must also go to the support cast and especially Charlie Hayes who played Jenny, who sounded every much companion material!

4/5

Next Time: The Stageplays concludes with ‘Curse of The Daleks’, with no actual person playing the Doctor but narrated by – Nick Briggs. Brilliant!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 7 - Eris Quod Sum

Arthur Petrelli shows his nasty side in the latest episode of Heroes – ‘Eris Quod Sum’. For those who want to know, ‘Eris Quod Sum’ is Latin for ‘I was what you are, you will be what I am’.

After stealing his son’s powers, he locks Peter up, who refuses to join his father’s company. Meanwhile his wife Angela, still in a coma, visits Sylar in a dream and tells him to break out of The Company and rescue Peter from Pinehurst. Whether or not she has used her ‘dream powers’, is still unclear.

Mohinder, fresh from a confrontation with Nathan and Tracy, realises his monstrous behaviour and takes Maya along to Pinehurst. Arthur gets rid or her powers and hopefully that’s DEFINITELY the last time we’ll see her! Please! Mohinder stays behind at Pinehurst to help them research the second half of the formula, which in turn would help Mohinder rid himself of his self-induced ability. But Pinehurst have to first thwart an attack from Sylar, who manages to break Peter out but Mohinder arrives and sedates him, while Peter escapes.

Claire and Sandra arrive home to find that all their electrical equipment has shorted out. Don’t worry, they’ve not switched to E-on, Elle is back and she’s having problems controlling her electrical ability. With no Noah around, Elle is stuck for help but Claire produces the Pinehurst card and the pair go there for help. Claire, apparently still ‘can’t feel pain’, I think many people would love to have that ability, as well as being able to heal!

Back at Pinehurst, Arthur isn’t happy that Daphne hasn’t recruited Matt, so he tells her to kill him. His father, Maury protests and Arthur kills him on the spot. I was quite shocked by that, I think Maury was a great sinister character who wasn’t given enough screen time. Arthur then gives Daphne an ultimatum – kill Matt or I’ll kill you! I don’t understand why he can’t do it himself?

Peter is still sneaking around Pinehurst and goes back to help Sylar escape but all the time he’s been in Sylar’s company, Arthur has been having an hart-to-hart with ‘his son’. He tells Sylar that Angela saw ‘something evil’ in him and tried to drown him when he was a baby. He persuades him to work for them and he agrees – but does he? I’m not so sure. Peter bursts in and the three argue, Sylar sees that Arthur is getting angry at Peter and throws his brother out of the window – from the seventh floor. However, Peter’s fall was slowed down before he hit the ground - but was it Sylar who saved him?

Claire and Elle arrive at Pinehurst, just as Peter is falling to the ground. Peter tells the pair not to go into Pinehurst and Claire agrees. But Elle goes in, desperate to rid herself of her powers. Claire and Peter go and see Nathan, who is told about his father by Peter. He tries to persuade Nathan not to go looking for him but later Nathan tells Tracy that he has to go and see his father.

Daphne arrives at Matt’s, ready to kill him. But she can’t go though with it and knowing that she’s probably being followed, Matt hatches a plan. But it seems it’s too late, as Knox, the man who gets strong on people’s fear, arrives and kills the pair of them. He leaves quite happy but don’t worry – Matt and Daphne or still alive! Matt had used his mind-altering abilities to make Knox believe he had killed them. Unless I’m mistaken, that’s the first time Matt has shown he could do that. Matt then persuades Daphne to come with him to The Company but it all turns out to be a ploy from Daphne, who has been double-crossing Matt all the way, in order to get into The Company. Interesting times lie ahead!

Hiro, Ando and Usutu are still getting on like a ‘house on fire’ but Hiro dismisses the African’s advice on ‘choosing his own path’ and refuses not to go back in time again, to solve his problems. Usutu gives the pair a strange paste to eat. Hiro does eat it and conks out, Ando is mortified and accuses Usutu of trickery but he tells Ando that he Hiro ‘must be shown the right path’. So I presume he’s had some of the ‘drugs’ that Matt had and is now on a ‘spirit walk’ of his own? Yup, I thought so!

It was another solid episode but I was quite shocked at the death of Maury Parkman. I didn’t think it was a wise move by Arthur, as Maury had been his right-hand man for what must have been many a year and he even had saved Arthur from certain death. I also think taking Peter’s powers away is very interesting. Now that he can’t use his abilities, it should be good to see how he works things out. In programs like these, it can be so easy just to use your powers to get yourself out of a situation!

8/10

Next Time: Hiro, Ando and Usutu make up their own Hip-Hop group, call themselves ‘The Time-Travelling Future Painter Dudes and The Other Useless Brother’ and take America by storm! Give me some skin, man!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2 Episodes 7 & 8 - The Mark of the Berserker

When I first saw the actual ‘Mark of the Berserker’, I immediately thought - ‘Mark of the Rani’! I’m not sure what game the writers are playing but I’m sure they're having a good laugh!

As for this story - I quite enjoyed it! Gary Beadle, most famous for playing Paul Trueman in EastEnders, pops up as Clyde’s Dad, also named Paul, in this Sarah-lite story. Pressumably she was away filming the Doctor Who episodes ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’, when this was being filmed.

Considering the SJA is a kids show, they don’t half go into the relationships of kids and their parents quite a lot! I think its something kids, in this day and age, can relate to. Apart from all the alien stuff of course!

The story starts in the school, as a young lad is being picked on by some other lad’s. But he produces something out of pocket - a pedant, which apart from leaving a strange mark on his hand, also makes people do whatever he says! It may sound good but the lad is being taken over by something and he just about gets rid of it, just as a nosey Rani (not the one mentioned earlier!) finds him in the cleanest gents I have ever seen!

Rani takes it home and quickly realises its powers. But she also realises that it’s very dangerous, so she drops it off at Sarah Jane’s, who is away, undercover at a hospital.

Meanwhile is Luke sleeping over at Clyde’s. The next morning however, Clyde’s Dad turns up out of blue and asks to spend some time with his son. His mum is reluctant but Clyde goes along with him and his Dad tries to win his son round. But Clyde, in a vain hope of trying to impress him, tells him about all his work with the aliens and even takes him round to Sarah Jane’s attic to show him all the artefacts they had collected. Paul is impressed but he hears something - the pendant is calling him. He unconsciously takes it and he proceeds to take his son away to ‘have a nice time’.

It seems that the pendant is quickly taking him over and Paul makes his son forget about Luke, Rani and his Mum and takes him on a ‘shopping’ trip. So after a free Ferrari and nice clothes later, Paul wants more for his son and intends to find them both a yacht! And they’ll get one – as the pendant can make people do whatever the person wearing it, wants!

Luke and Rani are stuck and there is only two people who can help them – Maria and her Dad! It’s nice seeing the pair back and it was a nice surprise, to be honest! Maria’s Dad hacks into UNIT to get some info about the mark and we learn that it is ‘The Mark of Berserker’ and if Paul didn’t recover – then he would turn into a Berserker, who would be hell-bent on taking over the world.

Together with Clyde’s mum, they follow Clyde and Paul, thanks to a bit of hacking and tracking a mobile phone signal! Of course, when they find and try to stop them, Clyde doesn’t know who they are and they try to plead with Paul to remember who he is. It all looks bleak, as Paul is turning into a Berserker but then – Sarah Jane arrives!

Although it was quite ante-climatic, Sarah helps to save the day, along with Clyde, who remembers her. Paul is made to remember who he is by his son and the Berserker is gone.

Clyde spends a moment with his Dad, who realises that he hasn’t been a great Dad and he and his son part on good terms. Clyde makes his mum forget what happened, thanks to the pedant, before throwing the device into the water. Do you think that’s a great idea Clyde? What if someone fishes it out?

It was a good story, without doing anything spectacular. There were some touching scenes, especially at the end with Sarah Jane and I think the kids would have enjoyed this!

8/10

Next Time: A boy comes through a time fisher but why is Sarah Jane tempted to go back in time, once again?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: CyberColin Undressed) - Episode 2

2 - The 'We Dream The Same, Dream We Want The Same Thing’ Podcast

In this edition I’ll be reviewing the goings at the annual Children In Need Night, where cult TV played its part. I’ll also be pulling a British cult comedy DVD from the arse of obscurity and reviewing Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Finally, I’ll be ranting about the dwindling number of public houses in Britain.

Download Direct Here (Right-click and select 'Save Target As')

RSS Feed http://cybercolin.mypodcast.com/rss.xml

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Silent Witness Series 12 Episodes 11 & 12 - Finding Rachel

The Silent Witness team are in Zambia for the last story of the series and they pulled it off rather well.

Nikki is contacted by an old school friend, Peter Ellis, who runs a mining business in Zambia, after the daughter of one of his work colleague’s went missing and her bones where found. With the only pathologist away, the team are drafted in to try and establish what had happened to Rachel, the missing girl.

As soon as they arrive, they encounter bandits and robbed of a few of their personal affects. They meet everyone who knew Rachel, who was a doctor at a Christian mission. Nobody seems to know what happened to her but they all look shifty! And when Nikki establish that the bones found where not Rachel’s, the plot thickens.

After Harry saves a young journalist friend of Rachel’s, after he is run down, things look all the more suspicious. But the lad dies, whilst he is recovering – later we find out he was injected with heroin.

As Rachel’s dad is getting all the more desperate, another one of Rachel’s friends, the daughter of the people who run the mission, turns up dead, although this is found out to be an accident. The girl had earlier used Rachel’s credit card to book an hotel room and everyone thought that Rachel was alive, so imagine their surprise!

Later, as Leo is tracing Rachel’s last job – testing water for signs of disease, Harry and Nikki spot that their clothes have been sold on. They question the villagers and eventually they are led to their last known whereabouts – the scene of Rachel’s death.

Uranium was discovered by the mining company and Peter had tried to hush it up, as the Zambian government wouldn’t allow it to be mined. But when a spillage of uranium found its way into the local water supply, people contracted a host of diseases and many women had lost their babies.

Rachel was investigating this and when she found that the water was contaminated with uranium, she tries to tell her Dad but when Peter found out, he had some of his men chase her. Although he didn’t mean for her to be killed, she had injured herself and hid in a tip. Rachel had bled to death. She had also told her journalist friend about the ‘conspiracy’ and his killing was ordered by Peter Dodgy bastard!

It was a fine closing episode to the series. It was nice for the team to go somewhere else for a change, away from the drab streets of London. It’s another well written episode that everyone involved should take credit for. Here’s waiting for series 13, next year!

8/10

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Bernice Summerfield 9.4 - The Diet Of Worms

Series 9 of the Bernice Summerfield audios concludes with ‘The Diet of Worms’ and it isn’t as strange as it sounds!

Even though this series has been hit by delays, you still get the feeling that we haven’t really got anywhere in developing the characters of Benny and Peter. Yes, Peter has grown up but we haven’t really pushed his character enough, ditto Benny. It should be interesting to see what Big Finish do next year, with hopefully a much longer series than just 4 stories!

Back to this audio, where Benny finds herself applying for a job at a ‘depository of knowledge’, which holds almost every written artefact that comes from Earth. However, after learning that the job is no longer open, as the depository is having finical difficulties, Benny gets set to leave. But in the vaults of the depository, something is hiding in the books. Something that repeats out loud the text of the book, before the reader can read it. Can Benny solve the mystery and help to save the timeless artefacts from going missing, forever?

It’s a rather better listen than I have described it, to be honest! It doesn’t really kick in until halfway through, then you’ll enjoy it. It has some nice moments, Mrs T. the robot cake-lady steals the show, as she at one point babysits for Peter! The last couple of minutes in particular are really good and should lead us into series 10, when it comes along. I for one can’t wait!

Overall, ‘The Diet of Worms’ is a bit of old fashioned Benny fun (if there is such a thing!), it really complements this season well, as a couple of stories that aren’t really content heavy. I’m hoping that the writers will step it up a gear when series 10 arrives!

4/5

Next Time: There’s no word yet on the details for series 10 but keep your eyes peeled on the Big Finish website for all the latest news!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Colin's Podcast - The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: Cyber Colin Undressed) - DOWNLOAD NOW!

Join Colin, as he hosts his own unique podcast - The Podcast With No Name (Subtitle: Cyber Colin Undressed). Colin covers mostly British, cult television, audios and books. Be it Sc-Fi or Fantasy - it's all done! So get ready to listen to the worse podcast you'll ever listen to! Sprinkled with humour and libelous content, it sure isn't like any podcast you've ever heard!

1 - The 'I've Got The Face But Sadly Not The Voice' Podcast

In this edition, Colin talks about Doctor Who - David Tennant's departure and reviews the series 4 and Torchwood sountracks, as well as the latest Bernice Summerfield audio story - 'The Diet of Worms'. All of which come neatly wrapped in the biggest pile of unprofessionalism, since Sarah Palin.

Download Direct Here (Right-click and select 'Save Target As')

RSS Feed http://cybercolin.mypodcast.com/rss.xml

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Heroes (Series 3) Volume 3 - Villains - Episode 6 - Dying of the Light

We knew that Hiro didn’t really kill his best friend, didn’t we? Well I did anyway! It’s all turns out to be a hoax with some fake blood and a joke sword! Horrified at what he’s done, Daphne gives Hiro his first task – to go and capture Matt’s African mate, Usutu. The wily African knows he’s coming of course and we are treated to a couple of humorous scenes involving hitting Hiro on the head with a spade - twice! Ustsu eventually goads Hiro into not using his time travel ability and it works, but the man who can paint the future is always one step ahead and quite happily chats to Hiro and Ando. It looks like the trio are going to become friends now. Awww!

Meanwhile Arthur Petrelli is back on his feet, after he disposes of Adam and his regenerative powers, as he is turned to dust. It seems that Arthur has a similar power to his son Peter but instead of copying powers, he steals them from the original host. Now with the revelation that he has another ‘son’, Sylar, who murdered people to steal their powers, where does this leave Nathan, who was given his flying ability? I don’t think he’s a Petrelli!

Nathan’s going nowhere at the moment - he’s taken prisoner by mad Mohinder! Along with Tracy, Nathan visited Mohinder in the last episode to find out whether or not Mohinder has found a cure to rid people of their abilities. Despite having a number of people cocooned in his back room and now Nathan and Tracy, Mohinder seems horrified by what he’s doing. However he quickly dismisses that remorse, like you do!

Fatty Matt, on the other hand, has somehow afforded a flight back to the US from ‘somewhere in Africa’ and even got his tortoise through customs! At the airport, he meets Daphne, who is waiting to offer him a position at Pinehurst. She knows nothing of Matt’s dream about the pair, in the future. It becomes rather uncomfortable to watch, as Matt tells her the gory details of how ‘they will end up married’ etc. Yuck! Matt continues to pour his heart out and tells her that he will protect Daphne. Daphne reveals that she doesn’t like working for Pinehurst, but they have something on her? Wonder what it could be? Hope its some pictures of her in the nuddy!

Poor Daphne has got to put her chubby (but loveable!) stalker on hold as she is speeding back and forth like Lewis Hamilton, but faster. She has been tasked by Linderman/Maury Parkman, to recruit others to Pinehurst. She heads to The Company’s Level 5 to break out Flint, who was captured during the bank raid in the episode ‘One of Us, One of Them’. Before that however, she also offers Sylar a position at Pinehurst. He refuses and instead tries to tell Peter about the ‘other Company’. Peter is having none of it though and after a fight, sedates Sylar and heads to Pinehurst himself.

No Heroes episode is complete without boring, childish Claire! This week the super-cheerleader and her adoptive ‘mom’ try to free Claire’s birth mother, Meredith, from the clutches of the ‘puppet-master’, Eric Doyle. The pair are captured and we spend a couple of tense moments playing Russian Roulette with Meredith. I know I often take the piss out of Claire a bit but I thought this scene was her best for a while. Claire begs her adoptive mother to shoot her (as Claire can’t be killed of course!), she does and Claire manages to recover and whack Doyle over the head.

I thought it was a great scene and it showed that the relationship between Claire and her adoptive mother was as strong as it ever was. Despite her regenerative abilities it must have took some bottle to shoot her, the girl who she had brought up as her own and now her birth mother was watching on. Noah turns up and takes Doyle back to Level 5 but not before offering Meredith a position with The Company. A word on Doyle – I liked his character, which was sleazy and creepy in all the right places but if I had three women under my control, I certainly wouldn’t be trying to make them kill each other! What a tit!

Daphne is still running about and she visits Mohinder and offers him a job with Pinehurst. Who does she think she is? Alan Sugar? Well it’s Mohinder who ends up being FIRED as Daphne discovers his secret stash of bodies and makes her escape. What will Pinehurst make of this? Meanwhile Nathan and Tracy try to escape but clearly angry after the confrontation with Daphne, Mohinder does his best Hulk impression and chucks a bench at them…

Peter arrives at Pinehurst but finds Arthur giving a speech to his new found ‘team’. Peter bursts in, lighting bolts in hand and is left opened-mouthed at the sight of his dad, who he thought was dead. His dad asks him for a hug and Peter, clearly upset and disoriented, agrees. Peter suddenly collapses and realises that his father has taken his powers away from him, all of them…

It was a better episode than last week. It was sad to see the apparent death of Adam Monroe (David Anders), who went from a loveable rouge to villain during the course of the second series. This story arc is getting all the more interesting, as it seems Pinehurst are getting ready for a showdown with The Company. But there are plenty more stories to be told. Like when will we see the saucy photos of Daphne that Arthur is hiding?

8/10

Next Time: Daphne, Elle, Claire, Meredith, Tracy and Mr Muggles call into CyberColin Towers for a bit of ‘fun’ in the Jacuzzi!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Silent Witness Series 12 Episodes 9 & 10 - The Lost Child

It wasn’t quite another raid on religion this week but we did have a Christian, who was embroiled in a pedo case though! Before anyone takes offence, he didn’t do it!

A young lad is found dead, clogging up a drainage pipe, by his headmaster. The lad had befriended another boy, who was now missing. Evidence is found that the boy was sexually abused and the men in the frame are the missing boy’s ‘uncle’ and their landlord – a convicted ‘dirty bastard’.

The headmaster of the school also happens to be Nikki’s former teacher and we get a nice back-story for the pretty pathologist. Apparently she ran away from school, unhappy at everything and the teacher, Noel Hopkins, retrieved her and was her ‘mentor’.

Meanwhile Harry and Leo are on a ‘Berracane hunt’, after the drowned lad was found with the chemical in his body. So it’s a case of ‘find the chemical, find the boy’, simple then, isn’t it!

The net to catch the nonce is widened and after the revelation that Hopkins is acquainted with the landlord, the weird Christian (the dead boy’s stepfather) and the fact he had a phone call from the uncle, put him in the frame. Oh and the uncle is found dead after being hit by a train, when he was on his way to meet Hopkins. He’s that badly disfigured – he’s mistaken for the missing boy.

Nikki doesn’t believe that Hopkins is behind it but that doesn’t stop her questioning herself when Hopkins gives her some home truths. Is she ‘The Lost Child’ this story is about? As the police learn that it was the uncle that was killed, they have to let Hopkins go. But that doesn’t stop a hate mob, drawing graffiti on his property and firebombing his house. Comparisons with this can be made to real life events, when innocent people are attacked, like the Paediatrician, who was attacked by a group of toothless simpletons who believed that he was a Paedophile!

Anyway I digress, we learn that the missing boy isn’t missing after all. The ‘uncle’ and the ‘boy’ are the same person. It’s clear that the landlord made him pose as a 12-year old boy, in order to lure young lads to the pair’s ‘secret hiding place’. Unfortunately, the only evidence is photos of the landlord and the man ‘at it’. But landlord will get is comeuppance as he has Berracane poisoning and not long to live. Sweet justice, wouldn’t you say?

It was another well written episode, Emile Fox (Nikki) and especially guest star Reece Dindsdale (Hopkins) were superb, at acting this harrowing story out.

8/10

Next Time: It’s the last story of the series and the BBC has decided to splash out on a trip abroad. Is it Las Vegas? No, it isn’t - it’s in Africa, which is a shame – those CSI chumps need a good kick up the arse!