Archive for May, 2011


Please don’t read if you have not seen episode 5 or 6 of the new series of Doctor Who yet….Spoiler alert.

Here is my review of episode 5 and 6 of the new doctor who series (“The rebel Flesh” and “The almost people”).

In episode 5 the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves back on Earth in the  twenty-second century, as a group of workers are working with acid in a  factory, which in turn, is set in an old monastery called St John’s. The  workers themselves, though, don’t directly deal with the acid, but they use copies of themselves called doppelgangers – gangers – to do the dirty and dangerous work for them.

But these gangers are more than just simple copies. They have pretty much the same feelings, memories and emotions of their human counterparts, and it takes a big solar storm for things to start going really very badly wrong. The droppelgangers decide that enough is enough and rebel in a big way.  The cliff hanger at the end of episode 5 revealing the doctor has a droppelganger was much unexpected.

Episode 6 continues where episode left off with the double act of Matt Smith and Matt Smith stealing the show as the two doctors shoot around the screen bouncing off each other like a machine gun. I thought the acting from Matt Smith was truly excellent. Rory (Arthur Darvill) was good too as the slightly bumbling, rather weedy but ultimately valiant hero that he is. My favourite line from him was ‘I’ll break out the big guns’ followed by his associated flex of the muscles. Suffice to say after a lot of sacrifices and action the day is saved.

And so to the very end of the episode, and the amazing cliff-hanger that had me stunned….

The Amy travelling with the Doctor and Rory is in fact a Ganger; SHOCK HORROR!! The real and very heavily pregnant Pond is lying on a faraway hospital bed under the watchful eye of the mysterious eye-patch lady. But why did the doctor dispense with the Ganger Pond so quickly when he had spent most of the episode trying to saving them all, just a little query.

I thought Episode 5 and 6 were absolutely excellent. Right from the start of “The rebel flesh”, this has felt like a traditional two part adventure.  There were a lot of old Who and horror movie conventions employed, with corridors being run down, doors being held shut, the impending filling of a room with something nasty and a healthy dose of sacrifice.  It was a dam good story, with an added subtext or two to it all to give things a little more depth.

However we are left with more questions….

  1. When was Amy replaced by a ganger?
  2. How has her pregnancy advanced so quickly?
  3. Who is the mysterious eye-patch lady?
  4. Does the Doctor know he is going to die?

But I have to say overall I really like these episodes and most importantly they lead nicely into next week’s mid season finale “A good man goes to war” where we may finally get some answers.

What did you think, do you agree with me?

To wet your appetite here is a sneak preview at the next episode..

For those not familiar with doctor who then please read my blog “Dr who Exposed…. Whats it all about?”

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please  look at the SFHDominion monthly
Newsletter
.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and
horror online shop


Please don’t read if you have not seen episode 4 of the new series of Dr Who yet….Spoiler alert.

Here is my quick review of episode 4 of the new dr who series (The Doctor’s wife).  

After weeks of speculation from the teasing title of this episode, this week I finally realised who was the Doctor’s wife, it’s not River as I first thought but the old girl herself, the TARDIS.

After the Doctor picks up a signal from what might be a still living Time Lord he goes to a peculiar junkyard planet, located in a bubble universe, to investigate. But, sadly for him it isn’t. The doctor quickly learns that he has been lured to the “junkyard planet “ by an entity referred to as “House” and that the soul of the TARDIS has been transferred into a human called Idris by the entity. The entity then makes off with the TARDIS, with Rory and Amy caught onboard, to try and escape from the bubble universe. The doctor must find a way to get back to the TARDIS and save its soul, Rory and Amy.

It’s non-stop intrigue and carefully-controlled suspense all the way. At the centre of all it all is the magnificent Matt Smith. He flies and fizzes around the screen like a Technicolor firework. Then there’s Idris – a clever name that,  “I TARDIS”;  Who provides the doctor with a wonderful partner to bounce off. The pair have a fantastic relationship and spark with sexual chemistry and tension. What got me laughing me the most is Idris scolding the Doctor for pushing the TARDIS door open, when it says pull on the plaque. But my favourite line from Idris has to be “Borrowing implies the eventual intention to return the thing that was taken. What makes you think I would ever give you back?”

The story is gripping and exciting and a fantastic acknowledgment to loyal Doctor Who fans. It’s not just in the sense that it takes us right back to the day the Doctor stole the TARDIS (or borrowed it… or it borrowed/stole him…) but in other small details in the episode. For example I think it’s the first ever questioning of the Doctor’s sleeping arrangements. And then there is the request for a double bed, and not bunk beds, by Rory and Amy which makes the TARDIS feel like a home. I wonder, is this where Amy gets pregnant? 

In addition, we also get to see a lot more inside the TARDIS not seen since Tom Baker days. Which gives us a hint to the real size of the TARDIS and that it is not just the one room with the control panel but actually a huge labyrinth of rooms and corridors.

I do have one small gripe and that’s we are not really told what/who the house is. Why did it come to bubble universe, where is it from? And are there any others?

However, overall I really liked this episode. I thought this was the best episode of the series so far and considerably better than last weeks effort. This is Neil Gaiman’s first dip into the waters of Doctor Who and it did not disappoint. I just hope it’s the start of things to come.  

What did you think, do you agree with me?

To wet your appetite here is a sneak preview at the next episode..

For those not familiar with doctor who then please read my blog “Dr who Exposed…. Whats it all about?”

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.


Please don’t read if you have not seen episode 3 of the new series of Dr Who yet….Spoiler alert.

I have just watched episodes 3 of the new dr who series (curse of the black spot) and here is my quick review.  

In summary this episode of doctor who is set on the eerie, treacherous seas of the 17th Century, where a pirate ship is at the mercy of a beautiful spirit whose song seems to be death itself… its where Amy swashes, Rory buckles and the Doctor walks the plank.

Basically, the Doctor and co get stuck on board a pirate ship which was being menaced by a mysterious singing siren who appears whenever a sailor suffered so much as a paper cut. And when she appears, the injured pirate soon disappears.

However, it later turns out that the evil siren wasn’t an evil siren at all but actually an alien robot nurse thingy on board a crashed spaceship that was sharing the same space as the pirate ship. The crew were dead so she’d decided to look after anything and anyone, no matter how small the injury.  
 
In between we are treated to Amy in full-on swashbuckle mode and find a stowaway hiding below deck who turns out to be the captains son. And the theme of Amy’s ambiguous pregnancy and the Doctor’s impending future continues to bubble away as well. The woman with the metal eye patch makes a second appearance and looked at Amy through a hatch in an invisible door. Who is this woman and is Amy really where she thinks she is? The clues and the questions keep coming but as yet there is too little to be able to form any concrete theories. 

I do have a couple of problems with this episode though….

The Siren could only come out of a completely still reflection. Except the first time it came out of the sea it was choppy! And why did the siren not simply ask someone to ‘State the nature of the medical emergency”. A little star trek joke there!

The only person who was ever  held back from the siren was Rory – anyone else who was injured was just allowed to walk off.

And when we are taken to the sickbay thingy the advanced alien doctor/sickbay thingy couldn’t even do basic cpr on Rory to ‘heal’ him? What a crap EMH.
 
In addition, Avery’s son thought his Dad was in the navy, somehow discovered which ship he was captain of and stowed away on it without discovering that it was a pirate ship? mmmm?
 
In the ending I have a serious problem with the idea of a17th century captain being able to pilot a starship.
 
And finally is there nothing on the Tardis that could help do a bit of basic healing? I’m sure the doctor could have used the sonic screwdriver or something to help restart Rory’s heart?
 
But on a positive note I must admit Pond looked very sexy as a pirate.

This was a chance for the show to breathe after the brain-twirling plotting of the past two weeks but for me it didn’t quiet work. It was ok and fun in places but ultimately this grog-time yarn falls short of its promise, which is a shame. But I guess we can’t expect every episode to be brilliant.

What did you think, do you agree with me?

To wet your appetite here is a sneak preview at the next episode..

For those not familiar with doctor who then please read my blog “Dr who Exposed…. Whats it all about?”

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.


Hi everybody.

Do you want to visit Transylvania and see where Count Dracula lived???

Count Dracula (Viad III)

Count Dracula (Viad III)

Well, whilst I was networking the other day I started chatting to somebody who has just started a photographic travel business which I thought was really interesting and I thought I would share this with you.

Basically He has started a business called FoToRo, which is a company that organises photographic travel holidays to Romania.

Romania, until now, has been relatively untapped.  For their medieval atmosphere and castles, Transylvanian cities such as Sibiu, Braşov, Sighişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Târgu Mureş have become important touristic attractions for foreigners.

Rural tourism is primarily focused on folklore and traditions, and is targeted to promote such sites as Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, the Wooden churches of Maramureş, or the Merry Cemetery in Maramureş County.There are many other major natural attractions in Romania such as Danube Delta, Iron Gates , Scărişoara Cave and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountains which  have yet to receive great attention.

Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle)

Bran Castle is situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, and is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivod of Wallachia, the main inspiration for Dracula

So would you like to improve your photography skills and take a well-earned break whilst finding out the myth behind the legend of Dracula? Well then give “FoToRo” a go where you can combine them by taking a photographic holiday and learn from an experienced tutor in a stimulating environment. 

For more information contact John Morton at jmorton@clara.co.uk.

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.


Please don’t read if you have not seen episode 1 & 2 of the new series of Dr Who yet….Spoiler alert.

I have just watched the first 2 episodes of the new dr who series (“The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the moon”).  And WOW they were absolutely fantastic but I must admit it they left me very confused. In fact they seem to supply very few answers, just even more questions. And by the end of this opening two-parter, I was left wondering:-

  • Who killed the Doctor and why?
  • Who is the little girl, who is the father and how can she regenerate?
  • How can Amy be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time?
  • Why did the Silence need to build a spacesuit?
  • Not forgetting, who the heck is River Song?

Even though the “day of the moon” episode was very confusing at times there’s a great action sequence at the episode’s end – a ludicrously insane laser battle that Tarantino would be proud of. It’s the perfect, visceral visual punch to accompany the more cerebral moments of the episode with the Doctor trouncing the Silence’s plans using post-hypnotic suggestion embedded in the footage of Neil Armstrong’s first moonwalk.

In between, we’re also treated to some incredibly creepy scenes in a children’s home, Rory in ’60 glasses, President Nixon coming to the Doctor’s rescue, and a number of very effective character moments involving Rory and Amy, who give the episode a real emotional grounding amongst the plot-rush. Moffat uses his “disembodied voice pleading for help” stick again but then gets so much mileage out of Rory’s eavesdropping (both for comic and dramatic effect) you really don’t mind. I think Karen Gillan and Matt Smith just get better with every episode now, while it’s hard to believe Rory isn’t getting a whole new set of fans as well.

Overall, I thought  “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day Of The Moon” were huge fun, effortlessly entertaining, and blessed with a cliffhanger so jaw droppingly unexpected it’s bound to keep viewers hooked. All of which helps smooth over the fact that it also feels just slightly too disjointed, inconclusive and open-ended.  I just hope the whole budget for the series hasn’t been blown on these opening episodes.

You want fun? You want creepy? You want action?  Then it looks like this new series of dr who has got it all. In fact this series of Doctor Who is looking to be shaping up to be like no other before it. I look forward to the rest of the series with bated breath.  What did you think, do you agree with me?

To wet your appetite here is a sneak preview at the next episode..

For those not familiar with doctor who then please read my blog “Dr who Exposed…. Whats it all about?”

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.


With the new series of eleventh “dr who” on our screens on BBC1 in the uk at the moment with Matt Smith as the new dr, I thought I would give a brief background about Dr Who to those who are not familiar with this iconic series

Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television series in the history of broadcasting, a series that began on the BBC1 network in the United Kingdom in November 1963 and ran until 1989… and then returning to BBC1 in early 2005 until now for all new adventures. It was created as a show for older children to be aired late Saturday afternoons and, due to a sudden boost during its first season caused by a race of mechanical nasties called the Daleks, became an overnight British sensation. It was later syndicated overseas to many countries such as the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and eventually became one of Britain’s most popular export entertainments. It also became a staple of American public broadcasting network PBS during the 1980s, drawing record pledge amounts.

 It’s the story of a wanderer in space and time known only as the Doctor, and travels in a dimensionally transcendental time machine  (i.e. bigger on the inside than on the outside), the camouflage system of which became stuck in the shape of a London police public call box. The Doctor, who is in reality a Time Lord from the far-future civilization on the planet Gallifrey, now travels time and space fighting the forces of darkness, taking on traveling companions from places he visits who join him on his adventures. The Doctor’s true name has never been revealed, thus the reason for the much of its success was due to its flexible nature: the Doctor’s ‘people’ have the power to regenerate their bodies during near death experiences, allowing the central character to be recast with a new actor … and a new personality completely.

During the run of the show, ten actors have taken the role:

William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, with an eighth actor,Paul McGann, playing the role in 1996 for a special US/UK co-produced film that aired on BBC-1 and America’s FOX network. And more recently Christopher Eccleston and David Tenant as the ninth and tenth doctor.

And now with Matt SMith as the eleventh doctor.

Click here to vote for your favourite Dr Who

Over the years, he has been joined by nearly forty regular cast members fighting alongside him (his companions) or against him (in the case of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis, the renegade Master).

The Doctor’s companions

The Doctor almost always shares his adventures with up to three companions, and since 1963 more than 35 actors have been featured in these roles.The First Doctor’s original companions were his granddaughter Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford) and school teachers Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell).

The companions’ characters serve to further the story by requesting exposition from the Doctor and manufacturing peril for the Doctor to resolve. The Doctor regularly gains new companions and loses old ones; sometimes they return home or find new causes — or loves — on worlds they have visited. Some have even died during the course of the series.

Karen Gillan now plays the 11th Doctor’s companion, named Amy Pond, along with Arthur Darvill, who plays Amy’s husband, Rory Williams.

The Doctors Adversaries

Besides infrequent appearances by the Ice Warriors, the Yeti, the Rani, the Meddling Monk, Omega, Black Guardian, and Sil, several adversaries have become particularly iconic:-

Daleks

The Dalek race, which first appeared in the show’s second serial in 1963, are Doctor Who’s oldest enemies. The Daleks are Kaled mutants from the planet Skaro, who utilise tank-like mechanical armour shells for mobility. Their chief role in the plot of the series, as they frequently remark in their instantly recognisable metallic voices, is to “exterminate” all beings inferior to themselves, even attacking the Time Lords in the often referred to but never shown Time War. The Daleks’ most recent appearance was in the 2010 episode The Big Bang. They continue to be a recurring ‘monster’ within the Doctor Who franchise.

The Daleks were created by writer Terry Nation and BBC designer Raymond Cusick. The Daleks’ début in the programme’s second serial, The Daleks (1963–64), caused a tremendous reaction in the viewing figures and the public, putting Doctor Who on the cultural map. A Dalek appeared on a postage stamp celebrating British popular culture in 1999, photographed by Lord Snowdon.

Cybermen

Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of humanoids originating on Earth’s twin planet Mondas that began to implant more and more artificial parts into their bodies.This led to the race becoming coldly logical and calculating, with emotions usually only shown when naked aggression was called for. They continue to be a recurring ‘monster’ within the Doctor Who franchise.

The 2006 series introduced a totally new variation of Cybermen. These Cybus Cybermen were created in a parallel universe by the mad inventor ‘John Lumic’; he was attempting to preserve the life of a human by transplanting their brains into powerful metal bodies, sending them orders using a mobile phone network and inhibiting their emotions with an electronic chip.

The Master

The Master is a renegade Time Lord, and the Doctor’s archenemy. He is conceived as “Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes”, and first appeared in 1971. As with the Doctor, the role has been portrayed by several actors, since the Master is a Time Lord as well and able to regenerate; the first of these actors was Roger Delgado, who continued in the role until his death in 1973. The Master was briefly played by Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers until Anthony Ainley took over and continued to play the character until Doctor Who’s hiatus in 1989. The Master returned in the 1996 television movie of Doctor Who, and was played by American actor Eric Roberts.

The Master was also featured in the 2007 series, portrayed briefly by Derek Jacobi and then John Simm. Simm reprised his role as The Master in the 2009–2010 specials, The End of Time where he is last seen fighting the Time Lords into the void.

Davros

Davros is a scientific genius and megalomaniac from the planet Skaro. He is the creator of the Daleks and became a recurring villain after he was introduced in Genesis of the Daleks, in which the Time Lords send the Doctor back to either destroy the Daleks, avert their creation or tamper with their genetic structure to make them less warlike. Davros was first played by Michael Wisher, who was followed by David Gooderson, Terry Molloy and Julian Bleach.

My favourite Dr Who adversaries are the Nashta Nerada, the Master, the Sontarans, the Cybermen and last, but certainly not least, the Daleks.

I hope this has been useful for those not familiar with Dr Who. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the new series.

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.