Wednesday 9 January 2013


Death in Paradise
2x01 Episode 1
Hurrah for the return of DiP, and in an even-better post-Christmas slot -- just when people need cheering up, rather than when they're all prepared for and happy about the winter months. Not that I ever feel the urge for sun & sand, but some do, so hopefully this second run of the light, fun detective drama will be even more successful.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]


Doctor Who Magazine #456

I've never stopped buying DWM, but I haven't read a significant amount of an issue for months, perhaps even years (due to a particularly festive season, the preceding bagged Christmas issue remains unopened). Somewhere between a New Year's Resolution and It's The 50th Anniversary Goddammit, however, I have dived into this one and read it almost cover to cover.

This issue has a not-all-new-but-tweaked look for the 50th anniversary, appropriately tying into the not-all-new-but-tweaked stuff that permeated the Christmas special (titles, music, logo, TARDIS, Doctor, etc etc). Revving up for the anniversary, the issue includes a fairly thorough summary of the tonnes of merchandise I'll be spending a small fortune on this year (though it neglects to mention the recently-announced Puffin short stories (more here), which I therefore presume were being kept A Big Secret). Lots of it is rather exciting, even if I still dispute some of the choices for the anniversary collection of 11 tie-in novels. Big Finish are doing a helluva lot of stuff, while BBC Books seem to have missed a trick by not doing some kind of big behind-the-scenes book. On the one hand, they may just not have announced it yet (the article ends with a "and there's more to come" note); on the other, they've done a couple down the years so maybe there's no point; though, adjunct to that, the last I remember was for (I think) the 40th, so maybe an update of that to include the Ninth to Eleventh Doctors is the least we're due.

There's also the first part of a new comic strip, Hunters of the Burning Stone by regular DWM comic strippers Scott Gray and Martin Geraghty. This is set up elsewhere in the issue as being part season finale, part anniversary celebration (though at six parts it will be finished by the middle of the year, nowhere near the anniversary itself). I always feel like I should be reading DWM's strip, especially as it's only around 10 pages once per month, but again I haven't for years. This instalment doesn't do much to convince me otherwise to be honest, full as it is of dense because-we-can sci-fi-ness. Great final page though.


Baftas: Lincoln leads but Spielberg snubbed
(from BBC News)

And a fair few well-deserved nods for Skyfall too. Whether it wins anything or not is another matter, but fingers crossed. The full nominations can be read on BAFTA's site, here.

Jersey retailer closes direct retail business
(from BBC News)

Bit of a surprise, this -- Play always seem to be doing so well. But it was also kind of inevitable, with the tax loophole closing, something Play was always based around.

Lots of misreporting around the web on this though: Play aren't being forced to shut down, they're choosing to, meaning you don't need to worry about outstanding orders or refunds; indeed, they'll be selling stuff until the end of March; and then after that, they'll still be there, as an ebay/Amazon Marketplace-style site for people to sell stuff through. Be interesting to see how long that lasts, with at least two so-obvious alternatives available.


French mourn Virgin's 'funeral march'
by Robert Plummer (from BBC News)

Interestingly different reaction to record store closures from our friends across the Channel. Perhaps they'll be more inclined to do something to stop the tax-dodging multinationals because of it.