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1 year, 8 months ago
This post exists because my Patreon crossed the $310 mark. It's currently at $318.50, exactly $6.50 away from another bonus post like this on "Night of the Doctor," which will otherwise wait until the McGann/Eccleston book to be written. You can pledge to help make that happen here.
To recap, in early July 2014 it emerged that a server at a BBC Worldwide had been improperly secured, and that scripts for the first five episodes of Season Eight had leaked. A few days later it became clear that the leak was worse than it had initially appeared as a workprint of Deep Breath also appeared on torrent sites, followed, over the course of the next month and a half, by workprints of Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood, Listen, and Time Heist. The files had been prepared for a Brazil-based subtitling company called Drei Marc, and specifically for a gentleman named Marcelo Camargo who, despite having absolutely nothing to do with the leak itself, became the name most associated with it.
The first thing to say is both obvious and controversial: it was fine. For all the talk of the leak being “embarrassing” for both Doctor ...
There are several regards in which the IDW run of Doctor Who comics is an oddity. First and foremost, it is the only substantive body of Doctor Who material to receive no distribution in the UK. Panini, the Italian sticker company that bought Marvel UK’s operations in the mid-90s and, with it, Doctor Who Magazine, had the UK license for Doctor Who comics, and was disinclined to let an American upstart in. And so IDW ended up creating Doctor Who comics almost entirely for the American market.
Unrelatedly, IDW also ended up creating what was mostly a line of fairly crappy comics. They opened with a Tenth Doctor/Martha miniseries by longtime vanguard of mediocrity Gary Russell, continued with the damp and misguided squib of The Forgotten, and stopped off at their one UK-distributed series, and eventually did their Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover (distributed in the UK because they put Star Trek first in the title, meaning it was technically a Star Trek comic and thus not precluded by Panini’s license), skewered masterfully by Josh Marsfelder here, stopping off with various other mostly uninteresting comics along the way.
Of course, as we’ve seen over the years ...
2 years, 4 months ago
Josh Marsfelder of Vaka Rangi, a critical history of Star Trek (he's just started The Next Generation) and related topics (including an essay on Doctor Who), writes on the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic by IDW. Also, speaking of comics, no reviews this week I'm afraid - won't be around to pick up my books due to those Cleveland talks.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a comics person. My first, and only, sojourn into the world of mainline United States sequential art was around the time there were several different Spider-Mans running around Marvel while at DC Supergirl was some kind of pink alien goo matrix or something. I took one look at that, promptly decided comics were fucked up and never looked back. I am, however, apparently something of an authority on Star Trek, which is why Phil has so graciously invited me to say a few words about the first, and to date only, time that other big polyauthored science fiction TV franchise crossed over with Doctor Who.
The one exception I made to my self-imposed rule of avoiding US comics at all costs came anytime there was a four-colour ...
2 years, 5 months ago
When the DVD set of Season Six came out, one of the biggest special features was a cycle of five shorts collectively titled Night and the Doctor. They total about sixteen minutes in length, and consist of two pairs of two shorts, one called “Good Night” and “Bad Night” focusing on Amy having insomnia on the TARDIS and catching glimpses of the Doctor’s extra adventures, the other called “First Night” and “Last Night” that are an explicit two-parter about the Doctor and River’s first date, alongside a fifth short, “Up All Night,” featuring Craig and Sophie in the immediate lead-up to Closing Time, and which feels not entirely unlike an unused prequel that was grafted onto the other four episodes somewhat arbitrarily.
These shorts fit into a larger tradition within the Moffat era that began with two special features on the Season Five box set, a pair of scenes entitled “Meanwhile in the TARDIS” and paired with early episodes. Both basically involve going through a bunch of standard premises of Doctor Who (“why did you make your time machine look like a Police Box” and “have there been other companions” and the like) as comic sketches. And it ...
2 years, 6 months ago
Frezno has done such a nice job continuing The Nintendo Project that I felt like I should let him play on this blog too.
1985 was a very eventful year, when one looks back on it from a broad perspective. Swap out your wide-angle lens and zero in towards two of the important moments of that year, for our purposes. In England, Doctor Who was supposedly struggling to entertain the masses. The Doctor, he of bright coat and bravado, faced off against deadly foes like the Bandrils and the tree mines. The final straw came just as Peri Brown was running away from a cannibal with bushy eyebrows. The program failed to get a passing Grade and was put on hiatus. As has been noted, this was the first major blow to Doctor Who in the 1980's. One could argue it was the blow that eventually killed it. It got better, though.
You know what else got better? Video games. 1983 saw video games in North America face their own Ragnarok at the hands of over-indulgent capitalists. Howard Scott Warshaw, unfairly maligned man that he is, did what he could. The world ended. It was up to a red ...
2 years, 8 months ago
On 1 Mar 2014, at 21:01, Philip Sandifer wrote:
So, cards on the table, I have no idea what I’m doing. Honestly, this just seemed like a neat idea. “I know Ben Cook’s a fan, I wonder if he’d like to help with the Writer’s Tale entry so it can mirror the structure of The Writer’s Tale.” But from there I’m not sure where to go. I have a vague set of themes and ideas I’d love to wander by, and stuff I’m mostly unconcerned about (if I ever ask “what’s Russell like?”, please just spike the whole project), but it’s all in the Maybe, as the book would put it.
Why don’t I start with my experience of the book? I paid money for it during my last semester in grad school, which was not a point in my life when I had a lot of money to pay for a hardcover. But I kept hearing good things about it… I’m not even sure where from, since I wasn’t hugely active in fandom. But it sounded fascinating, and I remember just losing an entire ...
2 years, 8 months ago
In November of 2009, it was announced that Michael Moorcock would be writing a Doctor Who novel. This was something of a big deal. Moorcock, after all, is a proper writer, as opposed to one who came up through Doctor Who itself. He was a contemporary of J.G. Ballard, one of the most influential figures in the British side of the 60s new wave of science fiction, and the writer of countless series in various flavors of fantasy, most famously Elric of Melniboné, his angst-ridden answer to Conan the Barbarian, and most acclaimedly Jerry Cornelius, his polymorphously perverse secret agent. He’s one of those sci-fi/fantasy authors to have successfully gained a non-trivial measure of respect from the literary establishment, due largely to the sheer number of writers he was a major influence on - a venerable old man of the genre, and a celebrity writer of the sort that the Doctor Who novels had simply never seen anything like before.
In other words, he potential audience for a Michael Moorcock-penned Doctor Who novel is by any measure quite large, incorporating as it does both Doctor Who fans and ...
2 years, 11 months ago
It’s strange, I’ve been writing about the Tennant era for nine months now, and yet reading the compiled Tenth Doctor comics from Doctor Who Magazine the thing that jumps out most immediately is the amount of time enveloped in them. It helps that there’s a change in editors and a late change of direction as a result, but even without that there’s a sense of size and history here that is perhaps lost when looking at the story-to-story changes of the Tennant years.
Actually, let’s start with that change in editors. The majority of the Tenth Doctor’s comics are edited by Clayton Hickman. No account of of Doctor Who is ever going to allege that Hickman is one of the great and most important figures in the history of the series, which is true in a sort of blandly factual sense, but obscures the fact that on the occasions where Clayton Hickman does enter the margins of the story he inevitably acquits himself marvelously. Whether as the talking head who obligingly filled in context so that some washed up 70s actress or another appears to actually make sense in Doctor Who Confidential, as Gareth ...