Daily Archives: Saturday, 18th Jul 2015

Doctor Who – The Complete Series 8 Blu-ray

Dearie me, my tuits have been in short supply. It’s been months since I watched this set, and it’s been sitting on my desk giving my slightly peeved looks ever since. But the time has come for me to get it together and type something. So here we go.

Rather than repeat myself, I’ll refer back to my original posts about the episodes, with a few extra thoughts as they occur to me.

Anyway, the Blu-ray version whIch I’m talking about here comes on five discs, and follows the unfortunate lead of recent years in being a bit light on special features. It seems that despite Doctor Who earning loads of money for the BBC in overseas sales and merchandise, it’s still subject to budget restrictions. Or possibly Daleks.

Anyway, let’s head for the episodes.

Deep Breath – I think I said all I need to say about that one at the time, so I’ll move on..

Into the Dalek – Yup, covered that one, too.

Robot of Sherwood – Still deeply, gloriously silly. And if you don’t appreciate a bit of silliness, you’re on the wrong site.

Listen – Events in later episodes make this story even more wibbly-wobbly and timey-wimey. But if… how can..??? And all that sort of thing… And if you think there’s a monster under the bed, it might not be what you’re expecting.

Time Heist – Still good fun on a second watching, even when you know that things that seem to happen might not be happening the way they seem. Includes some characters it would be nice to see again…

The Caretaker – Any story in which the Doctor convinces himself he can blend in with ordinary people is going to offer lots of humour, and this certainly does, along with the Deadly Peril and (of course) running along corridors.

Kill the Moon – Rrrrrrright. This is where I have to go into more detail. You see, this episode was widely criticised, mocked, derided and poked at on the grounds that the “science” was bad. Errr, what? People can deal with an alien who’s now several thousand years old and who can transform into a whole new body when he wears the old one out. They can deal with a bloody time machine that somehow keeps most of its mass in some other dimension or other to prevent it sinking to the centre of any planet it happens to land on. But get one little moon hatching into an alien thingy that leaves behind a fresh moon that’s the same size as the one it hatched out of and people suddenly become experts on exobiology. Apparently eggs can’t do that, so the science is bad and that’s that. Ridickerous!! Quite obviously, it’s a transdimensional alien wossname that only partly exists in our spacetime framework and so has no problem at all  rearranging some mass here or there.  Or something. Or maybe people need to sop thinking that Doctor Who is hard sf, because it isn’t and never has been….

Mummy on the Orient Express – OK, I’ve calmed down now. This was another good bit of fun, still worked for me.

Flatline – OK, I didn’t hear the “the science is terrible” mob have a go at this one, which is a relief.  Good fun, and must have impressed the management, because a character will be returning in this year’s series.

In the Forest of the Night – Anyone hoping for proper actual science should have run away by now, leaving the rest of us to enjoy the fun. It all makes very little sense, but it’s probably some hyper-intelligent transdimensional beings really running the show rather than the trees. Or something. Nice tiger, as you might expect from the title.

Dark Water/Death in Heaven – Well, yes. Missy was so much fun that she’ll be back in the new series, despite having apparently been vaporised. Well, Certain Death and Inescapable Traps were never really a barrier for her previous incarnations, so I think we can look forward to lots more Terrible Plans, attempts to conquer the universe and the Doctor’s hearts. And loads of gratuitous murder and mayhem.

Special features

One good thing is the “Behind the scenes” featurettes for each episode. If these look oddly familiar, it’s because they’re the previously online-only Doctor Who Extra episodes. No bad thing to have them here, in much the same way that the old Doctor Who Confidential used to turn up on the DVDs.

There are commentaries for several episodes, some documentaries that show all the signs of having been made for the US market (apparently BBC America can spend money…), which don’t provide much in the way of new information, but are at least mildly diverting.

Buy it for the episodes rather than the extras.

 

Rivers of London – the comic book

Rivers of London

Rivers of London

I mentioned Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant books not that long ago. Oh. Well, it might have been in January, but I suppose that’s not too long on a cosmic scale, or a getting a probe to Pluto scale, but probably longer than the average reader’s attention span. Anyway, having listened to and read them all, I’m looking forward to the next one which is due in November or thereabouts. I’ll be reversing my approach this time, going for the Kindle version before the Audible one, but I suspect I’ll do both. Reading them is fun and highly recommended, but the readings are so well done that they’re unmissable.

Anyway, enough of the digression. A while back Ben announced that he was working on a comic book series set in the Rivers of London world. He’s co-writing with Andrew Cartmel, whose name will be familiar to Doctor Who fans of a certain vintage, with art[1], colouring[2] and lettering[3] by other people (see, I know nothing of how comic books work – I was vaguely aware that words and pictures were generally by different people, but had no idea the work got divided up like that). And in a delightfully sensible move, we’re not talking about an adaptation of the existing books, but an all-new story fitting between books four (Broken Homes) and five (Foxglove Summer). Good plan.

Anyway, I popped into Forbidden Planet (where I often go to look at and occasionally buy Doctor Who stuff) and bought a copy of the first issue – Body Work, Chapter 1. And you know what? I like it.

Characters are introduced for the benefit of new readers, but there’s plenty there that you’ll need to know the books to get – such as the registration number of Peter’s car being  ASB 01, which I’m not going to explain because you should read the books, so there.  :tongue:

The art is pleasing to my eyes, the dialogue is snappy, and the little bits of narration are perfectly in keeping with the style of the books.  Good stuff, and I’ll be getting the next one as soon as it’s out.

Oh, and you get extra features, too. But you’ll have to buy it to find out about those.

Details from Titan Comics

[1] Lee Sullivan
[2] Luis Guerrero
[3] Rona Simpson

Weight and Stuff Report – 18 July 2015

Back down again today. Despite the afternoon that may have involved a beer yesterday, I went to work today – though only for about five hours. I had a couple of software updates to do that were much more easily done at my leisure this morning than either trying to do them in working hours (which would have annoyed the people wanting to use the software in question) or after hours (which would have annoyed me, and possibly the caretaker who’d be wanting to lock up the building if it took that long). I also modified a script (also easier to do with no noise or interruptions) and migrated some thingies.

And now I’m home. I might even get out with a camera tomorrow, but for now, here’s another photo from last weekend.

MG

MG

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/750s
Focal length: 24.3mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 11 July, 2015