Archive for February 2016
For the second time, these images are on offer, and I am unable to acquire them:
It’s Alice XZ again, of course. The images she painted for a SDCC exclusive comic were PERSONALLY REQUESTED BY PETER CAPALDI for the limited edition S9 steelbook. (I had to look up “steelbook.”) Stunning, gorgeous, and PERSONALLY REQUESTED! And once again, out of my reach.
The first time, they were a con exclusive, for a con I was not attending and will likely never attend. And now, the limited edition will be offered in the UK only.
I know that feel, bro.
Maybe they’ll get crazy and offer it in the US too. That would be one way to persuade me to pay full price…
This serial surprised me in a number of ways.
The pronunciation is “man DRA gora” not “mandra GORa” as I had foolishly assumed. Is it a British thing?
The opening scene reminded me of an image my sister once constructed, imposing Captain Kirk on a background of wine crystals shot with a macro lens. The shape of the crystals is roughly the same in both, though the colors are somewhat different.
This is the first appearance of the lovely wood-paneled console room!
The alien planet, and the alien itself, don’t look great. They look like what you get when you draw on photonegatives. Maybe that is what happened. Still, what brought out the howlers in the MST:3K crowd was the repeated burning of hay. What did the thing have against hay?
THE FACE ACTING. The three primary guest actors in the serial all have wonderful faces, and that Shakespearean stage magic that makes the ridiculous seem so natural. Federico, Guiliano, and Hieronymous are solid, believable characters. I enjoyed the practically-text subtext between Guiliano and his pretty ginger companion Marco – and I have to wonder, given the era, if such things could possibly have been intentional. We’re firmly in Hinchcliffe-Holmes territory here, not yet into the seething realm of JNT.
The story itself is remarkably gripping and well-paced. The MST:3K crowd had little to offer, and consequently I had no difficulty following the story – a nice shift, after “Spearhead from Space” was so roundly shouted down last time. A lot of it does have to do with the story, and possibly the lack of Pertwee’s clownishness. Baker’s clowning seems oddly sincere in comparison.
The Meetup organizer told me that he chose this story to accompany “The End of the World” because it (supposedly) includes the first mention – however off-hand – of the TARDIS translation circuit, which makes such a splash with Rose in the newer story. However, he’d have done just as well to pair them by Mysterious Dudes in Black Cloaks, which feature prominently in both.
Next time we’ll see “The Unquiet Dead” and “The King’s Demons,” a two-part story featuring Five, Tegan, Turlough, and the Master, and introducing the short-lived Kamelion. I can’t wait to find out what they have in common.
The writers of the Titan Doctor Who series have way too much fun in their job.
(What follows may be considered spoilery for regular comic readers. Proceed with caution.)
I’ve mentioned before I collect Alice XZ covers. I hadn’t been paying attention lately, but when a new comic shop opened in my neighborhood, I glanced online to see what I’d been missing. Turns out there were three new items out with Alice’s covers, one of which was on the shelf: The Twelfth Doctor Year 2, Issue #1
The gorgeous cover is only the first piece of fun I found. #2 occurred on the very first page of the story itself, where the name and face of the character surprised and delighted me:
The likeness is unmistakeably Christel Dee, host of Doctor Who: The Fan Show. (Later the character is given the surname Dean.) I can only imagine Christel’s fangirl delight at being so immortalized.
And there’s more! A few pages later, the Doctor slurps a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster – a drink concocted by former Doctor Who writer and script editor Douglas Adams for his most famous creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – to the ongoing affront of an angry alien, whose name he doesn’t quite recall:
Those are Marvel references: Janet van Dyne, the Wasp – or Hope, her daughter and successor – and Victor von Doom, antagonist of the Fantastic Four. That Marvel once published Doctor Who comics, and that Marvel is the latest landing pad of Doctor David Tennant (via Jessica Jones), are meta bonus.
And the story’s good too. I can’t personally justify buying serial comics, but it’ll be a tough wait for the trade.
The shop owner is ordering for me the two issues he didn’t have in stock: Tenth Doctor Year 2, issue 6, and Eighth Doctor #1:
And still to come: the Fourth Doctor, due next month:
Always so much to look forward to. 🙂
Not being an actual subscriber, I don’t pay much attention to the world of streaming. I sometimes watch a friend’s Hulu and Netflix, and I appreciated that much of classic Who that I couldn’t find at the library was available there. Then tonight, having decided to follow up on an unsubstantiated Facebook rumor, I discovered what many of you probably already know:
50-plus years, 30-plus seasons, 800-plus episodes, all have vanished from the major streaming services.
Part of the reason I am not a subscriber myself is that I don’t trust streaming service. I don’t like paying for things I don’t get to keep; I prefer hard copies I can hold, discs I can put in the machine whenever I want. Particularly since Amazon demonstrated its ability – never mind willingness – to steal back legitimately purchased material from customers’ devices, I have been reluctant to trust these electronic service providers.
And now my distrust is justified, by the BBC of all people – the one network I would have thought knew better.
Never mind that it was Netflix that introduced legions of new fans to the show. Never mind that DVDs are expensive and hard to find, or that Amazon’s selection is vastly inferior. Never mind making the show available to the fans who made it the success that it has lately become. Without a word the BBC slams the door in fans’ faces.
Of course it’s their right. It’s their product; if they want to build up anticipation for the delayed 10th season, or if they want to create demand for their own streaming service – still only a rumor* – they’re entitled to do so. They can do whatever they want.
I’m only sorry this is the latest choice they’ve made. Streaming services are win-win, affordable for fans and profitable for networks. I myself have poured tons of money into the BBC in DVDs and licenced gear. Yet if this is how they thank us, I no longer feel the need to purchase some of the non-DW shows I’ve enjoyed.
Next week, my local DW/MST:3k club is screening “The End of the World” and “The Masque of Mandragora.” The one I’ve seen enough to quote most of the lines myself. The other I’ve never seen. I had considered catching it via Hulu before the night, so that I wouldn’t miss anything when the drunks got loud. Now, I’m out of luck.
Maybe the group won’t hate this one as much as they hated “Spearhead from Space,” and I’ll actually get to hear the dialogue. That doesn’t seem likely to me.
*No release date, cost, or availability info have been provided. In addition, a relevant survey I completed suggested that only past programming would be available this way – no DW, no Downton, no Sherlock. Honestly, what’s the point??