Sunday, 25 April 2010

Animated Norton annoys Who fans

The 'tinterweb is alive with angry and annoyed Whovians over the BBC's animated on screen caption of Graham Norton, that was shown over the cliffhanger in the last few minutes of yesterdays episode.

There are many thousands of disappointed people out there who felt that the emotion and drama that built up in Matt Smith's dialogue, during the final minutes on screen, were wiped out when the cheeky little animation minced on screen on BBC One. 

The BBC HD broadcast was unaffected.

A BBC spokesman said: "We apologies for the timing of Saturday night's trail." The BBC often promotes programs in this way but the corporation has acknowledged that in this case the scheduling was inappropriate.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Prisoner - Fabulous or Flop?

I started watching the US remake of The Prisoner last week, but after watching the first episode on ITV, I was left undecided as to what to make of it.

As with my previous post about the V remake, I had heard lots of chatter from US fans, and some UK fans that had downloaded it, that it was a poor copy and just didn’t stand up to the original. Putting all that aside, and wanting to make my own conclusions, I have been watching with an open mind.

So, here I am, episode 2 and I think I’ve found what was making me feel so undecided about it. With the original series there was a certain feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia that came from the filming in Portmeirion, and the general Cold War era that influenced the writing and production. 

In the US remake there is very much a feeling of isolation, but not that condensed and enclosed space. Also the paranoia seems to be different. In the original, for me, there was a clear feeling of “I don't know who I can trust” but in this I get a clear “trust no one” which changes the dynamic of the program. This may change as the series progresses, but we shall see.

So, I have made my mind up. I like this remake of The Prisoner. I think Sir Ian McKellen is an inspired piece of casting as No 2, and it is a truly new delve into the tortured human psyche of supposedly knowing you’re not mad, but everyone and everything around you is convincing you that you are. And they still have Rover! Bigger and louder than the original, but still has the chill factor for me!! And they are still right hand drive… Good to see that the Yanks haven’t totally got rid of all the Brit influences!

I hope that The Prisoner does get a shot at a second series, as I’m interested to see where they take it! But knowing how our US friends like to operate, No 6 will eventually escape… For real… Which will be a shame.

Friday, 23 April 2010


Continuing with that theme, River Song is back once again this weekend in Doctor Who with the next installment, The Time of Angels.

A friend of mine posted this link onto Facebook which gives 3 little clips into Saturdays episode, and River Song's TARDIS piloting skills! 

This is so tantalisingly gorgeous,  the only way I can describe it is like every time I hear Dervla Kirwan's voice on those slutty M&S adverts, I have the urge to rub a Melt-In-The-Middle Chocolate Pudding into my Moobies...  But I digress!

If you want a little sneak peak into tomorrows episode, then click here!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

US Torchwood on hold?

The BBC News website has a story that the US version of the Who spin-off Torchwood has been put on hold after the Fox TV Network pulled out of the deal with BBC Worldwide.

The BBC is continuing discussions with other networks to get the show made for US audiences.

To read the full story, clicky here!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Guests confirmed for SJA?

The 'tinterweb is alive and teaming with excited chatter of confirmed guest stars for the next series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

You all know what I'm like for not splashing spoilers all over the place, but if you want to have a read, then clicky here.

Or enjoy the ignorance, and wait!

Strange alien planet? Nope! It's a quarry!!

Imagine my uttermost surprise and delight when I opened the staff Intranet pages at work, to be presented with this lovely image in the "Photo of the Week" section...

No, the TARDIS did not land in a dodgey Photoshop.  This is Aberthaw Power Station in Wales which is run by RWE npower.  

Last summer, the BBC approached the station requesting permission to use its quarry to film night scenes for an episode of Doctor Who. 

It looks like the secrets that the quarry has been hiding will be reveled in episodes four and five on Saturday 24 April and Saturday 1 May, which sees the return of the Weeping Angels and Professor River Song!

A fee was paid to RWE npower for the use of the quarry and to cover the cost of staff involvement. This money has been donated to the local charities Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice, Rhoose & District History Society, Rhoose Boxing Club and Rhoose Lifeguard Club. 

Sunday, 18 April 2010

To simulcast, or not to simulcast?

This is the question...  As an avid campaigner for High Definition, I am forever singing it's praises and encouraging people to make the move from SD to HD.  Yes, it can be an expensive initial outlay, but the difference is unbelievable and once you've gone HD, you don't go back.

Now, here is my issue.  Last nights episode of Doctor Who was transmitted at 6:30pm on BBC One and 8:25pm on BBC HD.  This is the fist time since the programs move to HD that this has occurred.

Miffed, I was.  I did watch the broadcast on BBC One at 6:30pm, with the rest of the nation, but felt my enjoyment spoiled somewhat.  So, here I am!  Sunday morning after rewatching last nights Victory of the Daleks in HD that I recorded last night.  It's not just the improved picture quality, but the whole experience is enhanced with full 5.1 surround sound.  It brings the whole score to life and adds that extra dimension.

There's nothing quite like hearing a Dalek ask "Would. You. Care. For. Some. Teeeeea?" being enhanced through a sub-woofer!  It gives me chills!!

By the looks of next weeks episode, it will be simulcast on BBC One and BBC HD once more.  I hope that The Beeb aren't going to make a habit of this.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

New Series of V

Having caught up on this weeks telly (oh, the joys of working away from home) I was really keen to see the latest Sci-Fi classic remake from over the pond, V.

Having watched the original series back in the 80's (and owning the complete DVD boxset), I have a great affection for the program as it scared the pants off me at such a young age.

I had some doubts about it, as it basically aired in the US months ago before it came to the UK shores, and the general 'tinterweb chatter comprised of "oh, it's not like the 80's series", "none of the original cast are involved", "should have left a classic well alone", but that got me thinking...  That's no different from any other remake that's been done over the last 10 years!

So there I sat, bottle of vino by my side, a full 50" inches of HD goodness, 1,000 Watts of ear-bleeding Surround Sound, and me squweeing to my 7 year old self in anticipation...  I can say, I'm impressed!

If you're looking for the skin-ripping, laser-shoot-out-in-the-street, hi-jacking-spacecraft, shoulder-pad-wearing-neo-nazism that is so fundamentally woven into the 80's series, then you'll be sadly disappointed.  But this brings a much darker, grittier realism to a seemingly benevolent race of aliens who only seem intent on helping the Human Race (yeah...  right).

Having watched the first 2 episodes on SyFy, I can say there is the right balance between character development, scene setting, and action.  I am genuinely impressed with what ABC have achieved in this fresh approach.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 80's series!  But much like with Battlestar Galactica, I hold it in the highest regard and cherish all the memories I have of the original, but really, REALLY appreciate a good, quality remake, that takes a show in a new direction and brings it to a fresh audience...  Now, what does that remind me of?

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Doctor Who game coming to PC and Mac

The BBC has reported that Doctor Who will be joining the gaming world with with four interactive episodes of the show.

Matt Smith and Karen Gillian will be providing the voiceovers, and the four two-hour dramas will allow fans to take on the role of the Doctor, enter different universes and fight some new enemies.

The first of these installments should be available to download from the BBC Doctor Who website for free sometime in June.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Overnight Sucess?

Following the generally positive reviews that have sprung up all over the 'tinterwebs, it all comes down to the overnight viewing figures...  Which appear to be different, depending on where you look.

BBC News  - 8.4m
Doctor Who Online - 8.3m
Doctor Who News Page - 8.0m
Digital Spy - more than 8m

Which is unusual to get such conflicting reports!  But the analyst in me was intrigued to see how this stacks up against other series openers.  So here it is!!  All the New Who series opener overnight figures.

Rose - 9.9m
New Earth - 8.3m
Smith & Jones - 8.2m
Partners In Crime - 8.4m
The Eleventh Hour - 8.?m

So when we get the actual BARB figures in 10 days time we'll see, but right now I can't tell!

Coming Soon......

Well I too am back after a short break due to a slight lifestyle change..... yes folks, I have joined a gym and due to my obsessive compulsive personality I have been going a lot....

Anyways, as Roj said last nights episode was fab and rather than expressing my thoughts on it I would urge you to read what Roj has posted as I agree with everything he says apart from the nonsense about RTD and the End Of Time specials :-)

So for now here is the trailer for what is to come in the next 12 weeks or so. I can't wait and by the way, Matt Smith has nailed the part of the Doctor in my opinion!!

Oh, and by the way, our next meeting for Doctor Who fans in Leeds is next Saturday 10th April at the usual Adelphi pub in the heart of Leeds. We're staring at 12:30 so hope to see you all there!!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Change, my dear!

Well...  What can I say?  I'm impressed.  Not only have we been introduced to a new Doctor, a new companion, a new TARDIS, and a new production team, but also a renewed faith!

I am taking about my own faith, that was trampled on and crushed over the last 6 months by the sloppy, egotistical, and trashy stylings of RTD.  It has been a long, emotional roller-coaster for me to see the departure of David Tennant, and for it to be handled so badly really, really upset me.  What am I talking about, some of you might be saying?  RTD is the best thing since sliced bread, you say?  Everything he touches turns to gold, you cry?  I'm afraid not, sez I.

Some of you will know how vocal I have been over the last 3 DT specials.  To have the hype build prior to the airing, and to be so bitterly disappointed by slap-dash writing and crowbar plot moves just to satisfy the Exec Producers own over-blown ego.  My reaction was (apart from the vocalism's at the Leeds WhoDo's) was to withdraw.  Shut down.  Pull back from "New Who" and lick my wounds.  

I became so disillusioned, I stopped visiting forums, news pages, blogs (my first post in 4 months).  I didn't want to know about New Who.  Didn't want to watch it or read about it.  I wanted a blank slate for when the series returned.  I was tired of building expectation only to have that expectation dashed when it aired.  If I had no expectation then it can only go up from there.

So I immersed myself in Classic Who, and found myself paying particular attention to Colin Baker's first season.  I have no idea what drew me to it, but this seclusion over the last 4 months has given me a deeper understanding of his Doctor, and appreciation of what JNT was trying to do...  Maybe I will revisit the DT specials in the future, and see what RTD was trying to do?  But, I digress.

Tonight, I found I enjoyed Doctor Who more than I have done in a very long time!  Wow...  Solid writing, exceptional acting, and I got the "hairs on the back of my neck" feeling for the first time since School Reunion, when Sarah-Jane jimmied open the store room and found the TARDIS.  Who is back.

Matt Smith pulled off a blinding performance.  For me, he brings that uncertainty back into the role.  The "not quite sure what he'll do next" feeling to the character, which has been sadly lacking, but I've not noticed it until now...  Strange...

So, yes!  I have something to say once again.  I've found my voice.   Is that a good thing?