Monday, 14 November 2011


Junior Bake Off
Episode 8 (of 13)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Jury
2x03 Part 3 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
25x06 Episode 6
So, when given a gun, the girl misses and the rapper shoots someone in the face. Nothing like reinforcing stereotypes.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

3x35 (1/11/10 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Wolverine and the X-Men #1 by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo

I've long been an X-Men fan but always struggled to get into the comics, but a post-Big Event relaunch -- including renumbering flagship title Uncanny X-Men for the first time -- seemed a good jumping on point.
But, leading out of such a Big Event, is it actually new-reader friendly (which, really, a #1 issue should always be, I think)?

Pretty much, yes. There are references to the past and it's building out of previous events, so there's some reading between the lines / online research / just accepting it for a new reader to do, but the fact it's such a Fresh New Start for the characters makes it more accessible.

As a story, it's an interesting one. It's essentially one long establishing sequence, introducing the new school, a raft of characters and their current relationships. Still, there's a new villain to contend with at the end. The artwork is very cartoony, which suits the narrative tone perfectly -- I guess we'll see how it fits with good ol' fashioned superheroics in future issues. CBR gave this issue 4.5 stars, which feels more or less right -- it doesn't really go anywhere, but it's a lot of fun.

Uncanny X-Men #1 by Kieron Gillen & Carlos Pacheco

Here's the other half of the new X-Men universe, then, featuring a team of Grown-Ups led by Cyclops (whereas Wolverine is headmaster of a school in the classic X-Men mould -- quite where Professor Xavier fits into all this I don't know. I'd assume he was dead or something, as that's The Kind Of Thing They Do In Comics, but he turns up in Wolverine and the X-Men so...)

This is more of a standard superhero book than Wolverine and the X-Men (unfortunately the existence of a solo Wolverine title, as well as a straight X-Men title, makes handy abbreviation impossible), with the group fighting a big battle against a big enemy with traditional realistic art. It may be less distinctive therefore, but it's more than solid -- this time CBR's review is 4 stars, which also feels right.

In conclusion, I'll be keeping both of these books on for the time being -- like I said, I like the X-Men and I want to see where this is going. The references to the past also intrigue me, so I'm considering digging into recent X history too. But knowing comics, the handful of references probably cover complex storylines stretching back over the last decade, so we'll see about that one.


Doctor Who movie to be directed by Harry Potter's David Yates
by Paul Millar
(from Digital Spy)
Take your pick about where you'd like to read this news in full, as it seems to have made the world explode. Most of the reaction (on twitter anyway) has been negative: people either hate the idea of Yates being in charge, or they hate all the talk of it rejecting the TV series and "starting from scratch", or they hate both.
Most recently, official Who sources have taken to twitter to deny there's even any news in this: the film's been in development for years, since before the show's TV return in 2005, and nothing's significantly changed now.

First lab-grown hamburger will cost £200,000 by Duncan Geere
A bit "ew", but fascinating. This Is The Future 'n' all that.

Poirot to return for final series on ITV
Marple to return for three new films on ITV
by Morgan Jeffery (from Digital Spy)
Fantastic news for Poirot -- as they've been doing it for over 20 years, it would've been a real shame to stop with just five stories left. Plus we'll finally get a DVD box set titled The Complete Poirot that isn't a lie!
As for Marple... well, only one of these stories originally starred her! They normally do each series in blocks of four, but I've heard in the past that ITV essentially treats Poirot and Marple as the same series when budgeting, scheduling, etc, so clearly they've still commissioned eight episodes as usual, just distributed differently.

Secret documents reveal the flimsy case for Ofcom to give into BBC's public TV DRM demands by Cory Doctorow
(from boingboing)
This makes for slightly depressing reading. Essentially, the BBC and Ofcom ignored all the sensible advice they were getting about DRM and went ahead anyway, because that's what they wanted.

A daily dose of sci-fi - Day 1

Favourite sci-fi movie

There are numerous contenders for second place on this list, I'm certain -- there are dozens, probably hundreds, of fantastic sci-fi films out there, and I imagine I've yet to see loads of them (I ought to make a list) -- but there can be only one winner.

It may not have the groundbreaking originality of Star Wars, or the huge budget of countless others, or the iconic appeal of others still, but it does have the cult following, and above all it takes what many did before it and polishes it until it's good and shiny.

It's bloody exciting, it's hilariously funny, it's gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking; it has endlessly loveable characters, amazing mannered dialogue, a well-realised 'verse; it has a theme that marries perfectly with the real-life story of the film, making it much richer than anything Lucas has churned out.

Serenity is completely brilliant. And if you don't think so, you're wrong.

(Do watch Firefly first though.)

Read about a daily dose of sci-fi, with links to the rest of the series, here.

A daily dose of sci-fi

I found this quite randomly on another blog. I've never come across such a thing (in this form) before, but apparently they're all over the place. Essentially, it's a list of topics/questions to help promote daily blogging. Not that I need to here, but it looked like fun nonetheless.

This one is, as you'll soon see, all to do with science fiction. The full list is below, and starting in, ooh, five minutes, I'll begin posting my answers... continuing one per day, obviously. (I'll update this with links as I go along.)

This is going to take us until the week before Christmas, so settle down for the long haul.

Day 1 Favourite sci-fi movie
Day 2 Favourite sci-fi TV series
Day 3 Favourite sci-fi book/story
Day 4 Best sci-fi heroine
Day 5 Best sci-fi hero
Day 6 Best sci-fi villain
Day 7 Best non-human character
Day 8 Best robot/android
Day 9 No.1 sci-fi hottie
Day 10 Which sci-fi universe/reality would you most like to live in?
Day 11 Favourite space film/series
Day 12 What's your "yeah I know it's rubbish but I love it" sci-fi film?
Day 13 What's your favourite flavour of Star Trek?
Day 14 An under-rated sci-fi gem
Day 15 Which spaceship would you most like to own/fly?
Day 16 A great quote!
Day 17 Best use of special effects on the big screen
Day 18 Best use of special effects on the small screen
Day 19 Empire or Rebel Alliance?
Day 20 What's the best adaptation of a sci-fi book/story?
Day 21 Favourite alien invasion movie/series
Day 22 Coolest alien race
Day 23 It's party-time! Which sci-fi character are you going to dress-up as?
Day 24 Who's the no.1 captain?
Day 25 Funniest sci-fi (intentional or otherwise)
Day 26 Best battle scene
Day 27 Who are the nastiest bad guys?
Day 28 A great sci-fi B-movie
Day 29 Best pre-1980s sci-fi
Day 30 To finish we need a great tune for the end credits - what's your favourite sci-fi theme?

I'll try not to make it all about Doctor Who...