Thursday, 18 September 2008


8 Out of 10 Cats
7x03 (18/9/08 edition)

2x09 Resistance is Futile
2x10 There's Something About Harry
Dexter's second season heads into its final third. It's gone by far too fast -- even though I've been trying to ration the episodes to one at a time (ep9's ending was too good to resist) -- which is entirely down to me no longer being able to get FX so downloading the episodes and churning through them in under two weeks! (As opposed to the twelve it would take when broadcast, which is how I watched season one.) It's its own fault -- it's just too damn good to put down.

God, the Devil and Bob
1x13 Bob Gets Involved [series finale]
And it's over. A shame.

Mock the Week
6x11 (18/9/08 edition)

Thunderbirds IR Trailer
Seems that, back in 2005, Carlton tried to do a new version of Thunderbirds as a puppets/CGI combo thingy, with new puppet & ship designs. Scott Tracy looks freaky. While some of it's moderately impressive, the use of puppets and CGI is more than a little jarring -- it looks like a spruced-up old series, not a brand new one -- and some of the dialogue is appalling. "Scott, pull up, it's too risky! The whole place is gonna blow in 10 seconds!" "Good -- I only need 9." Good? Good? It's not good. Anyway, I'm sure there's room for a decent Thunderbirds remake (the desire from critics for the crappy movie to be any good shows that), but I doubt this would've been it either. Oh well.


Southland Tales (2007)
[#63 in 100 Films in a Year 2008]
[2nd half]

Magazines: DWM #400

Doctor Who Magazine #400
DWM hits the big four-oh-oh. At 29 years old, it's surely one of -- if not the -- longest running TV-tie-in magazines ever?

It's a good issue too: Russell T Davies' Production Notes have little to say about the forthcoming specials, but there are dribs & drabs of news about them (the first will be at Easter, for example, and it would seem the Christmas 2009 special is by RTD, not Steven Moffat).

There are two centre piece articles. The first is The Sheer Brilliance of Doctor Who, named after the BBC continuity announcer's introduction to The Fires of Pompeii. As you might guess, it's all about why Who's so great. It also includes a wonderful short feature which I shall now describe: way back in 1999, DWM got five TV professionals to speculate on how the show might return. Nine years on, they've all worked on the revival -- Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts... and Steven Moffat and RTD themselves. It was always one of my favourite DWM features, and it's very amusing seeming their reflections on their predictions. Roberts is spookily spot-on...

The other key feature is Four Hundred DWMs!, whose subject is again eminently guessable -- it picks out key moments, articles, etc, from the past 400 issues. Side-boxes provide entertaining asides (appropriately enough). My favourites are the "12 Things We'd Never Heard Of When..." blobs, which list things that didn't exist or hadn't been heard of in the years issues 1, 100, 200 and 300 were published. They emphasise just how long DWM's been going, and how much the world has changed -- for example, #200/1993 includes "Harry Potter", "Oasis", "DVDs" and "The Internet", while #300/2001 includes "The iPod" and "9/11". The others include suitably major world changes and cultural events too, as well as amusingly specific Who references (just to go spoiling it -- "Adric", "Eric Saward", "The Cloister Bell", "The Valeyard", "Melanie Bush", "Andrew Cartmel", "Bernice Summerfield", "The Humanian Era", "Big Finish", and "Raxacoricofallapatorius" all feature, as well as other Who-related general ones).

There's also an interview with RTD, In the Midnight Hour, which I'm off to read now. It mentions his forthcoming very-good-looking book, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale -- more about that in tomorrow's Articles column, probably. There's World of Adventures!, a preview of the forthcoming second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures (ooh, everything's forthcoming and previewed!); and Why DWM Made Me The Fan I Am, which I think is another of those interminable single-page "a fan's diary"-style columns they have these days. Ugh.

Amongst the other articles, I actually read the preview of The Forever Trap, the second audiobook-only story (read by Catherine Tate this time); the Extras section of the review of The War Machines DVD ("Powsht Offish Taah"); reviews of The Doctor Who Storybook 2009 (it feels too self-promotional that this is Pick of the Month), the Sonic Screwdriver Pen Set and Interactive Sonic & Laser Screwdriver Set toys; and the brief concluding interview, Who On Earth Is... David Tennant, which contains the following priceless exchange:

Tennant: "Shakespeare's all right, but he's lacking on spaceships."
DWM: "Shakespeare never won a BAFTA."
Tennant: "Well, that's my point. Shakespeare never won the Dennis Potter Award, so he can't be that good."

And to round it off, there're a massive six competitions! Usually it's two stuffed in a quarter-page box, but no, there's two whole pages on them here. Amongst the usual CD and DVDs prizes there's a print of DWM's four-cover spectacular from issue 398, and a chance to visit the set of Who! Good luck to anyone bold enough to enter.

Oh, and there's a double-sided poster -- Tennant on one side, all 400+ covers on the other. Spot where you began! (I'm #239.)