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.


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!


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!


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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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:

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!


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!


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’!


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!


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!


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!


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!



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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!