Thursday, 31 January 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who 104 - The Bride of Peladon

"Peladon will bathe in oceans of blood!

A mysterious voice, a missing girl and a murdered queen. The Royal House of Peladon is once more plunged into intrigue, terror and death. The Doctor, Peri and Erimem must find their way through a treacherous labyrinth of lies if they are to distinguish friend from foe before it is too late.

For deep beneath the Citadel of Peladon, something infinitely ancient and immeasurably powerful is stirring..."


I always seem to enjoy a BF release, no matter what Doctor or companions, I always seem to enjoy them. And that is the case with ‘The Bride Of Peladon’!

To get into the mood for this month’s audio, I watched ‘The Curse of Peladon’ and enjoyed it immensely. Like ‘Curse’ and its ‘sequel’ – ‘The Monster of Peladon’, Alpha Centauri and an Ice Warrior are present.

The 5th Doctor, Peri and Erimem hear a distress call and land onboard a spaceship, which is on its way to Peladon, unfortunately the ship is in freefall! Meanwhile, the Queen of Peladon is dead, but how did she die? And why is the soon-to-be King of Peladon, hearing voices?

I’ll be trying my best not to spoil it, but I love it! The ending is well done, although it would have been better if it were played out more. The story (as always) is well acted and the sound affects seem to have improved from previous stories (or was that just my new headphones?!?). Nick Briggs makes sure he appears, playing the Ice Warrior and Jenny Agutter guest stars. Alpha Centauri is as camp as ever but still as loveable! Only this time we don’t see the dodgy costume!

Anyone who has seen the Peladon stories will know what I mean when I say ‘Aggedor’ is in it and the Doctor sings the song! Sorry, I just love that ‘Venusian lullaby’ for some reason!

The extras, as always, have interviews with the cast and more Nick Briggs!

I would urge you to check it out, if you like the Peri and Erimem stories, this story is as important in the series as ‘The Eye of The Scorpion’. That’s all your getting off me! However, it’s still not my favourite Peri and Erimen story, ‘Son of the Dragon’ is by far the best in my opinion!

9/10

Coming next, in the monthly series, will be the 6th Doctor’s ‘Condemned’, with a very special guest (wink)!


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 3 - To The Last Man

Just when I thought Torchwood was getting better, it brings me back down to earth (or should that be Cardiff?) with a loud thump.

However ‘To The Last Man’ started off well enough. The basic plot was about how a hospital in 1918 was merging with the present day, we even got to see ‘Torchwood 1918’, for a few pitiful moments.

Then it all went tits up. A young solider named ‘Tommy’ was frozen by the 1918 team. Unfortunately he was no pinball wizard, nor was he deaf, nor blind, but he certainly was dumb! He had to be ‘woke up’ every year, in the hope that the time was right to return him to his own time.

Tosh forgets all about her lesbian tendencies and falls for Tommy, who like any young man, is ‘in there’ quicker than John Prescott at a ‘hitting a Welshman contest’. Meanwhile Jack and Ianto are doing yet more gay snogging in a scene that was more pointless than a totally straight man in Torchwood!

I’m really having trouble typing about this. It can be too easy at times to rip apart a Torchwood story but this is so bad, I’m struggling! Sorry Helen Raynor, but after such a promising start to the episode, it nose-dived like Kerry Katona ‘doing a line’, too much for me!

To finish, lets just say the team found out what was happening and Tommy returned to his own time, the world (Cardiff) was saved (but he was eventually shot for cowardice) and Tosh is back fancying women (okay I made that last one up!).

I feel that the episode would have been a lot better if we saw more of ‘Torchwood 1918’. It also badly needed that injection of action and the odd ‘jumpy’ moment, that is why I loved last week’s episode so much! The story had the right idea but it’s a shame that it ran out after 10 minutes!

Just typing about this as made me put it down a mark! Hopefully this is the low point of the series. With that in mind, roll on next week, where we have er alien meat, in an episode called ‘Meat’. Oh no, here we go again!

4/10

Next Week: Gwen's boyfriend leaves her and shacks up in Cardiff Castle with Mel Bush and the Kandyman of 'The Happiness Patrol' fame.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 2 Episode 1 - Dead London

"Someone's playing with us. Manipulating time and space for their own ends." The TARDIS lands in London. But which one? The Doctor and Lucie find themselves trapped in a maze of interlocking Londons from Roman times to the present day. But they are not alone in this labyrinth: a killer is on their trail.

The long wait is over, series 2 of The Eighth Doctor Adventures is here! Big Finish are going to release 8 new plays, 1 every month, until August. BBC 7 (radio) are going to be broadcasting them as well, although last year, the plays came on the radio first.

Series 2 sees the return of Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor and Sheridan Smith’s Lucie Miller. After a good first series, where my favourite stories where ‘Immortal Beloved’ and ‘No More Lies’, can they hit the ground running with new episode ‘Dead London’?

For obvious reasons, I’m not going to go into the story but it’s a good start to the series. The Doctor and Lucie are caught in a ‘temporal shift’, which transports them to different versions of London but who is behind it and why? The story is well written and 48 minutes fly by! I don’t really have anything negative to say about the story but…we’ve got a new theme! Most of the fans (well those on the net anyhow) don’t like it. The theme is a remix of the original theme but uses a terrible echo. Now I don’t mind it, I still think ‘The Trial of A Timelord’ (or the 6th Doctor’s Big Finish theme, if you prefer) is still the worst theme! The extras include interviews with the cast and a trailer for the next story ‘Max Warp’, which sounds really good!

The acting, as always, is good. Sheridan Smith is growing more as a ‘typical Doctor Who companion’ and Paul McGann is at his usual witty best. Rupert Vansittart, who appeared in the 9th Doctor TV stories ‘Aliens of London’ and ‘World War Three’ and Clare Buckfield, who is most famous for 2point4children and has also appeared in the 6th Doctor audio ‘The One Doctor’ and in series 1 of The Eighth Doctor Adventures story, ‘Horror of Glam Rock’, guest star.

Overall, it’s a great piece of audio, that’s all I can say!

9/10

You can order the CD from Big Finish http://www.bigfinish.com/21-Doctor-Who-Dead-London, however from February they will be offering a, cheaper, download service as well. I’ll be reviewing the next Doctor Who monthly release next, with Peter Davison’s 5th Doctor, along with Peri and Erimem in ‘The Bride of Peladon’. The next release, as mentioned, from the Eighth Doctor series, is ‘Max Warp’, a story apparently about ‘fast spaceship racing’. Should be fun, eh?

Primeval Series 2 Episode 3

This series keeps on improving episode by episode. Okay we’ve only had three so far but I have high hopes after this episode!

After an annoying paintballer is mauled to death, outside a theme park, by what seems to be ‘a large cat’, the team go in to investigate. Meanwhile Connor has invented his ‘Anomaly Detector’, despite showing no knowledge of ‘being technical’ and Jenny Lewis displays her ‘charm’, in more ways than one!

The animal, a sabertooth, came through an earlier anomaly and was looked after, since it was a cub, by one of the park’s attendants. The cat had already dispatched her boyfriend but the daft bint did what all daft bints do and didn’t take a blind bit of notice! She believed that Cutter and the team were ‘doing experiments’ on the cat. So yes, she ended up being killed by ‘her baby’!

That wasn’t all the fun though! Connor and guns seem to be having a secondary plot together, as he ran around the park and almost killed a really annoying bloke in a lion costume! Thankfully the cat put paid to him later!

Phones and messaging also seem to be a running theme as well. Stephen got a picture of Helen from (presumably) Helen. Connor was like a little schoolgirl everytime he got a message from his new ‘girlfriend’, Caroline.

Just to round things off nicely, Lester’s right-hand man, Oliver Leek, is paying Caroline to ‘get up close’ with Connor. That storyline is going to be very interesting, to say the least! Leek certainly looks dodgy, it seems he gave the order for the cat to be killed and the body destroyed, while claiming the cat died of an heart attack. With Cutter and Stephen already angry at the ban imposed on them, to refrain them from telling anyone about the anomalies, something has got to go off sooner or later!

So a good all round episode, the CGI was slightly better than previous week’s and the acting and writing seems to have gone up a notch as well. Lets hope they can sustain this!

9/10

Coming Next Week: Connor finds out that Caroline is really a man and while he’s throwing up, Rex attacks Abby and drinks her tea and puts on her underwear.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 2 - Sleeper

Well, that’s better! None of the team tried to sleep with anything this week, (okay Owen panicked for a second!) AND we had a decent story, for once!

The story begins with a ‘run-of-the-mill mass murder’, after thieves broke into a house. Sadly for them, one of the occupants was an alien ‘sleeper cell’ and they were killed, quite horribly! To make it worse, it was a woman! (If no women write in now, they never will!)

So the team, quite literally, nick the woman and before you can say ‘Ow! That hurts!’ she is being probed as badly as an illegal immigrant! And like a probe into an illegal immigrant, she (or to be fair, her ‘alien’ part) fools the team and escapes the hub and before you know it, other sleeper cells are causing havoc in Cardiff city centre. Much like a normal Saturday night, to be fair!

The acting seems to have gone up a notch, again, although I’m not too sure on Ianto trying to be funny. Just make the tea! The effects were better, the explosions made me jump! Not too sure on the ‘Terminator 2’ rip-off, nor the baby ‘killing’ but it is (supposed) to be science fiction!

Overall a big improvement on the ‘buddy’ episode that was ‘Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang’, although something original won’t go a miss! With the remaining ‘sleeper cells’ still out there, I’m sure they’ll be back, which is fine by me. Anything but pointless shagging scenes!

9/10

Next Week: I watch the next episode with a magnifying glass, as I see if Jack still has the hole in his coat, where the male sleeper cell stabbed him!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Messiah V: The Rapture

Messiah returns, with a brand new team. Ken Stott retires as DCI Red Metcalf and he is replaced by Marc Warren’s DCI Joseph Walker.

For those who don’t know, ‘Messiah’ is a series of television movies (in two parts) which revolve around a team of detectives who investigate a number of grisly murders. The word ‘grisly’ is probably too soft because the murder scenes in Messiah are horribly (and accurately!) done! The first ‘Messiah’ is a television classic, I would recommend you check it out!

Apart from the Doctor Who link with Marc Warren (Love & Monsters), Nina Sosanya, who was in the episode ‘Fear Her’, playing Trish (the mother of Chloe). She also appeared alongside current Doctor, David Tennant, in Casanova. For Lost fans, Marsha Thomason (Naomi) played DS Mel Palmer.

The story starts in Israel, Joseph Walker unknowingly drives his girlfriend’s brother, who turns out to be a suicide bomber, into a packed public area. This provides the main focus of this, the fifth story in the series (although unrelated to the previous four), as the girlfriend turns up again later.

Meanwhile a serial killer is on the loose. A family is brutally murdered and then two sisters, one while under police protection. It’s shocking to say the least! The killer leaves a sign, written in sand, at the scenes of the murders. With the Hebrew lettering and the sign facing east, it becomes apparent that the killer has got an infinity with god, religious texts and the end of the world. As the body count rises, including a women with acid poured into her eyes and another girl with her heart ripped out, the team think they have the killer but then comes the ending……

Overall, it’s a solid continuation of the series. Marc Warren does well in the lead role and he really brings the grief of his character to life. As always, the murders are gruesome, the story is well written and everything is set at a good pace.

8/10

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Primeval Series 2 Episode 2

A much better effort this time, as Cutter and the team battle killer worms. No, I’m not talking about Jacques Chirac but some ancient creatures! Hmmm, that’s the same thing isn’t it, never mind!

An office block is this week's setting, as ‘smoke’ seeps through from the server room. Unfortunately, it isn’t a fire, it is infact a gas made up of different toxins which enable the worm creatures to breathe. Too much oxygen is fatal, apparently!

Jenny Lewis starts work and its clear she’s nothing like her ‘look-a-like’, Claudia Brown. She’s bossy and seems to be a stickler for the rules, which when you are chasing Dinosaurs around, isn’t helpful! Despite this, I definitely still would!

In other news, Connor gets in with a bird, who seems a little dodgy. I mean, how many girls pick up men in video shops? They don’t even have video shops anymore! Seriously, I reckon something will happen there and I just don’t mean Connor will get his leg over!

Helen is back and she seems to have bought a car and visited the hairdressers, in between chasing around killer creatures. Her hair looks nice though!

Back to the episode, where for once, the CGI is looking good, Abbie’s role is reduced to scowling in the background and Stephen turns down the chance to bed Helen. The fool!

Overall a big improvement, a better story, better monsters and betting acting. With the ending, I don’t think there is any doubt that Helen had anything to do with Claudia’s disappearance.

8/10

Coming Next Week: Helen guests on ‘This Morning’ to discuss how she keeps herself looking so good while chasing around prehistoric beasts. And I don’t mean John Prescott!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 1 - Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

Torchwood’s back! And oh no, there’s a fish driving a sports car! Are we in for yet more disappointing rubbish? Not quite.

James Marsters (aka Spike from Buffy) dons a dodgy accent, which ranges from West Midlands to London and also, a quite striking cowboy 'getup'! Is RTD a fan of Brokeback ‘the film which destroyed the whole genre of westerns and John Wayne is quite possibly rolling around, in his grave’ Mountain, then?

Despite this, the episode is pretty good. Not the best, in my opinion, ‘Random Shoes’ is still my fave but it’s still a cracking start to the series!

Captain John Hart (Marsters) is an old time agent buddy of Captain Jack and as soon as they clasp eyes on each other, RTD gets hot flushes and you know what happens next! I’m not even going into the ‘gay agenda’, which RTD is preaching, I just want to say ‘I was never confused!’

The plot itself, is a little predictable. Captain John is looking for a few canisters that would lead him to some diamond. It’s hardly got the twists and turns of an episode of The Professionals! Ultimately, he fails, goes back with his tail between his legs but he has one parting shot for his former ‘lover’, ‘I found Grey’. Who or what is ‘Grey’ (or Gray?) is unknown, but it’s already built up wild speculation on the net! Or maybe not.

The special effects seem to have gone up a notch too, so as the acting! The bloke who plays Ianto ‘The Tea Boy’ looked like he deserved his Equity card, for once! The bird who plays Gwen, looked very pretty, for once and Owen got shot!

Overall, a great start. Plenty to keep you entertained, if you’re a gay (or a closet gay) you’ll love it!

8/10

Coming Next Week – Jack and Ianto go on their ‘date’ to Pizza Hut but some annoying 8-year calls them gays and Ianto runs off crying. Jack tries to ‘console’ him but fails, Ianto opens the rift and the world is on its knees. All through a snotty-nosed little kid.

TORCHWOOD

Start Date: Wednesday 16th January 2008, 9PM
Channel: BBC2


Captain Jack and his randy Welsh alien hunters are back! After a so-so first series, can Russell T Davies up the ante?

I hope so, there as been a mini-revival of British sc-fi programmes, since the success of Doctor Who and long may it continue.

After leaving the Doctor at Cardiff Bay, Captain Jack returns to Torchwood and apparently, they are not too happy to see him.

The first episode entitled ‘Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang’ as been used so many times, will this continue the RTD’s trend of ripping off things? Buffy’s James Marsters (Spike) will be in this episode, playing (surprise, surprise) Jack’s love interest.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to RTD for bringing back Doctor Who but he constantly stamps his own personality on the show. I gather that he thinks ‘its either my way, or no way at all.’ Torchwood is supposed to be an adult themed show. Ok fair enough, but do we need to see so many gay love interest and PC nonsense in the series?

Martha Jones, fresh from her constant moaning onboard the TARDIS (only joking Martha, love, your a 1000’s times better than Rose!), will be joining the team for a couple of episodes. She should add er something to the team!

This year, there will be an edited pre-watershed version. Methinks this could be for three reason. 1. Its so the kids can watch it. 2. Its so the Americans can watch it, without being shocked at bad language on telly. 3. There’ll be a crossover with Doctor Who, so 1 & 2 will come into play as well!

What To Look Forward To: Hopefully, better stories and a bit more about Captain Jack and 'his missing years'.

What NOT To Look Forward To: More crap, camp aliens who make Jar-Jar Binks look like a spiffing gentleman, smoking his pipe in the golf club on Sunday afternoons.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Primeval Series 2 Episode 1

We are back in the Primeval saddle, as the action picks up from where it left off. Nick as come back from the past, Claudia as disappeared and seems to have never existed. The team are now based in the ARC (Anomaly Research Centre), which they have been working at for a while, in this altered reality. Don’t worry though, the only person who believes Nick, is geeky Connor!

The story is set a consistence pace but lacks that ‘killer punch’ but thankfully that turns up that the end! The team investigate and try to recapture a family of raptors who are running riot in a shopping centre.

Connor provides the highlight of the week – by shooting Abby with a tranquilliser gun! Nick and Stephen steal a pair of motorbikes from some kids, the daddy Raptor eats his kid and a Ben Miller threatened to steal the show (again)!

All in all it was good fun! Hopefully the series will get better as it goes on. As I’m sure, there’ll be more plots and characters to come!

Oh and as for that ‘twist’. ‘Claudia Brown’ turns up as the ARC’s new recruit – Jenny Lewis (obviously played by the same actress!). But who she is, is she anything like Claudia and where the hell is Claudia!

A solid start but there’s plenty of room for improvement, lets hope the viewers continue to tune in, because I’d hate to lose a series with so much potential.

7/10

PRIMEVAL

Start Date: 12th January 2008, 7PM
Channel: ITV1


The Dinosaur hunters are back! After last years’ cliffhanger, it should be interesting to see how Nick Cutter can find out what happened to Claudia, who seems to not have existed. It was billed as ‘ITVs answer to Doctor Who’. But its nothing like Doctor Who! Some Doctor Who fans have been almost foaming at the mouth, at Primeval. Labelling it ‘low budget’, ‘poorly acted’ and ‘just plain crap’. These are the same people who praise Torchwood and the BBC in general, so I guess the words, ‘pot’ ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring to mind!

Primeval is basically a family show about how different gateways (anomalies) appear and lead to a different prehistoric time - and it works really well! So far we’ve had giant insects, gay lizards and more Dinosaurs than an Eastenders cast! A team lead by university teacher, Nick Cutter, investigates the anomalies and his team just cause more problems than they solve, to be honest!

Personally I would love for the different (because its easier, I going to call them) gateways, to lead to a more recent time zone. That would really piss the staunch WHO fans off!

Perhaps more people will warm to it this year because highly praised Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell, is writing an episode. It should be interesting to see what he comes up with!

I have only a few criticisms of it – ITV hasn’t promoted it enough. If I didn’t read a TV guide, I wouldn’t have known about it! I haven’t seen any trailers but recently, the only telly program I watch on ITV is corrie! But where are the billboards? The web advertisements? I’m sure if the BBC can do this then certainly ‘the masters of advertising (and ripping off phone callers)’ ITV can!

Another disappointment is the lack of episodes. With no Doctor Who for the next 3(ish) months, surely they could have stretched to 10, 12 or maybe 13 episodes? Unfortunately, only 7 have been commissioned, although we did have 6 last year!

What To Look Forward To: More hot-flat, no clothes antics from a former S-Club ‘singer’ and her lizard.
What NOT To Look Forward To: Constant Ad-breaks (although a few nice brews could be made during these!)

2008 - A Good Year For Sc-Fi?

Hello everybody and welcome to my blog. If you’re easily offended or have no sense of humour whatsoever, please don’t read this blog! I’ll be banging on about the latest happenings in British sc-fi and abroad. Mainly I’m going to be on about Doctor Who and its (pointless) spin-offs but I will also be covering other various media!

Well it’s a new year and it’s jam-packed with sc-fi! First off, this Saturday, we have the return of Primeval on ITV1, then next week we have the return of Captain Jack in Torchwood, this time exclusively on BBC2. Lost is back soon I believe Doctor Who, series 4 will be aired around March/April. Heroes should be back soon as well, the second part of series 2 will be on in America but because of the writers strike, its unknown exactly when it’ll be on. Series 2 (part 1) will be on BBC2 in the autumn. Gene Hunt and the team (minus Sam and Annie and plus some bird called ‘Alex’) are back in the ‘Life on Mars’ spin-off, Ashes To Ashes, in February. Finally, the kids will be happy that, The Sarah Jane Adventures, will be returning too!

So this is me, looking forward to ‘what’s on’ in 2008!