Tuesday, 26 September 2023

TV

Doctor Who
5x31 Fury from the Deep Episode 3
5x32 Fury from the Deep Episode 4

Audio Drama / Podcasts

Doctor Who: Redacted
2x02 Apex
This isn't 'officially' part of my 60th celebrations, by-the-by, it's just the whole season has already been released so I'm listening to it as and when.
[Listen to it (again) on BBC Sounds.]

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
17–19 March 2021

Monday, 25 September 2023

TV

Doctor Who
5x29 Fury from the Deep Episode 1
5x30 Fury from the Deep Episode 2

My 60th anniversary celebrations move on to the Second Doctor now (see further down today for the conclusion of the First Doctor). For this one, I've chosen an animated reconstruction of a missing TV serial. There are some complete Second Doctor serials I've not seen, but (as I said at the start) I'm trying to vary the media featured, and the Second Doctor is the only one with whole animated serials that I've not yet seen. I had intended to only watch one episode a day (my usual MO for watching Classic Who nowadays), but I'm getting a bit concerned about finishing everything before the anniversary rolls around, so I'm speeding this one up a bit.

As with Galaxy 4 earlier this month, the animation has its own listing as a miniseries on IMDb and on Letterboxd, as well as the ones for the original serial, which again leaves me with a logging/rating conundrum — the kind of thing that probably only bothers me. Of course, last time I made a judgement on this was only a couple of weeks ago, so I'm just following the precedent I set then.

Fiction

Doctor Who: Marco Polo by John Lucarotti
Chapters 14–17 [the end]


Doctor Who: A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer
Chapters 1–5 + Epilogue [the end]

For Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, Puffin issued a series of short ebooks, one per Doctor. They also bundled them together into a print paperback, called 11 Doctors 11 Stories. A year later, after Peter Capaldi had joined, they released a new story and also republished the book as 12 Doctors 12 Stories. I have both of those — normally I'd've been reticient to rebuy, but when they issued the latter as a neat little box set with the stories split into 12 individual books (plus some postcards), I couldn't resist. And then, after Jodie Whittaker joined, they reissued it again, this time as (you probably guessed it) Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories (that's not me being weird with the different spelling, it's them). I didn't buy it again. I'm not a fool. Well, not that much of a fool. (Will we get a 15 Doctors, 15 Stories after Ncuti joins? Only time will tell...)

And also, despite owning it twice, I've never actually read any of the stories. Oh dear. But when better to finally do it than now? A collection originally commissioned for the 50th, finally read for the 60th — very me. My plan is to read each Doctor's story after their 'main' contribution for my 60th celebrations, so today we have this First Doctor tale. It was a lot of fun. I hope the next 12 tales can live up to it.

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
15–16 March 2021

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Films

Nightmare Alley (1947)
[#70 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]
"What Do You Mean You Haven't Seen...?" 2023 #8

Fiction

Doctor Who: Marco Polo by John Lucarotti
Chapters 9–14

I really enjoy Marco Polo as a narrative. It's such a shame the TV version is lost. It's probably still #1 on my personal list of "ones I wish they'd find". But the novelisation...

Well, it doesn’t get off to the greatest of starts. In the early chapters especially (and to an extent throughout) it almost reads like a screenplay, so reliant is it on dialogue, with the barest description of anything else. Even when you do get a line of action or other description, sometimes it adds nothing beyond reflecting the onscreen blocking (presumably, that is — with the episodes missing, it’s hard to know for sure. But, for example, there are moments when characters are described moving around the room in a way that has no impact on what's happening). The prose begins to open up more as the book goes on, but by that point the script-like literalness is so embedded that any section not dense in dialogue comes across as abridgement. That is to say, it feels like there were too many scenes to fit in a short Target novelisation, so parts have instead been summarised.

That’s not to mention that Lucarotti is clearly writing a book “for children”, with a use of language and overall style clearly aimed at a young age group. In fairness, I suppose these books were that at the time, and maybe the entire range is guilty of it. I don’t remember feeling that way about any of them before, but it’s a good long while since I’ve read a Target novelisation — probably not since my own childhood, in fact, when obviously I wouldn’t have noticed as much; plus, I’ve done a lot more studying of literature since then, so I'm more attuned to that kind of thing.

So, not the greatest novel overall, then — but, like I said, at least it's a cracking story.

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
11–14 March 2021

Saturday, 23 September 2023

TV

Doctor Who Trailer
The final (presumably) trailer for the three 60th anniversary specials coming in November (not that the trailer confirmed the actual airdate, sadly). All looks very exciting!
[Watch it again (again) on YouTube.]

The Wheel
4x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Fisherman's Friends: One and All (2022)
[2nd watch]
[#69 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]

Audio Drama / Podcasts

Doctor Who: Redacted
2x01 Regrets
I didn't much care for the first series of this, but, hey, it's Doctor Who, so here I am. Here I'll always be.
[Listen to it (again) on BBC Sounds.]

Fiction

Doctor Who: Marco Polo by John Lucarotti
Chapters 1–8

My Doctor Who 60th celebrations proper begin here! To mark the occasion, I'm going to watch, read, or listen to one piece of media I've never experienced for each Doctor. I've aimed to diversify those too, to take in as much of what Doctor Who is as possible – i.e. considering all the various spin-off/ancillary media as equal to the TV series, because, in many ways, they kind of are (I mean, would the series really have survived the Wilderness Years without them?)

So, up first — and therefore representing the First Doctor — is the Target novelisation of the oldest missing TV story, Marco Polo. It was the fourth-ever Who story, and I've seen the three that precede it, so this is the oldest story I could've chosen while still retaining the "something I've never experienced" angle. (Arguably, for something even earlier in Who history I could've gone for the novelisation of An Unearthly Child — it depends how faithfully one takes "never experienced". There are one or two choices later on that really do push the boundaries of that definition. But hey, it's my celebration — I can do what I like.)

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
8–10 March 2021

Collection Count

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

This week's additions include Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, which I've wanted to revisit for quite a while now. I nearly bought the Blu-ray when they reissued it in a Steelbook a couple of years back, but was put off by it being an older disc with poor reviews. Fortunately, I never caved to that, and so have now been able to pick it up in 4K, replacing my DVD. Except, after it arrived, I discovered the UK release doesn't carry over the director's commentary, which is on the DVD, so now I've got to hang on to that after all if I want all the special features (which I do). Grr.

Causing me similar consternation this week was Eureka's 4K re-release of Touch of Evil. It includes all three cuts of the film in 4K, but only in widescreen — their Blu-ray release also included two of the cuts in open matte 4:3. So do I hang on to that release for the alternate framings, or accept that the widescreen is now 'settled' as the definitive version? Bearing in mind that I don't exactly rewatch films very often, so am I ever likely to watch it in 1080p 4:3 when the 4K widescreen copy is awaiting? I've decided to hang on to my old copy for now, which probably means it'll just stick around indefinitely, but I'm not convinced it's the right (or final) decision.

Number of titles in collection: 3,159 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,022 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 2,137 [up 4]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 297 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 7,722 [up 8]
Number of films: 3,877 [up 4]
Number of additional cuts: 342 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes: 9,621 [no change]
Number of short films: 1,078 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 22 September 2023

Audio Drama

Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time
Part 6 Collision Course [finale]

This took a lot longer to get round to than intended (I blame the fact it's been my first week in a new job, because... well, because that is why). But I certainly did it thoroughly this evening, following up the hour-and-a-bit-long finale with the two CDs (two whole CDs!) of behind-the-scenes material.

Nexy: onwards to my 60th celebrations! Starting that is rather overdue now — it might be a struggle to get it in before the celebratory TV episodes start. On the other hand, if I aim for the anniversary itself, I probably gain an extra week or two. So, in short: we'll see.

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
5–7 March 2021

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Fiction

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Chapters 102–115 [the end]

Well, it took me longer than I hoped when I started it back in June, but finishing a novel in under three months is a relative rarity for me nowadays — lest we forget, the one before last took 14 months (albeit including a 13 month pause).

Anyway, I enjoyed it very much, and will definitely read the sequels. But next, I have some Who to attend to...

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
2–4 March 2021

These three days consist of, respectively, finding a shield, opening a treasure chest, and taking a rest. Sometimes, it really feels like it pays off to be playing several days at once.

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Podcasts

Light the Fuse - The Official Mission: Impossible Podcast
2x13 What Makes "Dead Reckoning Part One" Work with Bilge Ebiri Part 2

I recently switched jobs. It was during the last few days of my old job that I began listening to podcasts on my commute, often getting through an episode each way — look back through the "Audio" tag and see all the days with two episodes? That's (mostly) that. But my new job is significantly closer, meaning a shorter commute. So I actually started this episode yesterday (just forgot to log it), then continued it today, but won't finish it until tomorrow. The new drive is not so good for listening to podcasts, but I definitely prefer the shortness overall!

Games

The Dragon Staff of Maladoria
27 February — 1 March 2021