Saturday, 24 April 2010


Doctor Who
31x04 The Time of Angels
See some of my thoughts here.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Doctor Who Confidential
5x04 Eyes Wide Open
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

3x03 Programme 3
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Over the Rainbow
Show 6
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]


Pixels (2010)
[#40a in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
A great, fun short. Watch it in full (don't worry, legally) here.


DVD Producer Michael Pellerin on the Blu-ray Release of... The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy by Bill Hunt & Michael Pellerin
(from The Digital Bits)
The title does a pretty nifty job of summing up what's in this piece... other than clarifying who Pellerin is and why what he has to say about the LotR Blu-rays matters, of course. In short: he produced the original DVDs and consulted on the new BDs. Here he explains some of what went into the new HD transfers and suggests what may be to come on future Extended Edition re-releases -- a lot more stuff that's been in the works for almost a decade, basically.

Stars attack tories over BBC plans
(from Google news U.K.)
I'm not saying vote Labour (at all), but this does need bearing in mind.

Doctor Who: The Time of Angels

Just some quick thoughts, too long for the usual TV post...

Blinkin' excellent episode, a first part that promises we may be getting a truly classic story -- much like Moffat's The Empty Child did back in 2005, in fact. So much of it was worthy of comment, but two things in particular:

One, Moffat was spot-on when he said this was like Aliens to Blink's Alien; a superb analogy.

Two, the cliffhanger... that wasn't really a cliffhanger... New Who has become almost known for having two-parters where each half is almost a distinct episode -- they very much build to that cliffhanger, then almost start again in the second half. But this was nothing of the sort -- it feels like Moffat's penned a 90-minute story and then split it in half at roughly the right moment. Which I quite like, actually.

One of the reasons it works is the whole story's structure (at least so far): it's very like a film, building in peaks of action and calmer lulls of dialogue and plot development. Any of the big action sequences -- the opening, Amy with the TV-Angel, the chase through the Maze -- contained appropriate cliffhanger moments... but those didn't fall at the story's halfway mark. Maybe this isn't how Moffat crafted the story at all -- maybe it is two entirely distinct parts and this was always meant to be a cliffhanger -- but with the way we know the Doctor's just done Something Clever to escape (we even see it starting before it cuts to the titles), it feels like an appropriate-enough halfway break in a longer tale rather than a bespoke cliffhanger. And, as I say, I quite like that.

Finally, something people have been moaning about: the sound mix, specifically the music being too loud. Watching on BBC HD, which broadcasts Who in true 5.1, proved something I suspected for a while: the audio has clearly been mixed for 5.1, because it sounds absolutely spot-on in this format (the music may even be too quiet), so I presume that someone, somewhere, must be mucking up the down-mix to Stereo for normal transmission.

Also, no Graham Norton invading half the screen on BBC HD.

P.S. Sacred Bob? Angel Bob? Clearly Moffat must be a fan of me -- link.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

This is the biggest update since mid-February, thanks in part to a round of bargains (Sherlock Hound, 3:10 to Yuma, Zombieland), anticipated new releases (The Box, Evangelion 1.11), and bargainous near-new releases (Glorious 39). With a third of these being anime titles, including one I've been waiting years for, this week's statistic has taken a slight dash of inspiration from them...

Number of titles in collection: 1,170 [up 6]
Of which DVDs: 1,091 [up 2]
Of which Blu-rays: 79 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 2,838 [up 11]
Number of films in collection: 1,227 [up 5]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 3,916 [up 26]

Statistic of the week:

Total number of anime titles:
(4% of the total)

See you next week, faithful reader.