Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Vote: Who's Your Favourite Batman?

Seeing as this new Batman film has got everyone's sticky hands reaching for the tissues, I have decided to go and see my first Batman film since 1992. I'll be posting a pre-film rant and then my review later this week. In the meantime, view the videos below and vote for your favourite Batman by using the voting thing on the right. Cheers!

Lewis Wilson (1943)

Robert Lowery (1949)

Adam West (1966-68, 1979)

Michael Keaton (1989-1992)

Val Kilmer (1995)

David Jason (1996)

George Clooney (1997)

Bruce Thomas (2002)

Heath Ledger Christian Bale (2005 - )

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Doctor Who - Music of the Spheres (Doctor Who Proms 2008)

Click the video below to view the latest Doctor Who 'special scene'. 'Music of the Spheres' was broadcasted during the live 'Doctor Who Proms' on Sunday 26th June. Its no 'Time Crash' but it's still worth a watch! It probably sounded better with the audience reactions at the proms.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 2 Episode 7 - Sisters of the Flame

"The richest man in the galaxy has just bought a backwards planet with no obvious mineral wealth in the outer reaches of the universe. An obscure mystical sect has been revived after centuries of neglect. A new race of aliens are hunting for prey. Why?

As the Doctor and Lucie attempt to discover the answer, it becomes clear that someone is attempting to resurrect the past - and they need a Time Lord to help them achieve it."

Well that's much better! After being slightly disappointed with last month’s offering, we reach part one of this year’s ‘finale’ and its brilliant!

Okay, it’s only the first part and part two could end up an absolute mess but everything about this story seemed to just fit into place rather nicely. Nick Briggs has easily justified his position at Big Finish after being criticized by fans, for the fact that he was ‘doing everything’.

For Tom Baker fans, the episode is pretty easy to figure out from the title. ‘The Sisters of The Flame’ refer to the ‘Sisterhood of Karn’, who first appeared in 1976 in the serial ‘The Brain of Morbius’. The Sisterhood are a cult of psychic woman, who have recently been unscrupulously ripped off in ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ (ooh controversial!). In this audio, they are no longer on Karn as a businessman - Zarodnix (Kenneth Colley) is buying up all the planets he can, even those that don’t offer anything. But why?

Meanwhile Lucie makes a new friend in Rosto (Alexander Siddig), a grasshopper-type creature called a Trel, after the Doctor is kidnapped. With The Doctor gone, Lucie has to investigate the mystery and find him. But with Time Lords sniffing around and a certain chant about ‘flames and fires’, will she ever get to the bottom of it?

The story is written very well and is probably the best ‘set up’ story that has come from the 8th Doctor Adventures range. The first parts of ‘Blood of the Daleks’ and ‘Human Resources’ are pretty decent, but they just don’t ‘pull you in’ as much as this first part. Nick Briggs has done a terrific job, just keep away from that mixing desk, eh Nick?

We are treated to more great performances. Sheridan Smith in particular is outstanding and this just tops everything she done so far, for me anyway! I can’t really wait for the second part, which is why I’m holding back on the top mark. I think these two-parters should be released on a double CD, rather than two single ones. Maybe it’s the month wait and the extra £££’s that the fans will have to pay? Oh well, hopefully the quality will keep for the next instalment!


Next Time: It’s the final audio of the year, as body-less Timelord Morbius returns. If he doesn’t then Big Finish should be done under the Trade Descriptions Act for naming the story ‘Vengeance of Moribus’!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who 109 - The Death Collectors

"There is only death"

A virulent disease that killed millions. A missing scientist. An ancient race of salvagers who collect and preserve the dead. The quarantined planet Antikon connects them all.

When the Doctor arrives on a sky station above Antikon, a single accident has already set in motion a chain of events that will mean the death of every living thing.

And the only way he can stop it is to die. Again.

Despite a decent cast (Alastair Cording and The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson), I was a little bit disappointed with this month’s Big Finish release. Not that it was a terrible release by any means, I just couldn’t get into the story.

This was a solo 7th Doctor story, much like ‘Frozen Time’. But unlike Frozen Time, this story wasn’t as enjoyable. It seemed to be trying too hard to bring out the ‘darkness’ in Sylvester McCoy’s doctor, much like the final television series of his reign.

The story centres on a ship which is researching a planet. The professor onboard thinks he knows how to deify death. We are also introduced to creatures called ‘The Death Collectors’ who ‘collect’ death in trade for something else. It’s a plot which won’t keep you on the edge of your seat.

However there are some nice touches. The ‘Madam Butterfly’ opera song (the song that was playing when The Doctor ‘died’ in the TVM) was constantly used. That, his desperateness for a companion and references to his apparel, suggest that he his nearing the end of his regeneration. I would like to see his doctor with another companion, I’m really surprised that he hasn’t been given any new companions, in the Big Finish range, apart from Hex of course!

The saving grace of this release, is the one-part story ‘Spiders Shadow’. The story, which takes place on a distance planet on the eve of a war and deals with the jealously of a princess, isn’t necessarily told in the right order but I thought it worked really well. It was a very interesting concept that could only have worked in its 30 minutes, any more and it could have been a mess!

I really do like these three part and one part story releases. Although I think this is the weakest one to date, I think the concept has worked really well. ID & Urgent Calls, Exotron & Urban Myths and The Wishing Beast & The Vanity Box, are just some of my favourites from that range. I would strongly suggest you check them out.


Next Time: The 5th Doctor and Nyssa try to find ‘The Boy Who Time Forgot’

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Doctor Who Series 4 Episode 13 - Journey's End

Well, what a breathless end to the series! After three quick-fire months, we’ve finally arrived at ‘Journey's End’.

On the first watch, I was quite disappointed. There were just a couple of points that I thought we could have done without, I’ll go into them later though! After a rewatch later, I felt a little better, although those nagging points still nag like a woman on ‘that time of the month’!

It is this ‘Rose and Doctor’ thing. I CAN accept the Doctor falling in love but NOT with his fellow companions. Maybe it because his fellow travellers are now ‘companions’ instead of the classic ‘assistants’, that these love stories come from. Personally I reckon the 6th Doc was giving Peri one before Revelation of the Daleks but we’ll gloss over that (for now!). But if there is any suggestion that any ‘hanky panky’ is going on in the TARDIS, it should be kept as a suggestion. Yes, The Doctor that kissed Rose was human (with his heart in the side of his chest – eh?) but it still was The Doctor. I didn’t really like the second Tennant much anyway!

Another sticking point was the whole ‘Donna is a Timelord’ plot. Even though, scarily, she suited playing a Timelady, as soon as Catherine Tate opened her mouth and copied Tennant’s traits (speaking fast etc) I knew it was bad. Take nothing away from Catherine though, she was BRILLIANT as Donna Noble. Watching her departure was almost heartbreaking. I’m sorry for ever doubting you!

Another minor gripe was the lack of interaction between Rose and Mickey, now that she’ll never see him again. But despite his amount of screen time, I thought Noel Clarke was great. Hopefully the ending will leave it open for a regular slot in Torchwood, I hope so.

I also wasn’t really keen on the resolution of the cliffhanger. I believe that it should have been dragged out a bit more. Although I understand that the episode did have time constraints (well, sort of!) I was and still, suspicious of THAT RING on Donna’s finger. Basically, I thought the hand was going to regenerate into The Master! And to be honest that would have made a great episode. Can you imagine the bit when the TARDIS appeared and instead of Doctor 10.5 we had The Master stepping out? That would have been wonderful. Maybe with the ending, we have not seen the last of Donna and THAT RING!

Again the effects in this episode where simply breathtaking but who needs effects when you’ve got Bernard Cribbins? I hope I get a chance to meet him because the man is simply fantastic. Apart from the two Doctors, I reckon he is the best piece of casting that RTD and his team have made for Doctor Who.

I hope Julian Bleach will get another chance to play Davros again. The first thing you thought of, when you saw his ranting, was ‘that is f***ing scary! And that’s the point! He was wonderful.

Over great moments were – Jackie, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane and her interaction with Davros, the German Daleks, the whole team around the TARDIS console, Gwen and Ianto being locked in the Hub, thus stopping them from spoiling the episode and who can forget - K9!

Overall, a fine end to a great series. Shame about my gripes but you don’t have to agree with me! But I hope you do agree that this Christmas episode can’t come too soon! Cyberman AND Christmas. Dervla Kirwan AND David Morrissey, Goodnight Sweetheart meets Basic Instinct in Victorian times! Shame about the camp titles that came with it but hey, you can’t have everything!


Remember to keep tuning into this blog for more Sc-Fi and cult television reviews as well as reviews of the Big Finish audios and more news from the world of Doctor Who. Is it Christmas yet?

Christmas 2008 Teaser

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Bernice Summerfield 9.1 - Beyond The Sea

After leaving the Braxitel Collection, at the end of the last series, we wondered ‘what next’ for Benny Summerfield and her son Peter. ‘Beyond the Sea’ sees Benny resume her travelling after a couple of years based on the Collection. I feel that this is a good move by the team behind the audios as ‘Beyond the Sea’ is a bright enough opener.

Benny and Peter arrive on the ship, where Benny has took up a job for a major corporation, who want to make a planet an heritage centre. Benny’s job is to identify ancient underwater artefacts, so therefore the site will be given its heritage status. But after a number of strange deaths take place on the boat, Benny thinks that there is more to this job than meets the eye..

The action is a little slow to kick in but when it does, it’s like the Benny adventures of old! Her son is given a much larger role and Thomas Grant doesn’t disappoint. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Peter after the events of the last series. If you haven’t listened to it, I would strongly recommend you do so.

I would say that this audio is just a ‘warm up’ for things to come. I just felt it was missing that trademark ‘twist’ that we’ve come to expect from the Benny audios, the plot was easy to figure out. It does make a nice change not to have Benny involved with the Collection and I think the series will benefit from that. Although I do think that we will miss that consistency of having more than 2 regular characters.

Overall, it’s a decent start but hopefully the series will move up a gear with the next release - The Adolescence of Time.