New Doctor, New Extras

Until a few years ago, immediately after each episode of Doctor Who, there was a show called Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3. While it was variable in quality (the last series suffered from excess material due to it being stretched out to 45 minutes, if memory serves), it did offer some nice behind the scenes material. New manglement management cancelled it, which was a wee bit unpopular with fans, including me.

Since then, there has been some online material, but that’s not quite the same as an actual structured TV show, and you actually have to go looking for it.

But some moderately good news has been released today. Each episode of the new series (starts on Saturday) will be followed by a ten-minute Doctor Who Extra, available on the BBC iPlayer red button thingy. It will more than likely be available on the internet[1] for the benefit of viewers outside the UK who can’t see the iPlayer stuff[2].

BBC Announcement

[1] If not officially, I give it ten minutes maximum for someone to get it on YouTube
[2] Well, not without messing around with proxies and other such things

Weight and Stuff Report – 19 August 2014

Weight: 215.3 pounds (15 stone 5.3 pounds, 97.7 kg)
Steps taken: 2,341

Up again today, which won’t be helped by me not being able to get out at lunchtime thanks to a lethal combination of a meeting and a sickly server. Mutter.

Here’s another photo from Saturday’s visit to the coast. The reflections appealed to me…

Beach reflections

Beach reflections

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/450s
Focal length: 110mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 16 August, 2014

Take your pick

Well, my picks, actually. I bought these today (and so far, I really like the feel of the thin version), and after having a quick play, I was reminded that I hadn’t tried my Fujifilm 60mm macro lens on the X-T1, so I had a different kind of play:

Take your pick

Take your pick

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 60mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 18 August, 2014

Weight and Stuff Report – 18 August 2014

Weight: 214.7 pounds (15 stone 4.7 pounds, 97.4 kg)
Steps taken: 6,838

Up just a wee bit today, but not by enough to be alarming.

The day started with a walk to the dentist, and from there into Gateshead where I got the Metro to work. I had a short wander at lunchtime…

Today’s photo is of St Mary’s Island. I like the group of people on the left who look like they’re trying to get there…

To the Island!

To the Island!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/850s
Focal length: 104.2mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 16 August, 2014

The Doctor Will Be With You Shortly

Yes, after a long wait, Doctor Who returns on Saturday. New series, new Doctor in the shape of Peter Capaldi, and a promised change of direction which looks like being darker. Perhaps that’s why the first episode will be on at the unusually late time of 19:50…

Anyway, the BBC have now released a list of all episode titles, which you can read here. Oh, never mind, here’s the list with my random reactions to some of the titles:

Episode 1: Deep Breath.
Written by Steven Moffat

Episode 2: Into The Dalek
Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat

Into the Dalek, eh? Now that sounds mildly disturbing. Presumably that’s what the odd “is it Davros” voice in the trailer was all about…

Episode 3: Robot Of Sherwood
Written by Mark Gatiss

First silly title, which may or may not be descriptive. With Mark Gatiss writing, I think we can expect some nicely warped fun.

Episode 4: Listen
Written by Steven Moffat

Episode 5: Time Heist
Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat

Episode 6: The Caretaker
Written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat

Episode 7: Kill The Moon
Written by Peter Harness

Episode 8: Mummy On The Orient Express
Written by Jamie Mathieson

This year’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”? Will the Doctor play Poirot?

Episode 9: Flatline
Written by Jamie Mathieson

Episode 10: In The Forest Of The Night
Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Episode 11/12 Dark Water/Death In Heaven
Written by Steven Moffat

It’s been widely reported that Jenna Coleman will be leaving the show at Christmas – I don’t think it’s been officially confirmed, but it would make sense – old companion to ease the new Doctor in, then someone new who’s more attuned to the changed Time Lord…

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 17 August 2014

Weight: 214.5 pounds (15 stone 4.5 pounds, 97.3 kg)
Steps taken: Not a lot

Down again today in the regular round of randomness. As often happens, I’m having a quiet day in today, getting the washing done, catching up on things[1], and so on[2].

While I was at the coast yesterday, I spotted a gathering of suspicious looking characters. I think it’s only a matter of time before trouble breaks out between them…

Visitors

Visitors

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/6.4
Shutter speed: 1/550s
Focal length: 27.9mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 16 August, 2014

Though this guy doesn’t look like he’d be very good at violence

Can't we just talk it over?

Can’t we just talk it over?

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/6.4
Shutter speed: 1/280s
Focal length: 110mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 16 August, 2014

[1] But not backdating blog posts. Oh no. That never happens.
[2] And possibly even so forth

Weight and Stuff Report – 16 August 2014

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for some quite serious wind, so I decided that today would be a better option for getting out and going somewhere. So, after the usual breakfast and shopping, I took the Metro to Whitley Bay for a coastal stroll. Some interesting sights were on offer, so expect a varied selection of photos over the next few days, starting with a couple of slightly grungy ones. I thought this streetlamp was quite a nice thing:

Lamp

Lamp

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/6.4
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 58.9mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 16 August, 2014

And it’s a shame to see that following the restoration work of a few years back, the still unused Spanish City dome is looking very weather beaten again. Though this treatment does emphasise that a wee bit:

Spanish City

Spanish City

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/6.4
Shutter speed: 1/850s
Focal length: 66.2mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 16 August, 2014

After a while, I decided to cut the walk short and got a bus back to Newcastle.

Weight and Stuff Report – 15 August 2014

Weight: 215.1 pounds (15 stone 5.1 pounds, 97.6 kg)
Steps taken: 5,144

Back up a wee bit today, but at least I managed to get out for a short walk at lunchtime…

Today’s photo is a nice bit of architectural detail to be found just off the Quayside, so long as you remember to look up – something people are probably more likely to do with the Tyne Bridge in place than they would have when the building was new…

Insurance

Insurance

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/220s
Focal length: 122.6mm
ISO: 400
Location: 54° 58.1537′ 0″ N 1° 36.4731′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

Weight and Stuff Report – 14 August 2014

Weight: 214.6 pounds (15 stone 4.6 pounds, 97.3 kg)
Steps taken: 2,290

Down a bit this morning, more of that random stuff, probably.

I had planned to have a bit of a walk at lunchtime, but as it was raining stair rods, cats, dogs and aardvarks, this was reduced to a moderately quick trip across the road to the convenient and very good Good Times sandwich shop on the other side of Grey Street.

Today’s photos are from yesterday’s tests with the new 18-135mm lens on my Fujifilm X-T1. These have had some Lightroom tweaking – the first had its verticals adjusted and some fiddling:

Central Arcade

Central Arcade

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 18mm
ISO: 400
Location: 54° 58.3852′ 0″ N 1° 36.8107′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

The next one was more in need of attention – it was taken from the other end of the arcade, looking into the quite bright sunlight streaming through the roof. But with a little work, it came out like this:

Into the light

Into the light

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/340s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 400
Location: 54° 58.3967′ 0″ N 1° 36.8142′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

 

Fujifilm 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Buy it from AmazonWhen I bought my Fujifilm X-T1 a couple of months ago, there was an offer attached – register the camera with Fujifilm and they’d give you £250 off the price of their new lens. Details were a bit vague at the time, but now all is clear. Rather than give you a discount off the list price from their own store, they’re doing one of several things, depending on where you bought the camera. Apparently some people are getting a discount code which can be used at a variety of actual shops and online retailers, but I got an instruction to call Jessop’s and quote my serial number. Well, I’m quite happy to buy things from Jessop’s, either in the shop or online, so that was fine.

I placed the order yesterday, with the lens costing me £449.99, which I was quite happy to pay, having seen enough reviews to convince me that I really did want one.

It does, of course, overlap with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens that came with my X-E1[1], but has a few benefits:

  1. It’s got a much bigger zoom range, as you’ll see below
  2. It’s got even better image stabilisation, allowing you to get away with longer exposures hand-held
  3. It’s more “weather resistant” than previous Fujifilm lenses, making it a good match for the X-T1, which is similarly more resistant

There are some downsides, though:

  1. The maximum aperture isn’t anywhere near as wide as on the older lens, so extreme depth of field tricks may be restricted.
  2. It’s physically bigger and heavier, and at full zoom sticks out quite a long way

So, will it replace the 18-55mm as my usual walk-around lens? I’m not sure yet, but it is a distinct possibility. While it is bigger, it feels nicely balanced on the X-T1, and easy enough to carry around. I took it out for a walk at lunchtime, intending to spend some time getting to know it, but of course, it started to rain. Not enough to bother the camera, but enough to get me wetter than I wanted to be, so I stopped and waited for the bus back from the Quayside to Market Street, where quite naturally the rain stopped…

Anyway, what we have for now are some test shots to show the zoom range. Here’s Milburn House seen from the other side of Dean Street at the wide end:

Milburn House - Wide

Milburn House – Wide

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/80s
Focal length: 18mm
ISO: 400
Location: 54° 58.1759′ 0″ N 1° 36.5763′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

And here’s much the same view at the 135mm end:

Milburn House - Long

Milburn House – Long

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 122.6mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 58.1747′ 0″ N 1° 36.5762′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

Quite a useful range, I’d say.

Now just like my usual test for a wide-angle lens is the view from the Millennium Bridge, for a long lens, I like to take a look at Earl Grey. Here he is, at the long end again:

Where's my tea?

Where’s my tea?

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 110mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 58.4082′ 0″ N 1° 36.7785′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

And here’s a cropped and slightly tweaked version of the same image, which shows some nice detail:

Earl Grey

Earl Grey

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 110mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 58.4082′ 0″ N 1° 36.7785′ 0″ W
Taken: 13 August, 2014

So far, I like the new lens. More comments and impressions when I get a chance to take it somewhere.

[1] That I no longer have